What I Learned About My Divorced Parents While Watching The Infinity Train Miniseries on Cartoon Network

Train Tracks Photo by Derek Story on Unsplash

Cartoon Network has been lit when it comes to producing fantastic entertaining shows that not only draws in kids, but drew me in as a 20-something. 

Since the Regular Show ended, I stayed optimistic that CN would produce even more great shows. When the Infinity Train minisodes aired a few weeks ago, I was hooked. 

If you haven’t seen it, don’t worry I won’t be getting into the spoilers because I need you to watch this show like, yesterday

Infinity Train takes place in the mid-west and it follows a young girl named Tulip who’s dealing with the divorce of her parents by suppressing her feelings and redirecting her energy towards coding. 

Fast forward to a verbal fight with her mother about who’s taking her to code camp when her parents drop the ball, and she ends up running away from home and getting sucked into a mysterious train in the middle of her neighborhood (never been there before). She discovers secrets on each car, including mystical creatures, maddening moments, and plenty of light humor. Like most cartoons of this genre, she had a furry companion and a sadistic, yet funny robotic sidekick.

What I thought was going to be a “tired” Adventure Time spin-off ended up being a deeper thought piece, which deals with life as the child of newly divorced parents. 

Let me tell you, I had all the feels. My parents didn’t divorce until I was eighteen, all my life, I’d wished they’d done it sooner. Not because I didn’t want a nuclear family, but because my parents were radioactive when together. They needed to be apart, separate as the East is from the West. 

Like Tulip, I lived with my single mother, and I too used things such as web developing and even writing to fill the emotional sadness of dealing with my parent’s separation. However, unlike Tulip, I wanted nothing to do with my other parent (an article for another day). 

The reason why Infinity Train hit me so hard was because of the depiction of a divorce from two perspectives: one from the child experiencing their parent telling them bad news, and one from the enlightened child looking into the situation as an outsider after gaining some new light on the situation. 

In reality, the show taught me that I need to stay in the past and relive the rough and tough times leading up to my parent’s split. While divorce does change everything, it doesn’t define who you are as a person. I also learned that parents shouldn’t be given a hard time when they decide to get a divorce. Finding love is tough. Keeping love is tougher. Divorce is hard for everyone, but their separation(even if necessary) should not make you hate your parents, it should just help you to realize that they have been through a lot and are ready for a change.

Anyway, that’s my 10-cents on Infinity Train. Did you see it? What do you think about Infinity Train?

Rant: Never Stay In A Toxic Workplace


Photo by Egor Padalka on Unsplash

I don’t understand how I keep finding myself on this end of the corporate ladder. I’m at the bottom, no longer near the rungs, I’ve done everything I assume imaginable to keep a job. But of course, I get chopped like a pile of iceberg lettuce leaves for a salad.

I hate writing about losing my job. It infuriates me. I tried to suppress the urge to write about being fired, but it keeps coming back. This post may sound like a rant, and dammit, I’m trying hard not to make it come off like that. But, I have to get it off my chest, otherwise it’s going to prevent me from being an honest and productive writer. I hate bearing this same stupid weight.

In 2016, I was hired by an insurance company that promised me the world. At least in my head they did. I went through two interviews, took a test but never received the scores, why would they matter?

I was hired after the second interview and sent to the training department.

Immediately, I fell in love with the atmosphere, it was like a college campus, and my colleagues were classmates. The trainers taught us everything we needed to know in order to do our jobs. But, I had an advantage, most of my colleagues were new to insurance, I had worked in insurance since I was 16, so I expected to move quickly up the company.

A job posting opened up for me in the claims department. (I promise to spend another post talking about how claims drove me insane.) But, long story short, I was promoted within 3 months after getting hired.

I was paid well. I was also fed free food. I think they use food as a golden handcuff since they got the good restaurants on speed dial. My work-life balance seemed to be more reasonable than my previous occupation.

And, then Hurricane Irma and then Matthew hit.

My workload in the claims department became unbearable, at this time, I was in the department for over a year. I kept up with the demands of my clients. But, I couldn’t help them, I could only make phone calls and hoped they were covered. I felt guilty whenever the insurance company denied a claim. But, I had other individuals to help all at the same time.

While claims became chaotic, I managed to cope, but life threw me a curve ball. I became violently ill during the late winter of 2017, and I feared that I might lose my job.

So, I asked my manager if I could work from home on the days I didn’t feel well. He gave me permission, but never followed through with getting the paperwork done.

I was afraid.

Fear always gets me in trouble at work. I’m afraid of stepping on toes. Rocking the boat. Standing up for myself. All of these stupid fears is what’s led to my current dilemma.

Out of fear, I started to look for work in another state. Maybe, if I got away from my environment, including claims, I could strive in the real world. My plan to move to North Carolina for work fell through the cracks.

So, I remained quiet at work.

Suffering inside. I couldn’t understand why I hated a place that I had grown to love. I knew the work was tough. I knew I couldn’t please everyone. But, why did I see red when I entered those security doors? I blamed myself, and worked on changing my attitude, but even then I failed.

My work-life balance became non-existent as my mother’s own disability crept into my life. I ceased having a social life. I was done with living at all.

I just worked, took care of my mother, and prayed I didn’t die due to my own mysterious illnesses. The middle management started behaving coldly towards me.

Could they tell that I was sick? Were they planning on firing me for taking one day off work to care for my disabled mother? What will I do if I lose my job?

All these worries ate at me, until a bright ray of sunshine helped me out of my darkened pit. My old manager asked me to rejoin her department and I did.

Everything got back on track, I was training to do new work. No longer stagnant. Sure, I was still sick, and I still had family issues, but I saw renewed joy in work.

A year after being rehired in the customer support department, I started training with a new department. The manager training me made me nervous. I was cautious around her. Something about her didn’t seem right. She was aloof, but cunning if that makes any sense. I assumed, I was being paranoid. After four months of training and learning the ropes. I applied for a position in that department, anyway (idiot!).

I was given positive feedback by the hiring manager, but not the manager who trained me. I had a sinking feeling, I didn’t get the position.

The following day, I received an email from the hiring manager stating that she had to go with two other employees, instead of hiring internally. She said it was because they had 10 years of insurance experience. I had less than them.

I understood.

It didn’t bother me.

Besides, I enjoyed my current team. But, the following day my boss pulled me into her office. She brought to my attention that the manager for the department I trained for not only believed my communication skills were lacking, but she said I had poor work ethic. And, that they overlooked me because I never asked her for more work in her department. Pretty much, I was lazy.

I was taken aback. The other manager rarely went to work and she didn’t train me. Her employees trained me and taught me everything I needed to know. Between her daughter’s girl scout meetings and her children’s Christmas presents shopping, she never mentioned I wasn’t doing my job.

I didn’t stand up for myself. I let my own boss rip me a new one. Again, I was afraid of being fired, so I remained church mouse quiet.

From that day forward, I kept my eyes focused on the keyboard. I worked through lunch. I avoided water breaks with my colleagues to keep working on projects. The situation with the manager from the other department blew over. I was removed from all of her team’s tasks, and I gladly obliged.

Still, in the pit of my stomach, I knew that my job was going to end.

In early 2019, we had a client service award meeting, fifty colleagues of mine received rewards, I knew I wasn’t getting anything. I wasn’t even envious, I just knew that I needed to work harder.

At that same meeting, it was announced that my company was sold, after the CEO stated in October 2018 and I quote: “We will never, ever, ever, ever, sell the company!” Yes, he used that many evers.

The air changed in my workplace and everyone started to quit or be fired for mysterious reasons. All of the firings never occurred because of the merger, at least that’s what the multiple emails a day said.

I had a gut feeling I was about to be gutted.

In the meantime, I trained with a new department, and I made sure to keep track of all my work in the form of spreadsheets. I followed up with the manager and asked for more work whenever I had a period of respite. She respected me, and I had respect for her. And, things were going great.

Her team had gotten behind in their work due to a heavy sales month. So I hopped in to assist. I was barely in her department for a month before one of her sales agents told her that she needed me to do more tasks and faster. I promised them I could, because I knew I would, and I did.

At the end of the month of February, a position opened up in the department. I applied for it, but never received a response from the manager or the hiring manager. I knew at that moment, I was done, but why?

My boss who hired me in 2016 and rehired me in her department back in 2018 pulled me into the office. I gave her a thick packet of all of my assignments that I’ve completed in the last four weeks in that other department, as well as communication between the teams and myself. I asked her to share it with the other manager. She said she would.

Then she told me the reason why I would never be hired in ANY of the departments and why I should QUIT sending my resume to ANY of the managers, it was because back in 2016, I took a test on my hiring week and my scores showed that I lacked initiative, thoroughness, and urgency.

I just frowned, and a small tear touched the corner of my eye. I was pissed at myself for showing any emotions. My boss gave me an ultimatum, leave the company or be under surveillance by her personally until I do my job better, and maybe then I might be able to find a better job outside of the agency.

I took the hint. I thanked her for being my manager and she fired me. My last day was March 1st.

The following day, I was given a request by the other manager who denied my resume. She wanted me to do additional work for her colleagues. I simply responded to the email that I wasn’t qualified to do their work.

It’s been a month since I got booted. I’m still jobless. But, happy AF. I’ve gotten healthier. I smile more. And, I know what it means to be in a toxic workplace. From this experience, I learned to trust no one but myself. I also used the experience to remind myself that corporate America is made up of people who don’t really know what they are doing, but are cool with stepping on nobodies to get ahead. I guess, I should’ve wore thicker shoes.

I did have one final message for my boss and my colleagues after getting the boot. I looked everyone in their eyes and said, “Remember the person you look down on while you’re going up is the same person that looks down on you when you fall to the ground.”

So, I got this off my chest, I’ll go back to writing about my new book and anime tomorrow. Thanks for reading!

You Don’t Miss Something ‘Til It’s Gone


Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

It’s funny, the old saying that goes like this: You don’t miss something until it’s gone.

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been worried about how to sustain my disabled mother and myself financial. I have a lot of pressure on my shoulders as a 24-year-old who has been working full-time for almost a decade. And, I do miss the relative security of disposable income.

Any experienced writer can agree that financial stability is always in the forefront of most artistic ventures and dreams. And as an aspiring indie author, I know how easy it is to be sucked into the hype that you need to write a lot of books, make a lot of money, and quit your job to travel the world.

Nothing wrong with those dreams. Just got to remember reality hits and life happens. When I was younger, my only reason for wanting to be an author was to make tons of money and travel the world. Now, I just want to try something new: like writing a book people would want to read (even if it’s free).

Life is short, money comes and goes, but books can take you anywhere. When my family struggled in the past due to my abusive father, I had novels and short stories to escape to. My love of books led to me receiving a scholarship to one of my dream schools (though family responsibilities prevented me from going).

This last month and a half without a day job, I learned a lot about myself. I’m resilient. And my novel isn’t that bad, especially when you have enough time to re-read it almost 100+ times a week, (ugh editing). There’s no such thing as quitting your job to travel the world, if you’re a writer. You will be working harder in general as a writer. Generating ideas. Meeting deadlines. And, more.

My biggest fear has come and past: writing without a day job. My cushion is getting flat, but I have an interviewed lined up. I’m keeping hope intact and letting go of the past sting of being booted by my old job.

Anyway, this post was more like a peak into my world outside of writing fiction. I will say that the time I spent writing and promoting my work has been a joyful learning experience.

This #IndieApril don’t forget to thank your favorite indie authors for the hard work they do with minimal resources and tons of ideas.

Thanks for reading!

Someone Made My Day at Starbucks and 19 Days Left in the SYPHONS Giveaway!


Photo by Pablo Merchán Montes on Unsplash

Hiya literary fans,

It’s 19 days until 4 winners will be chosen to receive one of the following:

A copy of Syphons

Or

A $25 Starbucks Gift Card

I believe this is my fourth giveaway.

Last four times I gave away $20 bucks.

So that’s like $80 dollars worth of prizes. Crazy cool!

Anyway, I have a touching Starbucks Story to Share

Yesterday, I was feeling bummed, I had a job interview and haven’t heard back, thought I slayed it, but still feeling ghosted by the company.

Anyway, I was going to head out for lunch, my mom wanted me to grab her one of Starbucks Dragonfruit Refreshers.

So, I obliged even though I wasn’t craving anything caffeinated at 12 in the afternoon.

I head over to my local Starbucks, there’s four cars ahead of me. Fantastic! I’m sitting here hangry, and now I have to wait in line for a drink I didn’t even want!

So, I place my order, the guy was super chill and professional. I pulled up in the drive thru, only two cars ahead of me. The driver of the car at the window must’ve ordered for a team or something because it took way too long in my opinion, then again I it could’ve been my hanger.

I rested my head on my steering wheel contemplating my life. When, finally the driver at the window left, and I pulled up, one driver ahead of me.

He moved a lot faster, by now I had my last twenty to hand over to the cashier.

He shook his head and handed me my drink, telling me that the guy in front of me had paid my drink.

I was so baffled, I forgot to pay it forward.

Thank you mysterious driver at Starbucks who bought my drink in Florida!

Ciao!

I’m So Sick of This Broken Record of a Conversation!

Photo by Guillaume TECHER on Unsplash

This important lesson is one that has taken me a few years to learn and inculcate in my life. Don’t take to heart what other people say. In the past, someone could mention one hurtful phrase about me and it would crush me. Today, I’ve survived so many other hurtful things that it doesn’t phase me as much.

Recently, a family member of mine pulled the “writers don’t make money” card. I usually ignore this family member’s taunt about my dream of being a writer and how it is downright idiotic that I would pursue such a dream.

But, instead of sweeping this argument under the rug. I started a conversation and asked this family member to give me some additional evidence. She stated that writing isn’t a useful profession since no one reads anymore.

I reminded her that she receives business copy and documents that she reads from the mail which contains important information regarding her health and services rendered. She countered with the fact that she hardly reads that stuff. And, I added that the writer gets paid regardless.

I also shared the fact that most careers do not make money right at the start. Even established businesses started somewhere between a good idea and a pipe dream.

The fact that I want to be a writer doesn’t mean I only want to do it as my sole means of income. That would be fantastic if I could live off of only my writing. But, I am very realistic, starting out, you need to build an audience and actually put in the effort necessary to sell your work. This family member only sees me putting in effort towards my writing, but never sees me making millions. As if I should somehow be a Cardi B or Kylie Jenner after writing a few blog posts and one short story.

I continued to speak with my family member, and refused to make an argument out of our conversation, and I brought up the fact that I worked in insurance for six years. It was soul crushing work. And, now that I no longer work in insurance, I have nothing to show for it. I just paid bills and woke up angry every single day, even on the weekends. It was all meaningless to me.

So, while I understand that she is concerned about my wellbeing. I know what is best for myself. I need a job and steady income. That’s fine and reasonable. But, I want to write for myself. Not for greenbacks, not for approval from other people, but because I love to write.

How’s Writing Without a Day Job?

Hiya Literary Fans,

I waited a few weeks before creating this blog post because I recently lost my day job and didn’t want negativity from that aspect of the experience to effect my writing. I will admit that while I am beyond ecstatic to have this extra time to create blog posts, work on my fiction, and even take time to smell the literal roses, I am a bit nervous about what the future holds.

My plan before losing my job involved using my paychecks to fund my writing projects, while I take care of 90-percent of my disabled mother’s living expenses, and of course my own expenses. However, that plan fell through before I even started receiving money from my writing, when my day job gave me the boot.

Emotionally, I think I’ve handled it pretty well. My day job(s) have always left me feeling a bit unmotivated even when I tried to push water uphill and make things work for the money and benefits. Now that I don’t have the day job, I motivate myself by keeping to a strict writing schedule, but also spending time to stop and spend time with friends, nature, and of course looking for work until I can live solely off my writing.

Physically, I feel less tense and more at ease. I don’t feel the pressures of the rat race or the need to rush through writing projects in order to have enough time to sleep during the night hours (when I usually write), before waking up early in the morning to go to work.

The job loss hasn’t caused any major set-backs on my novel Syphons. I am so happy to announce that the book cover design is being finalized within the next few days. And, the book is currently being proofread.

I am starting to believe that losing my job has been a blessing in disguise. I can write as much as I want without worrying about a day job. In the meantime, I learned that putting myself on a schedule, planning out my days and my writing, and focusing on bettering myself during this brief employment hiatus has left me a healthier person and a better creative.

Have you ever experienced the stress of losing a day job? How did you cope?

Rantings from a Spitfire of a Teen Writer – Snippet


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Hiya Literary Fans,

I’ve been posting infrequently recently due to WIPs and venturing out to other sites in order to create content. Currently, I’m returning to SheWrites.com.

While getting reacquainted with the website, I discovered my only blog article I posted back in 2012, when I was 17 or 18.

All I can say is…, dang, I was full of angst and my writing wasn’t too shabby either!

There’s a snippet of my rant below. If you’d like to read the entire article (click here):

No experience,

Impossible,

Sure you could try, but there’s no money in writing, sweetie

I’ve heard that from every family member, high school teacher, guidance counselor, and stranger in my life. Oh, a creative writer, hmpf.

How are you planning on feeding yourself, later? It’s funny to think that only adults can have all the fun writing their novels which includes: editing, revising, dealing with the pub. house, and… wash, rinse, and repeat.

However, I think that as a youth there’s a vibrant, untamed wilderness and burst of excitement that comes with being able to write, sell, and publish an awesome novel.

Seeing one’s name in print seems like the most exciting thing ever; whether the novel is amazingly entertaining or just a bland fan fiction version of the hottest bestseller.

Teen writing, in general, is supported by organizations such as the Young Arts Awards in NYC and Miami, as well as the Scholastic Young Artists Awards in NYC. Just send in an excerpt, cross your fingers, and wait for the letter.

I haven’t published a novel yet, that will change soon.

I have big plans.

I want to see certain things that have never been tried before in regular novels. I’m tired of British wizards, and sparkling vampires. Also tired of sadistic Emo related stories and slow paced “I ran through the woods and a monster/mist/darkness was following me” novels.

Continue Reading on SheWrites.Com.

Thanks for reading!

I Like My Main Characters Plus-Sized & I’m Not Ashamed of It (Anymore)!


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I am so pumped and excited about my newest novel, Syphons. If you haven’t checked out the synopsis, you should now! Go ahead, and then come back to this post.

Did you check it out?

Great!

Recently, I was thinking about the fact that my Main Character (MC, going forward) is a plus-sized diva that fights bad aliens and does it with speed, agility, and charisma, three things you don’t think of a plus-size MC.

I believe the common notion of a plus-size character is either the “woe-is-me” variety or the “I’m-so-easy-to-bully-and-use” variety. I tried to create an MC that was neither and who is just true to herself. Sure, she has a weight problem, but it doesn’t hold her back in my novel.

My first introduction to a plus-sized character was when I was a teenager and I read a sci-fi novel, which I adore to this day called, Infected by Scott Sigler.

He had this character called, “Fatty Patty” (I believe that was her moniker going forward in the novel. Fatty Patty’s body was infected by the main villain of the story. And, I remember the MC, who was an overweight former college QB having disdain for her fatness, which in turn became her weakness and downfall in his eyes.

Being a chubby teen reading that book, I quickly overlooked Fatty Patty’s parts out of fear that we may share some similarities. This post isn’t a diss on the author, oh no. Most of the novels I read either by Stephen King or some other prevalent writer created characters that were fat, but it wasn’t just a physical trait but made up the actual individual.

The only time in the past I recalled reading about a plus-size MC doing positive things in a novel was usually after they lost a few pounds and then they were able to get the guy, get the job, or get their groove back.

Either way fat was seen as a negative thing.

Just like in modern society. There are TV shows that glorify being fit, thin, and/or slim (no disrespect, at all), and then there are the shows that throw negative light on fat people, they are usually bed-ridden, lonely, and waiting on death or their next plate of food.

The above may seem like an extreme example, but it is what I see on the regular. But, thankfully fatness and women who are overweight, fat, whatever the term of the day may be, are starting to get more props.

I can’t wait for a world where novels feature MCs that are thick and still able to get the man without having to drop a pound or she is happy to wear cute clothes and show off her curves regardless of how the world feels about her.

Maybe that world will come soon or it’s possibly about to be here and now?

What do you think? Do you have any novels that come to mind that feature plus-size MCs in a positive light? I’d love to read them!

And, don’t forget to sign-up for my newsletter and be entered for a chance to win a $20 Starbucks Gift Card and the first chapter of Syphons, A Novel!

Why You Should Write for Fun Instead of Funds?


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When I was growing up, I had the dream of making enough money from my writing career to be a self-employed adult capable of purchasing anything from a house to my own sports car. At 24, my dream lingers, I’m just more realistic, and I have a full-time gig.

Well, my work sucked when I tried to create literature just for money. My edit jobs were hasty. My book covers looked like they were designed through Paint (what could I say, I was 18 and balling on a budget). And, worst of all, I assumed that my books would sell as long as I posted it on Amazon, without any prior marketing.

I blame inexperience, ignorance, and youth.

The authors I looked up to were people who seemed to have these mystical ‘overnight’ success stories. When actually a large majority of them started working on their books way before I was even a thought in my mother’s mind.

So, why would anyone want to rush and create a product that is unwanted just for some dirty pennies? Creating work just for the money is like buying fast food. Nothing against fast food. But, I have yet to see a fast-food joint earn 3 Michelin Stars.

Writing should make you a profit if you create quality work. A reader shouldn’t feel cheated when they purchase your book. And, when it comes to writing, you shouldn’t cheat anyone as the author. Because what goes around comes around. And, bad reviews online, might lead to a lack of sales and respect from fellow writers and your readers during the next new release.

Like this post, let me know in the comments below. Don’t forget, I’m releasing a free exclusive first chapter of my new release, SYPHONS, A NOVEL. Get your copy here!

Write What You Know About Romance Even While Single & #ForeverAlone


Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Write what you know.

For some odd reason, while working on revisions of my current WIP, Syphons, a sci-fi/new adult novel, I started thinking about the write-what-you-know motto.

In my novel, I wanted to create a revamped love story between a plus-size African-American woman who awakens with rare abilities due to her hybrid alien heritage, and an Anglo-Saxon man with telepathic abilities and a craving for human brains caused by a 500-year-old parasitic alien living within his own brain.

The only problem with writing romantic elements in my sci-fi novel is the fact that I have limited (if any experience) in the romance department.

At 24, my longest and the only relationship I had lasted 62-days (can you even consider that a relationship?), and I dated the guy back at the ripe old age of 21. I suppose you don’t need to be in a relationship to write a great romantic story.

But, the imposter syndrome all writers seem to face hits home hard, especially when my characters have intimate (yet, tame) moments together.

Some of the common questions I battle with, thanks to feeling like an imposter includes:

  • How do you write-what-you-know, when you don’t know anything about long-lasting romantic love!?
  • Why did I ever take up the stressful task of writing a romantic story between two individuals in my first sci-fi novel?
  • Isn’t this task just too big for me?

Sounds more like a sad predicament which is bigger than just writing romance.

The more I write, the more panicked I become about my own lack of love in life. I’ve questioned my motives. Wondered if my imperfections were so flawed that love will forever remain out of reach. Maybe, my issues with an unloving father finally caught up to me. I’m damaged goods, not worthy of love from anything with a pulse. I’m going to be the crazy cat lady who reads about love and never finds it.

The angst I feel now is what makes up my main characters unique take on her instant connection with her love interest in my novel. Even though, I didn’t spell out things the way I did above. You will be able to tell that my main character is afraid of love, even if the man she’s with adores her.

I guess, in a way, I am writing what I know.

Romance in some novels just seem so hot and heavy and all about getting the girl undressed, and ripping the guy’s jeans off that the characters forget to be intimate.

Kind of like the real world…

Sure babies are still being made, but is anyone really making an effort to turn off their Twitter notifications in order to hold an hour-long conversation with their SO at dinner?

Something to think about.

In high school, I remember devouring every romance novel I could get my claws on. And I’m not talking about the Stephanie Meyer stuff. I’m talking about the urban fantasy, sci-fi romance stories that made novels like Breaking Dawn, seem like a cheesy attempt at writing about love between two bloodsuckers.

Authors like Kelley Armstrong, Gini Koch, even Patricia Briggs created strong female characters who had romantic elements and complicated relationships. True, lust was explored in all of the relationships, but something about each individual romance story made you want to see the characters end up together and win.

Maybe, my main character will achieve love, even if the author who created her is using outside influences to create a romance worth reading.

But, then again, who said that writing-what-you-know means you actually have to go out and experience that particular scene?

I haven’t read about any crime authors attempting murder in order to learn more about methods to kill and get away with said murder. The same is true for romance authors.

So what if I never experienced a mindblowing first kiss, but I’m sure my wicked imagination will help me spin an idea of what makes a first kiss amazing. A dash of research and some sappy romance stories through the Hallmark Channel can help me create a fairytale ending for my characters in love.

If you want to learn more about Syphons check out the blog post here. Want a copy of the exclusive first chapter?

What do you think about writing romance, imposter syndrome, or my post today? Let me know in the comments.

3 Ways to Deal With Failure


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I’m writing this post to future me. So, that I can look back at it and say, okay. I’ll try again.

Giving up is easy to do.

Keeping up with a project and doing it until completion, that’s difficult.

Fear of failing and an unhealthy (obnoxious) dose of perfectionism keeps me from moving forward at times in my life.

I read something on Twitter about failure. I’ll paraphrase the Tweet here, ‘take your failures, stack them up, and build a hill for you to step up on to move to the next level.’

In other words, stop treating failures as the end all be all.

Everyone fails.

And those who fail but keeps going uses these three things to deal with failure:

Resilience

When I think of being resilient I always think of the flu shot and the actual virus.

Seeing as it’s flu season, tons of germs can infiltrate us at any time. But, when the flu shot is in our system, it can fight the virus off sooner and we won’t stay as sick longer.

But, some people tend to forget that the flu shot still contains an inactive strain of the flu virus.

What does this mean?

In my humble opinion, we need small weaker fails to help us fight off the bigger more detrimental fails.

So, I’m not encouraging you to fail on purpose. Just try not to make a big deal of fails.

I’m human.

I tend to make small things into big deals.

The small fails are easier to take if you do a task more frequently.

Such as blogging.

Some of my posts fall short.

Others seem to resonate with readers.

All in all, just because some posts fail or others resonate, doesn’t mean I’m a horrible writer who will never see publication.

No, it just means I need to be resilient, keep going even when I don’t want to. And, see everything as an opportunity to improve instead of getting stuck in the hamster wheel of doubt and failure.

Learn from the “F”

Take the F.

Not in school, I mean unless you really didn’t do that assignment.

I’m talking about learning from the F, as in failure.

I think when we start accepting failures and trying to learn from them, we are able to move past them sooner.

I’m thinking of big fails here.

Your novel that completely flops.

A media post that resonates with no one.

A loss of money, time, and/or energy.

It’s not a true loss, if you learn from it.

In my college days, I failed general chemistry. It ruined me for a while. I felt like everything I did after that class proved how much of a failure and a loser I was.

I didn’t want to keep learning.

I wanted to drop out.

I wanted to give up on writing too (since, technically, I failed chemistry because I wrote a sci-fi during lectures).

Did I quit?

No, I learned from my mistakes, changed my behavior, and retook the class. I passed with a B the next time around. And, I stopped focusing on the negative air that came with being a failure and learned to accept it.

Keep moving forward.

Just Do You

Feeling like a failure prevented me from sharing my stories and writing with the world. It wasn’t until I sat down with my therapist/friend and she told me to write anyway, so what if no one reads my work.

I thought about it. Of course, I wanted to be read.

But, I also knew that you can’t be read if you don’t write.

So, I told my inner-critic to shut the hell up. I ignored the trolls from writing attempts past. And, I started to just do what came natural to me; writing.

The first few weeks were like yanking teeth without novocaine. Painful. But, as I wrote more and started to receive feedback. I started to loosen up and go with the flow.

Sure, in the back of my head, even now I think about how I could be wasting my time writing this.

But, I know that the reader, who will probably be me in the future, wanted to know that failure didn’t destroy her or her love of creating art.

I wrote this for everyone who feels like a failure will end them. Don’t let it.

After every failure there’s an opportunity for a new beginning and a fresh start. Remember that and the fails won’t hurt as much.

Writers Are You Protecting Yourself From This Scary Trend?


Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

I checked my email the day after publishing my latest e-book on Amazon and sharing it through Twitter. I see five new messages through my official business email, I assumed they were readers of my blog. 

At first, I yay’d!

Then, upon closer inspection, I noticed phrases like: 

“read your synopsis and… I want to promote your work…”

“hey, I have like 100k followers and your book…”

“looks like you wrote a book and need to get it reviewed…”

So, my heart started to sink and I realized I might be the biggest loser on Earth. Because, I was totally getting spam, and I took it to heart. Talk about a total bummer. 

Apparently, bloggers, influencers, and/or imposters are pretending to be an avid reader of your particular fiction and they want to help you get reviews…, for a cost. 

In my mind, I thought, “hey, it’s a free e-book, what’s the big deal, why not sign up for a copy of my book and call it a day?”

Therefore, I performed an experiment…

I chose one of the email addresses from the list of spammers and plugged it into my MailChimp subscribe form. I sent them a free e-book instead of replying to their message via my business inbox. I’m not a professional hacker or IT wiz. I don’t know how to enter the mainframe. 

Anyway…

The scam-booker took my e-book, and unsubscribed. 

Otayyyyy! Weird. 

That’s like going to a grocery store, running to the counter with the free samples of hot food, gobbling it in front of the store clerk, placing the empty cup back on the counter, and sprinting like heck to make sure they didn’t see you eat a FREE Sample!

Apparently, I’m not the only one who was ‘scammed’ this happens to new indie authors enough times for there to be forums about it, i.e. Goodreads.

Many of the seasoned ones know better than to click these, and usually, your email system can tell you’re just receiving spam. 

Here’s a recap of the warning signs:

  • Random accolades from a total random.
  • They didn’t subscribe to your newsletter/blog but want your e-book (and they won’t take no for an answer).
  • They don’t use the title of your book or tell you what it is about.
  • They may use an autoreply system that tells you to send the book to the inbox (and nobody gets hurt).
  • They may unsubscribe once you subscribe them to your mailing list.
  • Sounds too good to be true like most scams.

Usually, these scam-bookers are looking to do one of 3 things: 

  • Gain followers (without following you back in return).
  • Pirate your free e-book (it’s free, what the heck!).
  • Or they want you to purchase reviews for Amazon, but that doesn’t mean they will be quality or allowed on Amazon. 

What can you do to protect yourself?

  • Realize that no matter how awesome your book is no one is going to promote it for free unless they genuinely love your work, words, or you.
  • Set-up a litmus test, make them send you some info about writers they’ve worked with in the past.
  • Don’t be overly excited when you get fan mail. It might be a fan, but it’s probably just spam.

You’re a writer. Your work matters. Even if a couple of scammers make you feel icky inside. You took the risk to share your work and sometimes snails come out of the grove and starts munching on your lettuce. Just get some salt and keep it moving. 

If you know a writer share this warning with them. I think it’s a helpful blog post that should be shared among the writing community. 

Thanks for reading!

Modern Dating Is For The Birds Read a Romance Novel & Do This Instead!

I love sci-fi and urban fantasy novels with romantic elements. For me a little bit of romance goes a long way, it doesn’t even have to be the central theme of the story. Wouldn’t you agree?

So, when I thought dating in the real world (I was 14 at the time) wasn’t as legit as sparkling vampires. My eyes became open, and here I am ten years later finally happy to just be single.

Here’s what I found out along the way and I know you’ve probably experienced the same thing. Otherwise, why read this post?

There’s a reason why you’re single. I bet you believed it was somehow your fault, like I did. I thought if I lost weight, changed my style of clothing, and maybe tone down my laughter. I’d find love. I thought I needed to fix myself in order to be lovable.

How silly of me.

But, there is something wrong with the new dating norm. And, we’re not the only ones suffering through this modern dating crises.

In the era of dating apps and smartphones, you’d think communicating with a potential SO would be easier.

Ha, ha, how naive.

Let’s take a look at the following things that makes dating feel like a long walk on a bed of coals.

Swipe Left On Answering Text Messages:

You meet a great guy. He asks for your digits. You may text him your name so that he can plug your contact info into the phone. And then you text him a goodnight with a smiley face.

If anything in that statement above sounds like coming on too strong, please let me know below, so that I can ease up on all the pressure I throw at men.

Back in the day, you called a crush. Today, if you text them too often, too little, too long, too brief, or any other toos, you’ll end up too lonely, and too single.

Here’s a tip for the person who keeps people on read status, instead of causing a potential date to have a meltdown by not reading their text and having the courtesy to text back. Try texting a simple: don’t contact me ever again. So, that they can move onto the next one.

Off Again, On Again, (or Off Again…)

Now, let’s say a great guy is kind enough to return your texts or at least read them and reply to you in about a day or two. Then, you start going out. But, he decides you’re not his type, so he leaves. And, a month later out of the blue, guess who’s come running back? Then he leaves again. The cycle continues and it leaves you hoping for more interactions with this individual.

Why? Why is this a thing? Why are human beings allowed to run into your life and then leave out of the blue? I suppose free will comes into play.

Just be honest. Let me down easily, or abruptly. And, then let me stay down. I can dust myself off and walk away just fine without you running up on me to trip me again.

Ghosting

I didn’t know I was ghosted until a month after it happened to me and an article online told me this was a thing.

Wow, so, that guy who I texted and we admitted our feelings for one another after a couple dates was an undercover phantom? (I’m talking to you Danny Fenton!)

Hmm, guess I need to do better next time when it comes to picking a man. No one likes a flake who can walk through walls, and who can’t even commit to flying into their afterlife.

If this happens to you, just leave him where you found him; in the graveyard on a dark and scary night.

So, these things irk me and have been happening to more women (and men) than just myself.

If people can learn to be loving and conscientious, maybe dating would be more bearable.

Dating is bad enough without all the bells and whistles involved with being a jerk. Do you have any other dating tips below?

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Writers Get The Spark Back In Your Writing By Doing These Simple Steps

Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash

You start working on your next writing assignment with a fast approaching deadline. You’ve had ample time to brainstorm, research, and put everything you have down on paper. 

You revise, edit, rinse and repeat. But, as the deadline looms closer.

The words stop flowing. 

Writing doesn’t feel like fun anymore. It’s starting to feel a lot like… work. Dreadful and exhausting, work.

If you are feeling this way about writing, it’s a sign that you are probably burned out and need a fresh perspective on your project. The tips below can help you regain your creative drive and learn to enjoy your writing life again.

Nature Helps Creativity

Get outside.

Breathe fresh air.

Look at the morning dew evaporate from blades of glass.

Walk in a sunshower.

Anything is better than sitting behind a desk, staring at the blinking cursor on a blank page when you are too tired to even type out a word let alone a chapter for your next novel.

An article produced by Berkeley University recommends getting in the great outdoors to shake off the dullness which comes with writing for a living.

Let’s face it. Being a writer is a lonely gig. It’s one of the few jobs where collaboration isn’t necessary until the actual work is completed or near completion.

Now, consider how helpful the next pointer is not only to your well-being but your creativity as a writer.

Burn Calories

Exercise for some is the bane of their existance. But, consistency is key to building a proper exercise routine.

Now what does this have to do with writing?

The WritePractice states that working out may even improve your creativity. 

If you’ve ever been stumped on a particular plot twist or can’t get the creative juices flowing for your next blog post.

Try going for a walk and using a tape recorder or a recording app on your phone to take verbal notes during your workout. You may end up with better ideas than if you were sitting in a chair letting the blood pool in your glutes.

Travel

Everyone can’t afford the expense or time needed to go on a grand vacation. And, if you are pinched for cash and don’t have that giant writer’s salary that every writer should be earning (kidding!), you may be more inclined not to travel.

Whether you fly out to visit your favorite country from your favorite story, or opt for a staycation. Traveling can make you a better story teller.

Which writer do you think would be able to create a story worth claiming your attention?

The person who perused a couple of travel guides about a small town in Italy for a research project?

Or, the person who visited the village, smelled the local cuisine and livestock, listened to the native tongues of the people and their intracacies, and tasted the yummy pasta fresh from the kitchen? 

Sometimes experience is your best teacher.

Limit Social Media

Social media is one of the best ways to promote and humble brag about accomplishments. It’s also a well known distraction. Just the thing a tired and drained writer needs.

A fifteen minute reprieve may turn into hours worth of cat videos, life quotes, and celebrity gossip. Whether it is Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, or one of the other popular sites, it may be a good idea to take a break, based on this Readers Digest article.

On a personal note, I recently dropped off a few social media accounts, and I focus scheduled time on 2. I feel like my writing has improved. I don’t feel stressed about not reaching the same forms of success as my peers. And, I have time to enjoy my writing.  

Dream Bigger – Start with a Life Plan

Sometimes writers are focused on stepping up the next rung, instead of looking at their path up the ladder.

Wishing to have a bestselling book on Amazon or successfully finding an editor, may be things on your list and it’s not a bad thing.

Some dreams need to be big, so that you don’t lose steam when dealing with the small stuff.

Don’t just create a fancy book cover, use it to build your brand.

Don’t just find an editor, build a hype-team for your next launch.

And, so on.

Successful or not creating a map for your journey through life can help you dream big and accomplish bigger things. This interactive video is a great guide that shows you how to get started on creating a life plan.

So, there you have it, the five ways that writers can improve their creativity and defeat writer’s burn out. 

Do you have any other ways that help you deal with creative burnout? Leave a comment below.

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