My journey from a blank page to twisted terror! The writing of Misguided Science. 

MSCoverSquareI was new to the fiction writing scene. I mean new – as in babe in the woods. Still in diapers and clueless on how it all works to publish a story people want to read.

Sure, I knew how to write, “Doesn’t everyone?” I thought. You just write.

I still believe that to a degree today. But to make a great story that the audience will connect with takes investment in the craft of writing.

I’ve been learning more and more about writing and publishing fiction since I wrote this story years ago. The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know and so, I charge on, reinvigorated by the creative process and all that I need to learn about crafting a story that may appeal to the masses. I love writing without restrictions and I truly enjoy hearing how readers react to my writings.

Misguided Science was the result of a writing competition. My first and definitely not my last. I was lucky that I surrounding myself with seasoned writers, published writers. Stranger still, I didn’t know it at the time.

They were fun, quirky, down to earth people from all over the world. We had a blast razzing each other, joking, but all the while, mentoring and critiquing each other’s words so all of us were improving. As I received encouragement and criticism, I was learning about all of these people I interacted with on a regular basis. This was an online writing group and that type of interaction was also new to me.

So – on to the making of Misguided Science. It was a competition for zombie horror. Now, the zombie craze wasn’t in the mainstream like it is now, but I’m sure many of the others in the group were attune to the up-tick within the industry. Remember, I was still in diapers at this point. I read horror, but I really hadn’t considered being an author in that genre – or any genre. I was enjoying the creativity and learning experience.

As was my process during college for any large paper, I run it all in my head. Now, if you’re a seasoned author and use outlines or story boards, my method definitely strikes against the norm. However, since then, I’ve learned every writer is different and writing processes are unique to the individual. I don’t like the rigid feel of the traditional outline process so I went about it in my own way.

Several ideas ran through my mind for a story idea. However, if you’ve read my bio anywhere, you know I love sciences: biology, genetics, and environmental sciences to be more precise. So an idea sprung to mind of a wickedly mad scientist, with a twist.

I let that idea simmer for days, maybe over a week or more. I can’t remember how long, but as I go about my life working, chores, washing dishes, folding laundry, driving my kids to activities – the story is building in my mind. I don’t write anything down, but let the images and scenes develop in my mind. Once I complete all the research and have run the story through my mind, I sit down and write.

For Misguided Science, I researched zombie tales. Since I wasn’t an expert on horror, I didn’t want to appear a complete zombie novice. I also researched the meaning behind surnames, voodoo, chemicals, and medicines that have various affects on the body. It was fascinating. Although fiction, I like to substantiate my writing with truths, or fiction that uses real enough principles to sound believable to the reader. Once I had what I thought was a believable concoction, my story was ready for the blank page.

An all or nothing personality, I sat down, I’m sure cross-legged in the big living room chair, with the laptop balanced on my legs and a blanket or pillow to keep it even as I typed the story. I typed the story out in two days. If I didn’t have a family, I probably would have sat there and finished it in one day, ensuring I punched it all out as I had the scenes rolling in my head. But I am conscious of how holing myself up to write can have a negative affect on those around me. So I try my best to balance everything in my life.

Once finished, I saved the file and left it alone for a few days. I’m a seasoned writer and editor in technical communications, so I knew I needed to step away from the story in order to look at it with fresh eyes for a proper first edit. A week later, after edits I submitted the story.

Although I didn’t win the top honor in the contest, I was beyond giddy to find out the story was accepted for publication. So, I was a horror writer. How insane was that? Well, I was happy and enjoyed the entire process so much, I kept going, writing other horror stories and stepping into other genres such as poetry, mystery/thrillers, and young adult.

I hope you enjoy reading Misguided Science. It is my first story that was published so it sticks with me for that reason. I’m thrilled and honored that Visionary Press Collaborative has given new life to this story and offered to re-publish.

I’d love to hear your thoughts after reading Misguided Science. Any questions you have, I’ll do my best to answer quickly.

New Furniture

Phibby Venable

this cold couch pushed against the wall is too young
to know who I am, how many nights I have roamed
in the abandonment of hallways and time machines
it does not hold you dying, quietly, unto yourself..
it knows nothing of my days of resurrecting love,
the final failures in a rainy night of ambulances.
this table never held our drinks or knew the slam
of anger or hilarity, a place to place pills for dividing
into the hopeful magic that would erase
all those years of bodily abuse.
this lamp never knew your face in its light, has not shone
on the hopeful or helpless human desires, has not watched
in the small circles of light, spilling beneath it,
how fast eyes can shut, a record with the needle lifted
too abruptly, spinning on and on in silence.

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Some People Who Will Break Your Trust

Positive Outlooks

Sometimes you will be sad. Sometimes you will get hurt. Sometimes you will allow people to enter your life only to break your trust. That’s life! The most important thing is allowing yourself to feel your sorrows, and then knowing that you have to release them after they have shown you what you needed to learn for you to grow. You don’t give misery a permanent status in your heart. You will always have the final say which experiences you choose to control and consume your life.Dodinsky

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Dear Critics, You Made Me Stronger

Positive Outlooks

To all the people along the way who hurt me, lied to me, betrayed me, disappointed me, broke my heart… you unknowingly pointed me in the direction of my own North Star. Without the messes, I wouldn’t have a message. You taught me more than you could ever take from me. Thank you. — Unknown

Man walking at sunset

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Joseph A. Pinto



 I thought you would follow, but the willow reed swallowed me whole
At least that’s the excuse you sold…
I’d been too busy tightening bolts
Preparing for traffic that would never come.
On the opposite end of nothing now
I’ve teetered upon this sharp edge far too long
Waiting for that willow reed to part
A path once cut through it; I suppose now it’s gone
Should my bridge someday be crossed
Unlike that lost, forgotten route
I’ll keep to tightening bolts, even if my hands get torn
The willow reed once led the way, at least
So you’d sworn.

(first appeared in Damned Words 2, June 1, 2013 )

One thing that my fellow Pen of the Damned members and myself absolutely love are our flash projects – one picture and a hundred words, no more, no less, in which to tell its story or convey…

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2014 Authors Supporting Our Troops Is In The Books! (Get It?)



And… time!

With the last two packages for 2014 coming in the mail today, I can officially put a stop to the #ASOT2014 event and begin the #ASOT2015 one starting tomorrow (conveniently on January 1st 2015).

On March 15th 2014 I stopped ‘officially’ collecting books for the event. We received 2,446 books in and I added another 54 of my own to get us to 2,500. 

But the author-signed books never really stopped coming and we kept filling up boxes (usually 50 books per box and two of these boxes shipped to a soldier in a remote area like in Kuwait or Afghanistan).

We received an additional 525 books in since March 15th. Bringing us to 3,025 books for the soldiers. How cool is that? I thought the goal for 2015 was going to be 3,000 books. Now we’ll set it at 3,500 and see what happens!

Once again, thank…

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Spotlight On: Sirrah Medeiros #ASOT2014



SPOTLIGHT ON: Sirrah Medeiros


How did you get involved in the Authors Supporting Our Troops event? 

I joined the Authors Supporting Our Troops event through Facebook.  As a Marine veteran, I wanted to get involved and support our troops overseas.  Getting involved in this event is a small token of appreciation for all our service men and women that sacrifice so much for our nation.  There is no way to completely thank them for their service. I hope by contributing to this event, they enjoy a bit of the comforts from home and know they are thought of daily.


What is your latest release and what genre is it?

My latest release is Seasons of Sentiment, A Collection of Poetry and Prose that touches on aspects of life and our relationships. There are a few short stories tucked in, but mainly it is poetry.


Quick description of it.

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