Friday, August 22, 2014


WriteOnCon online writers' conference is going on August 26th to the 27th. The forums are now open. It's a great way to connect with agents and publishers and writers alike. It's for Picture Book, Middle Grade, Young Adult and New Adult writers. When you sign up, you can post your query, first 250 words and first 5 pages for critique. Everyone is so uplifting and just a great bunch to work with, hope to see you there.

Good Luck!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Just Some Thoughts on Dealing with a Mental Illness

These are just some of my thoughts on mental illness. Some people might completely disagree with what I have to say, but so be it. Not everyone is going to like my writing or my views. I’ve come to embrace that fact. I can’t make everyone happy and nor should you.

I’ve had more down days than I’ve had up days lately. It’s been a constant struggle of mine. Some days I can easily overcome it, blow it right off my skin. And other days it latches onto me like the black plaque. Sometimes I can’t shake it off. It fucking sucks to be honest. Here I am, trying so hard to manage it, whatever the hell this blackness is—whether it’s financial woes or I’m worried about my kids, to self loathing. I hate hating on myself, but I do it. It comes in like a routine procedure. I’m like, okay, brace yourself Mama, I say in my mind. Let’s just get through it, your better moment will come.

Sometimes I reach so hard for that better moment in my life, that I don’t realize my moment is pretty good right now. Once I realize how thankful I am, it passes for a while. And I feel good, sometimes great. But it’s absolutely impossible to always be holding on to the good in your life.

I, for some reason, like many others, suffer from a mental illness. It’s a chemical imbalance. It could be genetic. The traumas in life that you go through, it could be a whole cocktail of things. It’s hard to drink down. Sometimes our bodies and minds just won’t allow it. Not everyone can deal with traumatic things that happen to them. Some people are stronger than others. Some can endure the pain of whatever life brings. Some can’t—yet still cope. Holding on to whatever is going to keep them floating above the surface. Because sometimes deep down the darkness is so blinding to the point of no closure.

How do you close a door deep within you that constantly tries to suck you in, like a vacuum effect?  What if you close a lot of doors in your mind, just to block the pain out? Then you’d be trapping yourself in right? It’s a catch 22. You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. Then the mind games of what if? And why this? And what should I do? What should I not do? What the fuck am I doing wrong?

Well, over thinking for one. GOD, I truly, TRULY hate it when someone says, “Well, don’t think so much.” Like it’s that easy to turn it off like a light switch. How do you stop yourself from thinking too much when all anyone ever does is think? Sure there are moments of relief and black periods in my mind when I sleep. But the nightmares always come in my lightest of sleeps. I continue to have those dreams where I’ve had to literally pull myself out of it.  Have you ever tried to pull yourself out of your dreams before? It’s one of the worst feelings in the world of losing your breath, being forced out of your dream to be shoved back into reality. Like holding your breath under water for as long as you can bear, then gasping for air when you wake up.  THEN, here’s my problem, I can’t seem to shake the dream off my mind. Like it’s making me feel miserable for even thinking that.

My point here is there is none. Mental illness sucks the big f**kin balls. I’m dealing with it like an illness—because it is in fact an illness. I’m managing to get by, writing, staying up with my meds and just getting by. My precious moments are with my kids and my family. If I didn’t have them, I’d be gone or in a mental institution by now. I am a dependent on them. I only thrive through them. So support is crucial to people with mental illness. Sometimes all the support in the world doesn’t help either. Everyone’s case of mental illness is different and should never be compared from one person to another. I just wish there was more empathy in the world to it. Mental illness gets a bad rap all the time. Mainly why there’s a stigma. And I think it’s even more difficult to endure a mental illness when there’s the internet, and texting and tweeting and beeping and whatever the fuck is going on. Honestly some things in life you don’t really need to know. You’re better off turning a deaf ear to it or a blind eye to it, because not everything needs be known.

If there’s anything you should turn off, it’s technology. Just for a little while. Or make it a long while. Just to recoup and center yourself again. Never in any way think that’s a selfish thing to do. Sometimes being alone and wrapped in your own thoughts is a good thing. And be proud of the fact that you're still here.  

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Updated List of (2014) YA Publishers

All the existing lists on my blog are still current. The only one that I had to remove was Strange Chemistry that closed their doors recently. Some of these publishers pay advances. I will mark them (Adv) Some are brand new: (N) please proceed with caution. Some are outside the US. (I will mark those accordingly.)  Some I know for a fact are reputable. Those will be marked with an (R.)

The Novel Fox: Adv, N
Bloomsbury Spark: Adv, N, R
Switch Press (Capstone Imprint): Adv, N, R 
Dancing Cat Books:  N, R, (Ca)

Again, proceed with caution on any new publisher. Make sure you find out all you can before you sign with any publisher (new and existing.) But be especially careful with brand new ones. If you find out these are vanity publishers, please contact me and I will remove them. If you have any new ones that you’d like to share, I’d love to hear from you.

Hope this is helpful.