Category Archives: Sightings in the Wild

Grief, Healing, a New Book, and Other Updates

These past few weeks have been difficult. A friend died, and it’s unclear whether it was suicide or accidental. What is clear is that she is gone. As an atheist, I don’t have the comfort of believing that she’s still around in the afterlife. With a single bullet, her energy and the light and love she carried within her dissipated, and that is a true tragedy.

The same day as that lovely human took her life, I found out another friend has inoperable cancer and an unknown amount of time left. This activist and inspirational human told me what matters is the fight to make the world a better, more equal place, but all I could feel was grief. For the past few weeks, I’ve been cycling through depression, anger, denial, and numbness, but I’ve finally begun to find the peace he told me about the cancer with.

The turning point was not what I expected. Grieving, broken, sliding from numbness to depression to crushing anger moment to moment, I drove my way home from a discussion at the local humanist center far from at peace. When I walked through the door, though, my roommate introduced me to “When Marnie Was There.” His favorite Studio Ghibli film, it was a moving, ultimately healing testament to overcoming tragedy, and when it ended, I felt lifted up with hope, the first hope I’d felt since the day of bad news.

Day to day, I’m finding my healing.

There’s been good news, too, though.

On July 20th, I put out a new book. Raw and honest, “Seven Ways to Break a Heart” deals with themes of heartbreak, addictive love, and tragedy in a deeply moving, transformative manner.

There will also be a book release party for this book on August 16th. Taking place at Maya Pizzeria in Mesa, Arizona from 7pm to midnight, there will be fantastic musicians, wonderful friends, my books, and some of the best pizza on Earth.

Later in August, I will, for the first time in years, be going back to college. I’d dropped out with only 4 classes left before my associate’s degree when I needed to appeal my financial aid suspension (I’d dropped too many classes due to a series of traumatic events that had severely exacerbated my PTSD) and been too overwhelmed and stressed by the appeals process to complete the steps to have financial aid returned. I finally took the necessary steps to appeal, and will be registering for my classes shortly.

Also, in February of next year in Bisbee, Arizona, I will be doing a workshop on “Navigating Gender Identity” as part of a series of workshops to help provide more information and support for the trans and non-binary community in Cochise County. I feel incredibly lucky to be part of this transformative movement toward a brighter future, and especially in as lovely of a place as Bisbee.

I’ve recently begun working again on my dystopian YA science fiction novel entitled “Crimson Class Rebel,” and I am 138 pages in. I recorded the first chapter as a little sneak peak for you guys, and I’ll be releasing that chapter soon.

The last bit of news is personal, but something I’m incredibly proud of. I’ve been struggling with weight gain for years, reaching 300 lbs at my highest, and feeling hopeless about my ability to lose any of it, but in the past couple months, I’ve managed to lose 28 lbs. While I’ve still got a way to go to reach my personal weight goals, I am proud of myself for overcoming my despair and stress to take steps that improved my health. Though I do believe that no one should be shamed or judged based on their weight, I personally was unhappy with mine, and am proud of what I have achieved on my own weight loss.

What have you achieved recently that has made you proud, and do you have any advice or things that have helped you to overcome your own moments of grief?

“Love Songs for Friends” Published

On August 24, I published my third book of poetry. A two-month project, the poems in this collection are all about people significant to me. Some are friends, some are family, and some have passed away, but all of them have changed my life in positive ways.

From the brother by love but not by blood in “The Art of the Controlled Flame” to the musician who transformed my life in “Darkness Heralds Light”, the poems included in this collection are heartfelt tales of hope and belonging in a world where both can be hard to find.

You can find a copy here: Love Songs for Friends

All of my books can be found at: Lulu Shop

If you’d like to hear me perform an audio version of a poem from the book, click here: The Art of the Controlled Blaze

There will be a book release event at Pho Cao in Scottsdale, AZ on Wednesday, October 7, 2015 with a variety of bands, acoustic acts, and me performing poetry. Admission will be $5, or $10 to receive a copy of the new book as well. So far, Dissonance, Cassidy Alisa, and Darkness Dear Boy are confirmed as performers, and I’m waiting to hear back from Japhy’s Descent.

Hope to see you there!

Bisbee Pride, Pt 1


This year I was chosen to be a featured performer for Bisbee Pride. The experience was amazing, and I feel like I made a difference in the lives of a number of audience members while learning a lot myself. Not only that, the organizations that played a part in giving me this opportunity were ones I already respected and admired. I feel really honored by the opportunity I was given, and I want to dedicate a number of upcoming posts to the experiences I had there.

The first group of posts will be about the trip itself, then I’ll post a new poem I wrote while there, and last, I want to write a bit about the organizations involved in making me a part of this year’s Bisbee Pride. They have not asked me to do so, but I value their missions and want to make sure those missions are heard. Links to all other completed sections of these series of posts will be at the bottom of each.

Without further ado, Day One!

Bisbee Pride, Day One

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I left for Bisbee on very little sleep Wednesday afternoon, picking up food, fuel, and some of a friend’s instruments on the way. I had to make a few stops to walk off the tired, and being my book-obsessed self, I made sure that one of those stops was at a Bookmans in Tucson.

Bookmans is a local used book store chain that also carries music, comics, magazines, games, and video game systems, including vintage ones. It is also quite possibly my favorite place to shop in the state. They even allow dogs and provide wifi, along with holding various music, game, and cultural events. Even though I couldn’t afford to buy anything just yet, I wandered for over an hour, letting books inspire memories and feeling surrounded by love.

Eventually, though, I had to return to the drive, and I arrived in Bisbee a few hours later and checked into the Gym Club Suites, where I was to stay the first two nights.

The room had a vaulted ceiling, full kitchen, and more floor space than my entire condo and its three porches combined. The staff guided me by phone through the maze of Bisbee streets, provided me a number I could reach them at even when the office was closed, and replaced a light bulb I noticed was out right away even though the office was already closed when I saw. I unpacked, showered, then went next door to the Central School Project (CSP)’s theater, where my first performance would be.

I met Venus DeMars, the other performer for the next night, and one of the students who would be performing with her. Venus had been in Bisbee for two weeks, preparing a performance art set with local students on identity, and my performance the next night would be their opening act. Then I sat down to discuss preparations with Pete Goldlust, CSP’s director.

When I finally went to bed, I was thrumming with excitement.

Bisbee Pride, Pt 1

Bisbee Pride, Pt 2

Bisbee Pride, Pt 3

Bisbee Pride, Pt 4

Poem Interlude: Stage Fright

Central School Project: Interview with Pete Goldlust

Sidepony Express Music Festival: Interview with Anamieke Quinn