It may sound strange, this coming from the publisher at Devil’s Party Press, but I have finally got a book out that is mine, just mine, and no one else’s! Like, not part of an anthology, not me doing the preface; no, the whole darn book is mine!

I actually have three novels, and this is one of them. They are all very different, but I would say that something about the voice in each is similar… to me.
Be forewarned, this one is chock-full of obscenities, violence, and murder. Oh yes! šŸ™‚ All that good Soprano’s stuff. But this one also has girl power!

I will be putting up a new chapter every two weeks until the book is done.

ANYONE (even you) can read the first three chapters for free!

And follow along either here, or on DPP BLOG as I update you on what I find out about Kindle Vella: does it work, what are the hiccups, does it make money, and etc.


OMG, I just wrote the intro/preface/what-have-you for Solstice, and I am pumped!

First of all, it’s a great book. It has some seasoned writers in it who, if you read Devil’s Party Press’ publications at all, books, Instant Noodles, you’ve read them before. And it has two authors who are publishing their very first piece. It’s so exciting, beyond exciting actually, for me to give a writer his or her first publication. I wish I could do it every day.

Secondly, not to brag, but I think I wrote a good preface. Sometimes writing an intro is difficult, because it has to be all-encompassing, right? It has to find a way to include all the contents of the book, but, if you venture down the wormhole of mentioning individual authors, then it just becomes a droning list, as you try to get everyone mentioned, and say something that will inspire someone to read each piece. Honestly, with an anthology, the theme is the thing, and you’re either into it or you’re not. This theme is the winter solstice, and the authors did a freaking amazing job with it (but I didn’t say freaking amazing in the preface, because… but I can say it here!). So, if you like the theme, you’re gonna love this book. Melancholy, hope, loss, renewal, cold, food, family, nature, it’s all in there. And, as you can see from the teaser above, it is visually beautiful too.

I have a bit of melancholy about this preface too, because it may be the last one that I write. We’re going to try to get guest editors for all of our future anthologies so that we can broaden, a bit, what is chosen to be published, and give the authors who we hope to mentor the chance to work with different editors. And we want to give other authors the chance to curate a book too.

Would you like to be a guest editor for one of our anthologies?

We do 3 types, a horror anthology, Solstice, and a hard boiled detective anthology. Our biggest need now is for a hardboiled editor. It pays in…. authorship of the book. We give you the writing royalty for the book. You can add it to your list of books on Amazon, and hopefully we sell a lot of them, and you make the money.

To be an editor you have to have (typically) several books of your own, because we need to know both that you know how to write, and that you have experience being successful in the genre. So, horror and detective are genres, right? Solstice is not a genre, but the genre for that is literary writing, so it’s a good one for poets, essayists, and literary authors. And we also have a sci fi imprint, and I know Dave would love to do a sci fi anthology, so if you’re a sci fi person who could helm a book, pitch us.

Oh, my gosh, I’m so excited for this book.

And for this new year too, I must admit.

I have some wonderful authors I am working with, some for editing, some for coaching, and I really hope we’re able to fill at least one of our virtual workshops. It is invigorating to work with other authors, for me, and for them. I love helping people grow. It helps me grow. And, in the list of careers I have had in my life, it is most defiantly the one I am best at. I am a natural teacher, and I have a gift for helping writing. I don’t have a swelled head, honestly; I am crap at a lot of things. I remember when I was doing staff training for a facility for people with disabilities, and I always wanted to inspire the staff to feel that the people we worked for were humans, with desires and needs and passions just like any of us, and that we needed to be tuned into really feeling like family with them, feeling that, and just doing our work with love. But, for most folks, it was, and remained, just a job. It was so disheartening that I knew not how to be inspiring. And so, folks’ meds got missed, or diapers weren’t changed because a shift was ending in 20 minutes. So, at times in my careers, I’ve been crap at my job no matter the amount of effort. But this, helping writers write, this is the thing I can give. (And if you want to work with me, I’d love to work with you. It doesn’t have to break the bank to have a writing coach, or an editor. And I’m happy to give you an hour long free Zoom and/or a free edit to see if you think you might find it helpful.)

But this book, this book is the thing I am pumped about today. And you, you’re probably gonna buy something for somebody as gift over the next month or so. Why not make it this book? Especially if you know someone who has secretly always wanted to be an author. Tell them it can be done; tell them two folks are doing it for the first time, in this book, and buy them a copy!.


I am so sorry that there are people who hate others because they are different from them. Green is different from blue. Spicy is different from sweet. THIS is how the world has beauty and flavor. When I was a kid, I loved loved loved Rita Mae Brown. Didn’t change me from a straight person to not, but what if I had grown up and fell in love with another woman? I’d still be me. If you can’t love others at least leave them alone.

Please don’t hate someone who has done nothing to you.


Where are my people who believe in messages from the Universe?

“I found a nickel in my shoe this morning, so the universe is telling me that money is walking my way!”

C’mon, where are you?

‘Cause I need help.

I’m obviously doing something wrong….

This is my message from the Universe?

Dun dun dun!!!!!

I definitely better hurry up and finish my damn novel!


Ahhh, yes, the new Devil’s Party header, here now too.

What’s going on with me these days?

Well, if you follow this rambling blog you know we moved house for the daughter to go to art school, and we’ve resettled, and that I have stopped doing the adjunct thing as part of that, simply because it involves too much driving for Los Angeles, too much driving in general, and too much driving to be able to get the kiddo back and forth to art school, because adjuncts never get to choose their schedules.

This is the “famous” commute I photographed back in the days of free-standing GPS. You can see I start in Maryland on this day, and, in the course of a day, would often have a class at all 5 schools:

Sometimes I would have to get out and wander through a gas station convenience store just to keep from falling asleep.

Often times I was the only car left in the parking lot at the end of the night, because I stayed to help students.

Often I smuggled my daughter in to class when she had off, and college didn’t:

She’s excited here because she doesn’t have to sit in a corner and color and be quiet anymore. Mom is done for the day!

I was always well-reviewed by my schools:

I did a lot for my students, like starting this little free library in my classrooms whenever I could, and soliciting books from friends and neighbors. This one was having its first day of life, so there’s not much there:

Putting in extra effort on my own time and my own dime:

And nominating my students for awards:

And my students really appreciated me, which was great, and I appreciated them too:

(Surprise came in the mail after the semester was over!)

But the schools never did. They really didn’t appreciate me. They gave and took away classes as they saw fit or it suited their budgets. They had me prep and interview for jobs they had already filled. It’s a demoralizing and losing proposition whenever you’re not directly in class with the students, which is a wonderful experience.

And while we do this, adjuncts everywhere, we get less healthy, less wealthy; our cars slowly deteriorate and die, and so, sadly, do we.

At the same time, busy busy, I started a writing workshop, and a publishing company.

AND, all along, I had been editing professionally, starting with doing Fred’s book in 2011.

So, now, we’re taking it pro, Dave and I. We offer services on Reedsy, if you like your services to cost more, or on our site. Great things about us:

Between us we have 40 years in publishing, editing, marketing, and writing.

Between us we’ve edited over 400 short stories and memoirs.

Between us we’ve edited more than 30 full-length books, most of which have gone on to publish and garner awards.

And it’s all there on the same site as our publishing company.

All folks who think they might need editing can get a free sample edit within a few days.

AND we have our unique piece-by-piece editing style, which no none else currently offers, where we work with our authors to truly support them from start to finish. We don’t just edit the whole thing, send it back, and cash the check.

So, you know me, if you follow this blog. I’m kind; I’m giving; I work hard, and I care deeply about every writer I’ve ever worked with. I got the “helper gene,” and, I’d venture to say, I’m actually a bit gifted at adopting another writer’s voice, so I am quite good at spotting inconsistencies or missteps in writing: quickly, confidentially, and expertly.

In addition to all the services DPP now offers, you may just want to subscribe to our newsletter while you’re there, so you can keep up with what we’re doing, see opportunities, and learn about book marketing too.

Thanks so much for your support!


Through November 30, 2022 (or until the quota is filled), submissions are open for volume 4 in the popularĀ HALLOWEEN PARTYĀ series. For submission guidelines and to submit a work for consideration, visit theĀ Duosoma Page.

This anthology will be edited by Jeffrey Keeten, and designed by Juan Cantu! DPP is so excited to be working with such a powerhouse duo. If you know anything about Keeten, you know that he knows great writing better than most men. And if you’re at a all familiar with “I love bad art” artist Cantu, you know how compelling, dark, and soulful his art is. We’re so excited to see this book!

All authors chosen for the book receive a $25 honorarium in addition to a free copy of the book, and this payment makes them eligible for membership in the Horror Writers Association!

If you’re unfamiliar with the type of stories we prefer, or if you’re searching for a great gift for the horror lover in your life, consider picking up theĀ HALLOWEEN HORROR BUNDLE, available throughout October at $20 below retail. This makes a great holiday gift for that hard-to-buy-for person in your life, like Uncle John!


Well, there is no music at the conference. It’s a writer’s conference, and not a song writer’s conference.

But I use music to get me going in the morning, and it just sort of hits me, what I need. Yesterday was:

And this:

And this morning this is the only thing working for me, over and over and over:

What are you listening to this morning?

Time to drink that coffee and take my critique meetings….