A Big Thank You!

First of all I want to say thank you to all the people who came out for my Facebook Launch Party last week! We had such a great time. There were giveaways, people talked about what essentials they would want in a city overrun with werewolves, I had an impromptu book unboxing – it was amazing! Yes, it was my first book release party and yes, it was more tiring than I expected. It’s taken me a few days to sort through all the giveaways and come to the realization that yes: that book really was published. I’m so grateful though and I’m looking forward to doing it all again in (*checks calendar*) 9 months omg!

If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll pick up a copy of The She-Wolf of Kanta, found on many platforms. If you enjoy it, or heck even if you don’t, I hope you’ll leave a review either on Amazon, Goodreads, or even Barnes and Noble. These all help!

Some housekeeping to address: I’ve added a new section for my 2018 Appearances which now requires its own listing. I’ll link the events I’ll be part of and the Facebook events associated with them so you can add them to your calendar. I’ll be selling copies of The She-Wolf of Kanta as well as signing copies too! Plus I’ll be sharing a booth with Morbid Smile so you’ll get a chance to buy some of her amazing work.

That said, I just added another event to the list. I’ll be a vendor at Henry County Fireworks on July 4th. Yes, this is a very local event (just down the street in fact), but it’s going to be a blast! I love supporting local groups and seeing these kinds of events make more of a showing south of Atlanta. I have other potential events on the horizon too, but I’ll hold off on sharing until I know for sure!

2018 is turning out to be quite a busy year and I’m excited to see what happens next! Thank you for following my journey and encouraging me to continue. I couldn’t have done this without so much support. My goal is that this is one of many books down the road, as you’ll hopefully soon see.

Yellow is the Color of Spring

I don’t know about you, but it felt like spring took forever to get here. Then last week, the final week of winter, suddenly our temperatures were so warm! I went to my car after work one day to find it was 90 (32 ºC) degrees inside. Of course with the warm temperatures came the sea of pollen. 

 

They say that if you don’t have allergies when you first come to Georgia, you’ll probably have them in 2-3 years. It’s not surprising either when you find out how bad pollen season is. (Pollen Season Starting Early This Year) It’s even worse if you have allergies and asthma like I do. You have to do regular inventories to make sure you’ve got the tools you need on hand and increase your medication to stay healthy. Otherwise you end up with regular sinus infections that can turn much worse.

Despite that though, I do love springtime. I wanted to share this pic of one of our Redbuds in the yard. If you follow me on Instagram then you already know the story, but I wanted to share it here too.
  
If memory serves me right, we got our two Redbud trees the year after we moved into our house, so that would be in 2010. My younger sister offered to pick up a couple of trees from City Hall because they were being given away for free on Arbor Day. She got a tree for herself too, but a neighbor mowed over it thinking it was a weed. (How do you even do that?)

The first few years we had them, I don’t recall seeing any real flowers on them. There were maybe a handful before the leaves came in, then they were gone before you could even notice them. This year they’re simply beautiful.

For lovely shots like this I’ll gladly deal with all that pollen!

Creepy NaNo Research

Camp NaNo is off to a great start, even if I am a thousand words behind right now. This month I’m working on writing four short stories, all weird horror pieces. I wrote back in March about some story ideas that I had, but looking back on them, I haven’t used a single one. That said, all of these had a loose to detailed outline to go along with them. I’ll give their tentative titles below and a bit of research I had to do for each of them.

  • Just Too Sweet – Not much research had to be done here, cause I already had a good understanding of beer, Twitter, and apartment complexes. 😉
  • The Odd House – Now this one needed quite a bit of research. I needed to know the name of a particular Interstate, I-16, that runs from Macon, GA down to Savannah, GA. I’ve had to drive this a couple of times, and running over 80 miles long with hardly any exits or rest stops, it definitely feels long, especially if you already have a lot of asphalt behind you. I’ve never had to drive this stretch of road late at night by myself, but I would give anyone who did plenty of respect. With the endless trees on either side of the two-lane road, I imagine your mind could get to you.
    I-16_Map

    I-16

    Another fun aspect of this story was finding some fun inspiration. This one especially caught my eye and the mood of my story. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find any ownership info on it though.

    Mothman_Wallpaper_yvt2

    Really, it just wants hugs.

  • The Thirteenth Crow – This one hasn’t been written quite yet. I’ll be starting on it tomorrow morning, and it was certainly one of the more difficult stories to research. Not that it was difficult to find information on this, but it was difficult for me personally as a bird-lover.

    Yep, that's a crow trap.

    Yep, that’s a crow trap.

  • The Masked King’s Dance – I’ll admit, this was completely inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s The Trap, which I heard about from the HP Podcraft podcast (which is freaking awesome if you haven’t heard). Admittedly it isn’t a very good story, but the premise just really got my creative juices flowing. So many of Lovecraft’s stories do though. 🙂

 

So there are my plans so far! I’ve got some catching up to do still, but I doubt I’m the only one. With a total monthly goal of 20k words, I think it’s completely do-able.

Thoughts on Georgia Snowpocalypse 2014

I’ve lived in Georgia just about all my life, and I’ve been commuting to Atlanta since I started college back in 2001. That said, I don’t think anybody really knew just how bad things were going to get when Snow Storm 2014 struck on Tuesday.

GAisClosed

I woke up around 4:00 that morning to check the weather so I could decide whether or not I should take the hour long commute in to work that day. After seeing that my county was going to be heavy hit (relatively speaking of course, to most places north of us, 2-3″ of snow is nothing), I told my boss that I wanted to work from home because I was concerned about getting home after work as the snow came in. I was very lucky that I could make this decision and that my boss supported it. Little did I know at the time that my co-workers really should have been doing the same thing.

I-75 Traffic Jam due to Ice – Warning: Graphic view of a multi-car accident.

My social media feed was flooded with friends who were fighting the traffic despite the odds. One friend not only had to navigate around abandoned vehicles in the middle of the road, but also had to get out and push his car through ice patches. Yesterday the Georgia National Guard and probably every police officer and firefighter available was out on the streets passing out food, water, and other supplies to motorists who had been stranded for going on 24 hours at that point. Two days after the dust has settled and temperatures have finally started to make it out of freezing, the interstates are still peppered with abandoned cars on either side and some people are only now able to get home. For many it was a nightmare that still hasn’t completely cleared.

GAWalkingDead

Amid all the finger pointing and declarations of innocence among the politicians involved, I’ve found some very insightful articles that have tried to pinpoint how we got to this point to begin with.

How 2 Inches of Snow Created a Traffic Nightmare in Atlanta

The Day We Lost Atlanta: How 2 lousy inches of snow paralyzed a metro area of 6 million

For me, I felt lucky to not be in that mess, to have very narrowly avoided what was sure to be an all night commute home on treacherous roads. Somehow it didn’t help me much though. As the road outside of our home iced over and we no longer heard a single car pass by our house, it seemed to be the perfect setup to get some writing in. I wanted to write and knew that I ought to be taking advantage of the situation. Looking at the weather report, it would likely be a few snow days, but for some reason I just couldn’t.

It’s taken me days to realize that I felt guilty. As my co-workers and friends spoke about all the trouble and difficulties they had dealt with over the days after the snow and ice hit, I felt bad that I had somehow avoided the same fate. There wasn’t anything I could do of course, and learning to embrace that realization has made me feel better. That and seeing how others, who were able to help where I couldn’t, banded together.

The Silver Lining of Atlanta’s Snowpocalypse 2014

This event won’t be forgotten. From kids who had to spend the night on freezing school buses, to children who had to bundle up in school gyms without heat, and to commuters who had 12+ hour long commutes home, you can bet that there will be push back. If there was ever a time to make an argument for reliable public transit in the city (that doesn’t rely on surface streets), this would be it. I just hope it isn’t too little too late.

Headaches

Headaches are never fun. It doesn’t matter what age you’re at either, they’re always annoying. Sinus headaches are devious little guys too. They’ll sit around your brow right around your eyes just causing dull aches and minor pains until you’re in a sour mood and you’re not sure why. Migranes are far worse, I’ll concede, but at least if you know what triggers them, you can try to prevent them. Sinus headaches aren’t nearly as predictable.

One minute you’ll be reclining watching a movie, and when you get to your feet to get something to drink, suddenly the whole side of your cranium is throbbing. Only one side of course, because sinus headaches are annoying like that. You reach down to pick something off the floor? Headaches. You pet a cat that is begging for attention? Headaches. Part of your day may be painless, wondering if you were just stressed out, or if it’s due to your glasses prescription, and maybe you’re not really all that bad off. In a few hours, your head is throbbing again, and you realize your sinuses are indeed the true culprit.

I had a biology teacher a few years back, a quiet man who had a surprisingly high-pitched voice and spoke to our giant lecture hall with as much enthusiasm about plants as a sports announcer does about the latest football game. “If you’re new to Atlanta, and you’re not allergic to anything yet, just wait.” He’d smile behind the podium, “Give yourself a year and you’ll be allergic to something. Georgia’s bad about that.”

It’s the weather. We get warm, moist air all the time, and plants love it. Trees, grass, everything I’m allergic too explodes with pollen. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is either. Certain grasses have different pollen times than others, and it’s the same for trees and weeds. In other words, my sinuses don’t have a chance.

So sorry if I haven’t been the biggest poster this last week or so, I’ve been trying to decide if I needed to go to the doctor or not, and finally realized I needed to. Now I’m on a slew of meds, and hopefully will be getting back into my writing again soon. I got the parts for my new desktop PC, and had a friend help me swap out parts yesterday. Sure I have plenty of programs to install still, but it’s incredibly faster than my old PC (and just as heavy). Something to look forward to while I nurse my headache for the rest of the day.