Tequila Mockingbird STILL not back up on Amazon #AmazonFail

For everyone looking for Tequila Mockingbird… for some reason Amazon glitched and dropped it off the face of the Earth for the Kindle version. It was there for years and then, it’s become Moby Dick. DSP has been trying to get them to respond and put it back but so far, crickets.

So in the meantime, if you are looking for Connor and Forest’s book, you can always purchase it on Dreamspinner. And I swear, by all that is holy and pepper oil, we will continue to work on Amazon restoring that listing.


Words and Stuff.

Someone asked me this morning if I think about how a narrator is going to deal with foreign words and phrases when I write. It’s a good question and I kind of want to deconstruct the question a little bit.

Please understand as I write this, I’m going to just go through what is in my head when I start writing so it’s going to be pretty much a stream of consciousness thing, okay?

I don’t go into a story thinking about anything other than the environment I’m writing in. I chose the words and things I need to build the world I want my characters to live in and simply forge forward. I write from my POV, the world I know and the languages and influences I have. So what does that mean for the reader and narrator?

It means they might encounter things outside of their world view. And that’s okay.

Now, this has been a bit of a contentious wrangling at times during editing because I’ve been told… substitute this unfamiliar-to-editor thing with this very-familiar-to-homogenized-America thing. My answer to that will always be no, they’ll learn. That’s how I learned. Because we want to learn as we read.

That might sound weird to say the truth is, it’s how we learn and stretch. There are languages and cultures I would NEVER have encountered growing up in Hawai’i but I learned of them through books. I embraced the unknown because it was unknown. Did  it pull me out of the story? Yes, sometimes. Not gonna lie. It’s a risk…but once I looked something up, I could go back and read over what I’d already read with a new understanding.

See, I believe in the intelligence of the readers in the genre and beyond. I trust in their acumen and flexibility. I have faith they will return to the text with a new awareness of my world, my POV. I respect the reader’s intellect. I never ever want to dumb down my language or cultural references because I know the audience … the readers… will seek out what they don’t know… IF they don’t know.

Just like I had to figure out what the Amish and Jewish cultures were. And let me tell you… that was very confusing for a hapa kid living on O’ahu.

As for writing with narrators in mind… nah, don’t do that either. Mind you, I’ve got some kickass narrators who are fantastic talents and great guys. But I also don’t ever expect stuff to roll into an audiobook. You can’t write with that hanging over you. You can’t hinder yourself with those boundaries. It’s a performance medium of your work, yes…that is true… but the FIRST representation of your writing is that book. And that’s where the focus should be.

Hope that answers the general question of writing for the audience and narration. Bottom line, write your POV… explain as you can and should but embrace the readers’ intelligence. I’m not saying box the reader into a maze of cultural references without a signpost… explain the culture and social constructs but also understand readers are smart and a hell of a lot more worldly. Explore your own world, bring it into your writing and share it with others.

But most of all, write your book.

Brain Freeze

So I’m taking a little hiatus because well, health stuff and my brain’s just shot.

Watching a lot of Chopped. Realize people have absolutely no idea what to do with noodles. Of course I sure as hell wouldn’t know what to do with an elk heart. I mean I could fake it but let’s face it, it’ll probably come out like a hard rock. Or I’d make stuffing out of it. *grins*

It’s always interesting to see what throws people when they open that basket. And how they just tap out of using something. And then there are people who have never seen or heard of a crumpet but claim they are reps of world cuisine.

Dude, if you’ve never seen or heard of a crumpet, you can’t claim world cuisine. That’s like not knowing what a pop tart is.

I watch Chopped to judge people. Pretty much.

More Waiting.

Things are… not great. But I’m in a holding pattern so we’ll see. Really, not much else I can say because I don’t know.

The hardest thing to do is focus on going forward. Life’s been rough. I mean, it feels like I’m trying to bail out a rowboat that’s built like a sieve. Luckily I have friends who I count as family and family who I count as friends. I shall hopefully get through this.

My first instinct at this point in my life is to say… no more. I’m tired. A lot of it has to do with the constant assault on my body and probably the feeling I’m being attacked by my own country. There are so many fights and man, I’ve weighed into a lot of them. I’m tired and kind of bruised.

Writing this week has taken a backseat which is not what I wanted to do. I’m fighting for words because I keep drifting. Not a good thing for me. Especially since I’m so good at keeping on track.

Except now there’s no track. But I need to find one.

I hope all of you are doing well. I’m not the best communicator of self. I know that. But if you’ve time, reach out to someone near you and say hey.  They might need to hear it.

The hardest thing is waiting.

I’ve got some funky health things going on and I won’t talk to the next doc until Tuesday.

Now, I’m by nature a worrier and I can stress like no one else. Anxiety attacks? Not a problem, I’ve got all flavours.

But man, waiting tires you out, even if you know for pretty certain that it’s something fixable. Because…suppose it isn’t?

So, lots of water… no rockets in my salad… and walk around the building a couple of times when I’m feeling squirrely in the head.

And write. That’s hard to do when your brain’s running into walls. But damn it, I’m going to get this book done!

SOOPER SEEKRIT Project Reveal over at The Novel Approach! Devil Take Me Anthology Cover, Blurb and Giveaway!

Today is the Day!

The SOOPER SEEKRIT Project Reveal is happening over at The Novel Approach!  Link to Post Here.

Join us for an Exclusive Cover Reveal and Giveaway for Devil Take Me featuring Rhys Ford, Ginn Hale, Jordan L. Hawk, TA Moore, C.S. Poe and Jordan Castillo Price.

Pre-order Devil Take Me from DSP Publications
This title will also be on a preorder sale for 40% off through Friday, June 22.

The Tale of A Donut

I actually want to talk about an event in my life that embedded something inside of me. I think I’ve talked about this before but if you’ve heard the story, feel free to skip it.

I was probably about eleven or twelve and we were living in Waianae on the leeward side of O’ahu. Now, there were a lot of issues with me back then. And I’m not to go into them here but needless to say, I was struggling to stay afloat. I was being bombarded at all sides and the support system I had recently disintegrated following the deaths of my two grandfathers as well as the collie I’d been given as a baby. This led to an escalation of violence and abuse by my father who no longer had anyone to tell him to stop.

See, I was trying so hard to find out who I was and to survive should’ve loved and protected me but pretty much was willing to kill me, both physically and psychologically. My world was an upside down mess of a labyrinth and I was lost.

One day I’d gone out with my younger sister — she’s four years younger than I am — and I had some money on me. We stopped at a bakery because I was going to buy us donuts. She picked out one and I picked out another but I didn’t have enough money on me.

The woman behind the counter told me to come back tomorrow with the difference. Her coworker who was standing behind her told her that was the wrong thing to do because I would not return with the money. I remember her looking at that other woman and say sometimes you have to trust, sometimes you have to give people the opportunity to do the right thing.

It was like fifteen cents and I made sure I stopped by after school the next day and gave it to her. She turned to her coworker said, “See?”.

I still can’t even talk about this without crying.

She gave me something very special that day. She taught me what integrity was.

It wasn’t something I understood and there was a dual purpose to be returning, one because she extended her trust to me and I kind of wanted to say fuck you to the other woman. Because she made me less than what I was, or at least less who I wanted to be.

I didn’t practice that lesson until I turned nineteen and realized I didn’t care for the person I was. And it’s not like I’m a fantastic person. I am envious and jealous and spiteful and angry and I still question the value and whether or not I make a difference. My legacy will not be children or a groundbreaking, life altering discovery that changes the world. And I question that too because why are we here if only to exist?

I think we have to do better than just survive our lives. Or at least I hope that’s the point of all of this. That woman changed who I was, who I was going to be. And it may sound stupid but it was a single defining moment I can point to and say, someone believed there was a bit of humanity in me and I refused to let them down.

So, to the nameless woman who worked in a Waianae bakery over forty years ago, I say thank you. You did something for someone. Something they carried with them their entire lives. I cannot repay you for the gift you gave but I hope to give it to others. I hope your life is wonderful and joy filled and I am eternally grateful for your faith.

Take what you want out of this post. I just needed to share this today. Hope it reminds you there are good people out there, and maybe even remind you that you’re one too. ❤