A Rare Moment of Gloomy Weather

When rain finally comes to San Diego and the first promises of Autumn inspire you despite the humidity, it’s the perfect time to write. In the words of a crewmember aboard Prince Eric’s royal ship in The Little Mermaid, there was a, “hurricane a comin’!” Hurricane Kay brought us thunderstorms and a smattering of rain so I seized the chance for all it was worth! I love the rainy, gloomy, gray weather far more than my little corner of the world gets it. Being disabled and mostly wheelchair-bound, a drier, arid climate helps to keep me going whenever I need to go anywhere (rain + powerchair = No Bueno!). In a perfect world, I’d live somewhere cool and damp with plenty of forest hemmed in around the city or town I settle in. Rain is the best kind of creative weather for me.

But I digress. I used this past weekend’s storm for R&D on my newest WIP. Inspired by the likes of Donna Tartt’s, The Secret History and M.L. Rio’s, If We Were Villains, I plan to pen my own journey into academia. I have always loved learning and spent much of my 36 years in school. It is the subject, no pun intended, I feel the most confident and comfortable in. And while it is a good idea to venture out of our comfort zones, I plan to do so in other ways. As a result of this work in progress, I’m attempting to set my own schedule: Something I can more or less live by now that I’ve graduated college and am not working a standard 9-5 anymore.


Perhaps by jotting down these thoughts both in my journal and here, I will help hold myself accountable. We’ll see. In the meantime, I continue to strive for progress, not perfection.

Review: “Praetorian Rising” by J. McSpadden

So, I’ve been in a reading slump. That being said, this was an amazing adventure read that helped pull me out! Perfect for fans of The Lord of the Rings, Throne of Glass, Harry Potter, Eragon, and Skyrim!

Its blend of quest-like elements are a natural fit in a vibrant world strained to the seams by tyrannical rule. The many villages and ports of Aspera are filled with hardworking people trying to feed their families under the weight of taxes. Neighbors disappear and terrifying monsters stalk the woods. Nobody trusts anyone. The locals look to their High King for protection and safety, a deified man with a power complex.

Enter the Praetorians, beings neither human nor beast who serve the High King. It is said no Praetorian can resist his command and for this, they are feared. But some no longer accept being treated as little more than vicious attack dogs on a tight leash. When a massacre wipes out an entire village, a rebellion rises. The High King has finally gone too far.

I found the characters were the best part of this book, with the setting a close second. Cam and Theo’s relationship had me laughing at times and crying at others; the love Theo has for her is steadfast and it drives much of what he does to protect her and aide in the rebellion against the empire. Vesyon is burdened by leadership he never asked for but feels duty-bound to the people. His decisions are often frustrating, sometimes selfish, but never without his comrades in mind. He has a promise to keep and he’ll die to keep it.

You can find J.’s work on Amazon and at https://jmcspaddenwrites.com/

My Friends are Trans

(Cross-posted from Facebook and Twitter…)

** I’m going to take a moment**

I have been angered to the point of near blackout frustration with the state of humanity. Many of my nearest and dearest have expressed to me a concern about my health in this matter, stating what I know to be true: That I cannot worry about anyone but myself by the end of the day.

There are many things wrong with our society right now, and I could go on and on and on. However, one thing I cannot stay silent about for another moment:

Trans lives are human lives. Our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, are valid. Just because you don’t understand someone doesn’t mean you get to treat them as if they are inferior or don’t exist at all. They are not sick. They are not confused. They exist. I stand beside my chosen family, several of whom are trans, a staunch ally and defender.

No hashtags, no tags, no additional thoughts. I’m done.

“FRACTURED SERAPH” is on Sale!!

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Hi, friends! I hope you are all doing well in light of Covid-19 and taking care of yourselves and each other. In light of these challenging times, we all need an escape.

So, I’m here to announce that, for ONE WEEK ONLY, my Young Adult Paranormal Fantasy, “Fractured Seraph” is on sale!!

Starting May 31st and running through June 7th, you can buy “Fractured Seraph” for just $0.99 on AMAZON!!

 

FRACTURED SERAPH
Young Austin Bennett’s life changes on the night his mother and grandfather are brutally murdered. Haunted by the sight of their mangled bodies in pools of blood, Austin must navigate a new school, make new friends and deal with oddly overbearing teachers.

On the way to give a statement to the police, a demon attacks him and a kind, old stranger saves his life. A stranger with gleaming gold wings and a broadsword made of fire!

Learning that his high school offers a higher purpose, Austin must battle bloodthirsty legions and risk his life to prove his father’s innocence.

“Fractured Seraph” is a fast moving thriller with great stakes, the glory of angels and the horrors of the underworld.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

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Tonight, on a whim, I cracked open the box my laptop spends much of its life sitting on as a makeshift desk. In said box are decades of personal writing, both typed and handwritten. Mostly detective fiction, short stories, and the like.

 

Indeed, much of my earliest work is in these color-coded files, from a Summer blanket outside an apartment to the classroom of one of my closest mentors. A childhood dream became a reality. Here is a glimpse, a snapshot, a time capsule.

 

“From the (Not-So) Mixed Up Files of Mr. Garrett K. Ray”, the bits that started it all. #writinglife #authortube #amwriting #childhood 1997-Present.

FRACTURED SERAPH – A Promo!

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(Hi, friends. In these troubled times of uncertainty and low morale, we all need a boost now and then. While some of us continue to work diligently to provide care and needs to our communities, we are each of us trying to adjust to life Indoors and away from others. Check out the Synopsis of my Debut novel below, as well as a hint of what’s coming next for Austin and company!)

Young Austin Bennett’s life changes on the night his mother and grandfather are brutally murdered. Haunted by the sight of their mangled bodies in pools of blood, Austin must navigate a new school, make new friends and deal with oddly overbearing teachers.

On the way to give a statement to the police, a demon attacks him and a kind, old stranger saves his life. A stranger with gleaming gold wings and a broadsword made of fire!

Learning that his high school offers a higher purpose, Austin must battle bloodthirsty legions and risk his life to prove his father’s innocence.

“Fractured Seraph” is a fast moving thriller with great stakes, the glory of angels and the horrors of the underworld.

The story concludes with Book Two in Austin’s tale of angels and demons.
Coming Soon!

Check the Cards at the Top of the page for Purchase.
Paperback: $14, Ebook: $2.99!

Happy Reading!

 

I Finally “Broke Ground” On A New Story

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(Shared from Facebook; Twitter)

Hey there, friends. What’re you doing in this quarantine? I know it’s crazy in the world right now and many of us are out of work. I hope everyone is using this time for Self-Care and Reflection.

I’m writing again! Though I can’t share any pics right now of my notes because *spoilers*. It’s a tale of old times and best friends wrapped up in murder and mayhem. Early days, but it’s taking shape and growing on me. May vlog my process soon. #amwriting #turtlewriters #selfisolation

Review: “100 Days of Sunlight” by Abbie Emmons

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(Shared from Goodreads and NetGalley)

100 DAYS OF SUNLIGHT is, by far, one of my favorite books of all time! Not only is it a real, bright, (at times brooding), emotional rollercoaster. But it is, for me, deeply relatable and personal. While there are books out there in the ether with themes of overcoming and bravery in the face of a daily challenge such as disability… I haven’t felt quite like a story “gets me” as much as 1DOS. The author, Abbie Emmons, delves into the gritty emotions of struggling day to day when you think you’ll never see or walk again. Her main characters, Tessa and Weston, help each other realize the potential that Life has all around them — even when you’re faced with the loss of one or more of your senses.

Tessa, blogger, neat-freak, and writer extraordinare, is blind — injured in a car accident. Weston, daredevil, big brother, and all-around good guy, is an amputee — injured in a moment of playful daring-do with his friends and brother. Together, they navigate the little triumphs and pitfalls of adapting to new life. What do you do when Life has beaten you down and you have no choice but to keep going? You adapt and keep going. I understand this all too well, met with challenges all my life. Though not an amputee, a condition called Cerebral Palsy has more or less broken the nerve signals between my brain and legs… Making it difficult and nigh impossible to walk. I am wheelchair bound after a lifetime of medical problems and personal choices… But I do not let it stop me. I live alone, pay my own bills, see my friends, graduated college, and even published my own Novel… All because I refuse to let one small lack in my Life define me. As Weston says, “You’re not your asthma… or your diabetes or your depression or your anorexia or your social anxiety. You see, most people would look at me and say that I have every right to be miserable. But I don’t. I have no right. And neither do you… You have a life.”

I constantly have to remind myself to keep going, even when my own mind turns against me. I am a perpetual worrier and I overthink everything. I regularly get stiff legs and am in pain often. I have to crawl in my house sometimes to get from point A to point B. Then I’m in a wheelchair the rest of the time. Some days, the struggle to get up or get out is so tough I cry. I get scared when I wonder why my Life unfolded the way it has. I have anxiety, I have Cerebral Palsy, but I am not these diagnoses. And I Refuse, just like Weston and Tessa, to let them Define Me.

Anyway… If you want a cozy, happy, sad, fun, wild, relatable-as-fuck read… Look no further than 100 DAYS OF SUNLIGHT by Abbie Emmons.

Wildfire Drafts of a New Novel

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(Shared from Facebook and Twitter)

March 10, 2020… I’ve been hard at work on my next book since I published two years ago, between moments of work. Writing several drafts at the speed of a wildfire. Having the time off from other Life issues, I jumped into the Epilogue of #FSBk2, FRACTURED SERAPH’s sequel.

Today, I typed “The End” and put a Period on the drafting process for Book Two. Austin, Ava, and their families have been with me for over a decade, now. Through so many dark and light moments of my journey. I am so grateful for them and the fantastic, fictional city of Myriad, California. Austin Bennett’s story nears its end.

Officially on to Revisions in the near future!