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Rejection bites. That’s the plain and simple truth.

Writers pour our hearts into stories. We revise the heck out of them. Then we submit/query and repeat until hopefully, someone finally thinks that we have something worth publishing.

Unless you’re some sort of literary genius whose work always gets accepted on the very first submission, it can become quite a discouraging process. Rejections are a solid blow to the ego. They make us question whether we possess talent or not. Whether we should keep trying or not.

It takes persistence and gumption to achieve any meaningful goal. …


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MY RUDE, SCARY AWAKENING ABOUT MY HEALTH

There is nothing more terrifying than being 42 years old, looking at your own blood test results, and immediately realizing that you could have a heart attack and die at any given moment.

Even though my doctor’s note on the results promised that we will be having a very serious discussion about my numbers at my next appointment, I didn’t need to wait for her to explain why. The numbers are bad enough for me to get a clear picture of what’s going on with my body, without it being explained in layperson-terms.

I am currently a Type 2 Diabetic. I already know I have high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I take medications for those conditions. Even so, my numbers are scarily high and every indicator suggests I very well could be at death’s door right now and not even know it. …


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Let’s forget for a minute, the grand old argument of whether or not there really is such a thing as Writer’s Block. Let’s acknowledge, though, that as writers, we all have moments when we fall into creative slumps.

From time to time, we find ourselves down in the dumps and uninspired. At those times, you we can’t seem to summon the wherewithal to write.

Sound familiar?

Recently, I found myself in one such rut again but this time, I decided to brainstorm ways to overcome the mental blocks that were keeping me from writing. …


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Some time ago, writers all over the Internet got outraged over an article declaring that unless you write every day, you’re not a real writer. I absolutely do not share this article’s sentiment. After all, writing is something you do out of love, not some twisted sense of obligation.

Different people have different circumstances, so it’s never very clever to cast a wide net when it comes to what’s best for every writer out there. …


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Some time ago, I went to the beach and learned something valuable that really stuck with me. I was knee deep in the water.

The waves were rough. It was hard to stand in the water without getting knocked off my feet. In fact, I did at one point. It was a little frightening because getting back up without getting dragged under by the crushing waves was harder than I expected.

Somehow, I regained my footing. I wanted to go deeper out but non-swimmer that I am, I didn’t dare with those boisterous waves knocking me about.

That could have been the end of it. …


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This is a story about that one time I thought I was being chased by a creature from Jamaican mythology called a rolling calf.

Please, let me explain:

In Jamaican folklore, a rolling calf is a sort of demonic calf-like beast that roams along roadways, terrorizing hapless travelers at night. In the stories that I heard while growing up, anyone who encountered the rolling calf would hear the shudder-worthy clanking of its chains.

Now, this next bit isn’t really canon, but I’m guessing that at some point during some telling, some storyteller must have included the clippity-clopping of its feet among the terrifying sounds you would hear. …


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It all started with ignoring my alarm clock.

I have my work/writing pace and basically the rest of my whole life crammed into an 8x8 room at the moment. I use more space for writing and work than anything else and don’t really consider sleeping comfortably the highest of my priorities, so a have a teenie, tiny bed crammed into said small space.

I don’t know what I was dreaming about this morning when I fell back asleep after my alarm went off (yes, it was one of those mornings) but I must have been pretty restless… that or subconsciously trying to get my lazy butt out of bed. …


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I work full time and I have private health insurance through my job. This means that when it comes to needing medical care, I should have no problems, right? Not true. You see, my health insurance carries a massive deductible that must by paid out of pocket by me before they will cover my medical expenses.

In July 2020 I ended up in the emergency room again. The cost of that single visit during which I waited five hours to be seen for about five to ten minutes at a time by three different providers, including the doctor was a whopping $24,000. …


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“I don’t have any beautiful memories.”

The woman who uttered those words perched on the cracked edge of Nedra’s leather chair with all the grace of a Queen of Sheba. She leaned forward. Tiny diamonds crested at the curves of her eyebrows, making her over-large eyes seem abnormally bright, almost predatory. “It’s occurred to me,” she murmured. “That shouldn’t be the case.”

Nedra peered at her prospective client through bleary, caffeine-deprived eye-slits.

The woman’s eyeshadow was a delicate blend of red and blue, creating a beautifully bruised-seeming hue. Her slightly swollen lips were painted bloody burgundy. She wore a glittery silver sheathe of a dress that clung to her delicate bones. The fluffy boa tossed carelessly over her shoulders matched her lipstick to a tee. …


I remember sitting on my great-uncle’s verandah as a kid, watching Star Trek through the living room’s glass-paned window. I remember the voice of Captain Jean Luc Picard speaking of exploring strange, new worlds and seeking out new civilizations, of boldly going where no one has gone before.

Hearing those words for the very first time, I remember, I was electrified. I was somewhere between eight and ten years old, that day I first fell truly, deeply in love with science fiction.

I remember a land of twisted rivers, seething hills, lush valleys and the gloriously salty sea air — the breathtaking island of Jamaica, where I was raised. …

About

Tonya Moore

Tonya R. Moore is a speculative fiction writer based in Sarasota, Florida. She recently became Poetry Acquiring Editor at FIYAH Literary Magazine.

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