Cosmic Love

I am not one to be moved by music. Not normally, anyway. I have no real ear for it, no talent for it, never gained skill at any instrument in my youth, cannot sing, and do not have the vocabulary or knowledge to talk about music in any useful terms. Lots of “I” statements from me: “I like that song” or “I feel sad when the violin plays.” Not rocket science over here. Apparently my descriptive talents lie in describing food.


I do, however, easily have a favorite band in the entire world: Florence + The Machine. There is something magical about what they do. I’ve been lucky enough to see them perform live twice now, once just a few weeks ago, and their shows are revelatory in their energizing nature. I’ve never seen another performer harness and feed off of the energy of a crowd like Florence Welch – and she always turns it into a positive moment of connection with the people around you.

Have you ever been to a Catholic mass? Admittedly, I’ve been to maybe three ever. This last weekend, I was at a Catholic wedding. There was a segment where you greet your neighbors and wish them peace, as well as a part where everyone held hands and sings. Well, during a live show, Florence will ask you to greet your neighbors, to tell people you love them, to hold hands, to dance, to jump. I’m not a religious person, but if church makes people feel the kind of love and hope that a Florence + The Machine concert makes me feel, then I think I understand the appeal.


When you have a lot to do in a day, but your self-sabotaging behaviors rear their ugly heads.


Mischief Managed

About once a year, I drive myself entirely crazy by working on a costume for a few weeks. Usually, it’s for the Maryland RennFest and this year was no exception. My D&D DM and good friend Moira and I decided to do adapted version of characters from the D&D livestream Critical Role. Moira took on the ambitious design of the lavender-skinned Tiefling Blood Hunter, Mollymauk, and I made the reticent blue-skinned Tiefling Clreric, Jester. We decided NOT to do body paint for a day at Faire because we don’t hate ourselves.

There are some things I wish I’d done differently, but after 7 hours of hand painting that dress, I’m pretty content with how everything turned out.


Capclave News

Another Capclave has come and gone! This year, I moderated a panel called The Care and Feeding of Critique Groups (I’ve never moderated anything before, so I was pretty nervous beforehand!), taught a workshop on Micro Fiction with my friends/partners in crime, met up with Neil Clarke (for whom I read slush) and Scott Andrews of Beneath Ceaseless Skies (with whom I talked shop), and received an award from a writing contest.

I placed third in the Baltimore Science Fiction Society‘s Amateur Writing Contest for my short story, “Augury.” I’m so grateful for the input of Columbia Writers with an earlier draft of this story, as many of their suggestions are what really helped shape this piece into its final form. Writing groups can really make such a great difference in our work! I’m biased, but I swear by them.

Flash Fiction Tables

Let’s write some flash fiction! I’ve created three tables below and I want you to roll a 10 sided die (here’s an online d10 dice roller – enter 3 in the How many times box) three times to get the building blocks of your story. The first table is characters, the second is character traits, and the third is a situation. Let’s see what you can do!

Length: up to 500 words

Post your story here in the comments or on your own blog or space and link back to this post if you don’t mind.

1. Talking parrot
2. Long-haul trucker
3. Hacker
4. Haute couture designer
5. Pastry chef
6. ER nurse
7. Television star
8. Retiree
9. College athlete
10. Police officer


1. Has a limp
2. Is an anarchist
3. Has a heart of gold
4. Works for the government
5. Dreams of being an artist
6. Is sick of her job
7. Is crabby
8. Feels lonely
9. Is cocksure
10. Has been through a trauma


1. Wins the lottery
2. Finds a new job
3. Goes to the beach
4. Injures himself
5. Gets a pet
6. Has too many drinks
7. Meets a ghost
8. Receives an unwanted phone call
9. Gets lost
10. Gets arrested

Aaaaaaaand it’s Off!

I just sent my manuscript off to my developmental editor and, y’all, I don’t know what to do with myself all of a sudden. I just completed a second, quick pass of the thing and managed to cut over 3,000 words, many of them unnecessary adverbs, some of them whole paragraphs that weren’t pulling their weight. This six month sprint to rewrite my novel has eaten up so much of my time and energy since March that I’ve forgotten what it’s like to not be digging into the project nearly every day. What will I do with myself with all of this newfound free time?

Well, that’s a lie. I’m still just about as busy as ever. This month, I’m teaching a query letters 101 workshop for the writers’ group I run, celebrating the end of the Novel in Six Months project with said group, sewing a costume for the Maryland RennFest, and attending Capclave, where I’ll learn if I placed in the Baltimore Science Fiction Society’s Amatuer Writing Contest (all I know is that I’m a finalist, whatever that means exactly) and where I’ll be teaching a micro fiction workshop with friends. I’m also gaming or running tabletop RPGs basically every week, sometimes multiple games in a week.

I’m so confused by not having the stress of the rewrite on my shoulders that I actually couldn’t fall asleep last night. I was up until 3am doing beta reading for a friend because it felt weird and wrong being released from this aggressive time crunch I’ve been under for the past six months. My brain really has no idea how to sit still and just be (I’m working on this with mindfulness and meditation, but boy howdy is that a slow journey). I’ll suddenly have my lunch time at work back so instead of eating at my desk and editing, I can take walks or run errands or do something other than bolt down food over my keyboard.

I haven’t decided how I’m going to celebrate this milestone yet. Any suggestions? What would you do if you finished something big like this?