The Creative Power of Dreams

Plight of the writer.

At 2AM this morning, I awoke.

Throwing back the covers, I checked the time.

Oh wow. Still early. I thought. Laying back down, I stared across the room at the mirror on my jewelry armoire. No, can’t go back to sleep yet. I have to write this down.

So I got up, and I wrote down my dream.

Close to eight hours later, up and starting my day, I texted with my sister. I described how inspired I felt.

“Some of my best story ideas come from dreams. lol” She replied.

Yeah. Incredible, isn’t it?

At night, we dream. Science has yet to fully explain why. In our minds, the barriers between fantasy and reality rip away and we wander through landscapes of intense color and worlds of what-if scenarios. Some dreams are bizarre. Some dreams are mundane.

And then… some dreams strike a chord that feels like the root of a creative burst.

I’ve previously shared with some friends and family that my manuscript darling, HANG ON (#amquerying), came to me during my April 2018 psychotic break with reality. The images that bombarded my conscious during that week were extremely dream-like.

This dream felt reminiscent of that psychotic break, as some of my dreams these days often do. I sat down to write on my current works in progress, but my mind kept wandering.

I hit “New Document” on Microsoft Word and faced the blank page.


And thus a new journey begins.

World Schizophrenia and Psychosis Awareness Day

It’s Mental Health Awareness Month, and today in particular is World Schizophrenia and Psychosis Awareness Day.

Psychosis is a terrifying word, isn’t it?

I have schizoaffective disorder, which basically means I have a mood disorder (in my case, major depression) and I have also separately suffered psychotic symptoms. I was diagnosed with major depression first, after a slow descent into darkness over the course of 2011 that cumulated in a suicide attempt in on New Year’s Day of 2012. Summer of 2016, I suffered my first major psychotic break with reality. As of today, I have had four significant psychotic breaks with reality, each spanning the course of about 3-5 days.

In what I consider my worst break in April of 2018, I left my apartment half-naked, got in my car, and drove until I ran out of gas on the access road. Police were called to the scene, and I was dragged kicking and screaming into an ambulance. As terrifying as that was, it was the best possible outcome that I could have hoped for. There are people out there with my illness who have wound up in similar situations and have not been nearly as fortunate. They are the heart of why I’m writing this.

I’ve been blessed with supportive family and friends. I am lucky in that my medication has, for the most part, worked very well for me. I’ve been consistently employed full-time for almost four years. I’m making it. I’m doing okay.

But for the people who suffer from psychosis who are not okay, support is needed. Donations to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) are being matched during Mental Health Awareness Month. If you have the means, I urge you to support them. NAMI has provided education, resources, and help to me and others living with mental illness.

THE CONTROL is Now on Mythrill

THE CONTROL a YA Sci-Fi Post-Apocalyptic Dystopia, is now on Mythrill.

Every scientific experiment needs a control, and for the genetically engineered superhumans at Hayes Industries, that means every one of them has ordinary human counterparts who must endure the same horrific experiments as they do.

Sixteen-year-old Beth is one of the controls, designed to be the ordinary biological counterpart of the super-human, Beta, the second-most powerful superhuman at Hayes Industries. But in one escape attempt gone awry, Beta dies. As Hayes Industries has no further use for a control without a super-human counterpart, Beth must escape an attempt to terminate her life.

Announcing: The Return of the Revenge of the Bride of the Madness! (Camp NaNo 2022 April Session)

Guess what I’ve signed up for. Again. Even though I flunked November AGAIN this past 2021.

Soon the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) will be upon us, and I will be attempting the madness again. The last TEN challenges I have signed on for, I have crashed and burned.

I’m a little nervous announcing that I’m doing a NaNoWriMo Camp session since my last few stints of public NaNoWriMo have gone so poorly. My darkness monster has consistently reared its ugly head. Even put me in the hospital in 2020 (Failure with 20,000 words! Woot!). But I’m feeling really hopeful on attempt 11, even though… hahaha…silly me, I set my goal to 95,000 freakin’ words. Cue the psycho music!

But… here’s the thing. The project I’m working on and want to finish… I kind of sold it.

For my Instagram followers… I have teased #secretprojectcoming2022. I even announced where #secreteprojectcoming2022 would be, Mythrill Fiction! I’m so immensely grateful for the opportunity to share my writing on a wide-scale basis, and I’m EXCITED man! One problem… the manuscript I pitched… I never finished!

Time to fix that.

See y’all in April at the starting line!

I Know Where the Unicorn Flies

Author’s Note: Do not adjust your monitor. You have read the date correctly. This unicorn obsession of mine goes WAY BACK, love. This is five-year-old-mini-and-wee-Ally dictating unicorn poetry to her mother. It’s short. It’s sweet. It’s actually pretty good poetry considering the author was five. In addition to being evidence of the longevity of my unicorn obsession, it’s also my oldest piece of writing. In honor of 100 posts on Instagram, I give you a child’s unicorn poetry.

I know where the unicorn flies

I know where she dances, glides

I know where her foot steps lightly

I know where the unicorn flies


Guess what? It’s NaNoWriMo day 21. And I am okay.

Oh, I’m definitely behind. Probably not gonna finish. But that’s okay. I have written 15,480 words total that I am mostly proud of and I had a good long 5,000-word sprint just today!

My last Instagram post, and my last post on here, were pretty dark. I reached a dark place. On Instagram I wrote, “Part of me wants other people to know how I feel so that they can tell me that they care… but the darkness monster says even if people do care… so what? It’s not enough. It’s never enough. It can’t last and it can’t make anything different.”

Here’s the thing though… people showed up to care. And I found that once again, it DOES matter. When you have people that love you cheering you on, it doesn’t matter how many words you get or don’t get. And I realized that even if I didn’t live up to the expectations I set for myself right this minute, my life is still worth living. The darkness monster can go away. Maybe he’ll be back, but it’s okay. He’s just a liar I don’t need to listen to anyway.

So here’s to however many words I get to finish in the next nine days! Happy writing!

NaNoWriMo Day 7

So we’re a full week into NaNoWriMo, and I’ve written a grand total of 700 words since the start of the month. My account profile says my project is at 7,805 words, but that’s deceptive. I started with something like 7,100 words, but I wanted to reach 60,000 this month. I told myself that I would do better than I did last year. I told myself (and the rest of my sparse friends list) that I would update my blog and Instagram twice a week to keep myself on track. And I’m one week into the challenge and I feel like a failure.

Sequel (the platform I’ve been publishing my Make Me Maid of Honor series) announced they were shutting down this week. And that, among many other things, has got me down. I kind of expected it, but I still feel like a failure.

Can I be brutally honest for just a minute? Sometimes, like right now, I just don’t see the point. I’ve struggled with chronic depression for ten years, and I have to admit despite everything that’s supposedly “good” that has happened to me in those ten years there are days like today where I just feel like there’s no point in trying to be happy. Because eventually, I wind up right back here again. Hello old nemesis, the darkness monster. It seems like no matter what, you’re always following. No matter what temporary joy I can lay ahold of, you’re always there telling me it can’t last and it’s not enough.

I’m burned out. I’m heartbroken. I’m depressed again. And I don’t have a redeeming corner to turn here in this post. I’m still staring down a blinking cursor and I don’t have any idea on how to make it move. I still feel like a failure at everything I’ve ever attempted. And I don’t need an inspiring speech. I don’t need a phone call or a hug. I just need to write the next word.


While I Was Sleeping

Author’s Note: I wrote these song lyrics in 2015 about a long-term crush I’d had that I wanted to be rid of. I’m long since over it, but I still love the lyrics I wrote. I think there are many others who can relate to the feelings so I’m sharing it now.

You were here while I was sleeping,

In the depths of my mind,

Where all the secrets I’ve been keeping,

Are all I come to find,

Where once upon a time we danced,

With open hearts and woven hands,

Until I woke to dawn’s cold bitter light.

I don’t want to dream about you anymore,

This is the last my soul can take,

I don’t want to wish on any more shooting stars,

They fall so far,

And I reach until I break.

I’ve only ever fallen in love with shadows,

And chased whispers into heartache,

I don’t want to dream about you anymore,

You will never be with me when I wake.

I’ve worn a ballgown made of silver white light,

And a veil that trailed across the aisle and into the sky,

I’ve said I love, I will, I do, for all of time,

But only at night.

In the quiet breaths between who I am,

And what I wish inside,

I don’t want to dream about you anymore,

This is the last my soul can take,

I don’t want to wish on anymore shooting stars,

They fall so far,

And I reach until I break.

I’ve only ever fallen in love with shadows,

And chased whispers into heartache,

I don’t want to dream about you anymore,

You will never be with me when I wake.

Reality is where the sunset’s reflected in your eyes,

On picturesque painting that make me cry,

It was everything I ever wanted,

Everything I’d ever wished that it would be,

It was all for real.

Just not for me.

I don’t want to dream about you anymore,

This is the last my soul can take,

I don’t want to wish on anymore shooting stars,

They fall so far,

And I reach until I break.

I’ve only ever fallen in love with shadows,

And chased whispers into heartache,

I don’t want to dream about you anymore,

You will never be with me when I wake.

I Am From Poem

Author’s Note: This is my response to a common poetry prompt. When I was writing it, I was thinking about the things that made up the foundation of my childhood and what I still carry into adulthood. I wrote it just as an exercise but I was so proud of it that I wanted to share it. I hope you enjoy.

I am from fairy gardens constructed

with twigs and daffodil petals

sprinkled with the little round rocks

that were under the tire swing

where the other children would not let me play

because at three years old I wore glasses

I am from words on yellowed paper

read aloud by the glow

of the unicorn night light

magic worlds and lantern waste

that I carried close to my heart

even as all plunged into winter

I am from composition notebooks

that left graphite smudges on my eager hands

as I drew space cadets and superheroes

that traversed the galaxies inside my mind

and the pages I filled as I chicken-pecked

every key my fingers could reach

I am from the hymns sung every morning

verses forever engraved as melodies

that spring to my lips the moment

I hear the first note in the pastor’s sermon

and I can still play that holy book’s sonnets

reflect them back as the sun goes out

Announcing: We Be Attempting the Madness (Again)

Guess what time of year it is…

It be time to announce my lofty goal for November! That’s right, it’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) 2021 and I am attempting the madness yet again! The last NINE TIMES I have attempted NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo, I have crashed and burned. I haven’t won a NaNoWriMo challenge since 2015.

But win, lose, or total apocalypse, I’m running again in 2021. And I must admit, I’m “cheating” a little bit. This year’s project is to finish Maid of Honor for Summer, which I have technically already started. But in a challenge with no real prizes, I think it’s okay to bend the rules a little. I will be sharing one chapter per week on Sequel, which I hope will help me stay motivated to keep going, and I will post bi-weekly updates to my blog here and on Instagram.

Looking forward to running the race!