May 02, 2023

Dear Mom, I Love You


My mom and me

Below is a letter I wrote to my mom for a project called Dear Mom that was turned into a book with limited availability and a play for a short time. I wrote it in 2014.

Dear Mom,

As a baby, you nurtured me. When I was born only six pounds and was rapidly losing weight, threatened with being put back into the hospital, you sweetly stuffed me with food to keep me in your arms at home. As a child, you taught me how to read and write; the very two things that have become my passion. You taught me how to smile the same smile that you have, and laugh. And yes, you taught me how to love. Quietly.

As a teenager, you nurtured me again. When I was enveloped in pain from scoliosis, lying with my face buried in my pillow, you would massage my sore back with your arthritis fingers so I could fall asleep. After the surgery to correct my spine, you took care of me every second of every day. I felt a lot of pain, shed tears, and had many bad days, but you were there for it all. 

Moving with a rod screwed into my spine was very difficult at first. Walking to the mailbox would drain my energy, but you walked with me to help me build my strength, gently pushing me to go a few steps farther each time. You slathered ointment onto my sensitive scar and even shaved my prickly legs.

Throughout my teenage years, we moved many times because we didn’t have the money to stay in one place, but you kept a roof over my head no matter what. For awhile, I didn’t have a bed to sleep on, but I always had a room to sleep in, and that is all thanks to you. You did what you had to do to keep me sheltered and to keep food in my belly, even walking to work in the blaze of Florida heat.

As a young woman, you taught me to never give up. When I left high school, you never made me feel like a failure. You helped me to keep my chin up and push for the future that we both knew I could have.

Although I am older now, you still do so much for me. You understand me and the situation I am in that is keeping me locked in place, like a ballerina stuck on a jewelry box. You are content with helping me until my true destiny decides to kick in. Whenever it does, you are happy waiting with me. And you are the best passenger I could ask for!

In a million years, I will never be able to pay you back for all you have done and are still doing for me. If you weren’t you, I would be lost. You are my writing buddy, my healer, and my friend. Someday, I hope to be able to do for you what you have done for me. After all, you raised me into the woman I am today, and for that I am so very thankful.


       Your Quietly Loving Daughter

In that letter I said, "Someday, I hope to be able to do for you what you have done for me." When I found this shortly after she passed away and read that, I cried, because I had been given that chance. I wouldn't have wanted it to happen that way (never in a million years would I have wanted her to get lung cancer), but I was able to do for her what she had always done for me. I cared for her in every way I knew how, in every way I could. And I loved her deeply. I believe she was my soulmate. She used to call us two-peas-in-a-pod, and we were. We were writing buddies and best friends.

Left: My mom, Right: Me

My mom


Below is a poem I wrote for my mom when I was sixteen. Published years later on May 3, 2013.

The Angel

Is this what I’m seeing?

An angel with delicate wings spread out as wide as the seas?

She did not speak but I could hear her singing loudly,

she smiled at me and it seemed to touch my soul.

If a smile could be measured in feet, hers would be too long to beat.

She could take away my pain day by day,

she could take me away from this never-ending story, but she didn’t.

She only fluttered her wings in the golden light surrounding us.

I wanted to cry but I was too scared to cry,

I wanted to hide but I wanted to be found,

all she did was wait as if she were waiting for the end of time.

So I waited too, I waited for God’s light to lift me up,

I waited for the angel to hug me tight, but she never moved.

Her beautiful feet never touched the ground,

her young face never turned around,

her graceful arms never lifted a pound.

She was still, as still as anything can get,

but her voice grew louder in the distance as the light grew brighter.

Then she stretched out her perfect arm and opened her hand,

extending her long delicate fingers, she spoke, “Take my hand.”

Her hand felt icy but hot, her voice sounded happy but mad,

her hair was still but blowing in the wind madly,

she was everything all put together.

Her singing stopped but her smile grew louder.

She lifted me up from where I sat and filled my heart with joy,

she took me away to Heaven, but was it really Heaven?

I didn’t feel hurt or tired anymore.

No runny nose made me sniffle, no cough made me gasp,

no sneeze made me wheeze, but my eyes filled with tears.

I didn’t know what was happening until the rain fell from my eyes,

and I could see that the angel holding my hand up in Heaven

was my mother holding my hand in bed.

Below is the inside of a Mother’s Day card I gave to my mom in 2009. Every word is true today. And will remain true forever.

I don't know what my life would have been like

if I hadn't had you to comfort me, to advise me, to encourage me,

to write with me, and to love me.

You've played such an important part in making me the person I am today.

I can't tell you how much it means, and has always meant,

to know that you're there for me...

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

April 30, 2023

Z - Zzz (Naps to Heal from Depression) + BONUS


Napping has been proven to have many benefits, from relieving stress to improving test scores in students. By taking 20 to 30-minute naps in the middle of serious studying, students were able to retain more of what they had studied than students who didn’t take a nap.

Naps also can replenish our energy, but the key is to take a short nap. If you nap for an hour or more, you can wake up feeling more tired than when you laid down. Lying in bed, however, for 20 to 30 minutes is much more restful. All you need is a short nap to revive you for the rest of your day.

When you are suffering from depression, naps may be necessary. Many of us who suffer from depression can struggle with sleeping at night. I would lay in bed for hours, tossing and turning, while my brain yakked on and on about every topic, analyzed the day I had, and thought about the next day. By the time I finally fell asleep, my sleep wasn’t truly restful. In my dreams, I felt awake, as if I lived them.

Each day, I was extremely tired, hardly able to function. The only thing I could do was take a nap, and I did. I’d sleep for a couple of hours, from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Yes, I lost a lot of time during the day, but I needed that sleep. After my nap, I’d finally be able to get work some done, and I made the most of it. I accomplished a lot, so no one knew I was experiencing depression or took long naps. No one ever saw me lagging behind, either, and I wanted to keep it that way.

If you find yourself in the same position, do not feel guilty for taking naps. You need it. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for napping, either. Tell them about your struggle and how tired you are. If they care, they will see your physical and mental exhaustion and encourage you to get some rest.


One thing that helps me to focus my mind at night, so it doesn’t jump from this to that, is thinking about my current work-in-progress. This is my favorite bedtime ritual. I’ve done it since the age of twelve, when I started to write my first novel. It’s almost like daydreaming with your eyes closed and while you are stretched out in bed. Granted, this does keep me awake for a while, but I have never been one to fall asleep quickly. I need something that’ll tire out my brain. (As though all my writing and thinking during the day isn’t enough…it isn’t.)

The bonus to this is the wonderful ideas I get. I concoct whole conversations this way and come up with scenes and plot twists. All it takes is pondering my story, my characters, where I am currently in the story, and what I know will be coming next. It’s so much fun for me.

If you have a hard time keeping yourself from agonizing over the day or worrying about tomorrow, think about the story you’re working on. Let your characters occupy your thoughts and talk to you. Imagine what could happen. See the potential. Any sparks that come from this fantasizing are meant to be. I tend to remember these sparks, but you may want to have a notebook and pen handy to jot down notes to remind yourself of your fresh, new ideas.

Now, snuggle up in bed. I give you full permission.

More, give yourself full permission. 



Z - Zota Family

The Zota family is the family that adopted Avrianna as a new born, after she was found floating in the Aurora Diamond.

There was Peter Zota, her adoptive father, Laurali Zota, her adoptive mother (Sassy's sister and Grandy's daughter), and Déjà Zota, her adoptive sister.

The only Zota we get to meet in any of the Avrianna Heavenborn novellas is Déjà because, unfortunately, Peter and Laurali had passed away when Avrianna was young. What happened and how it impacted Avrianna is something that I dig more in to in Book One, the full-length novel that follows the novellas exclusive to Patreon.

One day, Book One will have it's time and Peter and Laurali's stories (as well as Avrianna's story) will be told in completion.

Until then...

To read Avrianna Heavenborn novellas on Patreon, become a patron for just $5.00 a month. You get access to special perks, too, and you pay-it-forward to a good cause because 10% of all earnings go to StandUp for Kids, a charity that helps homeless American youth.

April 29, 2023

Y - To Be a Writer, You Don't Need...To Be Young + BONUS


Many writers start writing at a young age, but not every writer does. Some may start in college. Others may start after they’ve settled down with a family. Still, there are many writers who start later in life, during their retirement. Whatever age you get bitten by the writing bug is when you are meant to start writing. It doesn’t matter if you are a child, an adult, a parent with a job, or retired. When you get the writing spark (a spark for a story) let it burn and write.

There is no age limit to being a writer or for when someone can start writing.

My mom started writing before she married my father, but she put it aside as she had children, as many mothers do. Then, when I was about five years old (the youngest child in the family), she started to write children’s stories. She picked up writing on and off as she did all the duties of a stay-at-home mom and continued when she had part-time jobs. She wrote adult stories as well, set during the pioneer times. Finally, when we were teenagers and able to take care of ourselves, she got back in to writing full force.

No matter your age or responsibilities, writing will always find you.

There is no age limit to publishing, either. My mom published her first children’s books after her full retirement. She couldn’t be happier, and it fills me with joy to see her dream coming true.

I know many writers who started later in life, and I think it is wonderful. One person told me that when she was young, someone told her she would be a writer, but she decided she wouldn’t write until her body went. In other words, when she wasn’t able to physically work anymore. So, she’s writing now, but she added these words, “Except, it’s too late.”

No, it is never too late to start something.

It is never too late to begin a new dream or to pick one up you’ve pushed to the side. It is never too late to do something for yourself.

It is never too late to write or be an artist.

Grandma Moses started to paint in earnest at the age of 78, and she rose to great success. Laura Ingalls Wilder started writing at forty, but she was in her sixties when Little House in the Big Woods was published. Frank McCourt published Angela’s Ashes when he was 66. Millard Kaufman, co-creator of Mr. Magoo, began writing Bowl of Cherries at the age of 86, but it wasn’t published until he was 90. And James A. Michner wrote 40 books after the age of 40.

Whatever age you start writing or publishing doesn’t matter as long as you are doing it and living your dream. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are too old to write or publish.





Yup, you.

I need YOU to keep my Patreon goals going, to write and publish all the Avrianna Heavenborn novellas that I have planned.

Where do you come in?

By becoming a patron.

If any of the excerpts and tidbits about Avrianna and her novellas have intrigued you over this past month, please consider becoming a patron for just $5.00 a month.

As a patron, you’ll receive:

⭐️ exclusive novellas that follow Avrianna Heavenborn as a detective. Every Tuesday a new chapter will be released. Each novella builds up to the beginning of Book One to my “Secret Book Baby Series.” These stories will be in their rawest state, only edited by me, not seen by anyone else but you. 

⭐️ access to all previous content

⭐️ an invitation to a special Discord where you can chat, get to know each other, ask me questions, and name characters

⭐️ behind-the-scenes content

⭐️ bonus material

⭐️ patron-only giveaways (hosted on Discord)

You’ll also be supporting me as an artist, disabled writer, and caregiver. ❤️

As if all of that’s not incentive enough, when I reach 10 patrons I’ll do a patron-only giveaway (hosted on Discord). All patrons on Discord will be automatically entered for a chance to win.

You also get to pay-it-forward to a good cause because 10% of all earnings go to StandUp for Kids, a charity that helps homeless American youth.

Pledge now and get your Interplanetary Passport to New Vida. 💫

April 28, 2023

X - To Be a Writer, You Don't Need...XOXO + BONUS


You don’t need love to be a writer...and by that, I mean you don’t need to have ever loved or been loved back by a significant other, by someone special, to write about love. You may not be in love right now, but you may write the sweetest romances. You could be a damn good romance author and have never been in a serious relationship. You could write the most realistic love scenes and have never been kissed. You could have a broken heart but write the most beautiful love stories with the best happily-ever-after endings. You may have never been and may never be married, but you could write about married characters people love and wish they knew...even wish they were.

That is the beauty of our imaginations. We can conjure things in our minds and make them real with our words. That, my friends, is the power of being a writer.

You won’t always have gone through the same things as your characters, but you can still write about them. You may not have experienced true love or love at first sight or love period, but you know your fantasies. You know your heart.

I have never been in a tsunami, and yet I wrote an amazingly realistic tsunami scene and the aftermath. I have never done half the things my characters have done or gone through what they have endured, but I write their stories as realistically as I can. I have never been in the sort of relationship my characters Beth and Donovan are in, but that didn’t stop me from writing about their love, from the moment they meet through all of the steps of a strong, loving partnership. I hear lovely feedback from readers about these characters and their love for one another. Someone once asked if there is or ever was a man like Donovan in my life. I created a YouTube video about it and published it to my channel.

No, there is not and has not been a man like Donovan in my life, and maybe that’s why he’s so great. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed writing about him.

Even if you’ve never experienced true love, love at first sight, or any level of love with a significant other, you could use your fantasies, your hopes, and your dreams to write romance stories that others can relate to, because many people will want those same things. When you can tap into your own desires, it becomes a powerful thing.

You may not have love in the real world, but you do in your story’s world.

Enjoy it!



X - X Marks the Spot

Where is the X? The X is the location of, usually, tressure. This time the location is the setting, or one of the settings, for Alien Killer, the third novella I'll be sharing exclusively on Patreon.

So...where is the X?

Area 51, Earth.

Alien Killer is inspired by the short story I wrote for We Know the Truth, Do You? An Anthology to Celebrate the Raid. The anthology was created to have fun with an event created in 2019 where people planned to (in jest, mostly) to storm/raid Area 51. I wrote Detective Heavenborn for the anthology while recovering on the couch after having surgery to remove an ovarian cyst and endometriosis.

I had no intention to make this story longer until I was considering novellas I would write and publish on Patreon. Suddenly, the idea came to me for how that story could continue from where it left off, and it's going to be fun and action-packed like never before.

To read Universal Killer, Cocky Killer, Alien Killer, and all future Avrianna Heavenborn novellas on Patreon, become a patron for just $5.00 a month. You get access to special perks, too, and you pay-it-forward to a good cause because 10% of all earnings go to StandUp for Kids, a charity that helps homeless American youth.

April 27, 2023

W - Write Down Your Dreams + BONUS


NOTE: I fell behind with visiting blogs and returning comments the past two weeks because I was having a really hard time with my grief after losing my mom last month, but yesterday I caught up with one visit each to the bloggers who had visited me during that time (if I was able to access their blog), and I will do my best to return comments each day to the end of the challenge.

I have extremely vivid dreams where I can remember every detail upon waking. Because of this, many of my dreams have inspired stories. I wake up from dreams all the time and think, “That would make a great story!”

30 Seconds came about from a dream I had where I was spinning around on a swivel chair, with rock music blaring, when a pair of hands stopped the chair, and a man in a police officer’s uniform kissed me. Hubba-hubba. Well, I thought upon waking, “How can I turn this into a story?” I stayed in bed, thinking about it and created Dr. Dani Hart and Officer Blake Herro. The dream I had is even a scene in my novella.

I have several other works-in-progress inspired by dreams, too. What I do is go backward and figure out what happened up to what I dreamt about, and I swap myself out for a female character I invent who works for the story. Or, more precisely, a female character steps forward, telling me it’s her story, not mine.

After examining the “Works-in-Progress” folder on my computer, I can tell you I have twelve stories that all came to me because of a dream. I also have a list of ideas I haven’t begun, and several of them originated from dreams.

Dream Journal

As soon as you wake up, before you lose your dream, write down everything you remember about it. Even the odd twists and turns that dreams are known to make. This is a potential story waiting to be developed and written. You can morph it into a story of any length. We’re not just talking about novels here but short fiction, too.

Or maybe you can use bits and pieces of your dream as scenes for your current work-in-progress. I’ve done that, too.

If you pay attention to your dreams, they can be an infinite source of creativity for you. Writing down your dreams and looking back at them can spark ideas for countless stories. So, document them, let them stir your conscious mind, see where they take you as a creator, and write. After all, you own your dreams. They are yours. Use them!



W - Wizard of Oz Joke

In the first chapter of Universal Killer, when Avrianna is at the crime scene located at the Veil, she does something rare. She says a joke.
Universal Killer Excerpt:

Avrianna’s gaze swept across the ground, searching for the dead body. Except, there wasn’t one. Well, not all of one, anyway. A pair of black leather shoes and a pair of ankles poked through the Veil. Whoever had been killed there, the rest of their body wasn’t even in her world.

A middle-aged man with dark hair that reached the collar of his white polo shirt stood a few feet away, staring at the feet and jotting notes in a pad. She joined him. “Hey, Chuck.” She put her hands on her hips and eyed the leather shoes. “So, is this the Wicked Witch of the East’s spouse?”

Chuck looked at her with wide, blue eyes. “Did you just make a joke?”

Her lips quirked at the corners. “I’m not a robot. I can make jokes.”

“I’ve never known it to happen.”

To read Universal Killer, Cocky Killer, and all future Avrianna Heavenborn novellas on Patreon, become a patron for just $5.00 a month. You get access to special perks, too, and you pay-it-forward to a good cause because 10% of all earnings go to StandUp for Kids, a charity that helps homeless American youth.

April 26, 2023

V - Vision Board + BONUS


This is probably a technique that will make many people groan, but in my rock bottom period, I decided it was the perfect time to create a vision board to help me visualize what I wanted into reality.

On my vision board, which was just a white poster board, I had a picture of a house because we were nearly homeless, a picture of a car because we were carless, a picture of a stack of money because we didn’t have any, and a picture of a big digital camera because I’d always wanted one.

I looked at that vision board every night, because I had it tacked to my wall in front of my bed. I visualized those things in my life, and I sent out prayers to the Higher Powers and to the Universe to bring those things to my life in a positive way. I even chanted affirmations that I would get those things, instead of asking for it. “I will win my disability case. I will win my disability case. There’s no other option. I will win.”

I once read that it is better to give a time limit to your prayers, to the things you are asking for. So, while staring at my vision board, I would say, “Please help me get a house before we have to move out of this apartment,” which was in a matter of months.

What do you want to manifest in your life?

If you want to publish a book, add an image of a book, either a real one or one you’ve drawn, and create the cover to look like your book with your author name and the title on it.

If you want an agent, find a photo of someone who looks professional and attach it to your board. You can use a pair of hands clasped in a handshake to symbolize a positive work relationship.

What is causing your depression and what could make you feel better?

Do you have a broken heart? Add an image of a heart intact.

You could even fill your vision board with things that make you happy in order to manifest happiness. Cut out dozens of smiles and smiley faces and tape them around your vision board to inspire you to smile.

Symbols of Happiness/Hope:

- Red and Yellow Roses

- Rainbow

- Heart

- Sun

- Dove

- Anchor

- Elephant

Fill your board with your dreams and goals and whatever makes you happy.



V - The Veil & Veena

The Veil is the portal that links Earth to New Vida.
Universal Killer Excerpt:

The closer she got, the more the Veil became visible. The crystal arch rose high into the sky so that the peak was hidden by clouds. Inside the arch, an opal sheen moved like a waving flag. During the day, a line of cars to the right could be seen waiting to drive through it to Earth, and next to that, a flow of vehicles appeared as if from thin air, entering her world—New Vida.

Veena is Avrianna's adoptive cousin. As Sassy's daughter, who is Avrianna;s foster mom, Veena is also Avrianna's sister 

Universal Killer Excerpt:

Avrianna held the door open for Veena while she yanked her rolling suitcase up the doorstep. “Can you get my other one?”

“Other one?” Avrianna turned to see a second, identical suitcase sitting on the welcome mat. She stepped out to get it and was amazed at how heavy the thing was. “What in the world do you have in this thing?”


Avrianna tripped over one of the suitcases wheels. She straightened and gaped at Veena. “Shoes?” She pointed. “This thing is full of shoes?”


“And what do you have in that one?” Avrianna pointed at the suitcase Veena had rolled up beside the chair where Sassy had flung her feather boa the night before.


Avrianna hid her grin. Like mother like daughter. 

To read Universal Killer, Cocky Killer, and all future Avrianna Heavenborn novellas on Patreon, become a patron for just $5.00 a month. You get access to special perks, too, and you pay-it-forward to a good cause because 10% of all earnings go to StandUp for Kids, a charity that helps homeless American youth.

April 25, 2023

U - UVB Rays (HappyLight) + BONUS


What is a HappyLight®? It is a therapy lamp that emits full spectrum (natural) light to mimic sunlight, which is used to increase one’s mood, energy, and focus, especially in the winter when many people go without adequate sunlight for months.

When someone is experiencing depression what is usually affected?




A HappyLight® lamp could provide someone with depression or winter blues (seasonal affective disorder or SAD) with healing daylight. It is said that a good 10-30 minutes (depending on your skin’s sensitivity) of midday sunlight several times a week, over about a third of your body (arms and legs), is what is needed to maintain healthy blood levels.

When someone has a vitamin D deficiency, they are at risk for osteoporosis, cancer, depression, muscle weakness, and in extreme cases, death.

Sunlight promotes the production of serotonin, which is responsible for all of our happy feelings, as well as melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. Feeling upset/sad/lonely and not getting enough sleep are all things that someone with depression can experience.

Furthermore, exposure to sunlight makes vitamin D from cholesterol (in skin cells). We could all do better without high cholesterol, and this is a natural way to lower it.

Many people have a vitamin D deficiency and don’t know it. Sitting in front of a window while at work or writing won’t accomplish that, even if the window offers a lot of sunlight, because UVB rays cannot penetrate through glass.

A safe way to get vitamin D (other than taking vitamin D supplements according to directions) is through a HappyLight®, which doesn’t have harmful UV rays that cause sunburns, wrinkles, and (in extreme cases) skin cancer. You can position this lamp next to your chair, on a stand beside your couch, on your desk, anywhere indoors, even in your car during your commute. You can get your much-needed dose of natural light while you write, read, watch TV, or walk on a treadmill.

These lamps can cost anywhere from $30 - $175, but the investment on your happiness and health, especially when you no longer want to suffer from low mood, energy, and focus, is worth it.



U - Universal Killer

Universal Killer is the first novella available exclusively on Patreon.


A call brings Detective Avrianna Heavenborn to the Veil, the very portal that bonds New Vida to Earth. A man was killed there by a spiral bullet. The suspect? An assassin who is turning New Vida into their personal shooting range.

When more people fall at the assassin’s hands, Avrianna vows to catch the assassin and make them pay. But the universal killer has a new target, and the clock is ticking.


To read Universal Killer, Cocky Killer, and all future Avrianna Heavenborn novellas on Patreon, become a patron for just $5.00 a month. You get access to special perks, too, and you pay-it-forward to a good cause because 10% of all earnings go to StandUp for Kids, a charity that helps homeless American youth.