Reflection: Gaia Awakens

Going into this project, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Our team had a great idea. We had some experience. We had the necessary skills. But I soon found that the hardest commodity to come by was time. Organizing an anthology is difficult, and for a stay at home mom with a very young child, free time is something I don’t have a lot of. For basically the past year of my life, I’ve been juggling the anthology, my family, my responsibilities, and my own personal projects. It’s been exhausting, to say the least.

The Kickstarter pleasantly surprised me. Setting it up was a ton of work. We had to decide pledge tier levels, rewards, goals, incentives–something none of us have ever done before. But we did it! Our Kickstarter campaign was fully funded and we were able to move forward with the anthology. Am I satisfied with the outcome? Yes. Do I want to do another Kickstarter campaign someday? To be determined.

The hardest part of the entire process, I think, was waiting during the submission window. We had the idea. We had the money. We had the cover (designed by yours truly!), and the editor, and the marketing plan–we just needed the stories. And while we were excited about the narrative, we had to find other authors who were, too. Would anyone be as excited as we were? What if nobody submitted any stories? It took a couple months, but we were able to collect the stories we needed to fill the anthology.

There has been a lot of stress involved, learning new skills, honing old ones, and trying to keep up with our timeline. COVID set us back at first, but once we got the Kickstarter rolling, we were able to make up a lot of ground.

And now, after over a year of planning and work, Gaia Awakens is available for pre-order.

23 stories, by 16 authors, from 6 different countries. One cohesive narrative.


I love how this project turned out, and I hope that you all love it as much as I do.

The World’s Revolution: Investigating the Climate Crisis

I am part of a team of authors working to release an anthology in 2021. I’m unable to share a lot about it at this time, but I am very excited for it! It will be a collection of short stories, centering around the theme of the climate crisis.

Backed by Two Doctors Media Collaborative, the goal of the anthology is to use stories to bring awareness to the crisis, while also solidifying that if we don’t act, the future for our children won’t be as bright as it was for us.

Keep an eye out for updates mid-January, with a Kickstarter launching the beginning of February.

Black Lives Matter.

I grew up in a white town, went to a white school, and learned white history taught by white teachers. I was taught that the Black Panthers were aggressive and violent, and Malcolm X was an extremest. I was taught MLK was assassinated by a white supremacist. I was taught that Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man.

I was taught that was the end of racism.

I was taught about the Boston Tea Party, but not the Stonewall riots. I was taught about women’s suffrage, but not the Suffragettes.

I was taught that violence is never the answer, unless it is done by a straight white man.

I never had a Black teacher until I left that white town for college. My first academic advisor, a Black man, convinced me to be a writer. My first SciFi professor, also a Black man, rekindled my love for the genre. I never stopped to consider how different their lives were than mine. I never fathomed that they COULD be treated differently than me.

That is white privilege.

When Black football players kneeled against police brutality, we told them to keep politics out of sports. They were paid to play a game for our entertainment. The protests stopped.

Peaceful protests of “Black Lives Matter” were shouted across the country, and we white-washed their plea for help by countering with “All Lives Matter.”

The protests stopped.

The Boston Tea Party taught me that eventually, there is a tipping point.

Stonewall taught me that eventually, there is a tipping point.

The Suffragettes taught me that eventually, there is a tipping point.

And straight, white men taught me that violence can be the answer.

So when we see these peaceful daytime protests, we have to ask ourselves what changes. What is the tipping point that causes people to riot, to loot, to burn, to tear down Confederate monuments?

Is it the tear gas?

The rubber bullets?

The pepper spray?

Or perhaps being murdered by the hands of those sworn to protect you.

And whose fault is it, really? The ones trying so desperately to be heard?

Or the ones who refused to listen?

My Decade

It started by graduating high school (2010), when I thought I had everything planned out. Undergrad, then medical school–I was going to be a doctor. I would write poetry on the side, like William Carlos Williams.

Then I discovered I didn’t want that. I’d kept in touch with exactly two friends from high school. One of them is now a scientist. He laughed when I said I wanted to be a writer. I haven’t spoken to him since. I hope he’s doing okay.

I finished my first book my junior year of college. TALENTED, the book that changed everything for me. I’d loved writing it more than I’d enjoyed going to any of my pre-med classes. When I told my advisor I wanted to change majors, he didn’t laugh. He smiled, because he knew me. I still remember his name. I should thank him someday.

My closest cousin died from Angiosarcoma. I miss her everyday. Toward the end, she didn’t know who I was. At the end, she didn’t remember her own name. It’s a different kind of grief to just watch someone waste away. She was only a year older than me.

I graduated college (2015. English Lit; Poetry Writing) and fell in love with the person who helped me get over my cousin’s death. We got engaged. He cheated on me. Manipulated me. Abused me. I left him–what I’d felt wasn’t love.

My dearest friend was found dead in Southside on the train tracks. We still don’t have answers. Last I heard, it was being investigated as a homicide. I found out he died by seeing a news article as I scrolled Facebook. His girlfriend was my roommate. I was the one who had to tell her. He was only a year older than me.

No one should have to find out someone they loved died by reading it in the news.

I stopped reading. I stopped writing. I just kind of tucked myself away somewhere after that. I still don’t know where that girl is. I hope she’s okay.

I met someone new. I had a baby, even though I never wanted kids. I was terrified of being a mother. I still am. I quit my job to stay home with her.

I pulled that old manuscript out and read it. I still loved it. And even though I no longer knew where to find the girl who wrote it, I wanted to remember her. So I had it edited. I published it. And I dedicated it to her dearest friend.

I started reading again.

I wrote another book, I just couldn’t stop writing. It’s dedicated to my closest cousin. HER cousin. I’ll publish it in February. I’m currently writing a third book.

Maybe I’ll dedicate it to me.

And the thing is, I still don’t know where my younger self is. She’s tucked away somewhere with my cousin and my friend. That’s the funny thing about grief–it doesn’t really get better. You just get better at hiding it. At pushing through it. At pushing it away. If I found her, I probably wouldn’t recognize her. I hope she’s proud of me.

In the next decade, there will be more grief. More reading, and more writing. The bright expanse of a cloudless sky, the promise of better memories. Who knows, maybe I’ll be someone new then. I’ll write her a book to remember me by.

Here’s to brighter futures. Happy New Year, everyone. 🥂

Why Science Fiction?

My goal as a SciFi writer is to make the genre more accessible for readers. SciFi can be intimidating. As a speculative genre, it focuses more on the “What if?” rather than the “What is.”

There are millions of possibilities. Artificial Intelligence, Space Opera, Augmented Reality, Alternate Reality — the options are endless. I want to make stepping stones; works that bridge the gap between Fiction, and Science Fiction.

I hope to be able to show you, reader, that SciFi doesn’t have to be scary. It can be emotional and character driven, with intricate plots and premises. And, most importantly, it can be FUN.