Dark Creations for NaNoWriMo 2021

It's day 6 of NaNoWriMo 2021, and I'm laboring away on some short stories for an upcoming Dark Anthology. Last year's attempt at short stories for an anthology featuring Zale, my merboy, went so well, I'm trying it again with a different genre. In fact, two non-fiction stories I typed during November 2020 were printed in two different Chicken Soup for the Soul books in 2021: "I'm Speaking Now" and "Tough Times Won't Last But Tough People Will." I excited to see what I create this month. I already know it'll be challenging with all of my commitments, but I am determined not to back down from this challenge. Wish me luck!


Breaking Out of the Dry Spell

Sunny skies and a moderate temperature marked the start of a wonderful day. On September 25, 2021, I spent almost eight hours at the Westville Fall Festival, setting up, presenting my books and mugs to potential customers, and packing up for the day. My booth neigbor and fellow writing friend, Tom Minder, and I talked and joked between sales. Standing next to a small petting zoo didn't hurt in the least. In fact, the crowds that walked by our booths were a welcomed treat.

I featured my newest releases: the print versions of Love's Intensity, If It Kills Me, and Danny R.O.S.S. I published those novels in 2020 to make use of my extra time at home. Mugs decorated with pictures of all my book covers filled in the spaces, ready to serve as holiday gifts. I even had many copies of Chicken Soup for the Soul: I'm Speaking Now which includes a memoir of an event that happened to me many years ago.

Being able to sell my books at an outdoor event this year brought some relief after having every single vendor event cancel last year. So many of my readers had been waiting for new signed releases, but they had no choice but to wait another year.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by my table to buy copies of my stories and poetry. I appreciate your patronage very much.

Now, I'm looking forward to doing this all over again at the Collingswood Book Festival from 10am to 4pm on October 2, 2021.


The Results Are In

Remember the contest I mentioned in my July post? My latest submission didn't make the cut, but I did receive word from Chicken Soup for the Soul that they will be printing a second story of mine in November. I'm so thrilled. 


The Podcast Life

In celebration of a first year anniversary, Do What's Write: Writer's Group has made the leap into podcasts. It's been an amazing journey birthed after the shutdown in 2020 where one mutual friend (Amber) introduced the rest of us (Rachel, Ashley, and me) to each other. We spent Friday nights discussing comma usage, synonyms, word choices, and character development.  Please listen to us on BuzzsproutSpotify, and many others.

In addition, we've created a FaceBook page, a website, and a patreon account. Be sure to visit and interact with our sites.

I look forward to what the next year will bring with my writing pals.


It's All About the Waiting


So, what do I do while I wait on the results of a writing contest? Keep on writing, of course. The characters I've dreamed up don't take a break just because the results of a submission is pending. 

This year, I didn't wait until the last week before the contest ended which meant I've had to endure a much longer period before hearing the results (around August 1st).

After pressing the send button in May, I've focused my attention on editing my first ever vampire story. I enjoy reading these types of stories and/or watching the movies spawned from them, dark and full of action. However, I avoided writing in this genre before because the market was oversaturated and I didn't want my story to get lost in the great ocean of authors who write about vampires.

I'm also continuing to tidy up the screenplay version of A Beautiful Girl. My thought became reality during NaNoWriMo2020, and, if I keep plugging away at it, I just might be able to complete it by the beginning of NaNoWriMo2021.

In addition to three other stories that are slowly closing in on the first draft, I am delving into the corrections received from two Beta readers for Just Between Us.

So, even though I'm waiting, I am not merely sitting around languishing. The world keeps turning and so do I.

Keep writing, my friends.


Chicken Soup for the Soup: I'm Speaking Now Book Trailer


Release day has finally arrived bringing 101 stories about the trials and triumphs of Black Women. I'm so happy that one of my stories was accepted as part of this anthology.

Click on the book cover for the buy link and the link below to see the book trailer.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: I'm Speaking Now - YouTube


Preparing My Creations


After spending a successful Camp Nano fixing my screenplay and expanding my anthology, I continue to finetune these manuscripts. It will be some time before they are ready for release, but the act of creating, reorganizing, and editing has brought me some happiness in the midst of a time that's still heavy with challenges. 

I also recorded a small bit for a book trailer Chicken Soup for the Soul will be posting for "I'm Speaking Now." I am so excited about this book's upcoming release on June 1, 2021.

In addition, I make time to write new scenes for three works in progress, novel-sized manuscripts that have required much research to develop. I will share more about these in future posts.

I'm super grateful that the act of writing has shown benefits by relieving stress built up during the day. 😀


Gearing up for Camp Nano


So what's a writer to do five months after NaNoWriMo? Camp Nano! It's time to edit a screenplay translated from my novella, A Beautiful Girl. I've wanted to do this soon after the release date back in 2011. I'm so grateful to have friends who have written many screenplays agree to help me during this part of my journey as an author. 


Spending Time With Zale

When Zale's Tale first made its debut, I'd planned for a simple trilogy as Zale grew up into a merman over two decades. Since then, his story has blossomed into at least four parts with a possible spin-off. I've been quite busy editing this story as the main feature for the upcoming release of the Zale's Tale and Other Shorts Anthology. 

It's been quite an oceanic adventure.


Diving Into Some Soup


Last month, I submitted thirteen short stories/poems to three Chicken Soup for the Soul themes. It's been over four years since I tried. Nothing came of it. Even a few of my author friends attempted to get in at the time but didn't make it. I wasn't so sure I ought to pursue this path. However, after seeing a tweet about submissions from Black women, I tried again. This time, I experienced some success. Two of my stories have been chosen for the release of one of the themes later this year.

A great way to start 2021.


It's 2021. What now?

New beginnings are welcome, especially this year. However, it's tempered by the lingering traces of the previous year. My prayer and hope for improvements in human characteristics continue. I've been both happy and saddened by the things I witnessed. What I find interesting is how much of the turmoil blossomed in my writing, my therapeutic outlet.

Despite the cloud that hung over 2020, I released three novels that had been languishing in my queue for years. Now, I can focus on other stories itching to make their debut.

I wish you a Happy New Year. Let's see how we can make this year better than the last.