You guys are heroes. Link below!
The first four books in The Watchers Series are now available for sale on Etsy! The other books will be coming along in the coming weeks, but these are currently up for your reading pleasure. Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you there! (Let me know how it works out. It's a total experiment, and I love to know what works and what doesn't.)
You guys are heroes. Link below!
I grew up hungry.
There are people who jokingly say, “I’m too poor for that.” Then there are people who never have to say those words. It is simply known. It is in every single second they breathe. I was the latter.
Hunger is unlike anything you will ever experience. It’s not the gentle throb of a raging belly that most people feel before they find their reprieve. It is in long days of wondering where your next meal will come from; it’s in knowing that you will have food at the beginning of the month but not necessarily at the end. It is in lethargy, a drawn-out ache that never entirely fades, anxiety over where your next meal will come from, and a general unhealthiness that reaches out to the future in varying and far-reaching ways.
I have anxiety now when I sit down to eat. Surrounded by my husband, I feel safe; out in public, I panic. The food overwhelms me. I still think that it’s not for me; that it will be snatched away. I hover somewhere between eating too fast and nausea. The hunger has never really left me.
The misconception of the United States is that there is food for everyone, and that the people without means can get government assistance simply. While there are many great programs out there, the aid does not go to everyone, even those that need it the most. At school, I didn’t realize that lunches were potentially free. No one told me. I never knew. I skipped breakfast. I skipped lunch. Dinner was sometimes it for me, if that. And the food I did get was usually the cheapest, most unhealthy crap imaginable. There were no fruits or vegetables. I can’t eat Ramen Noodles to this day. McDonalds freaks me out. I can’t do it. These are the options available to kids in poor households. There is another misconception that a bigger kid is not hungry. My brother was big. He was still hungry. The optional easily available to poor people have no nutritional value, save for the protein, but they are better than nothing. If it’s a choice between cheap crap and not eating, you eat. Always.
Poor nutrition, inaccessibility to resources, and basic miscommunication can be conquered. We have options. We have means. We can do this. We can reach kids in need of a good meal. We can educate and take our resources and apply them in meaningful ways towards change.
I grew up hungry, but maybe someone else doesn’t have to. Let’s be part of a solution. I know we can. We’re so strong and capable. United we can do anything.
Thanks for listening to this ramble. I had a thought I had to get off my chest, and I appreciate you following it through to the end. I’ve posted resources for you below. Take a minute to check it out. Next time you see someone who looks hungry give them the gift of food. If you can’t afford any more than you have, the gift of time is equally important - volunteer at a food bank, shelter, or whatever is in your area and just be there. It matters so, so much.
I'm not dead, ducklings! I swear! Been busy trying to shape, mold, and gently curse my life into a place that is best for all. Well all know that cursing fixes everything, right? It seems to be helping. I'll let you know when I get things worked out.
I have seen so many wonderful things on this trip I am on. The rolling hills of Oregon are something out of Lord of the Rings and well worth visiting - the smoke-filled haze of Sacramento as the landscape burns is dramatic and slightly terrifying. The beauty of the Columbia river as it winds past rocky shores, with volcanoes looming in the distance, is illuminating and a moment trapped in my memories forever. The Pacific as it laps against the beach in California and the vastness of Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico are peaceful, humbling, and overwhelming. This country of ours is amazing; the people are even better. I have met so many extraordinary human beings, defined by their inner-beauty and willingness to live in kindness and love.
Unless they're in a car. Then they hate you and want to kill you, apparently. Driving is a defense sport and I have never noticed it more than spending hours on the road fighting through traffic. Could we all just agree that driving politely is the best way not to get charged with vehicular homicide and let it go at that? Aggression is for hockey games and trying to open pickle jars.
I'm currently nearing the end of yet another edit to Redemption, the next book in The Assassin Trilogy. It needs to go back out to the editor, then come back to me, then it'll be ready. I'm thinking an October release at this point. I will keep you guys updated and let you know when I have a date set.
Go out and explore this world, friends! It's well worth it!
I haven't forgotten my promise, ducklings, I swear. I meant to record a video tonight, but traveling is hard. There are drivers to get mad at for going the speed limit - there are drivers to feel righteous indignation over at them driving so much faster than me. There's stopping, and starting, and looking at this ginormous country in awe. There's tensing and relaxing and the droning hum of the tires working over the sizzling asphalt.
Bottom line. I got too tired.
The good news is that I'll be in L.A. tomorrow. It should be a short trip, and I hope to catch you guys up on the journey west. I have a lot to say. I promise to say it quickly. Ish. I'll try. All that you need to know for certain is that I love you.
Hugs and kisses and all the delicious treats you can stand.
I uploaded this last night. Just getting around to putting it on the site today. Traveling is hard. And fun. It's hard fun. Point is, there was a delay. That's why I'm wishing you all happy Saturdays. I may have over-explained.
I hope all of your Sundays are sexy beasts!
Here's a little post about new things.
First, welcome to the world, nephew! Oliver is a blessing and a joy. I'm so happy he's here.
He's the cutest of the cute.
As July is coming to a close, big changes are coming to me. It's pretty exciting. I've finished my first edit on the sequel to Revelation. I have several more edits in my future, but the first read-through is always the hardest. It's looking pretty dang good, and I think I'll have it ready for you by September.
At the end of the month, I will also be moving across the country with my husband. It's something that I've wanted to do for a while now, and I hope it will bring about new changes, new friends, and awesome experiences I can share with you all. I plan on updating you guys with pictures, so this will be a travel blog of sorts for the duration of my drive across country. I'll still be working on my books, but pictures and exclamation marks might be the most you get out of me for a while. We'll see how it goes. I'm anticipating all the stress such a move can bring, but I'm also certain it will be worth it.
If you guys have any cool places to stop on I-40, I'd love to hear them.
Today, I was thinking about gratefulness. In particular, I was thinking about the people who have made it possible for me to write what I do as often as I do and with such fun in my heart.
I have encountered numerous authors who have a sense of entitlement to their art. They hate questions; they hate critiques; they hate having to update the fans and let them know what's going on with their lives and with their stories. They think of their works as gifts to humanity. You should enjoy them, praise them, but not inconvenience them. This is astonishing, and, quite honestly, crap.
There's a saying that hate isn't the enemy of love - apathy is. Hate is driven by passion, as is love. They are pairs, no matter how often we wish to distinguish one from the other. Apathy is much worse than hate. It is deadening.
Apathy is definitely not a monster I want to feed.
When people care, when the fans care, you get questions, you get people poking at you to complete the next in a series, wondering when you will be finished with your book, etc. It is simply part of the order of things. Are all of these questions done with consideration for the author's nervousness or pressures they may be under to finish the work? No, of course not. But it is done with love. It is done because the author has managed to bring out something in the reader that is beautiful, loving, and exciting. It meant something to them, and that is special.
Indignation over people wanting to know more is simply bizarre. Believing that everyone should treat you like a god because you wrote a thing is insulting. Every fan is precious.
I love getting messages from you guys. I love knowing that you are wrapped up in my world. I love owning your souls. (What? You didn't know reading my books could do that?) Every single person who comes into my life because of what I've imagined is a true miracle, and I will never, ever find myself annoyed that you care. If I can't answer a question, I won't, but I will always love you all for asking, for diving in with me into the madness, for caring.
Thanks! And I'll see you on the next post!
Remember way back when, on my previous post, that I said cool things were headed our way? Well, here is an official good thing, brought to you by the Council of Awesome, people who like things, sunshine, and Smashwords.
That's right, Smashwords is currently running a site-wide sale on their books, and I have opted in to the promotion. I decided to go the distance and have put several of my books as free. It's only on Smashwords, and it's for a limited time, so hurry and go get 'em. The books currently free on there are Controllers, a YA science-fiction romance extravaganza of death and survival, Craft, a magic ride, sans carpet, and Revelation, a YA meet-cute between an assassin and a girl with a knack for unraveling mysteries.
Here's the link to Controllers. If you poke around a little, you'll see the others...just sitting there, free.
Did I mention they were free?
Also, happy Comic Con to you lucky bastards who are currently in San Diego living it up. If anyone is interested in helping me knock that trip off my bucket list next year, let me know. : ) For now, I'll have to be satisfied for being happy for you/jealous at a distance
Happy reading! Happy conning! And Happy Thursday!
I hope the summer is treating you right. Unless you're in the southern hemisphere, then sorry about winter. At least it's nearly time for Christmas in July, right?
I know that finding me on here has been a little hit or miss. For that, I am sorry. Someone made it not very fun to blog. I like it a lot, particularly when I get to run freebies and get excited about things and share them with you. I'm going to try to be better about it from here on out. Just know that everyone who has shared their support has made it all worthwhile, and I am so grateful. Thank you!
Here's what I've been up to.
I've released the latest sequel in The Dreamer Chronicles, Nightingale. I have to admit to loving Julie Aim and her story. For those of you who have been asking, there will DEFINITELY be more books in the series, and things will get crazy. Well, crazier. If you have underwear on, I would on hold on tight to them just in case. Things will get worse before they get better.
Don't worry, though, Julie can take it.
I've recently started blogging about my movie preferences, etc., over on Just About Write. Jenn, who runs the blog, is awesome, and she also has lots of articles about your favorite TV shows to check out. The writing crew is all about women supporting women, and that makes my black heart all warm and fuzzy inside. My latest article is about Princess Leia, because I am a massive nerd. Proudly, I mean. So, that's been fun and interesting. I hope you'll check it out, and give her all the awkward hugs she can stand.
I've also been hard at work on...far too many books at once. I'm currently writing the sequel to Controllers, my one and only dystopian romance. It's 1.99 in all the usual places, and the sequel is coming along nicely. I can't make any promises about when it will be released, but I'm confident it will be sooner rather than later. I will keep you guys updated.
The sequel to Revelation is being edited. I wrote it a while back, then decided to focus on Controllers. I've now changed my mind. Who knew that could happen? I have several more edits to put it through. Like...several! But it will be released before the Controllers sequel for sure. I will start promoting the crap out of it when it's closer to being done. I can't wait for you guys to see it. The chemistry between Willa and Sterling is off the charts. Seriously. It's uncertain if they're gonna kiss or kill each other by the end. Always fun.
So, that's a little taste of my current projects. I'm really enjoying the guest blogging, and if you guys know of any other blogs that are super cool and willing to take on guests, let me know about them below. I also promise to be around on the site more. I have some fun things coming up that I hope you'll enjoy.
Cinnamon rolls, a delicious cup of coffee, and a warm smile to all of you. It's so good to see you again. Seriously. You look sexy!
Until next time!