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A New Start

A New Start

Hi there.

Remember me? That author you signed up to see posts from about a million years ago?

The sci-fi and fantasy writer?

The one with the cat?

Yeah, that’s me. Can’t blame you if you didn’t remember right away. It’s been a minute since I posted. The official reboot began last week when I put up a guest post by the awesome Leslie Halpern. Her post was the first one in a new posting schedule that I hope you will enjoy. It’s going to work like this:

Every Thursday a new post will go up. Because there are so many stellar authors out there, and I thought you’d like to hear from a few of them, I’ve offered guest spots to a wide range of sci-fi and fantasy authors. So I’ll be posting at least once a month, on the second Thursday, but the rest of the month it will be a guest author.

At least, that’s the plan.

I have the schedule mostly filled through November, but there are a lot of open slots after that. If you have an author you’d like to hear from, drop me a line in the comments. Come to that, if there’s a topic you’re dying to know more on, let me know. I’m always open to suggestions.

This represents a sort of reboot for this blog. I started it a while back when I set up the website. With it, I’m hoping to connect to readers and spread the word about my books and the indie world in general.

I hope you’ll join me.


The Current Situation

I’m a mess. I am sad and horrified and scared and ANGRY. I watch the posts flooding social media and my hands clench. I hear the politicians mouthing platitudes and my teeth grind.

I watch the NRA pour money into political pockets and I want to scream, “Enough! When are our children going to be more important than your agenda?”

I want to fight. But I don’t have a fighter’s physique or mindset. Nowhere in me is the desire to hurt anyone. All I have are my words.

My fighting words.

Here they are.

Violence in schools has to stop. We have a responsibility to our society to make it stop.

Saying that a person should be required to have an appropriate level of training, maturity and mental stability before they are allowed to own a gun is not a strike against the second amendment. It is a reasonable precaution against tragedy.

The solution will not be a single mandate or one-size-fits-all action. It must be a nuanced, carefully thought out collection of positive actions.

Screaming “my side is right and your side is stupid,” helps no one, fixes nothing and makes you sound like an idiot. Stop it.

We have to have a license to drive, to pilot an airplane, both potentially hazardous endeavors that people do every day quite safely. We must be a certain age to drink, to drive, to vote. Why is owning and operating a gun (the purpose of which is to kill, whether the target is game or assailants) any different? And do not trot out the target shooting excuse. Yes, some folks use their guns exclusively for that, but it isn’t the original purpose of owning a weapon. Target practice is the responsible gun owner’s way of ensuring that they can hit what they are shooting at, rather than spraying bullets and praying“.

The sole purpose of AR capability is to kill more targets, faster. No homeowner or hunter “needs” an automatic or semi-automatic weapon. The purpose of civilian gun ownership is to defend a person’s home or put food on the table. The responsible civilian gun owner doesn’t need an AR anything for that.

There are those who would like to see the second amendment repealed. This is true. Stop trying to deny it.

There are those who would like a return to the wild west where guns were ubiquitous. This is also true. Stop trying to deny it.

Americans are guaranteed the right to bear arms by the U.S. Constitution. Deal with it.

Americans are guaranteed the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Rampant, uncontrolled gun usage is a threat to that right. Deal with it.

Thoughts and prayers have been offered by politicians after every mass shooting to no avail. The divine is tired of us having the tools to affect change and doing nothing but sit with our hands folded, thinking or praying about it.  The solution may start with thinking and praying but it cannot, for the sake of all that is holy, end there.

In the end, we gain nothing be entrenching our positions, plugging our ears and yelling imprecations at the other side.

America is great because her people govern together. We haven’t done a great job of that lately. We need to start, and we need to demand that our governing bodies put the needs of their people before the needs of their wallets.

Our kids – the same ones who have been called immature, lazy, apathetic, clueless and worse – are standing up. They are leading, and we adults should be ashamed if we aren’t standing on the front lines with them, demanding change. We have the vote, most of them don’t. We need to lead from the front until they can catch up.


Of Lesson Plans and Word Counts

It’s finally starting to sink in.

I will not be going back to AC this fall.

That means no lesson plans to prepare, no faculty meetings, no bulletin boards or syllabi to create, no graphic organizers to send to the copy room. No professional development classes, no parent/teacher night.  It also means no new, fresh young faces staring back at me in a strange mix of anticipation and apprehension. 

Yeah, I’m going to miss that last one.

And I’m not going to lie. It feels weird. I’ve given the last ten years of my life to educating high schoolers. The profession has provided me some beautiful highs, and some tear stained lows. It has been both the best and the worst job I’ve ever had and, if I’m honest, I have to admit I’m going to miss it, at least a little.

I’m going to miss the students: Luke, who always sounded like he was asking a question, and Megan, with her breathtaking artistic talent. Wesley, who almost never came to class, but always managed to pull it out at the last minute. Olivia and her vast stock of wisdom and kindness. Dani, who is so beautiful, inside and out. And Dusty, Destiny, Jaymie, Bailey, Skye, William, Conner, Ethan, Cesar, Kylani and…The list goes on, far too many to mention them all here. As they do every year, the students go on with their lives. Our paths will likely never cross again, and that is as it should be. I hope I helped them. I hope they remember me fondly.

Hold on. I need a tissue.

I’m going to miss my colleagues. Tracie and her endless font of wisdom and creativity. Becky S. and her love of all things HP. Vivian and her head on approach to pretty much everything. Becky T. and her unique take on the world. Not to mention Tina, Anne, Sara, Debra, Cynthia, Rob, Jackson, Scott, Bernie, Amy, Shelli – and the list goes on, and on. I am so thankful that I don’t have to lose any of them. (Thank you FB.)

Because of these folks and so many more, it was a good ten years. There are moments when I wonder if I’ve made the right decision – and then I sit down at my desk and the words begin… And I know that I’m in the right place now, just as surely as I was in the right place for that decade of my life.

This past weekend I was privileged to present at a writing Focus day for the Florida Writers Association. It was glorious. I got to speak on something I am passionate about to people who wanted to learn what I had to teach. The teacher in me joined hands with my inner writer and the resulting happy dance is still going on. I’m thankful that the bridge isn’t too long, and it’s in good repair.

So, if I’m looking back with a bit of wistfulness, I’m also looking forward in anticipation. Feeling one doesn’t cancel out the other.

How about you? What changes are you making these days? I’d love to hear about them.


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Current WIP

Gaia's Rebellion
88% Complete
70,000 of 80,000 words