I can’t contain this anymore, I just can’t.

I have to say how totally in love I am with the music of an artist currently known as Ruelle. I say “currently known” because, it seems, she once released songs under the name Maggie Eckford.

How in love with her music am I? Let’s just say that with only a small amount of storage on my phone (I did buy it about 3 1/2 years ago), in order to include a Ruelle playlist, I had to cut one playlist from my short list of two playlists: Halo and Taylor Swift.

Sorry, Ms. Swift, but Ruelle has such a freakin’ amazing sound! You can hear it for yourself in the videos below (five of my favorites, in no particular order), and I encourage you to visit Ruelle’s channel over on YouTube. Her latest video is for a song from her new EP, Rival, to be released on June 30.

And if you’re a writer, I dare you to not be inspired by at least one of her songs. Personally speaking, “Bad Dream” is a piece that I listen to as I revise my trilogy. That song seriously captures the general mood of my protagonist throughout the three books.

Listen and love!

Picture Prompts With K.J. Chapman

If you love picture prompts, be sure to check in with author K.J. Chapman. On her blog, other than her bountiful supply of book reviews and updates on her exciting writings, can be found the occasional picture prompt that serves to stir the imagination and spark your creative juices.

A recent picture prompt that I participated in can be found here. You’ll see my contribution in the comments section. (K.J. called my writing “brilliant.” Please go over there to witness that.) Although, now that I think about it, I believe I was supposed to post my prompt writing in my own blog and then link back to her blog, so I guess I did it wrong. But hey, if I didn’t do something wrong, I wouldn’t be me. Haha!

Anyway, give that picture prompt and other prompts a look. Draw some inspiration and write, write, write! Who knows? Something you write from a prompt may end up in your own novel.

Speaking of novels, be sure to check out K.J.’s own novels: EVO Nation, EVO Shift, and Thrown to the Blue. Currently, she’s prepping the thrilling-sounding EVO Ghost for inevitable publication and working on an interesting idea known as Zombie Playlist. Also, she was kind enough to loan me her name for a key character in the last book of my own work-in-progress trilogy (Kay’leigh turned out to be an awesome character, by the way. Thank you!).

So, what are you waiting for? Get to a picture prompt and get to some writing! Don’t make me have to put on my Ah-nold Schwarzenegger voice and exclaim, “Naaaoooowwww!”

Angels Don’t Speak

I had a vision of where I come from
and in it I asked to see my soulmate
but what was shown to me
was only what I had already known

There they were, all of them
one in a striped shirt
another wearing a white garment
one’s silk dress playing with the wind
and others reflecting gleamed smiles
as they shared hugs and laughs
as joy and excited energy
permeated every cell of their souls
in their connection to each other

And there I was, a distance away
I could only observe and observe more
what was not within reach
what I could not obtain

I could only hope for indifference
to hold back a frown

And as I observed happiness from afar
a question begged my mouth to ask
“Why do I have to be here?”
but no answer came
so another question leapt from my lips
“Why can’t I be with them?”
but no answer came
and as I looked on longingly, I wondered
“Why am I alone?”

As the distant togetherness continued
I felt a hand slip inside my hand
as I felt an immense presence by my side
and the hand of an equal presence
then grasped my other hand
and their wings spread open all around
surrounding me not like feathers
but as flame, a shield
and I was encased in their magnificence
as a light surged from within me
rushing out in all directions
to fill their shield and expand it
beyond even their reach

And while I gazed once more
at the distant happiness
I could not and will likely never have
a thought struck that struck me cold:

Indifference is what I was missing
and what I was missing
is not what I needed

So as I held the hands of beings
that could not be seen or heard, only felt
upon my shoulders fell the touch of a third
as an enveloping light whisked us away

And I awoke from this vision
and though the three were not seen or heard
I could feel them with me
that is, until my mind faded in full
back to this similar reality

However, what I learned
remains still.

My OCD Hates Me Right Now

As I’m revising the first chapter of my first book (yet again), I can’t help but to feel that this chapter needs to be later in the book. Don’t get me wrong, Chapter 1 should be Chapter 1, but the way I wrote the book, the first three chapters are all introduction. The first chapter introduces the protagonist, Kara, the second chapter introduces a second important character, and the third chapter introduces another important character. I did this as a way to bring characters into play and give them a proper set-up and establish how they interact with each other. However, and this is kind of a feeling I got a few months ago when I went back and read the beginning of Chapter 4, I really think that the story actually starts moving in Chapter 4.

This is why my OCD hates me right now. It knows that Chapter 1 represents the beginning of the journey so should be first, but I know that the story may be better served with a start at Chapter 4. Given this, my OCD and I have come to a compromise.

My OCD still hates me; it’s just compromising.

What I’m thinking of doing is pulling a George Lucas. If anyone isn’t familiar with the Star Wars creator, here’s what he did: He released the fourth part of the Star Wars story as the first movie and later, about 15 years or so after giving us the fifth and sixth parts, went back to writing, directing, and releasing the first part of the story. Essentially, he gave us the story out of order, and I feel like I want to do the same thing. I mean, hey, it worked for George, so why can’t it also work for me in my quest to create a billion-dollar franchise that will become such a strong attachment for the most dedicated fans to the franchise that they will eventually hate me for any little thing I do to alter the originals or add to the story in any way?

So, in honor of George and his Star Wars saga, I’m moving Chapter 1 of my first book to after Chapters 4, 5, and 6. I’m not changing the chapter number; I’m simply moving it. In the table of contents, Chapter 4 will be first and Chapter 1 will be fourth. Why? I’m doing this to preserve the intended order in which to read the story. If a reader chooses to run straight through, starting with Chapter 4, that’s fine. If another reader – if I ever, by some miracle, happen to have more than one reader – chooses to flip to Chapter 1, bounce over to Chapter 2, and hop to Chapter 3 before skipping all the way back to Chapter 4, they’re welcome to do that.

Oh, speaking of Chapters 2 and 3, I found other places where they could fit nice and snug-like. The order I’m playing with, now, is as follows: 4, 5, 6, 1, 7, 8, 9, 10, 2, 11, 12, 3, 13, 14, 15, and 16.

Yes, my OCD is screaming its head off at me right now. It’s saying things like, “People will think you can’t count!” What my OCD voice doesn’t know, though, is that my inability to count is overshadowed by my inability to care. Although, I think that may be the ‘Murica voice in me talking.

I don’t know what I’m saying anymore.


Wow, I just realized that I haven’t posted a photograph in a while. Here’s one I took yesterday with my 3.2 megapixel phone camera. I know what you’re thinking: I really should upgrade. I should, but there’s nothing wrong with my phone and I really just like it. I’m kind of like that. Even when there’s something much better out there, I’d rather remain loyal to what I have. It’s my way of showing appreciation. Anyway, here’s that photo:

YMCA Litchfield and Thomas IMG_20170523_100325

No, Darth Vader, Now The Circle Is Complete

After four years of work, yesterday, I completed the first draft of my third book, the last in the trilogy.

No applause? Okay, I’ll keep going.

Anyway, I can’t really say that I feel a monstrous sense of relief or that I feel any different. I mean, yeah, I snagged a Pizza Hut pizza (pepperoni and olives with a totally yummy honey barbeque drizzle) and had a nice salad, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and a helping of cherry cordial ice cream on the side while watching one of my favorite movies, Battle: Los Angeles (hey, when I party, I really party), but other than the constant prayer to any god who would listen to my pleas of holding back my inevitable tummy ache (so worth it, by the way), I simply didn’t feel anything that I would describe as “different.”

Maybe it’s because I feel like I still have a lot of work ahead of me. First of all, I have to look back at the synopses that I wrote and make any needed changes to them so that they accurately reflect the contents of my novels. I know the third novel went on a kind of different track than what I was predicting when I originally wrote the synopsis for it. Secondly, I want to get to revising each of my books, especially the first one, as I’ve learned so much more about writing since I finished it a couple of years ago. That’s going to be a huge task considering that my three novels total out to just a smidgen over 276,000 words. Finally, I’d like to begin sending out query letters, preferably after the first book has been revised, so I can see about attracting an agent to my work.

That’s the plan anyway, and we all know how plans go, don’t we? That’s why I tend to stick with my protagonist’s super-duper-simple, two-step plan for tackling anything – Step one: Start shit. Step two: See what happens.

I guess we’ll see what happens. 🙂


Home may be where the heart is,
but I have yet to find my heart.

And so I wander on and on
in a frozen circle,
not desiring fame or wealth
or the one-night stand
of any particular night
with a beauty broken enough
to want to submit to me –
I speak, of course, of the night.

I don’t crave all the wants I can get
or all the women I can want
or the power to forget
all the hurts I have brought
or remains of pain delivered to me,
for I am its home;
I am its heart, without a heart
of my own.

My one wish
is for a place
to rest my head.

Waiting Room

I’m too old
I look too young
I’m too depressed
A song already sung
I’m too unmotivated
I’m too sad
My better times
Are only a fad
I’m alone too much
I have too little
When I think
My thoughts are brittle
I speak too clearly
Say what’s on my mind
And people become
Much harder to find
I’m much too honest
Far too sincere
Which is far too scary
For others to hear
I give too much
And receive much less
But it’s all for the sake
Of trying my best
But my best is lacking
I come up too short
I judge myself often
On top of judgments of your sort
I’m too trapped
too regretful
too nice
too silent
too slow
too tolerant
too patient
too strange
too unfeeling
too separate
too shameless
too much like no one
of a comfortable range
I feel too much
Yet not enough
Every tease of happiness
Is merely a bluff
I’m too damaged
More and more battered
Too insignificant
To actually matter
I’m too specific with words
To have a place called “home”
So even in death
I’ll wait as I roam
I can’t enter into Heaven
I don’t righteous too well
And as I’m too good
I’m unwelcome in Hell