A Bump In The Road...

 
jb lexington bump in the road
 

As a parent, it’s your responsibility to lead by example and to teach your children about the many life lessons they will need to learn to be an all around good human being.  Be kind, be respectful, and always try your best are just a few.  I’ve been parenting for a lot of years now and I’ve met some wonderful people through my kid’s network whom I call great friends.  It’s natural to gravitate to like minded people with similar interests.  Of course you can’t agree on every moral or value but this offers great debates making friendships flourish.  Over the years I have also met many parents that I refer to as “hover parents.”  Are they bad people or negligent parents?  Absolutely not, they are quite the opposite in fact.  These parents are so worried that their children will get hurt or won’t be accepted that they interject themselves and hold their child’s hand through good times and bad.  Hence, unknowingly depriving them of the opportunity to self advocate and accept failure as a reality; skills that come in useful throughout life.  The philosophy I have always posed with my kids is that I have to let them experience and understand failure in order to truly appreciate success.  The sense of self pride and respect for the process you receive from personal accomplishments is beyond compare.

Recently I was confronted by my philosophy. I received an email from my publisher, Three Worlds Press stating that they regretfully had to make the difficult decision to close their business.  Forever Eve had only been available to the public for less than two weeks when I got the news.  I’m not gonna lie I wallowed for a few minutes in self pity and shed a couple of tears but then I sat up straight, wiped off my moist cheeks and got to work.  Although devastated for my own loss I sympathize with all the authors on the roster at Three Worlds Press that are now too, left without representation.  I am saddened for the publisher as well.  Entrepreneurs don’t start off with visions of failure, only grandeur realistic or otherwise. Through research and my own due diligence I’m aware of what a competitive and fickle business the publishing world can be. I know I have got my work cut out for me, essentially starting back at square one.  Going back to my preamble, this isn’t a failure per say but indeed part of my reality.  Every journey has proverbial obstacles and this is my bump in the road to overcome.  In the end I can unequivocally say that I will appreciate any success that finds it’s way to me.

Big JB hugs xo

He's Here.

 
Forever Eve JB Lexington
 

He’s Here... (well almost!)

Excitement.  Elation.  Frenzy.  Anxiousness.  These are just a few emotions that cause your brain to release a wonderful little natural drug called Dopamine.  Dopamine is related to experiences of pleasure and reward.   Your brain is a complex network, even though we think of emotions as an internal state, some psychologists define emotions as a combination of feelings, cognitions and actions.   This means emotions include not only how we feel but how we process and respond to those feelings.

You’re probably asking yourself...what the heck does all this jibber jabber have to do with the fact that Forever Eve will be released in less than 24 hours?  As I wrote my story I experienced extreme pleasure tapping away at my keyboard.  Letters became words and words became sentences.  The sentences became tangible visions.  With every pinky tap of the enter key I evolved with all my characters, propelling me into a temporary state of euphoria, that I wanted to return to over and over again.   At this very moment I am blissfully intoxicated by all of these emotions mentioned above and dozens more.  Sharing this story with the world hopefully means that others will manifest similar feelings as they turn from page to page.  Falling in love, feeling enraged heightened sexual senses.  Your new #bookboyfriend will take your imagination and desires to depths of your heart and your mind you didn’t realize you could reach.  Thus releasing a potent dose of Dopamine that will both pleasure and reward you...guaranteed ;)

Your Next Book Boyfriend…

 
book boyfriend jb lexington
 

Is he tall, dark and handsome?

Is he blonde, blue eyes and muscular?

Is he a bad-boy or your prince charming? Keep in mind that he can be both.

Is he mysterious, salacious, gigantic? ;)… The list of adjectives goes on and on.  He can be someone you’ve fantasized about.  You’re perfect lover. He can make soft tender love to you or he can tie you up and dominate you. The man that makes you cross your legs at the knees then makes your toes curl. 

Does he ignite your wild side and make you tingle down in the deepest part of your lady bits?  Maybe you caught a glimpse of him in line at the grocery store or he’s the heart throb movie star. 

Bottom line is he can be whom ever you want him to be.  This is the magic behind reading.  An author’s objective is to give you enough description of this character to paint a picture but keep it generic enough for you to create your perfect man.  Reading is your escape from reality and so it should be.  We live our life, over scheduled, over thinking and over analyzing our day to day, that there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a break and slipping into your page turning alternate life.  Without delving into the psychology behind women and sex and what society deems acceptable, we as women should not feel ashamed to read a genre that allows us to feel confident about our sexuality.  We should celebrate it, it’s healthy actually.  If you read an erotic passage that makes you want to tear off your partner's clothes and do a little experimenting then, that to me sounds like a win-win for all parties involved.

And here's the good news! Your next book boyfriend is almost here... Get ready to get lost in him on January 26th, when Forever Eve is released. Read the first 3 chapters for FREE now.

"The Invisible Bin"

 
JB Lexington Life as a Writer
 

It’s a lazy Sunday morning. The bright light shines through my bedroom window urging me to rise and get started on the "to do" list that I mentally noted in my head. After puttering around my room tidying, shaking out my duvet and fluffing my pillows, I made my way toward the bathroom, and then I saw it.

As I walked past the study room I saw the trash in "The Invisible Bin."  I suspect, if you're a mom reading this blog an explanation is not required. For those who aren't familiar with this term, the invisible bin is the space on the floor that exists; a space children think is a perfectly acceptable place to drop their trash or dirty clothes. If I can elaborate even more, it's also the countertop next to the dishwasher where the dirty dishes are left. The extra step of actually opening the dishwasher and placing the bowl on the rack is unheard of for these rogue creatures.  It's a mystery really.

Some of the reasons I hear from my children are "I thought I got it in," "someone must have moved it," or my personal favourite "it's not mine." These are all common excuses that are inherent in kids. At least this is what I say to convince myself that it can't just be my offspring. Or can it be? I remember years ago cleaning garbage from behind my sofa in the basement and asking my son who was 3 years old at the time (now sixteen) if he was responsible for the mess?  With the sweetest voice and most angelic smiling face he answered, "yes mommy, that was me but I really think you should put a garbage can back there so there won't be so much for you to clean."  That crafty little cutie has been using his charm on me ever since. 

Now let me back it up to the part where I said I was on my way to the bathroom to begin my morning ritual before getting to my "to do" list which included, working out, completing a good chunk of final edits for Forever Eve and writing this blog. Alas the cosmic force of “The Invisible Bin” is undeniable. I was sucked into the abyss of Sunday cleaning. This total shift in task prioritizing for the day had taken on new life.  By picking up that one piece of trash it manifested into an unavoidable infliction of cleaning OCD. Toilets and tubs were scrubbed. Closets were ripped apart and donation bags lined the hallway. I vacuumed up enough dog hair to make a third dog. Three loads of laundry completed -- that all belong to the tsunami that is my twelve year old daughter. 

Am I complaining? Not in the least. The chaos propels my motivation. It keeps my brain sharp. With Vivaldi on the turntable blasting through the speakers, I continued full speed ahead. Every half hour or so I would stand in front of my laptop and edit a couple of paragraphs that I’m sure will require a re-read or two. It's now 9:30pm and I’m sitting in another cold arena watching my son play hockey. I got very little editing done today but the upside to my freezing tush is that I'm finally composing this blog on my phone. I wouldn't change a second of it; this daily diversion that is my family.  My kids are my masterpiece. #mommylife #lifeofawriter

The Editing Process

 
The Editing Process
 

All the things I get to say now that I'm a published author:
“My editor said...”
“I can't make it this weekend. I have a deadline”
“Wow look at all the red slashes on my pages...was someone just murdered”
“I hate dialogue tags now too”
“You rock Missy”

Like many 30+ (Shit! I'm in the check 40+ box now) I religiously watched every episode of "Sex and the City".  Groups of woman all over North America and probably beyond have a designated Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte. Coincidentally I have always been the Carrie of my group.  Not because I was a writer, because I was that small town girl that escaped to the big city the second I was old enough.  I am the fashionista that has explored every corner of my City and have done it in 4” heels.  Although I’ve never had a Russian lover, I do indeed have my Mr. Big :)

I digress… back to the editing.  On many occasions during the editing process of “Forever Eve” I had thoughts of scrapping my entire manuscript.
“I’m a hack”
“I’m a terrible writer”
“What was I thinking?”

This was my internal self deprecating dialogue.  Is this part of the process a necessary evil?  I say “yes it is”.  Self doubt, even in the most confident person, exists.  It’s required to keep you humble. To keep you motivated.  Your manuscript truly is your baby.  You create it, you nurture it, you scold it, and you love it.

Establishing a great relationship with your editor is so very important.  You need your editor to understand what those words mean to you.  At what point you were laughing or crying.  Or that sentence when you wanted to reach through your computer screen and strangle that one character’s neck.  If you try to self edit along the way, chances are you will lose your groove, the truest form of how your story should be told.  Don’t worry about the content or the grammar.  Your editor is there to help you, after your brain has vomited even the worst of scenes onto the page. I’ve said it before; you owe it to your readers and to you, to deliver the most, raw organic version of your story. Why write otherwise.

My Editor Missy @3WorldsProd, yeah, she’s like my new BFF (insert valley girl gum smacking voice).  I send her emails written in the same tone and context as I would all my girlfriends.  If I deviate from that, how will she know who I am? When you let your editor into your brain and into your heart, it will make her/his job much easier, giving you the Magnum Opus you deserve.

BIG JB Hugs! xo

I'm Published!

 
 

The journey was incredible... but damn, the destination does Rock!

September 2nd will be a day that I'll celebrate every year acknowledging a wonderful accomplishment in my life. I'M PUBLISHED! Yay!  

Six months ago I met this girl named Nikki in a coffee shop to talk to her about this book I wrote and the possibility of her helping me create a social media presence to get my name out there.  Fast forward to today and not only can I call Nikki my PR maven, I can call her my friend.

Awe that was an affable interlude... now back to the good stuff. Love ya Nik.

I'M PUBLISHED!  I'm not yelling I'm just very excited - elated actually.  The magnitude of what’s to come saying those words took a few days to sink in, but now that they have my wheels are turning with how I want my “baby” to be received.  I can’t control or contrive a fan base but I have always been savvy when it comes to how I represent myself and how I would like to be perceived.  I have a good feeling about THIS, it helps that I have a great team behind me, or are they in front of me? 

Twitter is an amazing forum for writers to showcase their work. The indie author community is supportive, helpful and extremely encouraging. More than often writers and agents host either a #pitchwars or #pitmad giving a writer the opportunity they may not have with the conventional submission protocol, to have their story heard. This is exactly how it happened for me.

Three Worlds Press requested my manuscript based on a 140 character teaser - A chance encounter with a stranger that has shared her life for decades turns out to be the chaos that Izabel has craved all along - and 48 hours later I was offered a contract.  Thus beginning what I expect will be a prolific author/publisher friendship. 

Reading a rejection email from an agent or publisher isn't easy (and trust me I have read my fair share over the past six months) even with a realistic, positive outlook for the process. You have to approach the process with respect patience and due diligence.  Write, read, follow, like...stay involved. Stay relevant. Not everyone is going to like what you write and that's ok. If I may quote the great Dr Suess:

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind"

You owe it to yourself and to your readers to be honest and stay true to who you are. Why write otherwise. Throw your fears and fantasies into your characters. Say what you would never say out loud. Let the voices in your head come to life.

You will find the perfect home for your story when it's time for your story to be heard.

Don't ever give up!

With Love,
JB.

Dreams Do Come True - An Interview with JB Lexington

 
 

Last month I was fortunate enough to connect with Sydney Scrogham on Twitter. She reached out to the Twitterverse with a simple statement: "Looking for some writers to interview..."

I figured, I'm a writer, why not me? So I responded to her tweet, and a month later - and LOTS of big news - my interview has made it to her blog. I want to thank Sydney for taking the time to interview me and listen to my dreams... which are finally coming true!

Read below for some snippets of my interview. Or read the whole interview here.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I loved to draw growing up, everything from realism to abstract. So naturally I thought I wanted to be an artist. That didn’t happen, I guess now the artist in me has manifested itself through words.

Did you ever give up on your dreams?
Never! I may not have seen them through just altered them to be more realistic and possibly with greater reward.

What advice do you have for people who are trying to decide if they should chase their dreams?
I would say be true to yourself. Nothing in this world is unattainable if you work hard. You appreciate your rewards in life so much more if you earn them. Self entitlement is a cop out. Be proud of who you are and never apologize for what you want in life.

With love, and big JB hugs. xo

p.s don't forget to read the full interview.

 

A Woman's Worth

 
womansworth
 

~ the end

How can two, three letter words evoke so much emotion? As I sat at my desk I knew finality was not an option. I had poured every ounce of my being into characters that I had fallen in love with. Or had I always been in love with them. Parts of all of them have touched my life in some way over the years. There is not one girl that hasn't at one point dreamed about having a Henry or a Charlie as a friend or lover. And me being a strong, confident woman I am proud that I personify a wonderful balance of Izabel and Natalie. What girl doesn't want a bit of a bad ass in her. I think every girl should have some bad ass in her. She should have a strong voice and be heard. She should be a feminist and still be feminine. You have the right to make your own rules on how you want to be seen and heard as a woman.

So it turns out this isn't "the end". Now I begin the daunting task of the dreaded query submissions to literary agents and publishers. Condensing 48,000 words down to 3,000 seemed impossible but I got it done. I have received a couple gracious declines "thank you for your submission, unfortunately we currently are not accepting works in the romance genre". Completely acceptable reply and I can spin it as positive feedback. Disappointing yes, but not heartbreaking. There is a process to becoming a published author and understandably there are many, many... many dues to pay before the ultimate reward.

I did however just recently receive an interesting response to a query submission. "Although an interesting premise, we prefer our heroines be fully available to start a relationship..." Valid point... yes. Fairytale ending-esq... yes. Some stories are built on fairytales and I appreciate that agent's feedback... truly. She didn't have to reply at all frankly. Forever Eve may have a glimpse, a glimmer of happily ever after but I needed to stay true to reality. Not every relationship begins with a damsel in distress looking for her prince charming. In real life women will get knocked down, figuratively and sometimes literally, a few times before realizing that a relationship with a man does not and will never definer her. A women's confidence in her worth and what she believes is her current relevance... and like I said before a little bad ass, is always what we should strive for.

 

A wise woman wishes to be no one's enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone's victim.
                                                                                         ~ Maya Angelou

Steam My Vagina?

 
Steam my vagina
 

Oh Gwenyth... well if you think it works for you then who are “we” to judge.   In a world full of, eat this, don’t drink that.  Believe in this... praise that.   Cinch this and you want me to swallow that?   Fill that line, suck that fat.  Eight dollars for a pineapple...yeah that seems reasonable.  Six dollars for a Venti double half calf non fat...nipple slip, wait what?..Latte.   The media is filled with an over abundance of fallacious celebrity endorsements, and I for one have on many occasion fallen victim to their seductive clout.

This isn’t a rant by any means...again if it works for you and you feel good about your choices then that’s what matters.  I am the first to admit that vanity rules my life.  I sweat my ass off four times a week at the gym to stay, I’d say fit and healthy but the reality of it is I want to stay thin and that’s ok because it works for me.   I’ve loofah’d my skin to almost bare bone to avoid cellulite... I’ve chewed juice for seven days to detox, but I will still wash it all down with a nice bottle of Pinot Grigio...why?  Because it makes me happy :)

Happiness and beauty are subjective, and so they should be, but the two are synonymous.  Not to be misinterpreted that you have to be beautiful to be happy.  Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and states of mind.  If you feel beautiful about your inner self then you will without a doubt exude a beautiful presence.  Bottom line is be a kind and gracious human being, smile at a stranger, it’s ok, and then steam your vagina all you want.

 

"The pursuit of excellence is gratifying and healthy.  The pursuit of perfection is frustrating, neurotic, and a terrible waste of time"
                                                                                           ~ Edwin Bliss