The one where I FINALLY share good news!

Okay, yeah-here is the good news people-Tales of the Lost Volume 2 (a Bram Stoker Award nominated anthology) is now for sale on Amazon. It’s in an ebook format for only 3.99. That’s like not even a full coffee at Starbucks. And the money all goes to charity.

Also, I dig it. Maybe horror isn’t your thing…maybe you want some Speculative Fiction? Check me out in the new anthology from Midnight and Indigo. Available October 31st!

Support Black Women Writers and COVID for about $20.

Let’s Talk About Murder and Stuff

I think I am a crime junkie. I get upset when the ID Network takes cases they have already covered and redo them. Like put on a new dress and different make up and you get a third into it only to realize you’ve seen this. And now you’re pissed because they took up your time.

I have a Spotify Premium subscription and I think my kid enjoys it more than me. But, there comes a time either Saturday or Sunday, I am out of stuff to listen to. Like a junkie, I’m whipping through podcasts and I’ll tell you, this is what I hate: talking.

There was one podcast about an alleged haunted house. The three people laughed and whatnot for ten fucking minutes. Yo! It was a thirty minute podcast-wtf?! Yeah, I was pissed. You missed out on ten minutes I could have been peeing myself but noooo.

When will they learn that no one gives a shit about the ten-fifteen minute banter at the beginning. Because I love the three of you, I have suffered enough and listened to a bunch of crime podcasts (and supernatural) and these are some favorites:

Hey, let’s shake on it. Yeah, these are the hands of a killer.

In no particular order, but with some subtle info:

Crime Culture (their website is awesome because it goes into neurotic detail, which is what I do after I listen to a podcast.)

True Crime Garage (starts with a beer, has lots of side discussion and these guys are from Ohio. I’m not biased but hey…j

The Minds of Madness ( host has a very comforting voice)

Cults on Parcast Network (okay, they give you background on the cult leaders and cults. Drink a beer when you get to the a-ha moment when the cult leader is like, “I’m so fucking drunk on power. Nothing can stop me now!”)

Rotten Mango (honestly, her voice is annoying and sometimes she drifts from the mic. Her boyfriend gives a true reaction and spends most of the show gasping but, hey-it’s good. The Dildo Submarine Murder is theee best episode.)

Park Predators (I don’t go camping and guess what?! I’m not going camping after listening to this show.)

Serial Killers (See if you can find the three things that make a serial killer: setting fires, wetting the bed and killing animals. Drink when they mention one each. Lots of background info on the killers. They overstate that the chick on the show is not a psychologist. Yep, sometimes she gets it WRONG)

Crime Junkie (I think this started out in Indiana and branches out everywhere. These chicks get scared sometimes and you do too! They played a 911 call where the girl was being held hostage…full body chills.)

Crimes of Passion ( the things people do for love or money or both. There is no person so good that I would kill for them. I mean, I’m asexual anyway, but I’m just saying.)

Female Criminals (yeah, I’m all up in the Parcast podcasts. This one has some of the most heartless and evil women I’ve ever listened to. I feel like there is a “Crimes of Passion” crossover)

Sword and Scale ( do you wanna hear a guy with the driest voice ever? Add a dose of sarcasm and you’ve got it. He plays lots of recordings, which can be garbled at times.)

Casefile (okay…just whoa…Casey and his Australian accent will scare the shit out of you. Then you realize most of these crimes are in Australia and it’s like how many actual people live here because they have a bunch of sick crimes that happen. But the episodes are well researched and I love how he says, “Seek help at you local crisis cent-ah”)

I guess I need to give an honorable mention to The Last Podcast On the Left but they got a bit chatty. I will listen to it once in awhile but I can only take so many ball/shit/weed jokes.

Go forth and be anti social. I listened to most of these in the before times. You know Pre Pandemic, when I’d have to catch the bus or walk around the GW University Campus looking spaced out.

Pin-spiration

Nanowrimo is coming. I’m probably not going to participate this year as I think it’s bizarre to push yourself crazy hard to get all these words written in 30 days. I may reap the benefits of Nano and use the different locations to work-depending on how these twats  handle this pandemic.

So far, not so good.

Even I have a problem breathing and talking with a mask on BUT as I have allergies, it’s not that bad. I find it refreshing. It also gives me a reason to stop talking to people. Or not talk as much. Heh heh…

Anyway, I like to have some kind of board to look at when I’m writing. This is where Pinterest comes in handy. People like to talk shit about Pinterest, but where else can I nurse my lady crush on Tilda Swinton? My mega fixation on Logan Browning or imagine what my minimalist wardrobe would look like when I get my shit together. Cottagecore? Done. Find out more about mori girl aesthetic? Check!

So, stop reading and check out Pinterest. You can find me on there and look at all the strange and fascinating shit I’ve pinned.

You have been warned.

 

Winner Winner…I Got A Grant

This is the part where I’m supposed to put on a top hat and say something like, “In conjunction with Locus Magazine, I was a recipient of a grant from the Ladies of Horror Fiction.”

Instead, I’m a dork so it’s more like, “OH MY GOD!! I GOT A GRANT! LOOK AT ME GO!!”

Hey, it’s the fact that I got it that counts. And I got it at a particularly low time-be careful with “agents” y’all-and it was a pleasant surprise. I did my dance and I’ll probably dye my hair something (non permanent) blonde or white because why not?

Anyway, bask in my glory. Enjoy my victory. And I wish you all well.

Yo, I’m totes legit, y’all!!

Shocktober or 30 Days of Paranoia

I shall profess my love for all things horror and watch a horror movie a day for the month of October. Why not 31? I have a reading and I’m reading my own horror, problem solved.

Besides, we can’t go trick or treating. We really can’t do much in this pandemic and honestly, I don’t trust half the people out here to self isolate.

Ahhh…this was a good one
Heard this compared to “Get Out”…we will see…
I love Spanish and Korean horror because they do it right! I watched this movie three times and each time saw something I didn’t see before.
Metamorphosis-Korean horror movie about possession. I do love a good possession movie. Also movies about spirits in churches, kids in horror movies, more psychological than blood splatter. But a good bloody splatter is good once in awhile.

Everything About You Matters

Affirmations are everywhere in this Pandemic.

Everyone talks about self care and self love, but let’s talk about you and me. Recently, I signed up for a workshop. I get work back from the workshop and it was a critique and then, they wanted money for me to attend the workshop.

Now I know my shit was tight. My work was finely tuned. I’ve made all the changes and I filed it under the “done” folder. As I’m reading this letter, ripping my work apart, I’m thinking, “Well, I’ve had critiques from several other people and they didn’t have this problem.”

I’m a Pisces. I’m paranoid as hell and I get offended easily.

So, I’m wavering and thinking. I’m also about to go finish schoolwork with my kid and make lunch. But hey…I’m thinking that I’m reading a story and I think that the author uses the word “said” too much. Everyone said. Then, she said. No adverbs or descriptions of how they said what they did. Just said. I don’t think anyone said anything to this author during the editing process. Or maybe they said to tone it down on the adverbs. You know what, just change it all to said. I mean the rest of the book is good. (YA is always a hard read because at some point the protagonist commits a series of wtf’s and you wanna put the book down, but you need to finish.)

What’s the point of all this. Man, I gotta stop taking shit personal. If Person A reads it and says it’s perfect. Person B said to add a few details blah blah. Person C says this and that. You go over three or drafts done and finally they all agree. Yay! Then, anyone else that reads it has an opinion as well. At this point, I can only take so much.

Self care and why you matter starts here…do I change this story for the 890th time or let it go. I’m open to critique, mind you. I know a person is trying to make it so they understand it. If I change it for you, I’d have to change it for every reader. And I don’t have the time to do that. In other words, I’m gonna pass on your word.

Am I cocky? Nah. It’s like so many people write the great American novel and never get published. Some people are afraid to get their work out there. I’ve had stuff published and am working on a novel. I’m not afraid of getting my stuff out there. But unless this helps me to clarify something or improve the story, nah, son. This is like my 890th pass on this one work. I ain’t got time.

Basically, know when to say no. Know when your ideas and your truth matters. Know when to say, “Thanks, I’ll take it into consideration.” You matter. Take care of you.

Time to Shine

This is probably the umpteenth blog about this stupid pandemic and working, but here goes:

This is your time to shine.

Last week (or week before), my mom came to town. One thing led to another and as we were talking she said, “So, I asked her-is this all you’ve done in three months?” I stopped to think for a sec. Is this all you’ve done in three months? (which means) Why haven’t you done shit in three months?! (I know my mom, it’s what she was thinking)

Why haven’t you done shit in three months?

This time has flown by in a blink. I have made it a point to put all my short stories into a book and keep working. I should have the epic to end all epics after this is over, but that’s beside the point.

I was reading Vogue-the September issue-and the theme is “hope”. And they got it right, for the first time ever. Normally, it’s full of ads of shit I can’t afford and have to wait for the Target version to come out. However, this month, it’s filled with kids not from my generation, but from several generations talking about hope and change and the future.

These generations are serious. They are sick and tired of my generation and our parents telling them about what we endured and they got out and did (are doing) something. Minnesota-black guy killed then protests. Wherever there was a useless killing of a black man, there were protests. Then, the bring back the ones no one will talk about-Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland…you know the names by now.

I have never seen a generation about it. We are not going home. We are not going to stand down. We will fight until they hear us and then we will keep fighting when they come for us. We will fight for each other, but we all will fight because black lives matter to all of us.

And what happened? Like a ripple in a pond, this is causing protests worldwide. Where there are black people, there are protests. Ugly indignities in the treatment of blacks are being exposed. I mean, England and as far as Japan! I never thought I’d see the day when so many brown and black brothers and sisters raise their fists and join the fight we have been fighting all along…for over 300 fucking years.

So, I’ve got my shit together. I made an accountability squad of sorts (you know who you are) and we hold each other accountable for stuff that we need to do. Why? Because when you have to answer to someone, you make sure the work gets fucking done. If you need help, you ask for help. Have an idea? Bounce it off one of your squad and get it done.

The most important thing, I guess, is to leave something behind. When 2021 comes, they will look back at 2020 and see the deaths and COVID and no school but they will also see the ones that fought. The ones that raised their voices and said, “NO FUCKING MORE OF THIS SHIT!” I’d like to also leave something behind. What I’m working on is something about my family so we don’t forget the past and carry that shit forward into the future. I am working on it. (Dude, check my squad. We hold meetings every three weeks. You wanna be squad? Hit me up.) This way, my niece, nephews, kids, grandkids will have something after I’m gone that says, “This is what she left behind. And it is awesome!”

And now, I ask you, what are you going to do? It’s your time to shine!