Wednesday, March 28, 2018

A toast to good health

As time passes, I come to appreciate the power of positivity more and more. That's because I've seen the effect of a kind word or gesture, have seen how a little motivation goes a long way, and have experienced first hand what changing my outlook on life can do for how I live. 

Four years ago, my mom went up against cancer and beat it. She offered an incredible example of fortitude and light and continually surprised me with how she handled the situation. When I went with her to one or two chemo sessions, she always put makeup on, put on her best clothes, smelled magnificently, and baked something for fellow patients as well as medical staff. That's just the way she's wired. She would arrive and people would perk up, they'd forget they were cancer patients and chat a while as friends. This isn't me idolizing my mom, this is me telling you what I saw firsthand. She brings a light about her that you can't deny and her smile is one of the best gifts I can experience in this life. 

Unfortunately, things don't come easy for Mom and she's lived a life with quite a few challenges, but she always keeps a positive attitude. 2018 is no different and right now she's lacing up her gloves to fight again, because that's how life is. As per usual, she's tackling things with a mindset I would wish upon everyone and that leaves me in awe. She has no illusions in regards to the task at hand, she knows it won't be easy or pleasant, but she's also well aware that attitude and mindset are the key not to merely survive but to live, to give her best, to follow instructions, to look for better options, and even under unpleasant circumstances, have a good time. 

She has never played the victim and her only request is to be treated with the same respect and positivity that she treats herself. She doesn't want people to feel sorry or get sad. She doesn't need pity or suggestions on what she has to or doesn't have to do. She's done the research, she is an active member in her healthcare team, she's considered what needs to be done, and she will do what she understands what is best. She doesn't need to know statistics or what could happen. She needs smiles and positivity. She needs a joke. She needs plans down the road. She needs consideration and support. She welcomes thoughts and prayers but wouldn't mind the promise of a good cup of coffee, lunch, a good wine recommendation, or more things to look forwards to when she's done with this battle. She also knows nothing is guaranteed in this life and that there are plenty of things out of our control... but she also knows that there ARE things under our control. 

How we face every single life situation is up to us. How we deal with things is up to us. How we fight and what we focus on is up to us as well. And she chooses smiles, and laughter, and light. The picture taken above was taken last week March 22nd. Exactly one week before her operation which is this Thursday, March 29th. If you want to send thoughts and prayers, by all means, do so. But if you really want to make her smile and help us out, leave her a toast to her health and what she has to look forwards to, because we already saw the next bottle of wine we'll be sharing and we wouldn't mind drinking to your health as well. 

Peace, love, and maki rolls.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Violent Video Games Do Not a Terrorist Make

Taking an old page out of the play book, pro-gun people are saying once again that violent video games are to blame when it comes to terrorists*.

*Firstly, let’s clarify once again, shooters are in fact terrorists. The color of your skin does not absolve you from becoming a terrorist, even if the US has a hard time accepting this fact. 

Now that we got that out of the way, let me save you the trouble of making new arguments:

· Heavy metal music doesn’t make a terrorist

· Violent video games don’t make a terrorist

· Violent movies don’t make a terrorist

· Violent books or being a fan of violent sports (Boxing/MMA) don’t make a terrorist

How do I know this? Because I love heavy metal music, know the satisfaction of getting bonus points for a headshot or performing a fatality in a videogame, have watched highly violent movies like Fight Club, A Clockwork Orange, and the SAW franchise, am a huge fan of boxing and watch MMA yet I am completely in favor of stricter gun laws and measures to try and remedy the current situation we are living.

Oh, Jesus is also not the answer, because although I grew up Catholic, I currently identify myself as agnostic, which isn’t the same as atheist but if you want to think that just to make the conversation easier, then by all means, call me atheist. The point I’m trying to make is that even though I’ve consumed all the things people want to blame instead of looking for remedies to the situation and do believe in Jesus but do not go to church, I’m not even remotely drawn to owning or firing a gun. And let me be clear, I’m not here to vote for surrendering guns or stripping people of their right to legally and responsibly purchase and own guns. I know a LOT of people who own guns and many of them honestly own more guns than I think they need, but that’s opinion, and we’re not here to talk about opinions. 

We’re here to talk about facts.

Fact: I am not a terrorist.

Fact: I don’t own a gun.

Fact: I don’t want to own a gun.

Fact: I love heavy metal music. Heaviest band I listen to is Meshuggah. Have a listen and let me know if you need something heavier or scarier to make my point. After all, I want you to know that no matter what I’ve listened to, that has not made me a violent person.

Fact: I’m Hispanic, Puerto Rican to be specific. Gun violence in Puerto Rico is through the roof and still I favor stricter gun laws.

And those are the ones that are related to me. Now some other facts.

There have been studies made to determine the effects of video games, pornography, social status, financial situation, race, ethnicity, religion, and several other factors in regards to countless things. They have been allowed and funded, yet somehow, in depth studies in regards to gun violence are apparently blocked incessantly. This isn’t a matter of opinion, this is fact. 

Although it’s debatable whether or not Albert Einstein actually said that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”, the truth in that statement rings true. We’ve studied several other things and are not finding answers that can help us address the situations we are facing. My question is what will it take to make in depth studies of gun violence to see if maybe we find some answers.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Writer Wednesday: Kelly Charron

When she’s not consuming noteworthy amounts of chocolate and true crime television, Kelly Charron is putting words together to build YA tales, adult horror stories, psychological thrillers, and urban fantasy novels. Hailing from Vancouver, British Columbia, this Canadian author has her eyes sets on conquering as many epic stories as she can… and chocolate, always chocolate.

1. Greetings and salutations Kelly. Thanks so much for taking some time to visit this little kooky nook of the blogosphere to spend some time with us. Firstly and foremostly, who is Kelly Charron, how many books does she have out, and why is your cat called Moo Moo? 

Haha. Well, I’m an Aries, I hate long walks on the beach (or anywhere really) and recently discovered I can’t eat gluten. But seriously, I write YA urban fantasy as well as YA and adult thrillers (some more psychological and others a bit more on the horror side). I’ve been a hair stylist and youth social worker but currently work in an elementary school as an education assistant. I’ve been writing for about twelve years and am on book number 6.

I have two thriller books out now, Pretty Wicked and Wicked Fallout that can be purchased everywhere.

Moo Moo evolved from Mui Mui and suits her so much better as she is on the plump side.

2. How have your watching and reading habits influenced what and how you write?

They’ve influenced my writing immensely. I obviously love to watch shows that focus around the supernatural and murder (if they are combined, all the better). When I was researching and drafting the Wicked books I watched a ton of docu-dramas and true crime TV like Dateline and 48 Hours. My main character is a teen serial killer so I also watched far too much Killer Kids, which can be completely disturbing when they get into the reenactments.

I find I love to watch and read the same genres. Suspense, mystery, horror, and thriller mostly. I love to try and capture the tone and ambiance in some of the shows in my writing or attempt to recreate a feeling I’ve had as a viewer with words.

3. Your character Ryann is basically a 15-year-old psychopath; what was your inspiration for Ryann and apart from her age, what makes her stand out from the pack?

I wanted to write a character that was true to my research. I wasn’t interested in creating the villain that was misunderstood. If I was going to make her bad, I was going to go all in with her. What I love about her character is that she doesn’t shy away from who she is. She knows she’s different and that people won’t accept her, but she doesn’t care. When people picture a typical serial killer/psychopath they likely think middle aged white man. Making her a teen girl was an interesting departure for me that I could have a lot of fun with.

Ryann’s voice is so unique. Being in her head keeps the reader on their toes and definitely makes her stand out from other characters. A lot of reviewers have commented that they’ve never read anyone quite like her ;)

4. Going into your writing process, how was the research for this project and what things were extremely particular to this project that definitely fed into the final work?

Besides watching documentaries and reading extensively about psychopaths, sociopaths, teen killers, and serial killers, I had the good fortune to be able to interview a Colorado prosecutor and a woman who worked with child and teen murders. Getting firsthand accounts from them about their experiences with teen offenders was so valuable, as well as being able to fact check the legal areas in my books.

5. Like several authors I’ve had here as of late, you’re on the Creative Edge roster. What can you tell us of that experience and how it’s impacted your writer journey?

It’s been great getting to know the other clients and expanding my professional circle. Having a publicist is so valuable. Creative Edge is able to find my books promotional opportunities that I wouldn’t be able to get on my own. It also allows me the extra time to spend on my writing, which I’m so grateful for. Creative Edge is like a family that has each other’s best interest at heart.

6. Back to your work, even though Ryann is obviously wicked in her own ways, would you say she is empowering?

That’s a tough one. I wouldn’t in good conscience say that she’s empowering because I associate that term with positivity and a serial killer on the loose can’t possibly fit into that category. But Ryann is fun in her own way (she’s not meant to be taken too seriously). There’s a good deal of dark humor in the books which is part of why people feel conflicted about liking and rooting for her.

7. If we had a peak into Ryann’s music playlist, what would be on there and why?

Lots of heavy, angry death metal. Stuff I hate and would never listen to LOL. She’s got some anger issues so I feel like having loud, screaming music would help her get some of that out. In Pretty Wicked she does rock out at one point to some heavy stuff, there might even be some moderate head banging. She doesn’t approve of today’s popular music. You’d never see Taylor Swift on her playlist.

8. Being from British Columbia, I do have to ask, what’s the appeal of setting the story in Colorado?

It’s just where I saw it happening for some reason. I didn’t picture the story in a big city like New York or Chicago. It needed to be a rural small town and Colorado fit perfectly. I have a new adult thriller that I’m writing take place in the Vancouver area, so it’s fun to write about places I’ve actually been to and don’t have to Google.

9. I often ask people who they’d cast for their characters in their books if they made a movie adaptation, but seeing as she’s a young character, what would an actress need to bring to the table to earn the role?

The actress I’d always pictured was from Bates Motel. I think she’s too old for it now ;) Her name is Nicola Peltz and she’s perfect!

10. Many of the thanks for joining us here. Now if people were to want to compare notes on crime shows, chocolate finds, and connect with the author, what’s their best bet?

Thanks for having me!

I love to discuss all the crime and murder! I can be tracked down at:





Find my books at:

Pretty Wicked

Wicked Fallout