What’s This?!?

Big news is on the way!

Stay tuned! In the meantime, here’s a prompt I wrote to a long time ago and never uploaded.

This prompt (in brackets) is taken from Complete the Story by Piccadilly Inc., which I got from the Scribbler box.

[Sometimes kids are the only ones willing to say what’s really on their minds, and our family needed a little dose of honesty. We almost never said something straight out. My mother was the worst. All she would do was] frown and purse her lips whenever the body was mentioned. We all saw it, hanging in the air and following one or another of us around. Nobody would say who killed it, though it had to be one of us, since it was haunting our family. Some of us mentioned the smell and tried to cover it up with flowers or candles, and some of us would complain about ‘the clutter’ if the body got in our way, but mom was silent on the matter. Any hint of discussion about the thing brought only a frown and disapproving glare from her.

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I’m Back: Depression and Other Crap

Over two years ago, I self-published a series of novellas. At the beginning of 2021, I self-published my first full-length novel. I had big dreams going forward from there; I had more books I had already written, books ready to have the final touches be put on them and published. I had several short stories I just needed to polish up and submit out. I had finished the first draft of book one of the sci-fi/fantasy/horror epic I had been planning out for two decades. I had thoughts of book launches, submissions, maybe even an acceptance or two.

And then everything fell apart.

I’ve always had depression and anxiety. I was already on medication for it. But a combination of my day job and covid isolation sent me into a downward spiral that saw me paying attention to my writing less and less until I did none of it at all. I was in the emergency room several times, not for suicide attempts, but just for a feeling of hopelessness and despair. I entered a partial hospitalization program whose psychiatrists type-cast me into meds that made me feel even more horrible, until I wished that I was suicidal so that I could die. I asked to enter full psychiatric hospitalization.

It was the best thing I’ve ever done.

While in the hospital, my meds were fixed and I learned coping skills that even after two rounds of partial hospitalization a decade apart I hadn’t ever internalized. I began looking for a new job the instant I was home, and in the meantime I got a figurative punch to the gut that showed me once and for all that my workplace of eight years was toxic as hell. After a new job and a few hiccups, I’m writing again. I had to put together a list of writing tasks I need to get done, because I’d forgotten what I had been doing on each book or story: editing, formatting, typing, submitting… But I want to publish again.

My plans have been pushed back. Last year, I had made a declaration that this year I would have enough books published to have a booth at a spooky crafty fair that my town holds every Halloween. I had expected to build an audience through rapid releases, with plenty of social media announcements to match. I had wanted to build my Tik Tok audiences by reading off more of my drabbles. I had been planning a subscription-based series.

I don’t believe in platitudes. Everything does not happen for a reason. It’s sad that all these things are going to happen later than I planned, but it can all still happen. Soon to come, I’ll have a cover reveal for my next book. And maybe I’ll post some blogs about my weirdo journey too, who knows. All I can say right now is if you – you out there – need help, ask somebody for it. Share your problems with other people. That was the most difficult lesson for me to accept.

Mother’s Hands

This prompt (in brackets) is taken from Complete the Story by Piccadilly Inc.

[Even after a long day at work, my mother’s hands worked tirelessly: chopping vegetables for dinner, stitching our clothes, whatever needed doing. I loved her hands and admired them. I wanted to be strong like her. But at the time, I couldn’t be. I would have, and gladly, if I weren’t so] afraid of what I had to do to gain that strength. I didn’t dare. I could only watch those hands cook and clean and mend. I could feel them on my own hands, the muscles in them rippling over my flesh, the veins pumping strong blood through them, the fingers gripping mine as if to say, “You are not enough to have these.”

But I knew I would have them one day.

Back then, all I could do was take the sharpest knife from the kitchen and creep into her room late at night or early in the morning. I could stand by her bedside and watch those hands of hers twitch as she dreamed, see them clutch the covers as if to crush them, paw at the air as if to strangle something. I could grip the handle of the knife, but I couldn’t bring it to her wrists. I couldn’t cut off those hands for myself.

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Free Prequel to Black Heart

My horror short story Black Flame is available for FREE. You can download it here, and you can enjoy it whether or not you’ve read Black Heart already.

In this prequel to the events of Black Heart, an agent of the Office of Demonic Defense finds that the new demon he’s captured on the streets of Berlin speaks. But he might not like what it says.

TW: Suicide. This one is DARK.

Black Heart is OUT today!

Black Heart is available today – on Kindle, KU, and IN PRINT! I can’t believe I actually have a copy of a book I wrote in my hand!

You might have already read this book, as it was posted on this site as I wrote it. This version is edited, and much better.

As for this site… I’ve completely forgotten about this place, haven’t I? Well, now that the madness of getting this book is done, I hope to post more articles, especially about all the self-publishing stuff I’ve learned along the way. In the meantime, check out my book.

Oh yeah! There’s a free preview available! Check it out here!

The Bargain

This prompt (in brackets) is taken from Complete the Story by Piccadilly Inc., which I got from the Scribbler box.

[“Deal?” he said, extending his hand toward me. I hesitated then reached out. Frank thought he had the upper hand, and in a sense he did. What he didn’t know that] I was a robot, and you can’t bargain a soul out of a robot.

Frank couldn’t have expected a robot to successfully call a demon, just as I hadn’t been certain the summoning would work. So far as I know, no robot has ever called up a demon, so so far as Frank knew, I was a human who couldn’t correctly pronounce his true name. No matter, I called him Frank to his face. And he happily bargained with me, my soul for the power to kill any person or persons I wish, with the caveat that for every person I killed, my natural lifespan would decrease by five years.

But I have no soul for Frank to claim upon my death.

I also have no natural lifespan.

Time to kill some humans.