@LMBryski… ☀️Blog is ⬆️

As previously mentioned, I was nominated for the Sunshine Blog by @LMBryski, an LOL-inducing Canadian who loves food as much as I do. And she saves lives. Literally. She’s an ER doctor! Bless her heart. Her first novel Book of Birds comes out in a couple of months, too. I’m telling ya, this one’s going places, folks.

So, first, I answer some questions given to me. Second, I nominate others and give them some questions to answer. Yeah… about that second part. I’m kind of a recluse, see, and that not only goes for real life, but also the Internet. The only two people I’d feel comfy nominating have already been nominated to do the Sunshine Blog. I’m going to have to think on that last part for a bit and see who I can come up with. In the meantime, and without further ado, my answers…


What is your advice to other writers that has helped you?

Oddly, the advice that has helped me the most came from a complete stranger, over Twitter. Unfortunately, she wasn’t very nice about it, which, being the delicate, thin-skinned newbie that I was (and still am) sent me scurrying back under the covers for days. I was a mess… flipping it this way, flopping it that way, holding it up to the light… but eventually I came to the conclusion that, however rude and insensitive her tweet had been, she was right. Her advice? I’m paraphrasing, but it went something like this: Stop worrying about what other authors are doing, get off Twitter, sit your ass down and write.

Don’t get me wrong, social media is important, integral even, to what we’re all trying to achieve here, but it also has the potential to be a crutch for our ever-present insecurities to lean on, am I right? So, whenever I start getting sucked into the black hole of social media, I picture myself as a bedraggled woman in ratty slippers and a coffee stained housecoat surrounded by an old typewriter and waist-high crumpled sheets of paper and rejection letters barking:


*shoves coffee stained housecoat into laundry, smiles nervously*

OMG, you guys. I think I blacked out. How long have I been answering this question?

What was your favorite TV show as a kid?

Bewitched, hands down. I lived for that half hour of Samantha’s hilarious nose-twitching hijinks. I also loved: Fantasy Island and Wonder Woman. Linda Carter rocked those badass bulletproof bracelets like nobody’s business.

Where in the world would you like to live and why?

I’m not a big water person, so uh, we can scratch beachy-type places off the list. Bugs, snakes, spiders and bats can all go to hell as far as I’m concerned so the rain forest and Australia are out. I’m a pasty white girl who sizzles like bacon in the sun, so the desert (and Arizona) is also out. I’m a huge fan of history and historical places, though. Love folklore. Enamored with castles. Adore potatoes… I’m about as tall as a leprechaun… and I dig red hair. There you have it, I would like to live in the Irish countryside.

Mountain, volcano or cloud. Which one and why?

Are we talking places to hang out? Places to have lunch? Let’s go for settings for novels, shall we? YA Fantasy: Mountain. Suspense Thriller: Volcano. Paranormal Romance: Cloud.

What is your favorite cereal?

Cap’n Crunch in my youth. However, my palate has graduated from Crunch Berries to Cinnamon Life these days.

If you could name a star, what would you name it and why?

I already have. He’s eight-and-a-half years old, and he still lets me call him honey bunny baby boo boo. He’s a mamma’s star.

What is your essential item for traveling?

Socks. My feet are always cold. In fact, I sleep with slippers on. Not even joking. Oh, and my glasses. I’m as blind as a bat without them.

What famous person have you been in the past? Describe how it feels.

I was going to say Howard Hughes minus being a tycoon, flying airplanes, long creepy fingernails and peeing in jars, just because, you know, as previously mentioned I’m somewhat of a recluse. Then I remembered I have no problem eating a day old, half-eaten Pop Tart off my son’s plate. I’m pretty sure that’s something germophobe Howard would have avoided at all costs, so now I’m thinking Marie Antoinette… One, because I have big hair; two, my spending habits at Target are out of control; and three, I am a huge fan of cake. 

Do you believe in magic? Why or why not?

I do, but I believe in Karma more. Why? Well, that’s a story for another (life)time.

Agnes says we need you to save he world. How do you do it?

Call Wonder Woman. Seriously. Ain’t nothing that woman can’t handle. In case you’re wondering, yes, I would totally be her sidekick.

What song best describes your current life?

Not to get all sappy here, but my wedding song. It described my life ten years ago and it describes my life now, especially the very first line. I’m working on the first draft of my first novel and… the tears, the frustration, and good Lord, the uncertainty. A writer’s life is a lonely one, and not just for the writer. It would be a gross understatement to simply say that my husband has been there for me and call it good. Not when he’s sacrificed hours upon hours of time with me so I can spend it with my characters instead. Not when he’s cleared every obstacle out of my way so I can lob a few in front of my protagonist. Not when he’s endured my flagrant displays of less than flattering character traits. And definitely not when he’s done so without question, without hesitation and without complaint. Nope, I’m going to finish this book to prove his sacrifices weren’t in vain.

My second, less sappy choice is Emimen’s Lose Yourself:

  1. I feel like an underdog most days.
  2. I have a soft spot for Detroit.
  3. I, too, have spaghetti on my shirt.


Sunshine Blog: Pre-Game

I got nominated by @LMBryski, the bestest cyber sister ever, to participate in the Sunshine Blog. I know, right? Needless to say I feel quite special.


For those of you who don’t know what the Sunshine Blog is, I’ll explain more about it in my subsequent post. For now, I’ll just say that, along with spreading joy and happiness and camaraderie across the Internets, there is a series of questions I must answer.

Well, I don’t have to… but that wouldn’t be any fun. Plus, it wouldn’t show how appreciative and honored I am at being nominated, nor would it demonstrate my impeccable sportsmanship-like conduct very well, now would it?

Here’s the thing: I’m up to my knickers at the moment, so I’m going to answer them over the weekend and (hopefully) post them on Monday.

In the meantime, check out my fellow nominee Eliza Nolan and our awesome nominator Lisa Bryski (Whose The Book of Birds will be hot off the press soon…yay!).


FFF: The Scientist

17077-silhouette-of-a-woman-using-a-microscope-pvEver since he could remember, 14-year-old Robby Fitzgerald wanted to be a scientist.

The workings of the human mind fascinated him. Being quite the advanced student, it was only a matter of time before he was conducting experiments rather than simply making observations.

Preoccupied with his research, he often found it difficult to maintain any pretense of normalcy. He was a scientist, not an actor!

At least, that’s what he told himself.

The darkness of the early morning was the only time he could shed his disguise and feel comfortable in his own skin. It granted him a certain freedom. He could jot down findings and come to conclusions in private, without anyone scrutinizing his odd noises and curious behavior.

One morning, while deep in thought, rocking and clicking and whirling away, his mother surprised him when she lost her grip on the glass of warm milk she had been holding.


She stood frozen, arm raised in mid-air like a department store mannequin, hand still cupped even though she’d dropped its contents. Her eyes wide, face as pale as the spilled milk seeping into the cracks of the hardwood floor.

Robby’s mother had a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Which is why he’d given her strict orders to never enter his room uninvited, under any circumstances. But, on that particular morning, for reasons Robby would analyze later, she had decided to ignore his instructions.

“Robby?” An almost inaudible whisper came from behind him. Although Robby didn’t have ears at that particular moment, he had heard her.

She’d entered his room unannounced and, in the dim light of a half moon, he suspected she had seen the back of his head, which, just then, had been much larger than what she would consider to be normal. He knew she would have also seen nothing but smooth gray skin where perpetually tousled, copper colored hair should have been.

As he slowly twisted away from his desk, the pallor of his cheeks warmed from bluish gray to fleshy pink. Ears materialized on each side of his head, which, by this time, had reshaped itself just in time for thick, curly hair to sprout into place.

Robby reached for his glasses. He didn’t need them but they added to the illusion. His pinky and ring finger had already lengthened from the side of his hand before he settled the spectacles into place. He blinked his large black eyes. Another blink and he was peering at his mother with hazel irises flecked with green.

“Hi Mom,” he said, mouth already broadened and plumped, in stark contrast to the small and lipless orifice that had been there only moments ago. The pitch of her voice told him she’d seen something strange. He hoped he sounded calm enough to convince her that she hadn’t.

“Robby?” she said again, her voice cracking.

But before he could respond, he noticed a small glowing orb in the distance through his bedroom window. Its luminescent green aura trailed behind as it made its way across the sky. When it finally stopped, it hovered silently in the backyard.

Well that was fast, thought Robby.

His superiors had come. They were waiting inside that little green orb, and unless he could come up with a plan quick, he would be forced to abandon his work. He wasn’t ready to give up the test subjects he had been studying for the last fourteen years. His mom and dad, his grandparents, teachers, even the bullies at school—they were all so fascinating.

He silently chided himself for having been so careless. He made a mental note to start using the extra set of eyes on the back of his head more often. He wondered again why his mother hadn’t listened. But he concluded it wasn’t her fault. She was supposed to be complex and unpredictable. She was only human after all.

Then it came to him. He didn’t like conducting experiments unprepared, but if it worked he could continue to collect data uninterrupted—no abduction, no probe, no memory swipe on his mother would be necessary.

“Look, mom, I’m sorry if I scared you,” he said, drawing her attention away from the window and back to him.

“I know I’m weird. I’m doing my homework in the dark when I should be sleeping. I’m different, I get it, but just because I act like I’m from another planet doesn’t mean I actually am,” he lied, not because he wanted to, but because he had to.

Robby blinked both eyes and wrinkled his nose in an attempt to shift his glasses upward. When his facial contortions failed, he pushed them up with an index finger instead.

“Besides,” he went on in that matter-of-fact way he had about him, “Even if I was… I’d still be your son.”

Robby waited. His mother held her breath. One second, two seconds, three… four.

Then, exhaling loudly, she nodded her head in agreement. His plan had worked!

It didn’t matter what his mother had seen a few minutes ago, that she had just fit the last piece of the puzzle she’d been trying to solve for the last fourteen years. He could continue his experiments.

She’d told Robby plenty of times how, after being informed she couldn’t have children, she had fallen to her knees and beseeched the heavens for him. And because her prayers were answered she’d made a promise to love him no matter what.

She hadn’t accidentally seen a small, gray-skinned scientist from another planet—she had seen her son.

“I know, honey,” she said. Then, after a moment she asked, “Do you want pancakes or waffles?”

“The usual,” Robby answered. “But with blueberries this time,” he added with a lopsided grin.

“You got it,” his mother replied.

Then, in the purplish orange light of dawn, they smiled at each other. And the glowing green orb that had been floating outside his bedroom window shrank and disappeared with a pop.

DIY Writing Retreat

I was looking around for writing workshops in my area a while ago. I was 36K words into my novel, still in love with my story, but royally stuck. Unfortunately, everything I found was either thousandsof miles or hundreds of dollars beyond my reach.

But then, just when I thought all hope was lost, images of mimosas in the mornings, surrounded by nature all day working on my novel, reaching for one Cracked Pepper & Olive Oil Triscuit after another until the entire box was gone and not even caring flashed through my mind. Needless to say, looking for workshops promptly turned into searching for the nearest writing retreat.

Again, I didn’t have much luck finding anything even remotely affordable, or relatively close for that matter.

Then I thought, hey, you have at least one other writer friend… and I bet she has other writer friends… why not put together our own retreat? Where the only distraction would be views like this:

So that’s what I did. I asked my one awesome writer friend (Don’t judge, writers are solitary creatures, you know this.) and she asked a few of her writing friends. When work, families and high school graduations were done being factored in, we had three of us saying, “Yes, please!” for a weekend in the woods with the sole purpose of writing our faces off.

It took us about 60 emails to get there, but long story short, we rented a cabin as equidistant as we could get, divvied up a food list, and voila, we had ourselves a DIY writer’s retreat..

Giant marshmallows in lieu of corks work brilliantly, btw.


It was one of the best weekends ever. I only wrote a little over 2,000 words, but I got so much feedback and thinking and plotting and insight and inspiration… it was everything I had hoped it would be. Besides getting to see my EFF (Electronic Friend Forever) in real life, I made another awesome writer friend.

So basically, I’m saying this DIY writer’s retreat turned out being three days of greatness. I learned so much being able to talk shop face to face. There’s also something to be said about actually seeing how someone reacts to your story. You know, while they are actually sitting at the table across from you and not from out in cyber space. You can see, with your own eyes, if your shit’s got legs or not. It’s humbling, inspiring and just about the best motivator to keep going.

Caution: Pink wine may impede the effective use of index cards.

It took a fair amount of planning, but in the end my dream of mimosas, Triscuits and writing came true. I highly recommend DIY weekend write-ins. And now for some obligatory flower pics…