The Dream I Dreamed

Who among us doesn’t have the Suddenly Realizing I’m Not Wearing Pants dreams? WHOMST?

The great thing about this is it’s not limited to one type or genre of dream. So last night, I’m dreaming about this extremely troubling three story, spacious mansion, and of course the walls are red, parce que why wouldn’t they be, non? And so this is a Serious Dream, and the top level, which you can’t avoid because the staircases are confusing and shouldn’t be because they’re all visible and dead center of the house and they’re just like branches off each other and why is this so difficult to explain (hi sleep brain imagery)? So yeah, the top level is all closed doors, but too close together, like is it just a huge floor of closets? Also the doors are also red up there, which just feels wrong, and I don’t like it.

Anyway, the second floor has every single bedroom. Not just in the house. All the bedrooms ever. They’re all there. And I’ve clearly been sleeping in one of them, but it’s anyone’s guess which one, now that I’ve been downstairs with people, but see, I have to remember which room (and stop accidentally going up to the third floor) BECAUSE I NEED TO PUT ON SOME PANTS.

The best thing about these dreams is that no one else notices you’re not wearing pants until you do. It’s very Emperor’s New Clothes meets The Garden of Eden. But now I’ve noticed so dude downstairs has noticed, and I NEED these pants, people.

The icing on all of this is that there’s an extremely wicked movie playing in a loop in one of the rooms, that involves children and torture and all the little things that make life great, and because this is MY DREAM, the audio is leaking out through an intercom system this house shouldn’t have, and so you hear this movie in the background no matter where in the house you are, but is it louder when you get to the third floor? YOU BET YOUR SWEET BIPPY IT IS.

So this is me, going into a bedroom I’m sure has pants, only to find it’s the wrong room, there are no pants, and I have to keep searching, and accidentally ending up on the third floor, doubling back, trying not to hear the movie playing, etc etc. And what was I doing in this dream before the Great Pants Search? Who can know such things, friends.



That’s it.

That’s the post.

As If You Don’t Already Know

I’m smiling coyly, or however one smiles when they’re shamefully absent for six months. I just want you to know you’re not innocent in this, either. Every time someone subscribes to this dormant chamber of broken promises, I feel guilty, which of course sends me into a shame spiral, which is what I call it when I tweet non-stop for days at a time.

And then yesterday someone followed the link from my website here, and I was like WHY AM I SENDING PEOPLE TO MY ABANDONED BLOG OH NO. So I tweeted about it. But I have fortified my courage with tacos and iced tea and am here now to tell you all about the past six months. Just kidding, but here’s some stuff that happened or may yet soon and whatever.

First of all, the final jacket design for MEM was in my inbox yesterday and I can’t show it to you but I’m all,

Hell Yes

Like, I might actually cry when I hold it.

And then, wow, I made zero mention of my trip to Winter Institute, my first reading, my first signing, meeting amazing folks – I mean, outside of my FB author page, twitter and Instagram, so basically it’s been a secret. But what I haven’t posted is the amazing video that Tami Charles recorded of said first reading! (Mostly becuz you have to turn it ALL THE WAY UP to hear me – you’re almost there when the intro applause pops your eardrums.) So… I guess when I add captions, I’ll post that?


And gosh, with MEM debuting in less than two months now (!!!!!!!!!), there’s been so much stuff, and I am super excited for launch events in LA and NYC (I’d say watch this space for more info but if you believe my lies, you’re just as much to blame, and clearly you’d be better off checking my twitter). But the thing I cannot believe I didn’t immediately blog about is thiiiiiiis:


My YA debut landed with Tor! Specifically with Diana M. Pho, which is just a wild, amazing thing, given how long she’s been supportive and willing to read my work.

So S&S is about a Portland that’s legitimately weird, we’re talking eloko/gargoyle/sprite weird, and two play-sisters who are the kind of weird that’s still not allowed. Tavia (s/o Octavia Butler) is a siren in a world where only Black women are, and so of course it’s no longer romantic or desirable, and sirens are hidden and protected by the Black community. Effie plays a mermaid in the Renaissance Faire, and with weird shenanigans happening to and around her again, it turns out she might really be one.

Basically it’s a story about the harm of self-proclaimed progressive states who don’t interrogate anti-blackness, it’s about the radical life-saving joy of Black sisterhood, it’s about young Black girls finding love, and building safety, and using their voices, and needing support, and loving the water, and how I always want a Skyline burger, and never laughing harder than I do with my sister and


Anyway, so all you have to do is wait til Winter 2020. AND add it to your TBR!

AND pre-order MEM!

AND….I’ll probably never see you here again just kidding.





Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made On

You guys, shut. up.

So this is not the first time I’ve dreamt a story, scene or concept. Exhibit: That Time I Blogged About It. And that time it was about my Jen-the-Twin.

And then night before last I dreamt an MG fantasy adventure that takes place in the cloud-high canopy of a redwood forest world, where cherub-shaped fae men do…something… okay, so I was riding a huge eagle, as was the style at the time (<– hah. Grandpa Simpson.) and holding this fae and when I “used” him for his purpose, from his chest, his color changed (wings, body, crystal around his neck) until he was like shimmery, dark stone. Anyway, I held him in the crook of my arm (so clearly he wasn’t “used up”?) while I navigated the eagle to the inn where I was staying using words like “lilliput” for left… because, adorable. Anyway, when I got to the inn, I tried for the first time to see the earth floor through the clouds and the beauty of the forest and I finally caught a glimpse of the ground and of a pale brown trail through the expanse of auburn ground cover.

So no, they don’t usually yield stories that I’ll actually write. 🙂

But sometimes…. and because WHO NEEDS A REASON, LET THE DREAMS COME, I had another one today during my nap. And I thought. Um, that is kinda flawesome but it’s not a story, just a concept and I’m trying to get back to something else and everything. There’s sort of been a lot going on in my neck of the woods so …actually, that might explain the overwhelming deluge of amazing dreams. And you know how you tell someone something that you think might be kind of interesting and then their reaction makes you realize that this might be the coolest thing evar and how did you not see it? And just after telling my long-suffering CP, Stephanie, how I didn’t have a story to go with it and I’m so sorry, I went downstairs to get the laundry AND THE STORY WAS IN THE DRYER. I mean, I just assume it was. Because that’s where I found it. I looked around for its rightful owner but. ::shrug:: It’s mine now.

Oh and.


Sometimes I hate being right.

Get it together, girl! See what you’re doing in this picture? Bring that good love back, get rid of the bad wigs and thanks for dropping the ridiculous and horrible boyfriend-turned-fiance storyline but let’s hope it’s not too late to right the ship. The Good Wife turned it around when they realized they’d gone too far down the rabbit hole of a dynamic no one wanted to see so … I believe in you. I mean. I want to.

Perchance to Dream

This, people, is why I sleep. Because my mind-brain is endlessly entertaining and cinematic. And sometimes I actually prefer not to lucid dream so that I can be caught up in a world of whimsy…well. Not usually whimsy but, you know.

So last night’s dream setting was an amalgamation of Old Montreal and North Wales. (Because my brain wants me to travel. We all want me to travel, I think.) Anywhoooo, I had friends. A rather big guy of a friend who could effortlessly swing me over the hood of a car parked in a crosswalk instead of making me walk around it. There were a couple of other people with us, generally jovial and the like. But in the back of my mind I was thinking about my sister, Jen-the-Twin, and how I had to study “acceptances” so I knew what to say.

See, in this world – for an undisclosed and yet completely understandable reason – at the end of childhood, we were dispersed around the world, sort of willy-nilly. Individually, without our family. Communication was spotty and yet somehow you were supposed to get to a point where you chose one person from your past with whom you’d like to be assigned to live. And I’d chosen my sister. So, like, everyone else, I was paying close attention to the people whose requests had been approved. The whole process involved standing in this very long line every time the woman – get this: a young Whoopi Goldberg – was available to make decisions. You got one shot, but you never knew when it was going to come. So you stood in this line, listening to other people make their cases. And the people who got approved always said a few of the same things. When asked what the other party said the last time they spoke, the person always answered, “You’re the one.” [Sidenote, because my brain is gorgeous: in a recent email, I said this to Jen-the-Twin, quoting Morgan from Tombstone.]

This other party was always referred to as the soulmate of the asker, the one person from their past they couldn’t live without. And then, like some sort of mystic, Whoopi would stand with her hand on their shoulder and either agree to their request or deny it. And the person would live with that decision for the rest of their lives. They never got a second chance.

When it was finally my day – because I was third in line somehow so I knew she’d get to me – it didn’t look good. Both the two women who were in line in front of me got approved. And for some reason, this didn’t bode well for my chances. By the by, this ordeal was taking place on a long, chartered bus this time? Because dreams. So the woman in front of me gets approved and the entire bus, including myself, just erupts into sighs and cooing, completely overjoyed to see someone who’ll soon be reunited with family.

So it’s my turn. The thing is I notice Whoopi has her own bags packed and with her. O..kay. So I’m ready to answer her questions. I’ve studied, I know all the right answers. I’m about to tell her who my soulmate is – in this world in which no other member of my family is who they are in real life, btw…and clearly I have no husband or son. Only Whoopi doesn’t ask me any question. She just starts the mystic part of the process as though to save time, but everyone watching – not to mention me! – knows that this won’t work. No matter what answer she gives, I haven’t announced my chosen party. And if she makes a decision – even though it’s based on no request – she’s used up my turn. But I can’t interrupt her. I’m just standing there, with all these people watching me sadly because they get it. And she’s totally oblivious, it seems, to her error.

Well, actually, she’s in a hurry. As soon as she’s done approving my reunion to no one, the bus stops and she debarks with her bags in hand. Now, finally, I say to heck with proper behavior and I chase her down the bus steps and onto the sidewalk as she hurries to her own transport. I’m yelling after her that she didn’t ask me who, that I never got to tell her where I wanted to go. She never turns around, just keeps hurrying away, bags in hand. I turn back and the bus driver, who for some reason is the German guy from My Last Day Without You, just looks at me, compassionately. So that’s when I buckle, collapsing on the steps and wailing. I mean, like, crying so hard I might not have any energy left in my body when it’s over. I think I’ve pulled myself together and try to stand, only to be overwhelmed by the fact that She stole my turn. There’s nothing I can do. I’ll never see Jen-the-Twin again. I’m alone, in this city, with “friends” who are all trying to get back to one or another member of their own family. So I just lay back down and cry my eyes out.

That is one sad bird.

And sooooooo. Yeah. The bus driver gets me to sit with him – because for some reason his seat is like a booth? Right. Dream logic. And while he drives, he tells me about Cleveland.


Dream The Impossible Dream

The Arctic Circle, specifically Alaska. Eternal day.

Robert. Downey. Jr. ….versus killer – and possibly genetically modified – Caribou. Which may or may not live there but what am I, National Geographic? (Now’s probably a good time for this disclaimer: any semblance of accuracy or sense is entirely unintentional and the result of a good memory of Christmas themed elementary school lessons.)

RDeej, armed only with his wit and a pocket knife, faces down the murderous herd on land and in what I can only assume are the icy waters of death. Which actually should’ve killed him. Or at least made it impossible for him to keep up the totally unnecessary chatter. (Caribou can’t talk.) He’ll learn just how sharp a snappy rejoinder must be….to survive.

Was my dream last night. Well, one of them.

I awoke at noon and informed the boys that it was basically miraculous that I was awake. Scratch that. It was probably really unhealthy. Since I went to bed after 8am. Now, if you don’t know me in real life or simply haven’t realized that you and I, we don’t share a sleep pattern – you’re like, “OMGosh, whyyyy?” Then I explain that – especially coming off a revision bender – my brain goes, hey…..


Stay up with me.

But let’s skip that part for now and just talk about how some wiseguy replaced my brain with raw cotton.

^ That. Fillin’ up muh head skull.

But I’ve broken my covenant with sleep so. Here we are. Talkin’ about survival dreams. Which of course are the types of dreams one has when they’re just on the brink of brain death. And in those sleep-to-live instances – which I’m beginning to think are my favorite kinds of sleeping moments – I am apparently really preachy. Because jump back to the dream before RDJ and the reindeer with hooves that looked a lot like driftwood – which was a lot bit grosser looking than it sounds – and there I am, chatting with the mother of a toddler and for some reason, I was aggressively telling this not-even-walking-right-yet little girl that it was because of her Latina heritage that she would be a master storyteller. Isabel Allende came up. Because a passionate argument should only ever have one example.

But I’m really starting to think people would respond to that Robert Downey Jr makin’ his way in the tundra story.

…anyway, we’ll talk.

Can We Get A Rap?

So anyway, in a wonderful turn of events, the hard copy revising of one project re-stimulated the actual composing of the wip, which I heart. (Both the wip and the progression from revising to writing.) Having been quite distracted with post-writing responsibilities, how wondersplendent.

And yet I wonder. It’s a novella – at least I believe it is, as in it always had been? – yet I feel it broadening in its scope to a bigger picture of society in a way that I don’t often find suitable for novellas.


Well, say something! Or FINE, just listen. Why can’t every project happen like Keepsake? I’m honestly enjoying this still untitled project and all the elements (incl the society that’s horning in) but… I’m not entirely sure what’s going on. And no, that’s not always an exciting whirlwind of genius. (People think, “I don’t know what’s going on” inevitably translates to “I am making a masterpiece”… it does not.) I legit am not sure. About things.

And so perhaps that’s why my sleep brain – adulterous gentlewoman that she is – tried to inspire me last night? She dreamed (my sleep brain, who is apparently a separate entity) that I wrote a new story. (Not sure what format but whatever.) It was about…. a dying woman helping her husband find his next wife.

Get it together, sleep brain.

In the dream, it was like GEEEEEEEEEENIUUUUUUUUUUUUUS and full and witty! And then I woke up and not only is that not as robust as I clearly found it in the dream, it’s like borderline ridiculous. Who wants to write about a husband who is so afraid of being alone that his DYING wife takes it upon herself in her final days to find him a replacement. It just screams, we were meant for each other. Til death do us part. But just.

So if for some reason that resonates with you, feel free to write what couldn’t possibly be longer than a short story about it. Or a rom-com. Or a black comedy. You know what, maybe this is a better idea than I thought. Maybe I should just write a super short scene like I did when I had that boy Buffy story-dream? Hm. We shall see.

We have fun.

Last Warning, Imagination!

You know how I dream. So I routinely have to sit with daylight for a while before the emotional resin wears off and I can conclusively say what is real and what was part of the dream. Not that I really thought that kindly old lady had killed my brother, but that something I experienced internally in the dream was trying to make a break for it and escape with me back into consciousness. (It usually works. Half the day is gone before I realize I have no reason to be so ____.)

No, I’m not going to regale you with a new dream – mostly because it was about changing CDs and Chris Martin singing a version of a BarlowGirl’s song – oh and then there was a cassette and I said, what would I even do with these now? But I’m worried – perhaps as a means of procrastination – whether or not last night’s epiphany is similar to dreamland runoff. Or like those times I totally plan out what I’m going to wear the next day only for the morning to give my safe-beneath-the-covers exuberance major side-eye and remind me why I don’t wear heels in this city. That and how much should you trust a revelation that came during bouts of congestion-induced sleep apnea? (I know, I know – it’s like asking how many licks to the center of a tootsie roll pop. Who can know such things.)

Ready To Take On The City In Heels (Before I Wake Up)

As revelations go, this is… sort of an undertaking. For some reason I’m hesitant to write it down – because here I only write down the *most* relevant, important and fact-checked nuggets of ancient wisdom – but it also made my brain go a million miles down the “I am not and never intend to be of the mind to self-publish fiction but for those of you who are, do stories like this make you hesitate at all?!” Because let’s say for instance that you wrote a novel and then you wrote another one and then you wrote a shorter one. The first one was, let’s say, two genres and the next one was just one of them and the shorter one was the other. And just as you were finishing the other, you realized you could do the first one better. But let’s say it’d been a year since you started sending the novel out and after a lot of attention, you got fed up (the attention confirming your brilliance, the snail’s pace making you irrational) and self-published it. A year and two books later, you might have done it better is all.

All hypothetical.

(And Jen-the-Twin, the title. O_O Justify my love.)


Might As Well Post It

That title should adequately prepare you for the quality below.

We must always keep our eyes open. Sensitive to the beauty and life all around us. For when you least expect it, you will be enjoying hot fries at McDonalds around lunchtime, surrounded by the people you love, and through the window you will see a man lean down to ask a question of one of the cabbie’s in a long string of taxis parked outside. Said man will somehow drop his (thankfully closed) beverage through the window – which is pretty impressive based on how very little the cabbie deigned to open it – and then said man will apologetically reach his hand into the window after said beverage, at which point the cabbie will become alarmed and thrust both his own hands at the sliver of an opening and emphatically insist that he will retrieve the beverage from his own lap. And this scene will be really funny for some reason, particularly because it was without audio.

Just celebrate the little things is what I’m saying.

In other news (meaning, I wrote the above like two hours ago and now I have returned and you are none the wiser) – I read the news, took a nap and dreamt I was in Amish country. Thankfully, my beard went unscathed.

Speaking of which, you know that feeling? When you just make the right decision? I’d just gotten home and offered to accompany the husband back out, when I had a split second of wisdom. Don’t go, my brain said. We need a nap. But I started putting my shoes on anyway, because … well, because I’m an idiot. After some breakdown indicators that apparently did not go unnoticed, my husband suggested I take a nap and went about his merry way. Two minutes later, as I started toward nonsensical dreams about being a compassionate investigative reporter who is drawn to the Amish way of life, I just had the wonderful feeling. Like I’d dodged a public breakdown on the subway. Really makes ya think.

(That’s probably enough of that.)

I Dream The Boy Buffy

So, you know those dreams of mine. (Yes, you do.) There was one from this summer that I had to actually write down; this scene is drawn from the story of the dream, it is not the dream itself. I wrote it down while we drove back from Wisconsin in June and I figured, it’s not growing (at least not that I know or plan at present) so why not just let you see it?


“Are you sure you wanna do this?” He slid the smooth stone across the blade sending all too familiar flashes of orange light into the space between them.

“Something different about this time and the millions before?” The other boy’s eyes were the only indication of interest; the rest of his body kept at work. Travis had seen the phenomenon enough times to know his friend was in fact paying attention.

“That’s not what I mean.”

“Because if you know some other Sentinel, I’ve got a raid scheduled in Azeroth.”

“Paris.” Travis tossed the throwing knife he’d been sharpening onto the pile between his feet before stalking to the table and yanking the crossbow from its surface.

This wasn’t the time, which meant it was precisely when Paris’ rapier wit kicked in. Why Travis still let his concern show was the real mystery. All it proved was that Paris was rightly chosen as Sentinel and that Travis wasn’t born with the confidence to enjoy an mmorpg on the same day he vowed to seal the threshold.

“You didn’t schedule a raid for today.” It was as close as he would come to salvaging it.

“No, but I could rustle one up.”

“Can you just answer a question for once? Pretty sure I’ve earned it.”

He shouldn’t have phrased it that way. They were friends. Saying he’d earned something made him sound like just another of Paris’ subjects.

“Can you stop asking the same question? Yes, I’m sure. I’m so sure that I already accepted their acceptance. And applied for student loans and housing and gave my notice at the car wash.” Paris’ eyebrow leapt up at the close of his statement. It simultaneously demanded whether his friend was satisfied and accused his friend of being unreasonable.

“Well, like you said, I don’t know any other Sentinels. So excuse me if I’m slightly concerned about what’s gonna happen to my hometown come fall while you’re off playing university.”

Paris snorted at that. “Get it through your head, Geppetto. I’m a real boy.”

It may well be his last chance to talk some sense into his friend – no certainty the day would go to plan – and Travis couldn’t get his foot out of his mouth. “That’s not what this is about,” he backpedaled.

“Oh, it is.”

His balled fist was drawn chest high before Travis forced himself to stop. That was a fight he’d never win, even if he started with a sucker punch. Having his back turned wouldn’t be enough; Paris would have to have his arms broken and at least one eyeball removed before Travis had a chance. But time was running out. If his best friend couldn’t make Paris stay, nothing would.

The ceiling rained down a curtain of dust and sheetrock before the boys registered the booming sound. Outside, a symphony of car alarms competed with the very few screams.

Travis was already offering the crossbow when Paris finally turned around, but the boy rolled his shoulders forward twice before accepting it. With a grin, he trotted out of the room, his friend watching the white debris leap away from his body as he went.

“Time’s up.”


Very short and, again, not an exact replica of the dream, but I liked the storyline. (Also, yay for WoW references!) ^.^

All I Have To Do Is Dream

Ezra: “I have had a dream that continued. It started out as the dream from the last night and then continued past all the things that already happened.”

Me: “That is seriously awesome.”

Ezra: “It was a nightmare.”

Me: “Whoops.”

But seriously, at this point, he at least understands that he and I are not the norm when it comes to dreaming, recollection and lucidity. (Of course, I say this but I secretly still believe everyone experiences things the same way I do.)

This is a good time to mention that you might find the rest of this creepy. I don’t. But I’m me. You’ve been sort of warned?

Lately, my dreams have been…I don’t even really know how to describe them. They’re always vivid and there’s always several but there’s just been something different. For one thing, they seem to have decided that high concept plot is the way to go. O_o Whereas before, I’d have wonderful dreams that meander and may be more about setting than anything, they’ve lately been much more succinct. I even had one over the summer (which I may have mentioned) that I simply had to write down, in the event that it’s actually a short story, novella or novel. It certainly seemed that way. I wasn’t in this one, before you start to call me Narcy…which I’m not denying but as yet, I don’t write myself into my work. As yet.

One from night before last – because to be honest, last night’s weren’t too exciting by comparison – involved a house at the bowl of a cul-de-sac. Two houses, I guess. The set-up was quite familiar, but then, it was a cul-de-sac and I grew up in Sacramento. I don’t know what was drawing me or anyone else to huddle around the house – think of it as a childhood afternoon where you’re just sort of congregating/playing in front of a neighborhood home – but what became clear was that we needed to run before the man came. I don’t know if he was coming home or was already in the house – and why we hadn’t been concerned before – but I took off into the next door neighbor’s driveway. In the open garage, there were already people hiding and there was a car under a white tarp. I climbed under the car, which almost immediately became something I could lift and maneuver over myself. (And as usually happens, I was suddenly charged with my son’s protection, too – nevermind that he hadn’t been in the dream nor had I been married?)

So I’m trying to make sure the “car”/tarp is on top of us  without my legs protruding from the tarp – which was a problem for some reason – and I realize that if the man comes, trying to get myself and Ezra from beneath this thing with time and finesse enough to escape him is going to be a feat. So out we come, hunching over and dashing alongside the partitioning, manicured bush. While we are escaping down the street, I look back to see a guy like Josh (you know how that goes) standing in the bad guy’s driveway. Over his shoulder, I see the bad guy. A moment later, they’re both gone.

Only now that we’ve turned the corner and are rushing up steps to knock on doors, we’re all together. The real Josh and me and Ez. They’re narrow little porches with awnings and it reminds me of something out of Far From Heaven. Finally, a woman answers a door and we come rushing in. Not wanting to tell her the truth as to why we need to hang out in her home, I end up suggesting that we impose elsewhere, to which she drops her suspicions and offers to at least make us something to eat first. Relieved that we won’t be back on the street where the man is inexplicably hunting, I relax into the couch. Josh has perhaps gone to the powder room. At any rate, he’s down the hall when it goes weird.

At her prompting, I introduce myself. Because it’s 1950-something and this is apparently the neighborhood where I grew up, the woman knows my family name (and also, it’s not my family name which is when I realize I’m a fictitious character). Smiling, she motions toward the couch on which I’m sitting and says, easy as you please, that my brother died on that couch. Pieces of him, his hair maybe, is probably still on it somewhere. She motions to the necklace I’m wearing – which is a strange pendant that almost reminds me of an old bottle cap remover – and there’s some connection between it and my brother. Thankfully, Josh has overheard the strangeness and begins looking around the bathroom for something to subdue the woman with, but I’ve already assumed that she couldn’t have harmed my brother on her own so there must be a man who’s likely to return home from work soon. I don’t let these things play out in dreams where my child is present so, instead of waiting to see how we handle the woman and where we go next for shelter in our obviously helter-skelter neighborhood, I opened my eyes (in real life) and called the whole thing off.