Returning to the Violet Realm

Good news everyone! (Futurama professor voice) Big World Network, the episodic story site where Harvest of Ash appeared, has been saved from shut-down. Some of the writers and narrators are transferring it to a non-profit so the company can continue to run. I have a new editor, and I am continuing work on Season 3, so never fear, Ash fans! The story shall be finished! I’m planning for a season 3-4 and ending the story at the end of season 4. I hope to someday see Ash in print!

I just finished a short story that was supposed to be scary but just kind of ended up being snarky and funny (in my opinion). In a way, it took on the voice and tone of my Christmas themed short story “It Means No Worries” that also appeared one or two years ago on BWN. I don’t know if anyone else will think it’s amusing, but I had a ball writing it. The main character is a disillusioned teacher, so go figure. It really was supposed to be a horror story about a girl robbing a grave for the perfect prom dress, but it sorta turned into a… farce? I don’t know. I have some people from writing group offering to beta read, so we’ll see what they think.

More good news is that my babysitters are available on Tuesday nights again, which means I can attend my lovely fantasy writers group at the public library. The Iowa Writers’ House does such unbelievably amazing things and provides such critical services for emerging writers. Everything they do is phenomenal. Please support them, or consider taking advantage of some of the services they provide!

I’m seriously considering signing up for a food writing class they’re offering. I just finished Fuchsia Dunlop’s Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China and I adored it. I ate it up like Fuchsia slurps noodles! I would die of happiness to become a food writer. I’ve dabbled a bit in travel writing but nothing major, just a few blog posts or rejected article pitches. Eating and writing are two of my favorite things, so why not wed those together? A delicious partnership.
Well, that’s about it from this end. I love you all, stay safe, and be excellent to each other.

I’m Appearing in a Science Fiction Anthology!

The most fantastic news!

The first science fiction story I ever wrote will be featured in the anthology Humans Wanted, and will appear in print and ebook format!

You can check out the kickstarter page here and pre-order your copy!

Here’s a description of the concept behind the anthology:

When going somewhere dangerous, take a human. 

Humans are tough. Humans can last days without food. Humans heal so quickly, they pierce holes in themselves or inject ink under their epidermis for fun. Humans will walk for days on broken bones in order to make it to safety. Humans will literally cut off bits of themselves if trapped by a disaster. 

You would be amazed what humans will do to survive. Or to ensure the survival of others they feel responsible for. 

That’s the other thing. Humans pack-bond, and they spill their pack-bonding instincts everywhere. Sure it’s weird when they talk sympathetically to broken spaceships or try to pet every lifeform that scans as non-toxic. It’s even a little weird that just existing in the same place as them for long enough seems to make them care about you. 

But if you’re hurt, if you’re trapped, if you need someone to fetch help? You really want a human.

I jumped at the chance to submit to this because it’s true — in this era of dystopian future themed literature, it seems humans are the worst thing to ever happen to the universe. So why not create an anthology where authors showcase what humans have to offer the future?

I read a great article in Smithsonian last year about the dystopia trend, and how some science fiction writers are fighting back by offering optimistic visions of the future. After all, art imitates life imitates art, am I right? If we want a brighter future, we need to start teasing it out in our speculative fiction. That’s why I’m a Trekkie. I believe if we shape things right, we can have a better tomorrow.

My story, “A Second Zion,” tells the tale of Rani Okalivi, a kick ass Kurkani mercenary who is very dismayed to learn that her new team has three squishy, pathetic humans. Humans: famous throughout the galaxy for destroying their planet through unstoppable industrialization and, more unforgivably, race war, causing what was left of the population to flee to the stars. Will they be an asset to the team sent to save the child of a galactic diplomat, or will they betray her as they betrayed their own world? Buy the book to find out!!

I am absolutely thrilled to be accepted, and I can’t wait to get my copy.


Well, aside from this major news, there hasn’t been much going on. A few rejections, but they’ve been rolling off me like unsupervised kids off a trampoline. I’ve submitted a couple of things, and written a chapter of my SUPER SECRET writing project. Also for over a year now I’ve been plugging away at a book I’m calling Our Liberties We Prize. This weird little book is a collection of short stories that retells notorious events from Iowa history from a different perspective (think the Villisca Axe Murders through the eyes of the murderer) or from a cosmic weird detached 1st/2nd/3rd person. Many of the stories play with the idea of time and space being spongy. People and things and energies fall through all the time and nobody ever sees the holes. I have no idea where this work is going, but I keep having ideas for it, so I guess we’ll keep going.

On a side note, nothing kills my writing energy faster than being WAY TOO FULL. This post has been shortened for you by Zombie Burger…



New Year, Old Fears

I’m feeling pretty ambivalent about the new year, as are a lot of people. The general climate is one of fear and devision, and it seems like the more things change the more they stay the same. So what’s the point of making some kind of resolution?

I am definitely NOT the poster child for keeping resolutions. I can’t tell you how many diet, fitness, and mindfulness programs I’ve started and slowly let list into the rocks like an ill-fated cruise ship. I know this about myself, and yet, what are the options? Give up and never try to make yourself a better person?

I don’t have the answer to that, but here’s something I can tell you. In 2013 on a road trip to and from Jekyll Island, Georgia with my husband and father-in-law. I had lot of time on my hands so I spent it journaling, specifically making new year resolutions. I’m sure that journal entry had the obligatory fitness goals, but it also included a challenge to myself to really take writing seriously. I had just turned 30, and I decided if ever there was a time to make a real go at this writing dream, now was the time.

I’m no JK Rowling, but here I am at 33 with published poems and short stories, numerous manuscript requests, and a steady gig blogging for And my momentum is still going strong. For that reason, I’ll never badmouth a resolution or a person making it. Now if I could get the pumped up about fitness… 😣😥😦

Okay, so for the writing update, I sent a lot of my break finishing The Feast of All Saints by the incomparable Anne Rice, but did get a smidge of my own work done. I wrote a very short, very half-hearted chapter of Drifting, which is so scanty I haven’t the heart to post it on Wattpad yet until I flesh it out some more. My best writing day lately was at the lovely Fuel coffee shop in my hometown where I cranked out a very action packed chapter of Alayna and the Beast, my gritty Beauty and the Beast reboot where”Beauty ” is a monster slayer. It’s a fantasy novella I’m not sure what to do with, but I love it.

If you’re reading this, know I love and appreciate you and your support. I wish you luck with any and all resolutions and hope 2017 is a year of peace and healing.