October Bookstagram Challenge: #fallforbooksmugglers

Calling all readers and writers who are readers…this October (which is, you know, SOON) brings a lot of awesome thing like Inktober, spoopies and creppies, and now the #fallforbooksmugglers challenge! You can find the prompts here on Instagram, and I’m posting a pic to make it even easier for you to play. Stay tuned all month for cool stuff…you know you wanna!


Book Birthday/Birthday Week…yay!

TDA_FrontCover (1)Salut, all! I hope you are thriving as well as you can these days. This week has been a sky-full-of-lights, all-hands-on-deck busy week for me, WHEW. /collapses

My new sci-fi novella Temporary Duty Assignment is finally out in the world, waiting to be read, to find a home on your shelf or nestled amongst the other lovely e-books on your reader of choice. I would be honored if you bought it…what greater compliment to a writer than purchasing her work? You can order it by clicking on the link above, or find other versions on The Book Smugglers site! <3

You can also read about what inspired me to write this novella and create this world over on The Book Smugglers site where my Inspirations and Influences essay awaits if you are curious and need perhaps that extra little nudge before buying the book. Check it out–you know you wanna! <3

It’s also my birthday today…I’m 42! You know, that amazing number? The one Douglas Adams wrote about? The answer to the meaning of life, the universe, and everything? I was too bombarded/blasted/tie-tie/zzzzzzzzz to have a party this week, birthday or book birthday, but I want to celebrate amidst some messed up, crazy, enormous things going on in my country and the world. I want to celebrate my hope that things can be better. I want to celebrate my fervent wish that maybe, at 42, I can finally start to chip away on that whole life/the universe/everything quandary and make some sense of it all. Wish me well, dear readers…I would like that so very much.


Thank you as ever for reading, for supporting my work and here is wishing you a safe, relaxing and kind weekend! <3

Tasty Tuesday: Isn’t Food Nice?

Howdy, all…I hope the week is treating you well so far!

Recently I was having a conversation with a friend about how much I adore people’s food pics on social media. I’ve seen rants from naysayers, people complaining about UGH ANOTHER PICTURE OF SOMEONE’S STUPID DINNER and it never fails to make me a sad kitty. I love food, you see. Not just some casual, ‘you’re kinda alright’ feel but a deep and abiding love. I love how food brings people together–so many holidays and life milestones, happy, mournful, or indifferent–involve celebrations revolving around food. Food brings us together. We all must consume organic matter to convert to the energy our bodies need to function…alas, we are not yet transcended beyond flesh.

Which brings me to the fact that in most of my longer fiction, I try to include at least one little hint about the kind of food my characters eat or have available to them. Engaging all of the senses of a reader, communicating the smell of sauteeing garlic and onions or the warmth of a cup of fragrant jasmine tea–these details shift the world into a recognizable and relatable focus (or so I hope), and make everything just a little more real. This is incredibly important in speculative fiction, where worlds can be alien and strange.

In Nice, my story in the newest Book Smugglers Quarterly Almanac, I introduce a  place called Super Gyro. It’s an ad-hoc, hover-truck gyro joint that is so freaking good that even the transit cops in this cyberpunk metropolis love it enough that they’re willing to “forget” to enforce traffic laws whenever it shows up. Super Gyro connects Kitsune, the heroine of Nice, to Sam, the kitten-shirt wearing spec-ops soldier you’ll meet in my novella set in the same universe and coming from The Book Smugglers in August. I like to think that people from any walk of life can identify with the satisfaction of well-prepared, nourishing food…that enjoying the simple act of treating ourselves, if we’re so lucky to be able to do so, is something we can all agree upon.



Stop by if you are so inclined, to join Kitsune in her appreciation of good food before the whole world falls down around her. Happy Tasty Tuesday, and thank you as always for reading! You’re really the best for that, you know! <3

If you’ve read any good meals lately, by the way, I’d love to hear about it on Twitter or in the comments!

before/after the streetlights (a poemy thing)

When I was a kid, I was a bit obsessed with streetlights. Not just because I was allowed to stay out till just past the time when they came on, but for other reasons…harder to explain reasons. Imagery from the Book of Revelations via terrifying sermons, post-apocalyptic scenes courtesy of 80’s sci-fi shows and movies, and sci-fi odds and ends from books and school all mingled in my mind to give me thinky-thoughts. I would look up at the streetlights with their buzzing, orange light and wonder–what would it take to turn off all the lights in the world? If that thing happened, would they all go out at once, a sudden there-then-not kind of thing? As I grew and my understanding of the world (power grids, physics, post-apocalyptic narratives stemming from post Cold War tensions and the 80’s Star Wars propaganda) matured, I started to see that these things that preoccupied me as a kid were still pretty scary. These things come out even now in my poetry and fiction. Streetlights, powerlines stretching for miles over grassy fields, windmills with their blinking red pilot lights, the kinds of strange machinery and structures I’d see at the edges of the military bases and the Port Authority where I grew up all blend together with my young mind’s questions, creating this personalized, complex iconography of tech. To this day, I write about when the streetlights go out. To this day, I still get chills thinking about it. I hope you are all having a good week so far, and thanks for reading!

And now, a new poem:


before/after the streetlights


Be in before the streetlights come on, mom calls out

and her voice slaps flat against the sides of houses

and the summerhot asphalt

and my scrambling footfalls echo back–


I run till the street ends in woods and it’s darker.

Before the streetlights, what was there?

Fireflies and distant blinking stars only go so far

in holding back the night–


Before the streetlights, one kind of darkness

and after? What happens when the white light

eats the sky, when the generators die–will the streetlights

and stoplights and house lights all go out at once?


Will I be able to see to run? Be in before the streetlights

come on, I tell my blue shadow and look up at the metal

and orange light and down at the crumbling street

and I hum and I try not to be afraid of the after

Horrorscopes, V-Day Edition 2017

zodiacn2Why hello there, Starchildren! Welcome to this February 2017 edition of Horrorscopes, the Valentine’s  Celebration special!

Love is a strange thing. Even stranger when we consider the enormity of what we think and feel against the dogged practicality of the phenomenon itself.  We survive in part because we love, or so biology seems to indicate–safety in numbers, herd to hide, love to make more of whatever we are. Does that freefall crash we experience when we realize how much we care for someone result from pheromones, from instinct, from a complex cocktail of neurotransmitters and the sensory responses and impulses that follow? Is it a meeting of minds? Co-mingling of souls? Or all of the above?

Or is it nothing?

Oh, stalwart Capricorn, inquisitive Aquarius, gentle Pisces, determined Aries, sensual Taurus, capricious Gemini, sensitive Cancer, bold Leo, dignified Virgo, harmonious Libra, subtle Scorpio, independent Sagittarius…the time has come.


What time? You may well ask.

The time to put aside your thoughts on love and your feelings on feelings and to consider your vast, unending aloneness at the end of all things and the beginning of all others. Though time as we like to imagine it—linear, parsed, neatly arranged in seasons, cycles, calendars, ticks and tocks—does not exist, we must make time to consider the monster in the room—your thorough, ineffable sense of isolation against all of that which society tells us love means. It was time to think on this before you existed and will remain time to think on this long after you are dust and even longer after the world itself is a blasted shell and again when all folds around on itself, it will still be time.

For in knowing at the end/beginning of all things  that we are only who we are with no reference to any other being, there is power. So yes, it is time to think on YOU.

Time to assert your personal strengths and to sound your roar through the vast nothingness.

Time to own your weaknesses with good humor yet an almost grim desire to remedy them.

Time to know you are exactly enough to exist now, here, precisely as you are.

Time to give your love to your shadows, your fears about who you are beneath all those layers. Time to give your love to what you wanted for the world.  Time to give the world your best even when it has not given what you want.

Time to whisper those three words we adore and fear into the void, the chaos, the dawn, the beingness that slips between the cracks when the world seems to be collapsing around you…



Breathe it in, let it fill you with strength you never knew you had, with strength you never knew anyone could have.

I am here. WE ARE HERE.


I҉̳ ̱̝͕͖̞̞A̗̤̪̝̦M͟ ͚͔͇̬̯̜ͅH̲E̞̦̬͎͍R̷̤̫̗͚E̶ ̙̯͍̳͖̝͠
̬̠W̧͕̙̖̣͉͈̥E͈̞ ̻̲A̬̫̙̤̲R̞E̯̕ ͇̯̹͖ ̳͉͘ ̲̲͔̺͖̗ ̜͖̰̫̟͓̯ ͏̞ ̬̺͓̝̞͞ ̼̦̻ ̬̼̹̱̫̱̹Ḥ̘̪E ͏̱͙̲̯͎͍͉ R̤̟̀E̼̱̱̘͍ͅ
̣̤͘ͅT̻H̗E̛ ̖̙͚̪̠̭ ̸̤̥̗̤̼ ͜T͈͕I͉̜͟ME ̩͢I̛S͈̮͎̟̭̗ ̖Ń̲͕̼O̬̰͓̖̘͠W̙̩̲̩̙ͅ
̖̹̬̪͈H ͎̖͇̼E ̠̼̖͕R͉ ̝̤͓͇̜͓͖E͇̙͟
͔̪̦̀N ̸̠̱̟̺ ̠̣̣̟͈ ̛̟̱ͅ ̠̣͍O͕͇͕͘W̸ ̤͙̝̹I̛ ̰A͍͕̮̫̼͖̲̕Mͅ ̞̟̟̻̮̯H͎̪̮̝̲̯̖ ͘E̸̺̙̦̼ͅR̶͎E ̛̦̟̬ ̙̪̗̙͓̫ͅ ̯͙͖̲͔͘ ̢̖̖̥̮̯̰͓ṰH̜̻̪̞̳ ͇̙̙̺E̷̮
̵̟͉̬̜T̶͍̪̖̪͕̯̰Ì̲͉̣̫͍͈͔ ̸͚̘̱̞̱͔M̦̪̭͍̩̝̀ͅE͏̟̻͕͚ ͏͙I͔͚̩̙̼S̷̙̯̲͖͙̝ ̦̬̱̦Ņ̤̖͔̭̜̗͎O̗̰̺͇̲͉ͅ ͖̥̘W͕̺͖͘ ̞̳̭̞W̮̱̘̗͚̝E̤̱̙A̧̩̹̫R̸͖̥̜E̳̺̰̦͉̙H͏̩͇͚̪̤E̪͎͕̖̥̙R̻͓Ȩ̮̖͈̳ͅT͚̰͇͈͇̱H̵̰̞̲ ̯̪̰͕E̻̜͞ͅTI͕̘̹̩̞̻ME͙͍̣̲̘ͅĮ̜͉͈S̸N͙͉͓̱̱ͅO̮̰͇͓̫͕͜ẂW̧͇̻͉̪̙͈̳Ẹ̷̱̝͓A͍͕̰̖̼̠R̯̥͙̫͔͖E̵ ̗͓̖H̸̻͉̰̻E̶̳̩̘R̫̙E̦̹̝̼̟͚͘ͅT̹̳̞̖͜H̘̠̝͍̦͎͡E͔̘̲͢
̺͈͇̺H̞͇̲̟̤ ͉̜͟E̯͔̼ ͚͓̱̺͖͞ͅR̶̝ ̗͖E


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