Updates – Feb 2017

Hi.  It’s been awhile.

Life has a habit of taking some unexpected turns sometimes.  And while I’ve been perpetually exhausted, physically and creatively, over the last year+, things are getting better.

I left St. Louis last September, under the best possible circumstances.  The family member that we left Los Angeles to help take care of is doing well.  In fact, she’s far beyond what we, and the doctors, could’ve ever expected.  While she’ll never be out of the woods with the type of cancer she has, and in many ways, it’s still just a waiting game, she’s been symptom-free and the cancer has been in remission since the chemo treatments, which finished up nearly a year ago.  I truly believe that we got to St. Louis just in time to help save her life.  She was in rough shape, but once she came to live with us, she improved dramatically.  I like to think that it was our intervention and care that got her through that really rough time and helped her get to where she is now.  Sometimes, these situations can bring out the worst in people.  But all in all, in was heartwarming to see how her family came together to help support her, even fight over her.  There was so much love, even if it wasn’t always expressed in the most constructive ways.  But people stepped up and we all got a good look at who we really are and what we’d be willing to do for others.  As for my fella’s uncle, the elderly, autistic one, he lived with us for the ten months that we were in St. Louis.  While we enjoyed having him around, his care was more than we could commit to for the next however long he lives.  Luckily, conflicting situations with other family members resolved, and he is settled back into the house he left, but with things running more smoothly.  We’re still involved in his care, although not as deeply, and he still calls us every day.

So, if I’m not in St. Louis, where am I, you ask?  Well, I’m living in Chicago.  I somehow managed to make it through the winter here.  I’m not a fan of the cold in any way, but I tried my best to not let it interfere with my life too much.  This meant forcing myself to leave my apartment from time to time.  I still had a bit of seasonal depression, however, which mostly zapped my ambition to do much of anything.  But I’m fighting it, and looking forward to consistent warm weather and some sunny skies.  I take public transportation everywhere if I’m not walking, maybe I’ll be able to get back to bus blogging at some point.  Chicago is a cool city, but California still has my heart, and I know I’ll be back there some day.

What brings me to Chicago, you ask?  Well, I’m going to grad school.  I’ve wanted to get a Master’s since before I finished my bachelors.  Of course, back then, I thought it’d be in psychology.  It’s not.  No, I lost my taste for psychology long ago.  It’s not in writing, either.  I still love writing and plan to continue, but the sad truth is that it doesn’t pay well if you’re not a very top author.  As much as I liked waitressing, it’s a lifestyle that’s best suited for Los Angeles.  No other city that I know of can compete.  Also, it’s mostly a young gal’s game, and while I’m not that old, it’s a physical job and I’m not sure I’d want to, or be able to, do it forever.  Thus, I’m getting a Master’s in Game Programming.  I thnk of it like this: I can still be an indie if I choose.  Video games, in my opinion, are a form of story-telling.  And by going into the programming side of things, I’m learning skills that I can apply to a vast array of possible jobs should the need arise.  No one ever said that you had to be a starving artist.  Hopefully, in a few years, I’ll have my degree and be able to put it to good use, and also have the funds to fund my various projects, including writing.

That’s not to say that you’ll have to wait years for new content from me.  At least I hope not.  I will have a new story with The Future Chronicles coming out at some point, the date is still TBD.  There’s a team in Austin working to turn my short story The Assistant into a short film.  I’m still, slowly, working on New Worlders.  I’ve also been revising book 2 of my Sleep Saga.  In fact, I’ve got a number of stories just sitting around, finished or in need of one more pass, just waiting for me to figure out what, exactly, to do with them.  Hopefully, I’ll figure that out soon.

As always, I’m going to say that I do want to start blogging again.  I do hope to do this, but I’ve made to many broken declarations of such to make promises.  There may be some video game related content on here from time to time, but I’m going to try to do something writing related for everything game related.  I’ll also categorize them appropriately.

I look forward to a continually brighter future.

Thanks for checking in ❤


Do me, yourself, and our world one favor, please.

This has been a rough week.  The country is divided, and on both sides most everyone seems angry, stressed, and worried.  I, personally, think that we have every reason to be.  But I’m not going to get into that here.  That isn’t what this website is for. However, I am enough of a Futurist at this point to be scared.  And so I 𝗮𝘀𝗸 just 𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝗳 𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗼𝗻 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱𝘀/𝘀𝗲𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝘁: take a minute to 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙠 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙬𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙨𝙤𝙣𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙮 𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙣𝙙. You don’t have to post it here, just 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗸 about it.
Don’t jump to conclusions or get defensive. I’m not saying you stand anywhere wrong. I just want you to consider, 𝘯𝘰𝘸, 𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘮𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵, where your personal lines are drawn. If the worst did happen, what will you put up with? It can be about anything, but here are some suggestions: What will you accept if someone does something to you or your freedoms? What will you accept about things done to others and their freedoms? What will you accept in our country and how its run?
Know yourself.
I ask you to do this because progress doesn’t happen instantly, it happens in degrees. The opposite is true as well. You may think it’s impossible things to get to a place where your line could ever be crossed. Maybe it is. Maybe not. But how can you know if you don’t draw that line to begin with? It’s comforting to think that the world will be what we want, but life hardly seems to have a habit of turning out right. Seeds are being planted everywhere, and who knows how you may feel in a year, two years, ten years?
But you know how you feel 𝗡𝗢𝗪. You say that you are not racist, that you are not sexist, that you are not homophobic, that you are not against women’s rights, that you are against corruption…
I urge you, if nothing else, draw your lines and 𝙍𝙀𝙈𝙀𝙈𝘽𝙀𝙍 them.
Thank you.

Writing Wednesday – Finding Balance in Content

Alright, so this is a bit of a movie review.  I just saw Suicide Squad and it made me think.
I’m just going to say it… not that bad. Actually entertaining mostly, and well acted. A lot of people have complained about the amount of Joker in it. I think it was just the right amount. There may have been one or two people that were unnecessary, and maybe low expectations help, but all in all, it was enjoyable.
There is one main issue that I had with the movie:

Continue reading

A Clockwork Heart



As she lay there, head on his chest, she heard the soft whirl of his artificial heart.  She could hear the mechanical sound of blood being pushed from one chamber to another via the automated valves.

As she listened, she realized how much she missed the sound his heart used to make.  The swoosh of a muscle slightly out of rhythm and the click it made at the end of a beat as it struggled to move the blood from one side to the other.  The sound that indicated a defect that nearly took his life.

She was grateful for his new heart and his continued health.  Yet there was something about prosthetic which made her feel uneasy.  Beyond anything else, she concluded that it must be the way it functioned.  It was smooth and calculated.  It was an even system unmatched by even the healthiest of hearts.

This new organ kept secrets  She missed the way her touch used to cause his heart to race and then listening to it pound and eventually calm after they had been intimate.  She used to be able to read him by listening to that heart.  Now, she could only guess at what he was feeling.

He placed a hand under her chin and lifted her face to his.  At first, she avoided eye contact, feeling guilty for her thoughts and irrationally worried that he’d somehow developed an ability to read her mind.

She couldn’t look away forever, and the longer she tried, the worse she felt.  She met his gaze and peered deep.  As she met his eyes, she instantly knew that he had no inkling of her longing.

The longer she looked, the more she realized she didn’t need his heart to tell her what he felt.  She had his eyes.  Were those to ever be in question, she had his touch.  She had the soft breath from his mouth on her cheek.  She had a sensation that she couldn’t quite name.  A warmth that projected from him to her.  A sense of calm and love that could only be felt with the deepest parts of her.

He leaned and kissed her mouth sweetly.  She let the emotion overwhelm her until her heart was racing enough for the both of them.


***The social anxiety part of me says that I need to put a disclaimer before the following letter because, to me, it sounds so serious.  Don’t worry, no one died, and I’m not quitting writing.  I don’t want to make anyone feel bad. This letter is just something that I needed to write.***


I’d address this letter to you, but I know it won’t be read by you.  I can’t claim that I don’t think about you often.  And I miss you more than words can say.  Most of me understands that I’ll never have you back, but part of me still believes that I can.

I often find my mind drifting to the past.  I think about the times when everything seemed great.  Happiness seemed abundant, and the future was full of infinite possibilities, nearly all of them good.

It’s hard to imagine a good future without you.  I try, and I can almost see the promise of what could be ahead, but mostly, it’s just a silhouette.  I still have the hopes and dreams that I had before, but they seem murky now.  They are muted and abstract.  The past is clear, but the future has become utterly uncertain.

Then there are times that I’m mad at you.  Perhaps you were naive.  There were several times when you were ungrateful.  The thought that what was could last forever clouded thoughts and judgement, and so much time was wasted.  Sure, you did good things, but I can’t help but think you could’ve done more.

Even when I have these thoughts, even when I feel a burning anger, I still long for those days.  I try to remember all of the things, good and bad, about you.  I hold tight to the memories of events and feelings.  As time passes, they fade, and I lose my sense of you.  Just as you disappeared from my life, I fear you are dissapearing from my memory.

I’ve thought of trying again.  Of going back, and seeing what, if anything, I could recapture.  Sometimes it feels like I want to go back more than anything.

But I can’t.

Even if I tried to recreate the circumstances that led to you, it wouldn’t work.  I’m different now.  And no matter how close I got to getting everything back the way it was, it would never really be the same.  It may be close, but in my memory, it’s perfect.  And no reality could ever live up to perfection.

I have to let you go.  My brain tells me that the future will be okay, that life goes on.  I know it does.  But holding on to you is holding me back.  Maybe I can’t make out the details of my future because I’m so desperately trying to hold on to the past.  If I’m to ever find peace, I know that I have to allow the fog of time wash over me and take your memory from my mind.

I’ll never regret you.  At the moment, you seem like you were the best part of my life so far.  I’ll never forget the things you taught me or what you showed me about myself.  That part of you lives on in my heart, and time can’t touch it there.

I deeply hope that I never have to write this letter again.  There’s every possibility that I will.  I’ve been through this time and again, but I’ve never felt so impacted by it before.  Perhaps the next letter will be a love letter.  Or a goodbye to this part of my life that seems full of hopelessness and gloom.  Maybe my next letter will be the one I write when everything gets back on track.

I hope so.

Until then, I’ll try to remember to let you go.

Goodbye, Past Me.

Present Me

I found Kara

I was looking at stock photos, and I happened across this one.  And the first thing that went through my mind was: that’s Kara from my novel Otherworlders.  Or at least pretty close.  Of course, as with any story, the reader tends to imagine what’s right for them and their interpretation of the story.  Which, in my opinion, is the best way to read.  But this is a little peak at what was going through my head when I envisioned her (even though I found this long after).

Portrait of post apocalypse girl which shows a gesture to the shot. Woman in protective suit and mask

Writing Wednesday – Get Published


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Last Week’s WW: Resolutions


See that cover?  It’s got my fella‘s name on it.  This will be the first thing that he’s published, and I’m very proud of him.  But I didn’t just come here to brag.  I came to offer a little advice: Publish!

It’s not an easy thing to do.  Emotionally, any way.  Publishing a work means letting it go.  It’s putting it out into the world, hoping no one hates it, but accepting the possibility that they might, and being okay with it.  It’s understanding that something you created isn’t yours anymore.  It’s splitting open your chest and placing it’s contents out for all the world to see.  It’s you at your most vulnerable.

It’s also you at your strongest.  It’s showing the world and yourself what you can do.  It’s proving that you’ve created something from nothing.  It’s wearing your iron armor and walking otherwise naked into the streets.  You’re strutting your stuff, and you want everyone to look.

Okay, fine, we’re bleeding and naked and we feel okay about it, hopefully.  It still doesn’t answer the question: How do I publish?

There are many answers to this question.  Of course, it’s starts with having something finished.  Something that’s hopefully been revised a few times and edited and ready to make that march into the world.  Once you have that, you have options.

You can hold out, wait for an agent, spend the time to craft the perfect query letter, revise it if needed, and try again until you get the elusive traditional publishing deal.

You can go for instant gratification.  You can hop on to Amazon right now, upload your writing, your cover, and pick out some key words, and in a few days, you’ll have a self-published work.  This option used to be frowned upon, but times have changed.  It is a legitimate way to get started, with even the Big 5 going after books that originally started as self-pub.  Some people are making real money this way.  Of course, others aren’t selling any copies.  There are no guarantees in writing.  No get-rich-quick, fail-proof scenarios.  And self-publishing takes a lot of work.  You have to get your story edited, you have to get a cover, you have to do the marketing.  Discoverability is, in my opinion, the biggest hurdle for self-published authors.

You can enter contest.  I’ve enjoyed entering Writers of the Future.  I’m sure there’s more like it out there.  Google is your friend.

There are also magazines.  Lightspeed is a popular one, and I know a lot of people who have been published in it.  There’s also Asimov, Clarskworld, Analog… the list goes on and on.  Check out their websites, see when they’re accepting submissions, and have something ready for when it’s open.

You can also do what I did: cyberstalk the authors you like, find out what they’re doing, and try to be a part of it.  I joke, but it’s also kind of true.  I followed Hugh Howey, who led me to Matthew Mather, and I think it’s from those two that I found a lot of my indie-author friends and even The Future Chronicles.

How’d I get published in The Future Chronicles?  I followed and I asked.  And then, when the opportunity came along, I submitted a writing sample.  That was the bulk of it.  I also supported them however I could.  it’s always good to give back to the writing community.  Those connections go a long way.  And now, my fella, based on his writing sample, interest, and connections, has a story published in ALT History 102, which is published by Windrift Books also.

So, don’t be afraid.  Pick a path, or try out few and see what works.  What’s important is that you get out there.  If you have a story, go for it.  Or write a story with the ultimate goal of publishing in mind.  You can do it.  You should do it.

Writing Wednesday – Resolutions

Last WW: Make Them Keep Reading

We’re already 13 days into 2016.  They say that a new year is a new chance. That it’s an opportunity to reset your life, or at least work on improving yourself in the ways that somehow eluded you the year before.

Many people pledge to eat better, exercise more, get a better job, and even write more often… Those are all great things to strive for.  Most resolutions are.

We’re just about 2 weeks in.  Many people at this point think that they have either lived up to your New Year’s Resolutions or already blown them.  I believe that way of thinking will only set you up for failure.

If you’re keeping up with a resolution, that’s awesome.  Good job.  However, once you get it into your head, “well, I did it” then you might have a problem keeping that momentum going.  You might find that later you’re saying, “well, I did it for awhile.”  Then you’re right back where you started, not doing the thing you wanted to do.

If you’ve already messed up your resolution, then I have good news: tomorrow is another day!  You don’t have to wait for a new year to come around to do the things you want to do.  Depending on your goal, every day, every hour, every week… is an opportunity to get back on track.

Did you want to lose weight and eat a whole pizza by yourself?  Well, you’ll have to eat again.  And that’s an opportunity to do what you set out to do.  If you want to write more, write more.  Doesn’t matter if you’ve been going strong for weeks or haven’t typed a word.  If you want it, you’ll find a way to do it.

Don’t let resolutions trip you up.


December Update

I’m pretty sure my existence has turned into a lifetime movie:

A writer living the good life in Los Angeles must move back to her hometown to take care of a cancer riddled family member. Her everything is tested as she must bring a mentally disabled old man into her home, return to working a 40 hour a week job, reconnect with old friends and family, face challenges at every turn, and try to make a life in a place that she left long ago…

It’s definitely a drama.  I miss the good ol’ days when I lived a situation comedy.