The Monkey Is In.

So be prepared. Bring a banana.

I'm a writer of horror and dark fiction. I've been doing this since 1999 and believe me when I say, it's cheaper than therapy and safer for the world at large.

Little Miss Independent

I wish I could be a bit more consistent with posting blogs but mostly time gets away from me or I simply just forget that this is an outlet I could/should use. Well, maybe someday...

I'm not exactly sure where this post will go or how long it will be but I just wanted to blog quickly about a new aspect of my life. Most of you know I've been working conventions with my writers' group, Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers, for years now. We started at Motor City Comic Con 9 years ago and, starting last year, have really branched out into out of state shows - or at least ones that are within the 5-6 hour driving range.

Being able to do those with the group has been awesome. It's helped me get out there and learn a little about what it takes to sell the goods, if you know what I mean.

PERVS, ALL OF YOU.

Then back in 2016, I decided to do something very unlike me -  I signed up for an author event but as a solo mission. Alone. ALL BY MYSELF. As terrifying as it was, it was also exciting. I rarely do things on my own (including other aspects of my life) so this was a giant step. It was scheduled for June of 2017 so I figured I'd have over a year to prepare for it and get all that nervous energy out of my system. 

It tickles me that by the time that event rolled around, it ended up being my fifth solo convention! Thanks to a couple of small cons (Flint April Ghoul's Day, Free Comic Book Day at Dire Comics in Howell, and the Downriver Comic Con in Lincoln Park) and one big one (Steel City Horror Con in Pittsburgh), this past June's convention was a cake walk!

Who am I and what have I done with myself?

Being able to do these conventions on my own has really helped me realize my terrible procrastination habit and inherent laziness need to FUCK THE FUCK OFF if I want my writing to be more successful. I need a lot more discipline in my life (this is not news to me) and now is the time to get hella serious about it.

I have a fantastic support system in my corner and I know I'd be useless without them. So thank you to all my friends and family that have purchased my goods (stop it...) or come to conventions or tutored me in the ways of the force or just waved sparkly fluffy pom poms in the distance to cheer me on. It means more to me than you'll ever know or that I could possibly convey. So I'll let Wade do it for me.

All right. Time to stop playing on my webpage and get to work!

 

Something Positive from 2016

Well, fuck me. 2016 was a major beeyotch to most everyone. And I don't mean just the celebrity deaths. So instead of supporting the fear mongering, the hate, the divisive nature of almost EVERY FUCKING THING floating out there in the world, I thought I should think back to the stuff I actually enjoyed in 2016. Sure, it may seem trivial to some - makeup, movies, clothes - but I think if we can find anything that brought us joy this past year, I say revel in it!

WRITING

Well, this should be a relatively easy one for me. My short story collection, Hell Hath No Fury, was re-released out into the world via Dragons Roost Press. So many thanks go out to Michael Cieslak and DRP for letting my little baby breathe again!

I also got a drabble of mine turned into a comic! 13 Little Hells will debut sometime in 2017 and it includes a story of mine. I don't have all the details yet but I'll be sure to share them when I can. This is the first time I've ever had a story in a comic collection. Whoop!

I also can't forget that Source Point Press agreed to publish my vampire novel last year and I did just get a heads up that it's coming along nicely and should be available soon! Double Whoop!

Makeup

(all these makeup brands are Cruelty Free, too!)

I've had a handful of makeup favorites this year, most of it stuff I discovered in 2016 but I imagine I will be using for years to come. Tarte Cosmetics' Rainforest of the Sea foundation and Shape Tape concealer. I don't wear a lot of foundation unless it's for a special occasion, convention, or cos play. But when I do, I reach for this Tarte one ALL THE TIME. I have Fair/Neutral but they just came out with some new shades so Fair/Beige might be better since it has pink undertones but I'm good with the one I have for now! The concealer is also one of best I've used in...well, ever. These are high end products, which I normally don't gravitate toward, but these are definitely worth the price tag.

I got the Beautifully Bare Total Face palette from ELF a while back with an order. Two blushes, a bronzer, and a highlighter were included. The highlighter, though it looks dark in the pan, is one of the best I've ever used. It's not glittery; the texture is smooth; nicely pigmented and it lasts forever on the skin.

Left top-foundation; Left bottom-concealer; Middle-powder foundation; Right-highliter

Left top-foundation; Left bottom-concealer; Middle-powder foundation; Right-highliter

The Milani Even Touch Powder Foundation was a HALLELUJAH moment for me. I'd been looking for a nice powder for a while and had been disappointed time and time again. But this stuff is perfection. It's great on its own or over a foundation without looking heavy. The color I have (Shell) is a great match!

Another ELF product I tried this year is their Lip Exfoliator in Sweet Cherry. It looks like a regular bullet shaped lipstick but it's a sugar scrub. It feels like its dry as you apply it but the balm melts with your body heat in just a few seconds. It's a great way to exfoliate and moisturize your lips in one step before putting on lipstick, particularly the liquid kind that dries down.

Makeup Revolution is an inexpensive brand from the UK. Part of their line is available at Ulta but everything in the MR line can be purchased at the TAM Beauty website. I have several eye shadow palettes but their Essential Mattes one is what I always reach for when I need an all over neutral look or just a neutral shadow to incorporate with other shadows. They are soft and smooth, have great pigmentation, and last a long time.

HAIR

Since I got all my hairs cut short I need to get back on the ball with styling. The Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Grooming Pomade is great. It smells like boy (which I like) and is the perfect blend of waxy and sticky. You can use it on wet or dry hair but I think it works better on dry.

This guy isn't new to me but I thought I should add him to this list. Nikki Black has been my hair stylist for years. We met at Motor City Comic Con years ago (he mistook me for someone else) and he's been doing my hair ever since (except for a few months when I went to one of those walk-in places and my styles went kinda ratchet). If you're from the Southeast Michigan area, he will come to your home to cut, color, and style your hair. If you're interested, just comment on this post with your email and I'll send you his phone number!

BODY

Soap & Glory has gotten a bit of hype this past year and I know why. Their body butters are fantastic. I've tried the Sugar Crush scent (lime) and The Righteous one. It's not described on the container but it smells like Lily of the Valley, which is one of the best floral scents ever. Even the hubby likes it and he usually doesn't like a lot of the scented stuff I use. Bonus! The butters are thick and keep your skin soft all day.

Ghoulish Delights is an indy company that creates bath and body products, all with horror themes/names. Sweet. The body scrub, Never Sleep Again, smells like the most delicious sweetened coffee you've ever had. Coffee grounds in the scrub are a nice exfoliant - not too harsh - and the butters keep your skin super soft. It can make the tub slippery so keep that in mind if you have someone wanting to use the shower after you!

I got a perfume sample in an Ipsy bag this year from LaVanilla labs and it is THE most perfect vanilla scent I've ever smelled. It is one of my favorite scents for a perfume and this company nailed it. I think I'm almost halfway through the bottle and that never happens.

Food

There's a great family owned coffee house near my home and the hubby and I like to frequent it as often as we can. Kahve is small but very homey. Warm decor, great people working there, and I've started to recognize the regulars that come through. I hope they stick around for a long, long time!

I review Universal Yums every month but it's worth mentioning here. UY is such a fun way to discover foods from different countries without having to buy airline tickets or travel to another city to find an authentic restaurant. Sure, you just get candy and chip-style snacks but it's still a nice little window into another culture.

Movie

There was no doubt in my mind that the Deadpool movie was going to be a huge success, especially with Ryan Reynolds playing the lead. The last movie that had me laughing through 95% or more of it was the South Park film from 1999. Thank you, Ryan, and gods bless.

I knew nothing of the comics about Dr. Strange but the trailers for this film looked pretty fucking sweet. I was not disappointed. Visually this film is stunning. Perhaps the character of Dr. Strange is TOO spot on (the arrogance and unlikeability of him) but Benedict Cumberbatch was phenomenal. If hadn't already known he was British, I would have assumed he was American. And Tilda Swinton is lovely to watch in anything!

Book

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty is a fascinating read about the funeral industry. She gives us great insight into the daily lives of folks working in this field and probably some uncomfortable truths we don't want to face - as mortals individually and as a race. I'm still working my way through it (I'm a notoriously slow reader) but am enjoying every page. You can also find Caitlin on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Clothing

I believe my friend, MontiLee, shared a link to my FB page about these: Deadpool leggings from the Lotus Leggings website (they don't look available anymore though). I remember being so resistant to the leggings resurgence years ago but broke down and bought a couple pairs, these included. HOLY SHIT are they comfortable! They're actually thicker than I thought (but beware leggings with white - they ARE see-through) and so soft! I can't wear them in the winter because it's too cold so I'll be counting down the days until Spring returns so I can pull these out again!

I think I got the grey sweater in the picture from Sears or JC Penny on sale when the seasons were changing. I know it looks basic, and it is, but it is so soft and comfortable I can barely stand it! I will wear this around the house or out to dinner or where ever. It's so versatile - it can be dressed up or down.

Event

This would have to be my writing group's first trip out of state for a convention. Flashback Con happens in Chicago every year and this time we joined in. We want the group to expand as much as it can and this was a great way to start. We got to network with a bunch of new folks we may never have met in Detroit, we sold more products than I thought we would, and it was such a great way to spend time with fellow members. I hope we can continue to expand our horizons and borders!

YouTube

I admit I have become somewhat addicted to YouTube. I subscribe to a bunch of make-up folks as well as comedy, cooking, death information/history, etc. But one channel in particular has been a new find for me in 2016 - Simply Nailogical. Cristine from Canada is a nail artist who's fucking hilarious. I don't do nail art usually. Shit, most of the time my nails are short little stubs because I'm a biter. But I can't stop watching her tutorials! She's so entertaining!