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Vengeance – Part 1 – An Action Adventure

Audiobook Version

(Warning! NSFW)

Gone. Before my eyes the world I knew swept from me in a tide of flame─ never-ending, and twisting to the sky. The barrel of the gun is pressed to the back of my skull. I’m on my knees like a dog, bound to a large steel frame─ part of an unfinished house next to ours. I watch silently, my voice gone from screaming. I squeeze my eyes shut─ God make it stop. I knew the answer to my silent plea. Prayer was for children and fairy tales. We had moved here to start a new life. The whole area had been part of a revamp project to help inner-city families. We’d moved into the first house built on a street called hope. Hope. How ironic. The now glowing embers and faint silhouettes are all that stands of our sanctuary. My eyes wander to their faces. I know I shouldn’t, but force myself to look. They hang from the porch, as if swinging from the gallows. My husband for the first time looks like a sleeping child. The half of his face that is left is serene─ the other half is a pulpy mass. They didn’t waste time on him.

I then look to my son and gag, wanting to purge the image from my mind. The whites of his eyes shine through the quieted flame, like the walking dead he floats and his little face is frozen in anguish. He is still wearing what he wore to bed─ his iron man socks and underwear. They didn’t even have the decency to dress him. His body is so terribly beaten that the color of his flesh is purple. I want to cry, but nothing comes out. There’s a fluttering response in my belly─ almost as if my unborn son knows his fate. I wish I could offer some comfort. I hope that they will end us both soon. Laughter sounds, silencing my thoughts. The barrel nudges me from behind, a gentle reminder of my position. There is a slight movement to my right, crunching gravel and the surrounding laughter ceases. 

You’ve been a bad girl, my dear,” the voice calls. It’s the kind of voice that creeps along your spine with all the eloquence of a black widow. Vertebrae by vertebrae it prods gently─ waiting for the right bit of flesh to sink its fangs into. From the shadows steps a man dressed in the finest suit I’d ever seen─ it’s perfectly tailored for his body. He is tall and solid, the kind of man you avoid on the street. It’s something in the way he holds himself, he doesn’t need to look intimidating─ he just is. Suit’s fedora is placed just so that I can’t get a decent look at him. I don’t need to, I know who he is. Daemon’s right-hand man, Ty. I’ll never call him this− it would somehow make him human. He doesn’t deserve that. To me, he’s just Suit. My eyes search the group as I memorize each of their faces. Finally, they stop on the Suit. 

He sneers, “What, nothing to say for once sweetheart?” He pauses and looks around, chuckling with his filthy hyenas. Sauntering up, he steps behind me. I feel the gun removed from my head. There’s a crunching noise before the heel of his foot is put in its place. “Come on, there must be something,” he quips, digging his foot into my skull. I stare at the ground, mute. He sighs, retracts his foot and then brings it down hard on my head─ a grunt of satisfaction leaving his lips. I wait for the next one, but it doesn’t come. He’s pausing─ for what I don’t know. I wait and begin to fidget. Surely there is more. Then I feel the binds fall to the ground. I jolt forward, but someone slams me back into place. A tunnel of black clouds my vision, but I fight hard and remain conscious. It’s a small victory at least. He grabs both my hands and ties them over my head. I swallow thickly, the worst is coming. His hands brush against mine and trail along my left arm down to my chest. Suit’s hands hover just above my breast. Then he moves it over to my heart and presses against me firmly. For five long beats, he stays this way. Then the rocks scrape across the concrete as he shifts, standing over me.

The world is suddenly ringing─ jarring and cruel. His groans of pleasure sound as kick after paralyzing kick begins. My ribs sing in agony and I feel my right eye swell then finally close. One last kick and he stops, leaning down to my face. I can smell him─ smell the bourbon and rot through his shit-eating grin. I will never forget this smell. He reaches down into his pocket and pulls something out. There is a familiar flick and I jerk feverishly looking up. A lighter. But I’m not given time to panic, there’s a sharp pain in the back of my head. It’s the last I know before darkness creeps in. I wish in these last moments to join my family. 

# 

The breath of life wakes me and I curse at the unwanted gift. Pristine black shoes invade my one good eye, sliding to a halt. In the distance, a wailing siren sounds over the gentle crackling of subdued flame. Were they my sirens? Had someone called in the fire? Tristan… I vow revenge in that moment, for my husband, my two sons─ offering to whatever deity can hear me my servitude. An instant passes−the feint flutter of wings resonates against the buildings. My eye strains and then focuses to the dark stretch of alley visible between Suit’s legs. A lone raven lands and cocks its head to the side. It stares in my direction, then eyes the men. It’s waiting. A single grating voice disturbs the hush and I cringe at reality.

C’mon where’s my feisty little reporter that I so admire. No stories for me?” Even though I know it won’t help, I stay quiet. He shifts and then continues, “maybe one about a particular company? Hmm, Vivian? ” My name slithers off of his tongue as if he were seducing a lover and I retch in disgust. Leaning down, he caresses my cheek. I try twisting away but he holds my face in place.

You and me, we could have a little fun before you go. I’ve always had a thing for redheads.” I growl pulling furiously away from his grasp, but he holds my chin in place.

I level my gaze at him, “I’d rather swallow razor blades while cigarettes are put out in my eyes,” I quip through clenched teeth.

Mmm, well suit yourself, love.” He lets go and with one hand, singles out a small patch of hair near my face. Reaching into his pocket, he pulls out a knife. When I try to squirm, he just laughs and cuts the strand from my face, nicking my brow.
He stands and parts the hair into two piles. One he pockets and the other, to my growing disgust, places in his mouth. He lets out a low moan, savoring the strands like they were a fine wine. Sick bastard. Suit finishes and leans down to dust off his shoes. 

Now, where were we, my dear?”

I feel the crushing weight of his foot bear down on my gut squeezing what little life is left of the child inside of me. I feel my baby’s fluttering movements as he tries to escape the pressure. I snap and thrust my head forward into Suit’s shin with as much force as I can. He curses and backs away, grabbing at his leg. Before I can stop myself words finally spew out. 

Stop it! You have what you want, they’re all dead.” My desperation does nothing but inflates his anger and he delivers a swift blow to my nose. Blood leaks down into my screaming mouth. Who was I kidding, what wayward deity would heed my call? I prayed for a quick death. There is that hope again─ I knew better. Daemon’s men took great pleasure in drawing out the kill. My husband was an exception to the rule, simply because in the right frame of mind, he would have killed these thugs in less than five minutes.

Suit chuckles, dusting off his pants. His tone comes out dismissive, “Alright, Green. It’s time the newbie earned his spot in the crew. Go on behind her and get your gun ready.” From behind, I hear shuffling and someone slowly walks up to me. I hear Suit sigh and tap his foot.

Kevin, what are you doing? Pull out the gun and place it on her head. We need to teach her a lesson.” I can hardly manage to breathe as I wait.

Yeah, sure I know.” Hesitation, “I just, you know─ do you have to beat her so much?” Suit doesn’t answer. The boy stutters, “I mean, damn man she’s already busted up real bad.” Keeping my head low, I glance at Suit’s shoes as he strolls over to Kevin.

Tell you what, Green. Why don’t you give me the gun and I’ll find a man that has a pair out here to do it for you.” Kevin shifts again before I hear the gun being handed off.

Look, I’m sorry Ty I just I got a soft spot for girls. That’s all, I don’t mean any disrespect─ It’s just whoa─ whoa okay man I’m leaving, alright?” The quick shuffle of his boots sounds as Kevin turns to leave. He gets midway across the parking lot before Suit puts three rounds in him. The deafening slump of his body signals the end of chivalry in the group.

Any more concerns, gentlemen?” When no one speaks, he hands the gun off to the nearest lackey and walks in front of me. Lackey two quickly shuffles and then presses the gun hard into my temple.

There now, all cozy.” He rubs his hands together. “Interruptions, interruptions. Where was I?” He claps, “Ah yes, the fact that you can’t keep your nose out of company affairs.” As if scolding a child, he tousles my hair. 

Well now, can’t have that, can we darling. Mr. Reese is a very busy man, I’m afraid, and can’t make it to your execution. But don’t worry. It will all be filmed for his enjoyment later.” His words sounded like he was explaining them to a business partner, just business as usual. No big deal we’ve murdered your entire family. 

Fuck this.

You spineless piece of shit. You think you’re going to get away with this? I’m sorry, that all of you, are going to get away with this?” She spat blood at the ground wincing from the pain before continuing.

What do you think will happen when a major news anchor doesn’t show for her reveal of the biggest accounting scandal the United States has known? All those poor families tossed aside─ They don’t even know what N.C. Global has in store for them, and all of you?” she paused chuckling─ let them blow her brains out.

All of you just sit back, get richer and watch your former employees die on the street from starvation. Yeah, I stuck my nose in─ right where it belonged, arrogant prick.” A sharp slap across my face sends me into fits of laughter, all sanity thrown to the winds like ashes. He slaps me again and again. The blood’s really flowing now, soaking the ground in front of me. I watch as it snakes around his black boots, untouched and blossoming into wings. At least a part of me can be free. The raven calls in the distance, maybe letting me know it’s still there. Maybe it’s come for the soul I’ve offered. Or maybe I’ve finally lost it. I smile through the long tangles of red matted to my face. My vision is sorely impaired, I can barely make him out. I look up to Suit’s shadowed form and whisper my last words.

Pray I don’t make it out of this alive.”

The Suit stops, watching me from above. I revel in his brief insecurity. For once, he is speechless. But that’s all Fate has allowed. To my dismay, his wheezing laughter sounds.

You think this is only about money? Oh, little girl, it’s more than that. You have−” Quickened crunches of gravel interrupt us, followed by an alarmed voice. 

We got problems, someone reported the fire and shots. We got five minutes, maybe less.” Tick, tock the death clock tolls. Suit clicks through his teeth, “Too bad, I wanted to have a little more fun with this one too.” Leaning down, he presses his mouth close to my ear. “How’s that sweet little sister of yours doing?” No. Not this, let it end with this. I can feel his smile with the next sentence, “Lily, was it?” My eyes widen in disbelief and a gag is thrust into my mouth. God, no her life was just starting. Lily was halfway through her doctorates at Harvard, barely 18. We had just celebrated her 18th birthday a few weeks ago. We knew she was special after testing out of middle school at eight. Lily was the only family that I had. Our parents had passed when we were young and our grandparents had succumbed to cancer several years ago. 

Standing, he turns and walks away. “Time for naughty little girls to go to bed.”

My bravado gone, I scream─ my vocal cords’ tearing until nothing comes out. Suit is gone, I don’t know where─ I desperately rip at my binds. My left shoulder cries in protest but I pull harder, finally dislocating it. It can’t end like this, not like this. They had to pay, all of them. The barrel nestles in the back of my skull. Give me fiery eternity─ I’d barter with any devil, spirit, or demon. The fates willing, even in death, I’d find a way. The resounding click cuts through my thoughts as the hammer is pulled back.

Shit. 

Flurries of wings, the splintering of skull, and silence.

Long moments pass and there is nothing. It feels like hours. I am stuck between existence and abyss. Did he pull the trigger? Maybe this is what they talk about. The minutes of brain function before you slowly fade. I’m in the fade. My thoughts cease as I feel the presence creeping behind me. Slinking, calculated steps. I wince at the glow and then look to see my body lying limp from the pole before me. Bits of gore and blood spray the sidewalk fanning out in a perfect semi-circle. Entranced I stare unable to tear my gaze from the beaten form. I should feel something, but all my emotions feel hollow. Except one─ hate. It fills me.

What is it that you want? The entity calls. Feathers explode surrounding my new body─ tenderly embracing it’s every orifice. I welcome the intrusion, letting it seep in. I halt as I draw breath. It is a curious effect because I feel nothing come in or out. For the first time, breathing is optional. For a moment, I struggle to find my voice─ then it rings out with clarity.

I demand retribution” I growl.

Yes indeed, it whispers, then a pause. And I can help you─ but first, a contract must be formed. I should have known. Nothing is free in the real world, why would it be after death?

I’m surprised at the wariness in my own voice, “Do what you must.”

Laughter reverberates off the enclosed space like autumn leaves. Child, do you know what you are getting into? My chin rises stubbornly though I quake in fear from its mighty presence. “I don’t care the cost, give me the contract.” In an instant, the twin beauties appear before my eyes. Their chrome is embellished with delicate, intricate designs− Desert Eagles, 50 caliber. One forged from obsidian, the other pure silver. Ironic, Tristan always told me they weren’t for girls. He was a retired war vet, so naturally had taught me how to shoot. She winced at the past tense used in her own mind. A shame neither of us were prepared since we moved to our city home. Anger shoots full force as I think about what had been done to both him and our son, Jason─ of the life ruined inside of me. Yes, I would do anything it took to make this right. No matter the cost. Choose the right one to commit the act, or suffer an eternity of servitude without your vengeance. But a warning−patience does not exist within the dark.

Words appear on each weapon, snaking around the intricate carvings. Vengeance to the left on Obsidian: Loyalty to the right on silver. So here was my catch. Vengeance was what I wanted, wanted bad but loyalty made sense since I would be in contract. More than likely, I would have to serve this thing, whatever it was, for the rest of eternity. Or did it anticipate that I would think that and pick vengeance instead as the right choice? Decisions, decisions time was ticking.

What do they both mean? Explain my choices.” Ah, clever girl. I will tell you, but for a price. I’m growing impatient with its games, but I need to know. “What is the cost?”

When and IF you are revived, no one will remember you. Not even your precious Lily─ if you so much as talk with her, the contract is broken and you will be sent to eternal damnation−
“And my vengeance is not given, I get it. Anything else?” I become nervous as the being is quiet for a while, I try to turn but something keeps me at bay. You are not allowed to see just yet, child. Of course not, could this thing be any more infuriating?

Here are the answers in which you seek:

Upon choosing the left with vengeance in mind, 

There can only be Death to the life you are tied

Never to see the light of day

And dissipate your spirit will. 

Upon choosing the right with loyalty in mind

Life will restore but to darkness, you bind

Vengeance is a mystery left to stay

However, your soul will forever remain. 

What did it mean, what did it mean? I try to break it down, so if I choose vengeance my soul goes away and I lose my life. But if I chose loyalty then there’s a chance that I may never get my vengeance. What the hell do I do? Images flash through my mind, my husband Tristan asking me to marry him, our first time to make love. The joyous news of a child and our first home, then Scott’s first steps, his sweet morning kisses. All of it gone in seconds─ precious seconds that now slip past me and a choice that will change everything. 

Time is running out ─ choose or I choose for you. My gaze flits left to right, wavering between the two. I hover for several seconds by Vengeance before finally jerking my hand to the right and gripping my destiny.

Now place the barrel to your temple and pull the trigger. 

Didn’t I have enough bullets to the brain for one night? My hand shakes from the weight of the gun as I put it in place, taking all of my strength to put the finger on the trigger. Ten seconds, twenty─ screw it. I close my eyes tight and squeeze the trigger feeling the bullet of Loyalty scream through. Laughter erupts around me.

The contract is sealed. 

#

Opening my eyes, I stare at stark, white walls. For a moment, I look around before realization sets in. This was it, a second chance. It is my time─ my fate and no one would take it from me again. Glancing down, I spot a neat pile of clothes and grin. On top is a folded piece of paper. Inside in fine print is an address:

105 West Main Street.

I know that it will lead me on the path to finding Suit and his men. The life telling machines beep in alarm as I rip the tubes from my arms and nose. Padding down the hall, I duck into the bathroom. The mirror is not a friendly place. I’ve lost quite a bit of weight and my hair has grown long. I know I shouldn’t, but I do anyway. I slowly pull at my shirt and look down. A small scar is visible, the scar where my little one was taken away. I have nothing. How could these bastards live with themselves? For god’s sake, I was seven months pregnant. Anger flows and I punch the glass in front of me.

The answer was simple─ I was nothing personal to any of them. Wiping the blood from my hand I lose myself a little to the madness and laugh. There would be no remorse or pity for them, and I was making it personal. I quickly change and smooth back my hair. Feeling a little less like a cancer patient, I step out of the bathroom. A nurse passes, eying me suspiciously. I take a casual stride as she passes and then slip from the nearest side exit. A blinding world awaits me, the sunlight shimmering down. Was it all a dream? As if in response, I feel the weight in each of my pockets. Reaching my hands inside they find the silky-smooth metal of the guns. There’s a street bike running, ten feet away. I smile as I ride from the parking lot.

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Arlingcon 2018 – June 30th – Japanese vs. American Horror Comics!

Hey guys! I’ll be at Arlingcon this year. It’s a one-day event, family friendly and it’s free! I’ll be presenting on Saturday the 30th from 3:15 – 4:00 p.m. Details can be found on the event here. 

This year, I’ll be presenting Japanese vs. American horror comics! I’ll be presenting in the San Saba hall at 3:15 p.m. CST on Saturday. Please feel free to come ask questions or hang out before or after the event at my table. I’ll be located in the Vendor Hall in the Bluebonnet Ballroom, table B-06. More info can be found on the facebook event page listed in the above link. Here is the pdf schedule file for all of you. 🙂

ArlingCon 2018 Program

 

ArlingCon 2018 Program-8

 

Can’t wait to see you all there.

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Twitch Creative Streams and Updates

Every month, I’d like to start adding a poll so that you guys can vote on what you would like to see for my Twitch creative. You can find my polls on my Twitter account. I’ll try to keep the poll open for a few days so people have time to get in their say!

My Twitch gaming schedule is every Sunday at 10:00 a.m. CST and I have my other days sprinkled through when I can. Sunday’s, however, are set in stone and you can catch me each week on this day!

Just to let you all know, you can find my previous year’s audiobooks right here on my website, or on Soundcloud or YouTube. Those will be starting back up this year, along with my occasional Podcasts between conventions. I’m excited to announce that I will be attending a few conventions this year, and will be posting a schedule soon!

If you are a fan of my books, you can follow me on Amazon to catch updates as I release them each year. My sci-fi book is due for release sometime this year, and my book 3 in the Hell’s Gate Series is TBD. (updates coming soon)

Every once in a while, I just like to make these reminder posts for people that may have an interest in checking out my work stuffesses. 🙂

Btw, you can vote now on Twitter for my next creative stream!

Next up, is my keto recipe for keto cornbread stuffing! Have a great day, guys!

 

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Christmas Carols, Baking, and Twitch

Hi guys! If you haven’t noticed, my Tuesday comics are back up. Next year will start my new audio stories. If you missed this year’s, you can find them here.

Typically I prefer to do my weekly comics and then a blog style comic. Most of my blogs pertain to food, comics, and the occasional movie review if I feel strongly about it.

Due to how time-intensive my audio stories are and the fact that I want them to be perfect (since I use sound effects, voices, etc.) I typically don’t release more than 10 a year.

So, I’ll be doing the blog style comics every once in a while, but always sticking with my Tuesday schedule.

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If you didn’t know, I’m normally live every Sunday on Twitch from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. I mostly play games, but I also do creative days too where I draw, bake, or make cosplay. 🙂

I’ll be on this Sunday, the 24th at my regularly scheduled time to play games, bake a pie, and sing a christmas carol or two. See you there. ❤

 

Stay creepy, (and festive!)

C

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Comics are starting back up

For those of you that noticed, my comics have stopped for a while because I was dedicating my time to video editing my short film, Black, finishing the last edits on Hell’s Gate: Resurgence, and entering in NaNoWriMo. I also have been doing lives on Twitch and putting up audio stories and books on Youtube.

But the comics for me are a real way of expressing not only my daily joys and frustrations but a real form of release. I find it exciting to make other people laugh. Call it whatever you will, but I see so much crap online all the time that I find it my civic duty to make others laugh. If I don’t, I end up being this tightly wound ball of bitterness mixed with anxiety. I’ve decided that comics are a very real way for me to share with others. I generally enjoy making two types of comics: The Things My Boyfriend Does (or TTMBD) and life frustrations and silliness. Many, if not all of my comics are based on actual things that have happened to me or have been said to me. Don’t be fooled, because sometimes they are 100% random and plucked from my very demented mind.

Expect the Tuesday schedule to pick back up again. I won’t ever promise an exact time because of the chaos that is my life, but I will always generally have them up before 5. Thanks to everyone that has supported me!

I want to take a moment to also shout out to my Patrons:

  1. Brian and Amy Shader
  2. Seth Bailey
  3. Brent Smith
  4. Robert Vasquez

Without your help, I couldn’t make any of this a reality. Thank you so much! Check out this month’s rewards here.

If you would like to support me, but not become a Patron, you can also send it directly to me.

All of my donations go toward producing better content for all of you. Thanks guys~

If you would like to purchase my art, I will be placing it up in an online store soon! Sometimes, I also draw on Twitch as well and sell what I make. 😀

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What to expect in the coming weeks

It has been a surprisingly busy season. With the release of Hell’s Gate book 2: Resurgence on October 13th so closely together after our first release Hell’s Gate book 1: Awakening, it’s been a bit…crazy to say the least. I am super happy to report that book two is right on track and I can’t wait to release it to all of you. If you aren’t familiar with my work, you can check it out on my YouTube page, or on my tab linked here on my website.

  1. I’m ecstatic to announce that my comics will be picking up again on Tuesdays. I had to take a break with the Hell’s Gate editing phase of book two.  Now that it is over, I can get back to giving you the lawls. Which in all honesty, I love funny. Taking things too seriously is just plain─ awkward to me.

See my audio short Mom’s Diary to get a feel for my less-than-conventional views on life.

My main comic is about my day-to-day life as:

  1. a high-functioning autistic woman living in society
  2. living with an autistic bf and the joys of that

I roll my eyes these days at everyone claiming to be all of these ridiculous things and it seems like people often are ‘riding off the coattails’ of autism and making money. If I had to describe what I’ve experienced, I would say Atypical is pretty accurate.

I get equally annoyed at someone that talks to me like I’m an effing child.

  1. I’m not mentally handicapped─ my perception is different than yours. Please don’t use the ‘I’m talking to a child’ voice with me.
  2. I don’t process emotions instantly or why people get so emotional very well. Know the difference, and don’t be a dick.

Am I hating on the people that actually have gone through this and struggled in life? Hell no. That shit is hard. Especially when someone has to actually pull you aside and tell you why it’s not appropriate to laugh at funerals─ even if someone’s face or crying has made me have to leave the room I am laughing so hard.

Funerals are just…weird. Why do we look at dead people in boxes? How about, if you have to view me after I’ve bitten the big one, you know─ just burn my corpse and throw me outside? I mean, seriously─ I’m dead, wtf do I care?

Have a few beers, talk about the dumb shit I’ve done and then be on your merry way. Mourn at home over pictures or something you weirdos. Don’t stare at my shitty funeral parlor makeup-ed face in front of a bunch of shit heads that are squabbling over my bank account funds. /suddenweirdrant

The point I’m making is that─

 

I’m back, breeches!

silicone-grip-full-seat-breeches

 

❤ C.A.

 

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Live Events, Giveaways, and Anime Fest 2017

One of my all-time fav conventions is nearly here! Anime Fest (August 17th – 20th) has hands-down been one of my favorites since I started attending them some years ago. I am extremely biased when it comes to these sort of events, however, because I’ve always preferred smaller crowds. Granted, the fact that AnimeFest is now being hosted near my home in the Sheraton Hotel certainly means they’ve grown exponentially.

And have you SEEN the guest line up for this year? If you haven’t, seriously go look it up.

Unfortunately, for our team at Dusk Publishing, we weren’t able to snag a table this year at the event─ But, we are doing panels. And a panel I have planned oh hohoho~~

If you aren’t currently watching my Live Events, or are just kind of tuning in, I do live writing panels and stories for DuskLive on FB from 2p.m. – 2:30 p.m. These usually don’t go for more than a couple of minutes, but I like to stay on the safe side, just in case we have people asking questions! Once these live events are finished, I post them on all of my social media pages. So if you can’t attend, no worries─ they are always posted afterward. (like the one this past Sunday about a scary experience I had while I was in Japan doing research for the Hell’s Gate book series.)

For the AnimeFest panel, you can expect to have all my usual bizarre Japanese culture and Urban Legends content that you can find on Soundcloud (now slowly being added to my YouTube channel) and on my Livestream events.  This year, I’ll be covering modern Japanese urban legends and where they come from and also talking about some ancient Japanese urban legends. We’ll all sit and reminisce as I talk about my experiences from Japan (interesting, bizarre─ and the everyday life as a ‘normal’ Japanese citizen)

The panel will be held on Thursday, August 17th from 5 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. in Panel 4. 

For this panel, I’ll have copies of Hell’s Gate readily available, or you can bring your own for signing!

If you aren’t aware, you can actually enter to win a free copy of Hell’s Gate in our contest. (Hurry, it’s only running until 7/27/17!)

This next Sunday, (July 30th) I’ll be covering ways to combat writer’s block and techniques that I use to help. See you guys there!

 

xoxo

C.A. ❤

 

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Wonder Woman Review – Why is this Film Making Women Cry?

It arrived.

The day I had longed for since childhood. I laughed with knowing wonder at the child version of Diana as she impatiently mirrored the Amazon’s training, (much to her mother’s disapproval) and constantly asking about battling and fighting.

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But I grew up in the South. In a man’s man kind of world. I was constantly told as a little girl that fighting was for boys. I was handed dolls when I asked for hot wheels and tracks. You know the ones, the really neat colorful plastic tracks that broke like after 3 runs with the cars? I was given an easybake oven when I asked for legos, and transformers─ barbies when I asked for action figures, and finally  sparkly wands when I asked for play swords and guns.

Well, you get the rest without harping. My stepfather (much to my mother’s disapproval) would encourage me to read comics and allow me to sit and watch films like Aeon Flux, Spawn, and Logan’s Run. He understood my need for not buying into the idea of what a woman was supposed to be. Though, in retrospect, a 10 year old riding on a motorcycle probably wasn’t the safest approach to parenting, but eh, I survived.

By that age, I was out bicycling up ramps and climbing trees with the guys. And I can neither confirm, nor deny that we may have caught a few things on fire. I would constantly get yelled at for coming home scuffed up and my clothes covered in dirt. Why couldn’t I just be normal? My family wondered.

The day that I found her, she was already 60 years old and more beautiful than any super hero I’d seen. Not only because she was a woman (because, duh, XMen and Rogue, and Jean Grey) but she was a strong woman. One with her own origins, badass fighting skills, and the main star of the show.

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For years, I’d pined for a movie with Diana. I wanted to see the Amazon’s battling. What would that look like? An entire camp of like-minded women, in the thrill of it, in their element much like myself. Fighting for a cause.

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Because, after all, my own life sort of mirrored that. Do I consider myself the strongest woman and that all of my traumatic experiences somehow add up to trump everyone’s life experiences? Hell to the No. Have you seen Syria? I’m not that naive, nor a special snowflake. But I love physical training. I secretly wish, maybe in some masochistic way, that someone would try to jump me.

I am not a bright woman.

But the thrill of the hunt, the quest to ever be this honed, badass human being that fights for justice has always been high on my list. If I had to guess, probably stems from way too many superhero stories as a kid. The call of battle comes from both sides of my family. I come from a long line of Army men and Marines. I guess some might say, warrior is in my blood.

Every morning finds me awake, running and lifting weights. It’s no secret that I don’t have a small frame. My grandmother used to jokingly call it a Valkyrie build and that I was born with a shield in one hand, and a sword in the other.

My grandmother, was one of my favorite people. Not because of that, but that she was one of two people that treated me like a human being. (my own grandfather once calling me a useless sack of shit.)

Which is why this scene, in the film was everything to me.

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Look.

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At

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These

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Women.

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They’re hard, they’re ready. And they’re in their element. They are proud, and seasoned warriors.

There was no place, I would have rather been than there─ in that theater last night. My eyes were glued to the screen, I couldn’t take them away. I soaked in every battle scene, fully immersing myself in this culture of strong women.

They were me, I was them.

The training, the teasing banter, the honor.

Patty Jenkins is quickly becoming one of my favorite directors. Loved The Killing, Monster, Arrested Development (04), and though I haven’t seen Monster, it’s on my list. She told the actresses to ‘Not be angry, and to be in their element.’ And boy, did she do it right.

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But I was not prepared for what happened next. On top of all the chills, and goosebumps and thinking─ this, this is it

I was shocked to find that wetness had gathered around my eyes. And as I looked around, I wasn’t the only one. All the women in the audience had the same hopeful, awe-inspired expression. And what surprised me more, the men were crying too.

For the first time in my life, someone had accurately displayed what I had always felt in my heart. The love, the strength, and the compassion. The fiery need to go do something with my life that was worth fighting for. To show that love is strength, not just fighting.

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Gal Gadot’s performance was spot-on, and I knowingly laughed at the scene’s when she entered, ‘mans-world’ to find that her sisters were basically slaves, or pretty dress-up dolls.

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“How do women fight in these?”

I’ve never been a fan of many women’s clothing. If you really want to get my fired up, ask me about non-functioning pockets. I don’t do purses, they are a waste of money and too clunky. Why would I give my attacker a way to grab me and steal all of my shit?

Don’t even get me started on heels.

Though William Marston, WW’s creator, was a bit of an odd fellow (dying and leaving behind two wives, and had a part in creating the lie detector by measuring blood pressure), his creation is something that continues to inspire generations of women.

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This film was everything to me this year, and I’ve a strong feeling that it will continue to be something I will always cherish. Not just myself, but generations of women that have looked at society and thought, ‘why can’t women be strong?’

The real point in all of my banter─ is that Wonder Woman? I feel you. I’ve been you my whole life.

 

Thank you, DC and thank you, Patty Jenkins.

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Do yourself a favor, go see this movie─ today.

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Akon 28 and Signing Announcements

Well, it happened─ I am officially signed on as a published creator at Dusk Publishing! I am so beyond excited to be joining this innovative and progressive company.

I signed on with them this past weekend at Collected in Keller in a live event on our facebook page. Meeting everyone that came through was a great joy and seeing all the little ones dressed up in their cosplay was an even bigger treat.

With that being said, let’s get to what to expect this next month as we count the days until Akon 28 arrives. This year is the first year that Akon will have left it’s Dallas home and moved to Fort Worth. I’m excited to see what this will do to its dynamics, as, it has always felt extremely cramped in the hotel spaces at both the Hilton Anatole, and in its earlier years, the Sheraton downtown. (if you’d like to see all the exciting guest this year, check out their guest page!)

So~ What’s in store for the month before our big live event for Akon 28?

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A month of live events building up to it, of course! This month, I’ll be popping up live to talk on my Motoko Kusanagi cosplay,

my graphic novel (set to release in 2018),

Hell’s Gate book 1 releasing Akon week (June 8-11) and book 2 of Hell’s Gate to be released in October of this year!

Plus more news on my audioshorts and books being released to the public.

My podcasts (if you noticed) tend to take time due to my busy schedule, but you can usually expect a few a year that cover Japanese folklore/Myths & Legends/Urban Legends. I’m never shy with the creepy, and it is my favorite thing to create.

Find out what’s in store for all of my audiostories soon! If you are curious, you can go to my main page and see the feed on the right, or go to the podcast link here.

If you want to see my most updated content, I tend to be on Twitter and FB often. I’m getting an outline together for my Youtube page and thinking about Twitch. Though my content is slowly (and painfully) building, I promise there will be more on Youtube soon!

I’ll be posting a live event calendar soon so you guys know when to tune in.

besos, and stay creepy,

─ C.A.

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Why Scary Movies Were Banned in My House

I knew I was different when I was a child. That sounds narcissistic as fuck, but it’s true.

Some years ago (when me and my mother were on speaking terms) I remember describing to her in perfect detail what my baby room looked like. Lot’s of violet and stuffed animals with gauze-y white curtains and white furniture. I remember my favorite stuffed animal was a white seal that I liked to bite on the nose. (It felt good on my gums. :3)

My mother blinked a few times and then, being the religious/superstitious woman she was, suggested that angels must have guided me out of my tiny human body into the spiritual realm, throwing me into an out-of-body experience.

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Whoa. Intense.

But, sadly─ my mom was wrong. Because unlike typical accounts of ‘out-of-body’, I didn’t see myself, or outside of my field of vision from the crib. (not to mention, I think it’s all a bunch of horse dung.)

To my mother’s credit, there is something unnerving about a child that not only corrects everything you say, but also tends to be extremely blunt and appears to lack feelings. This was the 90’s folks, and there was nothing more than just talks about ADD. (attention deficit disorder, now more commonly referred to as ADHD) But, alas, her daughter couldn’t have that, because mostly males were diagnosed with it at the time─ let alone any other possible issues.

And so, I was branded─ the Demon Child.

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Not because I was the spawn of satan, or some- such nonsense, but because I was that man’s daughter.

As you may have guessed, my parents split. Just after I was born, in fact. My mom’s thoughts?

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e.g.: me.

I was tirelessly and incessantly curious about everything─ especially death. When someone explained something to me, the first phrase that inevitably came out was ‘but why do we do it this way?’

I loved watching scary movies, so much that I would sneak out into the living room like a ninja behind our couch to watch ‘adults only’ films.

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Eventually, my mom and step-dad caught on and gave in. And so the three of us (my brother was very young then and slept in a crib) would sit on Friday nights and watch films. I’m sure my parents wanted to watch it in peace─

but I had questions.

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For the longest time, I would ask my parents obsessively about god, heaven, and bad guys. I would listen to the stories in church, but watch movies about the most horrible sides of humanity. My mom displayed both sides equally. So I would get a constant flood of conflicting evidence on human behavior.

And inconclusive data made me upset. Really upset. I liked control and understanding everything.

And so, my tiny villainous brain devised a scheme. Remove the control, and we have a predictable outcome where all other outcomes would cease to screw up my tireless conflicting world views.

Do any of you remember these?

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They were little 2×3 space heaters. Now hilariously illegal.

What happened to cross my mind at the moment, or what force compelled it, I’ll never know. I simply remember at the time, logic dictated that I do it.

And so, I stared at the wall heater. And it at me.

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I wasn’t allowed to touch the heater again.

And my scary movie days? Had to return back to me becoming one with the dark ninja force. At least, until after the coast had cleared.

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