Quick September Writing Update


So just a quick update, because I haven't blogged in 3 weeks.

As I mentioned in the previous post, the new direction went very well! The majority of the second chapter was the scene I mentioned in that post (where I was worried I wouldn't be able to use it), so I am at the third chapter now. I was about to keep jumping into the action, but no, I need a little more regular time for Cyan and Jonnie (although, I did sneak in a bit of suspense in the second chapter). By the fourth chapter, I believe it will be time to get into the meat of the story, and with so much already written, I'm partially sure the rest of the writing will be done quickly. I won't declare a date, but things are looking up. I'm excited.

I, for sure, need to make at least a Quarterly Review post next week, so I'm going to start working on it now. haha See you then!

Weekly Words: Am Reading Mo Xiang Tong Xiu's Mo Dao Zu Shi


Open book that says "Weekly Words"

Well, happy September! Summer is basically over, and I've only been on the beach in San Pedro, Belize. Woe is me. I started August with a sinus infection and ended it with COVID, so I'm hoping for a slightly better September.

While sick, I spent this week rewatching Steven Universe. I love that show. But also, I started a new book, which I'm super excited about, because it's the basis for one of my other favorite shows, The Untamed on Netflix: Mo Dao Zu Shi by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu.

Book Cover: Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation 1. Mo Dao Zu Shi by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu. Two teenage Chinese boys in traditional feudal clothing in front of the full moon.

Resurrection and Revenge.

Wei Wuxian was once one of the most powerful men of his generation, a talented and clever young cultivator who harnessed martial arts and spirituality into powerful abilities. But when the horrors of war led him to seek more power through demonic cultivation, the world's respect for his abilities turned to fear, and his death was celebrated throughout the land.

Years later, he awakens in the body of an aggrieved young man who sacrifices his soul so that Wei Wuxian can exact revenge on his behalf. Though granted a second life, Wei Wuxian is not free from his first, nor the mysteries that appear before him now. Yet this time, he'll face it all with the righteous and esteemed Lan Wangji at his side, another powerful cultivator whose unwavering dedication and shared memories of their past will help shine a light on the dark truths that surround them.

I watched the show twice and started the manhua (Chinese version of anime) on Youtube, so I know this highlighted scene like the back of my hand, the first time the wild horse Wei Wuxian (right) went head-to-head with the very strict Lan Wangji (left). I'm 82 pages in at the moment, and so far, the Netflix show stays very true to the book, Chinese censorship laws notwithstanding. There's much more detail about the characters, of course, so we get an even more well-rounded image of them. There are even things I'm noticing in the story as a whole that I missed in the show.

The tv version of the story is a frame story, but in the book, it's written more like flashbacks. Either way, we start in the present and go back into the past to learn why exactly Wei Wuxian was summoned back to life: which was to discover a truth that his summoner uncovered and was ostracized for. We embark on a mystery filled with a little humor, what I expect (from the show) to be a lot of trauma and sadness, and fantastical romance that lives on Tumblr so prominently it's how I discovered the show in the first place. If you stumble upon any iteration of this story, I hope you love it as much as I do!

Monthly Review: It worked!


Black and white photo of woman writing in notebook
© Creative Commons Zero (CC0)

August is almost gone, and I've only been to a beach out of the country. I'm first world problems sad.

But on the bright side, I cracked my writer's block! As I said in my last writing update, I wanted to give Jonnie and Cyan a normal life for a little bit. Thus, I started over yet again, but when I did, I wrote a little over 4,000 new words! I'm so excited and pleased with this new first chapter. And on top of that, I get to use a scene I didn't think would fit into the story, but now it does! I was trying to figure out how to connect a major part of the plot, and now I know (almost) exactly how to do it!

Aside from catching up on my DVR and rewatching Futurama and now Steven Universe, that's really all I've done with the month. Next weekend, I hope to get back to practicing voice work so I can record this audiobook. I hope to have more on that soon. Also started reading a book I'm super excited about, so I'll talk about that next Friday! I know I threw out my schedule, but I mean, it'll be the first Friday, so why not do a classic Weekly Words post?

Have a great rest of August!

Writing Update: Man, I'm Stuck


This is a quick post so I can say I posted. Haha

But seriously, I'm a little stuck in my head on this sequel. As I've said before, I started from scratch after writing about two-thirds of it because I didn't like the direction it was going emotionally. But now the I've started over, I've been dragging and doubting if I should've. I haven't written as much as I did the first pass, most likely because I wrote SO MUCH that first pass.

The one thing I really wanted to do from the beginning was give Jonnie and Cyan time to live without struggle. I think that's part of the problem. I haven't let them do that. Does it make for a good opener, though? If I do it right, it just might. I just have to work on it.

I do know, which I've probably already said as well, that scenes/chapters from the first pass are needed for this one, so they weren't written in vain. They're just waiting for where they belong.

And last but not least, I don't necessarily need to plot the main story, but definitely the backstory that plays into it. It's so meaty, and I need to make sure I get it right. It CAN'T have any flaws if it's to hit the way I need it to. I'm still really excited about it, though. I hope y'all are too.

Birthday Shenanigans and Writing Update


Happy Friday!

It's the last week of Cancer Season, and I don't know where the time went, but I had a great birthday week! Last Saturday, I went to Salted Vines Winery down in Frankford, met an amazing singer who I plan to see again when she's there, and had some great food and wine with my family. Monday, I went to my favorite restaurant, Greene Turtle, with my friends. Wednesday was my birthday, so after I went to Starbucks for my free drink, haha, I went to the mall and ran up my credit card for the new FFVII remake, Funko Pops, some shirts, and shoes. Then, I came home and fiddled with my OBS to practice a stream (this sentence is hilarious) on Twitch. I made a couple mistakes that I can easily fix. The price is doing things myself. 

Did I write, though?? I did, but???

So, I updated some mid-series backstory and conversation that actually makes it on the story about sed backstory. I reread what I've written so far, and I do feel like something is missing between my first two chapters. I'm not wholly sure why, save a feeling like I'm escalating things too quickly. Then again, it's nowhere near as escalated as Contagion destroying Aterholt Manor, so I don't know what my problem is. This is the problem with being a pantser, though. I know how the story ends. It's just a matter of getting there.

Can I get book 2 written by the end of the year?? If I set my mind to it! I already have chapters and/or scenes from the first take that I'm going to incorporate into this take. I had literally finished the first two of three parts before I decided to start over, so the material is there. And as I said before this book is going to be longer than FP by a few chapters. I was going to say hundred pages, but no, I think just a few chapters. 

It can be done, as Grampa Joe sang.

Next week, I will be in Belize, so I will see y'all in August!

Weekly Words: Am Reading Sher Lee's Fake Dates and Mooncakes


Happy July!

It's my birthday month! As I venture into my last 30-oughth, I'm excited for the things I have planned the rest of this year. FP Take 3 has been an adventure, and I plan to ride it into the next book. But first, some easy reading!

This year, I'm trying to immerse myself in some more diverse reading and support my fellow authors of color. I'm starting with Sher Lee's Fake Dates and Mooncakes, a YA romance whose cover I absolutely love (CORGI!). The colors are vibrant and reminiscent of mooncakes, I believe. I can't wait to try some one day. Here is the blurb:

Dylan Tang wants to win a Mid-Autumn Festival mooncake-making competition for teen chefs—in memory of his mom, and to bring much-needed publicity to his aunt’s struggling Chinese takeout in Brooklyn.

Enter Theo Somers: charming, wealthy, with a smile that makes Dylan’s stomach do backflips. AKA a distraction. Their worlds are sun-and-moon apart, but Theo keeps showing up. He even convinces Dylan to be his fake date at a family wedding in the Hamptons.

In Theo’s glittering world of pomp, privilege, and crazy rich drama, their romance is supposed to be just pretend . . . but Dylan finds himself falling for Theo. For real. Then Theo’s relatives reveal their true colors—but with the mooncake contest looming, Dylan can’t risk being sidetracked by rich-people problems.

Can Dylan save his family’s business and follow his heart—or will he fail to do both?

There are some high stakes right out the gate, and I feel for Dylan. I also love his family so far. Also, Theo is pretty adorable. I don't read contemporary romance that often, but I'm almost never disappointed. I can't wait to see how Dylan and Theo's story plays out.

What are you reading this month?

Monthly Review & Quarterly Goals


© Creative Commons Zero (CC0)

It's been so long since I've had a monthly review, I even forgot what picture I was using. At this point, I'm not even going to say I didn't mean to miss three weeks. I'm just bad at keeping a schedule.

This has been a very eventful month for me! I released Fractured Princess at the end of May and had a very successful day at Dover Comic Con two weeks later. I was even surprised to meet people who had remembered me from the 2021 Comic Con and last year's, where I just handed out "Coming Soon" gift bags. I'm proud of myself for talking to people and coming up with an elevator pitch on the fly. A few people didn't know what Final Fantasy was, so it was pointless to use that all the time. The pitch definitely made some eyes light up. I loved to see it.

The day after Comic Con, I flew over to Nashville to watch my friend conduct his second annual Juneteenth Symphony. If you love symphonic music, please follow the Nashville African American Wind Symphony. They're going to do even bigger things in the future. I know it. Being in Nashville, first off, makes me never want to leave (I absolutely love it there), but seeing my friend do what he loves also makes me want to do so much more of the things I love, especially as a career. How I'll shift into that, we'll see, but I do not want to be a State worker forever. Could be a bit of near-40-life crisis talk emerging, but we'll see about that over the next 12 months as well. When I got home, I met with my cousin to help him do some plotting (pantser me? what?) for his novel. We were two very excited squirrels, but we got some work done! I love seeing how his story evolved, and he said my writing journey helped him do it, so that's a major bonus for me. If I could do something like that every day as my job, that would be ideal.

Shifting gears a little bit, if you're reading this straight from my blog, you'll notice a new Comic Con event in my sidebar! There is a Blue Hen Comic Con coming to Dover this November, and it will be TWO days long! I should stay in a hotel just for the heck of it, but I live less than 10 minutes away from the venue. haha This will be my first indoor convention, so I can't wait to see what the difference is. It will be held in the old Sears building at our slowly dying mall, so if we're lucky, they'll have more events like this in that space. 

Today is also the 5th Friday of the month, so it's time to look at my quarterly goals! Back in March, my main goal was releasing FP and getting the word out. I put together two Facebook ad campaigns, one leading up to the relaunch and one after. I believe they did pretty well. A few people at Comic Con said they saw the ad! That's really cool how it works. I wish I could've seen it. I really don't get on social media like I used to.

My goal for this quarter is to practice more voice work. If you follow me on the socials, I've posted two readings and a character voice so far. I plan to do more, and maybe listen to another audiobook, because I said I was going to, so I could hear different narrators.

Speaking of books, I'm almost halfway done my Goodreads goal, which is great at the end of June! I'll share some of what I'm reading next Friday (promise). Writing-wise, I'm almost finished the second chapter of Divided Princess (again), and I hope to incorporate some of the action I wrote in the first draft. I know for sure how this book is going to end and how the final book will turn out. I just have to get to them. Always A and Z with me.

So, for reading and writing, my goal is to read at least three more books and maybe get to the midpoint of the first part of DP. I can do it.

Did you make any goals this past quarter? What are you looking forward to this summer?


Book cover, a girl flanked by identical girls. Title: FRACTURED PRINCESS, The Shattered Chronicles Pt. 1. Hook: Past, present, future...Jonnie must fight for them all. Author: Debra Renee Byrd
FRACTURED PRINCESS is available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback, and on Barnes & Noble's website in Paperback!

Find me at Dover Comic-Con!

 Happy Friday!

I'll be about here!

Not much of a post today and a late one, but I did want to share the map of Dover Comic-Con next Saturday with my location! I'm actually close to where I was 2 years ago. I'll be more noticeable this year, because I'll have a bright pink tent!

If you're in the area, hope to see you there!

Movie Review: The Little Mermaid

 Hey, y'all, guess what? THE BOOK IS OUT!

You can once again buy my indie edition of Fractured Princess on Amazon in Paperback and Kindle! Hardcover is coming soon! If you're in Dover on June 17th, you can also find me at Comic Con! I'll have a map soon, but you can also look for the bright pink tent and Jonnie's face. I will have books there as well. I'm so excited.

Now, for Weekly Words! I'm back with another movie review!

 Last Friday, my sister, goddaughter and I went to the opening of The Little Mermaid!

Unless you live under a rock, you know how the Disney version of this story goes. Ariel, the youngest daughter of King Triton, wants to be a part of the human world. As a human myself, why? But "who are me to judge?" During a fireworks display (do we ever learn why they're shooting off fireworks? haha), the curious Ariel follows the lights to a ship where she first sees Prince Eric and his adorable shaggy dog that immediately loves her. The ship hits a storm, Prince Eric almost drowns, but Ariel saves him. Ursula, the evil sea witch who is trying to steal the King's power, uses this opportunity to turn Ariel human for three days with payment of her voice, and Ariel has to get Eric to kiss her before the three days is up, or she will belong to Ursula. Mayhem and deception ensue, but in the end Ursula is defeated, and King Triton decides to let Ariel be a human. *ahhhh-ahhhh*

The original cartoon came out when I was five years old. We watched it in class when I was the first grade (do they even gather the kids together to watch movies anymore?), and all of the girls sang along to the annoyance of all the boys. ha Even when I was a teenager, I wanted to be Ariel (Mermaid Ariel. I'm already on land), which is probably also why I love to swim so much. I used to picture myself being Ariel in a live action version The Little Mermaid and wonder how they would pull that off! FOX failed, but Disney?!

From beginning to end, this movie was PERFECT. The actors were so perfectly cast. Halle Bailey, I've been listening to her since she was a tween, and to see her play Ariel so well and have people who didn't know her before hear her magical voice, I'm so proud of her! Like her sister says, she is a real Disney Princess! And to see a young Black woman get to play one of my favorite Disney characters makes child me so happy. Also, Melissa McCarthy, whom I've been watching since Gilmore Girls, played Ursula SO well! I don't know why people thought she couldn't, but she showed up and showed out! She even sounded like Pat Carroll a little bit. I didn't know she could effect her voice.

They added a little bit more story as well, which worked so well within the movie. We learn what happened to Ariel's mother, why King Triton is so against humans (though honestly, we all should be at this point), why Ursula is trying to bring down Triton, and best of all to me, we get a story line for Eric! He's not just a cookie cutter prince. I loved it. Some of the changes they made to the story also strengthened Ariel's arc. I didn't realize until this movie how much she was a helpless damsel in the original. The writers gave her so much more agency in this version. It's amazing.

The effects were SO good! We all know Ursula hulks out, and it's still extremely scary. Also, Disney definitely listened to everyone who--for some reason--wanted the Lion King animals to emote like cartoon characters, which didn't bother me, but I did notice the animated expressions of Sebastian, Scuttle, and Flounder. Halle also posted some behind-the-scenes takes of how they made her look like she was swimming. She had to get really fit for this movie, and her abs showed it.
And lastly, the songs! While they didn't bring back some of them, they added a couple songs and add to the "big" song, and again, it helped to strengthen the story. If you don't leave the theater singing about the scuttlebutt, I don't know what you're doing.

So, go take a child (or not. The babies were babying in the theater) and see this movie! You won't be disappointed.

Also, buy my book. haha

Now that we're going to the movies more, I might have some more reviews, so keep an eye out!

Weekly Words: Getting Closer


Happy Friday!

FRACTURED PRINCESS is now less than 2 weeks away from relaunching, and I'm coming up on some jitters. Mostly because this is the third release of the same book. Hopefully, people who started the journey with me are still interested. I expected to have the sequel ready by now, but I found myself getting stuck and unwilling to keep writing in the direction I was going. I'm not going to GRRM my readers, but I do know taking it slow is better for me. That way I can assess as I go.

And because some dude named Murphy created a law, my laptop stopped recognizing the charger, so it's dead. On the bright side, I already uploaded the new versions to KDP, so I can just hit Publish on the 30th. I think everything I need is in OneDrive, but I know I had some things (not related to writing) just sitting in my downloads folder, so that's annoying. To replace it, I ordered a gaming laptop suitable for a casual gamer like me, and not only was it on sale, but I was able to put it on a payment plan as well (plus). It will ship on May 29th and arrive the day after the relaunch (ooooof course. Minus).

I'm expecting a proof of the paperback to arrive today, so I can check it for errors before the final date to upload changes. A proof of the hardcover is set to come May 26th, so at least I'll have more time to check that. Hardcover release date is coming soon!

Anyhow, I'll be expecting to hit Publish on the Paperback at midnight May 30th. KDP says it can take up to 72 hours to publish, but the last time I trusted that, I accidentally published the book a day early, so I think I'll be fine doing it same day. And that will give me time to purchase books for Dover Comic-Con. I can't wait for it!

Weekly Words: Love Radio by Ebony LaDelle


Happy Friday!

Two weeks ago, I had what I'm almost sure was a sinus infection from being in the office while they were painting (I wasn't supposed to be there at first, luck of the draw), and I was in bed from Thursday night into Monday. I don't remember what I was doing last Friday, but for the most part, I spent these past two weeks recovering.

If you follow me anywhere else, you'll know I did make time to start the big countdown to FRACTURED PRINCESS's re-release, which is now 18 days away! Pre-ordering for the Kindle is live. The paperback will be available May 30th at Midnight (if I do it correctly. The first go-round, I accidentally released it a day early haha), and the **hardcover**. Will be available shortly after that, so keep an eye out!

This past week, I also started a new book! I'm excited about this one because it is a black ace romance!


I absolutely. Love. This cover. Pink and purple are my favorite colors, so I'm biased, but also, just the way he's looking at her and how she's touching his arm. And the "Solid Gold" lettering is a bonus. I can't wait to see how this turns out. It's a romance, so it will most likely be a HEA (happily ever after), but the important part of romance novels is the journey to it. From how it's started, I think it may be a bit emotional.

Here is the blurb for your reading pleasure:

Prince Jones is the guy with all the answers—or so it seems. After all, at seventeen, he has his own segment on Detroit’s popular hip-hop show, Love Radio, where he dishes out advice to the brokenhearted.

Prince has always dreamed of becoming a DJ and falling in love. But being the main caretaker for his mother, who has multiple sclerosis, and his little brother means his dreams will stay just that and the only romances in his life are the ones he hears about from his listeners. Until he meets Dani Ford.

Dani isn’t checking for anybody. She’s focused on her plan: ace senior year, score a scholarship, and move to New York City to become a famous author. But her college essay keeps tripping her up and acknowledging what’s blocking her means dealing with what happened at that party a few months ago. And that’s one thing Dani can’t do.

When the romantic DJ meets the ambitious writer, sparks fly. Prince is smitten, but Dani’s not looking to get derailed. She gives Prince just three dates to convince her that he’s worth falling for. Three dates for the love expert to take his own advice, and just maybe change two lives forever.


I'm extra biased because Dani is a writer. *heart eyes* I hope she makes it big.

What are you reading this week?

Weekly Words: Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi


Happy Friday!

Last Friday, I realized it was Friday, and I hadn't prepared anything to post. Par for the course. I decided not to try to rush to do a post, but on the bright side, I do have a post this week, because I am getting a lot more reading done!

Book Cover: #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Tomi Adeyemi Children of Virtue and Vengeance

 Last month, I started Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Virtue and Vengeance.

After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too.

Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari's right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy's wrath.

With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.

This is the sequel for Children of Blood and Bone, which was such a great book. Unfortunately, I hadn't read it in about 5 years, and as I started reading its sequel, I found myself trying to remember everything that happened. So, I did the logical thing to do: I checked out the audiobook of CBB to refresh my memory, and it all flooded back. Last week I finished the "reread," and so I resumed CVV with all the knowledge I needed with a question-free head! And this book is amazing! I just passed the 300-page mark this week, and I am feeling the feelings! Tomi does another great job of describing the magic and the world of Orïsha. Plus, this time, we get to see more maji, more tîtáns, and more heart-wrenching relational tension. I want this to end happily, but I'll accept bittersweet...Actually, no, I need this to end happily! Especially for Zélie.

Lastly, can we talk about how gorgeous this cover is!? I love staring at it and seeing new things each time. The juxtapositions of Zélie's beautiful, black skin with her stark white hair, her gold tattoos and silver eyes, her red and blue hairbands, and the light and shadow against her face make for an intense, mysterious, and mesmerizing cover. How can you not just keep looking at it? *chefs kiss*

What are you reading this month?

Movie Review - Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves


Happy April!


I can't tell you the last time I did a movie review on my blog. Now the world is trying to open back up like COVID is dead, I at least get the pleasure of going to the movies again, which is something I did miss during quarantine.


My sister and I had the pleasure of joining the Black Girl Gamers x Paramount for a screening of the new Dungeons and Dragons movie: Honor Among Thieves. First off, didn't know there were two movies before it. hahaha. I'm 85% sure they were terrible, because they came out in 2000 and 2005, not prime movie effect era unless you were The Matrix, and literally just the first one, because the effects in The Matrix: Reloaded were awful.

But anyway, back to D&D: HAT. The movie starts with Edgin (Chris Pine) and Holga (Michelle Rodriguez) pleading their case to get out of prison so they can get back to Edgin's daughter, whom he left with one of his thief buddies. Not to spoil anything, but honor among thieves ensues, as well as dungeons and dragons. Saying anything else will give away just about everything. It's a pretty standard plot and character arc, though. Not much will surprise you.

This movie has a big cast of stars: Chris, Michelle, Hugh Grant, and Regé-Jean Paige, as well as smaller known names like Justice Smith (Jurassic World, The Get Down) and Sophia Lillis (IT, Uncle Frank), etc. Their chemistry is just about perfect, and they all give some great performances. I didn't expect to laugh the entire movie. It was hilarious. Everyone's comedic timing really was a gem to watch. My sister said someone said Chris Pine can save any movie, and not that this movie needs saving, but he is a favorite of mine, and he shines as a bard/harper/team planner haha.

I have an understanding of the game D&D, mainly from a couple episodes of Community, Futurama: Bender's Game, the short-lived "Dungeons & Durags" on Twitch, and Hello From the Magic Tavern's version "Offices & Bosses," so the different beasts and special weapons didn't get lost on me. As someone who plays Shattered Pixel Dungeon every day, I especially loved the appearance of a mimic in the game, and what I think might have been a basilisk? Anyhow, there wasn't as much action as you would expect, but the effects were really good. When the first non-mythical creature effect happened, I said out loud, "That was a really cool effect." The only one that was pretty bad was an animatronic cat baby (you'll get it when you see it). But the mythical creatures are all very well-designed.

I think I'm going to give this movie 5 of out 5 stars. My sister said it's one she would watch over and over on tv, and I agree. It has great characters, great acting, great storytelling, and overall, it's just a great adventure! So if you haven't seen it already, go see it!