I’ve Achieved Wincing Glory

Here’s a little video I did for my Patreon page.

Wincing is kind of my specialty.

Other stuff not related to wincing

  • I’ll be posting FREE downloads of my books from now on. Just click a title under “Free Downloads” in the sidebar. Why not download my book “D” is for Dysfunctional while you’re at it?
  • Chapter Two of For the Love of Chuck is up now. I can’t wait for you to meet Wren. She’s so bad ass, you guys.
  • It’s pizza night!!!!!!!!! Ahem. Happy Friday, folks!

 

My Amazing Readers, I Need Your Help!

Ericka Clay:

Wanna help a writer chick out? There’s books in it for ya!

Originally posted on TIPSY LIT:

patreon profile

I’m currently putting together a book team so I can publish print copies of my novella and the novel I’m working.  I plan on selling signed copies of these (as well as future books!) directly through Tipsy Lit’s website. In order to do this, I’ve put together a Patreon page to raise funds that I’ll use to pay my book team and self-publish my books.

The wickedly awesome part? I’m offering rewards for everyone who donates. For just a buck, you can help make my writing dreams come true and the Oprah in my head very very happy.

She says she wants to give you a car.

Click HERE to help me publish my books!

Free downloads you guys!

So I’m getting my arse into gear and creating FREE PDF, MOBI and EPUB versions of my books. They’ll be available on this page as well as in the sidebar of…

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Watch Me Write: Stick With What You Know

watch me write

I’m all for new. New is good. New is exciting. But I’m also for the concept of “comfortable” which is why I live in yoga pants with a pillow strapped to the back of my head.

And I’ve realized the idea of “comfortable” is what’s made me excited to write again. I had been playing with the idea of writing a story called Marilyn Winters but it just wasn’t sticking. I then tried to turn it into a screenplay and that just didn’t get the job done either. I then attempted to put in my BLT, but that just made me cry and drunk dial an ex-best friend.

So “new” hasn’t been working for me.

But do you know what I’m good at? First person narratives. And you know what else? Being funny when I don’t mean to be. And you know what else again? Yoga. I’m actually standing on my head right now.

But the first two things? The first person/funny part? That’s what’s lighting the fire under my ass. As much as I want to get all literary and profound on your backsides, I know deep down that sticking with what I know and who I am is going to make for a much better read than forcing something that just doesn’t taste right.

For the Love of Chuck

So what’s this new story about. Let me fill ya in!
Toby Yates is a twenty-eight-year-old college drop out who still idolizes his old best friend, Chuck, and is currently living off his sister’s dime. When she threatens to kick him out of her apartment, Toby decides to get a job as a janitor at Burling Gates High to reconnect with Chuck who’s a popular guidance counselor at the school.

While cleaning the girls’ bathroom one day, Toby meets Wren Reynolds, one of the troubled students Chuck counsels. As their friendship progresses, Toby learns that Chuck is having an affair with Wren and must decide if he should keep Chuck’s secret or out him, putting his newly reformed friendship with Chuck on the line.

Humorously told from both Toby and Wren’s perspectives, For the Love Chuck will tug at your heartstrings and have you rooting for a very unlikely hero.

Watch Me Write: The Series

And just to give you the inside scoop, “Watch Me Write” is a brand new series I’m doing here on the blog.

I’ll be writing about my progress on For the Love of Chuck plus giving you the week’s BRAND NEW CHAPTER. This way, you can read my story for free on my blog and you can even read it on Wattpad, too!

So without further ado, here’s the first chapter of For the Love of Chuck! Hope you love it!

READ CHAPTER ONE NOW!

 

Now Chuck’s your buddy, your pal. The dude who mops up your vomit after a late night at Los Gallos that turns your bathroom ranker than a three day pair of underwear. He’s the guy that has your back and he’s the guy that had mine until Grace Anne nosed the toe of her dirty Keds between us. One second we’re on the bleachers watching our loser friend Kryptonite Chris make an ass of himself on the mound during a baseball game at Burling Gates High and the next, there’s this curtain of hair sitting between me and Chuck and I end up spending the rest of the game counting the dandruff flakes in the curtain’s scalp.

Grace Anne Delahoy. A real ugly thing whose tits didn’t quite pass inspection. But Chuck? You’d think she’d invented the chili dog the way he looked at her. And there he went placing his arm around her smoother than a shot of tequila while I plucked her shedded skin from my Royals hoodie. He hadn’t even asked her name yet.

That was senior year. Ten years ago. When life flies, it zips like a mother fucker.

Shit, I have to pinch myself now.

I’m doing this new thing where I pinch my arm every time I say or think or something bad. It’s what my sister Tammy calls “physical awakening” or some shit – ow – that she heard over at her yoga studio. She’s just there to fold the towels and wipe sweaty DNA off the yoga mats, but you’d think she’s a bonafide yogi the way she yaps about spiritual enlightenment and all that crap.

My arm is starting to look like an eggplant.

“Ah, underwear, cold pizza from a Ziploc bag. I have to admit, it’s no yesterday’s half-shirt/milk from the carton combo, but I think it has real potential.”

That’s another thing about my sister. She’s a real smartass.

“Excuse me, Zen Queen, but some of us are looking for an actual career.” She plops down next to me on the sofa and my bag of pizza hits me in the junk.

“I’m sorry, but don’t you need a college degree for one of those?” She slants her eyes at me like she’s been doing since we were kids. I almost forgot this part but when she was six and I was two she stole me and took me to the park and fed me the broken bread Ma used to give us to feed ducks at the pond. When Ma finally found us, she had to remove a knuckles-worth of carbohydrates from my windpipe. So that proves it. Tammy’s a whackjob so you really can’t trust anything she says.

“I’m sorry, but aren’t most of you friends married by now?”

“Don’t change the subject, asshat. You keep putting it off and putting it off but I can’t support your lazy ass anymore. Ma kicked you out because she’s smart and I may not be no Stephen Hawking but I need you to start pulling your weight. Lord knows it seems to be multiplying,” she says and jabs her bony yoga finger into my stomach.

“Ah Christ, Tammy.” She gives me those slant eyes again so I give myself a pinch.
“Listen I don’t even need no stupid degree. You know Chuck used to say-”

‘Yes. Exactly. Used to. But Chuck’s getting married, Toby. And doesn’t he go by Charles now? New wife, new house, new name? Chuck’s moved on. I suggest you do the same.”

I hear her and it hurts to hear her even worse than my bruised up arm. Chuck’s moved on. Chuck’s changed and is better and newer and different and here I am, naked-er, fatter, and lazier and in major need of a shower.

But here’s the thing I can’t say to Ma or Tammy or the entire world the way I want to: I love Chuck like the brother I never had. Screw Grace Anne if she thinks she’s going to steal him away and imprison him in her tract castle. I refuse to give him up.

My gut groans, scraping chewed up pizza through my bowels and it echos the sound of my life swirling down the drain.

I’m gonna have to get a fucking job. Ow.

You Don’t Know Me

Ericka Clay:

New poem alert!

Originally posted on TIPSY LIT:

Sandals Photo credit: Colourless Rainbow on Flickr

What I want

is to cut

to the gut

of it and read

through what reeks

and what leaks

and what puddles

near my sandals,

not the ones you used

to like, but the ones

I like, in the here in now,

in the only time and space

you don’t know me.

And I’ve bloomed

like flowers often do

if flowers coiled

tight then burst

like a million pricks of light

straight through

your pupil,

sliced then diced

until everything

is thin skinned

like an onion.

Sometimes

I get pretty

and then

the moment

is lost

tossing

the bread

in the grocery

basket, and I smile

knowing you

don’t know me

nor the sandals

that I love

even though

they blister

the edges

of my

feet.

Copyright Ericka Clay © 2015

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How Book Reviews Make You a Better Writer

How Book Reviewers Make You a Better Writer

Hi. My name is Ericka Clay, and I’m still learning to write.

*GASP*

I know. It’s quite difficult to admit. As much as I want to wave my fancy Creative Writing degree over my head as proof that I know ALL THINGS WRITING, alas, I don’t.

Not even a little bit.

And I know this to be true not only because I can practically see it plastered across my forehead when I look into the mirror (I also see perfectly arched eyebrows. It’s a genetic gift), but I’ve also heard it from book reviewers who have read Unkept and Dear Hearts and have critically broken down where I’ve gone “wrong.”

Ouch, right? NOPE!

What I love about book reviewers is that they’re not my mother. What I mean by that, is that they’ll never tell me I’m the best writer that has ever existed and that I look mind blowingly fantastic in these JCPenney’s jorts (another genetic gift). What they WILL tell me is that there are a few things I need to work on.

So without further ado, here are a few of my favorite critiques I’ve received in no particular order:

“…I was confused in a few places with the way she integrates flashbacks and memories…”

“The characters are all complicated, as is the writing. Don’t pick up this book, if easy reading is what you are looking for.”

“Nearly every principal character is incredibly flawed, in some cases to the point of being deeply unlikeable.”

“The novel has a somewhat unclear start as the opening chapters are overloaded with a barrage of character names and too many unanswered questions, making it difficult to settle in until the third or fourth chapter.”

“There are a lot of metaphors, back story, and flashbacks in Unkept that often interrupt the flow and clarity of the story.”

“The alternating POVs don’t always take the story forward.”

“However another part of me just can’t seem to truly believe Mitch as a character.”

Now granted, these same reviewers had some amazingly wonderful things to say about my books, too, which I deeply appreciate. But the critiques above are exactly what I needed to hear.

So what does this mean? I get back on that writing horse and do it again, only this time much better.

Those thoughtful critiques are the very reason I’m taking a BRAND NEW JOURNEY and writing a novel chapter by chapter on Wattpad – about a small town transvestite trying to “win” her best friend back of all things! I’ll be changing my style a bit, getting to the meat of the story and using flowery language in teeny tiny doses. I’ll be working on the “here and now” and try my best to refrain from mind boggling flashbacks.

I’ll be taking these reviews to heart.

So book reviewers, thank you, thank you, thank you a million times over for these! You’ve helped me in more ways than you know. And writers, leave discouragement at the door. A good critique helps not hurts, and if it is blatantly hurtful, ignore it and move forward.

We’ve got this, you guys! We’ve got this!

Have you received a “bad” review? What did it teach you?


http://bit.ly/DearHeartsIt’s officially official! Today is the RELEASE DATE for Dear Hearts! Even better news? If you’re a Kindle Unlimited member, you get this baby for free! Be sure to snag your copy today!

BUY NOW

Marilyn Winters by Ericka ClayThere’s a new girl in town, but looks can be deceiving! Find out why Marilyn Winters is an unlikely heroine in my latest novel – that you can read FOR FREE!

read for free