Seriously, if the dermatologist is concerned enough to want to take off a couple of chunks of skin (including one mole that has already been biopsied and come back benign), why schedule them more than a month out?

The nurse practitioner who saw me at the same office nearly two years ago thought the biopsied mole was fine & the dark one just needed to be watched. She told the tech to make a note of it (which apparently didn’t happen) but that it just needed to be watched.

Then the office’s phones were “messed up” when I tried to call to schedule the next day, and I was told by the answering service to call back the following day, which was Friday. I called back Friday only to be told that the office is closed Fridays. Thanks.

Give me a scalpel and some biopsy containers and I’ll do it myself for crying out loud.


I cannot, for the life of me, stay awake for very long today.

My cat, Rory, has woken me up twice this morning making a nest of my hair–and damn near ripping it out in the process. I’ve kind of gotten used to that, but usually once I go back to sleep he leaves me alone. Not today.

I’ve been up for a couple of hours this last time, but I’m fighting to stay awake. My body just wants to curl up and doze again. I can’t focus on much of anything for very long, and that includes revising my novel. I’ve almost finished the first revision, which means I need to think about an editor soon, but today my brain is mush.

My husband’s off work now, so maybe watching some TV with him will wake me up. Or I’ll fall asleep again. At this rate, I think it will be more of the latter.

Writing like a madwoman

Of course, I am a bit of a madwoman…bipolar and all. So perhaps I should rephrase that. I’m writing like a woman possessed lately.

Getting up extra early, even on early work days, to get that little bit of writing/revising in. Taking my laptop out of the spare bedroom into the master bedroom so I can write while watching TV with my husband. Making revisions the second new critiques come in. I can’t stop myself.

Is it making the book better? Absolutely. It’s also making me a little crazy. Well, crazier. With every new change I see other changes that need to be made to make that change fit. Some are minor, some require whole chapters to be rewritten. I’ve heard some writers complain that this is one of the more tedious steps in the writing process, but I’m finding it enjoyable. Now that I’m getting feedback and I know where to make improvements, I can see the story becoming richer. It’s a fascinating process watching the story evolve.

Speaking of evolution, I have to go back to playing God and make some more of it happen. These characters aren’t going to make themselves change. Well, they kind of do.

But only other writers will get what I mean 😉

Critical mass

Critiquing others’ work is hard. You have to walk a fine line between making sure you catch any errors that could be potentially damaging to their writing while not looking like a total asshole douchebag bitch.

That line is practically nonexistent when the writing is absolutely terrible.

I try to give people I’m not familiar with the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they’re new to writing. Maybe they’re young, maybe they haven’t learned all the rules yet, maybe they’re dyslexic…I don’t know. Still, there comes a point where you have to bear down and be an ass. You have to rip their work to shreds, because if they ever try to send it out to an editor or an agent or a publisher it will get ripped to shreds anyway.

At first, you feel horrible for making so many red marks on the paper (or, if using a word processing program, adding so many red comments in the margins). Then, you find yourself scrolling back up time and time again to verify that the plot hole you just noticed was not something you overlooked. Nope, it’s a plot hole. Scroll back down, add another comment.

This is also where being the Grammar Police is both a blessing and a curse. You see all the mistakes–so many mistakes–but you feel like a jerk for pointing out every single one, especially when it’s the same mistake over and over again. Still, if you don’t point out repeated mistakes and make suggestions on how to fix them, the writer may not see them and may continue to make said mistakes. Over and over again. The same goes for punctuation.

I read and critiqued some really terrible writing yesterday. Does it have the potential to be a good story? Well, I’ve only seen the first two chapters, so I’ll have to reserve judgment on that. As is, the story moves at too fast of a pace and is highly implausible even for a fictional story. I tried to be nice and tell the writer that even in fiction, the characters’ thoughts have to have some realism to them; otherwise, the readers aren’t going to get caught up in the story. Even in a fictional setting, the story has to make some kind of sense.

Hopefully I didn’t offend the person too much when they got my critique back in their inbox. That certainly wasn’t my intent. The whole point of the critiquing process is to make a work better, and you just can’t do that by pulling punches.

The Mother load

It’s been a quiet yet busy Mother’s Day today.

I spent the morning alternately revising my novel, messaging the mothers I knew on Facebook to wish them a happy Mother’s Day, and critiquing work that had been emailed to me for review.

Then, for the afternoon/evening, I went with my husband and our cat to visit my mom and family. Mom and Dad are going to take care of our little Rory while we’re at Comicon, so Mom wants him to get acclimated to the other animals in the household (which took all of half an hour, so I think he’ll do just fine for a long weekend).

I managed to get 3000 words added to my novel through all this, which I’m quite proud of. I’ve only gone through six chapters, too, out of about thirty, with at least one full chapter I want to add in along the way.

Will I have another story in me after this one is finished? Who knows. But once this is done (& published, even if I have to do it myself), I will have accomplished something I had never thought I was good enough for.

I will do this!

Art time!

Here are a few new pieces I scanned today. The one with the words isn’t the greatest, I admit, but I’m trying to practice my lettering. Enjoy!




I’m enjoying playing with the colored inks. It’s a little scary to someone who is terrified of not being able to erase lol I should get more colored pens when I get a chance.

Flash Fiction…Saturday?

Okay, so I’m a day late. I wrote it on Friday, if that counts. Enjoy this little piece of catharsis.

For the Love of Family

AJ Mullican

I stared into the flickering flames, and I knew I had done the right thing. The bitch had gone too far this time. You can do whatever you want to me and I’ll just turn the other cheek. But you never, never hurt my family.

They didn’t know I had planned this. Everyone in my family thought I was the nice one. A bit weird, but nice. Sure, I talked big from time to time, but I had never actually hurt anyone.

Not that they knew of, anyway.

The remains of my brother’s ex that I’d dragged piece by piece through the desert were now keeping me warm in the chill night air. I should’ve brought a jacket or something. The walk back to my car was going to be hell. I would keep watch over the fire though, making sure I didn’t start a brush fire in the process. People could lose their homes if something like that happened, or their lives. Innocent people. I couldn’t let that happen. I wasn’t some kind of monster, after all.

Killing the lying, cheating, stealing, leeching whore of a cockroach wasn’t terribly difficult; it was actually quite satisfying. I hummed a little tune the whole time my fists were caving in her skull. It was the dismembering and transporting of the remains to a more remote location that was a pain in the ass. Burning her was easier than I thought it would be, but then again meth was pretty flammable from what I’d heard. Maybe that sped the process along.

I whistled as I walked back to my car, finally satisfied that the last of the embers was dead. My brother commented over the next few weeks how amazed he was that she had stopped harassing him, and I told him how happy I was for him.

Six months later, my sister’s boyfriend broke up with her. He was considerably larger and stronger than my brother’s ex had been.

I was in for a rough night.


I am almost ready to start the revision process! I’m currently reading another person’s work-in-progress for critique (we traded WIPs lol) and once I’m done I’ll be off to the races.

There are tons of notes that I’ve written for when I start revising, and if some of my busier alpha readers get back to me after I’ve already started the process I’ll just take their notes into consideration and work them in as I go.

With so much of the feedback being positive, my confidence has been given a much-needed boost. More than one person has stated that this could and should be a full-length novel. Does that mean agents and publishers might find it worthy? Dare I hope?


Life has been so busy lately, what with exchanging critiques with others in the new Facebook group I’m in and receiving new input from a couple alpha readers and “real life” stuff with my family and my job, my eyes are literally crossing from exhaustion.

I know I should let myself catch up this weekend, but I desperately want to dive in and start revising my novella/wannabe novel.

To sleep or not to sleep? From the way I feel right now, I may not have a choice in the matter….

Feedback, it flows like a river

Recently, I joined a new group on Facebook that is for the sharing and critiquing of each others’ writing in order to receive feedback on how to improve. It’s a great idea for those who have trouble finding alpha readers or editors, and even though the group rules only allow for small samples at a time, the turnover rate is fast and I’ve already gotten some responses.

Overall, the two who have given detailed feedback have responded positively to what I’ve sent them, and they’ve given similar suggestions for how to improve the chapters that I provided to them. This is a huge help, because I needed tips on how to increase my word count to hopefully turn this novella into a full-fledged novel. If I can see where I’ve made similar, well, not necessarily “mistakes” so much as “oversights” in other areas of the book, I might well get to novel length after my next revision.

It’s so tempting to go and start revising now, but I want to be fair to the others who haven’t read the first draft yet and thus would be reading a completely different, “unimproved” story. I want those who have seen the first draft thus far to all see the same one, and then start making the necessary changes. Although, I suppose if I don’t give anyone else a copy of the first draft at this point then I won’t have that problem….

I may start making changes on future chapters that I will send to the critique groups in the pending weeks, for they haven’t seen the complete work and thus will not be spoiled by some having seen the entire work and not others.