Spoon

I’m
Just
Afraid
My brain
Will
Eat
And rot
Me hollow
So I spoon
It clean
To watch
You glean
All the other
Wings
In me
I never
Gave
Room
To
Grow.  -e.c.

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Welcome to the Best Day of My Life

Unkept by Ericka Clay

Seventeen years.

It’s been seventeen years since the day I knew I would be a published author.

It wasn’t a dream. It wasn’t a maybe. It was a fact.

I would make it happen, I just didn’t know how.

Fast forward to today. THE DAY.

Alongside my amazing publisher, I’m beyond thrilled/excited/alittlebitvomity to announce that you can now PREORDER the Kindle version of my novel, Unkept.

And very soon (March 2nd), the PRINT version will be available for purchase!

I’ve been working with an amazing group of women to polish this bad boy right up and make it something worth reading.

And together, I know we have something that will wow the pants right off of you.

Hopefully, you’re wearing underwear.

ABOUT UNKEPT

OFFICIAL RELEASE DATE: March 2, 2015 from Bannerwing Books

AMAZON KINDLE PRE-ORDERhttp://bit.ly/UnkepteBook

GOODREADS LINKhttp://bit.ly/UnkeptOnGoodreads

THE PREMISE: As the live-in manager at her father’s funeral home in Burling Gates, Missouri, Vienna Oaks has succumbed to the mediocrity and abject loneliness of her life. Her days are suspended between the mundane and the misery of her clients’ throttling grief, of changing light bulbs, and encountering strangers as bereft as she. But after orchestrating the funeral for a little boy named Parker prompts a severe panic attack, she finds herself at a personal crossroads in which she is forced to confront the pregnancy she’s been hiding, her childhood nemesis, the boy she never stopped loving, and the deep-seated secret surrounding her mother’s death more than a decade before.

In another part of town, Heather Turnbull has just learned from her estranged father that her mother, a lifelong recluse, has died. When making arrangements for her funeral, Heather chooses Oaks Family Funeral home, where she comes face to face with Vienna – the woman she tortured throughout grade school, the woman who has recently had an affair with her husband.

Together, Vienna and Heather navigate through a makeshift friendship born of
circumstance and devised to assuage their ambivalence towards motherhood and their
tenuous relationship with reality, discovering, in tandem, the art of forgiveness and the
will to go on.

With humor and poignancy, Ericka Clay’s debut novel, Unkept, explores the thorny
landscape of childhood trauma and the ferocious politics between little girls — and the
adults they become.

A GINORMOUS thank you in advance to everyone who reads Unkept and hopefully reviews it. You are my lifeblood, folks. Without you, there would be no words worth writing, so please know this: you are amazing, you are wonderful and you are appreciated more than you know.

Love, glitter and felines,

Ericka Clay

What a Writer Is

No coasters, bitches!!!
No coasters, bitches!!!

If you go on Twitter, you already know what a writer is: a fierce, stalking animal that eats words and breathes beautifully wrought sentences.

There are no bathroom breaks, snack breaks, blow your nose into your hanky breaks. There is only you and your computer in a dimly lit room, burning cigarette jammed in your mouth and tumbler full of vodka on your desk, no coaster.

You don’t have time for fucking coasters.

And for a long, long, long time, I too, believed this is what a writer is. In fact, I lamented the fact that I didn’t smoke, and even toyed with the idea of taking it up. Me. Yogi Ericka, enjoying herself a cancer stick.

The absurdity!

It’s part of the reason why I’ve been dialing back my relationship with social media. There is always the picture of what you should be doing and how you should be doing it.

And I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being told what the fuck to do.

So I decided to rethink my life, and in rethinking my life, I’ve started to rethink my writing career. And here are the nuts and bolts of it:

  • I don’t always write, but I’m still a writer. Your brain needs breaks sometimes. Your body needs sleep. Your soul needs friends and good food and time to recalculate. Don’t sacrifice your body for your work because your work will suffer, too.
  • Sometimes a novel needs a little breathing room. I like to think of writing as an art. And I’ve never known an artist to rush their masterpiece. I don’t necessarily link being prolific to being good. And I make it a habit to always choose good over anything else.
  • Guilt can shove a pointed spoon up its arse. You didn’t write today? No worries, my friend. Sucking on that guilt lozenge won’t force the words to come any faster. Trust me.

Listen: do you. Be you. If sucking on cancer sticks, drinking your vodka and banging out words is your thing, then high five my friend and put a bird on it.

But if you exist somewhere outside of the “writer’s box” like little ‘ol me, no sweat. There’s room for you and your beautiful face.

At least I still don’t use coasters, right?

New blog, folks.

Ericka Clay
Look at how cute I am!! Look with your eyes!!!!!!

So I’m moving on. I’m no longer blogging at Tipsy Lit since we’ve gone hardcore lit mag (and check it out if you haven’t.  We’re always looking for amazing submissions).

If you want in on my new venture, then please join me at The Wounded Deer Leaps on Tumblr.  It’s my newest writing project that’s comprised of different series based on my personal life.

The first one?  The Gym.  Because sweat inspires me.

Also, how great do I look in that sweater?  Super great.

D Is For Dysfunctional

d is for dysfunctionalWattpad asked if they could include my book, D is for Dysfunctional, in their official Literary Fiction list so that’s pretty exciting!

Why don’t we celebrate by doing a little reading? 🙂  You can read the entire book (FOR FREE!) here: http://bit.ly/1f66Z56

Happy reading, you glittery monkeys, you!  And if you’d like to leave a review, you can do so here or on the story.

Many thanks!!

It Begins With Words

Ksenia Anske is kind of my hero.

I’m actually live chatting with her as I type (*SWOON*) because she agreed to do a Happy Hour in our Tipsy Book Club.  And everything she says makes me want to punch the sky and scream: FUCK YEAH!!

You know why?  She does it for her readers.

I know this and I love this.  Every time someone reads a blog post, a poem, my book, I kind of scream like a baby goat.  I do a lot of screaming if you haven’t noticed.

But really, my whole writing existence is based on the eyes scanning my words, my pages.  And that part is easy for me.

What’s not easy, is the actual sitting down and WRITING part that Ksenia masters like the badass ninja she is.

So many things, TOO many things get in the way: leading the Tipsy pack, taking my daughter to dance class, washing dishes, folding laundry, walking the dogs, walking myself, grocery shopping, my social anxiety, my clips of depression, my hair’s too long, too thin, I’m tired, I don’t wanna, I DIDN’T SIGN UP FOR THIS!!!!!

But that’s not true.  What’s getting in the way of my writing process is, well, me.

Because when it comes right down to it, those things I THINK get in the way, really make me who I am, and without the beautiful stink of weekly monotony, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate sitting down and lightly hovering the tips of my fingers over the keys.

It begins with words, it begins with embracing the every day.

It begins with that chair, that desk.  Bending your knees, bending the words.

 

Why I Shouldn’t Have Access To A Video Camera

So I’ve been hitting YouTube up lately and here are the frightening results!

The first is a video I did for Bannerwing Books, answering a few fun questions about my novel that they’ll be releasing early next year.  And in true Ericka fashion, I make no sense and wave my hands around like a crazy person.  Or me.

My Promotional Ninjas

And then I decided to roll out a video about my new amazing promotional team, the EC Readers.  The EC Readers is a group of my favorite followers who help me get the word out about my books and writing career.  In return, I give these followers first dibs on interviews with me on their blogs, show them some Twitter love, link their blog on this page and let them pick my brain in our Facebook community.  Plus, I return the favor and share their stuff, too, because they’re pretty amazeballs!

Do you want to join the EC Readers?  Check out the video and fill out this form so you can!

Alrighty guys, back to the manuscript and a painful amount of caffeine!

The “M” Word

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There’s a fine balance between writing and marketing yourself.

Actually for me, there’s hardly any balance at all.

I think I talk about myself too much.  Scratch that.  I KNOW I talk about myself too much, but I do it because I’m conditioned to.

I started a new Facebook page and now I have another pothole to fill up with Ericka goodness when I all want to do is write and take a nap and nap and write a little and then maybe see my family and let my dogs outside to piss.

So here’s what I’m going to allow myself: a cozy little room on the Internet.  This space, the FB, the twitter, and all the other noise I’m churning out on a daily basis doesn’t have to be gargantuan.  It can be small and warm and reflect me perfectly without boasting five different floors.  The windows can be dirty, the tile cracked, as long as it contains my honest heart.

I’ve created a beautifully crafted Internet house for myself, practically a mansion, with Tipsy Lit.  It’s bigger than anything I ever thought possible and seems to be growing every day.  And when I think of building my brand as an author to, at the very least, rival what I (and countless others…believe me) have done with TL, I get exhausted and cranky and want to make that nap thing happen as fast as humanly possible.

I’m tired of talking about myself.  Sometimes, I’m tired of myself in general.  So what I want to offer are my stories, my beautifully broken characters.  Letters and lines mouthed into sounds that have nothing to do with me.

Because frankly, I’m tire of the “m” word.