Halloween & IWSG

Happy Halloween!

I only say that because it’s currently Halloween and I’m still in the ghoulish spirit. I know you’re reading this tomorrow, November 1st, but you should hop in your DeLorean and come back a day because I have to mention Halloween for a second:

Clearly, I’m shit faced—but Yes! We were Sharon & Randy Marsh! You know, from South Park 😊. We didn’t go the extra mile and make the cartoon faces but I blame that on the fact that I was putting together an ENTIRE PIRATE HALLOWEEN PARTY and had to throw creative amazingness all over, so it’s okay that I skimmed on our costumes a little. But look at those awesome testicles! Still super proud of my handy-work, and I should be, because every lady went in for a feel at least once 😉 (if you’ve never seen the episode, Randy gives himself testicular cancer to get medicinal marijuana. The joke is that they were so large he was able to bounce them down the road.)

I was really planning on taking a ton of pictures during the ho-down but the extrovert in me was busy chatting it up so I didn’t. I snapped a few the next morning before I cleaned up:

I hope you had a good Halloween and that you got the good candy you like. I hope the kids don’t take all our candy and that Appa doesn’t lose his shit every time the doorbell rings (but that’s wishful thinking.)

Okay! Onto writing stuff 😊

October was another great month of writing the second part of my trilogy and I’m still jamming to the New-Found-Glory soundtrack that’s been inspiring me during this entire creative endeavor. At some point I know I have to Cowboy the Fuck up and get a few BETAs to read BTT. I’m REALLY excited about writing the rest of the story… but I guess I am very nervous about the first being read too, which is why I keep putting it off. Like, I know I’m going to go through it at least once more and make some changes (thanks to discovering things from book 2!) so it’s a good thing that I haven’t let anyone read it yet. But even when I feel *really* good about it, I still think I’ll be nervous. I know that’s normal… but I don’t want to let my fear keep the story—or me—from growing.

Enough of that and onto the optional November Question:

Win or not, do you usually finish your NANO project? Have any of them gone on to be published?

I… have never done NANO. Like, ever. It doesn’t appeal to me one bit, and I think it’s because I associate it with stress and don’t need stress ANYWHERE near my writing. I get why people do it. The challenge and holding yourself accountable and all that but I do that anyway. Like, every day. I don’t know… it feels like I would be doing the same thing but being harder on myself about it.

After a few years of consistent writing, I have my own schedule that allows me to get immense amounts of work done while not feeling guilty if I’ve missed a day or two. I think everyone has a system that works for them and if some people thrive on the time-challenge—that’s great. I’m just not one of those people.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

 

How Was My Weekend?

We went to Chicago!

And made it back safely which is AMAZING because the ride home was shaky and terrible and I found myself wondering what kind of eulogies people would give me. But we landed in one piece and I’m home and writing this while it’s all still fresh (and because I’m kicking ass at this October Resolutions thing). But to answer your burning question: YES! My weekend was awesome. Thanks for asking 😉

Let’s start with our flight out:

Oh yeah. Rows apart and still stoked. Little bummed Batman and I couldn’t sit together, but I had a nice view out the window. Kind of made up for the 3:00 alarm to make it to the airport on time:

I totally forgot to take pictures of the hotel, which I probably should’ve done. It was gorgeous. Really gorgeous. Like, no offense La Quinta, but this hotel has long hallways with nice carpet where two creepy girls wouldn’t look out of place at the end of one. Just saying.

I did, however, remember to take a picture or two of our Architecture Boat Tour. It was good, and would’ve been a lot more educational if I’d been able to hear the guide, a fine older gentleman who didn’t understand the correlation between his mouth and the device used to amplify it. But it was still nice. Batman and I enjoyed the view and the not-having-to-walk-part since we speed-walked fifteen minutes to get there. So, the hour and a half cruise was a great cool down to the fifteen minutes of actual exercise I’ve done recently.

After the boat ride, there was some more recouping at the hotel, followed by the rehearsal at an AWESOME Mexican restaurant with delicious margaritas. This is where I would post those pictures but it was open bar and I already mentioned the margaritas.

Saturday, we played tourist and went to Millennium Park. Look, the Bean! (This is the part where I’m just going to post some random pictures that I took. Here we go:

Lots of fun. 😊

After a quick trip to a retro video game store to scratch Batman’s collector’s itch, we headed back to the hotel to prepare for the big event. Then there were lots of drinks and yummy appetizers and toasts and not knowing where my phone was. Again, the open bar was-a-calling, and I’m pretty much a dance whore at weddings, so there wasn’t a lot of picture-taking at the reception either. But we had a blast and I only fell once, which in my book is a win.

We left on Sunday, but not before seeing the Navy Pier!

So, it was kind of chilly and *shockingly* very, very windy. I didn’t go on the Ferris Wheel because, let’s face it, I was out of money by that point and I have a thing with heights and not wanting to fall from them. Batman and I took a walk around the Navy Pier and I think I got some decent shots. What do you think?

After that, it was saying goodbye to family and heading back to the airport for our flight home. Delayed an hour due to maintenance, and then another half  of sitting on the runway, we were *finally* off the ground and FL bound! We got back at midnight on Monday only to find someone stole Batman’s totally awesome Yoda tag (that I bought for him) so that was a bit of a bummer.

But other than that, Chicago was a blast. 🙂

How was your weekend?

Windy City Bound

We’re going to Chicago!

Like, for a wedding. Not to move. Although I’m sure that was obvious went I said ‘going’ and not ‘moving’ but I wanted to clear that up from the get-go. Batman and I are visiting Chicago this weekend for my cousin’s wedding and I am STOKED.

Vacation. FAMILY. Drinking. Family. WEDDING. Not working. Fun. DRINKING. Family. VACATION.

This has been on a loop in my head for the past few days. I need it. I need a break to explore a different city and enjoy some actual fall weather. We’re doing an architecture cruise and visiting the Bean—not to mention the actual wedding which is the highlight of the whole shebang. Some people hate them, but I love them. Weddings rock. Even being that single chick at the table with all the weirdos—it’s free food. It’s free food and (usually) free drinks and a dance floor with a drunken sea of people not going to give a damn when you bust out your seventh-grade moves and start doing the Worm. (Not me. Just… saying.)

We’re flying back on Sunday so it’s going to be a short trip. Still. It’s not here and not here is awesome because I’ve been here and I could use an over there. (Although we did go to Orlando last month but that doesn’t count. Same state. Shut up.) And I feel I’m growing in my adulting phase. I’m actually—get this—already thinking about what I want to pack. I started thinking about it weeks ago. Even thought for Batman, too. Because normally, I don’t think about the existence (or cleanliness) of things until right before I need them, even given prior notice. I just didn’t care. And I still don’t. But it’s nice to not panic the night before and question if I’m really an adult or an adult-looking child who somehow manages to fool everyone. So there’s that.

I think I’m doing okay with committing to this post-once-a-week-thing. Course, this is only the second week, so I have plenty of time to fall off the bandwagon. Plus, I’m stalling. I’ve written myself into a scene I’m not into. And I should be because my characters are about to go at it (the good, sexy at-it, not the violent, fighting at-it). Like, for a romance writer, this is supposed to be the HALLELUJAH of scenes, the Hot-Damn-We’re-Finally-Here moment. It’s supposed to be what all of the tension has been leading up to and… I’m not feeling it. Not sure why. I took a wrong turn somewhere and have to back pedal but I like what I’ve written, so I’m not sure where to veer. Sometimes this happens and sometimes I have to sit and read and think and read and think some more and read some more. Then I get tired of reading the same few paragraphs and decide to write a post instead.

Ta-Da!

Look at me, still being productive 😉

We’re leaving Friday for Chicago and something–maybe logic–is telling me next week’s post may be filled with pictures from the Windy City. But you’ll have to stick around and find out. 😉

Love is a Giant Eyeball

Yesterday Batman and I went to the MOSH (Museum of Science & History) which is very similar to MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry) except that MOSH is better because it’s in the city where Batman grew up (the city I now live) and therefore—logic. You’re right, there’s no logic there, but sometimes we have to let Batman win. Just like the Wookie.

20170204_102249

Anyway, it was a lot of fun and I found this really cute plush eyeball in the gift shop while we were waiting around to see the $5 laser show we sprung for. We went for the traveling Anne Frank exhibit which was okay but small and according to the Caped Crusader, “filled with pictures we’ve already seen in person.” (Batman and I traveled to Amsterdam and saw the Anne Frank house in 2010. You should go. Amazing in person.) But while we were waiting for the show, I spot this plush eyeball and he offers to buy it for me. I never know if he’s being serious because Batman offers to buy everything that makes me laugh. But I think—how cool would it be to have a giant eyeball, right?

PRETTY DAMN COOL.

20170204_115701

Turns out, the laser show was twenty minutes of pop songs with weird light projections and at one point, a flying green fetus. Strange. And with the Anne Frank exhibit being a bit of a dud, I can honestly say that getting Seymour was my favorite part of my MOSH experience, so much in fact, that he holds a place of honor in the office.

20170205_073648

 

How was your Saturday? Ever buy random plush body parts? What’s something you and yours enjoy doing together?

Blood Moon Rising and Savannah, Bitches

I was supposed to advertise this, like, a whole bunch last month, but with my 31st birthday *cough I’m still 26 cough*, an awesome trip to Savannah, and a whole lot of working OT and being somewhat stressed at work, I didn’t. Time got away from me and here we are in October, the very month I was supposed to talk about because it is the month of the Blood Moon Rising. And thirteen nights of Halloween. And pumpkin-spice everything season. But mostly that first thing. Because Blood Moon Rising is a month-long event of celebrating authors (and their works) of Fantasy, Sci-fi and horror. You know, the things I write. 😉

Here’s the rundown: every day an author takes over with a few days highlighted for interactive activities, special talent days—stuff like that. Some people do giveaways. I would like to do one if I ever figure out how to, but until then, it’s a whole bunch of my writing up there for me. If you’re interested, my day is this Tuesday, October 4th. I’ll be posting a few short stories, some Q&As and various segments from my dark fantasy romance, Rozmarie & Josiah. I’ll  also be posting throughout the day (literally on the half hour) and would love it if you would stop by. Or hover in the corner and watch silently. Either way works.

But you should definitely think about swinging by at some point to check out all the cool people and things. It’s a month-long event, filled with tons of different authors all doing different activities, all sharing their fantastical, science-fictiony, horror-tastic works. And word has it there are prizes. Even a Grand Prize that readers like YOU can win. All you have to do is hang out with us for a bit, comment or like, and you’ve thrown your name in that hat. It’s that easy. I’ll also be there, lingering creepily in the background, hanging out with the fellow weirdos as well. You know, where I belong 😉

Alright, now onto all those awesome Savannah pictures you had no idea you’d be seeing until this very moment:

Because Batman is a history buff…

1-2

Fort Jackson

20160923_091234

Here we go!

20160923_091804

…something, something, history…something…

20160923_092527

Who doesn’t enjoy a good view of invaders?

20160923_093019

and a tunnel of doors

Onto the city!

20160923_112100

20160923_112117

20160923_112844

20160923_112849

20160923_114824

20160923_114830

I mean, I had to

20160923_125813

20160923_125929

…which we later found out was haunted…

20160923_133133

When they say ‘fried quail’ they mean literally fried quail.

20160923_141303

20160923_190656

part of SCAD

20160923_190901

20160923_193239

graffiti from a bathroom

20160923_191618

20160924_093940

And there you have it. A quick picture tour through “the most haunted city in America”, which is interesting since St. Augustine makes the same claim…

Remember, Blood Moon Rising is a month long event – so it’s happening now! Be sure to think about dropping by this Tuesday (Oct 4th) and maybe even acting on that thought. I’d love to feel your invisible presence. Yes, even you my silent stalkers  🙂

P.S. You should *totally* go to Savannah. It’s awesome.

P.P.S. And get the pralines from the River Street Candy Store. Possibly the best thing you’ll ever do. Trust me.

 

 

 

IWSG: Do it. I did.

Today I’m releasing my fourth book.

Woo hoo!

And also *don’t look at me*

Well it’s up on. On Smashwords and Amazon and I’m very proud of myself for having gotten to this stage. It’s taken a lot of time, and a lot of effort, and I’m happy I stuck through it all.

I will say Crusade Across Worlds was more difficult to write than the first three, partly because of how the story went, but it had a lot to do a lot with what I was experiencing in my own life at the time. Thank you to everyone who’s read Escape, Plague and Discovery, or who’s offered a kind or supportive word. It means more than you know. Truly.

So, yep, here it is.

Fourth book in the series.

And guys—GUYS—shit just got real.

CRUSADE ACROSS WORLDS - 2500

Fallon has just returned from three months of training and is eager to fight against those who enslaved her. Joining up with Reid and the gang, they set out to prepare for the Vermix’s final attack—a highly prophesied invasion that could mean the possible end to a centuries-long war. But when unforeseen events arise, causing the plan of defense to crumble, it will take everything they have to survive what will certainly become a turning point in the Arizal War.

Find it on Smashwords here.

Find it on Amazaon here.

For all of you terrified weirdos out there like me, I clicked the publish button. And if I can do it, you can too. And if you can’t, read through a few more of these blogs. You’ll find the encouragement you need.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.

Hello Online Media. Now I’ve got an Instagram

It must be the twilight zone because I now have an Instagram.

Me.

The not-really-a-social media-person-person.

This blog was like, a big step. Two years (I think?) and I’m still wary about what I put up, how much content to share and if there really are people hiding in the bushes. Not because I think I’m like *totally* stalkable (even though I am, and have been) but it’s the personal information thing. The, “oh she posted that one picture of her window and using my dope techie skills, I now know where she lives” thing. It’s shit like that that really freaks me out, especially since I’m pretty sure the government watches me through the television. Batman thinks I’m paranoid. I’m not paranoid. I’m cautious. The less people know, the less they can use against you and all that. But when you’re trying not to fade into the shadows, it’s difficult to keep up with others since it’s sort of a necessity in today’s society.

I didn’t want to get a blog when I did. But everything I read said I should engage in some form of social media if I want to make it. I’ve got to have an online presence or I don’t exist. There went my sitting in the back of the class, hoping the teacher didn’t call on me. And now you’re saying I HAVE TO ENGAGE WITH PEOPLE? TO LIKE, BE SUCCESSFUL? Damn. Damn, damn, damn. It’s not been terrible, I admit. But still. Damn.

Anyway, Batman and I had Appa at the vet Saturday and I took (what I think) was the cutest picture of him (the dog—not Batman) and had to share it with someone, so I sent it to my sister and mom. Ahem:

Appa at the Vet

Look at that face. How is that face not to be shared? It is obviously *totes* sharable. Wanting everyone else to fall in love with him like I have, I broke down and joined Instagram. So far, Appa dominates the photos but I feel I’ve slipped another toe into the rest of modern society. I’m not a full blown social-median, but at least I’ve poked my head a little further out from behind this rock. I get points for that, right? The answer is yes, I get points for that.

And since everyone’s writing their yearly goals—and apparently I’ve succumbed to a sharing mood—I’ll join the convo:

Goal 1: Publish Crusade Across Worlds, Book 4 of Arizal Wars.

Goal 2: Market/learn to market/pay someone to market/rent a blimp with the book’s title and fly it around book conventions. Or do all four.

Goal 3: Enter more competitions/anthologies/ get my writing out there.

Goal 4:  Go to another writing/reading convention and make friends/connections. Either will do.

Goal 5:  Actually reach my Goodreads reading goal of 25 books (I’m feeling more optimistic about this one).

Goal 6: Learn to play Hallelujah on the keyboard I’ve been neglecting. (Dad, I’m finally making use of this gift. Only three years late!)

Goal 7: Keep up the positivity / continue to say no to stress and worry. They solve nothing.

I’m sure there are more goals I want to achieve but I’ll figure them out as I go. Plus, seven seems like an attainable number and as I’d like to reach each finish line, I’ll start with these. What about you guys? Anything you want to accomplish in 2016? Are you going to join modern society with social media a bit more like me? What do you visualize for yourself for the next twelve months?