Thursday, December 16, 2021

Living With Anxiety


I’ve struggled with anxiety for years. At times it’s been so horrible and all-encompassing I no longer wanted to exist. Suicidal ideations are terrifying which guess what? Increases your anxiety. Unfortunately, I’ve got the receipts one gets when being caught in these endless loop of pain.


You are not alone. Anxiety doesn’t mean you’re broken. Through therapy and trial and error I’ve come up with a list of things I do to combat and live with anxiety, and maybe they can help you too.


1)    Make peace with your anxiety. Try imagining anxiety as a child, if you try to ignore it anxiety just gets louder and more insistent. Acknowledge your feelings as valid. Accept you feel this way, and if you’re able to function do so. When I feel anxious I catalogue how I feel (physical and mentally): trembling hands, horrible thoughts, racing heart, etc. Then I acknowledge I’m anxious and it sucks. It feels terrible but while I feel yucky I can still do X. Sometimes X is writing other times X is mindless cleaning or organizing. Yup, I feel terrible but at least X is done. For me, many times simply forcing myself out of my head goes a long way in relieving the symptoms.

2)    Tapping or going for a walk can make a world of difference. The rhythm of left, right, left of your hands tapping or your feet walking puts you in the other side of your brain. This pattern can calm you and changing your environment can allow your brain to find something else to focus on.

3)    I practice grounding techniques which basically asks questions that focuses on things outside your body. Name four yellow things that you can see, three red, and one blue. What is the day, month, and year?

4)    Focused breathing can help. There are many different patterns. An easy one I use is the four count method: Inhale for a count of four, hold for a count of four, exhale for a count of four and again. Add lavender or another calming scent to relax you further.

5)    Anxiety takes creativity so I try channel that into drawing, coloring, writing, crafting, knitting, organizing, etc. You want something to worry about… think of your sock drawer. Would the YouTube organizers think?

6)    Reading can transport you into another place and into another person’s world. The break from our whole can be invaluable. Sometimes I read pure fluff other times I want to read something about someone who has struggled as I have and has overcome it. Luckily for you there’s a bunch of books right here.

7)    Therapy can be invaluable at teaching you the tools you need to thrive. A therapist can help you determine if medication could help.

8)    Dump listing can relieve your mind. Sometimes holding all our worries and to do’s gives us anxiety. Listing all the things that are troubling us and/or all the things we need to do can seem overwhelming but usually looking at it on paper/computer allows for some distance. You are no longer fearing you’ll forget you need to do something and you might even be able to prioritize the things you are in control of. Sometimes being in charge can make us feel empowered and less helpless which can translate into less anxiety.

9)    Dance therapy isn’t just a fab. Movement forces your brain to do something other than loop in a circle. Even the most listless among us can find some energy in dance.

10) Find a positive obsession. During the pandemic, I found Asian dramas and the musical group BTS. Both of these draw me into another world and allow my brain to ask questions about nonanxiety producing things.


I truly know how overwhelming everything can seem. Give yourself permission to be out of sorts. Reach out for help when you’re able.


Wishing you all the best. Take care of yourself.


Many hugs,

Z. Allora

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Publishing Takes Courage

Writing is easy. You sit, open a vein, and bleed your story onto the page. Publishing that takes courage.

I was speaking to a friend the other day about how I had to make peace with the fact that my words have the potential to hurt someone. However, careful or unintentional the injury is > it has happened and will happen again. 

I try to be clear on what to expect with my books: the character's internal struggle(s) are usually more than external struggle (blame my psych background & years of therapy), happy/dysfunctional/kissed by BDSM sex (usually some act out of the ordinary cause you know it's my brand.), and a happily ever after. If there's abuse, rape, major struggles I ensure that's in the blurb so a reader isn't side swiped.

However something that isn't triggering to me, the variety of editors, and people who read my work before it is on the world's bookshelf could set someone else off.

You might be sharing details about faucets of yourself or your own experiences so you can feel exposed and criticism hurts different if you share something that a reviewer hated.

I tend to write from my own experiences. I base my books in places I've lived or traveled to and have absorbed the environment and the details about a place. Many of my characters will have anxiety and when they love they love hard. There might be insta-romance > I knew within 20 minutes of meeting my love that he was my happily ever after. I've got a bit of a submissive bent so much of my work is licked with BDSM whether it's in that subgenre or not... It's the way I was written.

All I can say is I respect the authors who time and time again pour their soul on the page. Thank you for solidering forth bravely. Go big!

Many hugs, Z. Allora

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Panic Attacks Suck > Here's some suggestions




1)    Acknowledge how you feel: Is your heart racing? Are you having terrible thoughts? Are your palms sweaty? Do you feel like you could jump out of your skin?

2)    Acknowledge that even though you feel all those things you can do some things.

3)    Ground yourself: Name 5 things RED, 4 things ORANGE, 3 things YELLOW, 2 things GREEN, 1 thing BLUE and cause I’m extra & it’s the rainbow order 1 thing PURPLE.

4)    What is the day of week? What is the date? Who is your BTS bias? Who is the best K-pop band & why?

5)    Do a guided relaxation of relaxing each body part? (Yes, it’s difficult but we’ve gotten through much more.) Use YouTube/someone else’s video if you can’t mentally do it on your own. (If I can I start with my toes and imagine feeling someone stroke down the top/bottom and sides of each toe in order, then all toes then foot, then ankles, then calves > each time this magical strokes are pulling the anxiety out of me, knees, thighs (the stroking once the part is done you go through the entire section ex: thighs done then third stroke for the entire leg). Proceed to do your entire body.



Other Techniques:

Tapping: hands tapping right left on your knees/table/whatever

Walking: (similar to tapping) the right left moves your brain in a different pattern

Breathing Exercises: (there’s a ton)

1)    In for 4 > Hold for 4 > Release for 4

2)    Big breath in once you’re at capacity sip a tiny bit more > Hold for 4 and release

3)    In for 4 > Hold for 4 > Release for longer 6

4)    Counting as you In & Releasing your breathes for as long as you want

Exercise: walking, lift weights, class (on YouTube)

Do something: Acknowledge you’re having a panic attack, categorize your feelings, know it sucks but while it sucks you can do something else.

Organize/Clean something

Plan a trip for the future

Make a dump list > everything that is troubling you in one long horrible list. Then pretend someone else wrote it > use your vast skills to organize (for what’s in your control make a to do list addressing what you can & to the others add reality in terms of how likely is the trouble going to come to pass > then realize while you ROCK you can’t tell the future… over time try internalizing you can’t control everything you can’t avoid pain)

Self-Care: Do something nice for yourself & do it regularly. This could be beauty or binge watching something pleasurable. Accepting it is okay to take care of yourself.







Daily Keeping the Evil Away:

1)    Exercise

2)    Self-care: Taking medication/showering/basics to pampering

3)    Find a routine > a flow to your days & weeks

4)    Make a schedule > and be okay adjusting it & schedule fun & things to look forward to

5)    Write things down > Sometimes once it’s on paper/cyber list we know we aren’t ignoring it but addressing it at this time. Have several to do lists. (1 with everything/1 things you’d like to accomplish this week/ 1 of the top three things you need to do for school/work/home/self)

6)    Therapy > formal or informal

7)    Helping others > share your mad skills. Anxiety is a curse but it can also be a blessing. We are prepped and ready for most things.

8)    Find what works for you > that will change and evolve.



Acknowledge when your rainbow barrels are filled and take time for yourself.


Thursday, October 7, 2021

Toxic BL Relationships


I've seen several posts/videos about the toxic nature of BL relationships. And I've got to say I wonder if these folks have watched any M/F dramas. 
Here's some things usually highlighted as problematic:
Jealousy is seen as shorthand for love. The West is on a different page than some parts of Asia. But it's not just in BL it's in M/F dramas as well. The possessiveness recently (some of 2021 dramas) are beginning to acknowledge that it might not be right > but it's still there.
Sexual lust not being able to be controlled "I can't hold back." 
 > Um, yeah you can... and if you can't I hope you're kneed in the balls< 
This concept of being so wild with passion you're unable to not jump the person is not only in BL but in other dramas I've seen. (Yesterday, I saw it in My Roommate is a Gumiho).
Taking Advantage of Drunk Individual
Not getting proper consent > is rife not just in BLs. And the other characters encourage it  because they are embarrassed to say they want whatever is on offer.
People allowing someone to think something that's not true to get what they want.

So before you accept someone's critic of BL's as being toxic help them see the bigger picture of it's not just BLs it's where society happens to be. 
((Of course some things are terrible in any language sooooo don't make wild assumptions based on this post... not that you would cause you know me... but I need to put in that disclaimer.))
Many hugs, Z.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Excerpt from Not Another Boy Band: Holding a Tray While Being Worshiped NOT WORK SAFE

Sometimes a scene grabs sometimes it's a picture that I can't get out of my head.

This next scene was inspired by a sweet scene that didn't evolved into oral sex. Max/Tul of Together with Me, a Thai BL. In one of the spin off series Tul makes Max breakfast in bed... 

Mind you Sage doesn't look anything like Tul... but the idea of the tray wedged into my smexy brain and I thought that would be quite a predicament... holding a tray while someone worshiped you. Daiki and Sage do enjoy of kinkiness so the idea of the band being nearby while Daiki gained some experience on his knees... well, can you blame me?

Here's the excerpt From Not Another Boy Band

“Can I take a picture of you?” Daiki pleaded, as if snapping a photo of him was of dire importance.

“What? Why?” That knocked him sideways. He needed some new questions.

Daiki grabbed his phone and took some shots. “You, shirtless in the apron, carrying a tray... I can’t draw you fast enough because I want to enjoy you immediately.”

“Are you okay?” Sage had never made anyone breakfast before, especially not in bed. But if a breathy artist totally hot for him was the usual reception, he’d have to make Daiki every meal.

Shrugging, Daiki nodded. “Yeah, I’m not used to being in a manga that I’m drawing.”


Daiki groaned and touched his face. “I’m going to have to tint my cheeks with embarrassment lines.”

Ah, got it. Sage played along. He made a show of looking where the blanket failed to hide Daiki’s arousal. “Oh, by the way, you’re drawing not only yourself but me very aroused.”

Daiki put down his phone and pushed off the comforter. He didn’t meet Sage’s gaze, but the shifting of his body highlighted his jutting erection, not disguised at all by the shorts he wore.

“A gorgeous man bringing me breakfast in bed....” Daiki frowned and shrugged it off, then pasted on a teasing smile. “You probably make breakfast in bed for your lovers all the time.”

Sage’s desire to actually get someone who wanted him for him seemed to pull out the truth. He should stop himself from the long stare, but couldn’t. Instead he confessed, “No. I’ve only done this for you.”

A million expressions crossed Daiki’s face, but a predatory one stayed. “This is a first... for you too?”

Swallowing, Sage clutched the tray tighter. “Yeah.”

Daiki slipped out of bed and onto his knees in front of Sage. “May I?” What was he—
Daiki ducked under the tray, pushed the apron out of the way, and

grabbed on to the waistband of Sage’s lounge pants. He peeked out and tilted his head, making hair fall into his eyes. “Sage?”

His name never held so many questions, but there was only one answer. “Yes.”

Smiling a real smile, Daiki shifted forward and disappeared, hidden by the tray Sage held.

A hot, wet mouth wrapped around him and sucked him halfway in.

Sage hardened fully and gripped the tray tighter. “I should set this down.”

Daiki appeared not to have heard him, because he continued sucking him. Adding his hand, Daiki started stroking Sage in an enticing rhythm.

Something out of the corner of his eye made Sage turn his head. There was a full-length mirror behind the door, giving him a view he’d never had. How had he become the star of a filthy manga? But Daiki looked too beautiful to be associated with anything dirty. Sexy, yes.

The reflected image seared into Sage’s brain. Him getting a blowjob while clutching a tray, and Daiki sucking him, with a hand busy down the front of his pants, while he stared at Sage.

Their gazes caught in the mirror, the uncertainty in Daiki’s eyes dragging Sage deeper into his thrall. Daiki wasn’t conducting some elaborate game of seduction; it was clear he simply wanted to suck Sage and get off.

No question Daiki had stepped way out of his comfort zone and was exploring what he wanted... and right now that was Sage. That might have knocked him sideways, but it was what Sage wanted too.

Sage’s affection for Daiki was a nonstop fast beat. His feelings hadn’t evolved slowly over time in a measured fashion but had appeared in a moment. Had he been waiting all of his life for someone to open his heart? Maybe he’d get burned, but he couldn’t stop being consumed by the driving rhythm because surrender felt too good.

He gripped the tray tighter. The predicament of having to hold the tray while getting sucked off increased his arousal. So far, only a little bit of the tea had spilled on the napkins. Could he come without dropping the tray?

Turning back to the mirror, he stared as Daiki bobbed his head, bringing the wet heat of his mouth up and down with ever-increasing suction. Sage had never watched himself getting sucked off. The act felt new and forbidden; not being able to see Daiki except in the mirror added to the uniqueness.

He hadn’t locked the door, and three other guys were a room away. The worry of being caught in the act intensified everything.

Sage wasn’t going to last long, so he warned, “Close.” 


Buy Link

Session drummer Sage Nakamura puts his trust fund where his heart is and starts his own band in Japan—Kashi-sei, Japanese for “visibility.” Tired of his favorite J-pop bands imploding over even a hint of same-sex attraction, Sage decides to take sponsorship out of the equation. He hopes his band will become a safe haven that validates diversity in gender identity and orientation. But he’ll need some help to make his endeavor successful.

Mangaka Ikeda Daiki lives a comfortable, if lonely, life in Tokyo. When he gets the opportunity to work with a band as it is forming, developing the products from the beginning—starting with a manga—he leverages his platform for more creative freedom.

At Sage’s insistence, Daiki helps him choose band members and navigate the finer points of Japanese culture. But the two have more than business goals in common. Mutual admiration develops into friendship, attraction, and a relationship full of firsts for both of them.

But as the band prepares for their debut, Sage, who has never played before a live audience, gets debilitating stage fright. How can Daiki and the band help him through it and keep his dream alive?



Thursday, September 23, 2021

China's New Law Ban's All BLs

It's heartbreaking but these new laws are being translated as BLs are now banned. All current BLs in production (Immortality & Heaven's Official Blessing) will be watered down into bromances or friends. 

My heart hurts for the LGBTQIA+ people in China. BLs were a place they could get a tiny bit of visibility and acceptance (Yes yes I know they weren't "perfect" but they were something that helped normalize the rainbow & helped people know they weren't alone.) 
I'm just brokenhearted.