B2BCyCon: Horror Therapy

BloodSpring2Fiction, particularly horror, allows us to handle our real life monsters. Think of it like role play therapy—if you are afraid of spiders, writing an apocalyptic nightmare of spiders forming a hive mind and taking over the world would be cathartic. It’s overkill of your fear, but you are in control.

To write my latest book, Escape Claws, I went to a hypnotherapist and underwent brainspotting to locate a writing block. I can write thousands of words on cue on any topic, but I have never been able to write about personal events.

Under his therapy, I was able to locate the source of the block—a fear of being called a liar. I overcame that fear, and that block, and was able to finally record some of my memories regarding haunted houses I grew up in.

There were many experiences like these, but I have limited my focus to just four houses. I have published or been included in nearly 30 books, but Escape Claws is my first memoir. I’m tentative to share these things that come not from my imagination, but my experience.

Escape Claws frontWritten in impartial narrative to state the facts, I share the emotional states in poetry. Real photos of the houses are also included, though I did withhold addresses for privacy of the new tenants.

The purpose of this book is to open up the closet and show the boogieman for what he is.  “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less,” said Marie Curie. Here’s to light and understanding… if we dare.

Welcome Brain to Books Cyber Convention and Book Expo-ers! My name is Angela Yuriko Smith, and today I’m releasing my latest book, Escape Claws, a study of four haunted houses from my childhood written in narrative and poetry.

I will be giving away signed paperback copies of both Escape Claws and In Favor of Pain during the convention giveaways, the scavenger hunt and more. Explore, meet new friends and discover amazing new authors all weekend long.

Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter for updates, follow me on Amazon and find me on Facebook. You can move on to the next blog in the Walk with the Monsters Blog Hop by clicking here. Enjoy Girl Zombie, and thanks for visiting and come back soon.

Stalk the Monsters Horror Scavenger Hunt: Here’s your challenge. On this blog find an image of a girl climbing out of a well. What is the name of that book’s title? Submit your answer HERE ONLY on the Horror blog hop page.

For the entire Blog Hop list you can check out the B2BCyCon Blog Hop Page (scroll until you find the horror listing)  or the B2BCyCon Horror Page.



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Prompts II: Poetry

Another fantastic class! Can you believe we only have two weeks left already? Time has flown by. Today’s prompt, for all those of you who need it—

I stand on the edge of the world— stars above, sea below….

The assignment is to finish this in a poem. Of course, be creative, break the rules, use this literally or figuratively. For inspiration, here’s an image quote I found online years ago I love.


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Rescuing Humans

If you are in need of rescue, New Beginnings Animal Refuge at Niceville Animal Clinic can help. There are dogs waiting to rescue you every day.

Rescued a Human

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Party Online: Brain to Books Cyber Convention

Brain2Books crpThis weekend the party will be online and you can attend in your pajamas. The Brain to Books Cyber Convention and Book Expo will be kicking off Friday, April 7 with all kinds of events ranging from mass book and swag giveaways to webinars on the craft. My new book, Escape Claws, will be one of the featured books and I’ll be making an appearance on GoIndieNow with Joe Compton.

Speaking of Escape Claws,* did I mention it will be available on Amazon April 7? This book has been one of the most involved and painful things I’ve written to date. Concerning this book, I oscillate between periods of elation and loathing. I am not new to sharing my personal details with the world, but as an author, this book feels like adolescence all over again.

I am offering advance reader pdf copies for anyone who may be interested in reviewing. Click this link to contact me and I will send you a copy. Below, is the title poem.

*it’s a writer thing. Forgive me. It’s like having a new baby.

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Weather Warning: Class Canceled

Due to inclement weather, this is where I will be spending the day. Fine by me.

Due to inclement weather, this is where I will be spending the day. Fine by me.

Everyone in today’s creative writing class should have a voice mail or a call from me canceling today’s class due to dangerous weather conditions. That means we all get a free day—not. Thanks to the miraculous power of blogging, here’s the homework assignment for next Monday.

Today’s work was to present a timeline based on the story element of plot. We will go over those next week, so anyone behind gets an extra week to catch up. The new story element we were going to work on today is conflict, presented as a poem.

“In works of narrative, conflict is the opposition main characters must face to achieve their goals. Traditionally, conflict is a major literary element that creates tension and interest in a story by adding doubt as to the outcome. A narrative is not limited to a single conflict.” —from Wikipedia

Since National Poetry Week just began, this assignment fits in with everything and we have achieved balance and harmony in our corner of the world. I finally broke down and bought a printer so I could bring some helpful information on building conflict to class. Instead, I’ll just link those below.

I look forward to seeing you next Monday. In the meantime, stay safe and enjoy your week.

Links for good conflict:


Creating Conflict with a Purpose by C.S. Lakin

5 Tools for Building Conflict in Your Novel by  James Scott Bell


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The Grueling Week of “Claws”

Blood to inkI’ve been hard at work since last week finishing up the final work on Escape Claws, due to be released April 7.

I’ve gotten caught up in a few other projects over the past month,and Claws was behind schedule. Sometime midweek, as my blurry, computer strained eyes blinked feebly at the setting sun, I worried I’d finish in time.

Escape Claws frontThe good news is, yes, everything is good to go. Escape Claws will be making appearances all weekend long at the Brain to Books Cyber Convention and Book Expo, including cover wars and a spot with Joe Live on his show.

Why do we publish? What inspires someone to spend 16 straight hours at their computer, enduring butt cramps and eye strain? T.S. Eliot said “The purpose of literature is to turn blood into ink.”

That’s how I feel tonight, as the final corrections upload to Amazon. Happy, satisfied but bled dry.

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Submit: Tap Lit, Crestview Library… & a poem :)

The Crestview Public Library is asking readers to submit their favorite prompt or writing starter to be posted on their tumblr blog during April. Be sure to include your contact and social media information as well as the source of your inspiration.  See their tumblr blog, Facebook page or the library’s website for more information.

|tap| lit mag is paying $25 for poetry and prose by marginalized voices on the themes of trauma, mental health, and social justice. Visit their submissions page for full details.

I thought it appropriate to begin National Poetry Month with a poem…about poets… written by, obviously, a poet. His name is William L. Gent, and he was my interview March 27.  Thank you, Bill, for sharing this poem here today.



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National Poetry Month begins…

poetry-in-garden-web11Happy National Poetry Month! Beginning tomorrow, it’s all about the verse and there are a lot of ways to celebrate including some special open mic events.

I’ll be running interviews with poets, reviewing poetry books and giving some away all month long.

  • April 5, 7 p.m.—Say the Word with the editors of Panoplyzine, a Pensacola-based online poetry publication.
  • April 7—Escape Claws, my book of narrative and poetry about my experiences in four haunted houses will be released on Amazon.
  • April 7-9Brain2Books CyCon will be happening all weekend with games, contests and interviews.
  • April 9, 1 p.m. central—I’ll be on GoIndieNow with Joe Live and other authors from the horror genre discussing Escape Claws and all things spooky.
  • April 10—Edible Book Contest will be at the Northwest Florida State College LRC, Niceville Campus. Click here for full details.
  • April 11, 6 p.m.—The Poetry & Music Jam at Crestview Public Library. Contact Esther at the Library 850-682-4432 (ehurwitz@okaloosa.lib.fl.us) or Rick Sanders 850-585-6399 for more information.
  • April 17, 6 p.m.Blackwater Review reception, part of NWF READS week, will be in the McIlroy Gallery, Mattie Kelly Arts Center, Niceville.  The event includes selected student readings and the unveiling of the student art selected for the cover of this year’s Blackwater Review, the college’s annual literary and fine arts journal.
  • April 17, 7 p.m.Andre Dubus III kicks off NWF READS week in the Sprint Theater, part of the Mattie Kelly Arts Center on the Niceville Campus.Florida State College.
  • April 20, 7 p.m.—Stone Soup Open Mic at L.J. Schooners, Bluewater Bay.
  • April 21, 5 p.m.TV Dinner Theater will be at Cafe Bienville, Niceville. Performers can compete for cash and other prizes.
  • April 26-30—StokerCon will be in full swing aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, Cali. I’ll be there signing books, wrangling volunteers and attending the Stokers Awards banquet. Saturday, the 29th I’ll be doing a special reading with David A. Sandner.

You can keep up with local events like these all year long by visiting my events page above or by clicking here. If you have an event you’d like added, send me a message.

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Prompts II: Mustaches, Games and Cats

20170330_150200We broke things up a little in our prompts class today by playing a game involving paper mustaches and guessing words. We all know now which students would crack under pressure and give up the location of the rebel base… and which students wouldn’t.

We heard the prompts from last week and had a lively discussion about authenticity and seeing things from another perspective. The prompt for next week is a visual one.

The poster in this photo is the prompt. You can write anything that involves this poster. Tell a story about who made it, what is it advertising, a story about the black cat with a halo… as usual, be creative!

The Crestview Public Library is asking readers to submit their favorite prompt or writing starter to be posted on their tumblr blog during April. Be sure to include your contact and social media information as well as the source of your inspiration.  See their tumblr blog, Facebook page or the library’s website for more information.

Prompts Mustaches


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Tickets On Sale: Wine for Canines

Wine for CaninesTickets are now on sale for the Wine for Canines buffet, wine tasting and silent auction Saturday, July 22 from 3-5 p.m. at the Twisted Grape Wine Bar & Cafe in Shalimar.

Tickets are $25 each and are available at the Niceville Animal Clinic in person or by calling 850-678-2002. Funds raised will go to support New Beginnings Animal Sanctuary, a no-kill rescue and refuge.

For more details, visit them online here.


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