Category: Newsletter

👻Mental Tricksters👻

Hey babes,

Before I get into my usual wordiness, I want to share some stuff. The #1 thing driving me at the moment is this:

Baby kitten Piper needs medical help!

piper cat

Amy’s adorable kitten got between a dog and its dinner, and the poor thing is hurting. If you can spare anything to help pay for the medical bills for this little cutie, you’d be adding some good into this damn unfair world. I hate the price tag we put on life; it’s so cruel. :/

Join The GoFundMe

Overwhelm

I’ve been taking this month to look at it all, look at why I’ve slowed down, why this writer’s block has hit me, and how to unravel from it all. My successes during this time? I’ve looked at stories and outlines I love but have completely ignored the last year because of my focus on the PATB series. I even updated a few fanfics, and added 2 scenes to Chasing Raider, plus briefly fleshed out an outline. I have started eating foods I feared had mold, drinking socially once a week, having sips of coffee even though my adrenals once protested the very thought of it. I’ve been reading—a luxury I cut out for far too long. I have a desk covered in supplements I don’t take anymore because I don’t need them… but I haven’t quite convinced myself to hide them away just yet. I made myself a writing space, a daily thinking space where I can stretch and relax and let the thoughts flow.

I see that I’m stressing myself—that it’s all coming from my own mind—and I’m trying to manage it better, place less to no expectations on myself, and find that creative spark again. And I’m feeling it—the spark is hitting—but I’m also holding back, not responding to impulse, and that is where the biggest problem lies. I have lost my ability to just flow when creativity hits, not because the world is keeping me back, but because I am self-censoring to the point of my own destruction.

I am overwhelmed. The noose of poverty grows ever tighter even as my body strengthens, and I see I have no control over my creative impulse. I see all these beautiful things I want to create, all these places in my mind where I want to play, and I freeze. Because as much fun as I see it all being, there is something underneath it all clawing at me, demanding I hold still and stop rushing off toward the cliff. Surely if I flash off in any direction, I will end up broken and exhausted.

I’m not good with change. When I was a child in foster care, change was not an opportunity but a monster waiting behind every door as I wondered what fresh hells would await. PTSD has ingrained this fear in me, this caution that to fly free is to risk everything. Part of my survival was in being a chameleon, staring deeply into the social mirror and adapting at every turn so as to be whatever it was that would keep me safe at the time. It was very important back then, life and death with no exaggeration, and it is how I learned to live.

So my psyche is self regulating, taking over my nervous system, numbing me, freezing me, dulling my focus so that it can protect me, stealing my love of creating. If it can keep me frozen, I will be safe, even if trapped in this half life. I am my own jailer, and I couldn’t see it because when my psyche made me sick, it was such a good distraction from my thoughts. When it stole my memory—as PTSD has done for over 30 years—I could barely notice it slipping away. It was only in rediscovery that I could see how I had been distracted once again.

And that is key to the problem. I didn’t realize there was a trickster in my head, one who has been running wild since I got PTSD. This part of me thinks its helping, is treating me like an unruly child by modulating my emotions and sensations for me, instead of asking my input. And bluntly, perhaps it was right to do so, because as long as my sympathetic nervous system was engaged, I couldn’t be in the control seat of my mind. PTSD left me in a chronic state of fight or flight, and it’s only in switching over to the parasympathetic nervous system and being able to calm the fuck down, finally, that I can see the damage my thoughts were doing, keeping me in that unbearable state.

So I have found a way to switch off the survival nervous system and be in the calm while also still awake, but I’m seeing now the trickster underneath, the one who is flipping switches when it feels I’m losing control. Some of the triggers I could notice easily, mostly in the emotional. Anger, sorrow, fear—my body shuts them down. I can’t remember the last time I blushed. It can be uncomfortable being in a body that feels, so my body has shut that off when I cross the overwhelm line. It has made me sick, exhausted in a moment, knocking me out so I can stop thinking about what stresses me. Simple, uncomplicated. Half dead. Because my memories hold moments of deep trauma, my body has shut that down too, creating this veil between me and that part of my mind, regulating however it sees fit. And as I peer at it this last week, its hold loosens, and I wait, wondering if I have made a mistake, if I can adapt to feeling whole.

I didn’t see the overwhelm writing was creating in me, partly in how writing makes me feel. Writing has always been a bridge for me to reach both my memories and my emotions. It was a safe bridge, but lately it hasn’t been feeling safe because writing has also become a lot of pressure. It is leading me toward change in my life, great change, positive change, and I feel overwhelmed and lost in it. What monster will be behind this new door and will I belong here?

I think this has been the longest breath to steady myself that I have ever taken, one that has spanned months—perhaps even a lifetime in some ways as I ask myself to just be calm and relax.

Reading

In the proof that I’ve been having fun—I know, I can’t quite believe it myself—I want to share the two books I’ve been reading this month.

The Fine Owl Solution

Babes, this book is so good, I can’t even explain. Partially because this book doesn’t fit any genres—it’s a wonderful rogue. The characters are deep and charming, the pacing is great, the plot complex, the characters are animals with their own social and economical pecking order they’re fighting against placed in parallel to the divisiveness of humanity—and come on, the cover is fucking win. <3 It’s a mix between a crime noir and a conspiracy thriller, but cats! 😉

This has been such a fun jaunt into a similar but different world where you can look at everything a little differently while watching the plot unfold. This is the first fiction I’ve read in ages and it is so unique and totally worth the read.

How To Be Idle

This is a socio-political commentary *ehem* I mean a totally harmless, relaxing read on how to stop stressing and why our fucked up world is making sure you don’t. I swear it really did help me relax, mostly by reminding me that this whole materialistic capitalist society is created around us selling our lives away by the hour through enforcing the lie that there isn’t enough to go around. Oh, and Edison screwed us with the light bulb and stole our sleep, damn it!

Yeah, it was a fun book. XD

🐹Crazy Adorableness🐯

Hey babes,

So, for starters I saw Brea has her latest book out, and it looks super fucking adorable—crazy adorable! <3 So I’m smacking it at the top here for anyone who needs a sweet pick me up this weekend.

His Bewildered Mate by Brea Alepoú

True mates are found in the most unlikely of places.

Rhy, a weretiger with a heart so big, that when an elderly woman comes in looking for her lost cat, Mr. Fluffkins, Rhy knew he had to help. He had no way of knowing that it would lead him to his true mate.

Dillan (Mr. Fluffkins), has lived his whole life wishing he was more than just a cat. He never felt right walking around on four paws. He tried to be a normal cat; tried to talk to other animals but it wasn’t possible. They couldn’t think in full sentences or communicate. It was more of feeling they had then what they thought. He watched television, so he could studying humans and what they did. He wanted to interact like humans. His owners showed one another so much love and were always doing something together. Dillan ached to have what they have.

Love, loss, and tender moments. A dream to have the one person that completes you.

Warning** Slow burn. This book is shifter Mpreg pregnancy is mentioned in this book. this is the first book of the series. The series will need to be read in order, as new couples will be introduced but old one’s stories will continue. They will be intertwined. This is a HEA.

What’s up?

I have spent the last 2 weeks really chill. Very calm. Even got a tooth infection last week, but I’m doing really well. Just calm, chill, trying to get used to realizing my body has been tense as fuck forever. I put some blue fairy lights up in the porch I’ve been using as a writing room, and it’s like hanging out in sapphire while listening to some great, calming music. I’m obsessed with Metric at the moment, the album “Grow up and Blow Away” usually playing in the background.

I haven’t had a single Parkinson’s symptom since I started this calm down experiment. When I notice my stress levels rising, or that I’m pushing myself too hard, I stop, I relax, I unwind the rock my stomach has turned into, and I’m good.

Amazingly enough, because of this, I’ve stopped thinking of myself as sick. I haven’t been thinking in terms of I have Parkinson’s or mold toxicity or even PTSD. I’ve just been thinking, oh, that feels stressful on my body. Let’s not have all that stress. It’s doing good things for how I think about myself, where I’m not labeling myself with these pretty big, unpleasant illnesses 24-7, and I’m not narrating giant hoops I need to jump through to be allowed to feel okay. It’s just about not stressing.

Learning to write calmly

I updated a couple of fanfics on the website the last two weeks. I also added these really quick to read dates so you can see the last time a story was updated at a glance. What else… I’ve had a few breakthroughs on the writing front. Now that I could see that I was putting so much pressure on my writing, I was able to kind of side step some of that pressure. But only some.

Last night I had a mini epiphany about a big issue with my creativity. I had been digging up these outlines I have of stories I want to make—I love these stories—but I feel so overwhelmed every time I look at them. I don’t know if you peeps remember what happened to me a little while back. Instafreebie had decided to feature Blackthorne and I had a mini freak out. The book wasn’t well put together. In the matter of a week, I made a new cover, and started editing the 100,000 word book, rewriting large chunks of it. And I was killing myself—I was still sick, and here I was breaking myself over something stupid as fuck. And once it was pointed out to me, I stopped. I let it go… and I haven’t looked at editing Blackthorne since.

It was all or nothing.

I have this habit where everything I do is climbing a mountain. It was why I stopped digital painting. I know what it takes to get to the end of a polished, highly realistic painting. I know the steps, I know the hours on hours put in, and I know I can get to that ending and have an amazing product. But I don’t want to do the work because, unlike normal people who can pace themselves and do other things while they create, I’m a fucking psycho who wants to sprint to the finish line right at the beginning of a marathon. I don’t know how to balance my creative endeavors. It’s why they always seemed so rushed—I was rushing to get everything down before I became too exhausted to keep the pace.

I have no idea how to be anything else, partially because this habit was created out of me being stuck in PTSD mode. My body cannot survive that type of creative process. Plain and simple. But my psyche cannot survive a world without creativity either. So I need to figure out how to flow, how to pace myself, how to have fun, how to stop and be able to start up later after doing something else. I have to stop trying to be a writing machine—I’m too organic to be any good at it. XD

Right now, when I look at all the stories I want to write, all I’m seeing are mountains because that’s what I turn each project into. I’m hoping if I can see that each project is just a little bit of calm time spent enjoying myself—you know, a nice walk instead of an exhausting climb—I’ll start looking at creating differently.

I guess we’ll see how it goes… The last few weeks have been amazing. I didn’t even think I could get this far in just relaxing. I feel like a different person, someone I didn’t even know was here, allowed to exist. I thought it was normal to feel super alert all the time. Now, I can see it was just PTSD that I thought was normal. Life the last few weeks has been feeling a bit like being drugged and happy (without the drugs) because I can be alert in the world, in my life, without being tense at the same time. I just never knew it was a possibility until now.

Hope you’re all doing well! ^.^

 

💥How To Stop Being A Freaked Out, Overachieving Perfectionist💥

Hey peeps,

Ugh, so the first episode of the Paranormal Academy For Troubled Boys serial is ready to publish. Why ugh? Because I’m trying to figure out how the fuck to post this story without burning myself out during the process.

I’ve been realizing some big stuff this summer. One is how I’m an overachiever who undervalues herself so much I couldn’t even tell I was an overachiever. Two, that I’ve locked down my subconscious so well in the need to ‘adult’ that I haven’t allowed myself to daydream or think about stories that aren’t about building the Sadie Sins brand—aka, this is why writing is no longer fun. I’ve been so focused on trying to turn my writing into a living that I lost what I loved about writing, which was the fun, crazy ideas.

Thirdly, and probably most damning, I found a connection between my health problems and PTSD. A big connection. :/ We’re talking psychosomatic death feigning, learned helplessness, and dopamine suppression as the brain forces the body to ‘give up’ a fruitless task to stop it from neurotically obsessing until it breaks. I realized that living with the anxiety PTSD gave me for over 30 years had turned me up to 11, and when I ‘got better,’ I only calmed down to something like an 8. I’m still stressing myself out, I’m still holding onto twisted values that keep pushing me to do, do DO! And I have become so used to this stressful drive, that I couldn’t see it, like, at all.

I’m a control freak (okay, I already knew that) but I didn’t see how bad it really was. Because I was the crazy fuck who, when I thought I was dying, decided it was time to start a business just to pass the time. Yeah, my body was so sick, exhausted, and burnt out from my overactive immune system responding to everything, but I decided to ‘push through’ like a WINNER and ignore all that. Because I am fucked in the head and only just now seeing the extent.

My body is trying to stop my self destructive patterns by literally stopping me flat. And I thought at first, whoa, that’s crazy. How could I even think that about myself? But then I started practicing mindfulness again, started really looking at what happens right before the Parkinson’s flares and the messages happening in my mind. I had a flare right after a bad driving scare—literally life and death response. Then I had a flare when I had the house to myself for a day and then my bf came home and I realized, nope, I’m not okay with sharing a bedroom indefinitely—I want my fucking space! But it wasn’t until I faced that feeling that the flare stopped just as quickly as it started. I started getting a flare when out on a long walk, and instead of ‘suffering through’ like I normally would, I stopped, stretched, regrouped my emotional core, and the feeling passed and my energy returned.

So yeah, it’s me. I’m stressing myself into sickness.

I figure it’s like this…

My body got used to breaking after 5+ years of mold toxicity and low dopamine, and now that everything is ‘fine,’ it has decided certain triggers—thoughts, emotions, behaviors—are going to start that cascade effect all over again. The neural pathways are still there, set deep into my brain and nervous system. It’s not the smell of mold setting me off anymore, but when I feel emotionally trapped in a situation. It’s not dust mites or cat dander, but when I ignore that my muscles are tensing and I don’t relax my body as needed. I don’t have to worry about pollen anymore—I got a little pill for that. But I have no pill for the stress I weigh myself down with when I put too much expectation on myself and the simple things I do.

It’s such a contradiction to who I am in so many ways. Because I know—I KNOW— the value of a person is in that they exist. That’s it. If you exist, you are already worthy of compassion and respect. You don’t have to do anything or achieve anything or have a buttload of wealth or be super nice to be valued. You exist and that’s enough. I know this, but my subconscious is still running on old trauma wiring that tells me that I can only be worthy if I do things, and I have to do them really well, and people have to like them, and if people don’t like what I do then that means they don’t like me and I must be a terrible person. And how do I know if people like what I do? Well, what does society tell us? We learn that unless we have great wealth, we are not valued by society, that we are worthless enough to die outside a hospital with no one caring. Not being wealthy means you’re a lazy, worthless person who just isn’t trying to contribute to society, right?

It is difficult to be a human in this world of humans that was crafted around the idea that people are only valuable if they appear to have succeeded in life. Even as I know that these ideas of success are absolute nonsense, a lower part of my brain absorbs these messages and pushes me to survive by these irrational rules. It’s exhausting. I have spent years unconsciously trying to gain self worth from something that has absolutely nothing to do with my worth—and it hasn’t helped that the self improvement industry sells these ideas to us like they’re spiritual enlightenment. Really, think about it. We don’t have gurus like Ghandi anymore who discarded his worldly possessions and his ego to do what he could to help the world. We have CEOs swearing if you reach enlightenment, you’ll be wealthy beyond your dreams, you’ll be valuable to society, recognized for your greatness and intelligence. You’ll win the human lottery if you just figure out how to be spiritually, physically, mentally, and motivationally perfect. Discard your want of worldly possessions and you will be able to hoard all the shit you want in a giant mansion. If you overcome being an overachiever, you will be able to DO MORE THINGS! (not fucking joking; this was the message that smacked me over the head when I started looking up how to stop being an overachiever.)

I need a mental break from myself and this fucked up world

One of the things I noticed when I realized what the fuck I was doing to myself and how destructive the messaging surrounding me was that I started to be able to let my thoughts wander. I allowed myself to be bored. I’m thinking about stories that I don’t see much immediate financial gain in, but I do see fun in the journey of writing them. But this is not an overnight process. I have been wired to break myself at every turn—just the crushing guilt of not publishing in months has been brutal—and I need to find ways around that through habits, healthy messaging, and a fuck ton of mindfulness. I need to exposure therapy myself out of perfectionism and need for control.

Under it all is this little, vulnerable voice demanding if I just do everything right, I will never be hurt, I will never feel alone or sad or like a failure. If I just plan enough, stress enough, double/triple check until my eyes bleed, I will be safe. It’s a very sad, lonely voice who already feels like a failure and is just projecting it onto everything I do. It is very tiring to live this way, so driven to achieve something where I can’t even notice that I’m breaking myself out of poor self esteem. I don’t know how to relax—all those years stuck in bed and I never learned how to relax, just how to ignore the pain and exhaustion I was feeling. Really, it’s seriously sad to even think about.

I found myself in a profession that has a lot of excuses to give into that perfectionist voice. I’m not just talking about editing and ensuring my grammar is perfect along with spelling and comma placement and every pointless fucking rule in the English language that rears its head. (If you have a visceral reaction to hearing that the rules to our made up language are pointless, you might want to see if you’re dealing with perfectionist issues. Not joking.) This self publishing shit is about pattern recognition, algorithms, SEO for keywords, genre trends—there is so much fucking minutia in publishing your own books that can really trigger that obsessive voice in my head to DO THINGS RIGHT, which then in turn freezes me because it’s just too much stress—gotta get the ARCs out before the book goes live, gotta start marketing and setting up networking to coincide with the release date, gotta create the perfect blurb hook, gotta space those book releases 3 to 4 weeks apart before you fall off the Amazon front page from the KU new book boost—There is a lot to this process that just screams for perfection while whispering if you do it right, if you hit it the right way, you will be rewarded and never stress again. You will win the book lottery where you will finally be recognized and rewarded for killing yourself over fucking fantasy.

It’s a misery fest for my already fucked up mental stability. So I gotta find a way to balance this shit so I don’t self destruct. It’s like poking at a pimple until you realize half your face is swollen and you have a giant bloody wound in the middle of your cheek because you can’t just let shit go.

I don’t know how I’m going to handle this, I’ll be real. Part of me wants to throw the book on Amazon and not anything else, just ignore it. That seems self destructive in its own right where I can only do something by not being part of the process. I’m considering a preorder, something where I can force myself to slow down and take a month or something so I won’t be allowed to overwhelm myself by trying to do it all in one moment. I know nothing about preorder stats and ranking, so I can’t fall into the pattern recognition game of NEEDING TO DO IT RIGHT! I don’t know what’s right for it, so it will just be what it is, a way to give myself a break.

The book is done, the cover is made, it’s all edited, I just need to create some space between me and the actual publishing of the book so I don’t fall into the shit that hits me after every book release.

Learning to be idle

So… yeah, that’s my crazy rant of the week. I’m facing the fact that I torture myself over everything and in doing so, have lost all sense of fun and enjoyment in what I do. It has been on such a subconscious level, I couldn’t even see the connection to the apathy, the exhaustion, the emotion = body stopping. It has slowed me down—I don’t want to think of getting past overachieving as a way to achieve better productivity—but the truth is, the psychological shit I’ve been weighing myself with has absolutely resulted in a level of writer’s block. And it’s fucked, because I designed my website to get around the pressure of self publishing and freaking myself out!

It’s all in my head. =_= I will carry this with me no matter what I do until I figure out how to let it go. I’ve been reading some essays on the wonderfulness of being idle, trying to get into a mindset that is so alien to me after all these years. But that too could be the PTSD. When you’re running from your own thoughts for years, giving space to think can feel overwhelming too.

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and not being an obsessive, neurotic wreck. ^.^ The crickets sound amazing just buzzing in the quiet night.

🌍Please Stay Safe

Hey babes,

Guys, I totally missed the fact that ICE raids were happening this weekend when I sent out the Newsletter talking about covers and visual novels and damn…

I’m so sorry. I’m living in my own little world of illness and creativity, and I’m really fucking privileged to not have to personally worry about this. The news is so full of misery that I can only tune in so much. To all the people with family, friends, loved ones and acquaintances facing this hate based ethnic cleansing currently tearing through the US pulling families and communities apart, my heart goes out to you. Please stay safe, and stay strong.

You are worthy, just like we all are, and I’m so sorry that you have to live in fear based on something as wholly insignificant as the place of your birth. Humans keep making these inane, insane rules and then point to them like they’re supposed to mean a fucking thing. No wall or border or culture or language or accumulation of wealth can separate the fact that we’re all human, all deserving, all equal of being treated with respect and dignity. I hate that it’s the worst of us running the show, while the best of us are just wondering how to fucking cope with it all.

Remember, don’t open the door. “An ICE deportation warrant is not the same as a search warrant. If that is the only document ICE brings to a home raid, ICE does not have a legal right to enter a home.”

Stay safe. You’re loved even if these bigoted fucks make you feel anything but.

💞Seriously Cool Stuff This Week!❤💕

Hey babes,

Okay, so cool stuff this week! For one, Wendy has released her Foundling Trilogy. And might I say, the covers are absolutely spectacular. *preen*

 

The Foundling Trilogy

Wendy talks about the creation of this trilogy, and in it, a bit of her process as an mm author. She jumped into the genre writing field after coming from a literary background, and part of the beauty of the Foundling Trilogy is watching her find her voice when she shares these characters with the world, book by book. On her Facebook page, you can find more interesting tidbits from her behind the scene world as a writer, as well as on her group page, Wendyland.

 

A Little History on How the Foundling Trilogy Came to Be… (by Wendy Rathbone)

Back in 2012 I knew gay porn was being written, and some was romance, but I didn’t know there was a whole genre called “mm romance.” I’d never heard the term.

I come from a background of many different writing experiences including non-fiction, poetry and fantasy short stories. I wrote a ton of slash fanfic and was always hungry for more male/male (in the past we spelled it out and put the slash between the ‘m’s). The mm romance genre was young and new, and I had not heard of it yet.

At that time, I also had a wonderful obsession with Anais Nin, who wrote beautiful and poetic erotica back in the 1930s and ‘40s for a mysterious benefactor who paid her and her friends a dollar a page for sex stories, and she had two volumes of erotica published, as well as very sexually explicit diaries of her life and her sexual exploits juggling a husband and multiple lovers. I couldn’t stop reading her lush prose, her amazing insights, her deep thoughts about her explicit sexual encounters. But she comes from another time, thus she writes phrases like: “He stormed and sought to conquer.” “He made of their room a den covered in rugs and tapestries, perfumed.” “A long member came out from the middle of one man and penetrated another from behind.” She even eroticized rape. And yes, these books are sold on Amazon despite taboos in them because they are considered “literary.”

I was in a dreamy swoon over it all.

I had an idea for an original gay love story and had the thought, after encountering mostly gay porn (not romance) for several years that I wanted to tackle the experience of writing beautiful erotica and try to stay away from typical porn-isms for just one short book. Not that anything is wrong with porn. I love porn. But I was in a swoon over Anais’s ability to write in a different (albeit “dated”) language. And I am a poet at heart, and was trained in literary writing as well.

I deliberately chose to write a hard-hearted character, someone who is the last person you might expect to tell a story from a swoon-worthy point of view, but he can’t help it. A man has entered Diego’s edgy life and he is instantly challenged by his dramatic feelings and transformed.

This was an experiment. It was supposed to be a one-off. I had zero plans for three books. I’m a pantser, so I didn’t even know there would be more story to come after the first erotically poetic short novel.

I put the story on Amazon under gay erotica. I called it a hot gay love story. I did not understand the language or terminology that existed then for mm romance.

When I wrote book 2, the plot just came to me. It was a year later and I decided to use a more straight-forward third person writing style. Yes, it’s still lush, and it’s hot, but I was less Anais-influenced and more wanting to write in a fever about these characters. I saw mm romance then. I was still exploring it as a genre, still new, but I was happy to find it as a reality! So with the second book I deliberately made it more relate-able.

Two years later, book 3 came to me out of nowhere. I am a pantser which means I use zero outlines and very few notes, if any. I just hear a character and go with them.

I was writing another novel at the time, but suddenly Alec started talking in my head. Dictating his story. He was shy and afraid at first. He wouldn’t let me know much at all about him, so I let him babble. He’s emotionally unstable, a bit messed up (for good reason!) That book is first person, and because Alec is himself in a dream-state a lot of the time due to amnesia and nightmares of his past ordeal at the hands of sex traffickers, I let him go on. The first parts of that books show his mind-state. It’s a dreamland a lot of the time. He’s not right in the head. But the second part is intense angst and very straight-forward as he finally confesses, and finally remembers himself. It is, I think, the strongest of all the books, and makes me cry every time I re-read it.

What a ride this was! All of it was an experiment. I didn’t consciously do formula romance. I focused hard on setting-as-character and how it affects emotion. And I focused on character-driven 100%.

On the re-release of these books of my heart, I updated everything I could, editing, proofing, tech, covers. It’s been almost a year in the works to re-do and re-brand these books.

I write this history because I want people to know how these books came to be and how and why they differ in style from each other and from my more recent books. My journey has been my own, unique and wonderful, writing from a state of pure love.

The mm romance genre continues to be a hard place to actually experiment in and win favors, but I love it so much! I read it all. The bestsellers, formula, and especially seek out the unique and on the edge authors who unabashedly blaze new paths into kink, dark and taboo. And some of the more poetic authors… I sink into your books!

I think it’s all wonderful and I thank you all every day for letting me be a part of it!”

Free on KU<3

I gotta say, I do love when authors share their process. It’s like getting a little window into their minds. These three books are an amazing exploration of love and lust in the settings of a dark, humid jungle to the streets of San Francisco. The characters unfold, resistant in their defenses and deeply felt pain, to both each other and the reader. The journey is a glimpse into the soul in all the right ways.

book 1

Rescue Me

book 2

Sacrifice Me

book 3 *release date 7/15

Remember Me

 

The Foundling Trilogy Covers

 

 

I was really excited to be invited to take on the Foundling Trilogy cover project and give them a contemporary makeover. Working with stock photos to ensure that the covers all look related can be damn difficult, especially when sifting through models and trying to get the right look and feel (and face! @[email protected]) But there was something about this project that just clicked, and I felt like I grew a lot as a cover artist as a result.

I used color pallets I’ve avoided before this project, especially yellow. (Yellow has been such a challenge for me. I found interesting research that it could be linked to the Parkinson’s and how the brain perceives tone and color, which might be used to diagnose the illness.) I truly feel the second cover with the yellow/purple color theme pops—They all do, really. (Do I get to say that? Like, is that just narcissistic as fuck?) There was just something about that touch of cherry red on the bridge of the third cover that I fell in love with. Anyway, I’m super happy with the results. I got to give readers a peek into each book, hopefully appealing enough for them to want to crack the story open and give it a read.

 

I started the visual novel project!

 

 

I started the Demon Virus one too, but it’s only for members. Everything Demon Bonded is free—cuz fuck yeah, Demon Bonded! I think it’ll be interesting to watch these games grow.

So it’s all preliminary stuff at the moment as I try to understand the game engine and how to get my vision to manifest. But it’s been so much fun! (Frustrating too, let’s be real XD) but I’m really enjoying this approach to telling a story and engaging readers in a new way. I only have placeholder images. I need to take some time to sculpt the characters and actually learn the texturing in Blender so I can get some color on them. I want to do the background scenes and everything with 3D modeling—it may seem like a lot of initial work, but everything I make can be reused.

It’s why I’m making two games at once “Demon Bonded” and “Demon Virus.” Both are long games that will require reuse of the characters. If I’m going to put the effort in, it should be for strong story based stuff that can be revisited, chapters added with ease, art made with the character models to collect, etc.

These project has been a long way coming. Not just because of the illness. I’ve been struggling with adulting, if I’m honest.

It’s one of those things where I think if I do ‘the right thing,’ I’ll get good results. Instead, I just get bored, and frustrated, and fight myself like a kid having a tantrum. I know as a ‘proper’ writer, I should stay on focus, write what I’m ‘supposed’ to. It’s good business. But my creativity just doesn’t work like that. Which I fucking knew when starting, yeah? Once I hit the 10,000 word mark, I want to write a new story. All the time. But I’ve been fighting that and I think it’s been stifling my creativity a lot.

When I resist my impulse to play (which writing used to be for me,) writing becomes this horrible, mean job where I can’t find my happiness. Working on these visual novels has been a lot of play for me after a really long time of telling myself I have to work instead.

I don’t know if it’s my neurotic brain, something to do with the low dopamine, or what, but I get stuck in these really dumb ideas of ‘supposed to.’ I mean, really dumb. I know they’re dumb every time I stop and question it, but there I am, stuck anyways. I start judging myself, telling myself real writers work like machines and write what they’re supposed to, not what they love or are inspired by in the moment. I start thinking people are judging me, angry I haven’t finished other projects (and fuck, I get PMs along those lines, lets be real.) It’s hard to remember I’m a human being, not a human doing, and I have limitations.

I can’t be a machine; I don’t want to be a machine. I want to have fun. I started writing to have fun and it’s really important I figure out how to keep that fun in my life.

I think these visual novels are going to add to that fun and help break up the monotony of ‘supposed to’ I’ve trapped myself in. I enjoy learning— when I learn something new, I am having the most fun. So I need to make sure I’m learning while I’m also writing novels and series and such. I need to start adding that into my priority list of being human.

I hope you’re all having a marvelous weekend and enjoying the weather! I keep waking up when the sun is about to disappear, but even so, I may have tanned a bit. XD Not quite as pale and ghostly as before. Good stuff. 😉