Out With The Old…

Toward tomorrow~


There are a lot of reasons 2016, especially the latter half of 2016 were a challenge for me.  I won’t bore you with details, but I will say that things seem to be looking up for 2017.  Let us hope there are fewer big setbacks this year. In positive news, I have received my birthday present a little early. My blackout edition Blue Yeti microphone, swing arm and pop filter have arrived, as well as a few acoustic panels.  While the mic is as wonderful as my friend Jesse said it would be, the acoustic panels are a bit thin.  I may need to upgrade those for the next order. I also have room now for bookcases. Things are looking up in the study as well as the podcast areas.  I hope to have Dark Lit Digest up and running before the year is out,starting with the podcast.  I am also working on the website for Twisted Candle Media and hope to have it functional before school starts.

I am really hyped about the podcast, and in case you couldn’t tell, am really hyped about 2017 in general.  Ready for the countdown!


Clean Holiday Scents for Less

There’s no need to go out and buy chemical-laden air freshener sprays when you probably have what you need already…


Okay, so you bought those beautiful whole spices three years ago and they’re still taking up space in your spice pantry. You thought fresh ground cinnamon sounded perfect, and you weren’t wrong, but the pre-ground is so much less hassle that you never use it. Still, it was so expensive you can’t throw it out in good conscience. Maybe it’s been there so long you’re not sure it even still tastes good.

Maybe you also got a big fruit basket at the office Christmas party and you had already bought enough for a fruit bowl of your own. Or, maybe there’s that orange, lemon or apple at the bottom of the fridge drawer that you forgot was there, and now it’s looking a bit dried out?  Don’t throw it away!


Put that fruit (or the peels and cores from the fruit basket anyway,) into a pot with those old spices and cover with water. Simmer on low for a few minutes and voila! Your entire house smells like Christmas–or at the very least some great mulled cider.

Pro tip: add just a splash of vanilla or peppermint extract.

Holiday scents done well.

Finals are OVER!

For better or worse, this semester’s finals week is over and done.  Now I can focus on other important stuff like family and working on the second book.


This semester’s been a rough one with so much going on in my world outside of school.  Here’s hoping that 2017 brings with it a change-wind that moves life in a more productive direction.  Not that I’ve been unproductive, but things have felt a little start-stop.

There is so much in the works right now, dear reader. This site is under revision, and I am preparing to create the Twisted Candle Media website and possibly a podcast to go along with it. While I do those things, I must complete Nova Wave, finish school, build the writing career, and find a place for Tom and I to settle besides our beloved lake. He loves it here, but it is getting time for him to look to real retirement, so he can actually fish.

The next few years promise to be eventful, to say the least. Bear with me dear reader, as I roll with the punches. It’s going to be an interesting ride.

Stay spooky my friends.


Sam’s Perspective

I was privileged to work yesterday on the set of RSUTV in Claremore.  RSU– that’s Rogers State University– is where I go to school, and it’s a school I’m proud of. I love that they have probably the greatest communications program in the state, and I love their brand new creative writing minor.  Now, Communications isn’t my major, English is, but it is one of two minors that I am taking, and the hands-on approach that they take is nothing short of breathtaking.

This is obvious in the way the communications department fosters actual experience and networking with real local media personnel.For instance, I worked on set with the venerable Sam Jones yesterday.  Folks from Oklahoma’s green country know him as the anchor for many years of KJ RH news.  He has been doing the Perspectives show for RSUTV for a long while now, and he even came to speak to our class. The wisdom he imparted to us then was, as usual for him, both imperative and timely.

I am likely just one of many students to him, but I will never forget those kindnesses and pearls of wisdom.  I have and still do consider him a great man.  Here is a link to just one of his perspectives from the day I got to shake his hand.  Okay, I know, but I am truly, deeply honored. (While I can’t take any credit for filming this bit, it just happens to be from yesterday…) His words near the end here struck such a deep cord in me, as a writer and budding journalist, that I felt I had to share it from Youtube with you guys, so here it is.

2017 Monster Carnival– Save The Date!

On March 4, 2017, I will be at the Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City for the 6th annual Underground Monster Carnival! I am so grateful to Art Sunday and the crew for inviting me to come and offer my books, bookmarks and book-related stuff.  This is something I’ve dreamed about and it’s finally happening!  Now, my cousin Lonnie and I just have to come up with costumes!

I think I’m going to try to be one of the novas from the Nova Wave, and maybe Lonnie can go as Kane Quinn. Seriously folks, this is amazing.  If you haven’t got your copy of Bone Sliver yet, get one and I’ll sign it.  If you can’t get one before March, come down and get one at the Monster Carnival! This is a one-of-a-kind event here in Oklahoma, and while there may be other cons and shows, none of them have the character and all out fun that this one has.


Even if you don’t come to see me, you should definitely come and check out the carnival.  You can learn more about this FANTASTIC event at the Underground Monster Carnival Website.


10 Ways Writing a Book is Like Having a Baby

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Okay, I’ve known this was coming for a while now, and like anything worthwhile it deserved some thought.








We’ve all seen those posts that start with numbers, and most of the time they make me cringe, but there are many exceptions, and I hope this is one of them.  I got to thinking the other day that writing a book is a lot like having a child. The amount of ways I found was a surprisingly round number– 10.


Here they are, pretty much in the order they seem to happen:

Continue reading “10 Ways Writing a Book is Like Having a Baby”

I Survived Summer Camp…

IMG_1949So, camp is over and I am safely back home where the hubby, the cat and the air conditioner live.  It was a bit rocky at first, but the folks there rallied about midway through, and we all somehow did survive.

Was it worth it?  Oh yes.

Will I do it again?  Unsure.

Mostly, I am thinking about how my body can handle it.  Kitchen work in the summer with no A/C is hard on a body.  Three meals a day for an average of a hundred people is hard.  Eight plus hours a day on middle-aged-post-injury feet is hard.  All together, it seems it may just be too much physically.  Also I am hoping to have a different kind of job next summer.   Hopefully one that involves broadcasting in some capacity.

This semester is going to be tremendously full.  That said, I do have a shiny new short story all ready for critique.  This one’s going to the critique group first, and then out into the big wide world to brave the submission process and vie with millions of others for actual money.  Payola.  Maybe.

Is the competition stiff? Heck yeah.

Am I scared? Continue reading “I Survived Summer Camp…”

Quark Woman

There was a young woman

Who lived on a quark.

She spent all her days

Just looking for work.


She had enough beauty,

She had enough class,

But always was ignored–

Because she had no mass.