I’m Back


I haven’t posted in a long time, and when I did, it was less than hopeful. I was on the verge of letting go of my dreams of writing. Sales have been down on Juniper Crescent and Hallow Terrace, and my muse for anything new has been giving me the cold shoulder something fierce. I had found other things that I enjoyed spending time doing, and even more distractions I didn’t mind giving my time to. (One of them being Fire Emblem: Conquest. I still play every now and then.)

But, that changed recently. I don’t know what happened, really, but I’ll try my best to explain it.

So, there I was, staring at my computer screen as I tried to get words on paper.

I knew what was going to happen next in Critical. I knew what my outline said should happen. My characters were dynamic, real, and well-developed. It’s building up to the big climax with potential nuclear explosions, people getting shot, giant robots in the name of the law, and more atompunk designs than you could wave an alternate history at. But the words wouldn’t come.

But, I threw a word out there. I was pretty sure that it wasn’t the right thing to put down, but I launched it like a water balloon filled with paint.

Something stuck… There were other words with it.

And more words. They formed themselves into a paragraph. When did that happen?

I was getting somewhere. Another paragraph showed up and images were coming as the scene  unfolded. In the space of a few hours, I had almost 1100 words on paper. It’s not as much as I could do when I completed NaNoWriMo a few years ago, but it’s MUCH more than I had written in any stretch of time.

To all of my fans who have stuck with me: I’m back.

To all of you who understandably don’t believe I’m doing anything significant, I offer this snippet from Critical, the current work in progress, the white whale, the atompunk gender-bent Les Mis with giant robots:

“You are here because you have chosen to be useless to society.” Sergeant Meng Jakarta paced before the three women and two men standing against the wall. “It is now our job to make you useful. By any means necessary.” She eyed a rather scarred man in front of her. Every line and crease in her uniform bore an edge and placement of terrifying precision.

“Each of you will be given an assignment. A full-time job, if you will. You will complete the assignment each and every day you are here. This will earn you money as you pay off your court-determined debt to society. Any further infraction of penal discipline and you will be punished.” Officer Jakarta rested her left hand on the two hilts attached to her belt.

“There are only two methods we employ here at the Melbin Prison Colony to maintain peace and efficiency. We will either add money to your debt or we have the authority to utilize corporal punishment as a response to crimes committed while in this facility. If you are lucky, you’ll be monitored by guards who’d rather add money to your debt.”

Sergeant Jakarta turned to a guard tapping a clipboard against his leg. “Are you bored, Officer Garrison?”

“I beg your pardon, Miss Jakarta?”

Compared to Sergeant Jakarta, Officer Garrison looked unkempt and un-mended, despite a tidy, professional appearance.

“Are you bored?” She enunciated slowly. “Is this job boring to you?”

“No, not at all.” Officer Garrison’s head shook, or rather vibrated out of fear. “Usually this job keeps me on my toes.” He laughed nervously and gazed at the newest inmates.

“I see. Then you should have remembered two things. First, that I am an officer and a Sergeant and will be addressed as such. Second, if you have some reason to be in here, spit it out. You aren’t paid to listen to me in the course of my work or to provide decoration. Do I make myself clear?”

“Y-yes, Officer Jakarta. I mean, Sergeant Jakarta” Officer Garrison bowed his head.

“Do you have a reason for being here?” Jakarta sharpened her voice to a stiletto point.

Officer Garrison nodded.

“Then don’t waste my time.”

“Inmate 9340 has put in the paperwork for the payment of her debt and her release.”

“Then send her to interview room three. As soon as I’ve welcomed our latest guests I’ll meet her there.”

Officer Garrison cleared out of the room, leaving Officer Jakarta with the five new inmates. “Now, in a little while you will be handed over to Officers Jerrome and Castille. They will issue you your uniforms with your prison name and number. Then you will receive your job while you are here. Do not expect a pay raise, do not expect a promotion, and do not expect smoke breaks.”

“We can’t even smoke here?” The scarred inmate scoffed. “What kind of prison won’t let you smoke?”

“The kind that utilizes its residents to recycle scrap metal. The process uses flammable components to clean the metal, and we have enough chance of fire without people trying to do it on purpose.”

“And if I just don’t want to recycle scrap?”

Officer Jakarta narrowed her eyes at the man. “What’s your name?”

“Donny Russon.” He announced as he attempted to cross his arms over his chest only to remember he was still wearing handcuffs.

“Russon. You’re wanted for the murder of a family in the San Luis Valley.”


“Yes, then you got caught trying to outdo yourself here in Utah. Two more murders before a husband decided he didn’t enjoy you breaking and entering and opened fire.”

“The world’s full of surprises.” Donny shrugged.

“Well, here’s another surprise for you.” Jakarta unsheathed the second instrument from her belt. Two metal rods tapered a foot and a half long from the hilt and a mere quarter inch apart from each other. She set the points directly against Donny’s thigh. “Your wants are irrelevant.” She pressed a button on the hilt and sent blue arcs of electricity into the inmate’s leg until he fell to the floor convulsing.



Why Has Nobody Said I’m Crazy?

Legit question, lemme just add some context here.

I’ve gotten in my mind that I’m going to build a house. From scratch.

Well, more by foot, really. I’m making adobe bricks and storing them for a few years while I wait for the best deal on land to come around. In the meantime, I’m doing what I can to get everything I need at cheap/free.

The first thing was the clay. I know I’m going to go through tons of the stuff. I also know that about two feet down in the ground Colorado has some really good clay. So I asked my landlord for permission do dig some gnarly holes. He welcomed me to dig in a particular patch in his garden he wasn’t working. Then also said he and a buddy had laid a water line and there was a bunch of dirt already dug up if I wanted. I told him I was going to build a house with this and his reply was “well, just fill it back in when you’re done”.


Our neighbor next door was hacking down piles of dried weeds and I figured that would be a good straw substitute until I could find a source for straw bales. She asked what I was doing with it and I replied making a house. She didn’t even flinch as she let me grab as much as I wanted. She even suggested finding pine needles if I was going to make an obscene amount of bricks.


Cob/Adobe houses have looked really cool as people have added in glass bottles for natural light and awesome colors. I asked people at work to save them for me, and once again I explained what I was going to do with them. Some offered to drink the beer that came in cool colors.


Lemme just throw down a little more context. I have no building/ construction experience. My knowledge of building with cob/adobe is a book I checked out from the library. No one has asked a question about it, just went along and offered a lot of support and random building materials.

I figured there would be at least one person who’d ask me a couple of questions just to make sure I knew what I was getting myself into. It’s not like I’m bringing home a baby raccoon or something.

Just the opposite, I’ve had more people giving me stuff like windows and the use of their trailer and wood that they have lying around in their garage.

But, there’s been no opposition or doubt, so I plow on ahead. Today I took the aforementioned scrap lumber and made a brick mold. Then I spent an hour stomping bricks.

loaf pan for scale.

This is still years in the works. I don’t have property yet to start anything, but I can make bricks. Along the way, I’ll be resourceful, pay down debt, save up,  and keep stomping. If I end up being crazy, at least it’ll be a good workout.


I’m writing this to all the people who followed me to explain my absence on the blog for

the past few months. I wish I could say that I’ve got some really cool reason as to why I

haven’t been posting, but life got busy. Between work and not wanting to be at work, I’ve

just gotten lazy, and that’s not right, especially when I’ve been such a proponent of not

being lazy and going and doing those things that make us happy.

Inside Out.jpg

But, I’m on now because I’m stuck. On one side, I’ve got the whole reason I started my

blog: my writing. I haven’t really done anything with it since I started working full time.

I’m at a higher stress job than usual, so I haven’t been doing a lot. I’ve really only been

working on my writing when I’m too bored to do anything else.

It doesn’t happened very often, even though I do have spare time. Heck, I’m regularly

trolling Imgur and playing my 3DS, why can’t I just give that time to writing? I could

have all the books I’ve planned on writing already completed.

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I’ve got two novels out, Juniper Crescent and Hallow Terrace, but they’ve both been out

for a few years now and I have no clue how to market them. I thought I did when I first

started in the published world, but now it seems that no matter what I do, it’s fighting an

uphill battle with both hands tied behind my back. I felt so much satisfaction with my

writing. There was a sense of validation and accomplishment holding the first copies in

my hand. Now I feel like I’ve lost it and I don’t know how to get it back.

On the other hand, however, is giving up. Letting the publisher cancel my contract with

them and dispose of all remaining inventory written by myself. I’d be able to focus more

fully on de-stressing when I’m not at work. I know it’s the lazy way out. The internet’s

full of inspirational crap telling me not to give up, that success is just around the corner,

that I just need to keep working. So how long am I supposed to keep trying? I’ve got a

garden, two cats, a more than full-time career, a myriad of projects I’m trying to

complete. How far derailed can I get before the train just crashes and burns? Is it always a

bad thing to let a dream go?


My biggest concern with giving up is that I’ll be wasting so many opportunities. Sarah

Book Publishing took a chance on me, and if I just quit then I’m spitting in their face.

I’ve had the dream of being published in my hands and I couldn’t follow through. It’s just

plain weak.

But is it reality?

Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated.

I have no idea what to title this post.

So, I know I haven’t posted in awhile, but things have been busy. Recently, Megan and I felt that our cat Lilit needed a friend and that we needed to look into adopting Helen, a blind cat we had looked at earlier but thought to be too much work for us as a first time cat owner.

We couldn’t have been more wrong.

Helen is a sweetheart, very adaptable, and can even play soccer with a paper ball.

Then I learned the reason the lady at the Humane Society was so grateful to have her adopted. Blind cats are at the top of the list for being euthanized. Now that I have Helen I had to wonder why and it’s because like Megan and me the first time around, we imagined it to be much more specialized care than it actually is.

Luckily, there’s a blind cat rescue sanctuary that’s trying to change all of that. (http://blindcats.org/) In honor of Helen, I made a donation to help them continue to run this sanctuary.

Hopefully, people can see how little difference there is between a blind cat and a regular cat and give one a chance.