The Secret Good News!

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Waiting around to hear back for that rejection you just know is coming can be one of the most painful things you will ever do as a writer.

You worked for this. You sweat for it. Hell, maybe you even bled for it.

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“Yes, paper cuts do count in this industry, thanks very much.”

And then there’s one day when the clouds part and pure, unadulterated Monty Python God-in-the-Heavens sunlight beams down on you… the planets align (literally, in my case), and that rejection… Becomes a yes.

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I’m stoked to announce that my soft sci-fi book has been accepted for publication!

I’m not gonna lie, I may have cried a little (Okay a lot, and my waste bin was full of tissues–don’t judge), after I read through the whole email three times just to make sure I wasn’t fooling myself. And then maybe my husband and I celebrated with a bottle of champagne because

YEAH! I’ve got a book coming out, baby!

I’ll have more updates later on, once I have a better idea of things, but look out for my book to hit shelves in 2017!

*Happy dances out of the room.*

 

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Devil

Poetry

I’m like an urging in your blood
A rush of speed inside your head
And you’ll never win against it,
We’ll just decide when we’re both dead

I’m a beast inside your soul
A fiendish frenzy through your veins
A smile to cause your heart break,
With the hands to soothe the pain

Intrigue and delight,
A source of wonder and chagrin,
Remember dear, remember!
That I’m the devil you let in.

And remember that you chose
To love the animal in me
A vicarious atonement
for the pain you’ll always need

And father bless the wicked
But let the innocents prevail
Amidst your journey through the fire
And the sins that you exhale

Smile because you want it
(Cry because you’ll never win)
And if you’re saddened, just remember:

I’m the devil you let in,
Yeah, I’m the devil you let in…

Minimum wage? More Like Slave Labor

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On the Internet, you find a lot of people willing to spew hatred. It’s just a fact. Whether it’s an honest opinion or general trolling, you typically run into a bunch of people who are simply willing to go out of their way to put you down because

*GASP*

You disagreed with them.

The Internet has always been the home of porn addicts and compulsive spenders, but now thanks to social media, you have an outlet for people who say stupid crap when they’re by themselves to go online and say stupid crap for hundreds and hundreds of thousands to see.

Every. Day.

The problem with this is that, as a whole, the people who are willing to spew these kind of violent outbursts of righteous anger with their noses so high in the air they can’t even see the keyboard are almost always speaking purely from an opinionated point of view… or at least one that is purely decorated with other people’s voices who share the exact same opinion.

(If you get all of your news from a single channel and don’t change your mind about a topic when facts and evidence are presented in the contrary, you are not as well-rounded as you think.)

It’s like a crazy farm. For crazy people. Only, every single one of them thinks that they’re right. I was on Facebook when I came across this gem in my newsfeed:

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This lady, we’ll call her “J”… well, she starts off pretty strong. From the get-go, we know it’s a rant. That in and of itself is not bad. People rant on social media all the time, and it’s become a fairly accepted pastime for most people. Bad day at work? School? You’re sick? Post it to social media! I mean, hell, this blog is basically a giant tribute to my opinion, so clearly, the rant is something that I’m not only familiar with, but chill with pretty frequently.

By the first sentence, I already knew that I was in for a bad time. It’s one of those things that you can just tell by the vibe before you even read it. Someone’s about to blast you with an opinion, and you just. can’t. look. away. It’s like the friggin’ Ark in Raiders. You know it’s gonna be filled with bad shit, and you can either face it or close your eyes and pretend it’s not there.

J starts off immediately by demeaning fast food workers. Immediately. It was almost as if she had been personally offended by a McDonald’s employee who DARED to ask for more money. Was this a personal vendetta? Did she go to said restaurant only to be turned away by a picket line? Who knows? What we do know is that J is really, really, pissed at Johnny Fry-Boy, Baconator (That one’s not so creative, J), and Sally McBurgerFlipper. She is righteously indignant that a fast food worker would request a pay increase to a decent living wage.

I mean, I have no idea how someone could get so angry over someone asking for more when they don’t have enough…. Oh wait.

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Not pictured: J standing off screen yelling at him.

Apparently, if a fast food worker was paid the same amount as someone in the military, it somehow lessens the amount of pay for said soldier. J’s got a bone to pick with those poor employees, and she’s not afraid to show it. Given her utter horror at the idea, and her in-depth knowledge of pay scales in the military, I’d venture a guess that J is married to a soldier and isn’t happy about the money. I can understand that. I actually have a few friends in the military, and I know that things can get tight trying to support their families. I know that there is the issue of them not being paid, being given less than they’re worth, and generally being screwed over if the government is wearing their “Dunce” caps that day (Hint: they are ALWAYS wearing them).

I get it, J. I totally understand that you are angry over the poor pay of men who are willing to sacrifice their lives for us and be apart from their families for long periods of time. I get that it’s unfair, but that’s why all minimum wage should change. Attacking a fast food worker who wants more isn’t the answer.

Dealing all of your fury against people who not only make up a large portion of our economy but also fill necessary jobs so you can feed your kids when you don’t feel like making dinner before a ball game is not going to help. Your rage is misplaced. You should be angry at the government: not at Johnny, Baconator, and Sally. They’re doing their jobs, just like anyone else. They might be putting themselves through school. Did you think of that? They might be trying to pay some increasingly high student debts so they can get a better job. They might be teens trying to work part-time, or even older people who can’t retire because they can’t live on social security. Designed for kids in high school? Honey, this is 2014. I see 60 year olds at Walmart and Subway and Burger King all the time. We have an increasingly pinched middle class and we’re recovering from a recession and the highest unemployment rates since the Great Depression.

I think you need to redefine “jobs for high schoolers” because I can even name some people with fantastic degrees working in retail, in grocery stores, customer service, and yes, even fast food. Do they want to do those jobs? No, I’m sure they don’t. But they need to work to eat, and they deserve to be able to live on the wages that they’ve worked so hard for.

Never mind that a large portion of our fast food workers are on food stamps to support their families. Never mind that they are continually thought of as the scum of the earth, regardless of the fact that McDonald’s sells billions of burgers to people just like J. Never mind that they are given ridiculous tasks and can’t go over on their hours. Or that they are frequently victims of wage theft and being forced to work off the clock or threatened with termination. Never mind that they are people who are trying to support themselves on $7.25 an hour when the burgers that they are “flipping” almost cost more than they make.

Yeah J. You have clearly done your research on this topic.

Settle

Poetry

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she was dressed in black

when they finally took her pulse

and she was bleeding out this sorrow
from the blank spots in her pores

and they promised that tomorrow,
that tomorrow’s gonna come,

but her eyes are set on somewhere deep,
and past the setting sun.

She knows she’ll never shake it,
that sort of crying in her eyes,
and she can feel her body dying
but she knows that it’s not time,

but they said that in the end when
all the sadness is all gone,
that someone’s gonna be there

and they swear they’ll guide her home.

yesterday’s a mystery, but no more than today,
and there’s a solitude in silence

and a heart in disarray,

and she finally finished sewing that one outfit
for the one

who she hopes is gonna be there when her dyin’ is all done

and this one is the story that she’s never gonna tell,
and this one is scraped up knee that bled each time she fell,
and this one is that speck of tear inside of each her eyes,
and this one is the face that she would use for a disguise.

she knows she’ll never fake it,
that sort of dying in her eyes,

  and she’s always sort of bruised
and battered down from time to time,

and by now she knows the ending,
(she’s pretty sure her story’s done,)

so she’s finally gonna’ walk alone
into the setting sun.

Now, you may not know this, but today is actually a special day! It’s my anniversary!

ImageThe one month anniversary, in fact, of the day that I got rear-ended by a middle-aged soccer mom in her huge-ass van! What do I have to show for it, you might ask? Well, mainly a bigger butt (I’ve put on 5lbs because of inactivity and meds…), a dwindling bank account, oodles of doctor’s bills, and a bigger headache than ever before! I also have a busted up car, neck, arm, and back, but hey, those are the kinda gifts you get when a complete stranger gives your derriere that oh so special “getting to know you” love tap.

In the last month, I have done little to nothing of any major value, unless, of course, you count sitting on your ass, laying about, taking medicine and then sleeping too much as ‘something’.

(If you count that as something, then we need to talk because you might have a problem, and/or also be my new best friend.)

At any rate, I wasn’t at fault for the accident, but that didn’t stop it from putting a hold on literally EVERYTHING in my life. For those of you who don’t know, I recently turned 27 had a birthday and I spent it zonked out on meds and marathoning Netflix shows from my bed. I think I left the room maybe three times, and it was mostly because I had to pee.

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The song of the porcelain throne is a siren’s call.

In this interim of inaction, I’ve had the unfortunate position of having to speak with the insurance company for a length of time, which led to them trying to get me to sign my life over for little more than they probably make in 30 seconds. They also tried to avoid paying the medical bills that occurred as a result of their client’s negligence. They attempted to do all of this days after the accident before I even had knowledge of how bad my injuries really were.

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“Then I told her that we’d pay for the medical bills… for the first week!”

I’m going to let you in on a less than secret “secret”: Insurance companies are evil. I think they might work for Hitler, who is actually subcontracting for the Devil from the innermost circle of Hell in the office next to every serial murderer and across the hall from the room reserved for the Westboro Baptist Church.

Take everything you know about empathy, shred it, throw the bits in the air, have an orgy in the pile, and then shit all over whatever’s left, and you basically have what amounts to the insurance agency’s desire to help you solve your problems.

I’m not posting a picture for that. Use your imaginations. Sickos.

What I’m saying is that they genuinely don’t care one iota about you, your pain, or your problems.

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I couldn’t give less of a shit. I really, truly mean it.

I went into this with the attitude that hey, as long as my medical bills are paid, I’ll be okay and work with them… which promptly had to go straight out the window when they showed their hand. It was about a week after my accident when I realized that I might actually have to get an attorney to handle the travesty, because they were seriously, seriously uninterested in trying to help me.

In the meantime, while I’m waiting for all of this to get sorted, I haven’t been able to work, and my car still hasn’t been repaired because not only is the insurance company trying to wiggle out of it, but I also have the estimate writer at their repair place being downright nasty to me.

(Rodney… what a perfect name for you.)

Add on to this that I’m basically spending 3-5 days a week in a doctor’s office, and it’s literally the most Sisyphean task I’ve ever had to endure.

Now remember, the only reason that I’m in this endless cycle is because someone else was careless, and they have people on their side who are paid to make my road to recovery as difficult as humanly possible. They are paid to make us miserable and to make us accept less than we need to survive, and that, my friends, is not okay.

There are, of course, people in the world who whine a bit too loudly when something like this happens, and I totally get that. But then, there are also people who are just trying to get themselves back to status quo. The many will always suffer for the few, but it just really makes you hate the process that much more when you realize that someone literally has a job where they are told to screw you over as much as possible.

And to those people, I would gladly offer you this lovely double fingered salute, but you’ve seen it so much you’d probably just think of it as a term of endearment by now.

 

 

 

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Mus(e)ic?

Blog Articles

It’s hard to get your muse in gear and actually get your work done by and by. Whether that work is writing or anything else in life that requires even a modicum of attention and energy, there are times when procrastination is key and my best friend and keeper. I know that I sometimes procrastinate without reason, even if the only one I’m disappointing is myself and a perhaps overly large pile of laundry that I’ve meant to fold and/or hang up for like, three days now.

Ahem.

During my writing, editing, or basically anytime I’m in front of the computer, you can guarantee one of two things. One, I will have a word document open in the potential that I will get writing done, and two, that I will have music playing. Doesn’t matter what music, unless I’m in a routine obsession with a particular song—you know, the ones that you play over and over until you’re sick of them?

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They literally almost couldn’t fit all of the 80s in there into this picture. 

Pandora will be coasting through everything from classical music to dubstep like my own personal tunage fairy that constantly batters me with ads. (PAY for music? Please, Internet. I grew up in the Napster and Limewire era, friend.)

While I absolutely love listening to music as I work, I know that the wrong music can be utterly devastating to writing. For instance, sometimes it’s impossible to be able to write while a song with lyrics that you know plays. I have occasionally found myself typing the words to the songs, completely oblivious that I’m doing so until it’s too late and I’ve lost my original train of thought.

I once attended a school for graphic design before switching my degree to creative writing, and I had a lovely Russian art teacher for a semester whose job it was to teach some kids who had no formal training how to draw still-lifes and use shadowing and that weird thumb-and-pencil thing to measure objects that I never quite got around to perfecting. (Or using… ever.) To this day, whenever I pick up the pencil to sketch anything, I still hear her voice in my head telling me to “Drah sroo za shape.” She was very keen on using music to stimulate creativity while drawing, and was a fan of techno beats and discotheque European music. Occasionally, we heard a cool song or two, but what I remember her for most was when she’d forget to change a library from repeating one song to repeating them all, and so we’d hear that self-same wub-wub house music song for about two hours of our four hour long class before she’d realize it was repeating and change it. By the end of two hours of Eastern European techno, you’re about ready to shoot yourself in the head to make it stop. Needless to say, some days were more productive than others.

It’s kind of a given that things that are catchy and upbeat have a tendency to capture the attention, and I definitely can’t write a sad scene to happy music, or vice versa. I find my own moods often mirror my character’s scenario as I think, and there’s no way that I can write a sad scene listening to a tune that makes me smile.

Ever try to kill someone to pop music? Can’t be done.

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There are of course, always exceptions.

If only that grimace was early-onset cardiac arrest.

Music is a strange creation in that it has the ability to regulate our moods and flood our brains as we speak or try to communicate. It’s pretty unique in that it can be both inspiring and ungodly awful with only the difference of maybe a few notes between your favorites and least favorites. Used properly, it does in fact stimulate the brain to work more creatively, or throw you into mind-numbing bouts of self-depression… (Especially if that music is country).

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Look, she didn’t get rich on a long lasting, healthy and fulfilling relationship, is all I’m saying, okay?

Super Bowl-Sh*t

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I am not normally one to watch football and don’t watch any of the matches through the rest of the year, so it doesn’t matter to me which colored jersey wins, ya dig?

(My sister-in-law and brother-in-law and I just so happened to choose the winning side to root for, which was a psychic bonus, I suppose.)

That being said, as a family, we all sit down and watch the Super Bowl, and so I had a chance to spy the infamous ads which would later cause such an online flummox.

At any rate, watching the commercials during the breaks, I wasn’t ‘blown away’ by any, and some even made me smile a bit. I mean, I don’t even drink Budweiser, but I love their Clydesdale commercials—who doesn’t love puppies and horses?!

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 …I digress.

Never once did it occur to me that two ads would have made such an outrageous impact for ALL of the wrong reasons.

Now, I watched both of these ads. I watched them with my whole family, and none of us saw anything wrong with them. We just watched them and moved on, but the Internet was already abuzz with misplaced rage.

Why? Because in this day and age, ignorance can’t be contained. It must be spread online, typically over social media forums that allow for people to spew their idiot vomit in 140 characters or less.

So, in lieu of simply calling people on their backwoods bullshit, let’s break down all of the fun reasons that people who found these commercials offensive are racist, bigoted morons!

Coca Cola has people singing “America the Beautiful” in languages other than English.

1. “I didn’t like people singing the national anthem in another language.”

If you have made it to an age where you can go out into the world and type with any kind of clarity into social media a slightly literate sentence about your opinion… you should at least be able to understand that if you’re going to open your mouth about something, you should have some facts to back it up.

a)    America the Beautiful is NOT our national anthem. Our national anthem is The Star Spangled Banner.

b)   This song was written by Katherine Lee Bates (*gasp*, a WOMAN?!) who was also a lesbian (Double gasp!). She left the Republican party in 1924 over growing xenophobia.

c)    Xenophobia: the intense or irrational dislike and fear of people from other countries (sound familiar?)

2. “This is Uh-meri-cuh. We speak ENGLISH here.”

a)    America has no official national language. This is because we are a melting pot… Think of the Statue of Liberty’s inscription. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses…” The inscription didn’t say, “Give me people who speak American English and nothing else.”

b)   We have plenty of U.S. citizens (legit citizens, okay?) who speak a language other than English, but are still American. It happens, since, you know, immigration from other countries.

c)    American English is a hard language to learn, but you know what? Some foreign countries actually assign it as a language in their classrooms. There are foreigners all over the world who have mastered the English language better than a good portion of Americans in America.

d)   How many people in America can easily discern the difference between:

It’s and Its;

Two, To, and Too

Your and You’re

They’re, Their, and There

Where and We’re

Write and Right

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Believe it or not, this is foreign language to some Americans…

Cheerios shows an interracial couple with a child.

a)    Welcome to America, where your birthplace doesn’t matter, but the color of your skin does? If you can’t get it through your skull that people are people, and we’re all pink and meaty on the inside regardless of our exteriors, then you really should go back to high school biology class and retake that segment, because clearly, you missed a huge plot twist.

b)   People evolved and adapted over many years to develop different pigmentation in their skin based on their environments and what they required in order to survive. Us extra white white people lived in regions where it was cold, we didn’t stay in the sun all day, and in a lot of places, it snowed. Therefore, we developed lighter skin, because nature decided that was what we needed. The good portion of people with darker skin lived in hotter climates, where their darker skin protected them from a harsher sun, and ensured that they wouldn’t stick out like… well, like a white person on the Savannah.

c)    Science, bitches.

d)   Because we are able to migrate all over the world today, and people of any racial orientation can move wherever they want, there are tons of people from different places everywhere.

e)    Sometimes, those people fall in love with someone who doesn’t look like them. Imagine if there was a fallout because blonde people were marrying brunettes instead of other blondes. See how silly that is? Now apply that ideal to skin color. It’s pretty lame, isn’t it?

Before this totally blows your mind, I assure you, there is no rule where someone of one race can’t fall in love with someone of another race. Our parts all work the same in the end, and again, if you can’t figure out that we’re all just people, you should probably go and learn that so you can understand how someone could have a baby from such a union.

(Hint: It’s the regular way since they’re no different from you)

I would really love for people to stop letting hate-mongering idiots dictate their views.

Let’s drop that racist ‘Murica! mentality for 2014, okay?

Stories to Make Your Skin Crawl…

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Hey everyone!!

In honor of Halloween, I thought I’d share with you two books that are definitely going on my fright list!

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Just ignore them, they wouldn’t know good literature if it bit them in the… Oh.

I recently had an article published with Spectacle PMG in regards to two books they will be releasing to horrify and thrill their audiences.

You can read that article here!

The books are entitled Disturbing and Eat, and they are for lovers of ghoulish things everywhere!

Got a thing for zombies? You can purchase the unique tales of Eat here.

If you’re wanting something truly Disturbing, then go purchase a copy here.

And don’t forget to go and read my article! ‘Cause, y’know, it’s amazing. Duh.

Happy Halloween… try not to be too frightened.

The Debriefing

Movies, Scripts

This is an excerpt of my dark comedy script, The Debriefing.

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Walter Brown is a socially backward, paranoid accountant in a baby clothing company, Blue Booties. When he uncovers some secret accounts that link his boss to black market dealings, it’s up to him to save the day and get the girl.

Get a copy of this sample here.