Tag Archives: writing

Mana Management

Image by WTB Potions

It has come to my attention that I do a lot on an average week. I usually have a lot of things going on at once, many projects in the air, and have been asked a few times how I manage to do it all. I’ve jokingly responded “By systematically sacrificing my social life”, and while that’s true, it’s not entirely the whole story. So I’m going to attempt to talk about that and hope what I’ve learned may be of some use to you.

First, it’s important to realize I don’t get done everything I want to. I’m still learning. For instance, this week my Wordy Wednesday will be late. My Curiosity Cabinet was unable to go up on Sunday like I planned due to a tragedy that struck last week when many of us in the Geek community lost a dear friend unexpectedly. But this happens. Because there are many things we can’t control. And one of those things is time.

Continue reading Mana Management

The Writing Habit

A dear friend recently reached out to me for advice that I’m not entirely sure I’m qualified to give. They were feeling overwhelmed with the world, distraught, and finding it difficult to focus on art through their medical struggles and wanted some wisdom on how to push through it.

Every response I can think of honestly feels rather trite.

But perhaps that’s okay. Perhaps things are overused for a reason, but we overlook them because it seems so commonplace and useless. We’re all familiar with “tried and true” but perhaps there is value in the idea of “trite, but true.”

And that’s all I can really offer you during these times of artistic constipation. A small piece of trite but true advice.

Sit down and just do it. Just vomit it out, as if it were no different than doing a dish or tying your shoe. It doesn’t have to be clever or pretty, it doesn’t have to be anything worth anything–you just need to do it. Just put your fingers to the keys or pen to paper and write. It doesn’t have to be relevant, it can literally be just a string of words that aren’t even relevant to your current project–or even ones that don’t make sense!

It’s a bit like jumpstarting a car. When you’ve left it alone for a while, sometimes you need to give it a jolt simply to get it back on track.

And sometimes the best way to do this, I’ve found, is to bleed everything into ink. I had a bad day? I write about it. I have a moment of elation? I jot it down. Sometimes they’re useless little notes in my phone, recently I’ve taken to carrying around a Field Notes journal because it’s small and fits even in my useless girl pockets (truly, why is it the pockets in pants made for women can’t seem to hold anything? What is the point of a purely aesthetic pocket? Yes, the detailing helps keep the garment from looking too plain, but one does want for some utilitarian purpose.)

The point is, if you want to push past the fog, I’ve found the best way is to literally write about everything. The mundane things, the excruciating things, the “wow no one will ever believe me this happened” things, and once you’ve gotten back in that habit–and it is, I’m afraid, a habit–the rest will be much easier. Not easy, mind you, I’m fairly certain anyone who says writing is ‘easy’ is an absolute liar but… easier.

Because you’re training your brain. You’re starting an almost Pavlovian experiment. You have a thought, your impulse is to write it down. You hear a joke? You write it down, without thinking. You are struck with a heart-wrenching, absolute soul hollowing feeling?

You. Write. It. Down.

It may feel crass at first, you’re likely not going to feel very good at any of it, that’s for certain for quite some time. Hell, at this point I’ve been writing for years, have put up a live performance of my work, published works through self-determination and traditional press…

And I’m still not sure if I’m very good at it.

But it’s become a habit I can’t break. It’s become a compulsion that I feel uncomfortable if I don’t follow through with it.

Perhaps that’s all a bit trite and cliche. But it just so happens that I know it to be true.

Are You Sure?

“Are you sure?” is a far from innocent question.

“Are you sure” is a coward’s cocktail of two parts deterrent and one part accusation.

It contributes to our life-long indoctrination intoxication that we cannot trust our own senses and judgement. Our own perceptions denounced, speaking our experience makes us liars, and as we grow our night-lights become gaslights in so much that we get vertigo just by standing up for ourselves.

“Are you sure” enforces the caution that it is paramount we are not speaking before thinking–it assumes your feelings are baseless, it reinforces the mythology that you haven’t given this any thought at all. When in truth it is the only thing that has occupied your thoughts both waking and dreaming. It lingers on you, cropping up at the most innocuous moments, those sleepy and content breaths where you thought you were safe.

We have trouble breathing, choking on the specter of thought that has been haunting us since the inception of realization of our reality.

“Are you sure?”

As if you weren’t so bursting that there were room for doubt within you.

And when you try call them out, they defend “I’m just checking!”

As if that can even pass as some form of repentance. But they never dare to finish the sentence.

“I’m just checking…”

I’m just checking you’re not a liar.

I’m just checking you’re sincere.

I’m just checking you’ve thought this through, because some part of me that I won’t admit to does not believe you.

“Are you sure” is more suggestion than question.

And it speaks volumes about what they never say aloud.

“Are you sure you didn’t provoke him?”

“Are you sure your skirt wasn’t too short?”

“Are you sure this isn’t a phase you’ll grow out of?”

“Are you sure” is both intimidation and invalidation.

It makes you question your sanity and believe, if even for a second, that speaking up isn’t worth the consequence.

Of course, I’m sure.

Please believe me.

Oh, we’re half-way there–WHOA-OH!

Art courtesy of the incredibly talented JP Rakath.

Alys sidestepped the hardback volume that fell from the trees with a frantic flutter and a loud thud. She looked upward, expecting to see someone sitting on a branch who had accidentally dropped their book, but there was nothing there so mundane. Instead, she saw a great tree whose leaves appeared to be made of pages, and, instead of bearing fruit or flowers, sprouted novels. Some were still very small and young, while some were overripe and rotting, with pages bursting from the binding.

Hello Curiosities!

I haven’t even had a chance to make a video yet, it’s barely been 24hrs and we’re already about half-way there to our 100 hardbound books! I feel so blessed and excited, and content being generated to celebrate the release is overwhelming. We’ve got some upcoming behind the scenes interviews, and even music inspired by the book by the incomparable Sydney Blake!

I’m flailing, I’m excited, and I’m hopeful.

So with that all in mind…

If you want to help us reach our goal of 100 hardbound orders, and be able to get some extra swag…

US Shippers: Buy Your Books Here.

International Shippers:
Please send an email to info@doceblant.com with the following information:

BOOK TITLE (And if you’d like hardbound OR paperback)

Note: This workaround is provided by my publisher right now to make sure our international Curiosities can be a part of the pre-release hype and prep while they get things sorted. Once we are released, distribution will be a lot simpler.

Thank you so much for helping me get this far, I’m absolutely overwhelmed by the love and support for something I truly poured part of my soul into.

You are everything, loves.


Calling all Curiosities – Help Alys Shine

Hello Curiosities!

First, I wanted to show off Alys’ brand new cover courtesy of Doce Blant Publishing and the incomparable Fiona Jayde!



I can’t tell you how excited I am about being able to share this story with you again after some professional polishing, as well as a chance to share it with an entire new audience.

The book is set to release on October 31st, and you can get your very own copy here (US shipping only, International see below) in paperback or hardbound. Don’t worry, we’ll be releasing an e-book as well.


We’ll be holding a launch party for the book on November 12th in Los Angeles, and I honestly can’t tell you too much about it because my book agent and publisher want it to be a surprise. HOWEVER, I wanted to make sure that all the amazing Curiosities who have supported me through the years would still be able to celebrate with us, even if they can’t be here in person.

So my publisher will be taking note of the first 100 hardbound books purchased online between now and November 12th–these first-in-line supporters will be provided with some awesome extra benefits (I’m working with them to put together some extra content, possibly including some art from friends, music, and they suggested a signed headshot as well). These Curiosities will also receive a top secret link to watch the party via livestream. We’re working on the logistics, but I’m hoping to be able to carry you guys around on my phone and show you around the party, chat with guests, answer questions etc.


If you are outside the United States and want to help us reach our goal of 100 hardbound orders, and be able to get some extra swag, please send an email to info@doceblant.com with the following information:

BOOK TITLE (And if you’d like hardbound OR paperback)

Basically I’m in super hype mode because this all still seems very surreal and I’m probably going to be in denial of everything even as it’s happening.

Stay tuned for more Alys-themed content as we get closer to countdown. What is it now? 11 days til the actual release? Eep!



Isn’t That The Way Love Goes? / Almost Lover

Writing, it’s this thing I do–this thing I will be doing a lot more of in the next coming weeks. However, I wanted to share a tidbit of something that I wrote a little bit ago in response to one of Nika’s writing prompts. (If you have never checked out her in Word Play, you should hop to that… like now).

The assignment, as it were, was to write a dialogue heavy scene and out of the given prompts I chose, “Why you just don’t GET it.”I’m not sure if the actual words were meant to go in there, I worked off of the feeling/impression that sentence gave me and came up with the scene you can read below.

And then last night I recorded a song to go along with it. I’ve mentioned before that I like to put soundtracks to everything… and I would like to start trying to marry my singing to my writing more… so here we go: