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Black Magic's Prey is now Available!

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I am happy to announce Black Magic's Curse is now available in ebook and paperback formats via Amazon. I'm excited to announce I'll be releasing an audiobook version on Audible within the next two months.
As my first foray into supernatural thrillers, I couldn't be more pleased with how this book turned out. If you like it as much as I do, please consider leaving a review on Amazon.
BUY IT NOW


Going Analogue: Why I'm slowly ridding myself of Apps

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If you've spent any time on the internet, you've probably seen the meme below or something similar.

Most of us chuckle at it because we've all been there. Someone asks you a question you have no way of knowing off the top of your head, even though they have the same phone you do, probably right there in their hand. I suppose this meme is great for coworkers or other people you wouldn't speak to if you had a choice.

But a few weeks ago, I said that to my spouse. He asked me a question, one no doubt designed to start a conversation (we were getting ready for dinner, after all), and my reaction was one of irritation. What was I doing that I was so annoyed at being interrupted? I was looking at Pinterest. Yes, I'm serious.

That episode was a wakeup call, one bolstered by my iPhone letting me know that on any given day, I have six to seven hours of screen time. Let that sink in. I'm awake for about ten hours. And for eight of them, I'm glued to that stupid, time…

My problem with memoirs

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Sally Field recently said in an interview that she was relieved her former partner Burt Reynolds had passed away prior to her memoir coming out because "It would have hurt him." It was one of those stories where I read the headline and dropped down immediately to the comments. Predictably, there were two camps: the Anne Lamott camp, who said, "Girl, that story is yours. Tell your truth." And then there were those I agreed with, who I will dub the reasonable and responsible camp.  We were the ones scratching our heads saying, "If you didn't want him to read it, why did you write it?"

Memoirs are a tricky thing, which is why I will never write one. Never. Not when I'm old. Not even when all of my relatives are dead. Despite my staunch fixation on fiction, I sure do have some strong opinions on memoirs, which largely comes from my work as an editor. I've been working as a professional editor since 2008 and in that time, I've edited A LOT of m…

Review: Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success

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Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success by Brad Stulberg
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In an age of “Fitspiration”—YouTube and Instagram personalities talking about their 3 and 4 am wakeup calls for their workout and/or business routine—Peak Performance serves as a straightforward and refreshing reminder that long-term success does not come from missing sleep in pursuit of your goals. Quite the opposite actually.

Authors Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness, a health and science writer and running performance coach, respectively, have compiled the science on what research has shown us about people who have achieved long-term success in their fields. This is a thoughtful, well-written book starts off with the stories of two young hotshots and their punishing routines: early wakeups, practicing several times a day, foregoing socializing, and even breaking up with a girlfriend to better focus on their goals. These are the sacrifices some entre…

The role of "stuff" in character development

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I got rid of Facebook earlier this year. But before I did, I used to follow "The Minimalists." Theirs was a community based on downsizing your life, living more simply through fewer possessions, less debt, and more time with people and pursuits that matter to you. I was struck by one of the last posts of theirs I saw before I left Facebook.

On the weekend before valentines day, The Minimalists posted several anti-consumerist posts, some memes, some just short paragraphs. All of them made the point that giving gifts was ultimately a destructive practice, that it is not a love language, but rather a habit. They also said giving diamonds is not giving love, but rather ostentatious overspending. Sounds pretty reasonable for people who adhere to minimalism, right? But holy heavens, the comments section.

There were accusations of Communism, of misogyny, of ingratitude. And these were not one-sentence rebukes. These commenters were MAD. It makes you wonder about such an extreme re…

Review of I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi

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I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"I Liked My Life" is a masterful study of grief, life, and the secrets we keep. After Maddy, loving stay-at-home mother, commits suicide, her daughter Eve and husband Brady are left wondering why. The book would still be great even if we kept our sights on those two as they worked through their issues. But we also hear from Maddy herself. Stuck between life and death, Maddy has unfinished business, so we see her attempts to influence the family left behind and rectify some of the fallout, all while hearing about the life they lived before... and after. By all accounts, Maddy did like her life. So why did she kill herself?

I've often said the best books make you examine how you would react in a similar situation, though I found myself fighting against it in this case. I still have both my parents, and the thought of losing either of them, particularly while I was still a teen, is simply unbearable. Fabiaschi paints…

Moral Quagmires when on the Job

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Ask a Manager is one of the very few blogs I follow. I check it every single day, delighting in the professional debacles the letter writers find themselves in. Unfailingly, Allison provides spot-on advice, emphasizing professional norms, office culture, and employment law in her responses. To be honest, her site is the reason I made Tess, the protagonist of my upcoming novella, an HR rep. I've never worked in HR, so reading Allison's site and seeing the absolutely unthinkable behavior of some employers made me grateful for literally every job I've ever had. Even the awful ones, because they were still better than some of these poor people's jobs. Don't believe me? A boss directed an employee, on pain of being fired, to leave a note at a grave for a worker who was on bereavement leave. Yeah, someone actually did that.

On the July 10 post, something unusual happened: I disagreed with Allison's advice. You can see the hyperlink, so please read it for yourself, b…