First 1-Star Review

Hey everyone! I just wanted to say that I am still working on getting these repeated issues with WordPress on my computer fixed. However, I just moved into a new home and do not have wi-fi yet, so therefore cannot work on fixing the issue at the moment.

But I wanted to bring up a concern. I noticed that I have a 1-Star review on Preservation and yet the reviewer did not bother to explain why. I understand that my writing is not for everyone, but as an author, I am always striving to get better. And how can I do that when there is not a single critique?

I’m not frustrated at the fact that it was 1 star. Not at all. Haters gonna hate 😁. But if you are going to the trouble of reviewing something that took 2 years to write, give me the courtesy of explaining why it was so horrible in your opinion. Maybe there is something I can work on. Who knows?

Does any other writer/author feel this way?

Preservation Update

Hello All!

I am very excited to share with you the OFFICIAL Cover of Book Two: Preservation. My amazingly talented Tattoo Artist, Bobby James (Instagram: bobbyj_tattoos) just completed it and I’ve already got the title on it!

For those of you eagerly awaiting the next book, have no fear! After much anticipation (and some procrastination 🙂 ) I will be formatting it this weekend (also my birthday weekend) and hopefully getting everything out to you within the next week! Stay tuned for links to purchase your copy!!!!

WordPress is Back, and So Am I

Four years ago to the date. I remember where I was that day. I think we all do. There are just certain events that you can just immediately recall who you were with and what you were doing. June 2nd was one of those days.

I woke up and hopped out of bed, a few minutes behind, as usual. Snooze is the best and worst invention in the world. Needless to say, I was probably going to be late for work again. My cat, Einstein, was meowing in the kitchen as I threw on a clean outfit and rushed to feed him. Food spilled all over the floor and that little turd of a cat tried scarfing it down as fast as he could while I tried to clean it up. Now he’s not going to eat dinner for as much as he ate for breakfast. I’m already stressed at this point and now the clock says 7:47. I have thirteen minutes to get to work. THIRTEEN. Usually, if there isn’t any traffic, it takes me twenty minutes to get to work.

But I would never make it to work that day. Everyone was standing outside as I was rushing to the car. I nearly made it to the highway before I noticed that the sky had darkened. Complete daylight had vanished. Everyone on the road had stopped dead in their tracks, exited their vehicles, and turned their heads to the sky. I did the same. My palms started sweating and my heart was racing so fast that it felt like I had just run a marathon. And I wasn’t even sure what I was looking at.

It was so large that it had completely eclipsed the sky. Well, at least the city. As far as we could tell. But once it ‘landed’ it just hovered there. I could feel the people around me, waiting for what would come next. For the next hour, we all just watched. No one moved or said a word. A few whispers and the radio talk shows talking about this thing buzzed over the crowd. Slowly, people began to return to their homes, the traffic died down, and I went back to my cat. Work, obviously, wasn’t going to say anything about my absence. Not with this ship or whateverthehellitis in the sky.

Around 9:00PM was when things began to get weirder. The few family that I still had already called to make sure I was okay. They only saw the stories while I was living in this moment. It was right above my head. There were news outlets all around the city, asking rhetorical questions that no one knew the answer to. And then, the damn thing began to glow. But it didn’t come from lights. It pulsated like veins – scattering like lightning across the sky. This vessel was somehow alive. First it was an eerie red, and then green. I could hear the screams in the streets. Fear.

But, despite what I may or may not have told my family, I wasn’t afraid. I was more intrigued than anything. My neighbor and I just sat on our porch and watched the events unfold. Was this the end of the world? Maybe. But even if it was, we couldn’t stop it. So why worry?

An hour had passed before the middle of this thing opened and the otherworldly beings began to float down to Earth. These things, wherever they came from, were the most wild-looking things I had ever seen. They were human-like, but extremely tall and sheet white. Even their attire, which resembled robes, were the very same color. Some people in the streets called them angels, but that was doubtful. How do I know? One landed on my porch.

My neighbor ran inside. The more I thought about the possibility of an invasion, the more fearful I became. But this thing was so beautiful. It couldn’t be harmful, could it?

“You have been chosen,” it said in perfect English. This race must have learned our language before coming here. Or maybe I was just hearing it in my head. “You are a survivor. Your past pain will be rewarded. We have been watching.”

***

And that was the last that I remember. From what the others have told me – the other survivors – they grabbed up a few of us and brought us onto the ship, adorned us with their clothing, and enslaved the rest. First, it was the state, and then the entire West Coast, then the United States, and slowly but surely, the world. Each time, they would descend and choose their survivors, and then the warriors would take over.

There are so few of us. Maybe a few thousand or so. We stand watch over our areas and act as messengers from these creatures. If we fail or retaliate, they kill us. So many have died and I once cried for them. But now, I just do as they say with little thought. At least they let me keep Einstein. He’s the only thing that keeps me company anymore.

Four years ago to the date. I remember where I was that day. I think we all did. Well, those of us who are still here.

***

I’m so so sorry for being gone for so long! I was having issues with WordPress not wanting to work on my computer, but I’ve figured it out! 🙂

Quick Update: I’m almost done with the final edits of Preservation so be on the lookout for the release!

Coming of Age

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Every child in our tribe dreams of the day when they take their test. The Old Ones; our parents, siblings, and family all speak about their test with pride and fearlessness in their eyes. But their words shake from time to time and I am not sure if the other Younglings notice, but I have.

Every child in our tribe dreams of the day when they take their test. But not me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not afraid. Five moons in the jungle while our markings heal will show us our true spirit. The animal who chooses to be our guide will be permanently marked on our chest, over our heart, our spirit center.

Some of them don’t come back, though. The tribe just assumes that they were not strong enough to protect us. To hunt. To battle. But no one goes to look for the bodies and the families just move on without their family. It makes me uneasy to think that… one of those missing… could be me. They would never allow me to skip this. I’m just standing on the edge of something I cannot escape. My family would disown me. Banishment would be my fate… and I would have to face the jungle alone anyway.

Tomorrow. I will rise with the birds and travel to the stream tent. Elders will be there to scar me with markings all over my back and arms with the story of our people. Throughout time, all of our kin have worn the countless tales of battle, harvest, and failings of the tribe. We all wear it proudly. It reminds us to have hope when we hang our heads in shame and to be humble when we stand above others in mastery. Hours will pass before I am ready for the blessing. Chanting through a line of my friends and family as they bless me with tree sap and I stand on the opening into the thicket.

I guess I’m lucky. My friend will be taking the test with me. Rules are, though, we must split up or the gods will frown upon our weakness and send a large animal to devour us both. And I do not wish to test the gods.

My mother is afraid. She tells me of her test and how close she came to death. Sickness from a simple wound and screams of others in the night. Out of a group of twelve, she and one other made it back alive. The others, lost in memory. And that night, she told me that I had an older brother who never made it back to the tribe after his test. It is taboo to speak of the lost but the fear in her eyes told me all I needed to know. I’m her only child now.

And then, the sun rises. Another sleepless night floats through my grasp like smoke. Ravens caw with the purple sky as I open my eyes to what could be my final days. I pay homage to the god of luck, an offering of flowers and bread. With a short bow, I meet my friend and we walk to the stream tent where a dozen Elders meet us. There are two woven chairs for us to remove our tunics and sit.

What started out as a bee-sting feeling soon subsided to numbness for a while. My heart stopped racing so quickly and I began to relax. The methodical tapping of the bamboo into my skin nearly put me to sleep. Pain no longer existed in my body. My eyes turn to my friend, who winces with each needle prick, clenching his hands. I place my palm on his fist and he relaxes.

“Everything will be okay.” I promise. “I will get through this and you will too.”

He smiles and relaxes a little, but I can sense the pain. I wish to a god to take some from him and she grants my kind gesture. A prickling feeling starts in my back, but I see my friend relaxing evermore. I nod in thanks to help him.

Perhaps I am different than the others in my tribe. The Old Ones have told ancient tales of people who connect with gods on a different level, called the Anointed. But the connection with the gods meant that they have weird abilities and can see the world through the gods eyes and feel things through nature. As I begin to wonder, I drift into a dream state and the markings are complete.

My friend and I stand between the stream and the dark trees. We make our way through the line of Old Ones who cover us with protection spells. The hum of chanting is hypnotizing. I don’t even remember falling to my knees, but here I am, crawling through the last few people in line. My mother is standing there with worry on her face, but she allows me to pass and stand at the edge of the thicket. My friend stands in a different direction and we bid each other farewell.

If I turn to look at the tribe, the gods will surely fail me. I must be strong and hold my head high but my knees are shaking as I stand and face the unknown. That was the moment I noticed something in the distance. A light? A figure? It’s moving but I don’t think the others can see it because they say nothing. Are my eyes playing tricks on me? No, because it’s getting brighter. I can feel its energy, pulling me deeper into the jungle as my tribe disappears out of view. Whatever it is, it feels welcoming and maybe a bit familiar.

 

I may come back to this writing prompt and finish it off with another picture. It was fun to write! I hope you enjoy, as always. I apologize for the extended absence but I’m working on some great things upcoming! Stay tuned!!!

 

Here’s one for you!

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A Message to Writers

write

When the world seems to crumble down around you, write.

When you feel that all motivation has left you, write.

When you wake up before the sun and you want to go back to sleep, write.

When you are up late and the stars are your only companion, write.

When you are stressed and when you are scared, write.

 

Trapped within your mind are infinite possibilities.

Worlds orbiting stars with life of its own.

Indescribable beauty that will only wither and die if unspoken.

Do not be afraid of your power, your ability.

Do not fear what makes you unique.

 

Write what makes you cringe,

Write what makes you sick to your stomach,

Write characters made from everything you want to be,

Write characters made from everything you are,

Write what makes your heart bleed.

 

You do not have to end every story with happiness,

For not every tale has a happy ending.

Just as in life, good does not always vanquish evil,

Heroes die a valiant death, fighting for what they believe in,

Never to see what they died for, crumble before their eyes.

Break the boundaries set by society and challenge their minds

Break the round hole that they force you to fit in.

Break the bonds of conventional writing and show them something new.

Break the words scrawled across notebooks for years,

Break the sentences, the chapters, break them to their rawest state.

 

But whatever you do, do not let them tell you to stop.

Do not let them tell you that you cannot do it, that it won’t make money.

Take their words and twist them into your stories,

Fight with them in a fantasy world and destroy them.

Just whatever you do, do not stop writing.