Tag Archive | reading

Why I Write

 …or, my plans to take over the world.

the brain

Wait…forget I said that. I can’t tell you my plans. That’s completely negating everything between now and my monologuing end (I hope it’s a good death).

*sigh* Fine. I’ll tell you a story. Sort of.

I write because of the need to escape the reality I’ve lived most of my life, to be someone else, somewhere else in the world or universe, to be something other.

I write to illicit emotion because I want you to feel every single emotion I feel when viewing this world or another and its tragedies and triumphs, and then maybe–just maybe–it’ll give me a glimmer of hope that it’s all worth the pain and effort.

assassins-creed-revelations-screenshots-oxcgn-16It’s like when I play a video game; I’m in that world, living that life (we’re talking Assassin’s Creed here, hence the image), and it’s so rich and full of action and adventure and history and being the hero nobody ever knows about because everything you do is secretive. When I write, I live those lives….because I couldn’t decide what I wanted to be as a grown-up when I was a kid. I wanted to be it ALL, everything, from teacher to fireman to spy to vampire to werewolf to alien. Maybe a vampiric wolf from space who’s spying on humans while pretending to be a teacher that’s also a volunteer fireman/woman. Probably the best teacher you ever had and a pillar of the community. I was bound to be either a writer or an actress. I grew up watching classic horror and comedy, James Bond and John Wayne! I’ve fallen in love with the paranormal and sci-fi horror (Alien!), and the anti-hero (Riddick). Oh, the anti-hero! I want to be the hero and the villain. In high school, I fell in love with Shakespeare and Poe, and Indiana Jones. When I studied for my B.A. in English, I also studied Anthropology and Psychology on the side. The human mind fascinates me and I want to know how it works and why people do the things they do (I also realize I will never understand this). Greek and Roman mythology were a hobby in elementary school and that has only expanded to other cultures in adulthood. I took a class titled Magic, Witchcraft & Healing in college; it was basically an anthropology class on comparative religion, though quite fun. I wrote my final paper on Sufism, which is essentially the Wicca of Islam. You didn’t now that existed, did you? I mean, you probably heard the term Sufi, most likely from watching the movie Jewel of the Nile, but Wicca of Islam? Nah. My thesis was on the Battle of Thermopylae because I love ancient history and graphic novels and holy fucking hell, THIS IS SPARTA! *kicks Peter Mensah into well*

*blinks* Shit, sorry Peter.

I need a T.A.R.D.I.S., and if the Doctor appeared in front of me, grabbed my hand, and told me to run, I’d jump right out of my flip-flops and run like the dickens to join him in an adventure or five. And I’d pray to never, ever run into the weeping angels because…Fuck. That.tumblr_mith4t8MUY1rn94bwo2_500

With words, I can paint the images I see within my mind that I am unable to do with acrylics or oils. I can share the movie I’m watching…and throw popcorn at you if you’re being too rowdy, but hey, whatever, I tend to talk during movies so you might not want to watch one with me.

Wonder WomanDark PhoenixStormpunkAs a female growing up in the 70s and 80s, role models were few and far between. All I really had to look up to were fictional characters. There weren’t a whole lot of real world women to look up to other than Mother Theresa and I sure as hell didn’t want to be a nun. I should probably point out here that my mother is an avid reader and always had her nose in a book at night, that my uncle is a collector of comic books (you should have seen his stash before the fire that took out the Uncanny X-Men #1-10), and that my reading scores in elementary school surpassed high school levels even though I hated to read. Really, I just hated reading what teachers assigned to me. It was boring. Wonder Woman, the Bionic Woman, and Lt. Uhura (the actress is my namesake, after all) were my role models, though I do recall Dorothy Hamill in 5th grade having an impact on me (hairstyle…I’m not kidding). Gymnastics weren’t a possibility, however (and this is why I need a proofreader, because Dorothy Hamill was a goddamn ice skater, but I also wanted to do gymnastics and God knows what else at that age). In the 80s, I discovered punk rock Storm (X-Men), and I wanted to be the Dark Phoenix, but this world wouldn’t survive that.


I wrote the typical emo poetry in high school (before emo was cool) and didn’t write my first real adult novel that will never see the light of day until I was 28. I’ve stashed it deep in the files of my hard drive in a sector none should enter lest they have no will to live because Leviathan is in there and they’re pretty hungry. Really, I wrote my first book when I was eight. It was about horses (I had a serious fascination with them and wanted one, but city kids with single parents can’t have those things), and I typed it (yes, typed, as I had my own typewriter from my grandmother who taught me how), made the illustrations, and bound it all together with staples before handing it over to my mother. I’m not certain what’s happened to it since then, but I was damn proud of that creation. And those horses still live in my mind. I had an extremely active imagination as a child, and it really never stopped. Where the Wild Things Are was my favorite book because it played on that imagination. In other words, I’m always writing.

I write because life is a mishmash of boring as fuck or real fucking bad or fan-fucking-tastic (for a brief period), and we all need something to look forward to. Really, reality bites. I write to shut the voices up because those fuckers are damn noisy.

And I write because, well, I figure if I want or think all of these things, then maybe you do too, so I write to transport you to these worlds so you can forget about the here and now and jump forward or backward or dimensions. Or, you know, whatever. Shiny.

Where in The Verse do you want to go?

image description

And never once have I ever allowed someone to dissuade me from writing, whether editor, friend, family, or asshole reviewer. What someone else thinks doesn’t matter to me because I write for me, and if you enjoy what I write, well then that’s just fantastic and I welcome you to my worlds!

Why do you write? Or read?

(Psst! This was supposed to be a flash fiction assignment for an author’s website and I got bombarded by calls and projects at work, so I didn’t get it finished in time, but I thought I’d post it anyway. Besides, I went over the word count)

Book Review: Ninety-Eight by Shannon Mayer

Since I was the copy editor on Shannon Mayer‘s newest contemporary romance Ninety-Eight, I can’t exactly review it on Amazon, but I can here on my website. The reason I’m doing this is because you have to read this book. I’m not kidding. In fact, I’m demanding you read this book. I have never before had a book pull so much emotion out of me. It’s sweet, funny, heart-wrenching, warm, and soul searching. And it has one helluva plot twist that I will absolutely not give away, but trust me, you’ll want to wring the author’s neck. I *almost* bought a ticket to Canada.

Smiles. Laughter. Bliss.

Coffee and donuts.

Pain. Heartache. Tears.

All of these things are associated with love. That’s right, L-O-V-E.

Ninety-Eight is a powerful story that entails Brielle’s quest for true love–a love she doesn’t think exists because her nana told her so. As she’s about to marry Mr. Good Man, whom I’m debating really is good because I don’t think he is, the reality of true love smacks her upside the head–literally–and Darwin walks into her life. But, there’s a hitch…he’s married. So the question really is, what if you actually found your true love, but s/he was untouchable because neither of you are willing to become the “other”? This story is about Brielle learning that true love exists, the power it holds, and the sheer torture of having it right in front of you, but out of reach.

I can’t tell you anymore because it’ll give away a good chunk of the book, but I will tell you that I related to Brielle more than any other character written by an author, and I think you will too.

My star rating system: 1=hated it, 2=disliked it, 3=liked it, 4=really liked it, and 5=loved it (yes, I know, Amazon’s is slightly different)

I give this novel 5 stars because it took me on an emotional roller coaster ride and threw me for a loop. It’s not your typical contemporary romance novel, so don’t expect the regular old formula of girl meets boy, but there’s an obstacle in the way or a journey they have to undertake together before they finally get their happily ever after. Ninety-Eight is anything but that formula, but it’ll keep you reading, and I promise you, my darling minions, it is so worth the emotional turmoil.

This book releases on October 17, 2013 and you can pre-order your copy HERE.



Speed Limits 
Lottery Tickets 
Elevator Buttons 

Numbers are everywhere—they play such a vital role in our everyday lives. But what would happen if we measured love with equations just as we do our morning cup of coffee? My nana had many recipes in her cupboards, but it was her calculations for love that she insisted I live my life by; and I’ve followed her rules all these years. 

One Animal 
One Moment 
One Critical Impact 

That’s all it took for the numbers to start flying in a jumbled mess through my brain as I stared into the violet eyes that would forever make me question my choices. In a split second, the possibilities and reality of true love are revealed and I’m questioning all I’ve ever known. 

A Tree 
White Fences 
Stolen Moments 

I can’t ignore the storm brewing around—and within—me. Everything I am is confronted by these new numbers, and all they represent. My past, present and future will all be determined by the gambles I make right here, right now. Again, it’s all about the numbers. 

And what I’m learning is, one plus one doesn’t always equal two and sometimes three times isn’t always the charm.



Shannon Mayer lives in the southwestern tip of Canada with her husband, dog, cats, horse, and cows. When not writing she spends her time staring at immense amounts of rain, herding old people (similar to herding cats) and attempting to stay out of trouble. Especially that last is difficult for her. She is the bestselling author of High Risk Love, The Nevermore Trilogy, The Rylee Adamson Novels, and the Celtic Legacy series.

You can find out more about Shannon at the following links:

Shannon Mayer | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

A is for Apple

It’s back to school time for Jinxie! That’s right, I have officially begun my classes, the first two of which are a seminar in Shakespeare (one of my fave topics) and Intro to Anthropology (another fave topic). These are both 8-week courses and I have five more to take by December.

What does this mean for you? Well, it means my posting schedule may take a hit. I know the past couple of weeks it already has, but I think family crises is a damn good excuse. I’ll do my best to keep the recipes, cooking tips, and regular Tuesday posts coming, but everything may just spread out to posting every other week. It all depends on my workload, and with accelerated classes, it’s going to be tough.

So, from now until the end of the year (when I will finally have my Bachelor’s degree), posting may be sporadic.

Just wanted to give y’all a heads up. 🙂

What I Need

Most of you know, especially if you follow me on Twitter or are a Facebook friend, the kind of week and a half I’ve had. My paternal grandmother passed away on June 11th, two days before my birthday, and I spent my birthday at the mortuary and cemetery planning g-ma’s services with my uncle, as well as taking Umi, my mother, to the ER. During the course of this, I was awake for 35 hours–from 3pm June 12th to 2am June 14th. On the bright side, I can officially say that I was awake for my ENTIRE day of birth. How many of you can claim that? I thought not.

Anyway, Umi stayed in the hospital until Thursday when I brought her home. Friday morning, we held the services for g-ma and I was gone for most of the day because after the service, we had a luncheon. What? We’re Italian. We eat after any event. Friday night, while I was over at g-ma’s for a BBQ (yes, more food), Umi called and I had to take her to the ER again. She’s still at the hospital, though they’ve moved her out of ICU. Congestive heart failure or something like that. Although, her texts the other night were hilarious. My mother has a strange sense of humor, even when she’s sick and in pain. It’s no wonder where I get it from. The whole of my family, meaning both sides, has a very macabre sense of humor anyway, and I’ll explain that in another post.

In the midst of all these family emergencies, I did the final edit on my new book Nemesis. We finally got it out the door Monday and it should be available now on the Running Ink Press website.

And as I hop all over the damn place, from mortuary to cemetery to hospital to chapel to hospital to *breathe* home, a cavalcade of text messages, DMs, Facebook messages, emails, etc. have come through over the past several days, all asking the same question–What do you need?

It’s a good question, and I wish I could answer it, but the truth is, I don’t know what I need aside from my mother getting better. I’ve commanded that she’s not allowed to die for at least a year. She’d better listen to me. But she’s scared. She said so Sunday night when I visited. And considering that my maternal grandfather shot me a message Saturday night during a palm reading, I understand because I’m scared too. He said to me, through my aunt the psychic, “You’re strong enough for this, for what’s coming.”

Yeah, kinda creepy, right? Actually, I know exactly why he said that. Earlier in the day, as I sat on my computer doing some final quick touches on my book, I broke down in tears out of the blue, and said, “I can’t do this.” I know I can, that I’m strong enough to get through whatever comes my way. I mean, shit, I’ve been to hell and back several times over the years. But sometimes I have that moment of weakness, where it feels like everything’s going to fall apart. And since it wasn’t so long ago that my life actually did fall apart, it kind of ups the ante on the moments of weakness and when they hit. Truly, that moment really is a moment in time, it’s a few seconds and then I’m fine.

So, really, what I need right now is to just breathe, to make sure Moon gets attention because she doesn’t know where my mom is or why she’s gone right now, to continue doing the things I need to do over at my grandmother’s house for my aunt, and to tell you to go buy my fucking book, Nemesis. 😉

Fair enough? Thought so.