New Piece on Medium: “Pennies”

So this piece that I put up on Medium today is only slightly spooky. Just a bit. Not like, overwhelmingly so.

My older brother once told me about this penny superstition, where he would find pennies in unsuspecting places during times where he was worried or off-balance. Both him and my sister-in-law had found them in several situations, and each time they would tell me about them, I would find it just as bizarre as they did.

Then, I found a penny of my own in a similar situation. The bizarre part? I was at least 99% sure that I had never placed a penny there.

If you’d like to check out this piece, click here to go to the story on my Medium page! I had a lot of fun writing this, and it was very cathartic, both to create and to share with you all. Hope you enjoy it!

Collaboration and Accountability

daniel-cheung-554579-unsplash (thumbnail)
Photo by Daniel Cheung on Unsplash

I was talking with my sister about writing projects, as she’s also quite the writer, herself. I talked about how I had all of these ideas for big projects that I can’t really just get out of my head. She happened to be stuck in a similar rut, and though she said she’d been wanting to get out of her writing dry spell, she managed to crank out a pretty great poem. That’s the thing about her, though; she has ideas, and she immediately guns for them. With my ideas, I can often find it hard to stay in the present.

She mentioned at one point that she wanted to collaborate with more people for the ideas she had, and one part that stuck out for me is that she wanted to do it for the sense of accountability. There would be someone else working with her who’s depending on her input, so if she falls short in getting the work done, it’s not just failing her, but will also be failing someone else. I’m certain most of it is because she actually enjoys working with others to get to a common goal, but the accountability part struck me as particularly interesting, because I can’t say that I’ve ever thought of it, that way.

I’ve always been interested in collaboration with others, but always fall short in knowing just what I should do to initiate it. Like, I know what a good approach for collaboration sounds like, but my mind is always telling me “Ooh gurl, you gonna get REJECTED.” That’s not really the best reason to discourage myself from it, but hey, we all have our battles with insecurity to face. I know plenty of talented, hardworking individuals who put out some amazing work, and I know our talents combined can be a force to be reckoned with, but…I don’t know. I suddenly feel like I don’t know what to offer when I approach them, which I’m aware is a defeatist attitude that has no place in my line of work. However, I just get too into my head comparing my own talents with the talents of others, and start feeling like I don’t have much to offer. Neat! (Not.)

Anyway, if I can work through my imposter syndrome with my talents, I could actually ask people about collaborations, but this got me thinking about which ways I actually do hold myself accountable, for the projects I take part in. I committed to releasing a blog post every Tuesday, I have a set schedule for when I stream on Twitch, and I have certain rewards on my Patreon that I make sure get put up in a week (on a good week. I do realize I need to get better at regularly updating on there). Aside from that, I try to use sheer willpower to commit myself to write at least 500 words of something every day, but even then, it doesn’t always happen. It seems like, for the things I know people are expecting of me each week, I can get those out without fail. But when it’s something I have to hold myself accountable for, I’m suddenly at a loss. There’s no fountain of infinite productivity. It’s just a bowl of stagnant water.

While I can’t collaborate on every single project that I do, it does get me thinking about how I can implement similar ideas to hold myself accountable. Whether that’s rewarding myself for staying on track, only doing “relaxing” things after I’ve gotten a good amount of scheduled work done for the day (and actually making a schedule of tasks I want to get done), or something along this lines, I think I’ll be able to find a sense of accountability. I have too many projects, and too many things I want to accomplish, so finding a way to make sure I take the responsibility needed to achieve those goals is not just desired, but necessary, at this point.

What ways do you keep yourself accountable for getting work done? Leave them in the comments! I’d love to hear about how you keep yourself on track!daniel-cheung-554579-unsplash (thumbnail)

NaNoWriMo’s Most Important Lesson


National Novel Writing Month is coming to a close VERY soon! For all of those who have been literally writing their buns off this month, congrats to you! You’re incredible, and the determination alone to get to that near-impossible word count is enough to get you to make it as a writer. If you don’t get to the 50,000 word mark, guess what? You’re still pretty freaking cool, and don’t let anybody make you feel like you’re not.

This year in particular, I’ve heard a lot of people say that they don’t want to participate in NaNoWriMo because aiming for a word count isn’t their thing, or that they won’t like to write long-form pieces. These are both valid reasons, of course, but I feel like they really ignore the spirit of what NaNoWriMo truly offers. Yes, there is a goal that you’re working toward, but what you can truly take away from NaNoWriMo is that you really did have the determination to sit in front of your computer for several hours a day, and write words that your brain generated onto a blank document. It’s not about the fact that you were trying to meet a deadline, or that you have to prove that you could even write a novel-lengthen piece of writing in such a short amount of time; it’s about the fact that you had the determination within you to do it all along.

I feel like I’ve shared this story with the Internet before, but hey, the Internet is constantly changing, and therefore, so has my views on my past writing experiences. I’ve only ever made it to 50,000 words once during a National Novel Writing Month, and that was in 2010 during my freshman year of college. I literally wrote with every free minute that I had. “Just finished all of my homework? Time to write!” “Watching a movie with friends that I’ve already seen? I can squeeze some writing in!” “Waiting for laundry to get done? The low hum of a dryer could make for a great backdrop for being productive on my novel!” “It’s midnight and I should really be in bed because I have a 9am class tomorrow, but if I stay up, think of all of the writing I could get done!” 

Each year after that, I fell very flat on making that word count. I sat in front of my computer with every intention of creating something new, but feeling more like I was firing blanks in a dark room. Maybe it just wasn’t the right time to write, or maybe there was too much else going on during my college years, as well as transitioning into a society outside of that bubble, that put up a giant writer’s block. What mattered in those moments was that I still tried. The determination and the resolve was still there, even if fountain of creativity wasn’t flowing. I hadn’t lost the feeling of wanting to create.

That novel that made it to 50k words in 2010 will never see a world outside of my hard drive, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t fun to write. Looking back on it, I probably worked on that novel at some inopportune times, but what I learned about myself through all of that obsessing over getting to 50k words is something I’ve carried with me up until this very moment. I do have the drive and the creativity to write a novel-length story. I can make the time to get these things done if they’re truly important, to me. I will think about these parts of myself every time I get ready to type out another piece that I can be proud of, because that feeling of creating something produced and molded by my own creativity is what I enjoy most about writing.

Don’t think about how many words you’ve written for National Novel Writing Month. Instead, think about how many times you sat down to work more on your novel. Don’t compare yourself to others who have double or triple the word count that you have. Instead, think about where your novel is going, and get yourself excited for getting it there. And ultimately, remind yourself that November is not the only time that a drive to write several thousand words of your own creative content can exist. 

Inspired by Inktober: Day 10 (Prompt: “Gigantic”)

Hey, everyone! I got very inspired by some of the Inktober prompts going on this month, and I decided to try and write for as many as time allows. I started pretty late into the game with day 10’s prompt, but better late than never, right? Either way, I hope you enjoy my start into this journey!

I sometimes think feelings are bigger than we give them credit for. They can be so big that they spill to into the world and spread to those around us, and they can be so big that it fills the senses, and changes the lens in which we see life. Feelings are bigger than this country, this world, and maybe even the vast expanses of this galaxy. We have no way of measuring how big a feeling is, maybe because feelings themselves are too big to measure. We may just cry if we get too sad, or too happy, or too angry, but we can’t possibly know how big that feeling is. 

Feelings are sometimes so big, that we only see the feeling itself, and not the intricacies within it. You see a girl crying and you feel that she’s sad, but do you see that she’s crying because she lost her job, her mom, and her spouse all in the same 6-month span of time? You see a small child jumping for joy about his mom buying him a new video game, but do you see him jumping for joy because it was the first game she could afford for him in the ten years that he’s been around?

Feelings are gigantic, in ways that are either full or overwhelming. Sometimes we want to feel so much of a feeling that it leaves room for nothing else, but sometimes we forget that too much of a feeling forces out the kind of feelings we need to protect ourselves. Maybe feeling one feeling entirely is too much for our bodies to contain, and that’s why the general sense of feelings are so easy to see in others. 

It’s hard to know if I’ve even felt one feeling so strongly, that I’ve moved all feelings aside. I know I’ve felt so sad that I’ve cried, felt so happy that I giggled, and felt so angry that I tensed up, but has that feeling itself ever been so big that it’s actually taken over? Has it ever become so big that it spilled out of me and soaked into someone else? Has it ever been so big that surrounded me, and disguised me as the feeling itself?

How can a thing be so minuscule, but so gigantic all at the same time? Sometimes we can hold ourselves back from expressing it, and sometimes it’s bigger than anything we’ve ever seen, leaving us with no choice but to let them overflow. Sometimes it’s harder to contain than it is to express it, and holding the feelings back is how the dam can burst. If that’s the case, some of us must be so eager to something break. 

And maybe that’s why feelings are so big; we’re supposed to see them, feel them, and be aware of how big their existence truly is. They must be so big so that we can’t miss them. They’re gigantic because they’re omnipresent, and no matter how much we try to ignore that, they’ll never be contained. Feelings can seem small, and they can feel like too much to handle, but they can never be forced to be smaller than they are. They know their own potential, and have no fear about how much of that potential they will show. That’s what makes a feeling so big, so gigantic, that we may never have a grasp on what it truly means to feel.

Thinking of You (Creative Nonfiction)

When I think of you, I think of coffee shops with cozy chairs and wooden tables. I think of the smell of espresso, quirky baristas, and lattes with just enough sweetness. I think of kisses on the comfiest couch in the shop, and sitting as close as possible without looking like one of those couples. I know that people would glance, but I imagine laying my head on your broad shoulder to give them something more to look at. A part of me would hate every bit of becoming that couple who constantly shows how much they’re into each other, but I feel I’d love every bit of it because it’s you. I think of spoons clanging against mugs and fingers poking at laptops being the background to the way the smoothness of your voice tells me, for the very first time, that you love me. I think of that being the only way I’d want to hear it.

When I think of you, I think of fireflies on a humid summer’s night. I see warm lights and I feel comforting heat, surrounding me and singing softly into my ear about everything being alright. I imagine us singing along, harmonizing and creating something beautiful with only breath passing between our lips. I picture your arms around me, the glow from the fireflies against our faces, the blue in your eyes disappearing against the orange beams, but the beauty in them never fading. I’d tell you that I want to feel like this for as long as I could, and I think of you holding me even closer. I think of not knowing if that made you smile, but feeling that you did.

When I think of you, I think of coming home during a snowstorm. I picture myself brushing the snow off my coat, slide my boots off of my feet, and hearing the soothing sound of your voice as you offer to warm me up with a cup of cocoa. I think of blushing, how you’d know I would prefer tea, and how you would believe that tea couldn’t warm your soul the way a cup of cocoa could. You would make yours with all of the works: whipped cream, marshmallows, and a dash of cinnamon, because you wouldn’t believe in too much comfort. I think of you getting some of that whipped cream in your dark-colored beard on purpose. I imagine you’d do this just to make me laugh, not because I may have had a bad day, or because you would think it was required of you, but simply because of your natural impulse to spread happiness.

I think of you in situations where thinking of you doesn’t seem logical. I think of you bringing home flowers when I’m taking my dog outside. I think of making you a spaghetti dinner when I’m folding laundry. I think of us sampling hummus, cheese, and locally roasted coffee at farmer’s markets when I’m driving to work. I think of sending you songs I know you’ll love when I’m washing dishes. I think of all the ways you could propose to me when the time feels right, how often we’d make midnight ice cream runs in our pajamas, and all the ways you’d turn sadness into smiles when I’m simply staring at an off-white wall in my bedroom.  

But I don’t just think of hot cocoa, fireflies, and farmer’s markets when I think of you. I think of text messages that you don’t reply to. I think of waiting in my chair at work, or while sitting on my bed at home, even just hoping to see you typing a message, simply so I would know that the intention was there. I feel that the emotional gravity would pull at my stomach, twisting and tearing it down with debilitating force. I imagine the gut wrenching would spiral into days, maybe even weeks, before I draft a message asking if I’m still worth while, without actually using those words. I think of you ignoring that text, too.

I think of a canyon between us when we’re sitting on the same couch. I think of you making more eye contact with your phone than you make with me, as if the entire scope of your vision could only handle a web page. I imagine hearing one-worded answers when I ask about your day, and I picture me spewing long-winded rants to my dog after you leave about how I just knew that I felt the foundation of our relationship crumbling from the moment it started. I’d punish myself for not trusting my gut, for keeping it quiet when I knew it should be the most important voice to trust. I think of picking up my dog, burying my face in his black and white fur, and sobbing after I hear your car pull out of the driveway.

When I think of you, I think of getting caught in rain storms that flood streets and drown plants. I feel it soaking my clothes and filling my shoes, making every movement feel heavy. I imagine how crippling it would be to want to rip those clothes off and wring them dry, but knowing I’d have to wait until no one was watching. I imagine the water rushing out of my shirt and scattering across my bathtub, some staying stagnant against the white base, and some slipping into a dark unknown. I think of how wrinkled and darkened the clothes would look after all the trauma, and wonder how I became pathetic enough to sympathize with pieces of fabric.

Thinking of you is fragile hope in a pool of chaos; it’s knowing that the train is on its way to a broken bridge, but thinking just a few more seconds of looking into your eyes will make the brakes work faster. It’s feeling that we’d still have time to redirect the whole damn thing, despite all of the noise. It’s realizing we bought the wrong ticket halfway into our journey.

When I think of you, at the end of all of the clashing chaos, I think of trying to unlock the front door during a snowstorm with frostbitten fingers. I think of hot cocoa that tastes like salt, and I think of drinking it in silence. I think of fireflies that sting, and harmonies that clash. I think of the perfect latte spilling onto the white sweater I wore on our first date, and you being too distant to care. I think of roses dying, spaghetti dinners with mushy pasta and watery sauce, and getting your taste in music entirely wrong. I think of how many pieces a heart can shatter into when you hope for forever, but end up with a box full of your stuff, and a good-bye that only one of you prepared for. I begin wondering if the shattering started way before that moment.

Thinking of you makes me feel whole, but also like the wholeness evaporating, forcing itself out of my pores and clutching onto some hope on the way. I feel complete, like pessimism in the midst of getting your heart broken. I feel new: sometimes like a star forming in the sky, but more often like a newborn baby feeling the world’s cold embrace for the first time. I feel the most fragile sense of bliss, knowing it could slip through my fingers and explode into thousands of small fragments across the kitchen tile. I feel that you wouldn’t be there to see how the pieces broke, yet, I think of you scooping them up with your hands, trying to make them whole, again.

A Recipe for Disaster (Fiction)

Hey, y’all!

So I was looking through my “642 Things to Write About” book that my dear friend Maddy bought for me, and I stumbled upon some big inspiration after looking at this prompt, “write a recipe for disaster.” I decided to write it from the point of view of the main character of a post-apocalyptic story that I have in the works, and I think it turned out well as a bit of a teaser for the story as a whole. It was a surprising lesson in all writing being progress, and how writing exercises that might not seem helpful at first can really inspire something amazing. I hope you all enjoy it!

I used to wonder how disaster could be created before disaster happened to us in the form of an apocalypse. I thought maybe it could be born, but that would make disaster out to be so pure, as if it was some blank slate that couldn’t be blamed. Then I wondered if it was manufactured, which seemed to make more sense, though people don’t always make shit with the intention of it becoming a disaster. After we ended up where we are now, I imagine it as a giant pot with a bunch of power-hungry, dumbass humans stirring its ingredients while following the wrong recipe. There could be no other explanation for how our current disaster was created, and I bet our sick, sad excuse for a “president” was the one that provided that recipe.

Place the country over high heat, and start to incorporate the 321 million unsuspecting citizens into the pot. They’ll most likely be crying about it, but that’s okay, because the salt of their tears will make the results much, much tastier. Sear on all sides; make sure they’re a little crispy on the outside with their insides still raw. Stick them in the “Fear” oven until their brains evaporate, and they become unaware of just how baked they really are. There’s a possibility that not all of them will cook through, because the “oven” is a faulty piece of shit, but you might be starving for these results and you just can’t wait, so you can decide when the cooking process ends. Remove from the oven, watch the medium-rare survivors wrestle their way out of the frying pan and into the world, and do your best not to get your guts ripped out. Enjoy.

And there you have it; that’s the recipe for this fucked-up world that we’re in. There are mindless crazies at every turn, survivors who won’t talk to you unless they’re pointing a gun at your head, and concerned animals that won’t even approach you because they’re expecting a knife to come out of your back pocket. The only thing they all have in common is that they all wish they were dead, but they’re all too damn scared to make that wish come true.

In some ways, it’s just like the way it was before everyone lost their minds. You fend for yourself and the ones you love, and if your supply of loved ones is empty, the chances of you getting ground up, cooked, chewed, and spit out grow more than the amount of fear that exists in this damned country. Without a loved one covering your ass, it’ll get seared and thrown into that oven and reduce your body, mind, and identity all down to a dark piece of meaningless, moldable crud. It’s terrifying how your goals can go from “get your masters in Creative Writing” to “avoid becoming the shit you scrape off the bottom of a pan” overnight.

They wanted control over us, and maybe over every single one of the seven billion people in the world, but as long as I had Ethan, it was their control that shrivel up and die in front of us.

Other than my girlfriend who fell to this disaster, and maybe my little brother, whose survival I’d pray for if we had deities that would actually prevent this kind of suffering, Ethan is the only one I’d want with me in the apocalypse. We’d be the Asian lesbian and the Black gay man against a world full of fearful, medium-rare sheep. It’s the video game story that no straight white man would ever write, and if they did, they’d most likely kill us off for shock value. They probably don’t think think the two of us could fight hoards of slobbering, deranged filth with assault rifles, spewing offensive nonsense out of fear, as if we didn’t deal with that on all the days before the world went to shit. 

Well, you know what, fear-mongered America? We’re the ones writing the story, this time. We’re more acquainted with fear than you’ll ever give us credit for, so your half-baked fear-zombies might as well just be the bigots we already dealt with on a day-to-day basis. We’re making it out alive, whether you want us to or not, so stay the fuck out of our way.

Interview with Comic Artist, Author, and Vlogger: Paige Lavoie

Being an online content creator immediately opens you up to this world of people who are so talented and inspiring, to the point where you just think “how are you not super famous?” In the very baby years of my vlogging endeavors, I came across the channel of a wonderful lady named Paige Lavoie, whom I later found out was way more than just a talented vlogger. She creates comics, she writes novels, she looks flawless pretty much 100% of the time, and every bit of her talent inspires me to do more with all of the content I create. Not only has she published a novel (a feat I have yet to accomplish), but she regularly creates comics, vlogs, all while continuing to put out more novels. How does she do it all? Well, she’s also a magical girl, so there’s that.

Because she’s such an inspiration to me, I asked her if she would be willing to answer several questions I had for her. I was thrilled when she agreed to it, because I knew her infectious charm would appeal to all of you, as well! So without further ado, let’s get into these questions!

 A panel right out of her webcomic! Characters, left to right: Sebastian, Violett, and Skarlett
A panel right out of her webcomic! Characters, left to right: Sebastian, Violett, and Skarlett

When did you first start making web comics?

It had to be around when I was fifteen or sixteen, (It’s so crazy that that’s more than ten years ago now.) It was back in the Yahoo Geocites days. I remember scanning my super rough drawings and posting them for friends to check out, and trying to promote it on Myspace! It feels like a million years ago, now. 

Is Pumpkin Spiced your first big comic, or were there others that came before it?

There was! I kept my webcomic from when I was a teenager going for a long time. It was called “The Graveyard Girls” and most of the characters from Pumpkin Spiced started in that gag-a-day comic strip. A lot of the humor was really sarcastic and fun to do, but I got to a point where I knew so much about these characters and I really wanted to share more about their stories and how they all came to get to know each other. They’ve changed and grown so much since then! 

I absolutely love the character designs in Pumpkin Spiced. How did you come up them?

Oh wow! This is such a good question. Growing up I was really inspired by Tim Burton, and I think that still shines through in the comic. Edward Gorey has also been a huge influence. I feel like that combined with my love for Manga and cutesy street fashion ended up creating the creepy/cute look that you see in the comics. 

Pumpkin Spiced has been with you quite a few years! How has the art/story developed as time has gone on?

It has changed so much from the beginning! Originally the story was going to revolve a lot more around Skarlett, and while she still has some major plotlines I want to follow in the future, what’s currently going on in the comic has her less at the center of it than readers might think. 

I don’t want to give away too much- but somehow the story began to pivot away from Skarlett and more towards Penelope. I wrote about how she came to live with the girls in my short story “A Pumpkin Spiced Christmas” and I started to realize that so much of what’s going on in the comic right now revolves around her origin story. I’m getting closer to jumping into a small flashback arch, where readers will be seeing her pre-zombie for the first time ever, and I cannot wait! Plus, every time I get to draw her and Helga together I swoon. They are my personal favorite ship ❤

It’s all practicing, jotting down notes, and figuring out the characters. I still sketch while I write, and sometimes things pan out, and sometimes they get scraped. I have been seriously stuck to the past trying to figure out what to do next. It’s been challenging, and I’ve gotten sidetracked by little side stories. I have a whole stack of papers somewhere of story arches and plotlines I never ended up following. But all and all, I’m really happy with how the story has shaped up over the years.  

 Progress of her character, Isabell!
Progress of her character, Isabell!

You’ve also published a novel called Confidence: The Diary of an Invisible Girl, which is such an amazing feat! What was the process like of writing/publishing this novel? 

It’s so hard for me to sum up. I wrote it during National Novel Writing Month, and it was a mad-dash of word-sprints, self-doubt, excitement, and tears. It sounds so dramatic, but Confidence was the first novel manuscript I had ever finished. It was scary, but also one of my proudest moments. I hit the end of the story on the very last day of November, and just barely reached 50k before I was out of time, and I’m glad I pushed myself so hard to finish it (even though at the time I was convinced it was terrible.) 

It took me about a year to share it with my husband. I remember watching him like a hawk as he read through it- I wanted him to like it so badly! I questioned every raised eyebrow, smirk, and chuckle. I’m so thankful for his support. After the post-NaNoWriMo feelings settled in, I knew I liked the story, I knew I wanted to do something with it, but I honestly don’t know if it would have happened without his encouragement. I feel really lucky to have him on my team. 

After that and reading it over a billion times, I hired my editor Jen Juneau Haupt (who is generally just an amazing person and so talented) she did fantastic at pointing out places for me to fill in plot holes, fixing up my crazy grammar and giving me fantastic feedback. I worked with her on my upcoming novel as well, and I love working with her. 

I decided to self-publish, and went through Createspace. My husband and I worked together to design the cover, we thumbnailed a million designs, I put up polls on Facebook to get votes, and we ended up landing on the journal/convention design. He did the artwork on it and I’m so pleased with how it turned out (he also did the formatting, because he is a superhero. Haha! I’m going to make him blush when he reads this.)

We learned a lot through the process, It took a long time and was fun, frustrating, and scary.  It’s such a cliché but all of the stress and long nights felt worth it when I got to hold the finished book in my hands, and flip through the pages. My heart was racing when we clicked the “publish” button to make it go live on Amazon ❤

 Click the picture to learn more about her book!
Click the picture to learn more about her book!

How would you compare the experience of writing novels vs. the experience of creating comics?

They both have their challenges, but I can write a lot faster than I can create comics. Whenever I’m working on either I try to get sucked into the story, and picture all of the details like I’m watching a movie. translating that into comics can be a little harder sometimes. Both definitely have their pros and cons. 

Would you say that one is more challenging than the other?

Comics Is more of a challenge for me. I’m not the fastest artist, and I struggle with trying to get the comic page to look how it does in my head, But with writing, that’s something that I feel like, even if I get stuck, generally, I can fly through. Yes, there are still tricky scenes to workout, I’m going to need to step away, rethink, and organize my thoughts, but when I write, I don’t have to worry about drawing hands! 

Just because I’m curious…which of the characters that you’ve created (in your novels or comics) do you relate to the most?

Barbara Jenkins from Confidence: The Diary of an Invisible Girl all the way! I didn’t realize it when I was first writing the story, but a lot of her awkward quirks, like leaving sing-song voicemails and generally overthinking are very inspired by myself. 

On top of all of this talent you have, you also run such an entertaining Youtube channel (which I watch religiously). What kind of content do you enjoy making for your channel?

Recently, I’ve been really enjoy doing the webcomic Q&A videos. It’s a great way to interact with my community and share the tidbits of knowledge about topics I know they’re interested in. I also like how it’s a little bit more causal feeling than my “How to Make Webcomics” videos. 

I do feel some pressure in speaking so directly to my viewers, I always want to make sure the advice I give is clear and helpful. But, I think that, for me, it makes it feel really rewarding to create and post those videos. We all go through creative slumps, but it’s humbling whenever someone says a video of mine helped them through a bad day of writing or drawing. Sometimes I can’t even processes that a video I made could do that for someone. It’s mind-blowing, and right now as I type this I’m having a hard time summing up the feeling with words. 

It makes me really happy, and I want to create creative content that makes people feel empowered to go out and create something wonderful. 

What kind of creative satisfaction do you get from making videos that you don’t get from comic writing or writing novels? 

It’s a overall faster experience. I can shoot a video, edit it, and have it online within the day (although let’s be honest, editing can sometimes take forever, lol.) I love how quickly I can share the content with the world.

If each of the main Pumpkin Spiced ladies had their own vlogging channels, what do you think they’d all vlog about? 

Oh this is super fun! 

Violett would totally have a “storytime/rant” Youtube channel.

Penelope would have a cooking channel, and try her best to leave brains out of her recipes. 

Isabell would have a sewing/DIY channel.

I feel like Skarlett would either team up with Isabell for the sewing channel- or maybe make travel videos. 

And Trixi would do a lot of anime reviews, unboxing and kawaii makeup tutorials….and a whole lot of shoe hauls.

(Characters left to right: Isabell, Penelope, Skarlett, Trixi, Violett)

When you’re not busy writing, vlogging, or drawing, what are some of your favorite things to do?

I love cooking. I’ve been doing more of it recently, and having a lot of fun playing around in the kitchen. We had a bunch of friends over for a Christmas shin-dig last month and I did a super cute brunch menu and made eggnog French toast and a breakfast casserole, as well as tiny chicken and waffle sandwiches that lasted…maybe two minutes? It was definitely a win! 

Sometimes my kitchen experiments go well, sometimes they’re not so great. But kind of like like writing stories, everything I make is practice. You just put your heart into something and hope the people receiving it will enjoy it, and it warms a part of their soul. Oh wow, I totally sound like a shoujo manga protagonist, right now. 

 *strikes pose and glitter sparkles fly everywhere* 

I also love exploring my city, checking out everything from themeparks to small local happenings. And if I’m having a lazy introverted day, it’s very likely I’m reading a visual novel or clicking through a otome game. 😛

 Any new projects you’re working on that you can talk about? 

Yes! So right now, I’m getting ready to release my second novel. It’s a modern day Frankenstein story, that I’ve been explaining to people as “My Fair Lady meets Steel Magnolias.” The story has a female “monster” as the main character, and I loved creating the person she wakes up as, and grows into as the story progresses. 

Currently the story is still untitled…which has honestly been keeping me up at night. I want the name to be perfect, you know? I’m hoping it just hits me like a ton of bricks before the month is over. But we shall see? The goal is for this novel to come out in Spring of 2017. One can only hope it will have a name by then. 

And I’m currently finishing up a manuscript with the working title “Broommates” about teenages who are banished from magic school to a bed and breakfast in Portland. It’s around 77k words right now, and so close to being finished and ready for revisions. It’s been a really cute YA (Young Adult) novel that ended up feeling a lot like a summercamp romance. 

I received the advice on a writers retreat to let your rough draft sit for at least a week or a month before jumping into revisions/editing, and work on something else, so I have a small pile on manuscripts ready to revise and polish up that I’m hoping to jump into before the end of the month! 

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Now before we go, what advice would you give to anyone looking to jump into a big project like writing a novel or creating a web-comic?

Don’t wait until your art or writing is at a “certain level” to start. Jump into the deep end and just start creating. If a novel seems too scary try out a short story! Just start creating something that you can be proud of. The best way to get better, is to start practicing and what better way to practice than to start doing something you love? 

There are going to be good days, and bad days, but just think about the work you want to create, the characters you want to exist, and their stories. You’re the only one who has the power to make them exist in the real world, and bring them to life through your writing and your drawing. Keep going, keep doing your personal best, and remember: you’re not alone. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to be interviewed by little old me! Where can people find you on the Internet?

Thank you for having me! You can find me on, 



Twitch (I do a virtual write-in every Tuesday at noon, some come do some writing with me!)

My Blog


and Facebook