It Came! It Finally Came!

I was so happy to receive my contributor’s copy of the Inaugural Edition of Copperfield Review Quarterly. After all, I was a contributor! I never dreamed I’d attempt to write a Shakespearean sonnet about Henry VIII, much less that it would be published in such an esteemed literary journal of historical fiction and poetry.

I would like to thank the editor of CRQ, Meredith Allard, for this amazing honor.

I’m proud to finally share with everyone A Day in the Life of Henry VIII. Such an infamous monarch’s daily to-do list couldn’t possibly contain such mundane things as cleaning and errands. In this sonnet, Henry VIII takes it upon himself to change his marriage, the church, and God Himself, all in the pursuit of securing his progeny.

The image of God in his ire does speak

that a more painful hell than this awaits.

But I am King and this one change I seek:

‘tis my desire and creed which should dictate

the right of man to set aside his wife

who through devilry and spite does founder

to achieve her purpose to create life;

whether by ties or death should he sever

them from this most sacred and solemn vow,

he can be assured of his rightful choice

and take such succor as offered him now,

be it food or skin above a rich bodice!

Whoever she be, shall she be my queen

or be hanged for failure to make a king?

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New Avenues

I’m always searching for ways to branch out with my writing–or maybe I’m just someone who likes to start a lot of projects and overwork myself until I, inevitably, shut down.

I suspect it’s a little of both.

That being said…I signed up for an account on the social media network for writers: Medium! It seems like a fun place. As most writers know, it can be hard to connect with other people and get them to engage with your writing, so that’s what I’m hoping to gain from Medium.

Another of my goals is to post a little something every day. I just started an October art/writing prompt challenge that will keep me busy for a little while. Afterwards, who knows? I don’t want to post only poetry and short fiction pieces, so I might cook up some personal stories and listicles too. The point is to write more frequently. I’ve got to build better writing habits, or none of my writing projects will ever be finished.

I’ve posted a couple things already. Check out my profile, cheer me on, and follow me–if you want to. No pressure. I would be so grateful if you did, though.

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The Boneyard: A Short Story Teaser

Last year, it was my intent to enter a flash-fiction contest, but I could never quite get the story to fit into 1,000 words or less, so I tabled the project. Since it’s October, I figured it’s the perfect time to work on it again. Since I’m no longer constrained by such a restrictive word count, I’ve begun to expand it. I really like where it’s going to so far. I hope to finish it this month and afterwards, I’m going to look into submitting it to a lit mag.

Here are the first ~500 words of my horror short story, The Boneyard.

Please leave a like and a comment telling me if you like it, if you don’t, what works and what doesn’t, and any other thoughts you might have.

The house on 777 Darling Lane was anything but. Whoever had addressed it either knew nothing of its evil reputation or had a sick sense of irony.

Desta was banking on the latter.

She stood on the sidewalk, her face pressed to the wrought-iron gate, and gazed up at the house. It was a large, ugly thing. The red-brick, ivy-covered façade was almost black with decades of dirt and grime, and most of the windows had long been broken. To Desta, they were like eyes, lidless, lashless; the house was watching her too.

Desta scoffed. Nonsense. She was acting no better than the ghost-obsessed townspeople she derided.

She didn’t believe in ghosts, or that the house was alive, or that by standing so close, she was opening herself up to attack. She couldn’t deny, though, that it was a ghastly place, and she understood better why no one in town liked the house. If it was this terrible on the outside, what might it be like inside? Multiple attempts to demo it had been attempted, but the Council always refused the motion. Most people tried to ignore its existence, but it was hard when it skulked on the outskirts of town like a sleeping giant poised to crush them if awoken.

Desta had grown up hearing stories about all the terrible things that happened in and around it—she never heard anything about the family who owned it, though, and this was what interested her the most. No one could tell her who they were, where they had come from, when the house had been built, or if they were even alive. They hadn’t been seen in years, but every so often, a curtain would move in one of the remaining windows, or a light would flicker on and go out just as quickly.

The only thing anyone knew about the house was that the land it’d been built on had once been called The Boneyard.

It was this mystery Desta was so desperate to get to the bottom of: Who, if anybody, lived in the house? If someone did live there, why did they never come out? And because she couldn’t quell all superstitious curiosity, what was the mystery of “the boneyard?”

She pressed her front against the cold bars of the gate. If she was only a little smaller, she could slip through the bars and get closer, maybe even go inside. What wonderful and terrible things must be hiding behind its walls, and what secrets Desta might learn the truth of. The Council would be grateful to her for setting the record straight. The townspeople would hail her as a hero. Her classmates, always so quick to underestimate her, would be awed by her bravery.

She had to get inside.

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She’s Ba-aaack (Kinda)

Ack! It happened again. My apologies. My mind is as fickle as the weather sometimes. I also haven’t been writing lately, so I haven’t had much to say on that front. I have been reading, but as you can see, I haven’t kept up with my monthly wrap-up posts.

Failures all around.

Unfortunately, I don’t foresee myself getting back on the writing horse anytime soon. I’m going back to work November 1st, and all my attention has been laser-focused on preparing for that. Mostly I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to do for childcare. This shouldn’t be so hard, but here we are. It’s ridiculous how expensive it is. Why should I go to work to pay someone $1,000 a month to raise my children? That’s an entire mortgage payment!

I’m going to end it there, before I get myself worked up. Keep your fingers crossed for me that I’m able to find a cheaper option.

I miss writing. It’s always this time of year, with NaNoWriMo looming on the horizon, that I feel the worst about my inconsistencies as a writer. I have the creativity and the talent, but none of the discipline writing requires. It makes me fear I’ll never finish a novel, or any writing piece longer than a short story–and I can barely finish those!

It’s so frustrating. I wish brain transplants were a thing. Since they aren’t, I should probably follow through on seeking out the therapy I’ve needed for a long time, but I can never make myself take that step. If only I was still of an age when my mother took care of all my medical business, then I’d have no choice!

July Reading Wrap Up!

Despite being on vacation for a week, I managed to read seven books for a total of 1,977 pages. That makes 56 books in 2021 so far. My lofty goal is to reach 100 total books for the year. Wish me luck! I’m going to need it.

  • Morning in the Burned House by Margaret Atwood
  • Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman
  • The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory
  • The Deep by Rivers Solomon
  • Good Bones by Maggie Smith
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
  • The Antelope Wife by Louise Erdrich

I enjoyed The Deep, Good Bones, and The Boleyn Inheritance the most. The titular poem of Good Bones is one I will most likely revisit a lot. The Deep was a lyrical, thoughtful Afrofuturist story based on the song The Deep by clipping., and it was also quite emotional at times.

I enjoyed The Antelope Wife the least. It was just a struggle to read. I’m not sure why, but I felt lost for much of the novel. Maybe it was due to a cultural divide, or I lost track of all the characters and plot lines. I tried hard to like it but it fell short of the mark.

What did you read this month? Was it a good reading month? Which book did you enjoy the most? The least?

House Cleaning

I’ve made some changes around here! Finally, my website reflects the new, married me. As do all my social media links, and let me tell you, it was not easy to change over. My married name is ten times more common than my maiden name, and it took me dozens of tries to find usernames that work. I never used to like my maiden name, but it was, at least, distinguishing.

The name of my website isn’t the only thing that’s changed. I began this site to launch a freelance editing career, but that has fallen by the wayside. I admit, I was naïve and very ignorant to how hard it actually is to break into the market. I realize now, it might not be something that’s achievable for me. At least, not without a degree and experience to back me up. Though I have confidence in my ability to help authors, I know it’s my word against…nothing.

I’d still like to offer editing services to those in need of it, especially to freelance or up-and-coming authors who need an editor but can’t pay the exorbitant prices of established editors. If that’s you or someone you know, let’s chat! I’d love nothing more than to assist you.

But editing is not the focus of this website anymore. It hasn’t been for a long time.

In the past year, I’ve come to a realization. One I never truly believed I would reach. It turns out, I CAN make a splash in the literary world, that my poetry IS something publishers are interested in, and that’s become my main focus. I’ve had three poems published, one in an acclaimed literary magazine, and I just sent out a micro-chapbook to a contest. I can’t say whether or not I’ll win, but I am confident in the quality of the chapbook. If it doesn’t win the contest, there are other avenues I’d like to explore with it.

I’m loving falling in love with poetry again and gaining more confidence in my writing. And that’s what I’d like to focus on now. I hope this only means good things for my career as a poet.

It’s Publication Day!

Finally, the day I’ve been waiting for. My Shakespearean sonnet A Day in the Life of Henry VIII has had its debut in Copperfield Review Quarterly and I couldn’t be prouder. Seeing my name in print for the first time, and in such an acclaimed literary publication, has me feeling a little teary. I hope this only means good things for my future as a poet.

Please consider supporting me and this great publication. You can purchase digital or print copies of the quarterly on Copperfield Review Quarterly’s website. There’s so much on offer in this edition! Read about handling resistance with Steven Pressfield; Ann Taylor is in the poet spotlight; and, of course, there are plenty of short stories and poems to enjoy.

Get your copy today!

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June Reading Wrap Up!

Another month wherein I read a lot of poetry. Unfortunately, it didn’t translate into writing a lot of poetry. It seems my writing well has dried up for now, but I’m trying not to feel discouraged. Even the most powerful batteries have to recharge!

In June, I read nine books for a total of 2,584 pages. So far this year, I’ve read 49 books. I’ll definitely be extending my 2021 reading goals from 60 books to 80. July probably won’t be a big reading month for me, though. I’m going on vacation from July 8th to July 15th, and though I’d like to think I’ll get some reading done, realistically, I know I won’t. I may not even bother packing a book. If I do find time to read, that’s what my phone and ebooks are for!

  • Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge
  • Helium by Rudy Francisco
  • Black Movie by Danez Smith
  • This is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel
  • The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
  • The Book of Pride by Mason Funk
  • Deaf Republic by Ilya Kaminsky
  • The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

I most enjoyed The House in the Cerulean Sea and Deaf Republic. The House… was enchanting, and Deaf Republic was gritty and raw. Two very different books but both excellent. I least enjoyed Helium. The poetry was good but not great. I haven’t had good luck with poetry this year. If anyone has any recommendations, hit me with ’em.

What did you read this month? Was it a good reading month? Which book did you enjoy the most? The least?

Here Comes the Bride

I married my significant other of nine years yesterday! Honestly, it was about time. It was a simple ceremony performed by a Justice of the Peace, but I got to marry the man I love in front of all my friends and family, so it was simply perfect.

In honor of my nuptials, I want to share a poem I wrote about us a few years ago.

Units of Measurement

How do you measure a relationship?
In years?
We’ve lasted four.
I’d try to get it down to the second,
but I’m bad at math.

Anyway,
I think I’d rather measure ours
in moments:

Like the first night we spent together
and stayed up until 3am talking
about…you know, I’ve forgotten,
but the sound of your voice
was a roll of thunder over my skin,
and, oh, how I wished your fingers had chased the sounds.

We were so silly
the day we decided to move in together
as a solution to our first real argument.
But I was frustrated–I missed you,
and you, you won’t admit it,
but you missed me too,
and even though it was stupid,
it worked out all right in the end.

I remember the night I came home
from visiting my parents
and you said my new hair color was beautiful
and we tumbled into bed together
and some months and days later
we named our son after your grandfather.

It’s weird, isn’t it,
that buying a house together was scarier
than those 16 hours of pain.

A lot can happen in four years.
I’m curious to see what the next
three years will bring–
maybe a daughter?

We did get our daughter, by the way. She has her father’s eyes. ♥

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