Tuesday, July 2, 2019


So, the time has come. Sheena and I are moving.

To Seattle.

Yeah. It's a big move and it comes on the heels of a visit we had to Portland to see some of my family. I've been pushing for the PNW for a few years now, partly because of family and partly because I've just wanted to get out of the state we're in.

In more ways than one, really. We need a change. A change in location. A change in lifestyle. We'll be moving away from some things and some people we truly care about, but I know this is for the best. There's no more room for either of us to grow in our careers staying in Ohio.

The Plan:

We're getting rid of nearly all of our furniture via donation, sale or fire. We've pared down the books and may continue to do so. Craft supplies are next on the chopping block. Ideally, we want to take a single small moving truck of belongings with us.

I've been calling it the "clothes and cats" move, because those are the fairly essential things. We'll be holding a house sale in August for those of you close enough to stop in and relieve us of some stuff. Desks, chairs, lamps, books, crafting materials...there's going to be an assortment. Book shelves.

We've even decided to sell a car, to help fund the move.

After everything that can be sold is sold and we get rid of the remainder, we'll be packing up our lives and driving to Washington State to start anew come September. 

There are friends and family waiting on the other side for us in this adventure.

I can't wait to get started.

Friday, June 28, 2019


As some of you may know, we adopted a precious void sprite after Loki passed. There was this horrible, wrenching hole where Loki was supposed to be. In our house. In me. Bast was absolutely devastated, constantly looking for Loki. Hermes has nightmares now.

I knew, without a doubt, we had to bring someone home. There was an urgency riding in my bones I couldn't explain if I wanted to. I spotted this little black fluff on the shelter website and thought, she's darling, I'll go meet her along with the a couple others and we'll see.

Well, she latched onto me immediately. Laying in my arms, kneading in my elbow for over an hour while we filled out the papers to bring her home. There was no question. I think, maybe, Loki was that guiding force to help us find Morrigan.

There is no doubting his presence still in the house. His spot is still his spot. The other cats leave it be. And Morrigan has taken up where he left off. Shadowing me, staying with me when I'm sad. She chirps at me when she thinks I should be in bed, just like he did.

And truly, most importantly, she and Bast have become like litter mates.

They sleep together. They groom each other. They play. Bast has a dear friend now and Hermes...he's trying.

Our little family was broken, and now it's starting to come back together again. It still hurts, I think it's always going to hurt. I think seeing Loki's name on a little box instead of seeing him will always hurt.

But I'm not ready to let him go. I know we'll bring him with us wherever we go, because I can't leave him.

I can't let him be alone. I won't let him be forgotten.

I lost my first pet, Shadow, a little black darling, when she was only about two. I lost a dog a few years later. I blocked myself off from trying to connect because I was so afraid I'd lose them.

I risked a lot bringing Loki home six years ago. My heart had been broken and put back together so many times.

Morrigan is here now though, to help keep me from sliding back into that shell. Bast is here. Even Hermes deigns to show affection now and again. No one can every replace my murder kitten, but I'm not going to let myself not feel for the fluffy babies that are still here.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019


My precious, precious Loki, sometimes known as the MurderKitten, MurderFloof and Stitch, has passed away after an unexpected medical emergency.

The level of care he received was more than I could have asked for. They truly did everything they could, but in the end he was called to Valhalla.

I so appreciate the staff at the clinic, who were incredibly understanding and did everything they could to give us as much time with him as they could. A special thank you to Griffin, a French Bulldog who took it upon himself to sit on Sheena and I for pets and cuddles during this devastating process, and Marvin, a silver tabby who loves hugs.

I cannot adequately express the thanks I have for everyone who has sent messages of support, and I am still in shock over the financial support we have received to help cover his final expenses.

Loki was a five year old cat we rescued when he was about four months old. He was afraid to be touched, and while he never quite got over his issue with human hands, he was making strides. He was learning how to be a cat. He stayed with me when I was in pain. He walked me through the house during flare ups. He purred and laid on my chest during my surgery recovery.

I just can't believe he's gone.

If you would like to help with his final vet bill, Sheena is accepting donations through Ko-Fi.


Thursday, November 8, 2018

All Over Again

News Alert: Approximately 20
The headline cut off by the screen resolution
But I knew.
I knew without tapping.
I knew without thinking.
The words that would follow those four.
Because those words come so often.
Too often.
Begging for something. Anything. Ending.
And nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Gets. Done.
The same repetition of words.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families.
There are no words. No words for this.
Choking on platitudes.
The worst mass-shooting.
Domestic terror.
A frame for this terrible. Terrible. Thing.
And it’s all I can do not to wonder.
Not to wonder what thing will earn that title next.
The worst mass-shooting.
Because they do nothing.
Clinging instead to words written before this world.
They may have had the best of intentions.
Paving the road to the hell we’re living.
We have to do something.
Because I knew. I knew without doubt.
With a weight on my heart.
The words that would follow those four.
And I wondered instead, not twenty what? But where? And who?
Who was killed this time?
Where did they die?
Because those words come so often.
Too often.
News Alert: Death Toll Rises
Came as no surprise.
We’re all so sorry. And we’re all so angry.
And they do nothing.

And they do nothing.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Patreon Story Sneak Peak

Blood For Sale is a short story now available for Patrons on my Patreon. Here's a sneak peak though, if you want to get a taste before you commit.

Audry is a post-college-grad with a problem: Debt.   What to do about it? Well, the vampires are offering to erase the debt of all those they deem worthy of conversion.  
Yeah, she'll try that.

The fabric against my neck itched. It was stiff with starch, black as night, and the ruffles scraped against my jaw. I wanted to tear it off. I felt exposed without sleeves, but the top buttoned up the back. I hadn’t picked it. I hadn’t picked anything I was wearing.

My legs itched too. I never wore stockings. These were black too. The heels pinched my feet and I wobbled, so walking with the support of the nearby wall was my only option if I didn’t want to faceplant in the middle of the hall.

I tugged at my skirt, but the scrap of lilac plaid refused to go past my thighs. I was exposed and covered and—wrong. I hated showing my arms. I hated wearing contacts. I hated the feeling of scratchy chiffon. This was such a terrible idea. 

Perhaps this wouldn’t have been so bad, but now I was lost. I wasn’t part of the “club” as it were, not yet. I was just a baby bat. A freshly chosen mortal convert to the vampire cause. That’s what the pamphlets said, anyhow. The more important part of the pamphlet was the bit about the vamps paying off all your debts if you met their requirements.

I hadn’t expected them to say yes. I was pretty, I guess. People would say it was a shame I was overweight, I had such a pretty face after all. Yeah, so I had padding. I had hips and breasts and a stomach. I didn’t care. I was fine with it. What I wasn’t fine with was being dressed up like a doll in clothes I hated.

I wanted my clothes. My armor.

The skirt was okay.

“There you are!”

I looked up from the beige carpet I’d been watching as I walked. Shit. “Mistress.” She genuinely insisted I call her that. My sponsor, the glamorous Lady Braxton. Sponsor. Tormentor. Whatever. She made me leave my cats behind.

If I thought about that too much I’d start crying again, which I couldn’t afford to do with all the eye make-up I was wearing.

“You have the worst sense of direction,” she tsked. “Come along, we don’t have all night.”
I nodded and hurried after her. This conference was for all the soon to be vampires and their sponsors. Because everyone likes a good Powerpoint presentation I suppose.
 “You must be more careful,” she continued. “There’s another group here and I’d prefer you not mingle with them.


“Werewolves.” The disgust in her voice was evident.


“Do try to be more eloquent, Audry.”

“Yes, Mistress.” Huh. Maybe werewolves would be more fun. Maybe they liked Powerpoints too. I would never escape Powerpoints. I was going to spend my long, long, undead life looking at Powerpoints, wasn’t I? Well, at least I’d do it debt free.

The things we do to pay off our student loans.

I want my cats.


Four presentations and an okay buffet dinner later, we were all shuffled off to the airport to fly out to our new homes, living with our sponsors for the next century or so. Fun times. Fun. Times.
Five minutes into the airport and I was lost again. Okay, it was more than five minutes. We’d gotten through security, I’d gotten some weird looks from the other soon-to-be vampires. Maybe they too thought my outfit was ridiculous. Though I don’t know that they could judge. We all looked like Goths gone Vogue.

Okay, so I was fat and most of them were decidedly not, but that was their own problem. I couldn’t care less if they wanted to act like this was a high school clique. I hadn’t been interested in high school cliques when I was in high school, sure as hell wasn’t going to be interested in them now either.

So after security, there was a bit of a shuffle, I was shunned and then I was lost.

And of course, Lady Braxton had my ticket and I didn’t remember the gate number.

I was tempted to take a seat and wait to be found. Specifically on the floor. Like a lost child. I sort of felt like one right now. I wanted my mom. I wanted my cats. I wanted to wrap my arms around myself and sob.

Yeah, this was totally going well. I was so brilliant.

“Um, are you okay?” The soothing baritone voice shook me out of my contemplation

Shit, was I crying? “Sure.” I turned toward the voice—damn. He was tall, but the thing I noticed first was the giant fluffy fur coat he was wearing. It looked like he was wearing a bear skin as a coat. Sans head, mind you. It was a golden color. It made him look bigger, I was sure, but he was already broad. His neck muscled enough for me to guess at the rest of his physique.

“You don’t look okay.” His brow furrowed, focusing my attention on his face properly.

I’d always thought it was weird to describe someone’s features as stone hewn, but this man made me rethink that. Every single line of his face was sharp and defined like cut stone. His eyes were stone blue and his thick mane of hair was near the same color as the coat.

“It’s been a long day. Powerpoints. Shoes. Getting lost.” I sighed. “I’ll be fine.”

“You one of the baby bats?” He eyed me up and down, a little curl to his lips I thought was appreciative.

“Yeah.” I laughed. I hadn’t meant to laugh, but it was a laugh that nearly turned into a sob.

“I’m Killian,” he said softly.


“Audry.” The way he said my name was almost grounding. “Do you want to be a vampire, Audry?”

I bit my lip, forcing myself not to move. Not to shake my head or start crying. We were in such a public place. I didn’t want to break down in public.

“How about we go someplace quieter?” He held a hand out to me. The light caught his perfectly manicured nails, painted with a golden tint.

I had this feeling in the pit of my stomach. I wasn’t the type of person who made snap decisions. I’d agonized over my application for vampire conversion. I’d agonized over my college applications.

Decisions were always weighty.

But I made a choice in that airport. I took his hand.

Killian smiled at me and gently led me to a little alcove off the thoroughfare.

“It’s all right if you don’t want it.”

“They wouldn’t let me keep my cats,” I blurted out. “I had to say goodbye to them.” A tear dripped down my cheek. “That wasn’t in the pamphlet.”

I thought he would laugh, but instead, he frowned.

“I’m sorry, that’s incredibly unfair.”

I nodded, more tears dripping. I could feel my nose starting to stuff up too. Yeah, this was an attractive look.

“So, do you want to be a vampire?”

I swallowed the heat building in the back of my throat and shook my head. “No,” I croaked. “But—I have to. I need the money. They’ll pay off my student loans. I’ll be able to help my family. My friends.” I swallowed again.

He was still holding my hand, and for some reason that made me feel safe.

“That’s a lot to put on your shoulders.”

I shrugged.

“What if I gave you another option?”

I blinked and met his eyes. “What other option?”

“The pack.”

It suddenly occurred to me. The coat. The strength in his build. The strength in his hand.

“You’re a werewolf.” But I didn’t try to pull my hand away. I didn’t want to.

He smiled, flashing teeth. “I am.”

“You guys don’t have pamphlets.”

Killian laughed. “No, we don’t. We select our candidates differently.”


“How much money do you need?”

I snorted. “To pay off my debts? My friends? My family? Like, half a million dollars. Private college, not cheap.”

“What did you get a degree in?”

“Art history.” I made a face. “I know, not useful.”

“I wouldn’t say that. You learn to look at the world differently. See people differently. I would guess that’s one of the reasons the vampires chose you. They like intelligence—so do I.” He fixed me with that stare again. “Come with me, I’ll give you six months to decide if you want to be a part of the pack. Whether you do or not, I’ll pay the debts you’ve shouldered.”

A chill rolled over my skin, sinking into my muscles. “Wha?” I couldn’t form the whole word. “Are you—you can’t be serious.”

“I am, very serious.” He squeezed my hand and released it. “When you get off that plane, it’ll be too late, Audry.”

“Why are you doing this? Why do you want to help me?”

He shrugged. “Because I can.” He held his hand out again. “It’s your choice. I won’t force you to come with me.”

I took a deep breath. “Would you buy me a t-shirt from the gift shop? Would I get to keep my cats?”

“Sure.” He blinked. “I can do that. And, yes. I like cats. We have quite a few at the manor.”

“Cool.” I took his hand. “Because I want my cats. Also, this shirt is really itchy.”
Killian snorted. “You have the most interesting priorities.”

“You sure you want me in your pack?”

“Oh, yes.” He nodded, smiling. “I’m sure.”

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Call

It is time. It has happened.


Let me preface this with a bit of background. I started querying when I was thirteen years old. One could say I was precocious. One could also say the book was terrible and I was out of my mind. But hey, I was a teenager with a dream and a terrible book.

Also, looking back, superbly queer with no frame of reference for the term. Regardless, I was trying. I continued trying. And trying. And trying. (There's a theme here). Last year, I got a call, it was an R&R. I was so hopeful this was my ticket. It was actually around this time last year even. Which is a bit funny. I half-shelved that project, spent November bleeding out a new book post-election and then devoted my time and energy to this new baby. Still, queries and fulls still lingered for the near-shelved project. It made a few contests even. I've made it into...four or five, curated pitch contests. Done the twitter pitches.

But did I get this call because of one?

Well, no. It was a cold query. (See? Querying is the bread and butter folks.) Anyhow. So I was in a peculiar position where I was actively querying Project 2 whilst waiting to hear back on the remnants of Project 1 and also starting to prep Project 3 for query should Project 2 not go anywhere. More than one full request took a year to get a reply. The average was about six months. See, it's a slow business. But I felt so close. I could feel myself just on the other side of that divide of unagented author to agented author.

I admit, despair hit me. I lost my job. I got incredibly ill pretty suddenly (and am now on the road to recovery). Then, the third week of October I felt...better. A lot better. I know part of it was coming out of a depressive episode. Part of it was that medication and time were finally doing their thing to heal my body.

An email appeared. I'd gotten to the point where I could judge based on the first five words whether it's a reject or not, but this one took me by complete surprise. I sat there, stunned, in awe of like three sentences and then I shouted for my roommate/partner in crime. I got up from my desk, rushed into her room and for a brief moment, I couldn't say anything.

And then I managed to say, "An agent wants a call." Now, these words had emerged from my lips once before, so I was skeptical. It could still be a just another R&R, I was pretty used to them by now. But a call was special. I was hopeful. Plus, I had a job interview the next day so it was already kind of a banner week for me.

I made the call. I heard the words. The first time she said it, the words were garbled a bit. I thought I knew what she'd said. But I totally didn't process it. At all. We talked and talked, and I felt myself getting excited and hopeful and then, clear as bell, she repeated it. "I'd like to officially offer you representation."

I was shaking. I, being a professional, told her I'd need some time to inform other agents of the offer and promised to talk again soon. And then I proceeded to call my family, my roommate and dance with my cat. He was unamused and bit me. It was fine. Admittedly, I'm still in shock. I'm still just processing that a day I've spent over a decade waiting for has come to pass. And I am so ready, so ready, to start the next stage of authordom. It's what I've been waiting for. I know the road ahead is still long. It's still going to be hard, but now I've got someone on my team fighting with me. Someone who can fight for my work, who believes in it. That's all I've ever wanted.

I am proud to say I've found my champion in Madelyn Burt of the Stonesong Agency.

My only question now is, what's next?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Plushidermy: Unicorn Head

So I saw one of those plush faux taxidermy unicorns at Target (heretoafter referred to as "plushidermy"), and I wanted one. Except in purple.

So I bought fabric (this is lightweight flannel) buttons, ribbon and thread and got to work!
First off, you can buy patterns already made up for plushidermy creatures of all sorts. I wasn't in love with any of them, and since I have a background in sculpture and toy design I was confident enough to draft my own pattern and move from there. I...sort of forgot to take photos of that process, but I plan to make another out of light canvas and I'll do that then. That said, if you can think three dimensionally and draft your own plushy pattern, have at!

I first sewed the head seams together up to the point of the ears, as I would need to fold those into the seam. You can see that stage on the left. It doesn't look like much, but you can see the seams are curved and I did the plaid blaze as an inset.

This wasn't too bad to sew together. My unicorn is pretty big, so the finer seam details were easier to navigate on the machine than something smaller would've been.

This is aluminum modelling wire.
 I made the ears with the plaid on the interior and sewed them into the head seams. However...the flopped. Which had my unicorn looking a bit too much like a donkey for my taste. Luckily, I had some aluminum modelling wire hanging around.

It's pretty thick, bends easily, cuts easily and is perfect for this application. I cut a length a little longer than the ears and threaded it through the seam. (See left) Then, I curled the ends in to round them off and was able to stand my ears up and mold them to shape after stuffing.

It was SOOO much easier. You could get a similar effect by adding some interfacing or thick felt into the ears. You're just looking to stiffen them up a bit.

The mane was next. I had a bunch of lace ribbon, ribbon and other trim odds and ends to use. I cut the lengths and laid them out along the spine, pinning as I went. There was no precise pattern here, I was just trying to get it to look aesthetically pleasing. I used purples, blacks, grey and white with different textures. I also added some larger ribbon to the mane later (hand stitched) to add more dimension to the unicorn's mane.

It was a pretty simple straight stitch down the spine, you can also see I added some ruffle trim to the base area where the horn was going, just for some more texture and fun. This is something you can do on ANY plushidermy pattern. Really, adding trim, patches and texture will help make it your own creation.

Here's my little friend all stitched up! Inside out first, and then outside in. The eyes aren't in yet, but you can see the structure of the seams I used to give the head shape. One thing I did learn in this process was that the flannel has more stretch than I liked for a more architectural head (hence why I plan to make another with light canvas, less stretch) You do want to think about your materials. But I love how soft she is and while she has flaws, I'm super happy with her as a first try.

Time for stuffing! I used the harder poly-fil (again, I wish I'd gone with squisher here to compliment the stretch of the fabric but...live and learn.) I got her mostly stuffed and added the eyes, the thick purple ribbon and embroidered on a mouth and added depth with nostrils. That was done with a doll needle and strong thread. It's literally just a large pair of stitches drawn the plush in. The horn is on there as well.

I followed this tutorial by BeeZeeArt for the horn. It's super simple.

Next up, I added some support to the neck with a ring of cardboard. Foam board would be better, but cardboard works here. I the closed up the hole.

She looks pretty good, right? Not done yet!

The next question was, how do I hang her? She was too heavy to hang on her own, so I whipped up a base. I shaped it like a floral ring, using foamboard and covered it with plaid and black flannel. I then stuffed it. I used the clear thumbtacks to pre-poke holes into the foam board and the stitched it all down by hand. After that, I added a pretty ruffle to camouflage the edges I didn't like and then it was time to put the head onto the board!

I used ribbon to do that. Which, pre-planning would have helped me here too. I ended up cutting slits in the cardboard and the foamcore, and then used a thick ribbon to stitch unicorn head to base. I put a ribbon loop in the seam of the plaid cover and then hung the whole thing on the wall.

There were a lot of things I would have done a bit differently (hello, pre-planning) but I learned a lot while I worked and remembered a lot while I worked. I'm really looking forward to my next unicorn head. And maybe a dragon...

Cheers! And if you have any questions, feel free to post a comment below. I hope to make a more step by step tutorial on my next unicorn.