Pondering Changes

The Spirits of YuleAs those who follow me regularly know, I’ve been doing some thinking about where I want to take my writing. I’m finding that some of my interests are changing, and while I still love The Lord of the Rings and Raymond E. Feist’s work, I’m finding that some of my passion for fantasy as a whole has diminished. It isn’t gone, by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m finding the folklore far more interesting, much like I did years ago. There’s sense of reality to it and a relevance to daily life that fascinates me.

There are some things in the process of changing in my life, and I wonder if that has something to do with the shifting interests. It also leads me to wonder if I want to make some major changes to my website, to remove some of the history and details of the world of Grevared. That mostly comes from a comment a friend of mine made along the lines of “do you really think anyone wants to read pages of boring history?” I actually do, so it’s included. But I wonder if it needs to be there.

Aliyah Melton Stephens ObituaryI’m also finding work on Aliyah’s Tears fascinating. The epistolary style isn’t one I had even considered before, but it’s challenging and interesting. I’m working to include newspaper articles, medical records, and the like along with diary entries, emails, letters, and texts. There’s a lot that goes into that, and it’s as much fun as creating a fantasy world. I wonder how far I can take this and how it will be received when completed.

Of course, the flip side to that is the The Spirits of Yule is almost completed and ready to release. I haven’t decided if I want to release it when it’s finished or if I want to wait until closer to the holidays. It brings me back to the world of Grevared, a world that I’ve enjoyed working in for the last five years. There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to give it up, and I doubt I ever will completely.

I suppose the short version is that I’m re-evaluating some things. If there are those who have recommendations or suggestions about what you’d like to see, please sing out. I’d love to hear what my readers like and what their interests are.

Best wishes!




Aliyah’s Tears – Playing Around

Aliyah Melton Stephens ObituaryI’m still working on Aliyah’s Tears, and it’s still in the developmental phase, at least partially. To help myself with the story and some of the elements I want to bring into it, I created some newspaper articles that are relevant to the story. I’m not sure yet if they’ll all be used or if they will be images or text, but they were fun to work on.

They take place at different points in the story, though most of these are further in the past, things that occurred in the years before Aliyah met Victoria and Roxxie. The only exception is Aliyah’s obituary, which begins the story and is the reason for Victoria and Roxxie reconnecting.

They still need a bit of cleaning up, and the information in the articles may change a bit. A lot of it will depend on how the story goes and if it goes to plan.


Best wishes!



Abernathy Paper Closes June 1999

Melton Family Home Burns

Teenagers found Dead Chester Cross Herald 1986


Aliyah’s Tears-Snippet

CoverA few weeks ago I posted the first entry to Aliyah’s Tears, so I thought I’d give you a sneak peek at the next couple this week. This is an early draft and unedited.

Best wishes!




Jan 20

Hey, Tori. Bet you can’t guess who this is?


It’s Roxxie. I got your letter and decided you had a point. Not sure I like the cell phone, but…

It’s about time.

I’m easing into the 21st century.

Let’s be real. You aren’t easing. You were dragged kicking and screaming.

Lol. True. I have email, too. I’ll send one so you can log the address.


I know what you mean about Aliyah. I never knew much, either.

Do you know where she went after school?

Nope. But I plan to find out.

I don’t know. I feel weird caring now that she’s dead.

Yeah. Still. Maybe there’s a story there.

Lol. You and your stories. Are you ever gonna finish one?

Eventually. Got to do some research.

Let me know if I can help.

Will do. Well, gotta book. Heading off in the morning.

Where are you heading?

*shrug* Wherever I wind up. 🙂

*sigh* Take me with you.

Pack your bag.

You know I can’t.

I know you won’t.

Have fun.

Always. 🙂


To: Roxxie Starfall

From: Victoria Carson

Date: February 4 02:14:33 EST

Subject: Howdy

Hey Rox,

How’s it going wherever you are?

It’s the same here. Well, mostly.

The weirdest thing happened the other day. You remember that bakery downtown? The one that had the orgasmic chocolate chip cookies? Well, the old lady that runs the place is still kicking, so I stopped in for some cookies for me and the kids. You won’t believe who I saw.

It was Aliyah’s brother. It’s odd that I ran into him when I never had before. Of course, I could’ve run into him a billion times and never known it.
Anyway, he was in there getting coffee and saw me. He seemed a bit sad but not broken or anything. I don’t guess he would be since he wasn’t sure if he should even have a funeral or not. He wanted to talk about Aliyah, and I didn’t have the heart to say no. It went something like this.

“I found her journal,” Charles said. “Raymond and Christopher want to just throw it out, but I thought you might want it.” He paused for a moment as if he were uncomfortable.

“The whole thing is letters to you and Roxxie, as far as I can tell.”

My heart stopped. Aliyah had written to me over the years? I couldn’t believe it, and I wished more than anything that she had mailed them instead of putting them in a journal. “Thank you,” I replied. I sighed. “I spent years as her friend, but I don’t feel like I ever got to know her.”

Charles chuckled, but it wasn’t from humor. There was a hard edge to the sound, much like Aliyah’s laughs, that told me far more than he thought. “I don’t think anyone got to know Aliyah. Even as a kid she was closed up. An enigma, Mom always called her.” He paused, and I could picture him shaking his head. “I don’t know. I was thirteen when she was born, so there’s a lot of her life I missed, but the others say she spent most of her time alone. Never went out. Never had a lot of friends.”

We talked for another moment, then arranged for me to pick up the journal.

You said there might be a story in Aliyah’s death, so I wrote it out that way. Remember the stories we used to write in college? God, I miss those days. I wanted so much from my life, Rox, but it just didn’t happen. Now I’m too old and too tired. I wish I could be more like you and just throw caution to the wind and go for it. It’s not like the kids really need me anymore, and I think it’s hurting more than helping for me to stay around. I think they need to be left alone if they’re gonna grow up.

Anyway, I started reading the diary, and you won’t believe the stuff that’s in it. I haven’t had time to get far, but check out some of this. There are some pages sticking out of it that look like they came from some kind of kid’s journal or something. They’re cute, but I can’t imagine the Aliyah we knew having anything like it. It gives a whole new picture of her, and I wish more than ever that we had spent more time getting to know her when she was alive. Why is it that we only come to realize things about a person once they’re dead?

I attached scans of some of the journal pages. Read them and let me know what you think. I think it’s some wacked out shit.

Have fun.


Snippet Sunday

CoverI shared the cover of a WIP, Aliyah’s Tears, last week, so I thought I’d share a snippet of the work this week.

Aliyah’s Tears is written in the epistolary style and is told through communication between Roxxie and Victoria, two college friends who’ve stayed in touch. I’m still working on distinguishing their voices from each other, but here’s a little bit from the beginning.

Best wishes!




Aliyah’s Tears

January 12

Hey Roxxie,

You know, it would make my life easier if you’d get a cell phone. Hell, even an email address would help. Why do you insist on written letters? It’s not like you’re in one place long enough to get them. Please consider coming into the modern world. I know you don’t want to, but technology is here to stay, dear heart, whether you want it to or not.
It was good to see you last month. I wish it had been a happier occasion, though. It was too bad about Aliyah. Do you remember her back in college? Back when we all roomed together? I’d thought about using her as a character in a book and had written this about her.

I’ll never forget the first time I saw her. Frightenly beautiful, yes, but cold. Hard. As if her bones were steel girders and her heart a stone that beat ice water. My opinion of her never changed, not in all the years we were acquainted. Yet I never once doubted her loyalty or fortitude.

I think that sums up the way I thought about her. I’ll never forget that first day when she walked in with the designer jeans and her hair in that braid that must’ve taken hours to do. *shakes head* I guess we were mean to laugh behind her back, especially since she wasn’t stuck up at all. She was cold, yes, and hard to get to know. I don’t think I ever found out any more about her than that she had three or four brothers. What about you? Do you know any more about her? I guess it’s weird that I’m only wondering now.
Anyhoo, I guess I’d better stick this in the mail while I still know where to send it. I just hope it gets to you before you head off on your next adventure.
I wish I could go with you, but I just can’t get away from work right now.

Have fun.

Write soon.

Love you, girl.

Pondering Direction

The Spirits of YuleI’ve been doing some thinking about my writing lately. That’s why I haven’t been nearly as active on social media. I’m trying to decide on a direction, for I think I’m spread too thin.

I’m one of those eclectic readers/authors who likes to do so many things that I can’t keep track of all of them.

I love fantasy, and I love the world of Grevared. If I could get there, I’d pack my bags and leave now. I have so many ideas that span all age groups that my head spins when I think about them. I have a spreadsheet and all of my ideas are organized, but I don’t know which one to pursue first.

I also love mythology and folklore, and I’d like nothing more than to lock myself in a library with tons of books and research until I’m a skeleton turning to dust. I want to delve into the mysteries of ancient times and see where we came from.

I’m also a horror junkie, and, let’s face it, some days horror is just the way to go. Writing it is a cathartic exercise, and I’ve often wondered how many people have escaped prison by writing it. I don’t care much for horror novels, though, so most of my horror is short stories.

Then there are mysteries. I love trying to figure out who did what and when. I love the relaxing atmosphere created by cozy mysteries, and there is plenty of room to mix in my love of mythology and folklore.

CoverSo, at this point, I have no idea what I want to do and where I want to go. I know I’ll release The Spirits of Yule later this year, and I’m hoping to complete the anthologies Rise of the Mad Gods and a horror one. With the horror, I haven’t decided if a current WIP will be part of it or not. It’s a ‘wait and see’ thing right now.

So, as spring approaches and a new cycle begins, I’ll be doing some thinking while I pursue the writing.

Best wishes!





Thought for the Day

I talk a lot about the importance of fairy tales and other forms of folklore and why they should have a front row seat in our lives.

I came across this song yesterday. It’s one I had forgotten about. It sums up my thoughts perfectly.


Best wishes!



My Guilty Pleasure-Cozy Mysteries

pencil on white smartcase near eyeglasses
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

First and foremost I’m a fantasy junkie. I love the worlds and the characters and the magic that comes with them. I love fairy tales and legends and myths, and there’s nothing better than reading through religious texts of all kinds. However, my love of fantasy wasn’t indulged beyond classics and Dorrie the Witch until I was a young teenager.

When I was younger, Sherlock Holmes was my hero. I read every story Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote about him, and I had this awesome game called Consulting Detective that had maps and clues and all kinds of things. It wasn’t a board game; it was more role playing. There was a “case” that needed to be solved, and the players had to move through London to figure out the answers. I still have it around here somewhere.

But Sherlock Holmes wasn’t the only one.

My aunt had the entire Nancy Drew series. She also had The Hardy Boys and The Bobsey Twins. I read them all. Then there were The Three Investigators, and, yes, I even loved Encyclopedia Brown.

As an adult, I still love mysteries. Most recently, I read the four Caster and Fleet Mysteries by Liz Hedgecock and Paula Harmon. I have to say I loved them. They’re set in the late Victorian era, and Connie and Katherine are hilarious. They move at a good pace, and the twists and turns kept me interested until the end.

For me, mysteries are a different kind of vacation. As someone who loves books and crafting, their connection to those makes them even more entertaining. They’re perfect for a rainy Sunday when I just want to kick back and do nothing.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Best wishes!

Lissa Dobbs



What’s in the Works

Escape CoverIt’s been a busy few weeks, but I think things are settling down a bit. I’ve managed to get some writing done, more than I have in the past few months.

I finished the first draft of a short story titled “Becoming Real” this afternoon, and The Spirits of Yule is with a reader right now.

I’m also almost finished with another short story in the Rise of the Mad Gods series and hope to release all of the stories in one volume in a few months. To that effect, the stories have been pulled from Amazon and other platforms. My plan is to go back through them again and make sure they’re as good as I can make them.

The Chronicles of Kayne Soulton: Escape is coming along, but middle schoolers will be middle schoolers, and the gang is just not doing what I need them to do. I’ve posted snippets from the beginning of the story before (check out my Facebook author page), and I know where I want the story to go. It’s just a matter of getting there.

I also have a few things I’m working on outside of Grevared, but I can’t predict a timeline at this point.

All in all, I think I have my work cut out for me for this year, and I’m looking forward to making some progress.

Thank you to those who’ve taken a chance on my books and continue to stop by every week to see what’s going on.

Best wishes!