Book Reveal: “Nowhere to Hide” is Available for Purchase!

Ladies and gentlemen, it is the moment I’ve been waiting for for a very long time. Today, I am going to introduce to you my very first 100% complete, published, totally-available-for-sale novel, “Nowhere to Hide”.

“Nowhere to Hide” is a zombie apocalypse horror novel that follows the tale of a group of survivors trying desperately to stay ahead of the hoard. It began as a National Novel Writing Month novel in November of 2010, and there were set-backs, but this year, thanks in great part to my awesome beta-reader, Ashley Whitt, I finally completed the final draft.


So today I get to announce to you that “Nowhere to Hide” is finally available for sale, just in time for the spookiest season of the year! The printed paperback copy of the book will be available on Amazon any day now, but for now you can go to the CreateSpace website store to purchase it for $9.99 US by clicking on this link (shipping charges will apply). If you’re more of a digital book person, or if you want to save some money, the ebook version is available through Amazon or Kindle for only $2.99 US (no shipping, obviously)! A reminder that you do not need to own a Kindle device in order to purchase Kindle e-books…you simply need to download the free Kindle app on any of your iOS or Android devices!

So, feel like a creepy zombie tale just in time for Halloween? Looking to expand your physical or digital library? Want to support a newly self-published author who is currently on top of the world? Click on the links above! Or, if you aren’t a horror fan but want to support me anyway, please feel free to share post with your family, friends, and social networks! Any support is deeply appreciated, and if you do decide to purchase the book, please remember to go back to where you purchased it and leave a review!

Thanks everyone! Here’s to many more published novels in future! ❤

(Oh, and just in case you needed a little further incentive…)

Horror Block Unboxing and Review for September 2014

September’s Horror Block was designed with Halloween in mind, since October’s block isn’t likely to be at our doors until a day or two before Halloween. Check out what we got:

Not a bad box, really, but a little disappointing to me personally. Let’s check out the breakdown:

Creepy Gorey Zombie T-shirt: Unfortunately this shirt is not my style, but it’s probably worth about $15
Pennywise (“It”) T-shirt: Again, not really my style, but worth approximately $15
Iron Maiden Rubber Mask: Surprisingly, this mask goes for about $20. I wouldn’t pay that, to be honest, but there you have it.
“Savvi” Costume Temporary Tattoos: This pack of gory temporary tattoos goes for about $5
“Rue Morgue” Horror Movie Heroes book: The best item in the box, in my opinion, costs $15

Total approximate value of box: $70
Total cost to me: $33

So as you can see, the value is there. Having two t-shirts in one box really ups the value, as does the mask (which, I’ll admit, is a good quality mask, but I shudder to think of people spending that kind of money on part of a costume). Personally, though, the only item in the box that I truly like is the book. Neither of the t-shirts are something that either my husband and I will wear, so that’s like taking $30 off the value of the box right there, and the mask is something that will only be used once a year (if at all), so there goes another big chunk.

Long story short, this was probably an awesome box for some people, but for myself, it was actually a little disappointing. Here’s hoping for a better one next month!

Tracey’s Tricks and Treats

While I can’t honestly say that Halloween is my favorite holiday (sorry, but Christmas will always hold that candle), I have always loved it ever since I was little, so I thought that today I would share some memories of Halloweens past.

A large part of that love for this holiday is, of course, the candy. I can remember when I was little that we would get sacks of treats. The houses in my town were pretty close together, so you could get to a lot of them very quickly. People also seemed to give out better stuff back then (though that might just be my memory being nostalgic and my current self being cynical). To top it all off, there were no curfews on Halloween back then (or at least, it was so late that it was never really an issue), so we would be out for hours, hitting every house in town and winding up with enough candy to kill a kid. I remember that my best friend and I used to do a kind of figure-eight through town so that halfway through the night we would end up back at my house. We would dump our candy (which by then was an absolutely disgusting amount), grab new bags, and head out for round two.

One of the Halloweens that I remember the clearest from my childhood was one when my bestie and I were still pretty young – young enough to need a parent to take us around. Her stepfather took us that year, along with her younger sister, and by the time we made it halfway through town and back to my house, her stepdad was several years closer to death. You see, cans of pop must have been on an excellent sale that year because every second house seemed to be giving them out. It didn’t take long before my friend and her sister and I couldn’t carry our bags anymore, so stepdad carried them for us. By the time he got the opportunity to drop off what we’d collected thus far he must have been lugging about eighty pounds on his back whilst trekking through town after three kids. I remember afterward, when I was going through my candy, I tried to fit as many of those cans of pop in my parents’ fridge as I could. I filled both crisper drawers and half a shelf, plus put a bunch on the door of the fridge, and there was still a bunch left.

I had a few store-bought costumes throughout my Halloween history, but my mother concocted quite a few of them on her own as well. Some were from the patterns you buy at a store, like the year I was a pointy-hat-wearing clown with funny felt dots all over me. Others were less creative and more…horrifying, for the wrong reasons. One year in particular I hadn’t yet chosen a costume myself, and my mother kinda forgot about Halloween until it was too late to start anything complicated. I eventually ended up convincing my parents to buy this Arabian Nights-style dancer outfit for me, but there was no way that I could wear it during our chilly Halloween night (the damn thing was a belly-shirt, for Pete’s sake!) The end result of our combined procrastination was that at the last minute my mother bought an orange garbage bag – the kind with a jack-o-lantern face on it that you’re meant to stuff with leaves and put out in your yard – cut arms and leg holes in it, and stuffed it full of crumpled newspaper to make it round. For her part, it was some quick thinking, but I nearly denounced my relationship to her that night. The costume was annoying as hell to walk around in, and by the end of the night all the crumpled newspaper had worked its way down around my rear end so that I looked more like a holiday squash than a pumpkin.

Another Halloween, one of the last that I went out because I was getting older, my two friends and I took a long route around areas of town that we didn’t normally go to because it was a really long walk. Just when we were as far away from any of our houses as we could possibly be while still being physically in the same town, it began to rain…a lot. This was before the days of young kids having cellphones (in fact, I think this was even before my dad got his first cellphone), so we had no way of calling for a pickup. We had to walk all the way back to my house in the rain. We were actually pretty cheery about it, all things considered, but the detail that I recall that really made the night for me was that all the mascara and eye makeup that I was wearing (I was a vampire that year and I went all out) ran so much that it got in my mouth. I almost threw up before we managed to get in out of the weather.

The very last Halloween that I ever went out, I went with a group of friends from high school. We were way too old to be trick-or-treating, but we thought, screw it, and went on our merry way around a small town where the houses are very far apart. It took us twice as long to get through the night as it ever had any other year, but we came out of it like thieves. As it turned out, the majority of the people who lived in this particular town saw very few kids on Halloween (remember, the houses were quite far apart), and as a result they gave out majorly nice goodies. I recall one house in particular that was way up on the top of a hill on a dead-end road; that guy was giving out big brown paper bags packed with goodies, and since it was near the end of the night by the time we got to him, he gave us each two. Another older woman had a giant bowl full of random stuff and just kept tossing huge handfuls of it at all of us. It may have been the biggest haul I’d ever gathered, and I can’t honestly say that I didn’t feel a little bit dirty about that, given that I was 16 at the time.

In later years my husband (then boyfriend) and I tried to be fun and cute, dressing up to give out candy, but over the years we’ve never had a lot of luck. We’ve always manged to live in areas where very few kids bothered to tread, so our efforts were generally in vain. But we always had one or two kids whose nights were made that much better by our playfulness. One year I made hubby into Goku from Dragonball Z, and the few kids who came to our apartment were flabbergasted. Unfortunately the pictures from that Halloween were lost on a bad hard drive, but another year we dressed up as Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees…
hallo.ween07 035-1…and there were definitely a few kids who fell in love with us that night. We eventually stopped dressing up, but we’ve always continued our tradition of giving out super-packed treat bags since we always get so few kids overall. I’ve heard more than one “Wow!” in my candy-distributing days, and I can’t say that those moments don’t make me smile like a fool.

These days my Halloweens are, of course, more focused on my daughter than anything else. We still make up great treat bags for the kids who make it to our door, and the hubby has taken to actually decorating the house (though that seems to be a tradition that’s gone by the wayside around these parts), but of course the important thing is the little missy’s costume. Before her first Halloween my husband suggested that I make her costumes from scratch, and to be honest I thought he was insane (a seamstress I am not), but it’s been a lot of fun so far.

20121021-050342.jpg10. October02I’ve gotten to use her as a canvas for our insanity, and next year she will be old enough to actually understand Halloween and tell me what she wants to be. Until then, however…we’ve got one more bout of retro fun to inflict upon our poor child…
Whoever knows who she is gets a virtual Halloween cookie. ^_~

Happy Halloween everybody!

Accountability Tuesdays – Week 43

As the season of spooking comes ever closer, my ability to get business done evidently devolves at an exponential level. In my defense, I did spend two days straight (Saturday and Sunday) standing in my kitchen with a glue gun, a metric ton of foam, and half a dozen cannibalized pairs of blue pants, and then spent a further day (yesterday) traveling two and from my hometown (an hour and a half one way) and back and forth between houses so that our families who live nowhere near us could see the baby’s completed Halloween costume.

It is at this point that I would like to mention that while I praise the creator of the hot glue gun, I also hope to never look at one again.

And with that bit of nonsense out of the way, let’s see how bad the week went, shall we?

Health and Body Image Goal

I am feeling, again, that I should simply stricken this goal from the list. While I’ve been managing to force myself to make small, good decisions (water instead of pop, chew gum instead of popping some candy, etc), I haven’t been getting any exercise in at all (unless you count the aforementioned 2 days of standing at a glue-gun station). In addition to that, my and my husband’s tradition of watching horror movies every night in October inevitably ends in my munching on snacks at all hours of the night.

On the upside, I haven’t gained any weight from all these poor habits.

I’m hoping to get back to a half-hour on the treadmill each day in November, since I won’t be stressed out trying to get the baby’s costume done. I will, however, be busy doing NaNoWriMo, so we’ll have to see how that goes, won’t we?

Editing Goal

As mentioned already, I spent a lot of time this week feverishly trying to finish the baby’s Halloween costume, thus I lost a lot of writing and editing time. Luckily I went a little crazy at the beginning of the week and managed to get quite a bit done. I currently have ten chapters completely finished, with five chapters remaining. I can’t honestly see how I could possibly get those last five chapters done by the end of the month, but I’m going to try. Even if it’s not perfect, I’d like to have the main round of edits done this month so that I can throw the manuscript at my beta reader, curl up in a ball to cry for an hour or so, and then move on to my NaNo idea. I’m sure by the end of November I’ll be sick as hell of my NaNo novel, so I can worry about the second round of zombie edits in December. 😛

1,000,000 Word Goal

Again, I lost a few days this week, but was quite fervent in the earlier days. Between editing changes and blog posts and the like, I managed to write 10,149 words this week. That brings me to just under 375,000 for the year. Since I’m hoping to push my NaNo word count up to 75,000 this year, I plan to be at approximately 450,000 words by the end of November. Then it’s just another 50-thou (JUST!) to hit half a mill. That would only be half of my original goal, but still a major accomplishment for me, since I don’t think I’ve ever written more than 100,000 words over the course of an entire year before.

And now that we have that over with for the week, I have less than 72 hours to try and edit 5 chapters. Excuse me while I go drown myself in coffee and chocolate.

Research and Restructuring

Working out the details for a new story can be a time-consuming pain in the butt. That’s what makes the Internet so great: there’s a wealth of information out there to help you decide where your story should take place, what kind of weapon your antagonist should carry, or what is the perfect name for your main character’s best friend. During National Novel Writing Month time that information is compressed into a neat little bundle in the form of the “Reference Desk” forum on the NaNoWriMo website. On the Reference Desk, NaNo participants from all over the world help each other answer the tough questions, and give assistance and opinions based on their own personal experiences.

I haven’t made great use of the Reference Desk in the past because most of my NaNo novels took place in made-up worlds where I could write whatever I damn-well pleased to make my story make sense. This year, however, my novel idea takes place in the real world, and requires my main character to travel the world a bit. So off to the Reference Desk I went, to ask for help. What I was looking for was assistance in choosing a main location for my story. I wanted a place that was a little off the map, somewhere were things like cell phones and massive amounts of entertainment are more scarce, but also somewhere where the residents celebrate Halloween, or a similar creepy-stuff-abounds kind of holiday.

What I quickly determined from the replies I received was that there aren’t many places these days where my requirements make a lot of sense. A few people pointed out, for example, that even in less civilized areas, cell phones are abound, and that some of the least likely places actually have higher cellphone-per-capita numbers because they never caught up on land-line installations and instead skipped right to cell. As I continued to read through the replies from people more knowledgeable than me, scene ideas and plot holes ran through my mind, and I began to realize that there probably is no good location that will suit all my needs for this particular story. I had a moment of frustrated indignation just thinking about it.

And then I realized something. I realized that I’m a writer, dammit, and writers improvise. The world might not always conform to meet our needs, but we have the power to change the world.

All of a sudden I had a plethora of additional ideas fluttering through my mind. My story wouldn’t take place in the present, no…but in the near future, yes. And there would be a disaster of some kind – nothing that would completely destroy the planet, but would lessen the planet’s population and destroy many forms of present-time technology. It all began to come together. I could see how this would work, how it would enhance the story, and even how it would flesh out the background of the main character. The fellow writers who responded to my post couldn’t give me exactly what I’d been looking for, but they helped me realize that I can give myself exactly what I’m looking for, if I’m just willing to be a little more creative.

The take-away from this post is two-fold:

1. The writer community is huge and helpful. The Reference Desk at the NaNoWriMo website is not always active in the non-NaNo season, but you can always find fellow writers in places like the #MyWANA Twitter feed, critique sites like Critique Circle, and the multitude of writer blogs (like this one!). Point being, there is always assistance out there if you need it.

2. Writers are adaptable, and improvisation is often the mother of some of the best ideas. If the details of your story aren’t working out, reconsider them. What would need to happen in order to make the details work out? What do you have to do in order to make that thing happen? Now do it!

Writing has a lot of facets other than the literal sitting down and writing. Tons of research is (unfortunately) one of them, and adapting your story ideas as a result of that research is (unfortunately) another one. But neither has to be as horrible as they sound. Join the writer communities popping up everywhere, and the whole system will feel that much simpler.

Not to mention, significantly less lonely.

Are you a part of any writer communities? Why or why not? Have you ever recruited the help of others in working some of the details of your story? Did it help? Have you ever completely changed a story based on researched information? Please share!

Accountability Tuesdays – Week 40

We’re officially one week into October. Halloween and NaNoWriMo grow closer as the days get colder. And I have several dozen things to be dealt with, so let’s just jump right into it this week, shall we? 🙂

Health and Body Image Goal

As per my mini-goal, I’ve been getting a bit of exercise in each day, which has been a half hour on the treadmill. There were two days in the past week that I didn’t hop on the treadmill, but one of those days was spent shopping, so I got the exercise in by doing a lot of walking around and running after the baby, so really I just missed the one.

The treadmill-ing has been going well, and I can honestly say that I feel good after doing a half-hour program on it, but I can’t say the same about the whole “eating better” thing. For one thing, exercise makes me hungry. There’s no denying that, and I refuse to go around all day feeling like there’s a ravenous little beast in my stomach clawing to get out. For another thing, the hubby and I have been taking part in our annual October tradition of watching a horror movie every night, and watching movies late at night inevitably leads to snacking. True, I could be snacking on healthier things than chips and ice cream, but…yeah.

Feel free to yell at me for having no food-related willpower.


I can’t honestly say that the editing process has been going as quickly as I had hoped it would, but I can still say that it’s going pretty well. I’ve “finished” four chapters and am currently working on the fifth. I say “finished” with quotation marks because there are a couple of small details that might have to be changed once I’ve asked a few people a few questions of a few more knowledgeable people (mostly involving info on guns, of which I know positively jack). That’s the kind of thing that will only take a few minutes though, so I’m calling the editing process approximately 30% done. Ten and a half chapters left to do in 24 days, which is two and a quarter days per chapter. Think I can do it? @_@

1,000,000 Word Goal

Writing a blog post a day even on my off-days is going quite well. I already have a couple of posts scheduled in advance, and it’s my hope that I’m able to get ahead enough to have a good number of posts scheduled for during NaNoWriMo. Also, since a lot of the editing process has involved complete rewordings of key scenes, I’ve managed to rack up a word count over the past week of 11684 words. A little more would have been nice, but still very good considering that most of my time is being spent on editing old words rather than writing new ones.

All in all the mini-goals are going fairly well (aside from that whole eating better thing), so I’m happy so far. Now if I can work in a little extra time with the editing and also find time to start (and finish) missy’s Halloween costume, I’d be really kicking ass. Anyone have a time machine I could borrow?

The Countdown is On

October means a lot of things for a lot of people. It means that Summer is over and Fall is beginning. It means putting away tank tops and shorts and skirts, and breaking out sweaters and jackets. It means crunchy leaves on the ground, and less sun throughout the day. It means buying (or making) costumes for the kiddies, and giving out (or begging for) candy. It means spooky movies and ghostly TV specials.

And for myself it means the countdown to National Novel Writing Month.

Chances are that most of the people reading this blog will have heard of NaNoWriMo (as we call it) before, because in past years it’s become incredibly popular and well-known. But just in case you don’t know, National Novel Writing Month is exactly what it sounds like…it’s a challenge, which falls in November, for all writers across the globe to attempt to write a novel in one month. Since novels can vary dramatically in length, the number we use is 50,000 words. If you can write 50,000 words entirely within the month of November, you “win” NaNoWriMo.

This will be my sixth year participating in this yearly event. Of the five years I’ve already done, I “won” four times and came pretty damn close that one other year (last year). This year I hope to wash away the lost of last year and bag my fifth win.

2013-Participant-Facebook-ProfileNon-writers and skeptics don’t tend to “get” NaNoWriMo, but it is really quite the inspirational event for writers. For a lot of writers the challenge gives us the motivation – the little boot in the arse – we need to push ourselves into super-writer mode. The community over at the NaNoWriMo website is an amazing thing to behold, and throughout the month participants get pep talks and advice from published authors. Many NaNoWriMo participants have gone on to have their novels published as well, which proves that this isn’t just an event for posers. Thousands upon thousands of writers, young and old, participate in this event. Thousands upon thousands of people can’t be wrong, right?

This year I have high hopes because it’s looking like I’m still going to be unemployed through the month of November (not to say that that’s a good thing, but you know what I’m saying…), meaning that I’ll have more time to write than any other previous year. I hope to note only “win” by hitting the 50,000 word mark…I hope to totally demolish the 50,000 word mark. In fact, this year I plan to up my goal word count to 75,000 words. Life is nothing without goals, right? 😀

So what am I going to write about this year? I haven’t 100% decided just yet, but I am seriously considering writing a vampire novel. No, not a Twilight clone, or a Vampire Diaries knockoff… I’m talking about real vampires: powerful, evil, frightening, bloodsucking monster vampires. While I enjoy a sexy vampire as much as the next True Blood fan, I think it’s about time the world was reminded of what monsters are supposed to be all about…scaring you half to death!

Do you participate in National Novel Writing Month? If not, why not? If so, what are you thoughts on the event? If you are a participant, please feel free to leave me you username for the site! I’d love to add a few more writer buddies!

Semi-Annual Brain Dump

Lately I’ve been feeling a little busy in the head, so although I don’t usually do this sort of thing on my blog, I thought I’d allow myself a bit of a brain dump today. Here’s some stuff that’s been hanging over my head recently:

– As mentioned last week, we’ve been redecorating the daughter’s room. It was a bit of a kick in the teeth at first because we worked really hard on that room before she was born, decorating it in soothing yellows and lots of cute Winnie the Pooh stuff. But our little girl never really got into Winnie, and yellow isn’t really her color, so we decided to make the room a little more her. In truth, we decided this almost a year ago, but it’s taken us this long to get around to it. Now that it’s almost done, though, I’m pretty happy with the results. The top of the room is a pretty pink, the bottom is a lovely purple, and the chair rail and shelves are white. I’ve picked up some room darkening purple curtains, and we plan to replace her oak bookshelf with a white one to match everything else. But my favorite thing, of course, is the part I did myself. It was the hubby’s idea, but I’m pretty proud: I fabricated all of the My Little Pony’s cutie marks (the pictures on their flanks) out of craft foam to hang on her wall. My Little Pony is the daughter’s favorite thing in the world right now, so I think she’s going to love it. Photo 9-30-2013, 9 37 19 AM– On a related note, the daughter has been sleeping with hubby and I while we’ve been painting and waiting for everything to air out, and I’m dreading trying to get her back into her own room. I’m sure she’ll love the room, but after a week of sleeping with us in our bed, the return to normal is probably going to be a huge fight. Joyous.

– Tomorrow is the first day of October, which means I really really have to get to work on the little missy’s costume. Two years ago hubby suggested that I should make our daughter’s Halloween costumes because it’s more personal and special and also most store-bought costumes are pretty crappy. I resisted at first because it’s an awful lot of work, but the first result was pretty awesome…
DSCN2421…so I kept doing it…
10. October02…and now it’s time for number three. What I have in store isn’t as involved or detailed as the previous two, but it requires sewing a pair of pants and a hoodie from scratch, so I really need to get to work asap. At least, I keep telling myself that. 😛

– Lately I’ve been trying to get the house into a state that I’m happy with, and I’m having varying degrees of success. On one hand I finally got our mud room straightened away (it’s been an ungodly wreck pretty much since the instant we moved in the house), but on the other hand I can’t seem to keep the kitchen straight for more than half a day. I mean, seriously, how do three people (one of them less than three years old) use so many damn dishes? I make allowances for the fact that we have a toddler in the house and therefore it will never be 100% perfect, but I’m amazed at how much mess the three of us can create in less than 24 hours. Maybe I’m just inefficient at cleaning? Maybe I should be able to tidy up the messes faster and thus have the house cleaner for longer? I don’t know, but I’d like to figure it out because I’m getting really sick of wandering into certain rooms in the house and feeling like I haven’t cleaned anything in weeks.

– This will be addressed again tomorrow, but the editing hasn’t been going well. For one thing, I’ve been terribly distracted by all the stuff mentioned above. For another thing, since my laptop’s battery is dying an unholy death I haven’t been able to just wander off with it wherever I want, which makes things very difficult for me. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it is for me. In addition to all that, I’m having a hard time keeping track of everything in my manuscript, making sure that everything follows the proper format and so on. This isn’t my strong point. The actual writing, yeah…making sure the writing congeals into a proper story, yick.

– We’ve been trying to get the little missy to watch some different things, since she’s so overly-obsessed with My Little Pony. It’s not going as well as I’d hoped, but yesterday we did get her to watch almost two hours worth of Looney Toons last night. It was rather enjoyable. There’s something about sitting and watching the cartoons you loved as a kid with your kids that it’s bliss.

And with that, my brain is a little emptier and it’s time to move on with my day. Thanks for listening to me being random. 😀

Nova Scotia’s Curse and A Sneak Peak

I loved Halloween when I was little. I loved dressing up and running around in the dark, trying to hit as many houses as possible so I could go home with my enormous bag of candy and sort the good stuff from the stuff I’d give to my parents. And in all the Halloweens I can remember, I only recall a particular couple during which weather was an issue. There were a few during which the winter weather was sneaking in early, so we had to wear extra layers under our costumes in order to stay warm, but I only remember one or two Halloweens when it rained.

Sometime after the last year I went Trick-or-Treating someone in Nova Scotia must have displeased the Halloween Gods. It has now rained almost every Halloween since I can first remember staying home and handing out treats. I plan on braving the misty ickiness with my daughter and an umbrella because this is the first Halloween that she’s old enough to actually hold out her bucket and see what happens, but it disgusts me that this situation has become a tradition around here. It’s no wonder that we see so few kids out on Halloween these days. Who wants to go door-to-door when you’re soaked by the end of the first street? Well, whichever kids are willing to brave the weather this year will at least get their effort’s worth at our house…our treat bags are the BOMB.
Aside from my whining about Halloween weather, I’m also writing this post so that I can share a bit of my NaNoWriMo novel planning…a synopsis I wrote a couple of days ago. The madness starts tomorrow! Arrrrrggg!!!!
Victoria MacKinnon is battling a deep depression. Her world fell apart the day the man she loved left her and she has no idea how to put the pieces back together. She hates her job, but she can’t bear to return to school. Her family is worried about her, but she can’t bring herself to talk to them. Her best friend, who has been in love with her since grade school, is becoming increasingly desperate to “rescue” her, but she won’t allow herself to be rescued. Her only solace is in the bottle.

But Tori is special, even if she doesn’t know it yet. Another world is calling to her… A world of her dreams that have been suppressed for many years… A world that desperately needs her to save it, and won’t wait for her to figure out how to save herself.

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Today you get to enjoy a bit of a brain dump because I have a few things to mention, none of which really justify their own separate post.

First of all, I’ve made a couple of small changes to the site. You’ve probably noticed the little character off to the left of the screen. I’ve made up a number of little avatars which are meant to show my current writing progress. Presently, my little character is enjoying the life of editing a manuscript…see the little displeased eyes and the pile of red-marked papers behind her? Yep, that just about covers it. I’ll change the character every now and then to match what I’m currently doing: for example, come November I’ll be taking a break from editing to participate in NaNoWriMo 2012…so you’ll get to see a new little avatar (or two) at that time. In addition to my little characters, I’ve created a new page for information on my projects. You can see it up there between “About” and “Follow Me On”. Currently I only have a small blurb for my zombie manuscript, but I’ll be adding more in the future when I get a chance to decide how I want the page laid out.

Second, I feel the need to share something that happened near home recently that really accentuates the theme of corporate greed that I’ve been mentioning so often lately. Last night, during the night shift at a local Tim Horton’s restaurant, one of the staff passed away. I’m not privy to the details of her death, but for the purposes of what I’m about to share, she died in the restaurant, during her shift…my heart goes out not only to her family, but to the coworkers who had to witness the event. But witnessing the event is nothing compared to what happened then…the manager/owner/whoever-was-in-charge of the restaurant refused to shut the Tim Horton’s down even for a little while…the remaining workers were forced to finish their shift…after their coworker had just died in front of them. I cannot express my disgust over this. As with the other examples I’ve given of late, Tim Hortons is a multi-billion-dollar corporation, and the idea that one would refuse to shut down for a couple of hours (during a middle-of-the-night shift at that) due to the sudden death of an employee is absolutely sickening. This misplacement of priorities in this situation make me want to retch. I sincerely hope that the other employees involved in this get together and sue the company for emotional distress and neglect. No one should have to deal with something like that, much less for goddamn minimum wage.

Third, I came across an article on today that I wanted to share for all the readers/writers out there. 4 Ways High School Makes You Hate Reading is about exactly what it’s title suggests, and I agreed with each point made. There are fewer readers in the world today because of the exact reasons Christina H suggests, and that’s truly a shame. A common theme throughout her article is that as adults it seems like we are expected to read “fine literature” and that anything less is shallow, useless junk. This is a point that I both agree with wholeheartedly and notice often when talking about my own projects. Whenever anyone finds out that I’m writing a book they will inevitably ask me what the book is about, and I will watch their eyes go from impressed to politely bemused when I tell them it’s about zombies. It’s like adults aren’t allowed to have fun while reading, or something foolish like that.

Fourth: holy hell, it’s already October! I’ve got to get to work on the baby’s Halloween costume! *runs away*