Friday, November 7, 2014

GRL 2014 (Part 2) The Sequel

Hello everyone!



It's been a while since I've posted - which is bad because I know I promised to do the follow up to my first GRL post within the week...but stuff happens! I'm sure you know how that is.

To give you a short rundown of why I wasn't able to post the last half when I said I was: I finished three short stories, finished a novel, and started NaNoWriMo. Yeah, it was a lot. But I'm here now and as any pregnant mother will tell you: better late than never.

In the last entry (x) I ended my GRL breakdown on Thursday. So here's the rest of the week. I hope you enjoy!


Friday:


I woke up with a slight hangover. I had way too much to drink Thursday night and somewhere between the free alcohol and the exotic dancers I was just way too out of it. I sent a text to J.P. and asked her if I did anything ABB (author behaving badly) worthy. She told me I was cute, but not obnoxious. I'll accept that. :P

I showered and got dressed - I wore a Batman shirt and I made my poor fiance wear a Robin shirt (complete with cape) but it was nice because people thought they were adorable. I didn't have time to make any readings because I had to immediately go downstairs and make my way to the Wilde City table because I was scheduled to do table watching with Sara York. It was a good opportunity to sit and talk with the readers. I had fun.

Afterwards I met back with the gang and we helped J.P. mentally prepare for her BDSM panel. At some point I had to run back to the Wilde City Press table to get her things (she brought naughty things to show) and uh, at some point I misplaced her riding crop. I didn't want her to get mad at me so this resulted in me going around asking people if they've seen my riding crop. Yeah... even more awkward was having to go BACK to the Wilde City Press table and ask TJ Klune, SA Mcaulay, Dolorianne Morris, and Daniel Kaine if they've seen a riding crop somewhere around. Daniel did, and handed it to me and they laughed. I don't think I could have possibly blushed harder.

So I ran back to the BDSM panel, handed J.P. her crop (in front of a room full of people) and sat down. The day was saved! Yay. It was a lovely panel.
Later, after eating lunch, I managed to listen to Shira Anthony sing some beautiful opera songs. I had to walk away after a certain point because I was shaking and crying - her voice is seriously that amazing. At some point after, my lovely assistant, William, managed to set me up with Lori - who's son does cover modeling! Connections to a model, for an author, is like cocaine. You have no idea.

Later, after cleaning up and taking things to the room, I had to message a few people and figure out dinner plans. It ended up being: William, J.P., Brandilyn Carpenter, Taryn Plendl, Wade Kelly, Jodi, and Anthony & Me.

I forget what our original plans were. I think we were going to a Chilis or something? I don't know. We wound up at BWW (Buffalo Wild Wings) and had the most amazing time. J.P. polished off two margaritas and was really, really giggly. =P

We took two cars, which was good, because I remembered last minute that I needed to stop at K-Mart and get the rest of my outfit for Dreamspinner Casino Night (as I didn't get  a chance to before I left NJ) so Wade, William, Anthony & I went to K-Mart. And I managed to buy my outfit and get ready for Casino Night just in time.

I took some pictures, played on some of the tables (Blackjack and Roulette mostly) but gambling isn't really my thing. So I met William and Anthony at the swimming pool and did some late night swimming and hot tubbing. A good way to end the night for sure. =)


Saturday:


I woke up and after a nice hot shower, I noticed I had a slight sore throat (probably from talking so much and yelling at events) but I ignored it - there was no way in hell I was going to take a sick day at GRL.

I went downstairs to Riptide's Breakfast thing and grabbed myself some grub - I was practically ravenous. After eating, I went over to the Waterfall Side Lounge for J.P.'s reading and listened to her read a passage from one of her novels. I had to leave midway through the next person's reading because of anxiety - it was too many people and I couldn't sit for so long. Reason #2005 why anxiety sucks and isn't fun.

After I calmed down, Anthony and I went over to see ZAM, and K.A. Mitchell do a panel. It was really enjoyable even though I was so exhausted and tired. We then left and went to see how J.P. was doing after her reading. She was fine, she also happened to be chatting to Brandon, who was nervous about his own reading. I don't know how it went personally because we left to not add to the pressure (but I heard good things!)

We all went out to Portillos again and I got my usual - chicken sandwich and cheese fries, yum yum - and then it was back to the venue to help William, help J.P. to set up for the Featured Author signing event. After helping them set up, I ran to the room to change into my Corrupted by J.P. Barnaby T-shirt (I have to support my mentor, after all! :D) and then came back down.

The event was incredible! First thing was that J.P. had a long line! It was crazy. And then I also had people coming up to me and asking me to sign their copies of my novel, too. I was totally floored. In addition, I found out that all copies of my novel were sold out! 100% sold out and I wasn't even registered as an author! It was crazy and such a wonderful feeling. I owe it all to the individuals who loved my novel or the ones who wanted to take a chance on a new author. Simply incredible.

I also made my way over to browse a few of the authors - I bought a couple of novels, including another one from Daniel, because let's face it, he's a good writer. And I kind of enjoyed torturing him by asking him to sign stuff because he gets twitchy. :P

After the event - I had to organize dinner plans again. And because it was the LAST day, I had to make it a big one. I didn't get to have everyone I wanted there, but I tried my best and got a decent number of people. Our dinner party included - Lisa H, Rhys  Ford, Dani (from Love Bytes Reviews), J.P., William, Jodi, Taryn, Wade, Anthony, Myself, and GAH am I forgetting somebody? If I am, I apologize! (I'm writing this blog on little sleep) Anyway, we went to Dennys and had a wonderful time. The kids table especially had a good time. :P

After dinner, we went back to the venue to get ready for the final big event - The Totally Bound Totally Time Travel Party! Our dinner plans ran a bit late and I had limited time to get dressed. My costume wasn't working. I was aiming to be Marshall Lee (from Adventure Time) and my boyfriend was Finn. It didn't work, so I ended up just telling people I was a lesbian. K.A. Mitchell said I wasn't butch enough! :P

I also may have gotten very drunk that night. See, I had tons of drink tickets and I also had two full bottles of white wine...which is my no/no drink. And uh, well, yeah. It was all a blur of people and random things. I know I spoke to Daniel Kaine at some point who was also very drunk himself - wine, too, it's a real killer man. And I know I kept drinking well past what I should have. And Anthony had his hands full dealing with my antics.
I'm not going to get into the rest of the night...but I think my status (from that night) about sums it up:



So yeah, it was my favorite day overall.


Sunday:


I woke up and was feeling really crappy. Not only was I now officially sick (sore throat, runny nose, aka con crud) but I was also hung over. YAY! Not. I had to literally force myself out of bed to shower and get ready for the final day.

I let my boyfriend sleep in a bit and went down and had a long discussion with J.P. and Jodi about life and everything else.

I made it to the final day breakfast and Anthony was already there waiting for me. I drank an excessive amount of orange juice and we planned out what we were going to do next.

I then spent the next couple of hours taking photo-booth pictures with my friends/the people I care about and it was a wonderful way to close the official events.

The rest of Sunday I spent hanging out with three of my good friends (Juli, Rebecca, William) and saying goodbye to everyone.

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And that about ends my GRL breakdown. I hope you enjoyed it. As last year, I had an amazing time - hell, an even better time this year, and I can't wait until October rolls around so I can do it again and see all the people who make me feel loved and cared about. <3


As always, lots of love and applesauce <3









Pictures from the second half:


 

















































Friday, October 24, 2014

GRL 2014 (Part 1)

Hello everyone!



So of course it's time for the official GRL master post! I've been longing to make this post for at least a few days now but I was unable to because of the infamous con-crud. I'm not sure where or when I picked it up and from whom - but it had to have something to do with all the people I kissed (on the cheek!) or maybe just all the hugging. I don't know and to be honest, I really don't care. I had tons of fun.

So that being said, I'm going to break down each day from the moment I got there until the time when the conference was over. And this time I have pictures! Yay, pictures!

I hope you enjoy!


Tuesday:


So there really isn't anything noteworthy about most of Tuesday as most of it was spent in a car driving from New Jersey to Chicago. Yeah, it sounded good on paper and I know for a fact we saved a great deal of money on travel (driving only cost about 120 dollars because our car is amazing on mileage - where plane tickets were around 180 each round-trip or whatever) but it was exhausting.

We left 10:30 AM and arrived at the beautiful hotel around 9:00 PM, Central. So almost twelve hours in a car. Not fun. But it was nice once we got to leave the car and unwind.

I met the wonderful and talented J.P. Barnaby in the lobby who proceeded to pull me into the hugest hug possible. You have no idea the magnitude of this hug - it was the hug to end all hugs. For those who don't know, she's a very good friend of mine. We usually talk for 2-3 hours straight once or twice a week and it was nice to finally see her in person after a year.

I also got a chance to be officially introduced to William Cooper, my lent-assistant, whom I met last year but we really didn't talk much. He's a lovely guy and very, very sweet. I'll just insert this here - I couldn't ask for a better assistant. EVER.

After we had our hello, I was instructed they were going to go play a game called Cards Against Humanity...which, just by the name, I should have knew what I was in for. The rest of the night was a blur...but I do remember snapping turtles biting off the tip and pacman uncontrollably guzzling cum - so I'm going to assume it was a good night.

We also managed to have Chicago pizza for the first time and it was delicious.


Wednesday:



So of course Wednesday began with me texting J.P. and asking her what she was doing that morning because we've talked so much and seen so little of each other so I'll be damned if were weren't going to spend as much time together as possible - which she agreed.

So we got breakfast together and when I went downstairs to her room with the fiance I was introduced to the lovely Jodi. Now, apparently we met the year before but I seriously did not remember - it doesn't say anything negative about her, but rather about how many people you meet in a single weekend at GRL. This time I like to say we were officially introduced because got to spend a great deal of time together and actually had a conversation for more than a few minutes. She's one of the sweetest, most genuine people you could ever want to meet.

So being a glutton at heart, I wanted to sample the breakfast buffet, my fiance did too. I didn't see an issue because we've stayed at hotels with breakfast buffets before and they were stellar...yeah, wasn't the case this time. The waffles tasted like depression and the bagels were so hard I thought the secret ingredient was Viagra. But in all honesty it was the only negative experience so it's forgivable. :P

Anyway, after breakfast we had a lot to do. We went back up in the room and proceeded to assemble about 250 bags of stuff. You see, J.P. being the generous, kind-hearted individual she is, allowed authors who couldn't attend as authors or couldn't make it to put their swag inside of her bags. This was lovely...but we were flooded! I think we had stuff from over 50 different authors and it was basically just myself, William, and two others assembling everything together. It was chaotic - but fun. I also had help from two lovely ladies (who are good friends) Juli and Rebecca - I met them last year on the last night...so we didn't get to hang out as much as we should have. But this year I like to think I remedied that.

Afterwards I tagged along with J.P. to pick up Ms. Shae Connor and Jared Rackler from the airport. Now I had met Shae previously twice - wonderful person and has such an amazing smile - but this was my first time actually meeting Jared officially. He was at GRL last year but I don't think I found the inner strength to approach him as I was much too shy back then and he well, doesn't appear to be. Let me say he's also very sweet and funny. We all had quite the car ride back. I won't get too personal but our topics ranged from writing to threesomes to slippery dildos. Yeah...if you weren't there, you certainly missed out.

That night we proceeded to play Cards Against Humanity, again. It was Myself, Anthony, J.P., William, Jodi, Jared, Daniel Kaine (adorkable and gives amazing hugs!), Brandon Witt (cute, funny, and has a nice laugh), Amy DiMartino (beautiful, funny, and reminds me of home!), and I'm sure a few others. Let's just say it was chaotic. Notable mentions? Daniel giving AIDs to naughty children and the discovery that pacman seriously needs to seek help for his cum-guzzling problem.


Thursday:



This was the first "official" day of the conference. 

I didn't go to the newbie meet n' greet this year. I wasn't a newbie, so I didn't see the point. I was much too busy sleeping - I was exhausted, okay?!

I shot a text to J.P. and of course, our gang went to breakfast again. Only this time we didn't have the buffet, we just ordered off the menu. Huge improvement. My pancakes were beautiful and fluffy and I just wanted to wrap them around my naked body while dancing to I touch myself by divinyls. Yeah, they were seriously that good.

After breakfast it was time to head down to the Supporting Author Signing. I helped them carry stuff down and basically went to support William (his first time being a supporting author) as well as Wade Kelly (another close friend) and Jeff Adams (sweetest guy ever). During my venture in the Supporting Author room, I managed to finally meet Taryn Plendl - a lovely woman who's quickly become one of my closest friends. I enjoyed chatting with her and her lovely daughter made my fiance and I two My Little Pony bracelets. He got Rarity, I got Twilight Sparkle. OMG! They were beautiful. I don't think I took it off once the entire weekend.

I have to mention that I was shocked that people were actually buying my books! I must have had like twenty people come up and ask me to sign their things. It was a bit overwhelming and I couldn't even begin to handle it. I was blushing like crazy and came dangerously close to crying a few times. But I was bolstered by William, J.P., Anthony, Rebecca, Taryn, and Juli-Anna. So I didn't do that.

Speaking of people buying my novel - three fellow authors whom I just so happened to look up to, also purchased copies! T.J. Klune, Daniel Kaine, and K.A. Mitchell! Holy cow! I'll have to address them separately.

T.J. - I was surprised when I saw that he'd be attending this year but I was really happy. As soon as I possibly could, I said hello and hugged him. I spent some time with him and Eric Arvin last year and they really were amazing. We chatted a bit and I mentioned I had a novel out - I don't want to fully recap what I said because I don't feel like crying right now - but I mentioned how they were part of the reason why I worked up the courage to actually try to make my way into the M/M genre and he asked me to show him the novel. I did, and he bought a copy. I don't know if he actually intended for me to have an out of body experience or not...but I came dangerously close.

Daniel - I met him last year. He was far too quiet so I thought he hated me. This year I decided to try and see if I'd get the death glare or not. He came up to me and mentioned he purchased it and after two chapters thought it was really good. And let me say it sounded really pretty coming from him. :P
Anyway, I melted and yeah, I signed it - actually messed up my name! >.>

K.A. - sweet woman, one of my first friends in the genre. I love her to death. I was so touched that such a brilliant author actually took the time to buy my novel and when she asked me to sign it I actually teared up. >.<;;

Afterwards I went out to lunch with J.P., Anthony, William, and Jodi - we went back to Portillos which is a delicious place near the hotel. Think cheese fries to end all cheese fries. They were that good.

The rest of the afternoon was a blur - I know I went to the authors lounge and stuck pretty close to J.P. and co. - we were officially her minions for the week. Which was a fun job! And I managed to raid the swag room and was given a hug by Rhys Ford (a close friend) and finally bumped into Lisa of The Novel Approach who is another close friend - and got a huge hug from.

Thursday night was the Juke Joint! Let me start off by saying that I was kind of drunk. See, somebody thought it would be a good idea to leave a bunch of booze out on a table in the hotel with a sign saying: "Free to a good GRL home" and well, I took that as a personal invitation. I downed a whole bottle of rum and milk. I had fun. I did some things I didn't think I would. I actually tipped an exotic dancer. A pretty cute one. And I kissed him, too! Holy cow. Again. I danced on a dance floor to S&M...with a woman and a man. It was crazy.

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This post is getting kind of long so I'm going to cut it off here. I'll post the last three days before the week is over. But yeah. The first half of GRL was AMAZING. Second half was better.

As always, lots of love (and applesauce) <3







Pictures from the first half:





(Me, Anthony, Daniel Kaine!)


(Me and Dancer Derrick)



(Brandon Witt feeding me chocolate cake!)



(Me with TJ Klune!)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

How To Understand Anxiety Without Really Trying

Hello everyone!




I haven't made a blog post in awhile because real life has been kicking my ass. I thought this would be the perfect time to talk about a very important topic that not a lot of people understand. I'm referring to the little demon known as anxiety.

Now before I delve into this, I want you to understand that "anxiety" is a blanket term. There is a whole rainbow of different anxieties that someone can have. In fact, someone can even have multiple forms of anxiety. Meaning,instead of having one huge beast ravaging inside someone's mind, there can be two, three, or more! Isn't that nifty?

I'll go over a few really quick.

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Yes, although most people don't realize it, OCD is a form of anxiety. OCD is a form of anxiety where a person will be compelled to repeat specific actions in order to ease the amount of tension/anxiety in their body.

Plain ol' Vanilla Anxiety: The standard variety. General Anxiety is the process of worrying about things that one has no control over/being terrified about the outcome of said events. Many people have pings here and there of general anxiety, but those with anxiety disorder are afflicted constantly.

Hypochondria/Health Anxiety: A type of anxiety where the person is constantly worrying about their health. Little injuries can be a big deal and an innocent headache could result in major stress/worry. In fact, it's quite common for health anxiety to take a toll on you physically/mentally in the vein that your mind actually can imitate what you're looking for. As in, you could be checking yourself for lumps and feel one or one could actually form. Or you could read an article about a person who had a pain in their foot and died and feel that same pain.

Social Anxiety: This type of anxiety happens when a person leaves the sanctity of their home and ventures out into the world. They can be at a grocery store, a park, or whatever - the slightest thing can trigger the anxiety. It also poses a hindrance to social interaction.

Sexual Anxiety: Where you're only hit when you're getting intimate with someone. People with sexual anxiety are typically those who have been sexually assaulted (read: post traumatic stress disorder) and have a hard time distancing themselves from the traumatic event and the present situation or those who are uncomfortable/insecure in a sexual setting because of the vulnerability.


Those are just a few. The point is, although anxiety is in the mind, it's very much real to those of us who do suffer from it. And it's important to understand that no matter of reassuring or words of encouragement will make it just go away - although, they do help. Sometimes. =)

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Here is a short list of things you should NOT say when dealing with an anxietic person:

(1) "Just get over it"
Right, because it's just that easy. Pro-tip: It's not. Let me make an analogy for you. Having anxiety is like... having arachnophobia, claustrophobia, and nyctophobia and being locked in a small, dark room with thousands of spiders. AT ALL TIMES. Now ask yourself if that's something you could just get over. If it was simply that easy, everyone would do it.

(2) "Oh come on, you're faking it!"
I'll let you in on a little secret: people with anxiety don't want to have anxiety. Trust me. Having anxiety isn't fun. Having people think you're crazy isn't fun. Having people stare at you like you're some wanton mistress of the night isn't fun. So why on Earth would someone want to put themselves in that light? Seriously. I won't lie, some people DO act like they have anxiety for attention - and, there's just no explaining it. They're idiots. But for the rest of us, if you say the above - it isn't going to make things better. It's going to make things worse. Do not be an asshole because chances are if you tell me I'm faking when I'm having a panic attack, I'm going to tell you that you're faking when you're on fire and I'm holding a fire extinguisher.

(3) "If you have social anxiety, why are you having fun in public/why can you go out with certain people and be fine? You must be doing it for attention!"
First of all, see the above response. Second of all, social anxiety is a lot more complex than that. Yes, we are uncomfortable when in public, but that doesn't mean we're frozen in a corner the whole time - well, okay, some of us are. But the point is, anxiety is an affliction of the mind. It affects everyone differently. Some people who have anxiety can NEVER go out in public and have to stay home or they'll have a huge attack (agoraphobic/anthropophobia people) while some anxietic people are fine sometimes but something - it can be big, small, whatever - can trigger them and cause an attack. So if we can get our minds off of it, we can function better. One of the best things one can do is surround themselves with people they feel safe around. These people are like an anti-anxiety barrier. Another thing, as a friend of mine (J.P. Barnaby) mentioned, sometimes a bit of liquid courage helps. Just a little. The important thing to understand is that people with anxiety usually have their minds racing a thousand miles a minute. It's like grand central station is in our brains. We can't shut it off, so the best alternative is to be around people we feel safe around or do things that help distract.

(4) "See? You were freaking out for nothing. You're doing so well!"
No. Don't say this. Because then it'll remind us of exactly what we're doing well with. And that's bad. And an irate person with anxiety may stab you in the eye with a hot, salted french fry. I'm not joking. It's been done before...I should know.

(5) "Stop being such a hypochondriac. You know there's nothing wrong with you!"
Okay. And while we're at it, how about you stop breathing. Because that's essentially what you're asking a person with health anxiety to do. I'll say it again: people with anxiety disorders can NOT control what they think about or how they perceive things. Maybe to a normal person a pain is just a pain, but to someone with health anxiety their mind causes them to freak out and think something bad is going on. And telling someone with health anxiety to just get over it or that we know there isn't anything wrong with us - doesn't help! It actually makes things worse.


However, there are things you can say that actually WILL help someone with anxiety.

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(1) "You're okay. I'm here for you. I won't let anything happen to you. You're safe."
Comments like this help. If you know someone with anxiety who you think is having a panic attack, it helps to ground them. Assure them that they're fine and nothing is going to hurt them. If they're the type who won't get freaked out by physical contact, a hug or light touch helps, too. Any form of reassurance, really.

(2) "Think about..." or "remember when..."
Someone once told me that depression is worry about past troubles - anxiety is worry about future troubles. So sometimes if someone is having an anxiety episode, it helps for you to bring up a positive memory or a happy event of some kind. The key is getting the person to focus on anything but what's causing their anxiety. 

(3) "That's not so weird!"
The one thing that will really hurt someone with anxiety is if attention is drawn to what they're going through. It's generally a bad idea to point out someone's OCD (unless you know them personally and they're comfortable with it) or point out that someone is pacing or having nervous ticks. What you can do is draw attention away from it. So if someone brings it up you can casually lead the conversation in a different direction. Your anxietic friend will be appreciative.

(4) "You're not alone.
Sometimes a casual reminder helps. Let them know you're there for them and that there are other people who are going through the same thing. Sometimes anxiety makes you feel like you're trapped and all alone. Nobody can hear you screaming. Be there for them.

(5) Action
Although most people with anxiety have tools they use to calm themselves down, sometimes it's not always so easy to remember when you're in the middle of an attack. So that being said, remind them of the tools. Tell them to breathe - deep, slow breaths. Take them out of the situation (if possible) make sure they took their medication, if applicable. Stuff like this.

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I don't know what causes anxiety or why it has to exist at all. I wish that I could be like everyone else and not worry about things I don't have to or shut down when something gets too intense for me to handle. I'm sure most others with anxiety feel the same way.

I wrote this blog post because I think it's important to be honest and factual when dealing with such a heavy topic and the more people who understand what anxiety is, what to do and what not to do, the closer we get to lessening the effects and maybe one day finding a permanent cure.

I can dream, can't I?


As always, lots of love and applesauce <3



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

10 Things I'm Looking Forward to at GRL 2014

Greetings everyone!



So I've been very busy writing lately but I promised to do my best to keep this thing updated so I would be a very bad boy if I didn't do just that when inspiration comes a' knocking. So here I am. About a week ago or so, my good friend J.P. made a post about the things she wanted to do at this years GRL. I liked the post and the idea was brilliant. I mean, I'm a new author...so what better way to get people to know me than by letting them read about the things I'm looking forward to. It couldn't hurt, right? Famous last words, I'm sure - though I can't see how this could possibly backfire unless people literally form a mob and chase me...with actual fire. I hope not.

Anyway, here are the 10 things I'm looking forward to at this year's GRL. I hope you enjoy.






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(1) Hangout with my Besties - I think its no secret that I (somehow) manage to attract the most awesome people. I mean, I'm like this dorky, awkward kid and yet I have the coolest friends. It's so bizarre. J.P., Lisa, Wade, Rhys, Jackie, Angel, and Will/Jeff. - my apologies if I missed anyone, I'm operating on very little sleep. These are just the people I've connected with the most. I can't wait.

(2) Reconnect with old friends and get better acquainted - I met a lot of people in the span of last year and I want a chance to get to spend more time with them. Taryn, Juli-Anna, Rebecca, and Members of the Non-Asshole group (I'm not tagging any of you because its a secret group and if I tag then it won't be a secret!), and many others.

(3) Make new friends! - I've already started talking to more people on Facebook and I hope this year at GRL I can get properly introduced to all of you.

(4) Meet the readers - I know my novel has just come out and what not, but at the point when GRL happens it'll have been out for a month and some change. I can't wait to meet people who've actually made the effort to read a novel I wrote and hear what they thought about it! You readers have to understand that hearing your opinions are like sex to us writers! Obviously good opinions are like really, really good sex - you know, heavy sweating, cigarette, the whole nine yards, but we value all opinions. Bad ones, too! It's how we improve.

(5) Seeing the sights - I'm a very sheltered boy. Until about three years ago, I had never even left my home state! Being an author has expanded my horizons so much and I've traveled to so many places. Chicago is a new venture and I can't wait to see what the famed "windy city" has to offer.

(6) FOOD - Yeah, I'm fat kid at heart. I cannot wait to finally be off this diet for a week and eat all the delicious cuisine I can get my grubby little paws on. If you see me plow through six slices of pizzas and fifty brownies - don't judge me.

(7) Discover new authors - One of my favorite parts about last year was discovering new authors. I found Wade Kelly, Rhys Ford, TJ Klune, Eric Arvin, and Daniel Kaine from last year's signing. I want to discover even more new authors and bring more novels into my already cramped apartment and further annoy my fiance. >:D

(8) Buy more novels - As seen above, I love discovering new authors...so of course, by extension, I love buying books. And not those silly electronic versions. I need print. I need to feel the novel in my hands. I need to smell it. I need to caress it like a lover. I know its bad for the environment, but I don't smoke or illegally dump into oceans. So it balances out...right?

(9) No Work - As many of you know, I work a grueling job with unholy hours. GRL is my get-out-of-jail-free card. I don't have to work for an ENTIRE WEEK. That's like 7 days, 168 hours of pure bliss. You see, we take off the entire week of a conference so we can get our sleep schedules in order, prepare for travel (we usually drive everywhere) and arrive a day early to get a feel for the location and what not. So it's a whole week of relaxation. Yay.

(10) Fun, Fun, Fun - I want to have fun. I had a ton of it last year so if this year is anything like what I remember, It'll be heaven.


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Okay, well there's my list of things I'm looking forward to at this year's GRL. I hope you guys enjoyed reading.

Tomorrow is the big day when my debut novel in the m/m romance genre, Red Rose (Blood) is going to be released by Wilde City Press. So if you have nothing better to do and want to make this awkward lad happy, you'll stop by and pick up a copy here. Do it. I hear with every purchased copy there's a 0.9% chance of world peace being achieved. And who doesn't want world peace? ^.^

(warning: purchasing Red Rose (Blood) will not bring about world peace, nor does it have any direct correlation with the phenomenon. This blog nor its author are responsible for any misconceptions caused by the previous joke. It was just a joke.)


Anyway, lots of love and applesauce! <3





Monday, September 1, 2014

Let's Get [Wilde] and Update (P.S: I'm bad at updating)

This blog post is long overdue. I'll start it off like I always do. (the rhyme was totally unintentional)





Okay, so hello everyone!

I haven't updated in a few months - completely going against my promise of updating at least once or twice a month, but I've been very busy! For starters, back in May, I pitched a novel to Geoffrey Knight of Wilde City Press and it was accepted! So my novel Red Rose (Blood) of the Deadly Rose series will be released in about 9 days. Woot, woot!

The last couple of weeks I've been working on the editing and other processes which come with publication. So that's been an endeavor, luckily I was given an amazing editor (shout out to Val!) so it's not as cringe-inducing as it probably would have been, otherwise.

I've also been working on another two novels which are almost done and I hope to submit them to Dreamspinner Press and Harmony Ink Press, respectively. So here's hoping that goes well.

In total, I have about 2-3 novels/novellas to be completed before the end of this year (not counting the ones previously mentioned) so it's going to be very hectic. I don't mind because writing is my passion and if I don't get these stories out, my imaginary friends will kill me...or I'll be committed. I'm not sure which one, yet, the jury's still out on that one.

Another part of my crazy year are the two side-projects I've been working on for awhile. I can't talk too much about them right now, but I will in due time. I apologize, but I feel like it's bad luck to mention them now, something about counting chickens before they hatch, or whatever. Just know the projects are cool to the tenth power.

The last thing I can talk about is my work AKA my real life, boring job...of misery. So for those of you who don't know, I deliver newspapers during the night. Which means at any point in time from 12 AM to 6 AM, I'll go to a warehouse, collect the papers, put them in plastic bags, and then spend the next 1 1/2 hours zooming down different streets throwing them to whomever bought them.

It probably wouldn't be so bad if my fiance and I (we work together, luckily, so anxiety is reduced by 75%) weren't the youngest people there and 90% of the people who worked there didn't act like they were still in high school. I'd probably write some of our experiences down as stories but most people probably wouldn't believe they were real >.>

So I guess that's all for now. I'll be updating this more frequently as my work load lessens.

As always, lots of love and applesauce! <3


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy (Un)Father's Day - The Blog Where Michael Goes Off

Hello Everyone!


















I'm blogging right now because I'm unable to sleep and when that happens, well, my mind races and goes places it generally shouldn't/wouldn't normally. Anyway, today's an important day, or so I've been told. It's Father's Day. Yay, how awesome, right? Well, maybe for people who actually have one.

Before you go jumping to conclusions about immaculate conception and what not (I'm not the second coming of Jesus, I'm sorry!) let me clarify that while I have a father, biologically, I don't have a father in any other sense of the word. Thought it's honestly possible I don't have the correct definition.

Wikipedia says the following:


"A father (or dad) is a male parent who has raised a child, supplied the sperm through sexual intercourse, or sperm donation which grew into a child, and/or donated a body cell which resulted in a clone."

Huh, I didn't know the latter was possible. Going further down the page I came across the following information:


"Traditionally, fathers act in a protective, supportive, and responsible way towards their children. Involved fathers offer developmentally specific provisions to their sons and daughters throughout the life cycle and are impacted themselves by doing so. Active father figures may play a role in reducing behavior and psychological problems in young men and women. An increased amount of father - child involvement may help increase a child's social stability and/or educational achievement."


All of this is very interesting because my father didn't do any of those things. Heck, I was lucky if he could even pronounce my name right half the time. And I can't help but wonder how my life would have been different if he had been a better man. The information above was quite illuminating in that regard. Would I have done better behavior wise and not acted out so much as a young child? Would I have been better off psychologically and not be afflicted with depression, social anxiety, and mild-OCD every day of my life? Would I have done better academically and not dropped out of High School because I couldn't handle dealing with all the problems in my life?

I guess I'll never know.

What I do know is that I have no respect for him as a person because he was never there for me growing up. He couldn't even be bothered to attend a birthday. Okay, well maybe that's not entirely true.. He made my 4th, 7th, and I saw him on my 11th. Otherwise? I didn't get not so much as a phone call.

I remember around the time I was 12 years old he called me up and told me that things were going to change. He told me he wanted to be in my life. I didn't believe him. He appeared randomly when I was hanging out with my friends and showed off his brand new car and then took me to the mall and hung out for an hour or two. I was shocked. He told me that it was the start of a new beginning. He told me to be ready next Friday and we'd go out again. Of course I waited the entire week for that day and got dressed up all nice and what not.

He never came. He called a few days later and apologized, something came up. He promised that this next Friday would be our day. I was a bit skeptical, but he sounded sincere and I believed in second chances. So again, I waited the rest of the week and got all dressed up. He didn't show. I didn't even get a personal phone call as he had my Grandmother break the news to me. She told me that something else came up but he said it would definitely be next Friday. This time I didn't wait. He never came and I didn't see him again until I was sixteen. And then at this point (I'm 21) I haven't seen him since I was 16.

Part of me is bitter because through his selfishness he robbed me of what could have been a series of beautiful memories and experiences. I never got to know what it was like to play catch with him or have him take care of me when I was sick or even have him congratulate me on my achievements. And then the other part of me understands that I didn't need him my entire life.

I achieved SO much in my life without him being there for me. I went through self-harm and I beat it. I stopped being so depressed. I am now fighting against my anxiety and not letting it control me as much as it used to. I was published at the age of 21. I have another novel coming out with an amazing press. I've been engaged for five years and have an apartment with my fiance. I've met so many wonderful people who actually do care about me and would never hurt me as badly as he did. And I've grown so much as a person that it scares me sometimes, because I never thought it was possible.

And I'll continue to do well without him.

I don't know what the point of this long rant was, but...I guess it's good to let things out every now and then. I hope whoever reads this can forgive my random explosion.

As always, lots of love and applesauce <3



Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Rainbow Con AKA Michael Finally Updates His Blog

Greetings!













I haven't made a blog in a long time. I feel really bad. In my defense, I've been very busy and while I know that's not an excuse - it's the best I have. TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT! Okay, I kid. I hope you'll take it and stay. :P

Anyway, the last month or two have been very busy for me. Anthony and I started working together delivering newspapers - yes, an actual job. It's not so bad...it could be worse, like a desk, 9 to 5 job, and I could hate my life. I haven't fallen so far. We basically go to a warehouse, bag papers, and deliver them to five, six hundred houses a night. We're like Santa Claus!

In April we went to Rainbow Con which is was this fabulous convention for LGBTQIA readers, writers, reviewers, etc. basically anybody who falls under the spectrum or enjoys reading novels with characters in that spectrum. It was a very nice convention. I didn't attend as many panels as I'd have liked to, but I got to meet a whole bunch of amazing people like Angel Martinez, Nicole Dennis, Sara York, Brandilyn Carpenter, Geoffrey Knight (this was especially significant and I'll explain why in my next blog), LE Franks, Sue Brown, Jeff Adams, Greg Payne, Allison Cassatta, Lexi Ander, and a whole bunch of other people I'm too dazed to remember. If I forgot you, I'm sorry, it's not intentional - I have the attention span of a squirrel force-fed cocaine in Autumn. So again, my apologies.

I met all of these wonderful people and reconnected with older friends, such as: Lisa H. from The Novel Approach, Jackie also from The Novel Approach, Rhys Ford, Kade Boehme, and Wade Kelly. And probably many others I'm forgetting! In which case, I'm sorry! I'm only human...as far as you know, so I'm allowed to make mistakes.

I think one of the best parts of the conference was the choice in venue or how approachable the staff was. Both of which can make or break a conference.

I took some pictures:

(Wade Kelly signing a copy of My Boyfriend's A Jock? Well Crap!)

(Me posing awkwardly with Nicole Dennis and Sue Brown)

(Me with the amazingly talented Princess S O Briot)

(Me with Wade Kelly)

(Wade Kelly and Shira Anthony)

(Me with Kris Piet of Storm Moon Press)


(Myself, My Fiance, Sara York, Brandilyn Carpenter, Greg Payne, and Wade Kelly)



So I totally should have taken more pictures...but I was overwhelmed with all the people! I think I exhausted my camera at GRL...but anyway, yeah. It was fun!

After Rainbow Con, Anthony and I went to stay at his mother's house in SO-Florida and it was a nice relaxing time. In the week we stayed with her, I managed to finish a novel and complete 50% of another novel. I was on a roll like butter. >.>

So yeah. I'll be updating again. Probably tomorrow with amazing news. We shall see.


As always, Lots of Love and Applesauce! <3





Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Update Post of Updating

Hello there, everyone!
















I'm sorry I haven't updated in a few weeks but that was actually intentional! Yup, you heard me! It was intentional. You see, I think there needs to be a balance of some sort. I don't want to update just for the sake of updating, yet I also don't want to go months without any sort of blog post. That just wouldn't be cool. Or interesting.

So here's the balance. I'm going to post once every two-weeks. That way I can keep things alive on this blog and I can also make sure I actually have things to talk about. Running out of things to say as an author is like a comedian running out of material on stage. Let's just hope I never get the hook...

Anyway, I'll get to the point of this entry. I actually have a few updates. Actually, make that one update and one update abut an update.

The update is that I've been busy working on my WIP and I'm actually making decent progress. I've completed two chapters in less than 3 days. That's a new Michael record!

The update about an update is that I've been referencing a project for the past few days on Facebook and what not, and that project is still underway. I've made excellent headway into that project and it should be far enough along to make an actual update post about with images and descriptions very soon! I hope everyone enjoys it and gets as much fun out of it as I did making it. So until that update comes, keep your eyes open!


As always, Lots of Love and Applesauce! <3





Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Importance Of Honesty

Greetings and salutations!




I don't really have updates or anything like that, but I thought I'd share a story of something that happened recently.

Last night, Nick and I went out to the local Chinese buffet. We hadn't been there in a year or so and I was craving Chinese food, so, why not, right? So we got seated and consumed tons of the yummy chicken, fish, and other assorted goods. At the end when we were paying, I noticed a problem with our bill. Now, our total came to $29.37 (not including tip) and there was only $2.37 cents on our receipt. Obviously this was a mistake. At first, Nick thought his card was declined or something, but he checked his bank account and found that he was only charged $2.37. Huh.

Now, I knew what the average person would probably do in this situation, but more importantly, I also knew what I had to do. I took our receipt up to the front desk and explained to them that there was some kind of mistake because we weren't charged the proper amount. The lady explained that she had made a mistake because they swipe the card and input the amount to charge on a machine. When we got charged "2.37" it was because she forgot to add the "9" to make it 29.37" as it was supposed to be. She did the difference and charged the correct amount.

The lady at the front desk, the manager, and our waitress thanked us multiple times for being honest and not taking advantage of a mistake. And while I didn't get the super cheap dinner that I would have, I got the satisfaction of knowing that I did the right thing and that by doing the right thing, it made people happy. And that's what matters.

Honesty is very important to me. I truly believe that honesty is its own reward. And because it comes so natural to me, it really makes me upset to think about how many people would have just paid the two dollars and walked out without a second thought. When I was much younger and my friends would do little things like: steal money from their parents, shoplift from stores, cheat on their homework, and other types of things like that, they'd always make fun of me because I didn't see the point of it. I have never seen the point of lying, cheating, or stealing. I have a "bad" habit of putting myself in someone else's shoes. And because of that, I couldn't help but think of the repercussions of those kinds of actions. Like if Nick and I were to walk out without paying the correct amount and the restaurant figured it out, it wouldn't hurt us - it would hurt our nice waitress. She could have lost a chunk of her paycheck or even been fired. And for what? For us to have a free dinner? It wouldn't be worth it.

I think the one thing a majority of the world could benefit from is learning to have more empathy. I think it would make the world a better place. Honesty is a start, but better empathy skills will make for a perfect finish.

I hope you enjoyed my random story!


As always, Lots of Love and Applesauce. <3


Friday, January 31, 2014

Would You Rather [Blog Edition]

Hello everyone!




I hope everyone had a wonderful day and/or enjoyed the random facts about myself that I posted yesterday. I thought it would be a good idea to post another blog today to show that I'm serious about updating more frequently. A little bit of assurance never hurt anybody, right?

I want to state for the record that I'm terrible at blogging - I'm shy as hell and find it incredibly awkward to type out my thoughts as if someone is actually going to read them. I know a few people will, but eh, still awkward. However, I think more "fun" updates are better than just updating about my thoughts all the time. Don't get me wrong, I'll do serious and important updates, but I think if I'm going to keep this updated frequently it's important to have fun with it and enjoy what I'm doing.

Which brings me to this blog entry. I thought I'd play one of my favorite games...a word game called: Would You Rather?

For those who don't know, it's basically a game where you state two options and the person who's turn it is has to state which one of the options are more appealing. It can get pretty crazy. I'm only going to do a handful or so, but it should be interesting to get an insight into the way my crazy mind works. :P


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(questions courtesy of yourather.com)
Would you rather...


(1)  Be a Centaur or Be a Mermaid/man?
This is an easy one. I'd rather be a Merman. Why? Because I love water and being in water. A centaur would more than likely be limited/restricted to land. The ocean is wide open and goes on for miles and miles...and has miles in depth, too. I think it would be pretty serene to be able to just swim far under the surface and escape things if you needed to.

(2) Catch your best male friend sleeping with your mom or Catch your best male friend sleeping with your sister?
Oh lord. This is a tough one and kind of disturbing to think about. I'm really protective over both of my sisters...and they're both under aged - compared to all my male friends who are in the 20's. Now my mother is a grown woman who can make her own decisions...so the first one.

(3) Eat a breakfast of only jellybeans or Eat a breakfast of only hot wings?
Jellybeans. I feel like Hot Wings would be too taxing on your stomach that early in the morning.

(4) Be able to fly up to 5 meters off the ground or Have a magic carpet that can fly up to 50 meters off the ground?
Sorry, but I'd rather fly. A magic carpet would be nice and all, but if it's not with you or destroyed, that's it. Where as if you can fly, not even that high, you're still friggen flying. And that's cool.

(5) Have your best dream and worst nightmare come true or Never have any of your dreams come true?
That's an easy one. I'd rather have the first happen. Why? Because dreams are what make life matter. Without dreams, life would be boring. And honestly, nightmares aren't that bad when you think about them. Nightmares are fears that you're too scared to face so your subconscious creates them as ways for you to deal with them. If you're brave enough to face your fears, you can face a nightmare. And I think that never having any of your dreams come true is like living in a nightmare. Not cool.

(6) Be horribly and hopelessly depressed or Have inescapable overwhelming anxiety?
HAHAHA. This is actually pretty funny, considering I have anxiety which sometimes causes depression. So I guess for the sake of the question, I'll pick the second one because you can fight through anxiety. Depression? Not so much.

(7) Only be able to listen to your favorite artist/musician or Only be able to listen to everything BUT your favorite artist/musician?
What kind of choice is that? Said artist wouldn't be my favorite if I could get tired of them. I literally have Icon For Hire's two CDs on repeat for most of the day. So I'd pick the first.

(8) Kill a unicorn in front of thousands of children or Kill a beloved dolphin in front of thousands of children?
Uh, I'm sorry, but if there's a unicorn, I will NOT be killing it. I will be keeping it and naming it Mystery. And said unicorn and myself will partake in many magical adventures together. The dolphin can die. I'm really sorry.

(9) Never touch a computer again or Never touch a person of the opposite sex again?
LOL. Gee, I wonder what I'm going to pick? :P

(10) Be Harry Potter or Be Luke Skywalker?
I'd be Harry Potter, no question. Having a wand is like having the force - on crack. And it's friggen MAGIC.

(11) Never be able to hear your favorite song again or Never be able to watch your favorite movie again?
I enjoy listening to music more than I enjoy watching movies. The funny thing is, my favorite movie is actually a musical! >.> However, I'd give up the movie.

(12) Get shot or get stabbed?
I've been stabbed before, it wasn't a picnic, but I know it's certainly better than getting shot. So I'd be stabbed...again.


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Well I think that's enough for now. I hope you enjoyed my answers. So now it's time for the fun part. If you're feeling adventurous, either comment with your answers to the questions I answered or go to yourather.com and comment a single question and your answer!

I can't wait to read some of the replies.



As always, thanks for reading. Lots of Love and Applesauce! <3



Thursday, January 30, 2014

25 Facts About Me, Myself, and I

I haven't updated this blog in about five months. And I'm feeling incredibly guilty because I promised to be more consistent with my updates. I'm supposed to do a few a week, not a few every couple of months. This is just unacceptable.

And Mr/Mrs. blog reader, I know exactly what you're thinking.



And I'm sorry. I'm a bad boy. I've just been very busy with writing - yeah, typical excuse. But it's true! I swear. I've been literally ping-ponging between four different novels that are in the works. Oh, and editing a fifth, which is almost ready to be sent to my lovely beta readers.


I'm going to keep this blog active. I'll be Dr. Frankenstein and bring this baby back to life! Hopefully I won't have to use the assorted remains of dead blogs. I'll use my natural energy to breathe life into this blog. No necromancy needed!

In order to do that, I'm going to share 25 random facts about myself. Some of them may be very obvious but others may not. I want to have a good relationship with my readers. I don't want to be on some pedestal or shrouded by some barrier. I want people to know that I'm human and I'm real. So here are 25 facts you may or may not know about me!


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(1) My favorite color is purple

(2) I've been diagnosed with two forms of anxiety. Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) and/or Hypochondria Anxiety. They're both very taxing and I wouldn't wish them on anyone. Some days are harder than others. In the last couple of years I've learned to properly deal with them.

(3) I am a huge fan of My Little Pony. Like seriously. The show is good. I collect tons of memorabilia. I probably spend too much money on stuff from it.

(4) My favorite band is Icon For Hire. They're really good and the lead singer is a lyrical genius.

(5) I believe in magic. I believe that magic exists in everyone. I believe that people have more power than they realize and they're capable of great things if they just believe.

(6) My favorite author is Laurell K. Hamilton. I started reading her novels when I was going through a REALLY tough time in my life. Her Anita Blake series helped me ignore what was going on in my personal life and gave me something to be excited for...as cheesy as that probably sounds.

(7) I truly believe that dragons, mermaids, and unicorns were real at one point in time. I don't care what anybody says, but there are large portions of the world we haven't fully discovered and we don't know for sure if they existed or not. Let me continue to exist in my magical world - no lectures!

(8) I have a very mild form of OCD. It's not as debilitating as the anxiety, but it still causes me some discomfort. I always carry around a container of hand sanitizer (I hate germs) and tissues in some form. Not to mention that I have issues with certain "textures."

(9) I used to self-harm.

(10) I could eat Taco Bell for every single meal. I'm addicted to those evil tacos.

(11) I'm half Hispanic - Dominican specifically. Most people don't believe it because I'm so light skinned, but It's true. My Hispanic ethnicity is the only thing my father ever gave me. >.> On my mother's side, I'm Italian, and some form of Irish/Polish.

(12) I'm a huge fan of Rupaul's Drag Race. That show is addicting. I also watch Bad Girls Club. My two guilty pleasures.

(13) My skin is highly sensitive and most of the bath products on the market cause me to break out. It's annoying.

(14) I'm a huge fan of video games. RPGs in particular. I'm an avid WoW player.

(15) I'm addicted to Tumblr. I'm on it almost every day.

(16) When I write, I listen to OSTs (Original Sound Tracks) for my favorite video games. Listening to songs with words throws me off.

(17) My favorite musical is Sweeney Todd. Second is Avenue Q.

(18) Once Upon a Time is my favorite show. Notable mentions are Xena: Warrior Princess, Charmed, Buffy: Vampire Slayer, and Adventure Time.

(19) I'm a huge "shipper" when I watch TV shows. I love pairing up characters and I'm just a huge fan of love.

(20) I have a "quoting" issue. In normal conversations, I tend to throw out random quotes from my favorite novels, movies, tv shows, etc. Sometimes people get them and laugh and other times people blink and slowly inch away.

(21) I wear makeup sometimes. Nothing crazy, just little touches. I dabble with light eyeliner, blush, and cover up. I'm not theatrical, I just like the subtle differences that a little bit of make up can create. Most people don't even notice.

(22) I'm very shy. One way to tell that I really like you, is if I actually go out of my way to speak to you in person.

(23) I keep myself guarded 24/7. I've been hurt a lot in my life, so I'm very protective of who I let in my life. I was actually surprised that a few people at GRL managed to get past my walls. But they're good people so I'm not worried. =)

(24) I'm a cat person.

(25) I can't go to sleep unless I hear the sound of rain. Every night before I go to bed, I turn on rainymood.com and leave it on. It really relaxes me.


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So there you go! 25 random facts about yours truly. I think this was a decent way to make my triumphant return to blogging and I sincerely hope you enjoyed learning a bit about me.

!!//

Lots Of Love and Applesauce. <3