Monthly Review & Quarterly Goals


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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!