Houses of the Broken and Other Stories

Latest

Ready to Pounce

One minus T-10 days till Houses of the Broken takes the world by storm. I’ve been wishing my month away waiting for the big release (and a few warmer days.)

In the mean time I’m trying to prep myself for blog tours, interviews, private jets, paparazzi…. Well, a girl can dream at least…

But my muse has rolled back in to town, tapping on the outside of the window pane like the delinquent in every high school movie, trying to convince the good girl to play hooky and live it up. *tap tap* *tap tap* *tap* I see you, you naughty minx… I’ll be out, just you wait. And the bodies will drop with a vengeance!

Advertisements

Third Life – Fool’s Gold – Week 2: Don’t Look Up

It only took a couple of days before I realized one fatal flaw to my plan of reinvention. Once you know someone, you don’t look at them. You might see them, and acknowledge their presence enough to hand them something or not run in to them at the coffee pot, but you don’t really LOOK at them.

Short of wearing bells, I’m not sure any subtle changes to my appearance or stance are going to get noticed. Maybe it’s a good thing, since it answers the big ‘what if’ but it seems like a lackluster result.

The dreary cold will not let go in our region. I suspect that until the sun shines for a couple days and we start to see the flush of green, that most people will still continue in their hibernation state.

Wake me in July.

Oh, Sweet Release…. Date.

Now that the ham and chocolate has settled, it is with great pleasure that I would like to announce that my soul book will soon be available for purchase from your favorite neighborhood e-tailers.

Houses of the Broken will be available to the public April 25, 2015 in all* e-book formats! There are rumors of a pre-sale, but more details and sneak peeks will follow as the timeline tightens up.

Many thanks to Cliffhanger Press, LLC for getting me this far. Can’t wait to pimp this puppy to the world!

*all = all ebook formats known to me….

Third Life: Fool’s Gold – Week 1: Gilding the Gauntlet

Is it better to be pretty or smart? Welcome to my poorly contrived social experiment.

As my professional and life experience grows and I become entrusted with more responsibility, I can’t help but feeling more left behind. I’m in my mid-30’s, never been a ‘girly girl’ and most often wore the badge of ‘nerd’ in my academic days. I have a mind for problem solving, and enough social skills to get me through some of the most complicated business meetings (Smiling through clenched teeth should be listed on my resume under special skills or maybe additional languages.)

This bad idea started as most bad ideas do. At the bottom of a glass at the end of the bar, at the end of another long, confusing, frustrating week. “… you know, I have a push up bra too, maybe I need to wear it to start getting some recognition around there…” And that’s all it takes for an idea to bloom in the prickly garden of discontent.

I wish I could encapsulate the montage of identity crisis that followed.

“Maybe I should dress nicer… maybe I should wear make up… maybe I should keep my mouth shut…” this would go on for a few minutes before the angel on the other side chimed in.

“Screw them! Your cup size has nothing to do with how well you do your job. Big hair and bad perfume shouldn’t dictate who gets more attention.”

“But….” the other side would whisper “… it does.”

I was vexed. After some serious rationalizations and my friends evenly dividing between “No, you don’t need it!” and “Do what makes you feel best.” I decided to hit the warpaint store. I don’t even know how to shop for make up right. It all looks the same to me and all costs 3x more than I think it should. My goal, however, was fairly simple. Start testing out new looks. Simple, understated and professional. Going full on clown college was not going to get the right response for my goals. (Well, we may revisit that later…) I am the type that gets funny looks when I show up in something other than boots and dockers. I hate being cold and uncomfortable, and I have to be able to go crawl through a muddy basement or a dusty attic at a moments notice. It’s hard to wear a wiggle dress and climb up on a roof, no matter how dedicated you are to looking fabulous.

While I do sometimes envy the women that can run a 5k in stilettos, I don’t often have issues with the fact that I’m not one of them. (Though being able to wear a pair of heels for more than 5 minutes without an oozing blister or calf knotting foot cramp would be nice.) I do my job, I do it well, and I’m usually pretty well prepared…but… BUT…. not being polished and prissy in the process sometimes holds me to a disadvantage. I don’t get dragged in to extra important meetings (well maybe this isn’t exactly a disadvantage…), and I don’t get invited along to the quick lunches with the clients or consultants when they pass through town. (I’m rethinking this ‘disadvantage’ thing…) And while I hate wasting my time on the social niceties, it still… stings.

So my bargain with myself is thus: Start presenting myself as a stereotypical female, for a month, and see what happens. Maybe nothing. Maybe everything. But then I’ll know.

It was grey and bleak this morning. I took my time getting out of bed, so I didn’t have a lot of extra time on my hands getting ready. My hair was done (takes 5 minutes) and I turned to leave the bathroom.

“Oh… shit… that’s right…” I stared at the medicine cabinet longer than I should have, trying to dismiss this whole idea as silly so I could just be on my way. It only takes a few seconds…the other voice chimed. “Fine.” A few swipes of neutral eyeshadow, enough to claim I did it.

The gauntlet has been thrown.

It’s a Rebuilding Year

The humdrum of the ferocious winter is finally starting to lift <it’s Spring damnit, start acting like it!> and as the snow clears and the comfort food coma lifts, the focus on the year ahead starts to come in to focus. (I know, I know, we’re almost 4 months in to the new year already, so sue me!)

In the deep winter tundra, everything takes two times longer than you think it should. Getting dressed <6 layers might be enough to keep me warm in the -20 walk from the parking lot>, getting to work <I haven’t seen a snow plow in hours, is that an intersection or a white out?>, even getting groceries becomes a task equal to that of scaling Everest. Needless to say, for those of us in the North, in the winter things seem to go just a little bit slower as keeping warm, fed and out of the ditch consumes both our waking and sleeping hours. (Try waking up at 3am to a house that’s 30 degrees because the furnace. just. couldn’t.)

After the temperate torture sessions have finally lifted, it’s easier to get back to thinking of things that are ‘enjoyable,’ not just necessary for survival. Back to the keys, back to the projects, back to setting up in a little pool of sunshine and letting the imagination run wild.

I’m waiting on baited breath to be able to announce the formality of some shenanigans that have been in the works for almost a year now. It’s exciting on many levels, and daunting on the rest. But even when the snow is blowing and everything seems dormant, rest assure that the roots are gaining strength and preparing to burst out in flagrant <and maybe fragrant> color at the first sign of light.

This year promises to be all Lion and no Lamb.

Under Cover!

Very excited to be starting off the new year with a little bit of cover design for Houses of the Broken. Preferences have been put on record, sinister visions have been transmitted via the interwebs, and now we wait for the magic to happen.

Always curious to see what a fellow artistic type comes up with as a vision. It’s not always easy working for/with creative types.

Designer, draw thyself.

Not sure if I’ll get some teasers to share or if we have to wait for the big reveal, but I look forward to sharing the process!

 

2014 in Review. AKA – Things I never thought I’d do.

2014 has been a strange year. On paper it doesn’t look so bad, but to many of us it has been a mind numbing, soul crushing sequence of days. For me, this year has seen a lot of unrealized potential. Small flashes in the pan that keep a person spurred on, perhaps. While not much came to fruition, there are a number of things I didn’t realize I even had on my bucket list, that I can now cross off.

The year started with a new job. In the middle of the polar vortex. In a very old building. Nothing like starting a new job and immediately having to notify someone that the plumbing was frozen.

In lighter events, here is a simple list of highlights, there are a million emotional roller coasters that happened as each item played out:

  • Started a new, higher profile job.
  • Pitched a reality TV show.
  • Tried to start a business.
  • Joined roller derby.
  • Auditioned for a different reality TV show.
  • Got a book contract for my first novel.
  • Tried to start a business.
  • Survived a season of roller derby and actually played a bout (at my age!)
  • Covergirl for a photography business.
  • Tried to start a business.
  • Got unintentionally published in a magazine.

This was not a year of travel and adventure for us, it was a year of change and keeping things close to home due to such a shaky job market. Realignment of priorities, establishing some aggressive goals, and keeping ourselves sane. It didn’t always work, and it was never really easy, but we’ve made it so far. I’m still not sure where summer went.

Overall, I wish the word ‘perseverance’ didn’t come up so often, but there’s not much of a choice if you want to change your stars. 2014 started the trend of letting go, and I suspect 2015 will include some of the same. It’s a challenge not to give in and quit when things are hard. I’ve dealt with some new people I hope I don’t ever have to deal with again but I’ve also met some new people I’d like to get to know better.

Pipe dreams were chased and many glass ceilings were revealed. Now all I need is a brick.

All I can say to 2015 is – Bring it on.

Third Life – Nothing.

In the silence, there are the voices of a thousand souls streaming through her head. Each begging for attention and thought and pointing out the wrongs she committed that day.

If she refuses them, they bark louder until the din is a symphony of chaos and are too much to ignore. Wave after wave crashing against her broken shores, eroding every bit of her self worth, breaking her will into finite grains of sand that slip through the fingers of her final desperate grasp.

“What are you thinking, dear?”

She bites her lip, the pinch returning her senses to the tangible world. “Oh, nothing.”

Say Something Nice

I’ve been waiting to post something until I had something nice to say. It’s been a whirlwind summer and I’m still recovering. Lots of new things, lots of old things, and lots of tiring things.

I’ll start simple.

I like leather.

I like wine.

I ordered new business cards! Woo!

Now, why is it only Tuesday?

Seeking Substance – Is something better than nothing?

I was educated in the school of “Less is More.” Simplicity in design, God is in the details, what have you. Only produce and display the most refined product you can. Do not cloud the message with indecision.

While many times I can refine and revise before pen even hits paper, sometimes it puts me in to analysis paralysis. The ideas filter and loop but nothing quite breaks orbit. Then I start thinking: Well, practice makes perfect, right? To get better, you have to produce, produce, produce.

Where’s the balance? I find myself wanting to do everything and nothing, all at once. Nothing has been winning. Time and energy have been finite resources, and let’s face it: Nothing is a whole lot easier than something.

But I have more fun when I do something, even if it’s wrong. Ok… I’ll be honest…. especially if it’s wrong. (The right kind of wrong, of course!)

So here’s an attempt at something, instead of nothing. Now all I need is a kindred trouble maker to keep the something coming.

%d bloggers like this: