Until The Next Nightfall

An Exchange

One night you have me

Opening me up and swallowing my sorrows

And next, I have you

Giving into your need

To engulf me whole

And find me

Until the next nightfall

I’m brave enough to find you

Book Event

This is a small post about the event I attended with Oxford Exchange Bookstore for The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo. Since the book is a novella, I thought a small post would do.

For me personally, this book wasn’t for me, but I was very busy at the time to be able to go into the metaphoric writing that this had. So, I wanted to listen in and get the other side of things.

What I learned was that this book is for people who love puzzles and deciphering things. A whole other brand of brilliant minds that do not link up to my own. I was told that this book was about “remembering the small moments and how sorrows, tragedies, and anger can fuel people.” For many, this novella was very subtle and refreshing. For others, they wanted more from it and felt like it glossed over too many things. It was an interesting book that was short and sweet. So, it was nice because I did not feel like I had wasted my time when I tried reading it.

Grieving Sands

This is the concept art by Susanne Hundseder for my short story “Grieving Sands,” which is an uplifting grief fantasy. For those who do not know, an uplifting grief fantasy is a story with fantasy elements to help those grieving. For anyone needing such a story, click on the picture above to take you to a site set up nicely for this story. Also, feel free to share if you know anyone who is struggling. We have decided to start sharing short stories without putting them up behind a paywall, so it will be free for anyone to read.

This story started as a writing prompt with the word sandbox. If you read the story, you will understand how amazing the artist did in capturing the women and their mothers. Her skill and the passion she showed with this project blew me away.

I plan to start posting collaborated artwork and projects along with other surprises as time passes. We have a lot planned that I am excited to share! But if you want the precise timelines and management of those projects, inside scoops, book recommendations, bookstore shout-outs, author shout-outs, a free fun fantasy quiz, and more, sign up for my newsletter.

The link is below, along with another link to the short story.

See As I Do

Give me empathy

I beg you to

Please understand

Why I do what I do

I live in a circle

Tortured to no end

You hold me closely

Aren’t willing to bend

Please twist your mind

And see as I do

I need you to get me

As I work to get you

Book Event

I was able to attend an event with Writer’s League of Texas discussing Black Chameleon: Memory, Womanhood, and Myth by Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton.

Black Chameleon is Deborah’s first memoir. She expressed how for so long she lived in stanzas and lines being a poet first. With this memoir, she was trying to figure out how to hold integrity on the page. She realized in her life that things don’t translate to a page and so she wanted to see where poetry enters and exits in prose.

She explained how she had started collecting stories of her life for almost a year but found that something wasn’t working. She began thinking about the mythology of Black American women and questioning what her origin would be. She expressed how she felt African mythology didn’t explain her and how the American context didn’t feel right. So, diving into and creating mythology was a space for her to explain, give context, and figure out how she and her family became who they are. After she wrote her first myth, she finally felt seen.

She tapped into culture and reframed it into herself, which brought her joy. She gave what her people needed, mythology for themselves, to explain why they are who they are, while implementing Black and South culture.

It was very interesting and insightful to hear her explain how she wanted to feel intentional with her existence, instead of a byproduct of someone stealing her from her home and bringing her people to new lands.

Her goal was to immortalize herself in a tale. Create stories that never die. Give herself over to a tradition that will never be forgotten since she knows her people always feel like a forgotten people. She needed a space of belonging to work side by side with her memories. A new understanding of who she was in this world. And so, she created it.

Getting Nowhere

The morning wakes her

The mirror whispers foe

Her unfulfilled dreams mark her a fool

Hesitant for life

She sways with no bite

She follows, only meant for the rules

Safety in comfort

No betting on hands

She will get nowhere in time

Lost to the masses

Unless she understands

Critical thinking may save her life

Book Event

This evening I was able to attend an event with Oxford Exchange Bookstore discussing The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean.

Everyone liked how the main character was a very real person who had flaws, especially when it came to her being a mom and trying her best. One of the best and cutest parts people found about the book was the motherhood parts. Even the readers who don’t normally care for books revolving around motherhood. They loved how and where she gave birth to her son. The remarks and things said between her and her son. And how the main character, as a mother, was represented in a very human way.

Everyone loved how the story was structured, with the past and present meeting at the perfect place and clippings of real-world and fantasy-world quotes and articles at the beginning of the chapters. They felt it helped enhance the story and blend the world.

One of the biggest discussions was how in this book, they didn’t just talk about books. They also talked about video games, which brought a nice familiar aspect that lent coziness to the story.

A character everyone loved was Jarrow. They also loved how his asexuality was presented and actually recognized. It was amazing how the brother believed his sexuality compared to a lot of media and tropes where asexuality is unbelieved.

This book seemed like such a great book for bibliophiles and booksellers with all the descriptions on how certain books taste. It led us to discuss what kind of books we would eat and what they may taste like. We were thinking for horror, a thick, inky taste like blood.

This book and author both seem to have gone through many challenges. It sounds highly frustrating that so many parts of the book had to be taken out, including how it was supposed to be set in different countries. Also, how it was supposed to be a series but got condensed into one. Because of this, it left some parts feeling unfinished to some readers, while others found it fine. But I feel that the author is inspirational for tearing this book apart and still telling a decent, well-characterized story.


Nourish my brain

To dampen my sorrow

Make me forget regret

Drum out the pain

With logic to borrow

Reset all my upset

Grief, it takes me

Down its alley

No chance to move or to break

I need a moment

I need your minute

To wash away all my mistakes

Book Event

I joined Brookline Booksmith last night to discuss Fonda Lee’s newest book Untethered Sky.

For anyone who doesn’t know, Fonda Lee is known for her The Green Bone Saga series. She said that with this newest book, which is a novella, she had to use different brain muscles since she decided to take a step back from an epic world and story and dive into something else. She did this because she realized that trying to live up to what she did before was paralyzing.

In this newest book, she focuses on a single person instead of a large cast. She also made it pre-modern, added animals, and made it smaller in length to give her a clean break into something new.

Come to find out, this book started as a novel but then turned into a novella because someone asked her if she would be interested in writing a novella. Taking it into novella form helped her put pieces together that weren’t working as a novel. Then the story came to life.

During this process, she learned that a novella isn’t less in terms of worldbuilding work. She built an entire world for this small story and expressed how the temptation to write more stories in the world is there, but she only envisioned this world as the one story and doesn’t have another to tell.

What she found most challenging when writing this story was writing it in first-person instead of third-person. She wrote the first chapter from both points of view and then sent it out for validation to see which was better. She then went into length about how writing in first-person is different. How she could only know the character as well as they knew themselves and how it was a different kind of intimacy compared to having multiple povs and being in third-person, where she could flesh out a character more with interactions and dynamics between other characters.

Another struggle for her was the story’s pacing being a personal journey versus an epic.

Last fun fact, Lee has been obsessed with falconry for the longest time. She knew it was something she would never be able to do, so she decided to write about it but add mythic possibilities to the sport. This is what makes up a core piece of this newest book.

Personal Lengths

As I wait

The seconds burn into me

Coiling blisters on my wrist from my watch

A personal fathom

Since it’s the one you gave to me

Before your goodbye marked me as naught