Grief Happens

Grief steals from you…

Sometimes you notice it other times you don’t.

It’s a process.

It’s keeping things safe

Grief steals from you…

It’s not the same for all.

It’s stingy and LOUD

But quiet and stealthy

Grief steals from you…

Occasionally on purpose

But never to be mean.

You gotta let it happen.

Grief steals from you…

Nothing that you can’t get back

Sometimes it’s temporary.

When it needs to be, it’s Forever

Grief steals from you…


But nothing

And all that’s in between

Grief steals from you…

every now and again

Lurking and Waiting

Never far but not too near

Grief steals from you…

Anything you’ll allow

Things that you hold dear

But never a single tear.

Grief steals from you…

Not always to keep

Waiting patiently to return it all

with nary a peep

Grief steals from you,

Hope lends you strength,

Faith holds your hand,

Love warms your heart.

Though grief steals from you,

it helps you carry on.


Befitting an Edit

Learn from my mistakes.

The right editor means everything. Early on in my career, I thought any editor would do. That is not true. I learned after two appalling experiences, that you need a different editor for each different niche you write in.

One of the first bad pieces of feedback I ever received was from a cis het white man. I didn’t think about it when I was writing and submitting that I needed an editor who understood my genre and characters.

The feedback: don’t write multilingual prose and dialogue, limit the gay interactions, and don’t make race the forefront of the story.

I am a non-white queer neurodivergent writer. My characters reflect that, always. At the time, I was young and hated myself thinking that I couldn’t write these types of characters. I was devastated since I had created an entire series around these characters. I stopped writing and left that universe behind.

Then I got angry. Representation is important. Not just for me but all the non-white queer neurodivergent people out there. It was a decade later I picked that universe back up. I submitted it to another editor. I figured it would be a better experience since they were queer.

The feedback: it’s too steeped in culture and too much that isn’t in English.

A memory came to me. I can’t tell who the speaker was or the exact quote but it stuck with me. I remember reading it somewhere and it was like, “if they can pronounce Dostoevsky, Tchaikovsky, and Vysotsky they can learn to pronounce your name.” That made me think about language and society. If people can read and adapt other languages in other areas of life, then they damn sure will be able to get it in a fantasy novel.

The story isn’t written to where a reader can’t pick up and understand what’s happening in the scene. Also, it is conversational Spanish. Not some unfamiliar language. Context clues provide understanding, or another character translates it.

I dug into figuring out the correct kind of editor after that. I am putting money behind something I need to make sure that I am getting the most out of the relationship. I will give it to the others, most of the remainder of their feedback was decent, but they didn’t understand my voice or my characters.

Social media and research have helped me find out how to search for an editor and make sure that we’re the right fit for each other. I have submitted my queer fantasy novel to a new editor and have high hopes. They are also queer, neurodivergent, and multilingual. Fingers crossed! The third time’s a charm!

Editors are not one size fits all. Make sure that you’re getting the most out of the dollars that you spend by hiring an editor that is right for you and your work. Everyone deserves someone that they can trust with their manuscript babies.  

I’m Tired

Don’t say you’re colorblind.

We really don’t want to hear that line.

Every day we’re dying in the streets,

and every night you’re not losing any sleep.

It’s like sometimes you forget,

but I can never forget.

I can’t breathe.

Because all they see is the brownness of my skin,

the fullness of my lips,

the kinkiness of my hair,

and that just isn’t fair.

I can’t breathe.

You speak from a privileged place,

Walk with a privileged sway,

and stand in a privileged light.

Knowing you’ll never have to fight the same fight.

Or raise the question, will I die today?

I can’t breathe.

It’s not just about being invited to the cookout.

It’s more than just clout.

Kneel when I kneel.

If you can’t stand with us,

you don’t get to pretend to be us.

Give us back our culture.

Give us back our names.

I can’t breathe.

I don’t want to die today.

Or tomorrow.

Sins of Worship Chap. 2

Devon hummed as he made his way through his house. He pulled the wig off and placed it back on the stand. Devon went through the motions as he cleaned and prepared himself for the night. He dressed and went down to the subbasement.

“Hello beautiful,” Devon greeted the man as he went to the closet and pulled out his waders and a smithing apron to wear.

The man struggled against the bonds and his cries were muffled by the gag that was tied tightly.

Devon walked around him as he pulled his plan to the front of his mind. He nodded and went to the large red tool chest. He opened the first drawer on the right and grinned. He lifted the hand sander and headed to the modified work bench. Devon made sure the straps were clean and sat the sander down. He turned and went to the storage closet off to the left and pulled out the bolt of tarp plastic.

The man’s eyes followed Devon as he spread out the plastic in layers under and around the table. The hairs began to stand up on his arms as Devon began to hum and upbeat tune while he sealed the gaps with gorilla tape. The man struggled against his bonds to no avail. He closed his eyes and sent up a silent prayer to a god he had long ago given up on.

Devon finished his preparations and went over to the man.

“Jon wasn’t it?” Devon pulled the key from around his own neck and unshackled the hands from the floor board ring first, “you won’t be missed. You’ve been very unkind and a horrible father to three lovely boys. Don’t worry,” he chuckled, “they’ll know you’re dead so that they can collect the insurance money. It is the very least you can do for your family.”

Jon tried to argue and plead around the gag as he pulled at the cuffs.

“You’re not my first nor will you be my last. I have perfected the hostage holding bonds. You’ll never get out of those cuffs. That’s why they’re separate then connected. A ton better than shackles. Now if you try to run this will take a lot longer than I have planned.”

Jon sagged and allowed Devon to move him from the floor to the work bench.

Devon untied the first layer of the gag then removed the cloth he has shoved in Jon’s mouth.

“You can scream as much as you’d like. We’re not that far from civilization but this room is sound proof and layers of concrete and a layer of steel between us and the earth.”

“Why?” Jon whimpered.

“Why not?” Devon shrugged.

“Someone hired you didn’t they?”

“Nope,” Devon popped the ‘P’, “I found you on my own. You originally bought the last case of Bluemoon and proceeded to almost run me over with your cart. That put you in my sights,” he undid the clasp in the middle of the cuffs and clasped them to the table, “then I followed you home. Your home life and the way you treat your family is what really landed you here.”

“W-what? I got the last beer?” Jon stared at him confused.

“Yes siree bob you did and that pissed me off,” Devon made sure Jon’s legs were secured before he plugged in the sander, “then I followed you home. I watched you for a few days. Your anger and your abusive nature did you in. Your sons deserve better,” his eyes darkened and his lips set in a fine line, “your wife should have left you a long time ago. I don’t know how she bore you three children and continued to stay with you,” he all but spat.

“Sh-she’s my second wife.”

“No matter,” Devon waved his hand in a flippant gesture, “we’ve ended up here either way.”

Devon picked his humming back up as he took the sander to each finger. He took his time and let the music of Jon’s screams lull him into his comfortable place. After he finished with both hands he went to the table he had set up the morning before and rolled it over still on the layered plastic.

“I think that I would love to see what your femur looks like,” Devon picked up a syringe and a small vial, “this will make sure that you’re not going into shock on me my lovely man,” he injected the medication above Jon’s hips, “you’ll be mostly numb from the waist down. I think I’m going to leave the femur for later. I saw what you did to the oldest boy’s knee. I think I’d like to see what a sober athletic man can accomplish,” he grinned.

“Please,” Jon’s couldn’t keep his eyes open and gasped as the pain radiated up his arms.

“Oops! I forgot your morphine,” Devon grabbed a clean syringe and picked up another vial and administered the pain medication in a low dose, “there. That’ll help keep your mind clear enough. Sorry about that. I almost had you slip away. It’s a funny thing how chemicals can trick the mind.”

“Don’t do this. You’ve taught me my lesson I swear.”

“No,” Devon’s smile dropped again as he balanced the mallet in his hands, “your oldest is about 19. You’ve got probably about 19 years still to learn but we don’t have that kind of time. So Jon I hope you’ve made your peace,” he brought down the sledge hammer with all his might.


Devon handed a cup of coffee to his receptionist.

“Janice if I ever promise to take another international call please murder me,” Devon joked.

“You were in there a lot longer than I thought. I saw you sneak out to get a late lunch. I would’ve ordered in for you. Thanks for the coffee! You always get my order right,” Janice took a sip and her eyes closed with pleasure, “so perfect.”

“I didn’t want to bother you. Plus, I needed the fresh air. Give me another hour and a half and we can be out of here,” he lifted the armful of folders and his laptop.

“Sure thing. I’ll keep the others out of your hair.”

Devon disappeared into his medium sized office. He went to his desk and turned off the call forwarding from the office phone. He pulled the mobile from the cabinet and swapped his SIM back into his real phone. Devon sat down at this desk and pulled up the research on his latest conquest. Valerie Austin, 32, single, and head of a major charity firm. He didn’t like the way she represented herself and she had taken his last girlfriend from him with a blink. Sometimes vendettas were moved to the list. Spontaneity wasn’t always the cleverest.


As the month closes in five minutes I just wanted to reflect on my accomplishment. I’m proud of myself because I reached 62,738 words written this month. Not so bad. My goal for March is 65k+.

Sins of Worship Chap. 1

Devon set up his alerts in his phone and left the burner with the serial number cloned in the bar’s bathroom.  He spent a few minutes in front of the bar getting the attention of a few workers with jokes and charisma.  Devon left his tab open when he exited through the side door.

There was crime scene tape already in place by time Devon arrived a few hours later.  He watched as the police combed over the scene and the detectives swapped ideas.  He bit back his smile and ruffled his hair as he made his way to the barricade.

“No,” Devon shouted as he tried to push pass the officer there, “you have to let me in that’s my girlfriend’s house!”

“Sir,” the detective turned around to see what the commotion was all about, “you know the woman that lives here?”

“Yeah,” Devon ran his hand through his hair, “it’s my girlfriend’s place.”

The detective pushed the barricade aside just enough for him to slip through.

“I’m Detective Carter and that’s my partner Detective Richardson.  I’m sorry to have to tell you.”

“No.  Not Amy.  Not Amy!” Devon tried to push pass the detective.

“You don’t want to go in there.  It isn’t worth you seeing what’s left of her.”

“W-what’s left of her?” Devon’s eyes went wide and he grew still, “what do you mean?”

“She is the latest victim of the Douglasdale Slasher.  Let’s go down to the precinct.  I think it’ll be best for you to talk there.”

“No.  I need to see her.  She,” Devon gulped, “she just can’t be.  No.  I don’t believe you,” Devon shook his head as tears puddled in his eyes.

At that moment the coroner pulled the stretcher out the house to take downtown.

“Nooo!” Devon dropped to his knees as tears spilled down his face.