Friday, 28 February 2014

My new Pen Name (again)

S.E Dee

I found it. I finally found my name. I think. This was hard. I don’t think a lot of people like it but it’s my name. I can’t even begin to tell you how much this search pained me and I’ll get into my reasoning behind why I went with this particular name.

I first had to tackle the initial issue of the Pen Name: Why use one?
Well, it started as Shay Dee. My full name is Sharena De Freitas. Unique, yes. Easy to spell? Not quite. One day, I hope to be a great writer who can easily be found on google, and that means easy to spell, right? Right. So my full name had to go and was replaced with Shay Dee.

Shay Dee was actually nice and neat looking and Shay is also my nickname, so I was comfortable with it. Sadly, so was the internet. Shay Dee was taken by so many people and typing it in google brought up a shocking amount of results. After a year using it, I decided it had to go and changed to my family-ish name, De Flory.

Now, Shay De Flory was easy to spell and unique, what a bonus! But after an exchange of e-mails with a PeN juNkY pal of mine, I realised just how romance-authory it sounded, and not only do I not write romance, I also write from a male point of view. This sent me reeling in panic. After some research, I learnt that for someone who happens to be a lady (I use that word slackly) and writes from a male POV, thing weren’t good. For this type of dilemma, pseudonyms are suggested, so I went about creating one. I tried creating a unisex name that had some relation to mine but I failed over and over again. Creating something unique, easily spelt and similar to my own name was no easy task. Then I read that initials, of course, are often used to hide your gender.

At first, this idea didn’t appeal to me and it kind of still doesn’t. I don’t want to hide. But I thought, any reader who cares enough will find me here and discover that I do indeed have a vagina. After that bit of consolation, I decided to try out my initials, and so, the internet came up blank with S.E Dee. So here I am. It might not sound or look exciting but it's easy to remember, easy to spell, unique and unisex.

Excuse me while I make some changes…

Lost stuff?

I’m going to share a little something with you today. A short story, a moral and some assistance, should you ever need it.

Once upon a time, when cleaning my laptop, I went about deleting some files. One by one, I started sending them to the bin. One file I came across had songs and images worth about 8 gig. I didn’t need it so I deleted it. But because of its size, my laptop warned me that it would not go to the recycle bin, it would be deleted permanently. I was fine with this. Then the green bar came up, flashing red every now and again as things were being dumped into the gray matter of virtual space. Lost forever…

So, imagine how I felt watching the words at the bottom detailing what items were being deleted, and I saw Chapter one. Chapter Two. Chapter Three.

I couldn’t tell you for the life of me just how my story got into that folder, all I can say is, by the time I hit cancel, it was too late. My story was gone. Thousands and thousands of words upon words. Poof!*. Gone. There was only one thing left to do of course: break down and cry.

This solved nothing, initially, but it did grab the attention of partner who was certain something could be done about it. That was how we discovered Recuva.

"Accidentally deleted an important file? Lost something important when your computer crashed? No problem! Recuva recovers files deleted from your Windows computer, Recycle Bin, digital camera card, or MP3 player. And it's free!"

This programme saved me. In the end I scrapped that draft and started again, but at the time, Recuva really saved me. What wouldn’t have saved me, though, was my defeatist attitude, something writers can’t afford to have.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Book Stores vs The Internet

Which has more to offer?

This was how Foyles looked to me...
So me and my partner went to a Foyles book store the other day. We intended to just go in and look around, you know, to see if anything took our fancy. I think we ended up rummaging in there for a whole hour!

It had been a while since I’d ventured into a book store. I’d been to W.H. Smith on occasions but I’m usually distracted by the all the stationary before the books - shame on me, I know. But having gone into Foyles and taken some time to reacquaint myself with physical books, I have to say, I felt kinda lost without the internet.

Every book I picked up, I wondering:

“How will I know if this is good? There’s no reviews…”

“What if I don’t like it? Eight quid is a lot for a book I don’t like…”

“What will I do with it if I don’t like it? There’s not a lot of shelf space in my house these days.”

“How much are shelves?”

The internet has created something in me and it’s made bookshops a scary, unpredictable place. And look, I know half the online reviews on books can be false, but in book stores they mostly push the big books and they have so many reviews online that a majority – I hope – are real. Another thing I took note of was exactly that; bookshops do indeed push the big books. I mean, you really have to go to the back, way back, and dig deep to find some of the more unusual books that have only one or two copies. The YA section had multiple copies of books I was already familiar with, like The Hunger Games and Divergent (esp with the movie out).

So yeah, as a new author, I can imagine it’s hard to get seen. Not to say it’s any easier for indie-authors either, but it goes to show that traditional doesn’t always mean greater publicity.

While at Foyles I also tried to reignite my faith in YA. Unfortunately, I went in with the desire to not read about another girl in a love triangle, and I assumed this may be best accomplished if I went for a book written by a man - judge me if you want. But this way of searching immediately brought up a hurdle as most YA is written by women, or at least men posing as such. I quickly changed strategy and boycotted any book covers that implied typical para-romance plots (this actually wasn’t many, I hear the UK aren’t big on characters on front covers) and paid more attention to some of the other interesting designs.

This led me to Leviathan by Scott Westerfled. The first page contained the words Austrian, French, British and Austro-Hungarian. And the main protagonists happened to be a boy and girl. It just sounded diverse, so I went for it.
The second book I picked up because it was set in London, just down the road from me at my local Waitrose supermarket and was post-apocalyptic. Come on… OBVIOUSLY I’m gonna pick it up! This book was called The Enemy by Charlie Higson. It’s been around a while as I remember seeing it in my local book store a while back. Probably because the dystopian theme blew up, so did this as his books had been revamped.

Speaking off, it seems due to e-books, actual books have been using their looks in order to stay in the game. There were some that were so beautiful that despite not being even remotely interested in what was written inside, I still wanted to buy them.

Check it out:

And I just know you wouldn't get to appreciate the beauty of such a thing online. Book stores may not have reviews but they still have their charms.

Bic Pen Art

How can I have a blog titled Blue Bic Blog and not feature anything to do with the actual pen?

Here’s some art done with such a fantastic instrument. Clicking on the pic will take you to the artists page.

“Ultraviolet -The Blue Carpet” by French artist Jonathan Br├ęchignac (Took 8 months to draw!)

Dragon with Bic Pen by Berilia

PEN BIC by A23toyart
Octopus Biro Pen by Sarah Esteje

By Juan Francisco Casas (and yes this was drawn with a blue bic pen...) His page is a lil' NSFW

Tuesday, 25 February 2014


Can’t believe I made it here. Also, please don’t assume all of my posts have been considered worthy reading material. That’ll be a mistake on your part. Though, point is, I did it!

As it’s my 100th blog post, I’m going to celebrate by adding more blogs to my blog roll! They’ll be added to my Fave Blogs tab so feel free to check ‘em out and add them to your blog roll.

But, for your convenience, I’ll add the new ones here, too. 

Fiction University - Not new but the site has been stripped and re-built, changing its name from The Other Side of the Story to Fiction University. It’s still mostly written by Janice Hardy but some new blog post days have been added, like "Thursday’s Indie Author column!

The Faux Fountain Pen - I follow this blog if only because of the quirkiness Sarah injects into her posts. Some of them she doesn’t even write…she leaves them to the lead protagonists of her stories. Weird but true.

The Tex Files - Soon to be published Arianne Tex Thompson writes shares almost all her trials and tribulations. She holds little back and even goes in on some of the grim details, which helped screw my head on real tight this year. As a sci-fi fantasy/weird western author, she’s braving a male dominated world, so show some support, ey? (One Night in Sixes, coming soon!)

Amber Skye Forbes - Priceless and honest. I have no idea where Amber finds the time to post but when she posts, she POSTS! Her blog kind of has a bit of everything. Her opinion. Others. Sometimes she’ll play devil’s advocate just to look at both sides of the publishing industry. Interesting and informative. 
Her book, When Stars Die is out now! 

Absolute Write - A writing forum that’s not for everyone – you have been warned. It’s resources, however, you probably won’t find anywhere else. You have people from all walks of life on this site. People who have made it, people who are still trying and even people who have given up. Youll also find agents, editors and cover artists as well, probably, not forgetting crits and beta readers. The place is just chock full o help with anything writing related. So dont be shy.

And that’s all for now. Enjoy!

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Valentine's Day

Romance? GAK!

I don’t really like it, and you can say what you want about that. I’m not really sure what romance is except for a preconceived idea of how you’re supposed to treat your spouse. Women in particular. And Valentine’s Day is the worst time for it, and not because of the romance, that’s not actually my problem. My problem is with the predictability of it.

As with my post on Christmas, I’m not a fan of anything done en masse that usually requires you spend a lot of money in an attempt to achieve an idea sold to as The Perfect Day. The thought of going to dinner on a day where many, many other people are going to dinner fills me with dread. Crowded restaurants? Waiting ages for your food? Why?

I’ll say it again, I’m not against romance, I just prefer the think-outside-the-box-kind, and because of that, Valentine’s Day has no appeal to me. I’d still be thankful if someone put effort into “surprising me” on Valentine’s Day - if that’s even possible, but generally speaking, yeah…no thanks.

But this post wasn’t spurned by Valentine’s Day. Honestly, I didn’t come here to piss on anyone’s parade. I was encouraged to write about my dislike for typical romance after watching The Immortal - eh, Mortal Instruments.
I mean, this love scene.
Does anyone do this in real life? Do people like watching this kind of thing?  And if anyone did, who are they and why do they like it? Also, are some women really this easy? Do people still go on dates when they want to get to know one another? And how do you get to know who someone is when they’re doing all the things traditionally expected of them during?
Better to go paintballing or laser tag; do something competitive and learn if they’re a bit of dick or if they’re too high maintenance for you.

Also, a word of warning to some of the men out there: Going by what I've seen and heard from some of the ladies out there, don’t bust your balls trying to impress one if you’re not into self-ball-busting. It gives the impression you set out to make and it may be expected of you often. But if you can’t keep it up in the long run, don’t bother at all. It's not worth it!

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