Welcome to my author blog, this being my first post I wanted to do something introductory. I’m excited to be here and I sincerely hope you enjoy my ramblings! These might include but are not limited to: science fiction, fantasy, psychological thrillers, art, good/provocative books, mental health, the writing process, my own writing journey, which includes info about my first time novel (currently in the editorial process), my pet parrots, good food, outdoor adventures, and travel. My hope with this blog is to connect with you, inspire, motivate, and encourage. Those being my goals in life anyway, this blog is no exception. Ta-Ta for now!
You can’t witness magic when your attention is split into so many pieces,
the mind turns into the snow of a television screen,
in a state of slumber, focused on nothing at all.
You can only transcend time and space
when you sit quietly and watch the synchronizations.
I turn my head and look at the oak tree across the street,
an acorn falls into the grass, quickly plucked up by a squirrel
that gets thrown off path by a swerving car,
darting into my line of sight, reminding me
to pay attention, that there is a rhythm to everything.
I lost this, the ability to transcend, to see the ripple effects of magic
when I sunk into my couch cushions all these months,
staring at the artificial alchemy produced by my television,
dividing my attention over and over and over again,
waiting for life to pick up speed again.
I haven’t done a blog post in a while, well because so much has happened. My mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer recently, I became pregnant in January, I finished my second novel, I transitioned to working from home, and not to mention the pandemic, and the black lives matter movement that is happening.
The world has changed so much in such a short amount of time! I am now just coming up for air, it feels like. This got me thinking, as writers and artists in general, we have the potential to reach and influence a lot of people. We create these platforms for ourselves through social media and marketing and can potentially engage thousands of followers. What a powerful thing that is, to have your words/images recieved by so many. That has made me ponder more and more, what is my duty, what is my obligation to society with my art during times like these?
Do we as artists solely focus on what we are good at and what we enjoy or do we expand out to help society as a whole in a more direct way? How can I use my voice and platform to make a difference? Well that’s a complicated question. Writers and artists have always done this, used their influence to enact change, especially during times it was most needed/ would be most influential. This feels like one of those times, not that I have lived through many to know.
There are probably many ways I can do that, whether that is through delivering a message in my novel through dialogue or action, representing a more diverse and complex set of characters, or shedding light on important topics relevant to this day in age through my storyline. I believe something needs to be done.
I would love some feedback from other writers/artists on this post. Tell me what are your thoughts on this? How are you making a difference through your influence and platform?
The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne: A psychological thriller full of suspense, about the amazing story of a girl living in captivity and her attempts to escape her psychopathic father. The author has an amazing knowledge of wilderness survival, and the landscape.
Trent Foster and The Council of 10 by Matt Whiteside : A SCIFI adventure of epic proportion with great character development and tons of humor! You really get behind the main character and root for him, as he rises above addiction and various personal challenges, to save the freakin’ universe! This book had a lot of unexpected moments, especially the ending!
Dark Prison by J.M. Mister (Part of the Dark Tower series): A spicy romance with a lot of mystery. I like how the story touches on a lot of themes, exploring love, the effects of trauma, and the complexity of the parent/child relationship. This is not your standard romance novel, it goes much deeper, but make no mistake, it is steamy!
Knuckle Supper by Drew Stepek: A vampire/ gangster horror novel about a heroine addicted vampire and vampire gangs. It’s grungy, terrifying and not for the faint of heart, but at its core it is a story of deep humanity and sacrifice. Also, Part of the proceeds of the sale of the book go to the Children of The Night Foundation.
Infinity’s Mirror by Matt Whiteside: A surprising fantasy novel told in alternating perspectives from the protagonist who is a writer and his book’s main protagonist! What a unique premise. I like the story because it feels relatable, the writer is an underdog who is throwing himself into his work, despite being surrounded by nay-sayers.
On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft by Stephen King: An absolutely fantastic book on writing and Stephen King’s childhood and journey as a writer. This had so many great tips that I use now in my own writing every day. If you are looking for an inspirational book on writing, look no further!
Can You See Anything Now? By Katherine James: This is in the genre of Christian fiction. Not a genre I normally read in, but the characters are so rich and nuanced and the writing itself is just incredible and unique. You get to know the characters so well, you really feel like you know them.
Still working on…
Coffee with Poe by Andrew Barger: About the life of Edgar Allan Poe told from his perspective. The cool thing about this story is that you really get a sense of who Edgar Allan Poe was as a person without having to read history books. You get to see what a remarkable individual he was and it is inspiring as a fellow writer to read how he was faced with almost every obstacle imaginable, and yet kept writing.
The Power of Yet by Michael Benjamin: A motivational book, really a self-help book, with an interesting narrative about a young girl who grows her abilities and confidence to overcome a lot of psychological obstacles. I think this book can be useful for a lot of people both personally and professionally. I can really relate to it so far, with my fear of public speaking.
I realize that I haven’t posted in months… It’s funny how you can be so habituated to doing something regularly and then the habit get away from you when life becomes, well, hectic. I love that coming home feeling that I get, when I return to something that I know is good for my soul. Writing these posts, and more importantly, taking the time to process and become aware of what direction my life is moving and why, is very important to me. I know it sounds stupid that I am doing this at the end of the year and on New Year’s day at that, but as the saying goes, better late than never. It is never too late to stop, take stock of your life, and make a conscious choice to move in the direction that you want. It should not be just a end of the year/ beginning of the new year kind of thing, but whenever you make that choice, know that it is important, and a sign of growth, and that you are on the right path! I’ll be posting on my favorite books of 2019 soon. I’m super excited to share that with you guys! Happy New Year and happy reading and happy following your bliss, whatever that may be for you!
Today is my book’s Birthday! August 1st. It’s a sci-fi thriller and my debut novel. It’s available in digital format on Amazon right now and the paperback version will be available in a few days. I have included a link below so you guys can check it out!
I did want to announce my book, but I also wanted to make a post about my editorial journey and what I’ve learned. I’ve made a post before about the process of writing and submitting my book start to finish, but not about what it was actually like working with an editor and passing my manuscript back and forth, molding it into a refined statue from a lump of clay. Okay, hopefully was not just a lump of clay when I began the process, but that’s how it felt like to me by the time I was done. It was a lump of clay with big potential to be something more. When my manuscript first got accepted my head was spinning. I thought that it won’t be long before it’s out in stores. I’m a fast/hard worker and it can’t be more than a few months, right? Boy, was I wrong. This being my first novel, I had no idea what I didn’t know. First it was the lack of transitions in my story, then it was making the dialogue more believable, then it was cutting back the detail so the story-line became more clear. Then it was figuring out the motivations of my characters to make their actions more believable. And then, it was a lot of spellcheck/grammar editing. I lost track of how many times I read through it, each time with a different editorial intention in mind. Finally now after almost 9 months of editing, I have produced a diamond out of the rough. I am glad for it too, because maybe, just maybe the next time around will be a bit easier, as I have learned so much about the book writing/editorial process.
In the Ocean
I love the feeling I still get, stepping out onto the beach,
cradled by the vast horizon of sky and water, the hot sand warming my feet, like unconditional love.
Lunging into the sea, I push past the breakers, and out deep to where I bob gently back and forth with the rolling waves.
I gather seashells, plucking them from the dark sand as the briny foam pulls away, fascinated with the fossils of life cast out.
The older I get, the less I want to be one of those spectators, that lay on the sand and just watch the water.
I need to be in it, to dig my fingers deep into the wet sand, pull out handfuls of sea shards and branchy green weeds, colonies of hermit crabs, excavate the galaxies that exist where I can’t breathe, like some sort of deep sea goddess.
I need to feel the slap of the crested wave against my chest, the emboldened spirit of the ocean at high tide, peel the jellyfish tentacles off my limbs.
The sea is unapologetically itself, and I take comfort in that.
Here’s a new, spur of the moment poem I wrote today in honor of mental health awareness month. Just felt a little burst of inspiration.
Just Wait for it to Melt
It’s easy to believe in things we can touch, we can see, like when we fall and spilt a knee, see the blood flowing.
Yet we ignore the dull ache in our chest, in our mind, which crescedos until we lose our will to live.
People believe in cells replicating, because someone saw them squirming under a microscope,
but fail to catch the resulting cancer because it was just an annoying pain that wouldn’t go away.
We believe in the gravity of a slap across the face, we feel the burn, we kick them out,
but are quick to dismiss a look of warmth in a friend’s eyes and question if we are loved.
If the mind is abstract and a thought is just a cloud
then why am I struggling to see the signs as I drive up this foggy mountain road?
In her sadness she kept her mouth shut because she was told that feelings ebb and flow and therefore sadness is like snow, just wait for it to melt.
I wanted to do a blog post in honor of mental health awareness month. It’s something that I, as a mental health therapist am always thinking about. In fact, it even permeates my writing.
It’s hard not to think about how the mental impacts the physical and how closely they are intertwined. However, it seems like there is still so much stigma around talking about mental health issues and going to therapy. We, as a society need to break the stigma and speak up about these issues.
As an artist I feel like I am drawn to doing so through painting and writing. That’s why the characters in my book often struggle, and openly so, with mental health issues. I want to normalize it.
When I think about what people take seriously and what they don’t, I think it really comes down to how tangible something is. If you hurt your leg and you see an open wound, blood flowing out, you panic, think, “Wow, this is bad.” But then, people ignore internal pain, sometimes to the point of ridiculousness… to the point of internal bleeding, late stages of cancer, or suicide. Why is it that we have to see something to believe it?
It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post. I’ve had my nose to the grindstone for many months now. I finally have a break from things as my first book is in the beta reader stage and I have officially finished my artwork for the cover (in the designer’s hands now). Now I get to focus on book II and play around with new ideas. I can’t tell you how good it feels to work on developing my creative feelers again!
I always feel that the change in weather has an uncanny influence on my creative output. I live in North Carolina where the weather generally goes from one extreme to another in a matter of days… I kid you not… it was like 75 degrees one day this month, and then it snowed the next day. Someone could write a science fiction novel about our weather patterns… just saying.
But anyways, spring has sprung, and my ideas are flowing, so I feel like it’s my responsibility to capture as many of them as possible and take advantage of this influx of energy.
So folks, I just want to wish you all a happy spring and happy creating! It is the season for it. 🙂
By they way, here is the acrylic painting I created to represent my story. Pretty soon I should have a couple cover designs I can post and have you guys vote on. Woot!
Here is an excerpt from my scifi/psychological thriller novel “Two Way Mirrors.” I wanted to share it with you today. I’m making some real headway in round two of book edits, and feel confident enough to post this. Enjoy and please tell me what you think! Also, here is an unfinished painting of a book cover illustration I’m working on. Thinking of changing the faces to blue to blend in more with the background.
The cool, salty ocean air nipped at her arms as she stood at the precipice of a towering cliff, looking down a steep drop to bright, almost transparent green water. Waves broke off into foam against large, grey boulders. The sun was shining high above her, and large white clouds drifted around an open, blue sky in vaguely familiar shapes. The faint smell of wisteria was in the air. She closed her eyes and smiled. This must have been her mind’s idea of paradise.
“Sara,” Dr. Shandi’s voice came through abruptly, shattering Sara’s sense of peace.
Then annoyance seeped in. For a moment Sara had completely forgotten she was in an office.
“Sara, now that you’re picturing a peaceful place in your mind, I want you to think about that girl. Try to find her. She will come to you.”
Sara looked around. The air was dry and the land around her arid, with haphazard patches of tall dune grass.
“Try calling out to her,” Dr. Shandi’s voice commanded from above.
“Little girl! Kid? Are you out here?” Sara yelled out, with uncertainty.
Sara walked away from the cliff and down a long dirt road, the red dusty earth cracking beneath her feet. Something blue caught her eye. A periwinkle ribbon whirled around in the air in front of her, then snagged on a piece of tall, dune grass. Sara went over to the ribbon and plucked it up.
“That’s my ribbon,” a soft voice popped up from behind her.
Sara jumped up and gasped. She turned around to find the same little girl, in the white, flowing dress. Her face was covered by a blue scarf tied strangely around her head, concealing everything but her eyes. Those eyes. They look so familiar… She took the ribbon from Sara’s hands, and before Sara could say anything, she swiftly turned and ran towards the cliff’s edge and jumped.