Insecure Writer's Support Group

It's the first Wednesday of the last month! That means it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Stop by the IWSG website and also visit Alex J. Cavanaugh and this month's co-hosts.

This month's optional question is: Let's play a game. Imagine. Role-play. How would you describe your future writer self, your life and what it looks and feels like if you were living the dream? Or if you are already there, what does it look and feel like? Tell the rest of us. What would you change or improve?
If all finally goes according to plan, my future writer self will have at least 5 published books, some maybe even traditionally, and a movie out there. I'd also get to tour and win a few awards. That would be nice.

How about you all? Thanks for stopping by!

Taking a Break

Dagonit, it's Thursday.

I'm just going to take a break for the rest of the year. I have a lot on my mind right now. Hopefully, I'll be up to blogging again in January, but I will still have my Insecure Writers' Support Group post up in December.

Have a great Thanksgiving (it's my favorite holiday), and enjoy the rest of Fall!

Wednesday Words: When She Reigns by Jodi Meadows

Oh my gosh, it's still Wednesday at least. So, this is usually the day where I share what I am reading, so now it's the night. Ah well. I'm really excited about this one.

We've come to the final installment of Jodi Meadows's Fallen Isles Trilogy: When She Reigns. I'm still so blessed to have been a sensitivity reader for Jodi through this, and by this book, I was just basically a beta reader. I'm already halfway through the book, and there's so many things I can share. This time, though, the blurb speaks volumes, and because it's already 9PM, I'm going to go ahead and share that for you all.

The Great Abandonment has begun. Panic has seized the Fallen Isles, where no one knows which god will rise next. Mira Minkoba believes her dreams hold the secret to bringing an end to the destruction, but in order to save her people, she'll have to find a legendary treasure: the bones of the first dragon.

Mira's desperate search leads the Hopebearer and her friends on a dangerous journey into the heart of enemy territory: the Algotti Empire itself. The empress is more than willing to help--for an impossible price. And as tensions escalate beneath the shadows of the risen gods, Mira grapples with a terrifying question: What will she have to sacrifice to preserve what she loves?

I love it.

What are you reading this month?

Insecure Writer's Support Group

Happy Turkey Month! It's already November, and that means it's time for another installment of the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Thank you to Alex J. Cavanaugh and his co-hosts for this month for keeping this bloghop alive so we writers can support each other through our highs and our lows in writing and life!

To join in with us, visit the IWSG Site to sign up!

I'll be on the road when this goes live. This year has been quite a whirlwind: my mom getting a scary cancer diagnosis and helping care for her, travel to chemo appointments with her, moving her in and out of various houses (she was with her friend first while she went through the hardest part, then my little sister and I, and now she's permanently in an in-law suite with my big sister, and she's loving it!), self-publishing my book, and now unfortunately getting my own bad health news.

And first off, sorry to be a downer this month!

Not even 2 weeks ago yet, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. I'd suspected it when the first biopsy came back negative for non-Hodgkin and my neck swelling didn't go down, but I waited until I had more worrisome lymph nodes start to swell up, and that's when I had the surgery I mentioned a post or so ago. Telling my friends is the hardest part, but they're so supportive. It's just been an overwhelming few days, though. If you're the praying type, I'll take those as well as positive thoughts.

Writing wise, I'm actually doing the cardinal no-no of editing something I haven't finished. I've always done that, so screw the rules and play the game. It's my NA Fantasy, and there were things that weren't making sense to me, so I have fix those before I continue, or I'll have even more work on my hands later. Has anyone else ever done that?

All righty, this is longer than I like these to be. The monthly question is: What's the strangest thing you've ever googled in researching a story?

I know there has to be one thing I've googled, but I can't think of it. Probably baobab fruit haha. But also, my mom's a nurse, so we grew up with medical dictionaries in the house. I spent many days looking through the biggest one for my fan fictions. Cardiomyopathy might have been one of the weirder things I looked up, because I liked to kill off love interests with heart diseases. I've grown out of that. A little bit.

Have a great November!

Monthly Review & Quarterly Goals

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It was Friday when I remembered that I hadn't posted a Monthly Review. I'm sorry guys. I actually had surgery on my neck a week and a half ago, so I wasn't able to look down at a screen for long periods of time.

October FLEW by. I don't even know if I did any writing. I finally finished The Bluest Eye, and that is not a book I ever want to see again. Aside from the fact that I just couldn't stay engaged in the book, the core of the events are triggering and drawn out. There was also a bad take about asexuals that turned me off, but I was almost done by that point.

I finally get to read the finished version of Jodi Meadow's When She Reigns. The series has been a journey, from making a new friend to helping her get through the scrutiny from other authors and readers for an issue that wasn't completely under her control, to encouraging her when publishers didn't push the sequels probably due to the scrutiny (like they didn't have a hand in it, but whatever), I'm so glad to have been a part of the Fallen Isles trilogy, and I can't wait to see what Jodi's fans think.

My quarterly goals are to keep writing and reading. I have a couple more ideas, one that stemmed from finally catching up on the Supernatural episodes I missed. My sister re-watched all 12 seasons she had watched, then caught up on the 13th and 14th. We both agree that the show should have ended after Season 5 the way Kripke intended, but it was a cash cow, so . . . Now, let's get my boys some counseling and new jobs to work on. Anyway, if my mind were that meme of the boy with the girlfriend looking at the other girl walking by, the boy would be me, the girlfriend would be my working in progress, and the other girl would be my new story ideas. I'm sorry, WIPs.

Don't eat too much candy tomorrow!

October Writing Update

Found on Pinterest

As I renewed my domain for another year, I realized it's Wednesday. I'm a terrible blogger.

Writing-wise, I'm reviewing and rewriting some things I did on my NA Fantasy, so that it's a little more cohesive. Some things just aren't making sense plausibly, so I need to get those kinks out before I go any further.

Sequel-wise, I've gotten a few more words down on Divided Princess. Fleshing out the characters in their new setting (no spoilers) isn't that hard, but it is fun to explore their personalities right now.

Also, I need that meme of the guy with his girlfriend, but he's watching a girl walk by. He is me; his girlfriend is my WIPs, and the other girl is new ideas, because those are popping up! I can't wait to work on them, but I think my WIPs would protest.

How has your writing been going?

Wednesday Words: Still Reading The Bluest Eye

This is going to be a short one.

So, I've been on and off reading Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye for a month now. I don't know what it is about it. It's probably one of the shortest books I've picked up in a while, and still it took me a month to get halfway through it. The chapters have a purposeful feel of being disjointed, so that could be one of the issues. It can't be that it's a period piece, because I had no problem getting through Sula. I guess some books just don't hook you the way others do.

Have you ever had that issue with a book?

IWSG: Writers Who Don't Read?

It's the last quarter of 2019! This is getting ridiculous. But, that also means it's time for another Insecure Writer's Support Group post! IWSG was created by Alex J. Cavanaugh, and you can visit his site as well as the official IWSG site to join us or read other writers' posts.

So, if you read my quick post last week, I didn't have food poisoning, but my stomach definitely did not agree with what I had eaten the night before. I also had a cold I wasn't aware of--I thought it was allergies until it went from my head to my chest, the normal route for colds in my body. But anyway, Tobago was BEAUTIFUL, and I would love to visit it again.

Now, IWSG has a question every month we can answer if we like. This month's is especially interesting: It's been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don't enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?

My thoughts: 1) there is nothing new under the sun. No matter how much someone may try to be original, it's already been done before in one shape or another. Thus, there are no new and original ideas, not completely.

2) Are there really writers out there who don't like to read? How did they start writing in the first place? All writers I know got their start from reading others' works. It helps you become a better writer, find your place as a writer, and it just helps broaden your horizons. I don't read as much as I used to, but I still love to read when I can.

3) And I agree, if you don't enjoy reading, how can you expect others to want to read what you write? And wouldn't be a little arrogant to not like reading others' works but write for others to read yours? In my opinion, yes.

What do you all think?

See You Next Week!

I am in Tobago with food poisoning, but I've had a great time up to this point. I'll be back with real posts next week!

Wednesday Words & September Writing Update

All right, it's 11:30 am, perfect time to be late to post.

This week, you will be getting a double dose of my posts, so first let's start wtih Wednesday Words! Typically, I share with you all what I am reading on the 2nd Wednesday of the month, but I was with my Mom last week, so I didn't remember to post until Thursday. She's recovering, and thanks for those who sent well wishes!

Following Toni Morrison's death, I vowed to read her work, because I actually hadn't read any of it. Last week, I was reading Sula, and this week I'm reading her first book, The Bluest Eye.

I haven't gotten too far into it yet, but the first page is a mind-numbing repetition of See Jane Run (I think), and then the beginning of the story starts with some heavy stuff. This book is short, so I don't want to give anything away for myself. I will say her work is a raw, unapologetic look at the life of African Americans, and I appreciate that she held strong to her view of writing for us and no one else. I'm very interested in what this book and the rest of her work has in store.

And now for a brief writing update!

I actually worked on some pre-sequel work that will never see daylight, but it did help to get my mind working. I think I actually have an ending for Divided Princess now, so I will be writing that down soon. It's bittersweet, but so was the ending of Fractured Princess.

I'm thinking of changing something I wrote out in The Queen's Daughters. I'm also trying to figure out if I want to keep it 1st person and focus on just one character or slip in 3rd person with some of the other characters. I feel like it might flesh the story out a little more, but I'm not totally sure I want to do it. There are also some factors I want to work on that might raise questions I can't answer. We'll see. Work in progress!

I'll be on vacation next week! I may do a Monthly Review; I may not. It hasn't been very eventful.

Have a great rest of your week!

I'll Be Back Next Wednesday


I had a family emergency yesterday, so I missed Wednesday Words.
I'll add them to my post next week. <3

Insecure Writer's Support Group: Dream Writing Spot

We have entered the final four months of 2019. Can anyone believe that?! I can't.

Welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group, a place for writers to come together, share our insecurities, and encourage each other! Visit our founder, Alex J. Cavanaugh and the co-hosts for the month. There's also an Insecure Writer's Support Group website where you can join us and visit other writers.

#IWSGPit returns to Twitter at the beginning of 2020. If you have a finished, polished manuscript you're ready to query, feel free to join in for a chance to nab an agent.

The question this month is: If you could pick one place in the world to sit and write your next story, where would it be and why?

I'm actually going to Tobago on the 23rd, so I would have to pick a secluded beach with steady weather and a tiki bar close by (I mean, I could stop writing to fish when I'm hungry, but I don't know how to). Swimming in between writing sessions sounds like a plan. What about you guys?

Monthly Review: August 2019

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I blinked, and now September is in a few days. WHAT?! This month has really whizzed by. I've sold a few more books. Now I just need to up my promotion and plan some store visits to at least have my books in a few locations. I also entered it into the UK Storyteller contest on Amazon. Fingers, toes, eyes, all crossed there.

I only got to go to the beach once before Fall started creeping in early! Our water is gross, too, so it wasn't as beach-fun as I'm now accustomed to. That's okay, because my sisters and I are going to Tobago in three weeks!

I started reading Radio Silence by Alice Oseman yesterday, and British jargon aside, I'm already loving this book. France is me, and I love when I can open a book and feel that about a character.

I'm ready for some movies! I need to see Hobbs & Shaw, and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (not a movie, but still) comes to Netflix Friday! Also, IT part 2, will be here in a few days, and I am so scared and so excited.

That's all I have, really. How was everyone's August? Are you looking forward to Fall?

August Writing Update

*me, sitting casually at work, playing Bingo* ...OH SHOOT!

Calvin and Hobbes © Bill Watterson

I forgot it's Wednesday. The 3rd Wednesday of the month, I update you all on my writing!

Honestly, I haven't written too much yet. I'm mostly revising what I've already written (a bad habit, I know, but I can't help it). I'm going to work on fleshing out my Fractured Princess characters for Divided Princess. What do they look like as people now, after all that happened? That's going to be fun to explore, and I already sort of know some aspects.

I don't want to say it, but I have more ideas for the Shattered Chronicles *squeal-cringe*. I didn't want to have ideas for a sequel, and now, more things are popping into my head. Whether or not they will make publication remains to be seen, but they would be really cool ideas to birth, so I do want to give them a try.

If you haven't purchased Fractured Princess yet, there is still time to get the paperback for $9.99. I will be increasing the price soon, just from some advice I've been getting, but not too high. I still want it to be accessible to all readers, especially as it's a paperback, which usually run cheaper.

All right, if I remember next week, my Monthly Review will be posted on time. Have a great week!

Wednesday Words: Shadow Stalker by Renee Scattergood

Happy Wednesday!

I usually share with you what I'm reading (A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan. It's interesting.), but I have a special author spotlight today!

Renee Scattergood, author of the dark fantasy serial, Shadow Stalker, lives in Australia with her husband and daughter. She loves reading, watching movies with her family, and watching YouTube videos with her daughter. Visit her site for a free copy of Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6):

Renee promotes both indie and small press authors at Renee's Author Spotlight (I'm featured there today!) and speculative fiction books and authors at Speculative Fiction Spot.

There are several ways to connect with Renee: 

Mailing Lists – Get a free book with each!

Author Pages

Social Media Profiles

Here is a little more about Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1-6):

Auren longs for the freedom that comes with adulthood and wants to celebrate her coming of age with her friends on a distant island. When her strict foster-father, Kado, says no, she sneaks out, determined to prove she can take care of herself. But her forbidden excursion turns into a nightmare when the island is overrun by the Galvadi Empire forces. Worse, she learns that she is their main target.

Drevin, Emperor of the Galvadi people, is convinced she will enslave the people of the Serpent Isles and wants her dead.

When Auren learns she is a shadow stalker, someone who can travel between the physical and spirit worlds, and that she is the only one who can stop Drevin, it’s more than she can take. Her whole world is turning upside down and instead of adulthood bringing freedom, she is instead overwhelmed by a greater undertaking than any one person could possibly overcome. It seems hopeless.

However, if she can defeat Drevin, maybe she can have her old life back. More than that, the people she cares about would be safe to live their lives, and the people of the Serpent Isles would be free of the Galvadi forever.

I'm intrigued! Definitely grabbing part 1 to read. What about you?

Insecure Writer's Support Group: Post-Publication Jitters

Happy August!

Thank you, as always, to Alex J. Cavanaugh for creating this group, and the many co-hosts who help him sift through our anxieties each month. Please visit his page, where you can also find links to this month's co-hosts, and stop by the Insecure Writer's Support Group page to visit other insecure writers and/or join us!

So, my anxiety this month is how well Fractured Princess will do now that it's out in the world! I already have a good Goodreads review, and that's the last time I will look at reviews for it. It was just exciting to see that someone I'm not related to loves the book.

I'm also hoping that my other works will live up FP. I've focused on this book for SO long, and I'm just hoping I can 1) finish the sequel, 2) write more works NOT related to it, and 3) be successful in doing all of that. I know that writer's fraud syndrome will kick in soon. I just don't want it to weigh me down. FP is just the beginning! And that's scary.

Each month, we're given an optional question to answer. This month's question is: Has your writing ever taken you by surprise? For example, a positive and belated response to a submission you'd forgotten about or an ending you never saw coming?

YES! I've said it before: when I first started writing FP, the dynamics of the character relationships were much different. Jonnie and Cyan barely had one besides Watchman and watch, but as the revisions started rolling in, they became brother and sister with a strong relationship and bond that shines in the foreground. I never would've imagined years ago their journey the way it ended up in the published book, and now I can't imagine the story without it!

What about your writing?

Quarterly Goals

We are back at the beginning of a quarter, and this month has been BUSY for me! Fractured Princess was released the weekend of my birthday! It's been a whirlwind of emotions for me. My older sister set up a release party for me, which took place this past weekend. It was amazing! Most of the people who said they would come did. THEN, my Pastor announced in church that I was published, and so the books that I had left over from the party were SOLD! I even have a list of people who ordered the book. I'm so happy.

Now, of course, I just have to keep on pushing myself to market the book. Jodi Meadows posted it on her Instagram yesterday, and I love her so much! I wouldn't have had the confidence to keep going without her help. And I cannot wait until When She Reigns comes out. This series is just amazing. I'm so proud of her.

I'm finally reading An Ember in the Ashes. Someone told me Sabaa and I have similar styles, and I definitely see it. This book is also amazing. One of my goals is to catch up to my Goodreads goal; I'm currently 1 book behind. On a good note, I'm actually down to three books checked out of my library, I believe; even though I put another on hold the other day. I can't be stopped. That said, I'm probably not reading It before the second movie comes out.

So, my ultimate goal for the rest of the summer is to write more in Divided Princess and The Queen's Daughters. I would like to have one of them published by 2021, but I know it's going to take some time.

I hope you're all enjoying Summer! Tell me some goals you have in the comments.

Monthly Review: July 2019

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All right, I have 77 e-mails to sift through, so let me hammer this out quickly!

So, first, the Ace/Aro Conference in New York was AMAZING. Just to see so many asexuals and/or aromantics in the same room was refreshing. We had small breakout groups for individualized spaces, such as POC, and to see that many black people and other people of color who are ace/aro was especially exciting. I hope they do it again next year.

Oh! I also met an ace/aro fantasy writer who had a panel, Ashia Monet. She actually lives in Philly, so I'm going to keep up with her work and hope to see her again! Her book is called The Black Veins, and here is a list of places where it is available.

I went on a stay-cation last Wednesday until today for my birthday. I had time off from work, but definitely not church. I didn't spend one full day home. At least I have a real vacation coming up in September; my sisters and I are going to Trinidad & Tobago!

So, I turned 35 on the 19th, and I went to the beach to eat and see The Lion King, which sent me right back to my childhood. I have very few complaints about the movie. The moment it ended I quietly yelled, "Yay!" It was great, and the additional jokes they threw in for Timon and Pumbaa were PERFECT. If you haven't seen it, I recommend it. If you cried when Mufasa died the first time, you will again (I didn't either time, but maybe I'm dead inside).

Also on the 19th, at 11:51pm, Fractured Princess was released through Amazon! The ebook released on the 20th like it was supposed to. I was so nervous because I had to resize the title at nearly the last minute, and I thought the processing would be delayed. Thankfully, it was not! People I know are already buying the book, and I've purchased my Kickstarter backers' books as well as books for purchase at the RELEASE PARTY my older sister set up for me. It is this Saturday, and I am nervous. That's a lot of people putting their attention on me!

Before that, I will be speaking with Young Adults from my church about the process of getting this book published, and geez, what a process it was. I started writing it in 2004, put "the end" down on Draft 1 in 2010, and then the rest is rejection after rejection and revision after revision until I knew it was ready and took the helm to publish it myself. After I decided that, it only took 7 months to get it done! I'm so thrilled.

I have a quarterly goals post for next week, and then it will be AUGUST. Slow down, time!

Has your month gone well? Let me know!

July Writing Update

First of all, I need this year to slow down. Second, this is going to be short.

Since going full steam on preparing Fractured Princess for publication, I haven't done any writing. It's starting to bother me now. After Saturday, I should be able to focus on my other projects again. Hopefully. I did look over old short stories I wrote in my teens last night, and one from that series I started a little later but never finished. I still don't think those stories will see the light of day. They were my first attempt at teen romance, and they were a little messy, so, I might just leave them on my computer and reminisce when I can. We'll see.

And as you can see, I did update my blog design.This is the first time I haven't had a pink blogger, and it's hard. haha But this looks so much more professional and definitely gets my book out there when people look at it. Pre-orders are coming in for the Kindle edition, and that's exciting! I can't wait to release my baby to the world! She's ready. I hope I am.

Wednesday Words: Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh

I just remembered it's Wednesday, the 2nd Wednesday, to be exact! That means I'm supposed to be sharing what I'm reading with you all. You know I almost never get these posted when I mean to.

Anyway, I am in the middle of Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh (not to be confused with Sarah J. Maas, sheesh).

Here is the book blurb:

Odessa is one of Karthia's master necromancers, catering to the kingdom's ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it's Odessa's job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised--the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa's necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead--and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer's magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?

Using, here is a good emotional line from page 120:

This isn't love. This is just two people, shaking and sobbing together in the semidark, breathing hard in each other's ears as we try to forget our worst nightmares.

This is survival.

What are you reading this week?

IWSG: Fractured Princess Cover Reveal!

Happy July! It's my birthday month, and I have a lot to be excited for!

But first, please visit Alex J. Cavanaugh and the Insecure Writers Support Group website to join us and/or visit the co-hosts and other participants. It's a great space to share our insecurities as writers, as well as our successes!

Late Update: I forgot the question of the month! What personal traits have you written into your character(s)?

Some of my characters are a little emotional, indecisive, or say what's on their mind without filtering it. I try to break those traits up so you don't have one big mess of a character, but you can definitely find those traits of mine in my stories. And any time I get to mention my character is left-handed, I do! South Paws unite!

All right, and now, I have a cover reveal to share with you all! Since I started the journey to self-publish my YA fantasy, things have fallen into place at a great pace. I was only a little delayed with the cover, as you may remember (my cover artist went into labor!), and after not even waiting that long after that, I was able to share the cover with my backers yesterday.

So now, I want to share it with you guys! Fractured Princess will be available through Amazon on July 20th. Here is the blurb:

Jonnie is the last princess of the Crystal Bearers, once a powerful people. When she was a baby, the metal army destroyed what was left of them, and now it is hunting her. Her watchmen keep her just out of the metal army’s reach, but she has spent her seventeen years running and hiding. Instead of standing by while her watchmen keep risking their lives for her, she decides to learn how to fight alongside them.

On the journey to hone her skills, long hidden secrets about her people reveal a connection between the Crystal Bearers and the metal army that only fuels Jonnie's will to defeat it. But the more she learns about her own powers, the more she realizes she may be responsible for the metal army – and the destruction of her people.

And now, here we go! . . . 











Also, enjoy your 4th of July!










It's so pretty! I keep looking at it. If you've followed my character Q&A's and remember my sketch of Jonnie, that's her face. Racheal is a master. I love it. Please follow her on Instagram at rsarts if you love her work and ever want to commission her.

All righty, I will be going around to visit other blogs, so I hope to see you soon!

Monthly Review: June 2019

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Another month almost gone!

Since last WEEK, I have: 1) stopped reading the first book on my list of Summer goals. My doubts were justified, and I could not finish a fantasy with poorly represented people of color, and also just bad writing. The book was published around the time We Need Diverse Books made its first waves, and I know a lot of well-meaning non-POC authors took up the mantle instead of making space for POC authors to make the diverse stories (and publishers let them), so that's clearly where this stemmed from. I want to say the times have changed, but not by much according to the recent results from children's books. But I digress;

2) started reading a book NOT on my list of Summer goals, because why follow my own rules? Pfft. I started reading Cinder by Marissa Meyer, and oh my God, is it good. I'm already finished Book One. I can't wait to see what happens next. I will be reading while manning the front desk at work;

3) gotten a good report from a biopsy I had done. The lymph nodes in my neck are reacting to something, so I guess I need to head back to my primary doctor. The ENT said it's a bad allergy season, and I HAVE been struggling, even on my allergy meds, so I wouldn't be surprised;

4) received the schedule for the Ace/Aro Conference in New York I'm attending this Saturday! I'm excited. This is my first event I'm attending as a semi-out demisexual, and I can't wait to connect and meet others. They're holding two writing lectures, too, so I want to try to get to both;

5) won two Apex Legends matches! This one isn't that important, but I'm a video game nerd, and I haven't even won a squad or solo match in Fortnite yet, so I thought I'd share;

and last but not least: 6) seen the almost done cover of Fractured Princess. I'm so excited. This has been a long journey for me, and I know I needed the time because the story wasn't perfect in 2010 when I finally wrote The End on it. I don't plan to stop working on subsequent books like I did this one, but I think now I have enough experience to know what to and what not to do, so the process won't be a full decade. Here's hoping.

I hope your June has treated you well. Please let me know in the comments!

June Writing Update

First off, Happy Juneteenth! If you don't know what that is, please research it. TLDR: June 19, 1865 was the day the announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. reached Texas. It really should be a national holiday, but . . . this is America.

Anyway, onto my writing update! Here's Snoopy, making writing cool since the 50s.

I was about to say I haven't done any writing, but actually, that's not true. I've written a very pivotal scene in Divided Princess, sequel to Fractured Princess. Stepping into the waters with this story, there are some dynamics I still have to figure out, but I imagine that just like Cyan and Jonnie created their own dynamic during, like, draft SIX, I think things will work themselves out eventually.

I skimmed The Queen's Daughters yesterday so I can work on more scenes for it. I'm a little stuck, even though I know what the next scene is. It's not even a hard scene, as far as I know, so I should just type away at it, even if it's fragments of the scene, so I can move on. This story is really going to be emotionally tough and will have at least two trigger warnings, but the inciting incident also stems from an emotional purge for me, so I knew it wouldn't be sunshine and rainbows. I've never been able to write sunshine and rainbows. I'll try one day, I promise.

Book news: I've pushed publication to July, but I should have the cover in the next two weeks. I can't wait to share it with everyone! I wanted to update the look of my blog; technically, it's been the same since the old blog, so once I have the cover, I will be able to change the theme up and get rid of the watercolor background. I love it, but I want this blog to look a little more professional once I'm published. I can't wait to test that out, too!

Wednesday Words update: Two more books I forgot I had on hold came in for pickup at the library, so I've added them to my post from last week. I'm being REALLY ambitious this Summer!

Next week is my monthly update, so I hope you all have been enjoying June so far, and I will see you later!

Wednesday Words: Summer Reading Goals

Happy Wednesday!

We're halfway through June already, but there's still time for me to try to read! I have 2 or 3 stories left in How Long 'Til Black Future Month?, so I have nothing to share with you all, except that this book is AMAZING!

What I will do is share what I plan to read this summer (and unfortunately, the tags are too long, so I suppose I will just put the titles and not the authors in there). Links are below the covers, by which I'm judging these books today.

Jala's Mask, Michael and Rachel Grinti
I'm a little iffy about this one. I was really excited to see black characters on the cover, but at the same time, this is not an own voices narrative. I do wonder what made Mike and Rachel Grinti decide to write what looks to be a tribal pirate narrative (already problematic), but I'll see how authentic it feels, or if it's just white characters in blackface.

Reign of the Fallen, Sarah Glenn Marsh
I've wanted to read this one ever since I saw the cover. I have to remember Sarah Glenn Marsh is not Sarah J. Maas, who I am also interested in reading (and Sarah G. looks like the main character on Sarah J.'s Throne of Glass books except the first one, which might actually BE Sarah J., but either way that adds to my confusion quite a bit). Anyway, THIS COVER. I love skulls, and a skull with a crown on it just piques my interest to the utmost.

An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir
Someone said my writing style is like Sabaa's, so I've wanted to read this one for a while now, too. This one has a lot of different covers. I'd never seen this one until I searched my library catalog. There are little details I only notice by looking for a long time. It's a very interesting choice. I haven't read a book whose setting is inspired by ancient Rome, I don't think, so I can't wait to see what happens here.

Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree, Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
This piqued my interest because I have an infatuation with baobabs. On the flip side, this book is based on the kidnappings in Boko Haram, a much scarier narrative than the cover gives away. Maybe it's the alliteration that made me think, "ooh fun," but obviously, this will not be a "fun" read. I can't imagine what some of those families are going through, as many of the girls are still missing.

A Natural History of Dragons, Marie Brennan
DRAGONS! This is marked as historical fiction, so I believe Lady Trent is a real person I will have to look up. This cover is so cool, though. I'm sure people thought this woman was a little crazy. The closest thing we have to dragons are komodo dragons, and I don't know if they really count. I can't wait to see what's in this "memoir."

June 19th update: Two more books came in from the library that I forgot I put on hold! -_- I want to read more books with asexual representation, and the following two were on the list. The cover I'm used to seeing for Radio Silence is really pretty (girl in tv static colors), but this one is okay, too. The 27 Hours cover, though: MAGICAL!

27 Hours, Tristina Wright

Radio Silence, Alice Oseman

What are you reading this Summer?

Insecure Writer's Support Group

It is JUNE! That means Cancer Season is COMING!

It also means it's time for the monthly Insecure Writer's Support Group, where we writers throw our fears to the wind and visit other writers to offer encouragement. I definitely don't have as much time to do that as I used to, but I try.

Thank you to Alex J. Cavanaugh for creating this space! Join him and the co-hosts this month by visiting the IWSG Website.

I don't have much to say that I haven't already the past few weeks, so I thought I'd just answer the question of the month and let y'all go view other blogs.

Of all the genres you read and write, which is your favorite to write in and why?

Honestly, I miss writing romance. I can't remember where I said this, but I was the Nicholas Sparks of Backstreet Boys fanfiction. I loved the tear-jerker romances I used to write. I don't know if I'll get back to them, but it is definitely my favorite that I've written in.

What about you?

Quarterly Goals (Follow-Up)

It's still Wednesday, at least!

12 hours after I usually remember I'm supposed to post, here I am. Funny enough, I thought to myself that I needed to write this this morning, because I had time before work. I at least caught up on other stuff I needed to do. Still. Good evening!

We're in the middle of the 2nd quarter, and it's the 5th Wednesday, so I'm talking about my goals for the quarter. Of course the big one: publication. My cover artist e-mailed me Saturday to say she'd gone into labor, so I hope she and the baby are doing well. She was working on finishing touches for me, so I'm not too worried about my timeline. I still haven't picked a date.

I decided to not create a whole new website, especially since I do so well maintaining this one. Blogger can't get rid of me yet.

I'm still reading How Long 'Til Black Future Month, just because I have so much going on. It's so good! Some of the stories are so innovative. I love N.K. Jemisin's work.

My next goal is to read It before the second movie comes out. I haven't read Stephen King's fiction since Full Dark No Stars, so I may need to pray before this one, especially as my mom and older sister agree the Bev in her old house scene is the scariest in the book, and it looks terrifying in the trailer.

Also, I can't wait for the Summer shows that I watch to return, and the new ones to come on! I have yet to start Chernobyl, but I'm really anxious to. I just started watching the last season of Broad City. I'll miss it.

All right, that's really all I have. Next quarter, I hope to be a novelist and also, I'll be 35!!

What are your goals this quarter?

Monthly Review: May 2019

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We're almost a week away from unofficial Summer, aka June, and this month has whisked by. I guess that happens the older you get.

My mom is home with my sister and I, and she's doing much better. She'll be getting physical therapy soon, and hopefully that will get her up and walking long distances again. She's bored out of her mind (and I love NCIS, but I'm tired of hearing NCIS) but already up to her normal shenanigans.

Game of Thrones ended Sunday, and I can't wait for Winds of Winter at this point, because this final season was rushed and therefore garbage. I know the overall thing about ASOIF has been expect the unexpected, but usually the unexpected makes sense. I hear D&D are writing the next Star Wars, so...good luck SWU fans.

Now that we have HBO for the season, there are a few new shows I look forward to watching: Chernobyl, Euphoria; I'm catching up on Barry. There was something else, but I can't remember what.

I am hoping to have my final book cover by the end of the month! I created a Spotify playlist for Fractured Princess, which was really fun. I'll add a button here for your enjoyment, when I figure out how.

That's all I have for now, but I hope you're having a great May! I will see you next week with my quarterly goals.

May Writing Update

Comic by Guy Kopsombut at 4amShower

Is that not the truest comic we'll ever see? Is "writer" Yiddish for "procrastinator?" I know it's not, but haha!

In the April Writing Update, I saw the black and white draft of my cover. This month, I have seen a COLOR draft. I believe the next one is the final, and I am so excited! I've created the bookmarks for my backers, and there are going to be a few extra, so I might have some giveaways with those. Once I get the final cover, I can make my backers' Thank You Notes, and I want to have a few more prizes for them. I started a newsletter for them, and I'm glad they're all people who already know where I live, because by law, my address needs to be posted on there! Whether or not I open up the newsletter to others depends on if I acquire anymore readers and draw enough revenue to buy a PO Box (those things are expensive).

I'm trying to decide, for my NA/A Fantasy, whether or not I want to keep it 1st Person limited or open it up to a few other perspectives. I have scenes in my head that pertain to three other characters, but I'm currently liking the angle of the "unreliable" (she's not completely unreliable; maybe biased is a better word) narrator. Maybe I'll make the other perspective short stories, like N.K. Jemisin did for The Inheritance Trilogy. I really like that idea (and God, I need to reread that series. Nahadoth!).

That's it on the writing side. I will see you all next Wednesday for my Monthly Review, and it looks like I have a Quarterly Goals post this month as well! I guess I thought April had five Wednesdays, but it did not.

Enjoy the rest of your week, and tell me how your writing is going in the comments!

Wednesday Words: Manga Review - Adorned by Chi

1. I need coffee.
2. I knew I should've scheduled this post yesterday, but here we are.

The 2nd Wednesday of the month is typically set aside for what I am reading. I am still in NK Jemisin's short story collection, but I did pause long enough to read the manga I will be talking about today! Jacque Aye's brain child: Adorned by Chi.

Available for Pre-order right now!
When an ancient apocalyptic beast is awakened and threatens humanity, five Nigerian students must embrace their magic, put their differences aside, and band together to defeat him!

Adorned by Chi is an experience! There is a website with clothes, jewelry, accessories, and then you have this manga. First presented to us chapter by chapter, you are introduced to 5 Nigerian students at Peace University who are sought out by little familiars that help them tap into their magical powers! So far, this doesn't happen unless they are attacked by evil mmanwu, spirits that usually aren't evil as far as I'm aware, but because of some dark force rising in the background, these are (sort of).

What appealed to me about Adorned by Chi first was the clothing. You can take a quiz to find out which "character collection" appeals to you best. I haven't had much money to get anything besides the comics yet (UPDATE: I have 1 shirt, wore it for my birthday last year), but soon!

Back to the manga: our main character is Adaeze, a girl who after her father dies mysteriously, has crying spells throughout her life and isolates herself because of this. Whether it's because she has these magical empathic powers, or she is clinically depressed, it's yet to be said, but it's very important that we are presented with a young black woman with mental illness, which is often not discussed in the black community. Because she always feels like a failure, it takes her the longest of the 5 characters to properly tap into her magic. It makes for a partially funny moment.

Having read the original chapters and then the full manga, I was able to connect dots that I missed across chapters, so the twist we're presented with in this first volume is fairly dynamic, and it makes me wonder how the rest of the story will play out.

Overall, this is a fresh take on the magical girl, who even in Japanese anime is often portrayed as white girls. We have 4 black magical girls and 1 black magical boy! Each character is well thought out and unique; typical anime characters, but not stereotypical black characters, which is refreshing:

Adaeze is dealing with her issues as already stated;
Her roommate Gogo is bubbly, energetic, and striving to join the cheerleading team;
Her twin sister, Kelechi is the complete opposite, goth, hates parties, and loves black;
Kaira is earthy and meditative, one with nature and doesn't like to hurt living creatures;
and Emeka is the star soccer player, epic party host, and big man on campus.

We have a new setting for a manga by way of a university in Nigeria. As the goddaughter of Nigerians, I was excited to see this, and because of the setting, we're also provided beautiful, bright colors, patterns, and people! The individualism of each character, whether main or just a passing extra in the background, was well thought out, and the art is beautiful! Even the mmanwu we see, the way they are drawn makes them almost come to life right off the screen!

The whole volume is a really fast read, only 155 pages (I finished it in less than half a day). I don't know if Jacque will slow the story down, now that all of the characters are aware of their powers, and give us some more character backstory/development. I wouldn't mind it. We have glimpses of who each character is, but it would be nice to see them fleshed out just a little more, like Agents of the Realm or Sleepless Domain, online comics that also feature black magical girls and give us very detailed looks at who each character is while still giving us some action to enjoy.

Either way, I'm excited for this brand, and I hope it goes on strong. It gets 4 out of 5 stars from me!

Insecure Writer's Support Group

I can't believe it's May already! That means the Insecure Writer's Support Group is back! Take a moment to thank our founder, Alex J. Cavanaugh and visit the IWSG Site to join in and read others' posts for the day.

I actually don't have a lot to say this month. I'm writing in my New Adult fantasy project and waiting for the final version of my young adult fantasy cover! By June, I will know when I am publishing Fractured Princess!

If you haven't signed up for the IWSG e-mails, you should. This month's e-mail focused on marketing as a self-published author, and I intend to soak up that information over the next few weeks. I'm still very excited.

The question of the month is: What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

I'm not sure how to answer that, really. I think it's because I've always been someone who loved to read and write, there hasn't been that type of epiphany? I guess stepping into Narnia that first time, or falling in love with A Christmas Carol; those stories remain some of my favorite childhood tales, and they couldn't have been had the words and imagery not been so powerful.

Have a great May!

Monthly Review: April 2019

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We are now at the end of April, and what?

Life-wise, not much has changed since my last monthly review. My mom has been at a friend's house recuperating, and she'll be moving back home with my sister and me by the end of next week. That will at least alleviate the travel. People up north say Dover is small, but try driving from one end to the other every day. Not being home as much as I like has really taken a toll, so at least she'll be closer.

That said, reading has been slow. I've been playing more games on my phone, because they've been cathartic. I need to get back into a reading groove, though. I also found my Introvert Activity Book by Marzi Wilson, so I'm going to do that, too, to see if that is a good stress reliever. I also need to reincorporate exercise into my day, if I want to lose the weight I want for once. I've been terrible at that.

Now that I've seen the cover, I know exactly what's going on the bookmarks and the background for the thank you notes for my Kickstarter backers. I'm really excited about that. I have to build up the courage to ask some of my blog friends to do a cover reveal with me. I just really don't like asking people for things.

I believe that's all for now. I hope everyone has had a great April. I forgot the April daily challenges are going on, too, so if you've participated in A-to-Z, Poetry-A-Day, etc., I hope you've accomplished your goals!

When I see you next time... see you then. haha

April Writing Update

It wasn't until Friday that I remembered I was supposed to post Wednesday. *facepalm* This will be a short one.

So, also on Friday, I got to see a draft of my BOOK COVER! I'm so excited. That means it's really happening. I can't wait to show everyone. I plan on a cover reveal in May and publication in June, so hopefully that stays on track.

I'm working on a newsletter and trying to build something a little closer to a website via Wordpress. I'm not the biggest fan of Wordpress, though, so if I have to make a home page-type page for here, as I've already bought this domain and know Blogger fairly well now, then that is what I'll do, and just change the domain in 2020.

I've been writing in my next fantasy project, and I'm finally pulling pieces from my document of scenes for later. I can't wait to get to the end of this one and then develop the sequel. I feel that's gonna be a journey. This story is already pretty adult and darker than I've done in a while (kind of what happens when your first words came from an angry place, but c'est la vie). I can't wait to see where this one is taking me.

If you celebrate, I hope you enjoy the Easter weekend. I will see you all (on time) next week!

Wednesday Words: How Long 'Til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin

It is the 2nd Wednesday of what feels like a really long month already. But at least I'm starting a new book today!!

As you all might know by now, I'm a huge fan of N.K. Jemisin, so I can't wait to crack this book open some time today. How Long 'Til Black Future Month? is a collection of short stories based on modern times. I love the title, a very poignant question for today, and the cover is amazing!

How do I randomly choose a page from a short story collection? The same as I always do. There are 397 pages in this collection, and chose page 245, a page in the story "Cuisine des Mémoires." That page is a little racy, so I'm gonna go ahead and hit the generate button again. 229, "Walking Awake."

And there was something about this chaos, something so subtly counter to everything she knew about the Masters, that she understood at once these were people without Masters. They had built the vehicles and they had built the roads. They had built the whole city.

They were free.

A new word came into her head, in whispers. (Revolution.)

Yeeees. And that makes me understand the title of that story as well. I can't wait!

What are you reading this week?