Tag Archives: Announcements

[Announcement] Finals week.

abc books chalk chalkboard

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Just a heads up that there will not be an installment of “Don’t Feed the Trolls” this week. My university is online, but we still have finals. The professor for one class has given all of us an extension on the ones due for her class, but that’s not the only class I’m in, and my eye has been blurring more than usual (oh joy), which severely hampers my ability to write. Hopefully next week will be back to normal.

In the meantime, don’t forget to check out my Twitter for your #Batfile prompt, and I’ll be back on Monday with a Story and a Song.

Update: On Zombies and School.

One of these days, I will fall into a regular posting schedule. Maybe. Eventually…you realize I can hear you laughing all the way from here, right?

Right, well, anyway. Some of you may have noticed that only the first five chapters of “Say ‘No!’ to Zombies” are still available. This is because SNtZ has reached a critical stage: querying. Image result for querying

Yup. That’s right. I have officially begun to send my baby out to the scary world of publishers and agents. Currently, I still plan on posting the sequel, “Don’t Feed the Trolls,” to this blog and the associated ArchiveOfOurOwn account, but that may also change. I make no promises on that front, beyond that I will try to keep you all updated. On that note, right now, the best place to go for updates is my Twitter.   

Looking forward, you will also be seeing a lot of changes going on around here. A new look, new content, pages reorganized, etc.. It’s part of my coursework this semester, which is good news for you guys, and not so great news for me. I always struggle with what to write here – a common enough struggle, from what I understand – but I like getting good grades, so. Fun times ahead for all of us.

For those of you wondering when I’ll start posting “Don’t Feed the Trolls” chapters, I am aiming for Thursday, September 20th.

Updates all around

Here, a selfie apology. (Ignore my hair. It’s a mess.)

Alright, so I know things have been quiet here, but it’s been a bit of a bumpy ride this past month/two months.

First, I had a tooth that decided to go abscess. For those of you who don’t know what that’s like – it sucks. And the pain makes it damn near impossible to sleep. I’m used to going without sleep, insomnia has been a lifelong friend, but combined with the pain…ugh. To make it even better, that was the week when a big paper for class was due. I ended up having to text my professor, letting her know that it was going to be late, and why. Fortunately, I had a very understanding teacher, and she gave me an extension, but I hated to do that.

Then: the company my roommates (and I, by extension) work for had an issue with the fire alarm/sprinkler system, so we were all on fire watch for almost two weeks. Basically, every hour, one of us had to do a round on the property to make sure nothing was on fire. Every. Hour. On top of working – and in my case – schooling.

Add in the end of the school year, both kids being home, finals week, the author interview from the other day, and various other issues that have popped up…it’s just been a nightmare. (Still trying to figure out what I’m going to do with my Mondays now that “Lucifer” is gone until next year…)

Not saying there hasn’t been good to go with the bad…I’m finally figuring out Instagram, I’ve rediscovered my love for VIXX (seriously, I’ve turned into a complete teenager over these boys. It’s a bit ridiculous),  and I started work on the proper sequel to Say “No!” to Zombies. 

Ladies and gentlemen, and everything in between or out, I would like to introduce you to Book 2 of “The Survivors Chronicles” (name may change): “Don’t Feed The Trolls.”

I even made you something…um…pretty? Ha. Enjoy. And scroll down for a very short preview. As always, when it comes to Shelly, there is a warning for language.

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Mental Health Awareness month

I was involved in an accident when I wasn’t even two years old yet, which has led me to being functionally blind in one eye. My brother was unloading the dishwasher. He saw that one of the glass mugs had water still in it, so he went to shake it out. As he did, the cup detached from the handle, shattering in mid-air, just as I was walking around the Image result for rescue 9-1-1corner into the kitchen. Part of the glass cut through my eyelid and into the eyeball itself.

It is by sheer luck that 1) the glass shattered in air and was straight out of the dishwasher, so the shard was sterile when it entered my eye, 2) my sister had literally just watched an episode of Rescue 9-1-1 about eye injuries, so knew to take a clean cup and place it over my eye until I was taken to the hospital. Otherwise, instead of just being functionally blind, I would be missing an eye completely, and 3) we lived in Baltimore, Maryland at the time, which is home to one of the best hospitals in the world (John Hopkins – still in the top 5 in the US, as of 2018). Image result for john hopkins hospital

Due to the accident, not only have I lost all peripheral vision on my right side, I also have what is probably a mild form of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Sudden loud sounds makes my face feel like it’s trying to turn itself inside out (a really odd feeling, just so you know); when kids are in the kitchen, I am jumpy and nervous until they’re out and – in my mind – “safe;” I can’t stand things close to my face, unless I am in direct control of them, which makes wearing glasses a very not fun experience at times; and bright lights on my “blind” side make me flinch and jerk away. All of which has led to me being called “jumpy” on a shit ton of occasions.

I do not drive – nor do I ever plan on it – because I feel that it would be irresponsible of me to get behind the wheel of a car when I can’t guarantee that a sudden sound, or the sun reflecting off a car’s mirror won’t make me jerk away and cause an accident. Between those tics, and the cost of having the car fitted with special mirrors, driving just isn’t a viable option. And I’m okay with that. It’s an issue, and I know it.

Image result for mental health awareness monthBut with all that being said, I don’t think I really qualify to speak up during the Mental Health Awareness month. While my symptoms are annoying, they do not really affect my life in a way that many others suffer from. Because of this, and because I want to participate in raising awareness of mental health, I will instead be sharing the posts made by a friend who suffers from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and a panic disorder (which doesn’t have a cool acronym, and I’m very salty about that – even if my friend isn’t). She is documenting her month and what she goes through on a daily basis on her own blog, and I will be reblogging them here.

I will be posting three here throughout today and tomorrow to catch up with what she’s already posted, and then I will re-blog her posts throughout the month as she puts them up. Because of the time difference between us, sometimes my reblog of her posts will be a day later than the actual publication date. It is my hope that, by sharing her experiences, others will gain some empathy and understanding of what a person with a mental illness goes through every day. It isn’t all sunshine and lollipops, surprise, surprise.  

If you notice, I have also added a link in the sidebar, right underneath the Suicide Image result for mental health awareness monthAwareness help site, to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) site. There, you can find more information and helplines.

Please, if you ever feel you feel like you need help – reach out. I know it’s hard, it feels like a weakness, but it isn’t. You wouldn’t apologize for needing help if you had a broken arm, why should you feel weak because your brain is a jerk? It’s not your fault. You did nothing wrong. You having a mental illness is no more your fault, than it is my fault for being short. You can’t help it, neither can I. The only differences here, is my being short won’t kill me, and if I need help, society doesn’t give me any grief about it. The first can be somewhat mitigated if you can reach out and get the help you need. The second can only change if we all band together to get the message out there, and reduce the stigma.

So. Let’s work together. Reach out. I promise, if you need help? There will be a hand out there to hold. Someone who will work with you. Let them help you.

If you don’t suffer from a mental illness yourself, feel free to participate this month anyway. There is no excuse not to. It takes a village, guys. Let’s go.

The death of a story.

No author likes admitting that it’s time to give a story a merciful death. It feels like we have failed the characters and the readers, both. But it happens sometimes, and now is one of those times. 

As much as I hate to say it, “Blood Runs Black” isn’t right. Or maybe it’s just the characters that aren’t right, I’m not sure at this point, and that’s a problem. I’ve tried to work around this, thinking, “oh, maybe it’ll just be a novella. I’ll get Alex to ****, and then we’ll move on.” But that’s not working either. I don’t feel Alex’s voice in this, and skipping to another character in the story just feels like a cop out.

So, for now, I must say goodbye to Alex and “Blood Runs Black.” This doesn’t mean I won’t return to it, mind you, so it’s not really the death of a story, I guess. More like cryogenic storage.

In the meantime, I have some (kinda) good news. Just because I am putting away Alex’s story, doesn’t mean I am putting aside the zombie tale completely. Instead, I will be moving forward with Shelly’s side of the story. This part of the work will be picking up after Alex’s tale, and it’s going to take some planning, so bear with me awhile. I’ll keep you updated as I know more about what I’m doing with this series.

And who knows? Maybe I’ll finally hear Alex’s real voice along the way. The only promise I can give is that I will try.

Eek!

Okay, so for the followers of “Blood Runs Black”: please don’t hate me, but it’s going on a (hopefully) mini-hiatus.

This past week was Finals, and I haven’t really had a chance to work on anything. I am also in the process of editing “Say ‘No!’ to Zombies” and helping make plans for two different vacations. So yeah, I’ve been just a bit busy. I will try to have a new chapter up soon, but don’t be surprised if there isn’t an update next week either. Just a heads up.