Guest Column for Revolt Daily

I was asked by Revolt Daily to write a guest column for their Halloween series.  One of the things my boyfriend, Joe, and I do every year is go to the haunted attractions.  We’ve been to several all over Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan, but the worst experience, by far, happened at the Sinister Circus.

Thanks to Revolt Daily for having me over.  Do you have a recommendation for a haunted attraction?  Let me know in the comments.  If we visit your suggestion, you’ll get a personal shout out here on the blog with details of our visit.

Gearing Up

I mentioned yesterday that I’m getting ready to teach my first classes.  I’m really getting excited!  First day of class is in 6 days, and this site is listed among my various contacts, so if you should see some of my students make sure you wave.

Even though I have so many things to do my head is spinning, I made the time to write a new article for Revolt Daily.  I’ll post links to that when they become available.  It involves clowns, claustrophobia (mine), and tears (also mine).

If you missed it on Twitter, I had a creative nonfiction piece get picked up back in July with Mamalode.

Oh, I’m trying out Ello to see how I like it.  If you’re also using it, leave me a comment on how you like it.  I’d love to hear people’s reactions.


Leaving On A Jetplane

In just over twelve hours, I’ll be leaving for the airport to start my Seattle trip and to attend my first AWP conference.  In the event that my plane crashes and I die a horrible, fiery death, I’d like to thank you all for your readership.  



I’ll be leaving my house at 5 am tomorrow morning.  As I’ve thought this ungodly time of day over, I’ve realized that early morning is a lot like picking someone up at the bar.  Sure, going to bed together might sound like a good time, but waking up together is probably not going to end well.  I think I have everything packed up and ready to go.  This means I have inevitably left something out of my bag and that thing will almost certainly be important.

I’m not all that concerned about flying.  I usually enjoy it.  In preparation for impending fiery death, I have consumed lots of Mt. Dew.  That may sound strange, but the Dew contains Brominated Vegetable Oil which is used as a flame retardant.  I figure since I can’t wear my asbestos pjs on the plane, this will have to do.

I am a little nervous about going through security.  My last flight was before 9/11, so I haven’t had the pleasure yet.  Hopefully, my blue hair isn’t going to be an issue.  If you aren’t connected to me on Facebook, this is what you’re missing out on.

2012-01-31 19.20.30


I was going to make it my normal color before flying out, but look at it.  My cerulean locks are glorious!  TSA will just have to deal with it.  I refreshed the color on Friday, so last night was my first time washing it since the newest application.  I was at my boyfriend’s house and his tub doesn’t drain very quickly.  I looked like I was bathing in the blood of 99 Smurfs.

Smeagol knows something’s up.  He’s being a jerkface to me.  I shall buy my way back into his good graces with Fancy Feast Kitten Formula.

Some cool news for those same people who aren’t connected to me on Facebook (Seriously, why aren’t you connected to me?):  I was listed as recommended fiction by Pittsburgh Writer.  There’s a badge on the sidebar, so give it a clickity click if you’re feeling so inclined and check out Celia if you haven’t and find some new reading material.  I’m sure every author listed will appreciate you taking the time to stop by.  Additionally, I just received an email saying that I’ve had a paper accepted for publication at my university’s Graduate Research Journal.  My editor will be contacting me soon, so that’s exciting.  Hopefully, this makes me look slightly more attractive as a possible future First Year Writing professor.

Dark chocolate espresso candies are amazing.  Really, there’s no reason to mention this except that they’re amazing.  Also, I’m eating them right now.  

So, I’ll be gone until March 2nd.  In the event I escape horrible, fiery death due to my consumption of Mt. Dew, I’ll see you all then.  

Celia’s Now at Barnes & Noble

Just got word in the last day or two that Celia is now available through Barnes & Noble online!  This means that I can start working on a book signing now that my book is a part of their catalog.  I should very much like to do a book signing, so if you should very much like to attend a book signing, let them know.  You can find them on Twitter or on Facebook.  Who knows?  Maybe if out of town stores get enough requests, I can travel.  Wouldn’t that be nifty?  And if you’re local?  You can always call or pop on in.  Consider this your holiday gift to me.  😀

What No One Tells You

You might remember a few months back I mentioned that I wrote a monologue for our local production “Michiana Monologues.”  Not only did my monologue appear in the book produced by the organization, but it was chosen to be performed.  Some of the performances were funny.  Some were thought provoking.  Some made me cry.  All were fantastically performed and powerfully written.

The video from those performances is now available for viewing!  All works are unattributed to protect privacy, but I have no problem telling you that my piece is titled “What No One Tells You.”   My particular piece starts at the 37:45 mark of the first half of the performance, but please feel free to watch the entire thing.  You can also access the second half of the performance from this page.

Only a select number of monologues were chosen for performance, but many, many more were submitted and included in the book.  Please consider buying a copy.  The cost is $10 and the proceeds go to benefit several local charities that benefit women.  There are a few ways to get them, but if you are not local, the third option is the best.  You would need to contact April Lidinsky for shipping information, as I do not have that.

One Small Change

It was pointed out to me that perhaps the name of my poetry book isn’t completely accurate.  I considered this for a moment and decided that was, indeed, the case.  So, I’m modifying the title slightly.  Be sure to look for Some Reassembly Required later on this year.

Awards Ceremonies and College Football

You probably don’t know this, but my boyfriend is obsessed with the University of Michigan football program.  It’s so bad that I would have to name my only daughter, should I ever choose to have one (and I don’t, so there’s that) Maisey Blue after their school colors.  My dog was moments away from being named Victor because their fight song is “Hail to the Victors.”  It’s bad.  I mention this obsession because today is the U of M Spring Game and he wanted to be in Ann Arbor, Michigan to see it.  The problem, because of course there is one, is that today is also my awards ceremony for “Blood and Rain.”  It’s going to be cold in Ann Arbor.  He should be thanking me.

Dr. Amina Gautier was this year’s guest judge for the writing awards.  Her short fiction collection At Risk won the Flannery O’Connor award for short fiction so you can imagine how excited I am that she chose my story to win.  She’ll be at IU-South Bend for a Q&A at 4 pm in 1001 Wiekamp Hall if anyone is local and would like to attend.  It’s open to the public and it’s free.  The awards ceremony itself will be at 7 pm in the same location.  I will get my award for my story and Dr. Gautier will read from her award-winning collection as well.  The Analecta, the journal my story appears in, will be released after the ceremony.  Those are also free to the public, so if you want one, you should pop on by and grab one.

New Book Coming–Some Assembly Required

No, you don’t need to assemble the book.  Some Assembly Required is the title of my new poetry book coming out in September 2013.  If you’ve been following the blog, you’ll recognize some of the pieces in the book.  If you’re new to Erindipity, clicking on the “New Work” category is an easy way to find the early drafts of these poems.  The cover art and book illustrations will be by Pamla Tindall.  That’s right, there will be featured artwork!  I’ll be sure to debut the cover art once its finished, but you’ll have to wait and see what’s to come.  I think you’ll be blown away by Tindall’s artistry.  I’ll post links to some of her other work as they become available.

I realize this place has been a bit quiet, but the end of the semester is in sight and I’m losing my mind.  I received a letter from my university yesterday announcing that I will be graduating With Distinction, and I found out the day before that I will be presenting my paper on the roles of Christianity and Obeah in negotiating a post-colonial Caribbean identity at our Undergraduate Research Conference.

I’ll try to post graduating pictures in case anyone is interested in that.  Really, I just want to show off the honors cords I get to wear.  😀

New Book Trailer and Website

I’ve talked about my multimedia writing class before.  For part of the class, I had to design and build an online multimedia portfolio.  It’s still in progress, you it’s live so you can check it out.  It has a couple of short stories of mine, so if you’ve ever been tempted to read my fiction instead of the poetry I’ve posted, it’s there.  I plan on adding a couple more stories, but there are two up now.  The coolest feature is the trailer I just made for my book, Celia.

I’m pretty thrilled about the way it turned out.

And the Winner is…

Wow, today has been a very busy and exciting day for me.  First off, my short story “Blood and Rain” won first prize in the IU-South Bend English Department Writing awards.  There will be a formal awards ceremony for that next month and a ceremony for Analecta, the journal that published “Blood and Rain” in two weeks.

On April 28th, I’ll be the featured reader at The Well.  Local writers will be reading their work and I’ll be doing a short reading from Celia and then reading “Blood and Rain.”  If you’re in the South Bend, Indiana area, you should try to make it.  It should be a great time.

And last, but certainly not least, the amazing Susan Dorsey had me over to chat on her blog today.  We chat about Celia and a bit about my current work in progress, Enraptured.

Updates and Whatnot

I’ve been battling a second round of flu this week, but I’m happy to report I’m finally on the winning side.  Still sick, but not begging people to rob pharmacies anymore.  Yes, I actually did this.  No, there were no pharmacies robbed as a result of my illness.  Before you judge me, you should know that at one point my face looked and felt like this from all the sinus pressure:

Puffer fish photo

The week wasn’t all bad, though.  I received word that I was unanimously accepted into my grad school program.  I start in the fall and I have my classes already picked out.  It’s only six more weeks until graduation.  As part of my multimedia writing class, I have to build an online portfolio.  I’ll be sure to post links to that once it’s up and running.  I plan on including a book trailer for Celia, so if you’ve been waiting to get it, hopefully it will convince you to wait no longer.  Since I’ve been sick, and all of my efforts have revolved around breathing properly, Recommend It Monday will be put on hold next week.  Instead, I’ve invited Lori Michelle over to vist for the first ever author interview.  I wanted to add this as a Tuesday blog feature, and will in the future, but this week I’m going to cheat a little bit.  At least I’m honest about it.  I was recently interviewed about Celia as well.  That interview will be posted on April 24th, and I’ll provide links to that.  The poetry chapbook is almost finished.  I’m waiting to get some feedback on the MS before I decide I’m officially done with it.  Hopefully, I’ll have some official news on it in the next few months.

New Publication Announcement

I just received word that my short story “Blood and Rain” will be published through Analecta, the Indiana University-South Bend’s literary journal.  Traditionally, Analecta has hated me, so I’m very excited to be included in it this year.  I haven’t heard back on the poetry I submitted, but I’m guessing that it was not accepted.  I’m ok with that, though.  My fiction piece made it in.

In other rejection news, I still have not heard back from Yale on the writers conference this summer.  The hear back date was March 20th, and I sent a follow up email after that date with no word.  I am assuming they did not accept me into the conference.  I’m sad, but it was a lot of money to come up with in short notice.  Instead, I found a conference in Ireland at Lismore Castle.  And by me, I mean someone else entirely.  It costs more, and it’s international so travel will be more plus that whole passport thing.  Still, it’s good to dream and the conference isn’t until December so it’s also good to save.  I may pull it off yet.

No word, yet, on the status of my grad school application.  I’ve been told not to worry because I’m going to be accepted, but there are a lot of things I can’t do until I’m officially in the program.  Things like picking out my classes.

In a few weeks I should be hearing back on all the scholarships I’ve applied to.  Grad school will be less stressful if I can pay for it.

Book Signings and General Updates

I’m very excited to announce that I am in the planning stages of my first-ever book signing.  Dates and locations will be announced once I have that information, but I am aiming for September dates.  At this point, I am planning one event, but depending on turnout and stock I might have additional events.  People who already have the book can bring it to be signed, and those who want to purchase a book to have signed will be able to do so.  Also, don’t forget to visit Authorgraph if you have a digital version of the book that you want signed.  Each digital autograph is personalized by me.

This week is Spring Break, and I have so many things to do.  First, I am alpha reading the brand new novel by the wonderfully talented Johnny Worthen titled The Brand Demand.  So far, I’m loving the story.  I had hoped to be finished with it by today, but I’ve been spending time with my kids so it’ll be a few more days.  I’m also the new web mistress for the IU-South Bend Creative Writing Club.  I have an Informatics minor, so I decided to put my education to use.  I built the social media platform and am posting the writing prompts, advice blogs, etc.  It’s a lot of extra work, but I’m enjoying it and we’re getting some really great conversations going.  If you’d like to play along, visit the blog and post what you come up with in the comments section of the post or on our Google Groups page.  Introduce yourself, make some friends, and let’s write together.  I have a few more pieces I want to work on for my poetry chapbook.  The more new material I write, the more I’m deciding the bulk of the old stuff needs to go.  I’m also looking into setting up some freelance writing gigs.  I may or may not pursue that option, but I want the information anyway.  I won’t be able to get back to Enraptured this week, which makes me sad, but I have some homework assigned over break that needs to get done first.  Notably, I need to read Taming of the Shrew and write a paper on the Wife of Bath’s tale in Canterbury Tales by Chaucer.

The time is flying and in around six weeks I will be awarded my degree in English Creative Writing.  I hope I have time to get everything done.


Digital Autographs

I was going through my Facebook news feed, and I saw that one of my author friends had “liked” a page called Authorgraphs.  I was curious, so I went to the page to check it out.  It’s a service that delivers personalized digital autographs for ebook owners.  I’ve been making jokes about autographing people’s Kindles with a Sharpie, but with this I don’t have to.

It took forever to get a signature that even remotely looked like mine.  Apparently, I don’t write well with a mouse.  But after about the 10th try, I decided it was close enough.  I loaded my book onto the site, and I’ve already signed my first digital autograph.

If you use GoodreadsCelia is listed there as well.  It’s getting fantastic reviews, so if you haven’t read it yet, please consider grabbing a copy.  I’d be thrilled to sign it for you.

The Next Big Thing


“THE NEXT BIG THING” is designed to raise awareness of new works, or works in progress by posing ten delicious questions the work, and then tagging other authors to do the same.

I was nominated by Johnny Worthen.  I met this excellent author through Rainstorm Press. Take a look back and check out his stuff. I’m thrilled to follow him. Also be sure to hop along to the fine authors I tagged at the bottom of this post. They’ll be up on the 13th of February.


What is the working title of your next book? 

Where did the idea come from for the book? 
It came from Harold Camping, actually.  He was so certain that the Rapture was coming, and at a specific date and time, that people were selling their homes and getting rid of personal items so they could be ready for it.  At the time, I thought of how a predator could use this in order to kidnap a child and no one would ever bother to look for him or her because they would say the child had been Raptured.  I was horrified by the thought.  So, I decided to explore that in this next book.

What genre does your book fall under? 
I’m not really sure.  It’s a long way from being completed.  On the one hand, it could be considered horror, though not in the traditional sense.  On the other, it’s just a book that’s purpose is to get people to think.  I’ll have a better sense of genre when I get the first draft completed.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Buddy: Steve Buscemi
Tiffany Montgomery: Anne Hathaway

I don’t have a good sense yet of who would play which parts because I’m still in the initial draft.  The hardest part to cast will be Jeanne Montgomery because she’s so young, but I would definitely want Steve Buscemi and Anne Hathaway to be cast.  Their work is amazing.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 
The town believes Jeanne Montgomery was Raptured, but was she?

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? 
I do not intent to self-publish the book, but I’m not sure yet where I will send it because it’s not finished.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? 
I’m still writing the first draft.  I have a lot of projects going right now, so I haven’t been able to work on it the way I’d like to.  The portion of the manuscript that I have finished, I wrote in about three days.  I have a feeling that this manuscript will come in bursts like that.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? 
I hesitate to compare myself to anyone.  I could see Mary Higgins-Clark tackling the subject matter, though.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I mostly answered this above, but I guess what really tugged at me was the selfishness involved with blind obedience.  Underneath it all, that’s what it is.  Someone has the need to believe in something so badly, they will overlook the obvious in order to keep that belief unchallenged.  And who is at fault?  Who do you blame when someone gets hurt because someone else needed to believe in something?  Obviously, you blame the person who did the hurting, but there’s a deeper responsibility than that.  Do you hold individuals, or even institutions, responsible, or do you allow them to be blameless because they believe?  How much hurt is too much hurt?  Who gets to draw that arbitrary line, and is it really arbitrary if others who are outside of that belief are held to that standard already?  When does society get to say, “Enough.  Your beliefs are dangerous to others,” or do they ever get to say that?  These are the questions that pull at me.  I’m not even sure they are questions that can be answered, but answering them and passing judgment isn’t the point.  The point is getting people to ask the questions.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It won’t be for the faint of heart.  Bad things happen, and although I try to be as delicate as I can, those things are still very graphic. In fact, I made myself ill writing one scene, and I haven’t been able to work on the manuscript since then.  It’s not gratuitous, though. Unfortunately, the graphic nature of the book is necessary because it is steeped in reality.  If I do my job right, people will get angry…and then they’ll start asking the questions.

Jumping on!
Visit these authors I’ve tagged next week for THE NEXT BIG THING:

Kellie Wallace

Kristian Gore

Through the Eyes of a Storm

Huzzah!  We have finally decided on the name of the newest short story anthology from Rainstorm Press.  Through the Eyes of a Storm will feature Rainstorm authors, including Sakina Murdock, Tommy B. Smith, Nate D. Burleigh, Susan Dorsey, Diane Lefer, Jane Isaac, Amy Durrant, and myself.

This should be an amazing collection and there’s a broad range of stories.  There is no release date, yet, but I will be sure to update when that information becomes available.  Whilst you are waiting, why not check out some of these amazing books?

“Day Off” is a Mythical Creature

I don’t know about you, but my days off never feel like days off.  There’s always a million things that need to get done.  It’s been a rather productive morning, though, and this stuff won’t do itself.

  • Updated my book contract and reviewed my quarterly royalties statement.  That was pretty neat, actually, since my book just came out last quarter.  If you have not yet read it, please consider doing so.
  • Made edits to a story I have coming out in a few weeks.  The name of the collection has not been decided on yet, so when I have it I’ll pass that information along.
  • Formatted and submitted two manuscripts for my university’s English Dept. Writing Awards and the campus literary journal Analecta.  If you submit for one, you’re automatically considered for the other, which is handy.  I sent one manuscript for fiction and one for poetry.  Analecta has a history of hating my work, so I’ll be posting my first rejection blog in a few weeks. 😀

I’m hoping once I get through the homework portion of my day that I can get to work on some new poetry pieces.  I wrote a new piece last night, and I’d like to continue down that road and see where it takes me.

Seven Reviews and Counting

One of the most thrilling, yet completely terrifying things about being a newly published author is having people read your work.  I’m not talking about your parents or your best friend, here.  I’m talking about People.  The ones you don’t know, who live and work in places you’ve never been to.  Writing is a lot like art because once a piece leaves the creator’s hands, you lose all control over how people interpret it.  What they take away from your story, your poem, your novel may be completely different than what you meant and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it.  You’ve given a piece of yourself to the world and you can only hope they won’t wound you to your core.

Now, periodically, I like to check Amazon to see how my book, Celia, is faring.  Most of the time, it’s pretty depressing as I’m bouncing around between #1,000,000 and #250,000,000 on their best seller list.  No, those zeros are not typos.  Today, however, I got a very happy surprise: my seventh review.  What makes this review more noteworthy than the other six reviews is that I have no idea who this person is.  Because I am a new author who published a novella length manuscript through an independent press, most of my readers so far have been people I know.  To be honest, it’s been pretty hard to burst through that bubble and reach a wider audience.  I did it, though.  I reached one person I don’t know with my book, and I made an impact.  He or she (it’s a gender neutral name) gave the book five stars and a great review.

At the end of the day, that’s what it’s about for me.  I may never be famous, and I might have to do something other than writing for income, but someone out there read what I had to offer and it made a connection.