Life in progress

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ON FIRE – Burn, Baby, Burn


~an excerpt from my short ghost story in the ON FIRE Anthology from Transmundane Press.

Once upon a time, there was a flame on a candle, in a window, of a house, on an island, on a lake, on the Earth, in the universe…
Flashback to the flame.


Mike and I sat holding hands across the desk from our lawyer and best friend, Jeremy, when we got the news. The crisply burnt edges of the will should have told me something was weird. I didn’t say anything—I guess I was too excited.

Jeremy shook his head as he dotted the last “I” on the page. “I’ve heard about long-lost relatives coming out of the woodwork before, but this is the first time I’ve seen it happen.”

He stood and extended his hand across the desk. “Mike, Marissa, congratulations. You’re the proud owners of an island with a house and two sheds.”

“Thank you, Uncle Hubert, whoever you were,” Mike said.

“Will you move out there right away?”

“Yeah, we’ve decided.” Mike smiled at me. “We’re going to sell the condo. Assuming the place is livable…”

“I’ve been assured that it’s in great condition. Electricity, water… It’s even got great satellite service.”

“That’s perfect then,” I said. “Dibs on one of the sheds for my art studio.”

“Done. I’ll use the other one for my woodworking shop.” Mike smiled and squeezed my hand. He kissed my forehead with a sigh, and I let out one of my own, already mentally packing my art supplies.

Our trip to Lick’s Island began as an adventure. We were both twenty-four, had known each other for a year, had been in love for three-quarters of that time and married for half of it. We arrived in a speed boat, our guide a sun-browned old man with wild, straw-like hair and teeth that would rival a picket fence. When he dropped us off with the canoe he’d towed along behind us, he seemed nervous, his eyes shifty and his laugh like the rusty springs on a beaten-up car. He kept asking us if we were sure we wanted to spend the night.

“Sure as the sun’s going to come up tomorrow,” Mike told him.

So off he went, leaving us behind.




Capable of creation and destruction, fire burns within us.
Behind the thick, black smoke of our lives, we blaze with our own unique flame.
While love compels some, others feed greed and lust into their hearths.
A tool for the deft hand, used with magic or as a weapon, but irresponsibility leaves deep burns and promises dreadful consequences.

ON FIRE brings to light twenty-six tales that explore this unpredictable yet beautiful element.
Handle with care.

Coming out 12.01.17!

Contact Information:
Newsletter sign up:

Visit our author pages to learn more about the contributors here.

Enter Transmundane’s Giveaways!


Giveaway One:
$25 Amazon gift card giveaway

Giveaway Two:

Win one of five copies of Octavia Butler’s Bloodchild and Other Stories by following Transmundane Press on Amazon. Only available for US participants.

And don’t forget to buy your copy of ON FIRE on December 1st, 2017!


One-Liner Wednesday & #JusJoJan 25/17 Prompt – It’s Here!

I finally received my author copy of the After the Happily Ever After anthology!


And there’s me, right on page 398!!


Here’s the link to the book’s Amazon page:  The rest of the stories look awesome. 😀


The rules for Just Jot It January are as follows:

1. It’s never too late to join in! Here, we run on the honour system; the “jot it” part of JusJoJan means that anything you jot down, anywhere (it doesn’t have to be a post, it can even be a grocery list) counts as a “Jot.” If it makes it to your blog that day, great! If it waits a week to get from a sticky note to your screen, no problem!

2. The prompts will be posted every day at 2am my time (GMT -5). You don’t have to follow the prompt word, but this will be where you leave your link for others to see. Make sure you link your post to the correct day’s prompt. There will be a post like this every day except Wednesday, when the prompt is simply my One-Liner Wednesday, and Saturday, when you’ll find the prompt on my usual Friday Reminder post for Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS).

2a. Since today is Wednesday, I challenge you to make your JusJoJan post a one-liner. If you don’t care to, or if you’ve already written your post, no problem. Remember, with One-Liner Wednesday you can write anything – it’s only a prompt to write one line, not necessarily to keep to the same theme as mine. The rules that I’ve made for myself (but don’t always follow) for “One-Liner Wednesday” are:

(i) Make it one sentence.

(ii) Make it either funny or inspirational.

(iii) Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

(iv) Have fun!

(v) Use our One-Liner Wednesday badge!

#1linerWeds badge by

#1linerWeds badge by

3. As long as your blog is on WordPress, you’ll be able to link via pingback. To execute a pingback, just copy the URL from the daily prompt post, and paste it anywhere in your post. Check to make sure your link shows up where you want it to, and go back occasionally to see other bloggers’ entries – the more you visit others, the more they’ll visit you! If you’re participating from another blogging host, just drop a link into the comment section. Note: The newest pingbacks and comments will be at the top.

4. Tag your post JusJoJan and/or #JusJoJan.

5. Write anything! Any length will do! It can even be a photo or a drawing – you’re going to title it, right? There’s your jot!

6. The prompts are here both to remind you and to inspire you to write. However, you don’t have to use the prompt word of the day. You can link any kind of jot back here. Even your shopping list. Note: If it’s 18+ content, please say so in a comment with your link.

7. If you’d like to, use the JusJoJan badge (above) in your post so that others can find your post more easily.

8. Have fun!

If you’d like to look ahead to see the upcoming prompt words, click this link: You can always write your post ahead of time and schedule it to come out on the appropriate day.



#SoCS – First to last

2016. My first thought out of all the things to say about it has, for months, been about how shitty it’s been. Yet personally, I’ve had a lot of things to be grateful for.

I released my first book, making me officially an author. And I had a short story accepted in an anthology, making me an accepted author.

I began taking editing courses and so far I’m doing exceptionally well.

I managed to tick off four of the nine things on my 2016 bucket list. Admittedly, one of them was teach the dog sign language, but that’s something, right?

I made a couple of new friends online.

I kept all the friends I have.

And most of all, I lived. And so did everyone in my immediate family.  (Pray I’m not jinxing anything – there are still 8 hours to go.)

I’m also very grateful for this blog and this community. I’ve lived years without the feeling of connection and they were lonely years indeed. Since I came here to WordPress I’ve felt nothing but accepted, appreciated, and part of a larger entity than ever before. Thank you, my friends.

Thank you to everyone who has commented, liked, and read my posts this year, and thanks to all who have participated in my prompts. I can’t imagine life without you.

Cheers to 2017!


The Stream of Consciousness Saturday rules and all the other posts can be found here:


My Plans for February and Why I’ve Been MIA

That would be Missing In Action, and the reason is also what is behind my exciting news. A friend, who is also an avid reader and a respected author and reviewer of fiction has accepted my request to read my manuscript. I’ve asked her to give me a no-holds-barred opinion on whether or not my novel needs a professional editor. Yes, I know how many authors and editors insist that every novel MUST HAVE an editor, but seriously… My novel is 750 pages long. I’m looking at paying more money than I can probably ever hope to get back. So this is my last-ditch attempt to really see what’s up with my grammar.

So why have I not been around? I’m concentrating on getting this baby as good as it’s going to get before I give it up. And then, it’s either going to an editor or not because come hell or high water, it’s getting published this year. Why is it going to be published this year? Because I told my muse in a letter that it would. And that’s what it all comes down to.

Just had to slip that in

That’s right.

Not that I’m delusional enough to believe that even on the off-chance he read my letter he would remember it ten minutes later, let alone remember I’m writing a character with his sense of fashion, his stage presence and his face, he’s damned well going to (potentially if it gets to him) receive a copy of my novel in the mail, complete with his name in the acknowledgements! So there! (Disclaimer: The preceding run-on sentence is not, by any stretch of the imagination, an example of the grammar in my novel.)

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been doing and what I’ll be doing for the next week or so. But I haven’t forgotten about you! I realize I’m terribly behind in my reading and replying to comments. I’ll be going back a couple of weeks to get to them, so if you get a reply to a comment you’ve forgotten you left, don’t be surprised. In the meantime I’m going to try to post every day on my fiction blog, plus blog about my trip to Japan here, and, (of course) keep up the weekly prompts. In other words, I won’t be as busy as I was last month. 🙄

Wish me luck. 😀


On Publishing – The Highlights of a Masterclass

Yesterday I was lucky enough to be one of the fifty new authors who attended a Masterclass, presided over by Daniel Wells, owner and founder of Biblioasis, a publishing company which runs out of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Advertised as a “Writer’s Studio Round Table,” the event was hosted at the Holiday Inn by the Kingston Writer’s Fest, in a room half filled with chairs lined up for the audience and a podium at the front. I learned a lot: here are the highlights.

Mr. Wells, Dan as he likes to be called, came off as personable and approachable. Indeed, he allowed for about half of the allotted time as a Q & A, the “Qs” coming from us, a subdued and awed crowd of 99% (traditionally) unpublished authors of various genres. Dan spoke about the role of a publisher in the relationship between writer and printer/flogger. He gave us tips on how to get noticed by people in his field of expertise. First, (and I had an idea of this) he told us that a whopping 90-odd percent of his writers were NOT people who sent in queries out of the blue. He explained that he found most of his authors via the literary magazines in which they’d been featured and via recommendations by the authors whose work he has already published. For me this put in perspective how important it is to get my work out there – really get my work out there, not just here on WordPress and other social media sites. Having said that, the second point he brought up that I want to mention here is the fact that a publisher does take into consideration how much networking an author does. A majority of a publisher’s work goes into promoting his books – no publisher in this age of networking and social media wants an author who will simply sit back and hope for the best. Dan strongly advised that we immerse ourselves in the communities for which we write. Get to know people, writers and readers alike, and gain contacts.

Dan spoke about self-publishing as well. He mentioned the “gatekeeper” theory that if a book is traditionally published it stands to be of better quality than if self-published. He said this isn’t necessarily true, but that what it comes down to is a matter of trust in the community at large. For instance, if he goes to a national paper and requests a review of one of his books, he’s much more likely to get it than, say, the guy down the street who paid to have his book published. (My example.) He also used this point to suggest that when we read reviews in our local newspapers, look to see who the publisher is. It’s a good gauge to see who is on the ball… not all publishers are created equal, nor will all of them go the extra mile to get an author the exposure he/she deserves.

The final point of note which surprised me to no end was the tally of books which had to be sold in order for a book to make the bestseller’s list in Canada. For some of us this is good – a fantastic label to have on the front cover – but for those of us wishing to quit our day jobs to become bestselling authors, it’s a bit of a disappointment. The number? 3,000-5,000 copies. That’s all it takes.

In all I walked away from Daniel Wells’ Masterclass with a renewed sense of enthusiasm. It was extremely informative and it gave me a few new ideas on how I want to proceed with my querying. In the meantime, I’m researching literary magazines. And hoping for the best.

For Biblioasis’s website, click here:

If you’re interested in literary magazine contests that are currently running (Fall 2015) click here: