I'm In Another Tournament!

Happy Friday!


I'm peeking back in on my hiatus to say I am participating in the second Black Girl Gamers Apex Legends GameFace Tournament hosted by Benefit Cosmetics!



This year, I'm in Team MeMeDe, and I've gotten some good practice in! I hope to do better than have my captain carry me all 6 games haha. If you want to watch, the tournament will be live on the BGG Twitch Channel at approximately 3:40PM EST with two Get Ready With Me segments, followed by the big game at 5:00PM. I love to get the chance to play with the BGG, and here's to more tournaments in the future!

On Hiatus

Happy Thanksgiving! Don't stuff yourselves. 


I might as well make it official: I will be on hiatus for the rest of the year. See you in 2023 when I'm refreshed and ready to post again!

VOTE VOTE VOTE

 

Happy Monday!

Please remember to vote tomorrow. Our country is finally falling off the broken bones it was built on, and we don't need to save it. We need to fix it. Many states have made it harder for certain groups to vote, and there are intimidaters monitoring the drop-off boxes in other locations, but do not let that deter or scare you. This will be one of the most important elections in our history. Human rights are at stake. Climate change is at stake. The future of these "United" States is at stake.

October Review

 Well, I definitely missed last Friday, so I guess I can double up this time!

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It's the last Friday of October, and I know I've said before that I need these months to slow down. It feels like there aren't enough MINUTES in the day, let alone hours, to get things done nowadays.

One thing about being on a computer all week for work is that I don't want to be on it when I'm at home. Of course, this doesn't bode well for writing or (as you can see) blogging. I really have to push through that, especially for the new year. The commute really is taking a toll on me, though. I have to get up an hour earlier than I'm used to just to ride the bus to work (to not only save on gas but to not pay for parking in the City of Wilmington). If I'm lucky, I sleep on both trips to and from, but that doesn't factor in loud people and lead-foot drivers. I can't wait for our relocation. Even though it's not much closer, taking a bus would mean taking TWO to get to the new building, and it's not in Wilmington, so I'll be driving, which will give me back an hour of sleep; plus I'll get home sooner. Also, though this is also new and challenging work, I'm definitely still pining for a job that leans more to my writing abilities and nothing else. On the bright side, with the QA testing I've had the privilege to do these past couple of months, I can add that onto my resume for experience.

I've been looking at what I've written so far in Divided Princess, and I'm not satisfied with one of the chapters I've reworked. I guess I need to re-rework it back to what it was, but I moved it in the first place to make a fuller chapter for Cyan. It's still short, so it didn't work how I needed it to anyway. Maybe I'll give him more to do in the chapter so I can fix the issues. Part of my goal with this book is to show what a regular life looks like for these characters, at least for a short time (wink). I can delve a little deeper into that for Cyan. But I really can't wait to get back to writing new-new material in this book. Things have been coming together in my mind so tightly that I once yelled about it in my bathroom, and my sister asked if I was okay. haha

Hopefully I'll be back into the swing of things in November, though a lot of things happen that month, too. I'm still trying to decide if I want to do NaNoWriMo. If I can get this first part of DP fixed, I'll have more motivation to do it. We'll see.

Black Author Spotlight: Pura Lux

 

Happy Hallows!

It is the first Friday of October, which means it's time for another Black Author Spotlight! The goal of this segment is to highlight black authors who are often marginalized and ignored in the publishing industry. Black writers usually turn to self-publishing--an already densely populated industry--to have their stories seen, and it is said that we have to work twice as hard to get half of what our white counterparts have. Hopefully, shining a little light on these authors will help to signal boost the work they are putting out there.

Today, I am highlighting Pura Lux.


Pura Lux is an amazing poet I met while at Florida State University. She is from Homestead, Florida, and  I believe she now lives a little more inland, so gratefully, she was safe from Hurricane Ian! She writes the most surreal, ethereal, and the rawest words I've ever had the privilege to read. Though she's quite nervous to share her work to the masses, she uses Instagram to post her musings backed by pretty graphics that sometimes include her lovely face! I'm still waiting patiently for her slam book *ahem*, but for now, scroll through her feed to read her beautiful words!

Follow Pura Lux on Instagram!

Quarterly Goals

 

It is the last Friday of September, which is a 5th Friday, so that means it is time to look at my quarterly goals!

I actually had a dream one of my friends from high school who also wrote a book series asked why I wasn't at a(n imaginary, because it was in my dream) book festival. I think it was Kitty Gang, and if it was I'm laughing. That is a term fans of BTS use for Park Ji-min. I told him I didn't know about it but also that I can't do any promotion until January because I'm technically still on contract. On that note, the countdown is ON. But that's for next quarter.

I also just realized I skipped July's 5th Friday because it was my birthday month. So, I have to look back at April's quarterly goals. I had only read 6 books then, and I'm at 11 now, one away from my adjusted Goodreads goal. I had the week off, and I wanted to read more, but I think I slept more than anything the first three days. I guess I needed it. Then, I caught up on some of my DVR and played a couple of video games. I'll get back to reading on the bus this coming week, and especially tomorrow, because it's football season.

The last quarterly post, I said I planned to publish Divided Princess by Winter next year...I mean, I guess it's still possible, but I'm only a third of the way done with it at the moment. Maybe I will do NaNoWriMo so I can work on more scenes, even if they're not in any particular order. We'll see. I actually just moved a scene or two around, and whereas I said I had 20 chapters in the first part, I merged a couple of chapters, and I also think I miscounted, so now there are 17. I'm still reading through, fixed some continuity, and making sure things make sense overall. The first few chapters are establishing what Jonnie and Cyan have been up to the past year, so diving more into their personalities and dynamic is one of the primary goals.

Ew, in April, I had that job interview for a proofreader that didn't pay anything. Fortunately, in that same post, I started doing freelance work with my sister's friend's company, and I'm now on their roster for proofreading projects when needed. I also did QA for the first time, and I liked it. We just finalized that project, so hopefully this will lead to more frequent work with them. I go back into the office Monday, and the only thing I'm dreading is the early wake up. I'm enjoying the job right now. Once we relocate, only a few months away now, I'll gain an hour of sleep back. I can endure. But I do want to be a full-time proofreader, whatever that looks like.

Tomorrow, I plan to continue my staycation vibes, but I hope that everyone in the path of the hurricane(s) is somewhere safe and with some semblance of power. Be careful out here! I saw a video where someone ordered UberEats, so also just be mindful and EAT WHAT IS IN YOUR HOUSE during storms!

Anyway, see you next month!

September Review

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Welcome to Fall!

September has been a pretty okay month. I've been taking the bus to work, so I have a chance to read more. I cut my book goal in half for the year when I realized I wasn't going to reach 2 books per month. I might get in more than 12 this year, though, so I'll try 24 next year. I'll be on vacation next week, so I plan on sitting and reading, reading the first part of DP, and catching up on shows I've started and have yet to finish.

The job is going very well. With the whole department full of new people, we're all learning together, so my productivity has been higher than ever in any State job. haha The commute is draining, but we'll be moving a little further south early next year, so I won't have to get up before 6am to try to catch the bus. It's only 8-minute difference from one building to the other, but the new building would require too many buses, and I spend too much time checking routes and times for ONE bus every in-office day (anxiety is a bitch). Freelance-wise, I haven't received Fiverr requests for a long time, and Twitter won't let me send the Tweet to promote it for some reason. I'll try again soon. My other freelance proofreading work went very well this past summer. I'm finishing up a project this coming week, and hopefully I can work with the company again soon.

On another note, I'm going to cancel the Patreon. I know it's only been a few months, but it's not getting any hits, and I'm the kind of person who has no motivation to do things if no one is interested in it. I tried to hold out, but trying to drum up content for a patron who literally lives with me is disheartening. I can just tell her my updates. Maybe I can try again later when I have more engagement, but not right now.

Oh shoot, there's a 5th Friday this month. As usual, I will look back on my last goals, see what I accomplished, and also post what my goals for the next quarter will be. I'm excited for the end of the year, because 2023 means I will be free to start hyping, promoting, and SELLING Fractured Princess again. I can't wait, and I hope you can't either.

Enjoy the weekend!

September Writing Update

 


We're going to be in 2032 if we blink too long!

It's the THIRD Friday of September, can you believe it? Not only does that mean we are a few days away from my favorite season, but it also means that it's time for a writing update!

So last month, I mentioned that I finished the first part of Divided Princess. I started the first chapter of the second part. I did one major revision to it, because I brought in a character earlier than they were needed, and it was getting in the way by my forgetting they were there haha. I need them later, so I'll put them back in then. It just makes sense.

I'm going to pause the writing and read the first part back to see how it all feels. I think that will also help me with the next few chapters before I get to where I need to go in the story. One thing I do want by the end of the series is for there to be less crying haha. Jonnie cried a LOT in the first book. Of course, she went through a lot of grieving in that book, too, so it should be understandable. I just want NO tears from her by the third book, if possible haha. We'll see how that goes. 

In other news, I'm going to Kensington (Northeast Philly) tomorrow to meet MultiMind for her book signing! I featured her in my Black Author Spotlight back in January, and her hustle is so inspiring. I can't wait to be able to promote FP again. She's given me so much knowledge about self-publishing and has helped me in this journey so much, I can't thank her enough.

I need to try to record some Patreon videos today, one for last month and one for this, and I'm also supposed to be working (what else is new?), so I'll cut this here. Have a good weekend!

Weekly Words: Deathless Divide by Justina Ireland

 Happy Friday!

It is the 2nd Friday of the month, and that means I share with you what I am reading or writing, and I have successfully finished the book I'd been lazily reading since April and a whole comic book saga (The Dark Phoenix Saga, which was hilariously bad, but nostalgia), and have started a web series as well as a new book! And by new, I mean another book, because I bought it December 2020.

Justina Ireland's Deathless Divide, the sequel to Dread Nation, returns us to post-slavery, zombie-riddled America with Jane McKeene, zombie fighter extraordinaire, and this time, we also get to look through the eyes of her fellow fighter and former rival Katherine Devereaux as the girls try to get to California a la Oregon Trail...with zombies (they're not really taking the Oregon Trail, but could you imagine!).

This might be one of my favorite covers. Some covers with the characters on them tend to miss the mark, and these two really bring to life Jane and Kate for me, except Kate is described as light enough to pass for white, but that's the only difference. I can imagine her being out in the sun would give her this complexion. But anyway, the juxtaposition of their clothes also enhances it for me. Jane dresses to fight. Kate dresses to remain a lady. I do think it's funny, where I've gotten so far, that she keeps cutting off pieces of her petticoats to clean things. She's resourceful, I'll give her that.

I just started reading this on Tuesday, so I haven't run into any more shamblers (what they call zombies), but getting to see Kate's POV, we do get to read more about her ace/aro leanings. Seeing what Jane goes through with her on/off beau Jackson, Kate expressly says she will never feel that kind of push-pull and would never even sign up for it. It's great to see.

If you haven't read Dread Nation yet, I highly recommend it, and I don't even like zombies. I definitely remember yelling in fear reading the first book, so I expect nothing less with this one.

Here is the blurb:

After the fall of Summerland, Jane McKeene hoped her life would get simpler: Get out of town, stay alive, and head west to California to find her mother.

But nothing is easy when you're a girl trained in putting down the restless dead, and a devastating loss on the road to a protected village called Nicodemus has Jane questioning everything she thought she knew about surviving in 1880's America.

What's more, this safe haven is not what it appears - as Jane discovers when she sees familiar faces from Summerland amid this new society. Caught between mysteries and lies, the undead, and her own inner demons, Jane soon finds herself on a dark path of blood and violence that threatens to consume her.

But she won't be in it alone.

Katherine Deveraux never expected to be allied with Jane McKeene. But after the hell she has endured, she knows friends are hard to come by - and that Jane needs her, too, whether Jane wants to admit it or not.

Watching Jane's back, however, is more than she bargained for, and when they both reach a breaking point, it's up to Katherine to keep hope alive - even as she begins to fear that there is no happily-ever-after for girls like her.

 

What are you reading this month?

Black Author Spotlight: PYIF

 


Happy Friday!


It is the first Friday of SEPTEMBER, and we can freak out about that later. It is time for another Black Author Spotlight! The goal of this segment is to highlight black authors who are often marginalized and ignored in the publishing industry. Black writers usually turn to self-publishing--an already densely populated industry--to have their stories seen, and it is said that we have to work twice as hard to get half of what our white counterparts have. Hopefully, shining a little light on these authors will help to signal boost the work they are putting out there.

Today, I am highlighting Allen "PYIF" (Push Your Imagination Further) Greene.


This author is actually very near and dear to me: he's one of my cousins! We come from a very artistic family, from music to illustrating to writing, we are very right-brained.

PYIF is a sci-fi light novelist who is finally actively pursuing his dream toward publishing. I've had the pleasure of reading his first few draft pages, and I think readers will be in for a treat!

PYIF has created a GoFundMe to help with art commissions and copyright buyouts. Please support if you can! He's almost halfway there!

Follow PYIF on Instagram!


________________________________________________________________________________


If you are a Black author who would like to be in the spotlight, email me the following information at debreneebyrd@gmail.com


Name or Pen Name

Genre

Website/Blog

Social Media handles

Book (if any) and where to buy

Permission to use photos

August Review

 

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It is the last Friday of August. Kids are starting to go back to school, and I am one month into my new job. It's close to an hour commute, so I switch between taking the bus and driving on the days I work in-office. I get to telecommute Wednesdays and Fridays, so I get some semblance of rest between the tiresome driving. Our office is relocating next year about 7 miles south, but there's also going to be an office down the street from me, so maybe I can beg my way into there one day a week. We'll see.

My sister and I are preparing to amp up our housing search before anything else breaks down in this one. We had to replace our whole HVAC system last month, a highly unexpected cost. When we sell, we'll be able to pay off the loan we had to take out. We're looking at renting, because we don't want to live together forever, but the market is not for buyers or renters right now. Adulting is highly overrated.

I finally finished Black Leopard Red Wolf, and oh my God, what a story. Figuratively, I can't wait for the next book, which I think is out (*looks* yes, it came out in February), but mentally, I need a break from the density and rawness of Marlon James's writing. The action and the dialogue were my favorite parts of the story. Overall, it is not a happy one, but how many epic fantasies really are?

I officially finished the first part of Divided Princess, the sequel to Fractured Princess. (The books are split into three parts as a nod to my old Final Fantasy games that were three discs on Playstation One.) I had written "Book Two" much earlier in what I had been writing, but the scene I completed this week felt much more like a suspenseful ending. Whereas the first book has 15-16 chapters per part, so far Book One of Divided Princess has 20. A few are short, because Cyan talks a lot more this book. What does a Watchman do when his Watch no longer needs him for protection but is still his baby sister? Little things like that. I like getting to explore his mind more. He's my favorite character.

For the rest of the month, I plan to finish The Bellas' memoir that I started some time last year, do some more writing, get my next two Patreon posts ready, and slide into September excited for whatever will come. See you there!

August Writing Update



Happy Friday!

It is the third week of August, and having been reading more this month has really gotten my motivation to write back up. The only thing I have to do now is figure out how everything I want to write will make sense in the grand scheme of The Shattered Chronicles. There's a really big scene I wrote forever ago that I realize won't make sense yet, and I either have to scrap it (don't want to!) or move it. The plight of being a writer.

I'm also trying to figure out if I'll ever have more exposure than I do. Trying to restart this book series, I know people usually say your first book isn't the one to get published. Of course, self-publishing breaks that rule for you. I love this story and the characters, and I want other people to love it too. People who aren't my friends and family. So once I'm able to actually promote it, maybe I'll get more followers and patrons.

On that note, I'm hoping my Patreon takes off. I have a tendency to quit things when they get ignored after a while. This can't be one of them, but it's also only been a couple of months. I need to be more patient. It's just hard.

All right, didn't mean to get bleak, so I'm going to go! Have a great weekend!

I'm in a GAMING Tournament!

Happy Friday!

The second Friday of the month, I usually share what I’m reading, but I’m still reading the book from a few months back. I’m reading it faster, though, so I expect to have a new book to share in September. Today, I’m sharing something special!

This Sunday beginning at 4:30pm EST, I will be in my very first Apex Legends Tournament with other Black Girl Gamers, hosted by Benefit Cosmetics!


The tournament will be featured on the front page of twitch.tv. You can view it on the BGG channel, where they will be having a “Get Ready With Me” makeup session before the tournament, and I will also be streaming on my channel, twitch.tv/debthebird. I haven’t done in months, so I need to make sure my stuff is set up. I hope you’ll join me. It’s going to be fun!