The Curious Blog

curious by both definitions

Hey Mystics + Misfits 🖤


I hope ya’ll are doing well! For today’s post I’m going to share an extended interview I had some time ago with an Instagram book reviewer, @a_limitless_reader.


In particular I will be referring to my paranormal romance novella, Hunter and Healer. It was my first self-published work, posted in December 2018. Needless to say, the story is very dear to my heart.


Hunter and Healer is an MM story about a heart-wrenching reunion between ex-lovers Tahomas Holbrook and Kyo Sams San Miguel. It’s a kind of redemption story and a race against time sure to tug on your emotions.


The novella is available for .99 cents through Amazon and is Free with Kindle Unlimited. Naturally, any reads and especially reviews would be deeply appreciated.


So, now that that’s covered, let’s move on to the questions!


1. What does literary success look like to you?

I see success in writing as truly connecting with readers— crafting lines that make them feel more deeply than they expected, developing characters they will remember long after they finish reading.


2. How do you approach the researching process? What have you been looking into recently? I tend to research as needed, as I write. A lot of the studying for my novel Syndrome goes into medical conditions to help me invent my own ailments. I always preferred Biology to other sciences, so it’s really fascinating to me. Humans are strange and wonderful machines.

3. If you didn’t write, what would you do for a living?


Well, writing is not my full-time job (yet!) so right now I’m a data analyst. Even though it’s most plausible, it feels a bit boring to say I’d be an editor. So, I will add that I can see myself as an optometrist. I joke about becoming an eye doctor when I turn 50, so maybe I’d do it early! Helping people with something so vital from a cozy little office seems so fulfilling.


4. How do you choose the names for your characters?


It definitely varies. Most of the time it’s an intuitive process, but for example with Tahomas, I wanted something different but not too strange, since Hunter and Healer takes place in a future alternate universe. Though I’ve not read it, I always liked the names in The Hunger Games series, like how Peeta sounds like Peter. It’s still familiar. I saw the 'Tahoma’ font option in my email and added an ‘s’ so it’s like 'Thomas' said with a slight stutter.


5. What aspect of telling your story did you find particularly difficult?


That’d be the flashback of Tahomas and Kyo’s fight. It’s tricky for me to keep up the natural flow and energy of an argument— maybe that’s because I’m not great at confrontation in real life!


6. When was the first time you realized words held power?


I’d say when I was a kid and first heard ‘Come Together’ by The Beatles. The line “got to be good looking ‘cause he’s so hard to see” really unlocked something in my mind!


7. Do you strive more to be original or write what you think the readers want?


I definitely value originality over popularity. I tend to write what I’d like to read. I believe when a writer is specific with their tone and style, it lends more meaning to the connection with the reader. It makes me think of wearing an obscure band t-shirt— it's that vibe when you run into that one random person that actually recognizes it.

Hey Mystics and Misfits 🖤


Today’s post is gonna be short + sweet.


So, I’m subscribed to a Word-of-the-Day email through Word Genius (wordgenius.com) and for some months whenever an email held a definition that struck me in a particular way, I’d take a screen shot and put the image in a folder labeled Vocab.


I'm going to share ten of theses words with you today, with definitions from the Word Genius website. I keep no set pattern to the type of words I save, so for this blog I simply put them in alphabetical order.


Here we go!

Aposematic (of coloration or markings) serving to warn or repel predators


Axiomatic self-evident or unquestionable


Caprice a sudden or unaccountable change of mood or behavior


Demonym a noun used to denote the natives or inhabitants of a particular country, state, city, etc. // descriptive term used by a writer as a pen name


Irenic aiming or aimed at peace


Legerity lightness in movement or action; nimbleness, agility; (later, also) flexibility of mind; mental agility // lack of weight or weightiness; lightness of touch or feeling


Mien a person’s look or manner, especially one of a particular kind indicating their character or mood


Personalia personal allusions, belongings, writings, information, etc.


Sempiternal eternal and unchanging; everlasting


Tensile relating to tension // capable of being drawn out or stretched

Well, as promised, that's all for me today. I think I may make a post like this whenever I save ten more words on my phone. I think that'd be fun! Anyway, I hope ya'll are doing well, and thank you so much for reading.


[LD]

Hey friends, I hope you’re all well! Today I turn 34 and to mark the occasion I’m going to run through the ways I’ve grown when I was 33.


Hopefully this retrospective can serve as a re-introduction in this space and perhaps as encouragement as the COVID situation drags on, that a lot of positive changes can occur internally even when from an outside point of view you may not be 'getting a lot done'.


My most favorite and lucky number has been 33 since I was in seventh grade and it was the number of the volleyball jersey I chose. I’d never given too much thought to numbers, but I was immediately and inexplicably drawn to it, and it’s stuck. The number seems to follow me, on clocks, on license plates. When I spent enough time with friends, even they would notice it. So, I'd been hyping this year in my mind for ages, and I'm happy to say it did not disappoint.

Through several moments of advice-sharing, I realized in my 33rd year that I’m an older and (dare I say) wiser person than I thought, as well as more scientific and analytical. I have messy handwriting and take complicated notes about my writing. I also analyze my own writing and take notes on that. I create systems for everything, like a programmer. Programming does deal in language, after all. My dad’s a programmer. I realized I’m like my dad, after all. I realized just how much I'm like my mom, as well- gift-giving and words of affirmation, deep-feeling helpers, careful and detailed nearly to a fault, into art and poetry (in short, very Piscean).


When I was 33 I got on a dating app for the first time in years and had an actual date for the first time in ages, and it went amazingly well. It was a park date on the first autumn-feeling day in Houston, he quoted poetry about the moon and I drew the Lovers tarot card in a Past / Present / Future reading, in the Future position.

A peek at the Torrid galaxy set I wore!

I also showed a new level of confidence in my body on that date. My appearance was a total non-issue as I sat there on the grass in my tight workout clothes, shoulder blemishes and stomach unhidden. I wasn’t even thinking about how I looked, and I used to feel bad every time I sat down, because of my belly. When the guy had said yes to meeting me, I was actually excited to wear the outfit and have him see how cute I was.


Even though the date didn’t lead to much afterward, the experience will stay with me because it was a huge mile marker for both my romantic life and for my evolving relationship with my body.

When I was 33 I started really putting myself out there as a writer for the first time-starting with Instagram, where I was already spending all my online free-time. I started to cultivate my online presence more, looking at analytics and best posting times, getting a theme going and making things visually flow from IG to Twitter to YouTube and beyond.


I started really engaging with the writing community and learned a lot about myself creatively. It’s hard to say exactly why it took me so long to seek community. I’d gone it alone for a long time. I simply didn’t feel ‘ready’ until recently, but I think that may translate to having just overcome a sense of imposter syndrome and inadequacy that had been holding me back for years, even if subconsciously.


I realized I’m a more experimental, poetic writer than I thought, and also more nostalgic, Texan, and family-focused. Through my community I’ve found more vocabulary to describe my writing process and direction, like how I perform role-playing exercises and how I’m part gardener and part architect, starting intuitively and polishing with detailed plans.


In a similar vein, I started reading horror and found a rare kinship with author Stephen Graham Jones that will surely impact many future works of mine. The last time I felt this kind of connection was in early high school when I first heard Audioslave's debut album. Jones’ writing has already spurred me to write and submit my first horror pieces, which were also my first flash fiction works. I see that, just looking at the tone of my diction, I’m more like a horror writer than I knew, although I would still call my main genre paranormal (of the New Adult variety).


I’ve now started the synopsis for my main work-in-progress, Syndrome, and even the pitch letter, which has really helped ground, focus, and encourage me. I decided not (!) to kill a major character and for the first time, I did a ton of tarot work to help with my writing. I also saw ahead and planted seeds for six books coming after Syndrome- a series of four books followed by a duology.

In my 33rd year I became truly comfortable calling myself a spiritual person. I started pulling a daily tarot card and speaking gratitude and affirmations aloud to the Universe on a regular basis. I started doing manifestation work regularly. I finally understood what shadow-work was and realized I was practicing a good deal of it.


As a result, my aura's shifted from pale lilac to magenta, and then most recently it's deepened and gained some truer red tones around the edges. Just a week or so ago I also started writing in my Book of Shadows, which I prefer to call a Shadow Journal, creating personal definitions of repeating numbers one through nine.


I’d been considering the moon cycle to make decisions and reading auras for a few years already, and these points combined with the others above so that I felt comfortable calling myself a witch for the first time when I was 33. (Even typing that is scary, scarier than saying I’m non-binary.)


Which leads me to say, during Trip 33 around the sun I officially came out as non-binary to close friends and family, though to mixed reactions. For a moment I also felt comfortable identifying as trans and was closely considering whether the term gender-fluid made more sense for me than non-binary. Of course, nothing is ever really set in stone with concepts like these, but I still surprised myself with these new ideas.


I’m exceedingly grateful to be starting Trip 34. I feel a similar sense of momentum this year than I did at the start of 2019, wherein in the span of two months I accepted a new job after 4+ years and moved out on my own for the first time.


Getting that job was a powerful moment for me because it was also the first time purposeful manifestation clearly worked for me. I remember typing furiously into a phone note during my long bus rides, claiming the job as mine, already giving thanks for it.

The note with my accurate predictions!

I wound up accurately predicting when I’d get the job within a four hour window, as well as the dates of my first and last days.

In sum, I feel like 34 is going to be similar to when I was 32, with more outward, visible changes as opposed to the mostly inner progress made this past year. I’m excited and honestly quite daunted because I know I have a lot of work to do to get closer to where I want to be in life- in love, work, and creativity.


So, I will close here for today, loves. I hope ya’ll have a great rest of your day, whenever you happen to be reading this.


[LD]