Growing Up Right
Author's Musings / June 28, 2015

When I was young my parents never said, “You must be a Roman Catholic or a Southern Baptist.  You have to choose, one or the other.”  They felt that religion, or the lack thereof, was a personal decision that I should make on my own when I felt the time was right.  It’s something that I largely love and respect them for because it’s let me explore the world without having it colored by the perceptions of heavy-handed doctrine. I was also never taught that I should hate someone for their race, their religion, or their sexual orientation.  Growing up, I had friends of all kinds of colors, from all kinds of creeds, straight friends, homosexual friends, trans-gender friends, and probably friends from every other kind of fringe element.  I’ve never looked at them and said, “Hey, I should probably not like you because you’re different from me.” I base my like and dislike of people on how they treat me and by their actions, because — as the saying goes — actions speak louder than words.  We are, each of us, the sum of how and who we are with other people.  Humanity is not an exploration of the individual, but…

Back to Writing Roots
Author's Musings / June 26, 2015

Before there was a dream of publication… Before there was talk of books and being an author… There was just a girl with a blog that enjoyed writing.  Somewhere in the process of the journey to become an author, I lost sight of that girl that I used to be.  The one who wrote for love of the written word.  Not for fame.  Not for fortune.  Not for the dream of being read by many.  I wrote because it was what I loved to do and I wrote about anything and everything I wanted.  I didn’t worry about my image; I didn’t worry about having a marketable website presence.  I just wrote. It didn’t matter if it was fiction, my personal opinion, or just stuff from my everyday life.  It was merely me and my near-daily journey with the written word.  I don’t know how or why I ever lost sight of that love.  Perhaps being forced into too many molds, trying to live up to too many expectations; somewhere along the line I stopped writing for me and writing to “be” someone. With everything that’s happened in my life in the past year, I’ve had a lot of time…

Coming Up For Air
Author's Musings / April 22, 2014

For the first time in months, I have enough clarity to make the attempt to write something — namely this post.  Until you’ve experienced debilitating chronic pain first-hand it’s difficult to comprehend.  I know, because I watch the people around me — friends, family, even completely strangers — that have no earthly clue.  It’s made this journey a lot lonelier than it had to be, but it’s also made me a stronger, more independent person. I’m sure the burning question on everyone’s mind is:  What’s going on with you now? To be completely honest, I don’t know yet.  My current therapy is a weekly injection called Enbrel.  I’m on that for the next three months to see if it’s actually going to stick — unlike every pill therapy we’ve tried before it.  It’s difficult for me to plan anything right now because I don’t know if the pain might come back tomorrow.  Or a week from now.  Or a month.  You get the picture. To that end, I stepped down from my scheduled appearances at Comicpalooza because I want to focus on healing first.  I don’t want to meet-and-greet people and fans when my face is covered in psoriasis scales.  It’s embarrassing…

Siege Mentality
Author's Musings / March 18, 2014

Siege mentality.  It’s something a friend said to me in an email today when I wrote to her about everything I’ve been feeling since yesterday’s Rheumatologist appointment.  It’s time to bar the doors of the castle, buckle down, and dig in against the invaders.  Prepare for the worst and however long it will take to break the siege. I stand on the ramparts of my castle, looking out over the fields and watching as the invaders pillage and burn everything I’ve come to know and love.  It saddens me and it angers me; I want to ride out and destroy them with every fiber of my being.  But this isn’t that kind of war.  This is a war of waiting and attrition; the Fates alone deciding which side will break first. I am alone in this fight.  There are no reinforcements coming, no answers to our horns of war.  Only me and what few faithful knights remain to me.  They rally behind me, my spirit bolstered by their loyal courage which gives me the strength to endure and the wisdom to wait.  Not patiently, but I wait all the same. Battles I have fought and won aplenty in my life….

Gamer. Geek. Goddess.
Author's Musings / March 8, 2014

In celebration of International Women’s Day, I want to celebrate all the facets that make me the woman I am.  It’s high time we started celebrating everything about us and stop letting society stuff us into idealized little pigeonholes.  Embrace being a “tomboy”; embrace being a “gamer” or a “geek”; embrace everything that makes you the greatest and most engaging woman you know how to be. The Gamer I enjoy video games, even if I’m not really all that good at them.  I think the only game I’ve finished to-date is Skies of Arcadia for the Dreamcast.  (Yes, the Dreamcast.)  My favorite genre, if you haven’t figured it out by now, is Roleplaying Games (RPGs).  I remember tooling around in Dragon Warrior way back in the day, or playing Gauntlet in the Arcade (Blue Valkyrie needs food badly!), all the way up to the present day and my forays into Azeroth and World of Warcraft. It’s not just limited to video games, though.  I play a lot of tabletop, too.  I used to play Warhammer 40k, had my own Sisters of Battle army and everything.  I’ve also run the gamut on pencil and paper RPGs, from d6 Star Wars all the way to a swashbucking squirrel in Ironclaw….

Faces of Fandom
Author's Musings / March 5, 2014

Even if you aren’t a well-established author with millions of fans… the fans you do have still matter.  It’s why I love hearing from mine.  I was recently sent this photo of long-time fan and friend, Greggo, pictured here reading his copy of Writer & Roleplayer Primers. [quote author=”- Greggo”]I love that it feels like I’m having a real conversation with you.[/quote]