Happy New Year 2020, Indeed!

Wow, wow! Incredible.

We’re already fifteen days into this new year and decade. πŸ™‚

Yeah yeah, time is indeed relative, but I feel like the days are just gliding by!

In between working and other responsibilities, I finally had the pleasure to sit down and organize a little something I call my Writer’s Binder.

I start off with a cover page, which showcases an enlarged inspirational quote:

Binder 2019

Or I will search for several quotes that I strategically choose to motivate me to work through the negative orchestra rising to a crescendo of doubt inside my head. It’s a tried and true practice that I’ve adapted to strengthen and plant me in a positive, growth mindset, and these quotes are intended to subdue said orchestra that blows any shred of optimism I dare hold with the bombastic doom that rivals,Β O Fortuna (Carmina Burana).

If only doom could be this adorably absurd . . . and vibrantly green.

I also embellish the binder with items I love, such as pop-up butterfly stickers, Hello Kitty stickers (yeah, I’m a girly-girl — and as of this year a “nerdy” girly-girl):

The interior includes January-December Table of Contents Divider tabs, which allows me to keep track of every submission, rejection, and upcoming calls for submissions all year long! πŸ˜€

Writer Binder_Month Tabs

I’m still in possession of that lovely and useful Rejection Bingo sheet, which I found online:

I will once again use this item to keep track of the handful of misfit stories that I’ve been unable to sell as of yet. Yet. That’s right. It may not have happened yet. But it will. Growth Mindset!

Thank you, Naruto! Thank you! I do! I do. ::weeps sparkling tears of joy as glittery rose petals appear mysteriously:

Likewise, the more I submit, the higher chances I have to selling more. No self-rejection allowed!

One of my fellow writers has finally sold a story that has been rejected several times and it’s nearly a decade old! I’m so happy for her and look forward to posting its birthplace on this blog. πŸ™‚

No writer could hope for more, yes? πŸ™‚


2019 Year-End Reflection — New Year, New Decade.

Good-bye 2019! Hello 2020. New Year, New Decade.

Na Na Na Na Hey, Hey-ey Goodbye!

Da fuq! It’s really almost 2020? Zoinks! Jinkies! (If and when you have children and they are Scooby Doo lovers, you will understand).

Here’s the family:

Our Family 2019

Hubby, Moi, and Our Darling Three Sons.Β 

A few days ago I enjoyed getting my hair done at a beauty salon almost 30 miles from my home. Why 30 miles away? Because this place is the best that I know of. I rarely pamper myself, but when your husband tells you to leave him with the tiny tots, you don’t say no — you simply go, go, go!

And go I did. While chilling and relaxing under the dryer as I read a book, I overheard one of the other hair salon clients gushing about this upcoming New Year. “Can you believe it? In in just a few days, it’ll be January! And it’s going to be a new year and a new decade.” I mumbled to myself, “Well, uh yes. It goes without saying, doesn’t it?”

At the time, I didn’t think much of it. Perhaps it’s because age and life experience has eroded away my childlike innocence, wonder, and the ability to look at everything as shiny and new. Call me jaded? Ha, ha, ha.Β  Thank you. Dame Disillusioned is one of my many nicknames.

But now that I’ve had time to sit back and reflect on the fullness of what she said, I’m inclined to believe that this is kind of a big deal. When I was a kid, I didn’t completely grasp the reality of me reaching and eventually surpassing 40. I didn’t realize the idea or the substantial weight of raising children, marriage, sending my firstborn kiddo to college, teaching full-time for almost twenty years, traveling abroad, writing my stories, and daring to swallow that giant lump of fear and trepidation, by FINALLY submitting my literary darlings and subjecting them to a stranger’s scrutiny. . . then actually selling something.

Even though I didn’t sell as much as I would’ve liked this year, I’m proud of myself that I submitted a lot of content to various markets.

I also sold a decent amount of paperback copies of Moonstruck to schools in the county where I live. πŸ™‚ That was sweet!

Moonstruck Cover

The sales motivated me to start drafting a Literacy Circle or Curriculum Guide for sale. I’m thinking about posting it on Teachers Pay Teachers and other such venues. I hope that more classrooms will buy more copies. #SupportLocalAuthors #SupportHybridAuthors

Here are some things I’d like to rectify for the year 2020:

  1. I’d like to write more.
  2. I’d like to add more content on this blog. Currently, I have 20 draft blog posts that I have yet to finish. 😐
  3. I’d like to actually create and/or revamp my YouTube channel.

These aren’t necessarily New Year’s Resolutions. They’re just some of the things I’d like to be more consistent with. I do have some resolutions, but I’ll keep them to Me, Myself, and I. Well, for now at least.

Here are some other things I joyfully glance back at before gazing forward to 2020:

  1. I sold “Bondye Bon” to Dimension Uchronie 3.


    It was first sold to Fiyah Literary Magazine in 2017.

  2. I had created a binder tabbed with each month so I could keep OCD-over-9000 level track of what I did, when I did it, and the who, whats, and hows of the outcomes. πŸ™‚ I’ll be creating another binder for 2020.Binder 2019
  3. I attended a lot of conventions, book signings, and participated on author panels. Here are some photos of moi in all of my short-statured glory!

Spooky Empire Women in Horror 2019 PanelSpooky Empire2019_Panel

Weird Tales_Autographed Jonathan Maberry

Like John Wick, “Weird Tales” is back and better than ever! I won an autographed copy from Jonathan Maberry, V-Wars creator. πŸ™‚Β 

Looking back at it, I think 2019 was pretty darn decent! I had the pleasure of meeting a lot of new people, reconnecting with old writer friends, and I’m looking forward to maintaining and experiencing more adventures in 2020! πŸ˜€


Cheers-That's Right

Hyperphantasia or Aphantasia: How Much Does Your Mind’s Eye See?


Hyperphantasia is the ability for an individual to create highly graphic images in his or her mind’s eye. In other words, some could call it the conjurings or machinations of an “overactive imagination”. Alexander Brennan, the main character in my middle grade novel, MOONSTRUCK, has an overactive imagination.

Moonstruck Cover

Lucid dreaming, aphantasia, and hyperphantasia sometimes intersect.

I didn’t know there was a “scientifically” precise term for this characteristic, until one of my students shared with me his inability to visualize or create mental images. This information struck me in a strange way. Thus, my curiosity drew me to research it.


How interesting that there are people who are “blind in the mind” (aphantasia) while readers (like myself) process words on a page into movies in our minds that sometimes the world we envision while reading is incredibly overwhelming that we must take a break from the roller coasting reading or devour the book in one sitting before not knowing what’s going to happen next becomes unbearable and consumes us.

Ironically, this student LOVES, LOVES, LOVES to read, write fiction, and draw pictures. The drawings are often incomplete, but they are decent and he so enjoys it. Hyperphantasia’s opposite is aphantasia.

I need to know if there are other writers and illustrators in the world that possess either hyperphantasia or aphantasia and what it’s like. I wonder if writers that struggle to create their own mental images when reading, write better prose because of the way their mind works. I wonder if something that could be considered a disadvantage is actually the opposite. For instance, my student that identifies as a person with aphantasia often scores perfect scores or high As on his reading assessments. I wonder why that is. It’s so perfectly peculiar! I love it! πŸ˜€

Anyway, thank you for stopping by, and feel free to comment and/or share if you think you are either hyperphantasic or aphantasic.

And if you fall somewhere in the middle, please comment and share! πŸ™‚