There’s a ball wearing a crown, two bunny rabbits, and a steel drum. This “life” gig ain’t so bad.
There’s a ball wearing a crown, two bunny rabbits, and a steel drum. This “life” gig ain’t so bad.
Do you remember where you were during the mass shooting as Las Vegas? I do. A week before that, we had taken my 10-year-old down to that area for a concert. The morning of the shooting, I was in that area with my parents. I was participating in a book reading and it was their first time watching me. They were so proud.
While the shooting happened, I was on social media and the phone, checking in with people I love. Everyone was affected. Everyone knew somebody who had been shot. It was a horror. My kids’ classes at school were missing 2/3 of their children because people were grieving and lying low for a few days. Ever go to school on a normal school day and see a nearly empty playground at recess? It’s chilling.
19 authors, including me, got together and created the #VegasStrong anthology. All proceeds are donated to the Code Green Campaign. Please join us Monday, July 2 at 7 pm at the Clark County Library for a discussion and signing. Much love.
What do you do when someone you love goes truly dark? I have a free short story titled “Waves and Darkness” up at Pen of the Damned. Why don’t you stop by and give it a read?
Also, today is the last day to pick up my first novel Nameless: The Darkness Comes for free. Want a fun and creepy summer read? This is the one for you, and you can download it here. Happy summer!
So once upon a time my friend Nisa had a bad day, so I wrote her a novel. I literally sent her about a chapter a day. This fun little book became my first published novel titled Nameless: The Darkness Comes.
It’s fun, crazy, snarky, creepy, and has a healthy dose of the paranormal and hard, grueling reality. It’s my best seller, and I have two sequels mostly written for it. Luna’s past? It will hurt your heart, but she keeps trucking.
Luna Masterton sees demons.
She has been dealing with the demonic all her life, so when her brother gets tangled up with a demon named Sparkles, ‘Luna the Lunatic’ rolls in on her motorcycle to save the day.
Armed with the ability to harm demons, her scathing sarcasm, and a hefty chip on her shoulder, Luna gathers the most unusual of allies, teaming up with a green-eyed heroin addict and a snarky demon ‘of some import.’
After all, outcasts of a feather should stick together…even until the end.
Nameless will be available for free ebook download from June 14-16! Please pick it up and see what you think. Enjoy!
This might be my new favorite summer meal, and you can get it done in about half an hour. Serve it aside a salad with sliced strawberries or raspberries, poppyseed dressing, and feta cheese. Or maybe simply with chocolate chip cookies. However you do it, you’re golden. 🙂
You will need:
1 can of pizza dough, refrigerated pizza crust, or homemade pizza dough (I just used a can for convenience.)
1 package of spreadable cheese (I used Alouette Garlic and Herbs cheese)
1 bunch asparagus
(Do you want salt and pepper? Use salt and pepper. Otherwise, it’s three ingredients and you’re done!)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet and spread the dough out on it. Spread the cheese over the wet dough.. Cut the tough ends off the asparagus and then arrange on top. Bake for about 20 minutes or until crust is golden. Enjoy!
Pen of the Damned.
I’m a member of The Pen of the Damned, a group of writers who get together and write short fiction based on picture prompts. It’s fun and keeps my brain from getting cobwebby. The stories are between 100-200 words long, so they’re delicious bites of horror and depravity.
If you’d like to stop by and taste the shards of some dark shorts, please stop by and read exercise 31.
Matt is just the worst. THE WORST. He’s been my nemesis for years and he just won’t stop. Won’t stop writing poetry, won’t stop putting out books, won’t stop being successful, etc etc.
Such a jerk.
Anyway, he has a brand new book titled The Boogeyman’s Intern that I may or may not have read months and months ago (I did) and I may or may not have blurbed (you can’t prove it) and I may or may not have pre-ordered (I’ll never tell.).
But the book is fresh and fun, I totally enjoyed it and the goofy characters, and Matt took over my blog when I wasn’t looking. Until next time, Nemesis! Gar!
The Importance of Having a Nemesis
by Matt Pee-Pee Head Betts
Look. Just because I’m writing a post for her blog, doesn’t mean I don’t HATE, HATE, HATE Mercedes Yardley. Let’s just get that straight right away.
I’m sure she’s given up on reading this already, so let’s talk about what brought me here today. Let me tell you the benefitof having a Nemesis. What’s that? But Matt, I don’t hate anyone that much to call them my Nemesis. That’s crazy.
Dig deep. Find one. Find one or I’ll assign you one.
Best to stick with other writers, though I suppose artistic-types in general would work. Don’t pick a child. You should handily be able to defeat a child in whatever competitions arise.
Okay. Got one? Good.
Now. Randomly pick a fight with that person on their blog. Not an ugly fight, nothing mean. Rather, you should challenge them to something. It can be relatively meaningless; it just has to be some sort of challenge. Who can write a poem and get it published first? Who can finish their next chapter the fastest? Who can be accepted to the Horror Association or the Poetry Association first. Doesn’t matter.
Then… get to work. Write like the wind. Write like flying monkeys are chasing you. Don’t let up.
Then, when you see how amazing your progress is… Taunt your foe. Tease them with your superiority. Flex your creative muscles and throw serious shade in their direction. But be prepared to get the same back from them. That’s the fun of it.
Lather… Rinse… Repeat… Do it all over again.
Pick a new challenge, work, taunt, get taunted.
Doesn’t really matter who wins. There’s always another challenge. The point is you now have someone to push you. You’ve got someone that will hold you to the fire when you set a goal. It doesn’t all have to be public for everyone to see, it can be on messenger, or by text, or over coffee, but you’ve established a relationship with someone, hopefully someone with similar goals, challenges and questions. It’s a writing buddy who occasionally slaps a ‘Kick Me’ sign on your back.
The benefit of having a Nemesis? There’s always someone there to keep you going. To kick you in the pants, and shove you off the cliff. That’s a good thing. Occasionally, you get to a cliff and overthink whether you should keep going. A good Nemesis won’t let you do that-A good Nemesis is more than happy to NOT think for you.
Sound dysfunctional? Well… sure, if you analyze it. But if you stand wayyyy back and squint, it’s the perfect way to keep yourself motivated and moving toward your goals. What kind of weirdo analyzes something that works so well?
Not that I’m saying I like my relationship with Yardley. Nooo. Not me.
Here’s what it’s all about…
Not everyone lands their dream job.
Take Abe: He’s bottomed out as an Imaginary Friend and has to find a new job before his bosses assign him a truly crappy one. Just as he’s about to resign himself to a life of making toys in a workshop, he’s given a reprieve–of sorts. Now he has the opportunity to be the first policeman on the Hill and solve an impossible murder.
For assistance he ropes in his career counselor, a Bigfoot, and his best friend, a Boogeyman. The job requires him to talk to Tooth Fairies, Leprechauns, Yetis and everything else humanity has dreamt up over the years. None of them offer any clues, but since Abe’s supervisors are Mother Nature, Father Time and Death, he can’t just give up and walk away.
Dream job? Dream on.
“A dreamlike quality permeates this story, and the basic whodunit set-up turns into a multilevel metaphysical quandary as Betts injects one twist after another into an increasingly unsettling tale.”–Publishers Weekly
“The moments of humor are well-earned, and Brady and Zane are standouts….The ending manages to be both fascinating and endearing. An offbeat, entertaining look at timeworn mythical characters.”–Kirkus
“‘There is something under your bed. There is something going bump in the night. Something is following you.’ Betts’ novel finds a way to encapsulate that chilling sentiment in a surprisingly hilarious way…”–Booklist
“What starts out as a quirky tale about a burnt-out Imaginary Friend turns into a locked room murder mystery for a creature that cannot die. An entertaining mash-up of “Monsters Inc.” and “Chinatown” in a world populated by Bigfoot, Tooth Fairies, and Boogeymen. Perhaps, the start of its own genre: Imagin-noire.” – Josef Matulich, author of Camp Arcanum
“In The Boogeyman’s Intern, Betts injects equal shots of wit and humor into a genre that often takes itself too seriously, all while never jeopardizing what makes it unique. With deft prose and sharp dialogue, this book is a refreshing take on the fantastical.” – Tim McWhorter, author of the horror thrillers, Bone White and Blackened.
I was invited to a fun, super sekrit project that will be coming in 2020, and I needed some pictures for it. Pictures aren’t my favorite things. I have that “Hello, I had triplets” tummy, a stiff smile, and now I have this strange wonky eye. (Thanks, scorpion!) I’m awkward and uncomfortable in front of a camera. I’ve never had a photographer take a headshot I like. It’s usually me in the backyard with a phone so I can take 200 shots and narrow it down to two.
Enter Baroness Lovey de Luxe, a fantastic photographer from Seattle who regularly travels to Vegas. I came across her on Groupon, and I was attracted to her for two reasons. 1) The photos on her site are gorgeous. 2) She’s a boudoir photographer, so I figured she’d be adept at dealing with somebody awkward and nervous. I was absolutely right.
She did my hair and makeup, which was just exquisite. She was fun, professional, and warm enough that I soon felt at ease, which is saying something. She had several different ideas for several different photos. I said things like, “I don’t know what to do with my meat hands,” and she showed me how to place them. She told me how to pose and made me feel like a star. And when I got the pictures back, I nearly cried.
Look at me. LOOK AT ME.
She brought out confidence. I felt beautiful. I look at these pictures and smile. That eye doesn’t look like a life-changing horror at all.
She’s planning to be in Las Vegas on August 8-10. She’ll also be coming out for a few days in September. I’m trying to talk her into coming to horror conventions and taking some shots there because she is just incredibly talented and warm. If you’re looking for pictures, I can’t recommend her highly enough. You can check her out here.
Seriously, today was insane, and it’s only 11:30 AM!
I had a full day so I dropped the kids off to the school a bit early. I needed to hit the ATM, but had received a notice saying our bank branch was closing and to go elsewhere. So I found another one to go to. It was inside a building, but since I had already taken the time to drive there, I went in.
They were remodeling. No ATM.
I hurried to the car and found the next closest ATM. After driving there, I pulled up gratefully. Hooray!
No hooray. The ATM was not only down, but it told me to go to the original ATM that I received the notice about.
Well, okay. That ATM is closest to the grocery store, and it must be opened because otherwise the broken ATM wouldn’t send me there, right?
So forget it. Time for shopping. I’m in a rush. I go inside, and a strange man follows down several aisles. He starts a conversation about five times. I say something brief and then I’m off. He gets his groceries after me. I’m finishing loading up my car and he asks me to give him a ride to an area waaaaaaay far away on the edge on the desert. You know, where people go to die.
I say no, which is a complete sentence, hop in the car, and toodle off. I’m hot, frustrated, and a bit shaken up. Then I come home to see that the garbage truck came and mostly emptied our trash, except for this one that smells like death because it has raw chicken bits in it. I guess it was too difficult? Or maybe they didn’t see it? Because raw chicken at 107 degrees smells JUST AWESOME! Like my body would have in the desert after grocery store guy murdered me.
I come in, unload the groceries, change into a robe (because I’m overheating) and sit down. The doorbell rings. I grudgingly put on clothes and answer it to find that my new alarm system has arrived. Which makes me laugh because it’s so timely.
It’s been a bit of a hassle, but now finish up some things, and then eat lunch and watch a movie during the middle of the day like the laziest of the lazy. I’ll catch up tomorrow. I have wonderful things I’m working on and a few cool things to announce, but today is not that day. Happy Wednesday, friends!
It was a fantastic conference. It’s one of my favorites. Storymakers is a writing conference for LDS authors (although you certainly don’t need to be LDS to attend) to help us elevate our literary work. The classes are phenomenal. If you have the opportunity to go, you should definitely try it. Hold on to your hats, because it is intense.
I was honored to not only teach a class, but be a workshop mentor on Thursday. We had six hours of intensive discussion about my eight attendees’ pieces, which we had read previously. IT WAS AWESOME!
I taught my “Creating Sympathetic Villains Your Readers Can Root For” class, which was just super cool. This was my first PowerPoint presentation ever, which means that I’m now an adult! Even though I used THIS DEVIL SLIDE. Or maybe especially because I used this slide. We also had an incredible mass signing.
A highlight for me was meeting Dan Wells in person, who is just everything I had hoped he would be. Dan was kind enough to write the foreword for Little Dead Red and Other Stories. He thinks he looks like a cardboard cutout in this picture. Perhaps I didn’t really meet him at all, but after this shot, tucked him under my arm and ran for the hills.
I left inspired and exhausted, which is a good way to do things. Here’s to aspiring higher! ❤