The most popular posts of 2018

Welcome to New Years Eve. It’s that time to take a look back at the last year and see how far we’ve come. And so, every year I post the most popular posts from the year before we move on to the new year.

These are not necessarily written in 2018. They were simply the ten most read in 2018. If you missed any of these, I hope you enjoy them now.

Keeping a poetry journal

Alright, I get it, I need to write more about poetry.

An open letter to the teacher who told me not to be a writer

You know, I also wrote an open letter to the teacher who inspired me to write. I kind of wish the more positive post had made it onto this list instead. Oh well.

How I messed up my launch and what you can do to avoid it

I think this one was on last years list, too. That’s humbling. Bit easier now that the book is out successfully.

Cut these things out of your day

I’m really glad this one made the list, and I hope that it helped people. There’s so much dumb stuff we fill our days with when we could be doing things we love.

The best movies for storytelling

You guys, movies are awesome. If you want to watch some great movies in January, then here’s a good place to start.

Moving tips from someone who has moved too much

Nothing to do with writing, and only slightly to do with reading. Well, I hope it helped someone. I’m so damned tired of moving.

What is speculative fiction?

I’m so glad everyone was interested in this. I was happy to explain, basically, what I write.

The cons of writing a continuing story

This is something I’m struggling with still. I might be taking a break from Station 86, actually, to write something totally different. Not sure, though, we’ll see.

When to share yourself and when to wear a mask

Again, I’m so glad this one made it on the list. I really work hard on being honest while not over-sharing, and I’m sure this is something that a lot of bloggers struggle with.

Writing dark poetry

Honestly, I worked hard on the prose in this post. I wanted it to resemble a poem, even if it wasn’t one. So the fact that this is the most popular post of the year is awesome!

Now, I have a question for you. What are you most proud of from 2018? What did you do that you just want to shout about? Let us know in the comments below.

The top ten best books I read in 2018

It’s that weird week between Christmas and New Years when no one really knows what to do with themselves. It feels silly to try to get back to normal routines when we know it’s just going to be thrown right out the window next Monday and Tuesday. So let’s just spend some time this week eating leftovers, playing with our new gifts, and reflecting on the year we’re about to leave in the rear-view mirror.

Today, I want to share with you the ten best books I read this year. I specifically kept this list to just books that I read new this year. And yes, this list will include some books I talked about in my list of favorite Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and favorite of all time books. So I won’t go on forever about any of them.

Thief’s Magic by Trudi Canavan

Really love the magic structure in this book, and I can’t wait to read the second one.

Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman

This was a great book. I don’t want to compare myself to Gaiman (even if we are both fantasy authors. Just saying.) But I am inspired by Norse Mythology in my fantasy work, as I’m sure anyone who’s read any of the Woven series can tell you.

Fear by Bob Woodward

I am kind of a politics junkie, but I don’t often read full-length books about it. Normally it’s just rehashing what I’ve already read and heard about. But getting Woodward’s point of view on the situation was fascinating.

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

Again, I’m really surprised I took so long to read this book. I’m glad I did.

Sky Of Stone by Homer Hickham

This was the year I realized that Homer Hickham wrote more books after Rocket Boys. This book was my life for the two days it took me to devour it. This man’s life is fascinating.

The Coalwood Way by Homer Hickham

Everything I said about Rocket Boys and Sky of Stone can be said about this. So instead, let me tell you that Homer Hickham is on Twitter, and he is funny as hell. I love you, Mr. Hickham.

Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I picked this book up during a book signing and it just sucked me right it. (It was my signing, not Taylor’s.) And, like many good books do, finishing it added more to my to read list than it took away. I can’t wait to get my hands on Muse of Nightmares, and her first trilogy.

Tempest and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce

Pierce is my favorite fantasy author of all time, so I literally had this book on preorder as soon as it was available. And it did not disappoint! It’s set in her Tortall universe, and it’s the story of Numair before he was one of the most powerful mages in the world. When he was just a student named Arram. It’s safe to say this is my favorite book that came out this year.

Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman

I gushed about this enough in my fantasy list, so I’ll just say that I read this book during a really difficult time this year, and it was a great escape. Fairy tales are meant to be an escape from the real world when the world’s just too dark. I love any book that gives that feeling to me as an adult.

Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg

First I’m going to say that I didn’t like this book as much as I liked Wild Mind. Then I’m going to point out that it’s still a the top of my list for the year. Once again, Goldberg reminds me why I’m a writer. Any time I’m in a slump, as I was at the start of December after hard rough drafting for two months straight, her words bring me back to the page, back to myself. I want to get a chance to thank her someday.

So that’s it. If you want to follow along with what I’m reading in 2019, when I aspire to not read anything I’ve read before the whole year through, please check me out on Goodreads. And I’d love to hear what your favorite books from 2018 were. Let us know in the comments below.

In Devon’s world, magical work is as common as turning a pot or fletching an arrow. What broken-patterns-001isn’t common is a man with thread magic. When Devon finds that he is a seer, weaving prophetic tapestries, his family tries to keep it a secret.

But the family can’t hide Devon’s visions after he predicts a devastating plague in the dragon lands of Coveline. He travels there to help the dragon queen save her people.

Meanwhile, Devon’s sister Lenore joins the Church of Singular Light. As Lenore learns to serve, and falls in love with her city, she discovers a dark underbelly to the church.

Lenore fights for her city, and Devon rushes to find a cure to the plague, while an unseen enemy raises an army to destroy Septa from within.

Get Broken Patterns today, and enter the world of Woven.


My top ten favorite books of all time

By this point, I’ve gone over my favorite horror, fantasy and science fiction books. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that those lists were big. I’m a speculative fiction writer, so of course, I’ve read deeply in those genres.

But they’re not all the genres I’ve read. And their certainly not all the genres I love.

Today I’ve collected my top ten favorite books that I’ve ever read that don’t fit properly into any of the speculative fiction genres. Here you’ll find a hodgepodge of books from historical fiction to autobiographies. As always, these are just my favorites, not necessarily the best books of all time.

Yes, Please, by Amy Pohler

I did a whole review of this book, so I won’t go into too much detail. I love this book, and by extension, I’ve come to love Amy Pohler as a genuinely kind person to her core. She’s hilarious, and there’s not a cruel bone in her body. I want to be like her, and I want to live in a world where more women want to be like her.

On Writing, by Stephen King

Did King make it onto all of my lists? I think he’s on all of my lists. Guess there’s something to be said for being a filthy Pantser.

I’ve mentioned On Writing a lot, so I won’t go into it. Suffice to say that if you’re a writer, or if you want to be, you need to read this book.

Wild Mind, by Natalie Goldberg

I actually wrote a whole post about Natalie Goldberg and Stephen King, but let me say a few words about Wild Mind. More than Writing Down The Bones. More than Thunder and Lighting. Wild Mind made me feel inspired to write and know that I was creating art in the purest sense of the word. Wild Mind made me want to move to the desert and live in a studio apartment and live off ramen and toast cooked in eggs just so I can focus my whole life on writing. I could read this book over and over, and never grow tired of it.

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

This is such a great story. I didn’t find these books until I was an adult, but I still loved them. The story is so dark but so hopeful. It’s just simply fun to read. And the show on Netflix, by the way, is stellar. It does such a good job of staying true to the story while adding little details that make it so much better.

Rocket Boys by Homer ‘Sonny’ Hickham Jr

Again, here’s a link to the full review I did on this book. If you’ve ever seen the movie October Skies, this is the book it’s based on. And it is so worth the read.

Hickham has such a great voice, and he’s written a ton of books. But he’s written about his hometown of Coalwood best. I’m just sucked into the world. Maybe it’s because I’m also from a mountain town, though mine is steel, not coal. Maybe because I know what it is to grow up in a hard, cold town that doesn’t care about me and my paltry dreams. Whatever it is, I love this book.

The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory

I’ve got a thing about historical fiction, told from the point of view of women. I love the details about food, clothes and interpersonal relationships. I especially love anything to do with midlevel England. The Constant Princess is about Queen Catherine, who was born Princess Catalina of Spain. That would be Queen Isabella of Spain’s daughter. You know, the queen who financed Christopher Columbus’s trip to discover America. And the bloody queen who led the Spanish Inquisition. So, kind of a mixed bag. She sent her youngest and possibly best-loved child to marry the prince of England. And she did, and she loved him dearly.

Then, he died young. So she fought for years and years to marry his younger brother so that she could still be the queen of England that her mother wanted her to be. Of course, that young man was Henry the VIII. If you know your history, I’m sure you know that her story wasn’t a great one. But it made for a great read.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

I know it’s a Christmas book, why can’t it be one of my favorites? Dickens is an artist in the highest degree. This story is a masterpiece, pure and simple. And while I love many of the movies based on it, there’s nothing that can compare.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

I think I’ve mentioned that I read this book every year on my birthday. I do this because I never, ever, want to forget how important freedom is. How important choice is. And how easily we can give those things up to feel safe. To feel like someone is looking out for us. This book asks, what are you willing to give up to sleep in a warm bed and have enough food to eat.

Every year I read it, and every year a different line just jumps from the page as exactly what I needed to hear that year. There’s no wonder why it won all of the awards.

The Phantom Tollbooth

I’m willing to say this book is a huge reason why I love books, and why I am generally who I am. It’s about a boy name Milo who doesn’t really care about anything. Nothing interests him. Until a phantom toolbooth shows up in his room, and he goes on an adventure with at watch dog named Tock who goes tick and a Humbug. Listen, I don’t care how old you are. If you haven’t read this book, go read it right now. If you have read it, read it again!

To Kill a Mockingbird

Finally, yes, To Kill a Mockingbird is my favorite book. From it’s message to it’s writing, it is a masterpiece. It is an eye opening, heart wrenching book. It’s one that should be read by everyone, if only because you cannot see the world the same way after reading it.

So that’s it. Those are my top ten favorite books of all time.What are your favorites? Let us know in the comments below.

Station 86 is shocked when a Khloe assassin begins killing members of the all powerful ff9a8a_d364e70623f041a199d588b5124fcc3c-mv2council. Officer Sennett Montgomery and Councilman Godfrey Anders swear to find the assassin after Godfrey’s wife is falsely accused. But the killer, and the council itself, are not what they seem. Neither, as it turns out, is Sennett’s daughter.

Get it now for free.

Emily’s Name

Paper Beats World

The following story takes place in between the events of Broken Patterns and Starting Chains. Lenore, heavy with her twin girls, is missing her brothers. The city of Septa is preparing for the winter holiday, Darkest Night. It’s celebrated with friends and families by praying to The Creator to thank Her for the days that Her Female face shines longer. People give each other gifts and enjoy days of feasting and parties by the fireside. Lenore, however, is not feeling much of the holiday spirit. And so she’s going to visit her common friends, Maggie, Sally, and Emily.

It was just past the noon hour when Lenore reached Maggie’s pub. The dining area was empty at the early hour, save for Maggie herself and their friend, Sally. They were sitting at one of the freshly scrubbed tables, sipping tea and nibbling on biscuits that were so warm that steam was…

View original post 1,710 more words

My favorite fantasy books

I’ve been sharing lists of my favorite books ever these past few weeks. If you missed it, here’s the list of my favorite Horror books and Science Fiction books.

I tried to get this list down to just ten or eleven, but that didn’t really happen. There are just a lot of really fantastic fantasy books out there. So, I did finally settle on fourteen. In the event that there’s just a whole series that tells a whole story, I’ve included just the whole thing.

My usual disclaimer applies here. I don’t claim that these are the best fantasy books of all time. I just say that they are my personal favorite. So, if your favorite isn’t on my list, don’t take it as a slight. Just tell us about it in the comments below.

Thief’s Magic, by Trudi Canavan

This was a new find this year, and I can’t for the life of me remember how I found it. I think it was an Amazon suggestion one day on sale for a dollar.

It’s magic structure and world building is unique, the characters are admirable. The villain is hateful, and the ending makes me look forward to reading book two.

Protector of the Small series, by Tamora Pierce

Tamora Pierce is my favorite fantasy author. The Protector of the Small series is about a young woman named Kel who wants to be a knight. She’s not the first Lady Knight, following in the footsteps of Alanna the Lioness. More on that series to come. The four books take Kel from proving herself as a young Paige, all the way to her first task as a lady knight.

Rhenwars Saga, Darklands by ML Spencer

I’m pretty sure I reviewed one of these books back when I read it. I still need to go back and read the other books in the series. This is a true classic fantasy, about a war between light and darkness. At least, that’s what it appears. With betrayal, finding common ground, and some awesome characters, this is a great series.

Strange the Dreamer, by Laini Taylor

I literally just finished reading this book, and it was so good that it made the list already. I’m waiting until the new year to get the sequel, Muse of Nightmares because I’m halfway through like three books right now and I need to get a handle on that. But this book is so good!

While I felt like the ending was a little bit telegraphed, it’s fun to get to it. The story is full of mystery aside from that, and relatable characters. The magic is wonderful, the world is fantastic. I started reading this on vacation, and it was just a perfect story to sink into.

Harry Potter, by JK Rowling

Do I need to say anything about this series? I’m just assuming if you’re here, you’ve read everything from Sorcerer’s Stone to Cursed Child. It’s a great series, and I keep going back to it over and over.

Alanna the Lioness, by Tamora Pierce

The first of Pierce’s series, this trilogy inspired little girls like me and Jenny Breedon (comic author of Devil’s Panties) to be knights.

This is the story of Alanna, who dresses like a boy to become a knight. She’s a mage and a hot-tempered warrior. Along the way, she makes friends with the prince who will someday be king and the thief lord of the city. If you haven’t read it, get on it in 2019.

Mistborn, by Brandon Sanderson

I can’t believe it took me so long to read Mistborn. It’s a heist story disguised as a fantasy novel. The political upheaval is awesome, the magic structure is realistic and instantly understandable. The story is rich, and the main characters are just so instantly endearing.

Bloodhound, by Tamora Pierce

The Bloodhound trilogy is different from anything else Pierce has written. The main character, Becca, isn’t a noble or a mage. She’s a rough girl from the streets who becomes a city guard (read police officer) who just happens to be able to talk to ghosts who attach themselves to pigeons. As I’m writing this I want to go back and re-read the whole trilogy. People who loved Alanna’s cat in the Lioness trilogy will find a familiar voice with a different name in this series.

This book ties into Alanna, as it’s set in the same city. It’s also about the ancestor of Alanna’s husband. Fun fact, half of her books are set in one fantasy universe, half in another. I’ll be talking about the other one soon.

Anansi Boys and American Gods

These two books are set in the same universe, so I’ll talk about them together. American Gods is a fantastic, massive, awe-inspiring story that I have a hard time really explaining.

The premise is that gods only exist if we believe in them. And, they exist right on Earth along with us. If you haven’t read these books yet, read Anansi Boys first, then American Gods. I did a full review on both before if you’re interested.

Coraline, by Neil Gaiman

Yeah, I have a thing for Neil Gaiman, and no I’m not going to apologize for that. Again, I did a full review of Coraline, which you can read here if you like. The movie is awesome, and the book is better. Don’t let the fact that it’s marketed for kids scare you away. I never saw this until I was an adult and I love it just the same.

Trickster’s Choice, by Tamora Pierce

This two book series is about Alanna the Lioness’s daughter, Aly. She’s kidnapped from the sea and sent to slavery. Her parent’s daughter, Aly is perfectly ready to escape and head home. But a trickster god makes a bet with her to stay and keep a group of noble children alive through the summer.

Circle of Magic and Circle Opens by Tamora Pierce

Okay, just one more Tamora Pierce series then I’m done.

All of the other books I’ve talked about so far have been from what’s called the Tortall universe. The other universe, the Circle universe, was my introduction to her writing. Specifically, the first four. The stories center around four children mages who accidentally spin their elemental magic together, making them much stronger than any other mages their age. Chaos ensues.

Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman

You know what I want more of? Fairy tales for grownups. That’s exactly what Neverwhere is. Imagine there’s a world built under ours, or into ours. Imagine that there are people living in that world that are all around us, in the corners and pockets that most people don’t pay attention to. And imagine that a grown man was tossed into that world, that resembles a mix between Wonderland and Sweeny Todd’s London. That’s Neverwhere.

Chronicles of Narnia, by CS Lewis

Finally, my favorite series of all time. I love the Chronicles of Narnia. It’s a spiritual story that’s never preachy. I could read these books over and over. And, if you’re wondering, I read them in their original sequence with The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe first. My husband, the heathen, reads them in the new sequence with The Magician’s Nephew first.

So what do you think? What’s your favorite fantasy books? Let us know in the comments below.

broken-patterns-001In Devon’s world, magical work is as common as turning a pot or fletching an arrow. What isn’t common is a man with thread magic. When Devon finds that he is a seer, weaving prophetic tapestries, his family tries to keep it a secret.
But the family can’t hide Devon’s visions after he predicts a devastating plague in the dragon lands of Coveline.

Get it here now


Family, A Station 86 Christmas Story

Paper Beats World

This Christmas story takes place on Station 86, during the December in between Seeming and You Can’t Trust The AI. Godfrey and Ki are planning on celebrating the season with Sennett, April and Mason by enjoying Christmas Eve dinner together. But Sennett, who’s just lost her mother, is not quite in the Christmas spirit.

“Damn it, Mason, will you hold up your end?” Sennett snapped, carrying one side of a heavy metal box.

“Sorry,” Mason said, adjusting his hold on the other side. They were carrying the Christmas holographic from the storage room, struggling with every step. It was covered in a years’ worth of dust, and Sennett was sure that she was going to drop it any minute.

“Why do we have to use this one?” Mason asked, “It’s so outdated. Don’t you have one that comes out of a two inch by two-inch projector?”

“Yeah,” Sennett said, “but…

View original post 1,100 more words

My favorite horror books of all time

As you read this, I’m making way more sweets and cookies than anyone really needs in their house. It’s that time of year, though.

We’re a week away from Christmas Eve. Seems like a good time to talk about scary stories, right? I think so. I mean, my favorite Christmas story is a ‘Ghostly little book’. I didn’t include A Christmas Carol on this list, but it almost belongs here.

Last week I gave you a list of my favorite science fiction books of all time. If you missed it, here’s a link. Today, I’m returning to my first love, horror.

Horror stories will always have a place in my heart. The dark and gruesome little tales we tell each other by dark entertain me like no other. Science Fiction makes me feel excited. Fantasy makes me dream. Horror makes me reach for the popcorn for a damn good story. So here are my favorite horror stories, in order from my least to most favorite. I don’t say that these are the best horror stories ever. They are simply my favorite.

Goosebumps, by RL Stein

These might not be the scariest stories of all time, but you can’t deny that they’re popular. I loved these books as a kid. In fact, they’re what set off my lifelong love of reading. They’re the first books I got as soon as they came out. And while there are some, we’ll call them questionable installments, the good ones are still good.

Rosemary’s Baby, by Ira Levin

This book was a classic before I was born. Hell, the movie came out in 1968. But it’s still a chilling read. Imagine finding yourself pregnant, and being unsure of what exactly it is you’re carrying. Imagine being surrounded by people who say they just want to help, but all the time are plotting your personal destruction.

Bag of Bones

Strap in, you’re going to be hearing a lot about Stephen King on this list. Bag of Bones is probably one of the better novels that still suffered from what we’ll call the Panter Ending Problem. The ending of this is dumb, but the story up to that is terrific.

I might be a little sentimental about this book, though. A second-hand copy of Bag of Bones was the first thing I ever bought with money I made from writing.

Dr. Jekyell and Mr. Hyde

I didn’t just add this in because I felt like I’d better add a few classics. It’s a legitimately dark tale that speaks to some deep truths most of us don’t want to admit. There’s darkness in all of us, and it wants to get out. Mr. Hyde is that little voice that whispers, “Drop that fancy wallet in your purse.” Or when you lose your temper at the cashier and make them feel like shit. It’s the part that we try to control, but sometimes his ugly face comes out.


This was the first real classic I read as a child. It’s still one of my favorite stories. Once again, we’re looking at the horrors that man creates for himself. No one made Dr. Frankenstein build his monster. He made it without any provocation and in fact with great effort. That’s not so far removed from some of the own disasters in our own lives.


Obviously, I love this, it’s about a writer being held captive by a crazed fan. While this has never happened to me, I secretly wish someone would be obsessed enough with my books to stalk me just a little. Misery is about a lonely, sad old woman who stumbles upon her favorite author after a horrific car accident. She saves his life and then imprisons him so that he writes another book in her favorite series.

Hearts in Atlantis

If you’ve read this book, which is honestly more like four novellas put together in one story, you might find it hard to call it a horror story. But it is. In a roundabout way, it’s about the biggest horror of the previous generation. It’s about the Vietnam war. And about, in a large part, how King responded to it. I’m not going to put him on the therapist’s couch. But I will say that this story couldn’t have been written by someone who didn’t live through that horror.

From a Buick Eight

I love this book. Like, love love it. It’s about an abandoned car found at a gas station, and how it affected a Western PA police barracks. Of course, I live in Western PA. I’m pretty sure the story even mentions Butler, my hometown. Yay! But aside from that, it’s a great story. It’s a moving story about a young man who loses his father and finds a part of him through his family on the force. It’s also about a car that sometimes vomited a monster from its boot.

Stepford Wives

Everyone already knew I was a feminist, right? This story, if you haven’t read it, is about a woman who moves to a new town in which the women are perfect. They’re beautiful, tireless, perfect cooks, perfect homemakers. They always have time for a little rustle in the sheets with their husbands. And they don’t have any ambitions of their own, past pleasing their husbands. As the main character gets farther and farther into the conspiracy, she realizes that her husband is planning to make her one of these Stepford dolls too. Don’t see the movie, by the way. The movie is terrible.

The House Next Door

This is probably my favorite horror story of all time. And I think I’ve gushed about it enough in the past. But just in case I haven’t, here’s some more gushing.

Most haunted houses pretty much tell you they’re haunted. They’re old, creaky dirty places where death has occurred and quite clearly will occur again. If not from the ghastly spirits that fester in the dark walls, then from the numerous housing code violations and safety concerns.

But the house next door is beautiful. Brand new construction in a bright lovely neighborhood. No one’s died here. Not yet.

Honorable mention, Dance Macabre by Stephen King

This is only an honorable mention because it’s not really a horror book. It’s a non-fiction book about the horror genre that made me rethink and appreciate it even more. King goes over books, movies and even to shows from artists that have been scaring the shit out of us for generations.

So now, I want to hear from you. What’s your favorite scary book? Do you think some of them should be on my list? Let me know in the comments below, I’m making out my reading list for 2019.

There’s a murderer on the station of First Contact. Detective Sennett and Godfrey, a chef ff9a8a_d364e70623f041a199d588b5124fcc3c-mv2from Earth, have to hunt down the killer when Godfrey’s wife is falsly accused. Get it free now, and enter the world of Station 86.

My favorite science fiction books

It’s come to my attention that I’ve been writing a blog about reading and writing for over four years now, and I’ve never done a round up of my favorite books. Seems like a dumb oversight on my part. Ah well, it’s easy enough to rectify. And hey, if you’re still looking for holiday gifts for anyone, maybe this will help.

I’m going to start with my favorite science fictions stories. I think if I did a full list of favorites it would take too long. So I’m going to hit my three favorite genres, then do an overview of some of the best stories I’ve ever read that might not fit into anything specific.

I’m not saying these are the best science fantasy books, just my favorites. They’re not in any particular order save for the order they came to me. So don’t be offended if I didn’t list your favorite. It just might not be mine, or I just haven’t read it yet.

1984, by George Orwell.

This book gets scarier every freaking year. Just in case you haven’t read it, it’s one of the darkest, heaviest dystopian future stories I’ve ever read. It’s one of those books that everyone acts like they’ve read, even if they haven’t, so you probably already know the story. It’s a world where the government controls everything. Our main character’s job is to write propaganda pieces for the government, trying to put a positive spin on things by just straight up lying. We’ve gotten some great phrases from this book, like doublespeak and the fifteen-minute hate. Every time I hear something about Edward Snowden in the news, it’s the fifteen-minute hate I think of. If you’re one of those people who pretend you’ve read this book and haven’t, put it on your 2019 reading list. But be prepared, it’s a messed up book.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelly

I’d consider this a science fiction story, even if the science in it is a little iffy. Who am I to judge, after all. Someone asked me the other day how my space stations stayed in the air the other day and my response would have made Neil Degrasse Tyson weep.

I know everyone knows this story, but the original story is still worth reading.


That’s right, I said it. The Japanese anime Chobits is one of my favorite science fiction stories. Fight me.

The story takes place in a world where computers are actual, AI people. You don’t have a laptop, you have an AI person called a persocom hanging out with you, doing your typing in their heads and being the world’s best alarm clocks. There are the same old questions about AI, especially when people start to fall in love with their Chobits. And when they are no longer distinguishable from flesh and blood people.

The story centers around a chobit named Chi is found in the garbage by a man named Hideki. The mystery of her origin, complete with these mysterious and beautiful books about a black and white rabbit, is a dark and fantastic fairy tale.

Dragonriders of Pern, by Anne McCaffrey

I was surprised to find this on lists of science fiction books until I really thought about it. There’s a lot of science behind how the dragons are reared. And, also the mystery behind the people’s parentage. I don’t want to give it away if you’ve never read it. But the trilogy is about a group of people who link themselves to dragons and ride them. It’s a great story of the interconnection between people and beast.

Flowers for Algernon

This is another one everyone thinks they know. It’s the story of a man who’s mentally disabled named Charlie, who wants to learn. He’s going to classes and trying to educate himself. When he’s chosen to partake in an experiment that can make him intelligent, it seems like a dream. And it is until the treatments start to reverse.

Dirk Gently

Douglas Adams is to science fiction what Neil Gaiman is to Fantasy. His work is modern, wonderful and defies all logic. It’s just twisted and seems totally random until you get to the end of it. Then, it all makes total sense. Damn, I want to write something like this.

Dirk Gently is the story of a man with, well, a different way of looking at the world. His way often gets himself and other people in trouble. The first book in the series involves a time machine, a horse in a bathroom, a grisly murder and a salt shaker in a pot. Trust me, read it. It’s awesome.

World War Z

I’m not talking about the movie. The movie for this book could have been amazing! I mean, this book is a collection of stories about people who survived the zombie apocalypse, years later, collected by a journalist traveling among the remaining human civilizations to get them. And it’s so much better than the movie! My personal favorite part of the story is that people learned to use dogs to detect zombies. And the best dog for the job? Dachshunds. There wasn’t a single zombie detecting dachshund in the whole movie and I for one would like to know why.

Hunger Games

Wow, this list is really dystopian future heavy. Oh well, I like what I like. And, in fairness, everyone likes this.

I assume you’ve already read or seen Hunger Games, so I’ll spare you the run through. Instead, let me just say that having the main character literally lose her mind through part of the series is a fascinating way to go. There were a lot of ways that could have gone bad, and I’m sure that there have been more than a few crappy rip-offs who got that part really, really wrong. (Please don’t share any.)

The Giver

Finally, this is literally my favorite book. I read it every year on my birthday. (Everyone who knows me just said that in a chorus.)

It’s the story of Jonah, who’s been chosen to be the next receiver of memory for his community. His perfect community where there is no war, no anger, no hunger, no choice. There are no broken families, but there are also no true families, not in the way we think of them. There are no real emotions, either. There is just existence, stripped of all the horrors, and all of the pleasures of life.

I keep reading this story for a lot of reasons. What it really comes down to, is this. The price of freedom is pain. The price of love is heartache. The price of beauty is ugliness. And that’s a price that I’m always willing to pay.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the list of my favorite science fiction books. I’d love it if you’d share your favorites in the comment section below.

ff9a8a_d364e70623f041a199d588b5124fcc3c-mv2Station 86 is shocked when a Khloe assassin begins killing members of the all powerful council. Officer Sennett Montgomery and Councilman Godfrey Anders swear to find the assassin after Godfrey’s wife is falsely accused. But the killer, and the council itself, are not what they seem. Neither, as it turns out, is Sennett’s daughter.

Get it free now, and enter the world of Station 86

If you’re making New Years Resolutions, read this first

I’ve never been a really physical person. I considered myself in fairly decent shape, but I’m coming to realize a few things.

  1. That was a filthy lie.
  2. A lot of my good health was because I was walking to and from my day job. Not to mention downtown on most of my off days. I no longer live close enough to downtown to do that.
  3. I’m thirty-fucking-two, and my metabolism is slowing down.
  4. There’s a litany of health issues plaguing the women of my family. Like, heart issues and diabetes. I’m not trying to go out like that.
  5. I’m starting to breath heavy when I walk upstairs.

Guess who has two thumbs and doesn’t like the way this story is shaking out?

So I decided I needed to do something about it. Actually, I decided I need to do a lot of things about it. My diet is shitty, and I don’t exercise beyond a fifteen-minute yoga session in the morning. I’m fully aware that I’m going to have to fix both of these issues if I’m going to get my body to a place I’m happy about it again.

Don’t worry, I’m not turning this into a healthy living blog. I’m not going to start posting pictures of my body to show my progress and shame other people. I’m certainly not writing this to shame anyone. I’m writing this because there are some things I know to be true, and this is one of them.

Writers have a reputation for not taking care of ourselves. And we need to cut that shit out. Part of that is dispelling the image of an overweight writer sitting at a desk, consuming inappropriate amounts of black coffee and red wine.

I’ve decided to take up running. Why? It’s cheap, easy to get started on, and Natalie Goldberg runs. And this time of year, when sugary coffees and Santa shaped cookies abound, there’s nothing I’m going to do about my diet. My hope is that on January first when everyone’s talking about how they’re going to get some new shoes and pick up running, I’ll already have thirty days of a habit built. That’s my only goal right now, thirty days of trying.

And that is going to be the cornerstone of my success. I found a simple, start running plan on Pinterest, and it’s easy to follow. It includes rest days, and it takes no more than fifteen to twenty minutes out of my day. I have not bought a lot of expensive workout stuff, my old leggings and a pair of Sketchers slip-ons work fine for me. If I stick with it, I’ll buy new shoes. That itself might be enough to encourage me to stay with this.

I think it’s important to note that I’m not doing this to look better. I love my body, and I don’t think being fatter than I used to be is going to change that. I didn’t take off my clothes to take a shower and feel sick when looking at myself. I hate hearing those stories, you know? Of people starving themselves, killing themselves, because they were disgusted by their own bodies. This is the greatest gift I have in this world, a healthy body. So I should act like it.

If there’s something you don’t like about your life, and you want to make a chance, you might be thinking of making a New Years Resolution. Many people are this time of year. Let me give you some advice.

If you didn’t do it in 2018, nothing magical is going to happen on January first.

If you get new shoes and make big plans to take up running in the new year, you will most likely be left with a pair of expensive shoes and your same old habits.

Do you want to make a change? Make a plan and start today. Do you want to start running? Find the sneakers you know you already own and go for a walk after work. Tomorrow, go for a walk and run for a few minutes in the middle. Find a walking to running challenge. Start slow, make it something achievable, and start today.

The exact same advice applies to any goal, including writing. If you passed on Nanowrimo, and you’re planning on starting your novel in January, start today. Take fifteen minutes, sit down and start free writing. Get some thoughts on paper.

Don’t wait, start today.

Make it accessible.

Do it for the right reasons. Do it because you love yourself and you’re worth it.

You do those three things, and you can do literally anything.

So, what are you starting today?

Station 86 is shocked when a Khloe assassin begins killing members of the all powerful ff9a8a_d364e70623f041a199d588b5124fcc3c-mv2council. Officer Sennett Montgomery and Councilman Godfrey Anders swear to find the assassin after Godfrey’s wife is falsely accused. But the killer, and the council itself, are not what they seem. Neither, as it turns out, is Sennett’s daughter.

Get it free now, and enter the world of Station 86

A Website.

Up ↑