Category Archives: Uncategorized

Two Weeks ’til Party Time

Dear everyone, this is not a drill!

NOUMENON’s US release is just two weeks away! The UK release is even closer!

Noumenon_comp3    noumenon -- UK cover

*cue the screaming*

There is still time to preorder, and I will love you forever if you do! The above images are linked to Amazon US and Amazon UK respectively, and here is your Barnes and Noble linkage.  Or, you can preorder it direct from your local book store, if you want to support your local businesses.

Also, if you live in the Northwest Arkansas area, I want you to come join me for the launch party! There will be cupcakes, door prizes, my face, story time…lots of cool stuff and even cooler people if you’re there!

The party is walk in, 5-7pm, at Nightbird Books on Dickson St. in Fayetteville.

You see this?

prime invite 1

It is your official invitation! There are hard copies of these flyers scattered around Fayetteville (in your favorite game stores, Nightbird Books, and at the Retro Arcade). If you happen to find one you will notice that there’s a door prize ticket attached. You’ll get another at the party, but don’t forget to bring your flier with the attached ticket to double your chances!

Everyone is welcome at the party, so bring friends, bring family, bring that coworker you’ve been trying to get to know better.

But most importantly, bring book lovers!

See you there!

Happy reading.

~Marina

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Bye Bye 2016

Like sand through the hour glass, so are the days of 2016.  But this year, I’d say it doesn’t serve us to simply turn the glass over and start again.  We need new ingredients.  New sands.  New Magics.  More science.

Here’s wishing everyone a wondrous 2017.  Keep fighting, keep growing, keep achieving, keep dreaming, and keep reading.  We can all be better people tomorrow than we were yesterday.

Ten O Clock Magic small

So long, 2016.

And if you’re looking for one more hit of feels out of this year, consider reading my story You are Not a Metaphor, published in Flash Fiction Online this year.  (That’s my subtle way of saying it’s award-eligible.)

~Marina

 

Places to Give Love and Support

Back when I failed the ALS ice-bucket challenge (because ice-cold water + head = crippling migraine), I donated to the ALS Association (http://www.alsa.org/) and spent a little while drawing your attention to other worthy establishments.

If you are in the giving mood right now, for whatever reason–needing to spread joy, needing to help ensure safety, needing to effect change, what have you–please consider the following.

 

RAINN (https://rainn.org/): This is the nation’s largest anit-sexual violence organization.

From their ‘about’ page: “RAINN operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE, online.rainn.org y rainn.org/es) in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.”

 

The National Suicide Prevention Life Line (http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/): This is run by The Mental Health Association of New York City, with support from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, and others.

From their ‘about’ page: “The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States. The Lifeline is comprised of a national network of over 160 local crisis centers, combining custom local care and resources with national standards and best practices.”

 

NWA Women’s Shelter (http://nwaws.org/ ): This is my local women’s shelter, serving all of Northwest Arkansas.

From their ‘about’ page: “The Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter provides free emergency shelter, food, and clothing to victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault. We provide a free 24-hour crisis phone line and services to clients. We also offer court advocacy, Spanish bilingual services, children’s advocacy and programming, community education, support groups, counseling, and a volunteer program.

“Domestic violence does not discriminate; therefore, our clients are from across all demographics in terms of age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, and educational background. We assist any person who meets the criteria for emergency intervention and assistance due to domestic violence or sexual assault.”

 

The NWA Food Bank (http://www.nwafoodbank.org/): This is my local food bank.

From their ‘about’ page:

“The Northwest Arkansas Food Bank was founded in 1988 as a 501(c)(3) non profit organization to serve four Northwest Arkansas counties by providing an affordable and credible food source to our partner agencies serving the hungry.

The NWA Food Bank currently has about 180 partner agencies ranging from food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and many more. Since 1988, the NWA Food Bank has grown to serve 180 partner agencies and distributed 8.2 million pounds of food in 2016.”

 

If you’d like to help shelters and food banks in your own community, a simple google search should heed results, or you can take a look at a handy dandy in-network map like the one provided by Feeding America: http://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank/.

 

Thank you.

<3Marina

 

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Happy 4th!

Hope everyone celebrating has a safe and fun Independence Day (speaking of, if you haven’t seen Independence Day: Resurgence yet, I recommend it if you are into crazy stupid fun, cuz it’s crazy stupid fun).

Go forth, light things on fire responsibly, eat cheap food, and have a blast.

 

image.

(Note: above Supernatural gif depicts irresponsible firework usage, please do not hold Roman Candles and the like while lit.  Save your fingers and your face.)

~Marina

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Realized I haven’t posted anything in forever!  Sorry about that.  So, here’s a piece of personal art I did a little bit ago, just for the heck of it.  I call it Ten ‘O Clock Magic.

 

Ten O Clock Magic small

Because midnight might be the witching-hour, but it doesn’t have the market cornered on enchanted time.

~Marina

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Happy Omnomnom Day

Happy Thanksgiving, also known as American Omnomnom Day.  Hope you’re stuffing your face responsibly.  Stay safe, stay thankful, and stay classy.  To inspire you to turkey-day greatness, I leave you with these:

First:

copious amounts of alchohol

Then:

sweet potatos

Then:

omnonmnom

dean eating

dean eating 2

Finally:

dean says pieleave me some pieget me piepie2that was my piecas need pie

And after all that, finish the day with a hardy helping of:

sleep

~Marina

 

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Goodbye, Sir Pratchett

Terry Pratchett died today, after battling with dementia.  This news struck me very personally on two fronts.  Firstly as a reader.  I adore Terry Pratchett’s work, especially his Discworld novels, and will surely continue to appreciate them for time innumerable.

Secondly, his death has brought to the forefront just how deeply my life has been touched by dementia.  In 2010 I lost my maternal grandfather to Alzheimer’s, about a month before my wedding.  He was too sick to travel, so we hadn’t planned on him attending, but it was still a large emotional blow to an otherwise happy time.  My maternal grandmother also has dementia (a different form), which has taken away nearly all of her communication skills and sense of situational awareness.  Though she is otherwise a very healthy woman, she doesn’t have much of a grasp on where she is, when she is, or who she is with.

My mother has been a caretaker of dementia patients for the last decade.  My great-grandmother lived in the same household prior to passing away in early 2010, so my mom at one point was helping to care for all three of them.  She has seen her parents slowly seep from their bodies, which is something no child should ever have to do.  I am terrified that, one day, I might have to do the same for her.

When I interview cover artists for my spotlight articles in Nightmare Magazine, I always ask this question: What scares you the most?

My answer is dementia.  Losing my sense of self, my memories, and my ability to communicate with the world is my biggest fear.

According to the CDC, Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the US. The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America supports research and education, but is especially focused on backing caregivers and helping them to ensure a good quality of life for those they care for. You can find them at http://www.alzfdn.org/ (They are accredited by the Better Business Bureau’s ‘wise giving alliance.’  The BBB’s report on the organization can be found at give.org).  Their site is worth checking out if you’d like to learn more about Alzheimer’s specifically, and I suggest donating to them if you find their cause worth-while.

To those suffering from dementia, know that there are people who love you and want the best for you.  It’s a scary, harsh disease, but there are those out there looking for a cure.

To those caring for a dementia patient, thank you.  Caregiving is often an underappreciated job.  It’s stressful, and time consuming, and sometimes undignified for both you and the person you’re caring for.  Thank you for all the hard work you do, and for giving so much of your life to another’s safety and wellbeing.

To Sir Terry Pratchett, I’m sorry I never got to meet you.  You used humor to highlight serious subjects.  Comedy can be used to as both an attention getter, and as a salve–which is a lesson I also learned from my great-grandmother.  Sometimes you have to laugh, or else you’ll cry.

We laughed at my grandfather’s funeral.  Telling silly stories about him was the best way to honor his memory.  There were tears aplenty, but also smiles; it was a very cathartic experience.

On that note, here’s a little cartoon to brighten everyone’s day, and honor the man who built a silly, flat world to make us think:

(To quote the announcement from his twitter account,)

AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER.

Death and Terry small new by MJNL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~Marina

 

 

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Jim Baen Memorial Writing Award Finalists

Just a quick post to let y’all know I made the finalist list for this year’s Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest.  Whoohoo!  Lots of great writers right there with me, so the competition is at least as stiff as last year, if not stiffer!  The list includes:

Robert Dawson

John Eckelkamp

C. Stuart Hardwick

Jamie Lackey

Stanley Love

Angus McIntyre

Karen Birkedahl Rylander

Shawn Scarber

Martin L. Shoemaker

And… me.

Link to the Locus announcement: http://www.locusmag.com/News/2015/02/2015-jim-baen-memorial-award-finalists/

~Marina

Artist Spotlight Interview: Tran Nguyen

Tran Nguyen is a Georgia-based gallery artist and freelance illustrator. Born in Vietnam and raised in the States, she is fascinated by visuals that can be used as a psycho-therapeutic support vehicle.

MJNL: Your art has been featured in many publications, including Spectrum, and you’ve done work for high-profile businesses such as Tor, Hatchet, McDonald’s, and Playboy Magazine.  You’ve also had many gallery exhibitions. To what do you attribute your success?

TN: It’s absolutely all because of my selfless family.  I know it may sound super-saiyan cheesy, but my parents brought my brothers and I to the States with absolutely nothing at hand.  Since we’ve moved here from Vietnam in 1990, I’ve seen my dad work in harsh conditions for meager pay so that I could have a better lifestyle, attend a wonderful school, and pursue my artistic endeavors (which is uncommon in Vietnam).  In witnessing their endless devotion and hard work, I can’t but be inspired to work just as hard and make them proud as well as myself.

To learn more about Tran, and to see a gallery of her work, click on the cover below.

th_a0580aaeccec739569f2502c0aa86498_nightmare_28_january_2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confessions of an #IceBucketChallenge Loser

I’m an #IceBucketChallenge Loser.

I was tagged for the Ice Bucket Challenge–which, if you don’t know, is a viral campaign aimed at raising both awareness and money for the ALSA (http://www.alsa.org/)–by my brother. I’ll have to concede, as rapid temperature changes of the skin and scalp (like those caused by, I donno, a bucket of ice water on a hot day…) are one of my migraine triggers. However, my conciliatory donation to the ALS Association has been made.

This challenge has become a phenomenon, and I’m glad to have participated in it (even as a loser). While we’re all thinking about giving and supporting those with difficult medical conditions, I’d thought it would be nice to consider a few other foundations that could always use help.

1. Relay for Life is an annual run in which teams commit to participating in a relay in order to raise money for the American Cancer Society. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone whose life was not touched by cancer in some way. You can find out more about running and donating at http://www.relayforlife.org/

2. Operation Smile helps fund surgeries for kids with cleft lips and cleft palates. This medical condition isn’t simply an aesthetic problem. Many children who suffer from cleft palates cannot eat properly, and one in ten children with the deformity dies before turning one (many of malnutrition): http://www.operationsmile.org/

3. The American Heart Association supports heart disease research, education, and provides tools individuals can use for staying healthy and active. Heart disease is a general term that covers a myriad of cardiovascular conditions, which are, collectively, the number one cause of death in the US: http://www.heart.org/

4. Alzheimer’s is a frightening disease that strips the sufferer of who they are long before it kills them. According to the CDC, it is the sixth leading cause of death in the US. The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America supports research, education, but is especially focused on backing caregivers and helping them to ensure a good quality of life for those they care for. http://www.alzfdn.org/

5. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the US. There are several different types of diabetes, all with their own causes and sets of symptoms. What ties them together is the sufferer’s inability to properly produce insulin (which helps the body regulate its glucose levels). http://www.diabetes.org/

And, last on my #IceBucketLoser list: Any guesses as to the tenth leading cause of death in the US? It’s suicide. The CDC tallied nearly 40,000 cases in 2010. Anxiety and Depression disorders are among some of the most treatable medical problems in the world, yet according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, only one third of sufferers ever receive any treatment–let alone the treatment they need. The ADAA supports better education, understanding, research, and treatment of a variety of anxiety disorders, from depression to PTSD to OCD. http://www.adaa.org/

~Marina

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