The Terror of the Retreat Intro

Back in the summer, I travelled with a fellow author to Arkansas for the third annual writer’s retreat with our publisher Oghma Creative Media, the first for both of us. While I was thankful not to be travelling alone, my brain was on overdrive about “homework” given to all the writers a couple of days before the retreat. Cue my groaning. LOUD groaning. Groaning turned into epic overthinking freak-out status as I couldn’t wrap my head around the assignment itself AND why we needed to do it at all. Knowing myself as I do, I knew this was because I

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Journalling – A Look Back

Do you journal? WAIT?! Don’t leave yet. I know, I know. People blather on about journalling and why you should do it. I’ve even done it in an old blog from almost 4 years ago. And I stand by it. HOWEVER… Bad me. I’ve been a shitty journaller and there’s been huge swaths of time between my entries. I took a look this morning and realized I hadn’t journalled since February 3, 2018. Soooo much has happened in my life since February, good and bad. From negatives such as the death of my beloved pug and snuggle partner, Bosco, and

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Not My Cup of Tea

Original Question: While I have to sort of laugh at myself for starting the advice question with “I have a friend” but: I have a friend who is a fellow author. She asked me to read a work in progress ages ago and asked for constructive criticism. I gave her my thoughts. She recently self published the work and asked for reviews. I asked her if she had changed anything from last time. She said yes but from what I can see from my former notes as well as comparing the two files, there weren’t any changes. I had loads

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Two Different Beasts

Original Question: I’ve been going back and forth about what to do with a book on suicide I’ve drafted over the past few months. It currently sits around 200 pages and includes everything from sex, abuse, and personal stories in between. I want to copyright it and provide it freely because there is such a huge industry revolving around life coaching and people who exploit those who are vulnerable. I also implicitly state that I’m also hoping to create an audience for my writing. At the same time, I’m concerned I too will draw the wrong attention and it may

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Husband and Wife Suffering

Original Question: Hey Sami-Jo, here’s a question for your advice column. How do you help a family member who is becoming increasingly paranoid and anxious and clearly needs help, but refuses to believe they have a problem and need help? This person has stressed out his wife of many decades to the point where she’s ready to divorce him (although she has said that before). I suspect the answer is “you can’t help someone who doesn’t want help”, but I promised I’d try to help them figure it out. Based on the results of my googling, there may not be

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BEA16 – Book Expo of America for Introverts

Hey guys! Huh? Well, that was easy. Arm in arm with the anonymity of a keyboard and editing options, saying hello to a bunch of strangers is simpler than blinking. Walking through the doors of McCormick Place in Chicago and seeing the thousands of people milling around ranging from readers, bloggers, authors, librarians, advertisers, publishers, and anything else you could possibly think of that’s related to the publishing world, PLUS the expectation to talk to them and make future contacts? Cha’right bud. Simple eye contact was a no-go. It granted permission for people to talk to you, to ask questions,

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Book Review: Roses are Red…Violet is Dead.

    Genre: YA Thriller/Horror   Synopsis: Violet Sumner has a stalker. Between her largely dysfunctional family of two and the friends she doesn’t feel particularly close to, Violet thinks he’s the least of her problems. What she fails to understand is that the guy is no prankster and soon people turn up dead or missing. Because of her. Things change when Violet’s best friend disappears and realization sinks in that the stalker means business. Denial put aside, Violet has no other option but to accept the help of police Sergeant Willard Kelley and his rather sweet protégé, to come

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Pugs are Precious A**holes

As mentioned in my author bio, and for anyone who knows me, I LOVE pugs. Their chubby little bodies, big watery eyes, and curly tails, they have the makings of a cute factory built into their punched-in faces and I can’t get enough. For anyone who owns Pugs you are aware that they are precious assholes for many reasons, but first, here’s my fur babies.         BOSCO       7 years old, fawn coloured, male, territorial pisser                                   MORTIMER Bosco’s son, 1 year old, mix-coloured, male, destroyer of couches   We love them both. Losing either would leave us devastated,

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Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

  **Any spoilers are unintentional and I apologize in advance if I let any slip that ruin the story for you. The purpose of the reviews are to highlight books I’ve read as part of a personal reading and blogging challenge for 2015. Read here for my personal expectations. I have not been asked by authors to do these reviews, I’m just reviewing as I read.** Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal – YA (Young Adult) Synopsis: A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs. A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast

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Celebrate your Creep Factor

Those who don’t know me personally may be surprised (or maybe not) by the many creeptacular touches to my life. To me, these things add depth in an otherwise catalog existence I have no interest in becoming a part of. Don’t get me wrong, I can point at any Ikea room and appreciate most items in the perfectly designed arrangement, but where’s the personality? If I wanted to point and order I could hit up a drive-thru. No thanks. Give me dark, gritty, and unpolished any day. Among my most obvious creep-friendly items, is my choice in art.   Angelina

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