≡ Menu

What’s Next?


I’m not much of a planner. Never have been.

I might make a list or two. Maybe even work with some kind of very loose plan or outline, but mostly I just like to follow along with my intuition.

Generally, I’ll just ask myself “What’s next?” as in “What’s the next step?”

This goes for life as well as writing.

Because I prefer to follow my intuition (that lovely N in INFP) and because I prefer to keep things open to possibilities (the P), making concrete plans often makes me feel a little constrained. Using the “What’s next?” strategy, I keep myself moving along, while staying open to possibilities — often things I never saw coming (which I love).

Even with a large project or task, simply asking yourself “What’s next?” works just fine, because, if you think about it, you can only ever take the next step. I can’t take the step four steps from now. I’ll take that when I get there. I only have to worry about what’s next, because steps, by their nature, build upon one another.

The beauty of this is, is that while you’re only taking the next step, steps add up. Faster than you might think.

If you take one step every day, by the end of the week you’ve taken seven steps, and by the end of the month thirty. That can really add up.

So, if you’re like me and you don’t work that well with traditional planning methods, maybe you don’t need to. Maybe you just need to ask yourself: “What’s next?”


About seven or eight years ago, I went through a period of time where I was regularly ordering take-out Chinese food. And every single time afterward, I wouldn’t feel that great.

The funny thing was that for a while that didn’t stop me.

I mean, it got delivered to my apartment and it was tasty. What was there not to like?

Nothing. Except the feeling that I got after I ate it.

Probably once a week, maybe once every two weeks, I’d order Chinese food for delivery, and every single time afterward, I’d go, “I’ve gotta stop doing this. I’m not going to order this anymore.”

And then a week later, my doorbell would ring and my lo mein would arrive.

It probably took ten or so times, enough for a pattern to develop, before I finally would think about how I was going to feel after eating the Chinese food, while I was thinking about ordering it.

And then I would go, “Hmmm, I didn’t feel that great last time I ate this, maybe I should eat something else.”

Knowing what was going to happen after I ate the Chinese food, even though I still wanted to eat Chinese food, stopped me from ordering it.

Because the thing is, I never stopped wanting it.

But once a pattern developed and I could see that – over time – the bad feeling happened every time, it made me rethink my desire for Chinese food.

And so the story ends well. I stopped ordering Chinese food, and therefore stopped feeling not-so-great every time I ate it. But it took a little while.

Today, wanting to order Chinese food and knowing how I’m going to feel afterward are intricately tied together, so that when I have the craving I immediately have the realization of how I’m going to feel after, and it stops me. And it’s the only thing that does.

Because, come on, who doesn’t like lo mein?

NaNoWriMo 2015


File Nov 09, 7 07 28 PM

I’m participating in NaNoWriMo again this year and I wanted to let you know that I’m posting the novel in a couple of places as I go along in all its raw glory. So, if you’re interested in seeing what I’m up to, here it is on Wattpad and also on Smashwords.

It’s a young adult novel called Lakeside and I originally had the idea that it would be about a girl who was so uncool she became cool. This has changed and I’m not sure I have a nice neat description all worked out yet but I’ll just say it involves a partly-dry lake, badminton, pop culture trivia and evil spirits.

Take a look if you’re interested.





Haiku Tuesday – The Walk


manicured green lawns

Halloween decorations

clear, blue cloudless sky


The Cat And The Open Door

I’m sitting on my deck.

As I look at the sliding glass door I see my cat inside the house sitting in front of the door.

So I get up to open the door and let him out.

But once the door is open he just sits there and I’m left holding the door. He sits, he deliberates, sniffs the air and then he finally walks out.

Fast forward ten minutes.

The cat is back at the door. This time on the outside looking in. I get up to open the door.

When the door is open again the cat sits there, sniffs the doorframe and then looks up at me as if to say “why did you open the door?”

He turns away from the door and back onto the deck to do important cat things.

Fast forward three minutes.

The cat is back at the door. Once again I get back up and open it.

This time after a few sniffs and a few looks the cat walks inside. I sit back down.

Fast forward a minute and a half later.

The cat is back at the door.

And I don’t get back up to open the door. (I finally learn my lesson.)

It’s not that the cat wants the door open so he can go in or out.

The cat wants the door open so that he can have the possibility of going in or out, whenever he wants to. 


TheNote_coverI’ve published another short story – this time a romance story – called The Note. It’s about a woman named Julie who is navigating the dating world, while contending with her mischievous cat, Minx.

It’s currently available on Amazon as an ebook. It can also be read (for free) through Kindle Unlimited or borrowed (for free) if you have Amazon Prime.

If you read it and like it, please consider leaving a review. That helps to make it more visible to other readers who may like it. Thanks! Description and links below.


Julie wakes up expecting to find it on her bedside table, but it’s not there.
Maybe it’s lying on top of the other pillow?
Did it fall on the floor?
Not there either.
Oh well, it doesn’t matter anyway.
Does it?

Available on:


Amazon UK

The Cat And The Closed Door

This is why I love cats:

Suppose there is a closed door in your house. One that is always closed. 

Maybe it’s a closet filled with junk and dangerous stuff, a bedroom that is off limits for some reason or the entrance to a scary basement or other storage-y type space. 

Anytime you move towards that door to open it, the cat will be right with you trying to get in. The more dangerous and creepy it is the better. 

And then it becomes a Herculean task to keep the cat out of the door while you do what you need to do. 

Then suppose the door to this closed room is now permanently open. You cleaned out the closet, made the bedroom on limits and made your basement less scary. 

At first, the cat will be right there feeling triumphant. 

“Haha!” your cat will cry out. “I can now enter the door anytime I want!”

And then, as the door remains open…

The cat will not give a damn about it. 

This is just a quick announcement to let you know that I published a new short story called Father McMahon’s Confession. It’s a horror/suspense story about a priest who must prepare for the arrival of a demon. It’s really short – about 1100 words (around 4 pages) and is currently available as an e-book on Amazon for 99 cents. (It will be available on other retailers shortly.)

If you read it and like it, consider leaving a review, which would be really helpful (on Amazon and/or any other place you might leave a book review). Thanks a lot. 🙂


Father McMahon has precisely fifteen minutes.

That’s when the demon will come.

He must gather up all his strength, along with the most powerful holy instruments, in order to confront it. And when it arrives, he will face his most important test yet.

A confession.

Father McMahon’s Confession is available on:


Quote – “Even the most primitive…”

“Even the most primitive societies have an innate respect for the insane,” the Motorcycle Boy answered.

From Rumble Fish, by S. E. Hinton

The Quick Guide to Daydreaming

Daydreaming…ahhh. The practice of putting your head up in the clouds when you’re supposed to be keeping your feet on the ground.

We all do it. Some of us are pros, but some of us may need a little extra help with our zoning out. For those in the latter group, here are a few simple steps:

1. Choose a time and place where you are supposed to be doing something else

The number one pleasure of daydreaming is the fact that you are supposed to be doing something else while you do it. Something more practical, no doubt.

Really, daydreaming is just a very specific form of procrastination. But the benefits of daydreaming are that you don’t need any equipment other than your own imagination and you can do it without anyone realizing you are doing it.

Maybe you’re in a meeting, maybe you’re in a classroom (possibly you’re the teacher!), maybe you’re listening to a boring lecture, but no matter where you are or who you’re with, daydreaming is a delicious possibility.

2. Pick a subject that fascinates you endlessly

Have a favorite TV show or book that you can’t get off your mind? Is there someone special you’ve been thinking about? Maybe you enjoy a “choose your own adventure”-type daydream. Put yourself into your dream career – spy, pop star, world leader – and go there. But only in your mind.

When your meeting is finished and you go back to your desk at your ordinary job, remember what it felt like to be on stage in front of thousands of people, rapping the latest hit song. Or how it felt to escape from the bad guys across those rooftops in a major world city. Remember when you almost fell?

Insert yourself into that TV show or book you’ve been thinking about. Make up a new character for yourself or embody one that you already love. How does the story change with you there?

Has your crush noticed you yet? Is that even possible? Or are they just an image you saw somewhere? Either way, form them in your mind and interact with them. That’s a whole lot better than paying attention to those power point slides.

3. Come back to Earth

So, the thing about daydreaming is that you eventually do have to put your feet on the ground, or risk becoming a permanent space cadet.

Living as a powerful world leader is wonderful in your mind, but eventually you do have to live your real life and interact with the real people you know, as easy or as difficult as that may be. But keeping your feet on the ground (at least for a bit) isn’t so bad, and, in fact, feels pretty good.

You’ve gotta have a solid foundation for all that mind travel, so you can have a platinum selling album and a real, solid life as well.

Fantasies are important because they let us know what may be possible, or what our desires are (maybe in a symbolic form), but all of us live in reality, and we must remember that.

To get your dreams into reality, you have to make them real.

Bonus Step: 4. Be careful of blurring the line between reality and fantasy

Your daydreams are your daydreams and your life is your life. Remember that.