My Favorite (Christmas) Things

The following is a contribution to Casey Hays’ My Favorite Things: Christmas blog/contest giveaway this past December.

I wasn’t quite sure what to write about. What could I possibly NOT like about Christmas? I love the Christmas season. Admittedly, every year I begin listening to Christmas music a little earlier than the previous. I believe I started sometime in August this year. Only instrumental though. That’s how I justify it. Continue reading

Free Flash Fiction Story: Order Up

During my days in graduate school, I toyed with the idea of writing a novel. I wasn’t quite convinced I could do it, or that my writing was ‘good enough.’ I decided to sign up for a Flash Fiction contest. If Flash Fiction is new to you, don’t worry. I didn’t know it was a thing until I decided to enter the contest. Each registrant had 48 hours to write a story 1000 words or less with a given genre, object, and location.

For the second round of the contest, I received the following prompts: Horror, Pinball machine, Junkyard. Below is my entry (PDF link), unedited, for your reading pleasure. I decided not to edit today what I had written then. Not only does it help me see my growth, but also, to show any of you who are thinking of writing, another writer’s starting point (I placed 4th in my heat). Being Flash Fiction, it’s only 3.5 pages. You can spare ten minutes of your time (I was going to use that as the title for this post but changed my mind). If you wish to see more, check out my novel, Weariland (slightly longer…).

Order Up

Game of Thrones: Best Episode of Season 6

Since I have some newcomers to my blog, I thought I would write something fun and light this time around. I originally had a list of my favorite bits of Game of Thrones: Season 6 along with a few things that I missed. However, my first bullet point, Episode 9: Battle of the Bastards, turned into its own blog. The battle between Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton is the best battle scene I have seen on television. It rivals the battles of the big screen, and in my opinion, surpasses the best hand-to-hand combat movie scenes from Braveheart to Lord of the Rings. I watched most of Season 6 before my husband, but I told him to wait to see Episode 9 until I could watch it with him. It was THAT good. Let me break it down as to why. Continue reading

BookCon 2016: My First Book Signing

IBPA boothI don’t know if every newbie author goes through this, but I sure did. I’m talking about Book Signing Anxiety (BSA). FIRST book signing anxiety. What do I say to people? What should I write? How should I sign my name? How much should I charge for a book? How much change should I have on me? How do I keep track of money and receipts? What pen should I use? What should I wear? Did I leave the iron on? And the mother of all questions— Continue reading

Living in South Africa: Don’t share anything!

When I told family and friends I was moving to South Africa, I received a mixed bag of reactions.


“How exciting!”

*Gasp* “Why? That’s so far away!”

One high school friend who had lived there said she couldn’t believe I was going and implied I wasn’t cut out for it. In hindsight, I understand her reaction. Continue reading

Living in South Africa: The (1st) Flight

So begins a (weekly, monthly?) blog entry on my journey living in South Africa. When reading the title, feel free to hum the words to the tune, “Living in America,” from Rocky IV.

You may be asking, “Why South Africa?” Perhaps I wanted to literally live as far away as possible from home before swinging back around the planet. Good guess. And there may be some truth to it, but no. I wanted to study great white sharks. Unfortunately, the U.S. government didn’t. There is little to no grant money for that. Thank you treadmill shrimp. Google it. It’s a thing. Continue reading

Jurassic Park changed my life–or my homage to Michael Crichton

    IMG_2407 (1) I can honestly say I remember learning to read in the first grade. Mainly because I had five older siblings, yet none would take the time to read to me. That’s okay. I don’t hold a grudge. They know they’re jerks sometimes. It motivated me to REALLY want to learn to read. My mother knew of my interest and bought me books (Ramona Quimby, Age 8; read it when I was 7. Yes, a child prodigy.) Continue reading