Newsday Tuesday: An Announcement!

Hello, all…happy Tuesday to you lovelies! Since Tuesday rhymes with news-day, I’ve decided to announce today that my short story Nice will be appearing in next edition of The Book Smugglers’ Quarterly Almanac! WOOOOOOOOOOOOO! *ahem* Nice will introduce an exciting new sci-fi world and set in motion the events that go down in my upcoming sci-fi romance novella T.D.A., coming in July of this year. I cannot tell you how excited I am, so I must include a moment for internal Carlton Dancing.

YdmGHYG

*Ahem* again. In preparation for this exciting new story, which is among my favorite things I have EVER written and maybe even my Patronus, I have opted to do teaser art of one of Nice‘s characters. Kind folks, meet Lukka:

20170314_104237(1) (1)

Lukka keeps company with shell casings, apparently.

I’ll announce more details, including a cover reveal for T.D.A. (it’s AMAZING and I am not even one tiny bit joking), and availability dates. Thank you as ever for reading and I hope you have a beautiful day! <3

#TastyTuesday Writing Prompt

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Nothing brings people together like food. We all need it–there’s no getting around that fact. Beyond simply existing as sustenance, food is such a wonderfully rich expression of our humanity–we share our cultures, our family traditions, our own joy in the creating and sharing of something that does far more than keep us alive.

Which brings me to the matter at hand: your oh so yummy, #TastyTuesday writing prompt! Getting to know our characters can be as simple as knowing their favorite foods. Food is also a way to ground difficult or abstract narratives or complex worlds…showing what keeps your characters sustained and living contributes to world-building in the most relateable, practical ways. Think about the following questions for your main characters:

  • What is your character’s go-to comfort food when stressed?
  • What meal do they absolutely dread but know they can expect (and that they must partake of for fear of alienating others, hurting feelings, etc.) during family, civic, or social events?
  • What types of meals do your characters associate with major life events such as deaths in the family, civil unions, or celebrations of birthdays or career achievements?
  • What would be considered a super-rare delicacy in your character’s world? Is it a chocolate bar in the trembling hands of a world-weary dystopian society rebel? A rare, cave-dwelling fish or a moonflower that can only be harvested on the night of a lunar eclipse? Would your character have ever tasted such a thing, even?
  • What food would be your character’s biggest “guilty” pleasure–as in, something they are embarrassed to admit to liking as violently as they do because it’s considered icky, weird, gauche, or any other number of reasons?

Have some fun thinking about these little things a bit and maybe even write a drabble, paint or draw an image of or create a collage for what mealtime looks like in your world. I know it’s helped me make my worlds more real and alive than they would be if my characters didn’t take a moment to sit and smell the legume protein mash or delicate star-blooms or fried green tomatoes. Happy creating, and if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to raid the cabinets. <3

Robin McKinley Said It So Well-A #FridayReads Quick-Post.

So often, I feel like what I am, what I do, how I exist is not enough in wake of the Big Bad in this world. Then I remember a quote from Sunshine by Robin McKinley, one of my favorite reads of all time and something I’m planning to treat myself to re-reading for #FridayReads after some editing. We must use what we are given, and we must use it the best we can. I hope this Friday finds us all using what we have and being who we are as best we can to make the world brighter, kinder, and more full of win. Happy Friday!

sunshinequote

A Reason <3

pexels1Writers do what they do for eleventybillion reasons and then some. I know–I’ve counted. And at least half of those are the same reasons that drive me to keep working towards publishing what I write even when it’s not an easy road to tricycle or bigwheel or otherwise travel. And so it goes, me doing what I do because Reasons. But sometimes, someone gives me a reason or at least provides context for me to articulate one of my reasons for doing what I do. This happened to me last week. I’m neck-deep in edits for a SUPER exciting piece, planning and outlining several more rad projects of win, hammering away at Day Job duties while life happens in its lifey way around me when suddenly, bam—a message from an old friend.

We back-and-forthed for a bit but she utterly floored me when she told me that she had two of my characters in her head, just hanging out with her while she folded laundry, that she had deliberately carved out time to not just read my work, but leave a super!awesome review on Goodreads. Best of all, she told me that she wanted to read more. This friend is a busy woman. She is immersed, as all of us are, in the thousands of big and little things that drive us through these minutes into hours into days of our lives but at some point, she allotted some of that time to my words and then took more time still to tell me that those minutes with my words made her day better.

What grander of a compliment can a writer receive? More of your work, please…more that I will have to make time for (totally not her words, but that is the reality of sitting down and getting a thing done)…

I write to explore, yes. To build worlds. To be who am I not, and doubly who I am. However, in the end, I write to communicate and if what I’ve done takes someone on a journey, provides respite or just a bit of fun then holy wow, I’ve done something right.

So to my friend, and any other readers who have enjoyed my work or to all the other writers and readers out there creating and seeking narratives to enrich their lives in some way—thank you. You are the everything, to quote R.E.M. You are the BEST. Read on, write on, and now that I’ve taken minutes to say these words, back to edits! <3

Strangers–Quote of the Day

Writing sci-fi romance, speculative fiction and sci-fi poetry reminds me time and time again of how I am reaching for light-trails, dreaming through life and living the questions, as Rilke would have it–how I am exploring my realities through narratives. Here’s wishing you all a week full of big, beautiful dreams and luminous realities!

strangers

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.

horrrscolove

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…

I AM HERE.

I AM ENOUGH.

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.

enough

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

 

here h

ere

e nough

Happy 2017, ya’ll!

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2016 has slogged itself off into oblivion and now 2017-yet another construct to help us wrap our minds around the strangeness of our existence-is the new kid in town. I cannot say that I am not relieved, though I do not like to rush away my life, or to wish for time to be so quickly behind me.

The allure of the new, though, is strong as ever. Shiny, chrome, sparkling. A blank page, an open road stretching ahead into something unknown…it’s exciting. I cannot help but hope for good things, and I aspire to make the most of the time I’ve been given.

I actually made some specific resolutions this year but in a quiet, note-to-self kind of way. They are more about quality of life than anything. Gestalt wellness gained through itty-bitty small steps of everyday self-care is the biggest of my goals. Writing, well…that one’s a given. And most of all, I want to cultivate gratitude in the midst of maelstrom and fair skies alike.

I know I can do this.

I will have so much good news to share in regards to my writing. Big projects are in the works for this year and hopefully the next, and I am working hard at coaxing some new worlds and their myriad characters into existence. In the meantime, I’m enjoying the gentle quiet of winter weather and am finding ways to incorporate creativity into a busy schedule. I hope that 2017 brings unexpected goodness into the world, and is a time of healing and peace. For anyone reading this, Happy New Year–may joy and light be yours, and may your new year be so amazing. <3