Bleeding Imagination. Paper cuts and ink stains.

@venomousvelvet / venomousvelvet.tumblr.com

All writing works copyright to Venomousvelvet©  25, Romani traveller. Writer. INTP. Bisexual. Sometimes I like to cut myself open and watch the Ink pour out. Tea addict. Lusting after books. Courting Mother nature. And tentatively, learning to love my soul....

Warning to writers

While you are worrying about whether beta readers will steal your ideas, there is a more genuine threat on the horizon.

When offered a publishing contract, please do all your research before you sign. There are a number of fakes and scammers out there, as well as good-intentioned amateurs that don’t know how to get your work to a wide audience. I won’t tell the heartbreaking stories here - there are too many.

Being published badly is worse than being never published.

It can destroy your career and your dreams.

The quick check is to google the publishing house name + scam or warning.

But, to be sure, check with these places first. They aren’t infallible (nothing is) but they can help you protect yourself. They are written and maintained by expereinced writers, editors, publishers and legal folks.

Keep yourself and your work safe.

This is really important, so if you are a writer or have writer friends, or you are a writing blog, please reblog it.

Just to let you know, PublishAmerica changed their name to America Star Books.


Also applies to many so-called freelance sites that are just content mills, and may not pay unless your work is used, even if the contract seems designed otherwise.


Listen, reading these is like legit reading horror stories.  When it comes to publishing your writing, always, always, ALWAYS do your research.  Not only will it help you avoid scams, but it will also be likely to help you land a much better fit for an agent/publisher/whatever.  Knowing more is never going to hurt.


Omg!!! Thanks for the warning! Writers— reblog!

I’ve heard stories like this that are scarier than horror stories. This is an all time worst nightmare for a writer. Everyone reblog and make sure you keep your work safe! 

Always, ALWAYS check Writer Beware. Let me also recommend Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s blog about contracts and contract scams for authors in her section Business Musings.

Reblogging again for the links. Also check pred-ed.com and the Absolute Write forum. Then google Publisher’s name + scam and see what comes up. Do NOT use the BBB ratings, they are wholly unsuitable for rating publishers and regularly give A ratings to well-known publishing scams. You can also read my own post on publishing scams, have a link on the left of my blog ( can’t link here, I’m on mobile, sorry).


Equally important to know is that you can SELF-PUBLISH through a number of platforms these days. @ean-amhran and I used Amazon’s CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing to publish both of our books. No editors, no contracts, no finagling with publishers who want to change your materials. Just direct-to-market material.

(Granted, it means you’ve got to do a LOT more work yourself with editing and formatting and cover art, but it’s worth it to miss the headache of trying to bargain with publishing houses or avoid scams.)

Be vigilant, fellow writers!

If you choose to self publish then HAVE A PLAN and think things through.

And hire an editor. Please, for the love of all that is holy, hire an editor. It’s expensive, but you will get a better book out, a better reputation…


If you’re going to publish electronically, make sure you also get someone who can LAY AN EBOOK OUT PROPERLY.

I have spent money on Kindle books, many of them reprints of older works, whose formatting is so messed up as to render them unreadable.

I actually recommend using the Smashwords Style Guide even if you don’t use Smashwords.

It lays out how to neatly format an e-book in a wonderful step by step format, and you can get it free from Smashwords. Just leave off the couple of things that are (very obviously) Smashwords specific.

If you can’t stand dealing with the meticulous detail, then by all means hire somebody, but most people can learn to format an ebook correctly and once you’ve done it a couple of times it takes about an hour tops.

@ghdos spread the knowledge

Because the redirects aren’t working for me, I’m going to assume others might have trouble with these links, so for those who need it the URL for the website to Writer Beware is: www.sfwa.org/other-resources/for-authors/writer-beware/ As stated on here: “Writer Beware is sponsored by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, with additional support from the Mystery Writers of America, the Horror Writers Association, and the American Society of Journalists and Authors.” These are not publishers’ guilds, notice; you sometimes see scammers trying to defend themselves against Writer Beware exposes by claiming that they’re “small press” or “indie” and Big Publishing is somehow out to get them - but all of those guilds are run by and for writers, to help support them and represent them in the field. It is the closest writers have to having unions, and there’s no direct competition between them (you could literally be an in any of those guilds are the same time as each other, in addition to others, and I believe a number of authors are).

Writer Beware is a wonderful resource, and I highly recommend it. It’s both a good general guide to the scams people run/red flags to watch out for (such as giving up your copyright entirely as opposed to specific rights, or being charged to publish something or have it edited, when they’re trying to act like they’re a “normal” publisher), and a frequently-updated list of the latest specific known scammers, both in “fake agents” and fake/scammy publishers categories. (The company formerly known as Publish America is one of the most famous and egregious cases, but by far not the only one)

Additionally, for SF and fantasy writers, the SFWA’s own list of qualifying markets that one can be published in as a prerequisite to be able to get into their guild (remember, it IS a profession-based guild), is a great guide to normal markets for those genres that have standard contracts that aren’t abusive or scammy, and their guidelines include some of the industry-standard minimums for “per word” etc rates, so even if some new magazine market isn’t on their list, you can tell if it’s suspiciously far outside the usual per-word or whatnot standards. (It’s likely the guidelines for Mystery Writers of America etc also would be useful in that vein) Even if you’re unpublished or don’t want to join their guild, they’re a wonderful group and resource, and I highly recommend their site and Writer Beware in particular! The other sites mentioned above, such as “Preditors and Editors” should be still valid if you Google them, and are often rec’d by Writer Beware, but Writer Beware is the one I’m most familiar with. :)

Also, you should never have to pay an agent or anyone a  “reading fee”! DO NOT PAY PEOPLE TO READ YOUR WORK!!! Run away from so-called agents that charge a reading fee! They are considered unethical in their own industry!

Also related to agents: Should you go this route and seek one, DO NOT PAY ONE DIME TO THEM upfront! A real agent only gets paid when he sells your book to a publisher! The average cut is about 10-15% of the first sale profits, if I remember right, with cuts of film and other rights maybe being more, when sold. At most, writers should only be responsible for the costs of phone calls and postage.

Edited to Add: Some other great, highly respected resources for writing and getting published are:

The Usual Shows I am Watching List

For the next week or so at least (obviously, I am unlikely to watch every single one on the list, but they are all in the running; it’s like a preview for posts I am likely to make).

The Abyss (Korea) - I am a few eps behind and, frankly, the drama about two dead people brought back into different bodies, hunting a serial killer and finding love, should be more engaging and smarter than it is, but it’s a pleasant easy watch and I am very fond of the two leads.

Angel’s Last Mission (Korea) - I am only two eps in, but the gorgeous intensity reminds me of old-school kdrama melos that I love so much. A bitter blind ballerina and an angel who is supposed to help her find love but falls for her instead is probably doomed for disaster in terms of happy ending, but I will be eating up all the pain!

Arthdal Chronicles (Korea) - grim (but not too grim) cool and otherwordly fantasy. I still don’t care for any characters, but the drama itself is great to watch.

Cage of Love (China) - surprisingly, not a BDSM tale. Hawick Lau wears amazing outfits and seeks revenge while trying to clear himself from being framed on a regular basis and dealing with heroine who sometimes loves him and sometimes thinks he is the resident serial killer. I started it years ago and now feel like continuing.

The Crowned Clown (Korea) - I need a sageuk in my life and watching Yeo Jin Gu in the pretty inferior Absolute Boyfriend made me remember how impressed I was by him playing both a psycho king and a sweet acrobat doppleganger who replaces him, so I restarted it.

Good Omens (UK) - loved the book when I read it a gazillion years ago and the first ep was good!

Heart of Stone/Hua Jai Sila (Thailand) - basically a 1980s romance crack about a pimp who comes back for revenge on his stepmom and falls for his childhood friend, this is insane! But addictive! Also make-outs!

Here to Heart (China) - it’s on my list and I may or may not get to it. I like the angsty premise and credits (they used to be lovers until she broke his heart in what I am sure is either a misunderstanding or noble idiocy), now he is mega rich and she is hired as his assistant, but Zhang Han has never clicked with me for some reason. He’s good-looking, he’s an OK actor, but for whatever reason he just doesn’t have that “it” for me. Maybe this drama will change that. 

Just Between Lovers (Korea) - when it was airing and people were falling madly in love with it, I was in a kdrama slump that no kdrama could cure. But now - oh, this is so achingly, perfectly, emotionally gorgeous. Only one ep in, but I already know this will be a keeper.

Kimse Bilmez (Turkey) - the one Turkish entry on this list! Starts on Tuesday, promises angst, women in danger, macho traditional men who defend them blah blah blah. As a modern feminist, I should probably be appalled, but I like what I like and gimme gimme gimme!

Le Coup de Foudre (China) - I just want to see the aristocrat daughter and the hot constable from An Oriental Odyssey be an OTP, all right?

Legend of Fuyao (China) - am on ep 22 I think. It’s pretty and shippy and I won’t stay awake freaking out about characters or plot twists, but watching Ethan Ruan worship the ground Yang Mi walks on never gets old.

Legend of the Phoenix (China)  - on ep 4! Get subbed quicker for my sanity, pls. Love story, scheming courtiers, angst, period costumes. What more does a girl need? Jeremy Tsui looking scrumptious, apparently.

The Legends (China) - finally hit ep 20! I like it and it’s a relaxing, fun, cute watch. Though if Zhao Yao figures out Demon Boy likes her before at least a dozen eps pass, despite him doing everything but carving “I love Zhao Yao” into his chest, I would faint from shock.

Letting You Float Like a Dream (China) - I am excited Young Lord from Minglan gets to be the hero of his own story and get the girl he wants (even if he has to reincarnate a couple of times first), plus look cool in 1930s duds. This is very much my thing.

Likit Ruk/The Crown Princess (Thailand) - sometimes a lady just wants to watch a good, old-fashioned princess x bodyguard romance, especially when said princess and bodyguard are hot enough to set the Chao Praya river on fire.

Listening Snow Tower (China) - on ep 38 now. Gorgeous visuals, awesome fights, and the Victorian duality of the chaste and almost unspoken but frighteningly intense romance is so my jam. But if they kill the hero, I will riot. Let him and Lady Badass wuxia into sunset together, pls. 

My Absolute Boyfriend (Korea) - I am all up to date with this one. Which is weird because I am not up to date on other dramas I like more. This is a giant meh emotionally, and wastes some really good actors, but it is so good-naturedly unoffensive, I can’t even complain. Still, perhaps the story of a lady buying a lovebot should have stayed solely in manga form because I’ve never seen an amazing adaptation of it.

Pretty Man (China) - I liked the first ep, and you have no idea how rare it is for me to say that about a contemporary cdrama. Childhood loves who find second chances yes pls.

Princess Silver (China) - Yuu Watase, is that you? Did you write this? Cracky, not too serious, but seriously addictive, this is a chocolate bon bon in drama form. PS Pls cure the prince of his touch phobia through LOTS of skinship, princess!

Siege in Fog (China) - romantic dysfunction reigns supreme, even more so than gorgeous 1930s outfits and people. Elvis Han and Sun Yi boil my blood in amazingly pleasant ways as two people in a marriage of inconvenience, where he pines for her but won’t show it and she loves another, until she wakes up and realizes that HELLO IT’S SEX ON LEGS ELVIS, I NEED TO GET SOME OF THAT! And the civil war says, “not so fast!”

Too Late To Say I Love You (China) - I started it years ago when it was not fully subbed and loved it because in my secret heart-of-hearts, I too want a mega hot warlord who looks like Wallace Chung and has stylish 1930s cars and a private army to sweep me off my feet and obsess over me in an unhealthy but hormonally incredible fashion as if I am the only woman in the world. SiF reminded me of this so here we are. 

Tried and dropped:

The Plough Department of Song Dynasty (China) - watched one episode, felt my brain leaking out of my ears and bailed. Granted, I watch plenty of dumb stuff so far be it from me to act high and mighty about a bit of brainless fun, but I don’t like mysteries, there was no angst, and I couldn’t care less if all the characters fell into a giant pit, so here we go…

Well Intended Love (China) - people didn’t like it because the male lead was a sociopath. I didn’t like it because it was cutesy and boring and nobody in it  bothered to act (or couldn’t.) I bailed long before the dysfunction, that’s how bored I was. 

“6 months from now I will be in a different situation.”

Speak it into existence.


A better situation


A healthier, more peaceful, positive situation.

Happier, healthier, wealthier

Six months from now I will have reciprocated all the indomitable love and affection my mother bestowed upon me during my worst depressive episodes.

On Fighting Creative Doubt

If you make anything, art or stories or music or any type of creative medium, odds are you’ve heard the defeating thoughts that are built on doubt, the self-comparison game, or a period of just feeling low about yourself (no matter the cause).

These thoughts? Yeah, they’re cruel and unfortunately common if you’re feel low. Here are some replies that I hurl back at them when I realize that, yeah, it may be a low point now, but the future can’t stay this low forever. Even if the war seems long, each thought is a battle you can keep fighting through. I’m cheering you on.

1. You’re not as good as them.

News flash, you’re not the other creator. You may not have their following on social media or the amount of fans. You might not be rolling in dough or brand deals, but you are NOT them. You’re unique. You’re your own brand of creativity and imagination. You may gain their fanbase one day, or it may take a little longer. The most important thing about every creator’s journey is the ability to compete against yourself first before you compare yourself to people who you are not. Because you are YOU, not anybody else. Go through a portfolio of your old work. If you’ve been working at it for a while, odds are there’s SOME amount of improvement. See? You, like everyone else, are still improving your craft and will only get better. That’s pretty remarkable, isn’t it?

2. There’s no point in creating

Okay, this one gets hurled at creators a lot. Yes, we could all be engineers and rocket scientists. But creation, like anything else, is a calling. It’s an almost deific experience, where you have this talent that you want to share with the world. You might be told by others (or even inner thoughts) that your creativity is a waste of time. However, if it makes you happy, no matter the result, or gives you a feeling of fulfillment, then it is NOT a waste of time. It makes you, and others no matter the size of your readership or viewership or listenership or whatever your audience is, happy. That in itself is so important.

3. Your work is horrible

Somewhere along the way, something told you that your work was horrible. Maybe you compared yourself to a pro who’s been doing this craft and working at it for years. Maybe it was a young upstart who became a hit sensation, seemingly overnight. Maybe it was just this crushing feeling of doubt caused by a passing comment or a creeping sensation in the back of your mind.

Everyone has this feeling. The fearful, almost existential realization that, maybe just maybe… your work is horrible.

It’s different. It’s you. It makes you happy. Maybe you’re early on in your career and still practicing. Maybe you still have much to learn. Maybe others are just jealous that you’re working on something they’re too fearful to create themselves. By putting yourself out there and your work, you are bearing pieces of your soul. No matter what anybody says, that in itself is an act of courage. 

Keep on being courageous, you amazing creators you.

Your work, no matter what you may think of it now, has the impact to change the world. No matter how seemingly “tiny”. You know the butterfly effect, that every action, no matter how tiny, can change the course of the future?

That’s you, and whether this article helped you or not, I still am cheering you on for fighting the good, creative fight. 

Tumblr: Don’t scroll past this! Don’t ignore this! No one’s talking about this!

I’m an adult who reads three different newspapers. This is Tumblr, where I go to get away from the news. If I don’t want to read something on Tumblr, I don’t have to. If I don’t reblog something, that doesn’t mean I’m ignoring it. I’m not talking about it here because I’m talking about it to people in my real life.

Tumblr is not where I come to get news, and quite frankly, it shouldn’t be.

I think next thursday is gonna be the best day of my entire life tbh


reblog for next thursday to be the best day of your life


Happiness Will Come To You.


when tho


When You Least Expect It. Probably Late March

reblog for happiness to come for you in late march!


I reblogged this last year and I hung out with blink-182 backstage on March 30. Reblogging again because it worked the first time.

honestly, last year one of the best days of my life happened in late March

People who leave reviews for books they haven’t even read are such hypocrites. Being so tractable and easily manipulated to perpetuate an agenda such as censorship has serious ramifications that they personally need to address. Welcome to our book burning. Don’t mind the fascist connotations of this event.

It’s 2019. This is the antithesis of woke. Regurgitating the opinions of others without parsing those opinions is incredibly stupid. Some white woman screaming about pejorative language regarding fantasy creatures and suddenly everyone’s forgotten it’s s fiction. Oh no, someone called a fairy a half breed. Wow, some character called a werewolf a dog. Gosh! That elf just called the vampire a leech!

Why are white people dicating what’s palatable reading? Fucking lol, we’ve come a full circle.

Are white people coming for game of thrones with its depictions of slavery and the Dothraki as savages? No, they’re mad about fantasy elves.

Anonymous asked:

hey can you please recommend the best Jonsa fics?? Preferably ones that involve babies, Arya, and/or Dany

I might not know many with your preferences, but these are some of my favourite Jonsa fic: 

At Dawn we Break (…) - Jon comes back to Winterfell with an army and Daenerys after the war against the NK is won. Daenerys proposes marriage, Sansa is hiding her heartbreak and is avoiding Jon who’s trying to chase after her. 10/10. Love it so much. 

Before She knew Better - This had me in tears. Amazing long fanfic about their relationship when they were children, how Jon became her favourite brother and how she slept in his bed when she had nightmares.. until Catelyn made sure they were separated. Jon and Sansa drift away from each other, creating hostility, and they both break each other’s hearts. Literally killed me I’m deceased.  

The Tale of Two Sisters - I wrote about this earlier but I’m not sure you’ve seen it. It’s absolutely mindblowing. It takes off from the last episode (7x5) as Arya tries to understand her sister and slowly realises that Jon and Sansa are in love with each other. Amazingly written characters, all of them - Arya, Jon, Sansa etc. Must Read.

How to be Something you’d Miss - Missing goodbye scene between Jon and Sansa in 7x02. Emotional. Intense. Believable and well written. 

Of Things Past - Catelyn survives the Red Wedding, and tries to understand Jon and Sansa’s relationship as they rule the North together. She gets closer to Jon as their firstborn son reminds her of Ned. Very well written characters. I also cried more than once. 

Not Yours (Envy) - AU in which Robert’s Rebellion never happened, and Jon is raised as a bastard Targaryen Prince with his siblings Aegon and Rhaenys in the Red Keep. His cousin Sansa is promised to his brother Aegon, but he falls in love with her and wants to protect her from his brother who doesn’t deserve or respect her. Slightly NSFW. 

*** UPDATED 02/09/2017:

All That Glitters (Is not Gold) - AU in which Jon is raised as a bastard Targaryen Prince in King’s Landing, and he visites Winterfell with this brother Aegon. Sansa is disappointed that she has to give up spending a day with Prince Aegon to show his younger, boring brother around Winterfell… but after spending some time with her cousin, she re-evaluates her opinion and falls in love with Jon. Very fluff and well-written.

I’m Not in Love (I just want to be touched) - Sansa wants to practise kissing; but she can’t ask Robb for help, she doesn’t want to ask Theon, so she decides to ask Jon. And she doesn’t give him a choice. They fall in love and yearn for each other more and more after each lesson, until one day they don’t know where to stop. NSFW. Very sexy and cute. Would recommend. I read it at work and blushed to all hell. 

Till the Day I Die - Sansa and Jon are wed before the war against the White Walkers; and they’re in love.. until Sansa finds out about the boatb*ng. She’s absolutely heartbroken and doesn’t forgive Jon, who is broken by her coldness. He tries everything to make her love him again. Sansa’s body betrays her over and over as she struggles not to enjoy Jon in her bed but fails. She tries to make him jealous when Dickon visites his brother in Winterfell. NSFW. VERY well-written story. Very possessive and somewhat dark!Jon. Questionable consent (but nothing dark). Anti-D. Very recommended. 

Thanks for asking anon

Do you ever acknowledge they just loved the way you made them feel? We are enchanted by the lyrics of a love song too, evocative and as tender as an imitation of a lover’s touch but it is the melody who carries the labours of her instruments.

Sing a song for the dying, desperate hearts who’s rather love illusions than embrace silence.

This Carbi B and Nicki minaj drama is like the premise of a period drama. We have the undisputed but once upon a time democratically elected Queen of Rap who's become complacent with her status. She's so accustomed to the undivided love and adulation that she's deluded herself into assuming her Queenship is unassailable. But her subjects hearts are fickle! They've chosen to elect a new official who has the potential to usurp her throne! 

So she schemes and weaves elaborates machinations, conspiring with opportunistic allies to defeat this jumped up newcomer! How dare people forget alliance to the Queen is in perpetuity! How dare you exercise your democratic rights.


Shoes have been weaponized. Armies are amassing on the embankments. Alliances are forged and broken. 

Queenships are not hereditary. The battle has begun. 

Her voice was as enticing as mythology itself was to an avid historian. Mellifluous and layered with an accent of antiquated resonance.

The allure of the Goddess. When Aphrodite speaks, the musicality of the world rejoices and welcomes the harmony of an ancient song. 

And she compels the despondent writer to find inspiration within her. 

So much for POC solidarity!

“A torture for the eyes”: Chinese moviegoers think Black Panther is just too black.

Marvel’s first black superhero film Black Panther made a strong debut in China, taking in more than $63 million this weekend and helping it cross the billion-dollar mark globally. And while the film filled seats in China, it didn’t exactly bring in rave reviews from Chinese audiences—in fact, online reviews hint at subtle racism and discomfort with the all-black cast.

Set in Wakanda, a fictional country in East Africa that’s hidden from the outside world, the movie portrayed a romanticized version of Africa that had never been touched by the white man. Led by a cast of black actors and actresses, the film presented how the king of the country, T’Challa, used his intelligence, ancestral knowledge, and access to advance technologies to become the superhero Black Panther.

But the movie—which comes as a timely portrayal and celebration of blackness half a century after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination—is hardly resonating with Chinese audiences. On Douban, China’s IMDb-esque platform, the film holds a 6.8 rating out of 10 (link in Chinese)—almost half of science-fiction and action movies rated by Douban users have a better score. Outside of China, Black Panther is on track to become the highest-rated superhero movie, according to Rotten Tomatoes; 97% of reviews from critics have been positive.

Some moviegoers disliked Black Panther because they felt Marvel was trying too hard to be politically correct (link in Chinese). While many reviewers on Douban stopped short of leaving overtly racist comments about the film, many discussed their discomfort of being surrounded by so much blackness.

Maybe the Chinese are still not used to a film full of black people,” wrote one reviewer on Douban (link in Chinese). The commenter said he had to pinch himself more than 10 times to stay awake during the movie because “Black Panther is black, all the major characters are black, a lot of scenes are black, the car-chasing scene is black—the blackness has really made me drowsy.”

Another reviewer who came into the theater late made a similar observation: “When I entered the theater, a bunch of black people was fighting in the night… I’ve never been in a theater so dark that I couldn’t find my seat.”

Someone else said the experience was worse in 3D (link in Chinese): “The film is filled with black actors and actresses. Also, because the film’s colors are a bit dark, it’s nearly a torture for the eyes to watch the film’s 3D version in the theater.”

It’s yet another reminder of China’s limited exposure to race. Last month, in the annual Lunar New Year TV gala by China’s state broadcaster CCTV, producers had a Chinese actress in blackface and cast a black actor to play a monkey. In October, a Chinese museum hosted an exhibition titled “This is Africa” that juxtaposed images of black people to animals, including monkeys and cheetahs.

Still, Black Panther could be a start for Chinese people to learn about the black culture, argues writer Niesha Davis on Shanghai-based digital publication Sixth Tone. “Exposure to pop culture that encompasses diverse representations of black people can exert a powerful influence on how individuals conceive of them,” Davis wrote.