Friday, February 8, 2019


These are the songs I hear when I imagine the story as a movie in my head.

They're in order of the scenes they go with in the book.





BOYS - Ashlee Simpson









OBVIOUS - Hey Monday

DOMINO - Jessie J

TINY LITTLE BOWS - Carly Rae Jepsen

LOVE IS ALL AROUND - Joan Jett and the Blackhearts


Sunday, February 3, 2019

Symbolism is so fetch!

Last night I dreamt of Mean Girls again.

Okay not 'again,' but I wanted to open with an homage to "Rebecca," because that's a great opening line from literature and because Rebecca and Regina George have a lot in common. They would have been epic frenemies, at least until they stabbed each other in the back.

Probably literally.

Anyway, so I got to thinking about Mean Girls and I thought about how the theme of high school being like the animal kingdom is taken a lot further in the stage show, which is a good thing. As a writer you should always "build on your premise." Not that Tina Fey did anything badly in the movie, Mean Girls and Tina Fey are amazing.

Shout out to Baby Mama--if you haven't seen it you should, Tina Fey didn't write it but she and Amy Poehler are so awesome in it. Anytime my friends and I pull the car door handle before it's been unlocked, we start shouting about being trapped in your stupid space car!

But I digress.

So I was thinking about Mean Girls and the animal kingdom and all of a sudden my brain caught on to the fact that Cady's last name is "Heron." A heron is a bird and I started to wonder whether the lovely and brilliant Tina Fey had chosen her character names for symbolic reasons.

I hit up the Google machine to try to find whether anyone had written about this before and I couldn't find anything. So if Buzzfeed already has a piece on the symbolic name meanings of Mean Girls characters, I apologize.

I did find an interview where Tina Fey said she likes to use real names in her writing, such as that of her brother's friend Glen Cocco. But that doesn't seem to be the case for the main characters.

Cady Heron

"Cady" in and of itself doesn't seem to carry any symbolic meaning, as the name means "small hill" or "rhythmic flow of sounds." It was however the middle name of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, famous women's rights activists. And since Cady ultimately works to free the women of North Shore High School from oppression, it is quite fitting.

A "heron" is a bird. Apparently they have a habit of pooping when they are startled out of hiding which is...gross. But that habit led to the euphemistic name "shiterow" which was often used to describe a "weak person." And Cady certainly starts out weak in Mean Girls.

Regina George

"Regina" means queen in Latin.

So Regina's name is Queen George.

Coincidence? I think not.

Janis Ian

"Janis" is an alternate spelling of "Janice" which means "God is gracious." Janis is very gracious to Cady when she starts at North Shore.

The spelling choice may possibly be a reference to "Janus" the Roman "God of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, and endings." Janis is Cady's first gateway into friendship at Northshore. Janus is also often represented as a head with two faces, which could represent the duality of who Cady becomes during her journey.

"Ian" also means "God is gracious." Which seems like it would have to be intentional, but you never know. Stranger things happen.

In the musical Janis's last name is changed to Sarkisian, which is an Armenian name that means "Son of Sargis." Tracing it back, "sargis" means "servant" but Janis ain't nobody's servant. (FUN FACT: Sarkisian is Cher's birth last name)

Aaron Samuels

"Aaron" means "high mountain" in Hebrew.

"Samuel" means "name of God" in Hebrew.

I don't think it has any greater meaning, its just a cool, sleek sounding name.

Damian Leigh

"Damian" means "to tame" in Greek, which is interesting because Damian has to "tame" who he is to a certain extent to try to get through his daily life at school.

"Leigh" means "delicate" which could be alluding to his femininity, although I tend to think it's more of an allusion to the actress Vivien Leigh. She played Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind and Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire and was incredibly talented and beautiful. Since Damien is a performer, it would make sense for his name to create an association in your mind with someone like the incredible Vivien Leigh.

In the musical Damian's last name is "Hubbard." Hubbard is a compound of root words that mean both "hug" and "bright" or "famous." All very appropriate words for Damian's personality.

Karen Smith

The root word of the name "Karen" means "pure, unsullied" which is ironic given Karen's reputation. But it has layers to it because even though Karen is known for being "such a slut" she has a pure heart. She is one of the only girls in the story who isn't putting on a mask. Karen is real.

Gretchen Wieners

"Gretchen" means "pearl."

The name "Wieners" is either derived from the German name "Wagner" which means "wagon maker or wagon driver" or a yiddish name meaning "wine merchant."

In my opinion this name is just unique and a little silly. Not really any deeper meaning.

So that's what I learned on my journey to discover the hidden depths of Mean Girls. It sounds like I'm being facetious, but I'm not. The stories that we connect with the most speak to universal truths of life. And the greatest of those stories have layers, so that as we re-read or re-watch them we often discover something new.

The interesting thing is that the greatest layers and symbolism generally don't come about on purpose. Often times you'll ask an author what she or he did to create that symbolism and they'll say they didn't do anything.

When a young man in the 1960s sent letters to famous authors asking about symbolism in their works he received this:

“Do you consciously, intentionally plan and place symbolism in your writing?... If yes, please state your method for doing so. Do you feel you sub-consciously place symbolism in your writing?”
Jack Kerouac: "No."

Plus people are often going to read things into your work that you never intended to be there. For instance, there are those who see symbolism about the young woman's menstrual cycle in Dorothy's ruby slippers in the film version of The Wizard of Oz (in L. Frank Baum's books the shoes were silver).

The reason the shoes were made red for the film was to show off the new Technicolor color film technology. But it's okay for people to see things in your work that you didn't necessarily put there.

That's the beauty of art, it's a two way street, heck often it's more like a major, multi-lane highway. There is give and take between the artist, the creation and the audience, and that is a wonderful, exciting, beautiful thing.

So whether or not Tina Fey did these things intentionally, or whether they came about naturally through the glory of the creative process or whether I've just totally pulled this out of my rear end and splattered it onto the page, is only a small part of the whole.

So go out and create my pretties, being able to create is one of the glories of being a human being.


Wednesday, September 19, 2018


What if every day you woke up as someone new?
Every day a new past, every day a new life.
Except for one thing: always the same love.
But what if one day you woke up and you were no one at all?
Ellie Coleman has been erased from existence and now she must fight for the love that no longer knows her and the life that is no longer her own.
What if you had to choose?
Be erased and save the world…or live and let it burn.

Coming to CinderQ magazine this Fall!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Cupid's Kiss COMING SOON!

Coming soon from Rogue Phoenix Press!

Cupid was real, and his descendants still walk the earth. Their magical matchmaking abilities don’t come from arrows though, but from their spit. 

Sixteen year old Amanda Amoretto is one of those descendants and she doesn’t believe in love. After all, if her spit can make people fall in love, it’s just a silly chemical reaction right? It isn’t anything real.

Until she meets a boy she just can’t get off her mind. The problem is that if she kisses him, he’ll fall under her Cupid love spell, which will make it impossible to have a genuine relationship. Her life gets turned upside down, as the girl who always overthinks everything finds herself becoming a slave to her feelings.

Will Amanda be able to resist her feelings? Does she even want to? Even if it means living a lie?

Read the first chapter before the book comes out! 

Check out the other great titles Rogue Phoenix has to offer at!

Friday, March 11, 2016

I want to thank Rogue Phoenix Press for agreeing to publish my young adult novelette CUPID'S KISS. I'm very excited to be working with Christine Young and the team, and will post the cover and release date info soon!

You can check out their wide array of ebooks and print on demand titles at

And you can check out their blog at