Saturday, September 19, 2015


I've been looking at a couple book covers for months now, pondering them as possibilities for my thesis novel, Sehmah's Truth, and its sequel, Jennara in Flux.

Today, I took my first step on the path of becoming an Indie author and purchased both covers from Laura Gordon at The Book Cover Machine, finally committing to the idea that there is an alternative path available to me and one that is currently more appealing than the traditional one.

Am I crazy to want to go the Indie author route? I don't think so. The option to have complete creative control over my work - to be able to choose my own illustrator for Tyrabbisaurus Rex and my own cover for Sehmah's Truth, to have the ability to create works that do not fall into prescribed genres or meet the exacting length requirements of traditional publishing - all of this is super appealing to me.

And so today, I took that first step. A scary step. One that only involved the purchase of covers. Those covers are now saved to my laptop. They've been imported into Scrivener, to serve as the covers of these books. Now it only takes the next step, and the one after that, and the one after that. Finish the books. Format the books. Launch them into the world.

We'll see how my courage holds up over the next few months and whether those book covers will ever see the light of day.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June Travels 2015

The last several weeks have been quite eventful. Lots of fun traveling a meandering route with my dad through Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee. We visited a small zoo in Missouri, where we were caught in a sudden downpour, causing epic rivers of blue to roll from my newly dyed hair downward. My Buffy t-shirt will never be the same.

We wandered through a couple small towns in Kentucky, visiting antique stores and one amazing, memorable hat shot where I found several fantastic, vintage additions to my hat collection. Finally, we ended our travels in Nashville, where we visited my uncle Marvin in the hospital, where he was recovering from surgery and I attended the always-amazing UtopYA conference. My dad hung out in the hotel while I attended panels for writers and readers.

After a fantastic weekend, my dad flew home to Kansas City and I began the last leg of my journey, driving to Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA, to attend my final residency there.  I survived my thesis reading from my YA fantasy, Sehmah's Truth, and ended the week graduating with my M.F.A. in Writing Popular Fiction.

I will miss being part of the amazing community that is the SHU-WPF program, but look forward to new adventures and am certain I will stay in contact with my many fellow Secret-Keepers.

The drive home was long, but I enjoyed the journey, pondering characters and plotlines in my head. We'll see how the writing comes along, now that I have no more deadlines looming before me.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Buffy, the Friendliest Feral

The weather's finally gotten warm enough where I can sit out on my back porch and write.  Buffy has continued to allow me to pet her and occasionally hold her.  On one memorable occasion, when it was snowing and she was quite wet, she allowed me to pick her up, carry her inside and dry her off with a towel before carrying her back out.

Today as I write this, she lounges against my leg, keeping me company.

Truly I'm blessed. Five wonderful cats inside and the amazing Buffy outside.

Since Skittles is now an inside cat (she shows zero interest in leaving the house and in fact, whenever I open an outside door, runs away), she has many more interactions with me on a daily basis than Buffy does, and yet is definitely harder to catch and nowhere near as willing to just relax and hang out with me - at least not unless she's out of arm's reach!  As a result, I have to say, Buffy may be edging Skittles out for the title of Friendliest Feral.

Monday, February 2, 2015

From Feral to Friendly

Remember my hope that Buffy would one day allow me to pet her?  Well, it's happened!  Over the past week, she's been doing that circling around thing that Skittles always does.  She circles right in front of me or to the side and rubs up against everything in her vicinity.  I know what she wants because it's what Skittles wants in those moments. The problem is neither cat is certain I can be trusted to give them exactly what they want (and that I'll let them go once I've given it to them), so they make me work for it.

I have to be calm and coaxing without pleading and yes, I have to be faster than the kitty.  Sometimes Buffy won't let me touch her at all (like I said - just like Skittles).  And sometimes she'll only let me reach under the feeder where she hangs out and pet the top of her head or scratch under her chin (this is a much more comfortable arrangement than the one Skittles initiated with me several months ago).

Today though was an amazing day.

Today, Buffy let me pick her up and hold her.  I honestly cannot believe how different she was when I grabbed her this time.  I expected to get scratched and bit again for my troubles, but instead, the minute I caught her, she started to purr - just like Skittles!  Of course, I couldn't hold her for very long, but long enough to warm my heart ... and to take a selfie. 

Of course, Buffy wasn't quite sure what to make of the photo op and moments after this photo was taken, she became a bit restless.  I made it a point to carefully set her down on the ground, rather than allowing her to escape.  I wanted her to start trusting that I would always let her go after holding her.  Biggest success?  After releasing her, she didn't run away, but instead happily began to eat her dinner.