I am the author of Tales of Pixie the Cat: Four Short Stories and Newfoundland Nights: The Invisible Newf and Other Stories, now available on Amazon for Kindle. I hope you enjoy your stay here, as I discuss my book, future books, animal welfare news/stories, and other things that interest me.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Hello again, I'm still here

I know it's been a very long time since the last post. Honestly I have many projects started but none complete. I now want to change that. I have been writing, but mostly on work-related stuff and journaling. I really hadn't touched my stories I've started because I either didn't know where to take them or "didn't feel like it."

The latter makes me sad, but it's the honest truth. So what types of stories have I started?

1. An urban fantasy about a young woman who finds herself alone with dog tags and a tattoo she can't remember. It's somewhat of a mystery and she isn't quite human anymore. It follows her in her journey to discovery. I see this one as possibly multiple books. Whether a duology or trilogy, I'm not sure yet. I'm also in love with this character. Her name is Caelyn West.

2. A YA book about a girl named Aisling with the ability to dream walk crime scenes after they happen. The idea came to me after the Boston Marathon bombing. I'm not sure how well it will turn out, but I want to try. Tentatively named "Eyewitness."

3. A YA realistic fiction in journal style, with a mix of poetry and prose. Subject matter is based on my own experiences. This is more of a therapeutic project, but it's important to me. I love the title and pretty sure I don't want to change it, but I don't want to share it at this point either.

4. Adult post-apocalyptic with not-quite zombies, from the perspective of a male hunter named Mick. I like writing in the male voice, but can only manage to write in the voice of adult males... However, this was paused and placed on the back burner because I have to figure out the science of my concept and its believability. I love what has been written in it so far though. No tentative title yet.

5. This has been on the backburner for years, but I'd love to return to it. A comedic story inspired by Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, 3rd person with male protagonist. Comedy is very fun to write but for some reason I just haven't been in the mood to do it. No tentative title yet.

So these are the projects. Idea 2 and 3 popped up more recently, the others are older. To fellow writers: When you have multiple ideas and all have been started, even if just a single chapter or two, how do you settle on which one to dedicate yourself to writing? I struggle with this, which is why nothing is done and I get overwhelmed.

Before I go, I just want to extend a thank you to readers who have bought one or both my Kindle books. I almost have enough for my next donation to the shelter. So far, only $25 have been donated with your help. However, that's still money that went to a good cause regardless if it sounds small. I've made additional donations personally, but that's what came from the books. There's currently $16 waiting to be donated, but I'm waiting until it reaches $20.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah!

Sorry for the lack of updates. I promise regular updates in the new year :).

Currently reading The Left Hand of Darkness (second try), attempting to finish it before New Years. I've set my reading goal for 2012 at 35, all but one book to be ones I already own but haven't read yet (there are around 70).

So what do you want for the holidays? I've gotten all my gifts already; let's just say I've been stocked with many warm socks :). There were other things of course, but many gifts were what was needed rather than wanted. Though I did get some fun things too. Hope you get what you want and some of what you need this holiday.

Happy New Year as well! Have fun at parties, and stay safe.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dog hero and despicable humans

"Well what's new about that?"

I don't know if this has already made its rounds, but I'm referring to this article. I read these types of articles all the time, but they never cease to sicken me. I love these animals and its unfathomable how humans can be so cruel.

While these stories get told though, and people around the country attempt to adopt them because their story is now sensational, you have to wonder if these people even looked into their local shelters. Yes, the news should let people know that animal cruelty is still a big problem, but sometimes I think the only reason so many people call in to adopt the animals that make news is because of that fact alone. If that's true, it's a bit upsetting. Of course, it doesn't matter so much in the end because you know the shelter will do everything they can to make the right match.

I'll be honest, I haven't adopted a dog from a shelter yet, and cannot adopt cats despite my love for them too. My beagle came from Seattle Beagle Rescue as both my husband and I were completely smitten by her. We got her from a lady who used her to breed puggles. There were things we were told by the previous owner that, in our experience with dogs, weren't quite true. We worked with her though and she got used to living in a house real quick. In the few short months we've had her, she's a transformed dog. She's losing weight and eating much better food. Her coat shines now, when before it was dull, coarse and filthy (first thing we did after her first day was give her a bath, who knows how long she carried around all that muck). She's very independent, but when she wants you, she can sit in your lap for hours (she doesn't do it much and would like to say that she is not a lapdog, only when she feels like it). Daisy has fulfilled our lives and she has so much personality. She also loves to give high fives, and show affection in different ways (I believe she's the first dog I've had that doesn't lick, unless you have peanut butter on your hand). She'll be 6 in February.

My old dog, Lucky, was rescued from a person who put in an ad. That was in 1994, and I was a child then. These days, I'd only go through a shelter or rescue. However, she was the best dog to grow up with and I loved her very much. I remember how skinny and scared she was when I met her. She hardly ate, because every time she was given food, she'd be hit with a newspaper by their young boy. She never played with toys as a result of that. She was a very well-behaved Aussie/Doberman mix.

To me it doesn't matter where you get your pet really, as long as you're rescuing. I could never go the breeder route, even though there are reputable ones out there. If you want a purebred, they can be rescued just as mutts can.

Anyways, I must go now, so until next time,

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Decemberween is Here!

Anyone know the reference?

As the title suggests, it's the month of December, full of those fun holidays. I love this time of year; the decorations and lights people put up, the warm and fuzzy feelings, sitting by the fireplace with tea, gift giving and receiving. I don't celebrate Christmas, but I enjoy others taking joy in it. I'm excited for my own holiday, and my wonderful friend coming back from Japan who will be spending the night just before Christmas Eve. Much better than the one hour I got with her last year. Will be sad to see her leave again, but I'm grateful for the time we will get.

So did anyone finish their holiday shopping? We finished ours on Black Friday, and stayed below budget, which was nice.

I also want to say that my new book is now available for sale. Check out the link above.

Monday, December 5, 2011

My Next Book

I'm hard at work editing my next short story collection. I have a feeling the cover will be even better this time around. The title is Newfoundland Nights: The Invisible Newf and Other Stories. My goal is to have it up for sale at the end of the week, so stay tuned!

Unlike in Pixie, none of these stories are interconnected; they all stand alone with almost no shared characters between them. Think of Aesop's Fables but with dogs; each story has a good message for kids. One such story involves a tripod dog who shows he is not disabled just because he's missing a leg. Another is a about a dog who gets bullied, but learns to accept himself as he is and love what makes him special. The only one that doesn't really have a message is the story in the title; at least it doesn't have one at this point of time, but is a sweet story anyway.

I hope you will be interested in checking it out. Just like my first book, I'm also donating a large chunk of royalties to a local no-kill animal shelter. So every sale will make a difference for a dog while they wait for their forever home. Thanks for supporting my efforts to help my favorite animals!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Why Zi? Behind the Name

No, I'm not Chinese or even remotely Asian. The name originates from an old character I created in my friend's copy of an old MMO. Some of you might remember it; the game was Asheron's Call, that Microsoft came out with in 1999. I named the character Zai Hitika. Hitika was a character in an old story I wrote (and lost, along with tons of other work due to the total loss of a laptop and none of that work having been backed up. That was a sad day, as I lost not only my work, but pictures and the vast music collection I had as well). I think I put Zai in front because it sounded good with Hitika. Anyways, looking at the name, "Zi" popped out at me and from then on, I adopted it as my nickname.

My real name can be difficult for people to pronounce. As I writer, I'd like people to easily be able to talk about me. I realize my last name is difficult to pronounce for some as well. If you're going to be public, why not make the name easier for people? Everyone can say Zi; it's pronounced the same way as the letter itself.

Anyway, that was my thought process behind it. Besides, the name Zi fits right to me. It means graceful, beautiful, and increase in number/grow. I really like the idea of growth, and have certainly achieved that in my writing since adopting it.

If you could choose any name or nickname for yourself, what would it be?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The idea for Pixie

I want to talk a little about my book. Pixie the cat came to me back in 2007 I believe. I actually wrote the first draft of the first short story for a class. I got a little flack for writing a story for kids in an Intro to Fiction class at my university, but Pixie never left my thoughts. Mind you, that first draft was vastly different; it's certainly been through many changes.

I left the young cat aside while I worked on other projects and didn't think about him again until March 2011, several months into volunteering at an animal shelter. I wanted to make a bigger difference, and also establish myself as a writer.

So I thought again of Pixie and decided that the orange tabby needed a book of his own, to live somewhere outside my head. Motivated by my love of animals, I decided that I would donate a substantial amount of all royalties made to help save real life cats and/or dogs.

Which brings me to today, where my book sits waiting on its Amazon page, hoping to get noticed. And maybe, Pixie will get to help a cat or two.