Ongoing Serials

Normally, I’d post a new flash fiction on the 4th Monday of the month, but I’ve been so busy editing that I haven’t had much time for actual writing. Instead, here’s a reminder about my ongoing serials. You can read the first chapters of both for free should they catch your interest. New chapters will be coming soon, on the first of June!


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The Atlantean Crown is an LGBTQIA+ YA SFF novel about merfolk and mad science, dreams and desperation, responsibility and freedom.

Princess Ellis Raihall was supposed to be queen.

So when her dying mother selects Ellis’ long-time rival, Leanne Lacer, as the heir to the deteriorating underwater kingdom of Atlantis, the hot-headed Ellis has never been so furious. Her mother’s wrong! She’s strong enough, smart enough, pretty enough to be queen! More than that, it’s…all she’s ever had to look forward to.

But when Ellis prays to her god for the throne she feels should be hers, the last thing she expects is an answer. Atlantis will undergo seven days of trials. If she can protect the kingdom, then the crown is hers.

As disasters weigh down on Atlantis like the ocean beyond its dome – sickness spreads through the kingdom; doomsday prophecies stir the public into panic; perhaps oddest of all, a stranger from the Surface arrives without any memory of how or why he’s there – Ellis begins to wonder if her mother was right. Does a power-hungry princess have what it takes to save her people? As she fights, an even more frightful question emerges: what is Atlantis?

Check it Out!


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Apocryphal is an epic-length LGBTQIA+ paranormal fantasy novel about claiming your place in a world that doesn’t always understand you.

When the magical island kingdom of Magdellyn defaulted on its deal with entities called the Others, even its memory was erased from the Earth. Now trapped in its own reality, its people slowly fall to the same curse, becoming something between human and Other—becoming Apocrypha.

Izette, a self-declared simple girl, tries to hide her Apocryphal status and live as normally as her world allows, even as the beginnings of war brew between humans and her kind. When a haunted childhood friend wanders back into her life, however, she finds herself drawn into battle – not only against the people who fear the Apocrypha, but against a force far more ancient and deadly.

Apocryphal is an epic-length LGBTQIA+ paranormal fantasy novel about claiming your place in a world that doesn’t always understand you.

Check it Out!


If you’re interested in keeping up with these serials or my other stories, subscribe to my email list to be the first to know any news and get access to exclusive discounts.

Dialogue Only Read-Throughs

I’ve been doing a lot of editing this month (on my own projects, on freelance projects, and on submissions to my literary magazine). While there seems to be a split between authors who prefer working with description and those who prefer writing dialogue, I land on the former side of that canyon. If you’re like me, I’ve found dialogue-only read-throughs of a scene to serve as a helpful trick.

That is, read through a scene from beginning to end while ignoring everything that isn’t dialogue.

Does the flow of conversation make sense even without any clarifying description or internal monologue?

Are the voices distinct enough that you can tell who’s speaking without reading the tags?

Does the conversation advance at a natural pace?

Do any ideas or topics seem to repeat?

Sometimes, it’s easier to catch these issues while temporarily tuning out everything else. Give it a try if you’re looking to level-up your dialogue!

Squinting Shadows (Poem)

eidy-bambang-sunaryo-517370-unsplashSquinting Shadows

We clench our lights in closed palms,
afraid to show our colors—
afraid we’ll shine too bright—
so we cling so tight,
to our gray cloaks—
our first birthday gifts.

The world wants to mold—
not teach—
drawing you into the dark
where only your shadow
—your simplified silhouette—
remains:
conform, it says,
play your part, it says,
your role was cast by
norms
before you were born.

So let out your light—
show your flames
and wash the shadows away
from the others like you
—and cast the world in color.

Make the shade-sowers
shield their eyes.

If we all shine bright,
if you shine bright,
if I shine bright

perhaps they’ll go blind.

The Woods at the End of the World: Sneak Peek

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The Woods at the End of the World will be my second full-length novel. It explores the importance of owning your identity, platonic bonds, and finding meaning. It’s also about recognizing, but pushing through, anxiety. “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” —George Addair

It’s tentatively scheduled for a June 19th release date.

In the meantime, you can read the opening right now:


The Archive: Year 17, Day 141

To the girl who dreamed herself to death,

I know you aren’t coming back. I’ve known for a while, I think. I wonder if you miss me as much as I miss you. Maybe that’s just my own dream. Maybe there’s nothing left of you but a body decaying deep in the Woods. I don’t believe in other worlds—in this life or after—the way you did. Your mind, with all of those hopes and stories and songs is just gone. That mind that—I used to believe, at least—loved me. All of that is so incredibly sad. So sad that sometimes I think I might crumble into myself until I disappear, just like you. Other times I think it’s only my heart that will shatter—that one day I’ll wake up and never be able to feel anything again. I’d like that.

Since you’ll never actually read this, I’ll be honest: I hate you. I hate you for leaving me and Mama. When you rambled on about wanting to see the world beyond the Woods, I thought you were only making up stories. When you made up stories, I thought you were only trying to escape from Haven in your own safe way. When you stared past the fence, I thought you were only daydreaming. Even when you screamed…I told you it was only nightmares.

I’m sorry. I should have stopped you. The world that mattered was the world we shared together, not one that had long since ended. You were so much of my world once.

You ended that world, too.

I hate you, I really do. I can’t believe how much we lived through only so you could throw it all away on a fantasy. I don’t know that I’ll ever forgive you. I do hope you’ll forgive me for not saving you. Or rather, I wish there was still a you to forgive me. I wish you’d let me know how much you’d needed saving. Most of all, I wish you’d saved yourself.

I’d like to think there is a chance that you made it through the Woods. That a better world really did wait for you. That you’re alive and happy. That you made your dreams come true.

But then I’m the one dreaming. And if there’s one thing you taught me, dear sister, it’s the danger in dreaming.

Goodbye, Moon.

With love and hatred too,

Sun

Note to the Archive’s eventual readers: forgive me for this display of emotion. I couldn’t tell my sister what I wanted to say, so I had to tell someone. I will return the Archive to its regular format with the next entry.

 

Prologue: Sisters

I’ve never heard my sister scream like this. I wasn’t even sure it was her at first—some poor animal, perhaps, torn apart by a predator in the Woods. But I’ve heard Moon’s voice every day of my life. I know the way her voice cracks on the high notes, the way her low notes ring like bells. I recognize the quiver in that cry—amplified by thunderous magnitudes in the stillness of Haven house tonight.

I fly through the hallway, past Mama’s locked door and the attic’s ladder and the empty closets. It all seems so different in the late night dark—too long, as if I’ll never reach her. My heart hammers as fast and loud as my footfalls. I wish she and I still shared a room—that she hadn’t moved to the old study on the far end of the second story, filled with books and dust and big windows that overlook the Woods at the end of the world. I swear I can hear the branches creaking outside even through the moans of the house and the pounding in my skull, as if Moon’s cries disturb them as much as they frighten me. Why did she—not want to stay with me?—have to pick the room the farthest away from mine?

“Moon!” I let out a cry of my own as I throw open her door.

[Read more…]

Monday Blues: Inspiring Music

(“Monday” Blues: On every first Monday of the month, I’ll recommend a new world – a book, a game, a podcast, etc – to escape into. Or at least to look forward to after a hard day’s work.)

I’m going to do something a bit different for today’s Monday Blues. Instead of focusing on storytelling media, how about music that offers the perfect backdrop when working on your own stories and creative projects?


Wherepostrockdwells

Post-rock is such a beautiful genre. It’s atmospheric and ambient, yet evocative. It’s subtle but intense. It’s sometimes sad, but in that warm, melancholy way that highlights  wonder in the world. When I feel drained, simply listening to the right post-rock song often brings me back to a content, inspired place. It’s amazing what a difference music can make.

If you’re new the genre, check out Hammock (especially the Everything and Nothing album), God is an Astronaut, Distant Dream, and If These Trees Could Talk (if you like your rock heavy). With streams dedicated to different albums, the Wherepostrockdwells channel mimics the experience of walking into a music store to sample and select the perfect CD. Unlike the other channels in this list, Wherepostrockdwells usually uses album covers instead of aesthetic images for its videos, but post-rock album covers often make for interesting, surrealistic works of art in their own right.

An odd observation: While YouTube comments are normally dreck, the comments left on post-rock videos are often wonderfully creative and emotional, and can provide inspiration in their own right. Post-rock music is indeed a haven.

ChilloutDeer

In terms of less heavy ambient music, Chillout Deer is my go-to channel. It provides wonderfully designed mixes featuring a variety of relaxing, atmospheric songs in various genres collected around themes. Unlike those from similar channels, I find that Chillout Deer’s mixes actually evoke their themes with an eerie efficiency: listening to “Journey” feels like departing on a long adventure, listening to “Daydream” stirs the sensation of “sehnsucht,” and “Utopia” brings wonder and contentment. Because these mixes are so tightly themed, it’s easy to find the perfect creative soundtrack for any project. The channel also uses lovely visuals in its videos to further tempt the muse.

Odysseus

If electronic genres like synthwave and trance are more your style, Odysseus also offers a variety of themed mixes. The collections are atmospheric without being distracting, and paint both futuristic and retro soundscapes. It’s perfect for anyone delving into a sci-fi project, or for some aural escapism while working on less exciting tasks like updating your website or writing marketing copy. As a writer who tends toward the post-apocalyptic, “Dystopia” is one of my favorite mixes. The visual aesthetic used by the channel is also immersive and inspiring in its own right.


I hope you enjoy these channels like I do; outside of stories, music is one of my passions. Do you have any favorite You-Tube go-tos for evoking a creative mood?