Protect Your Peace

The last month had been an extremely emotional rollercoaster for me. I am finding myself at a loss for words to describe exactly what I’ve been feeling. I tried taking a break from social media, I tired avoiding the news. I’ve tried journaling and focusing on work. All in an effort to protect my peace.

I am here today to say that protecting your peace is important but as a black female my peace is relative. I don’t think I have ever lived in peace. My existence is one of constant fear, constant pressure to do the right things, say the right things, be the right things to everyone around me. It is a defense mechanism instilled in me from birth. As mechanism I find building within my own children. It is painful and disheartening to share this legacy of struggle with them.

That is why I and Serpentine Creative are choosing to be vocal in our support of the current protests. I am tired but I must fight for the change I want for my children. The same change my ancestors worked so hard to achieve for me and the rest of my generation.

BLACK LIVES MATTER

Stella Williams & The Serpentine Creative Team

A note from home

It’s been a month or so since the shelter in place, stay your butt at home for the sake of humanity order went into place. I have come to realize that staying productive during this time means completely different things to different people.

Some are using this time to tackle those cliche New Year resolutioons of learning a new language and losing weight. Others like me tried that the first week and quickly realized we just aren’t cut out for the madness.

I get wanting to be productive but these are understandably stressful times. Not all of us have the luxury of working from home. Not all of us have the luxury of a job due to the massive layoffs that have been happening. I don’t want to be all doom and gloom about this situation. Now that is something easy to do.

I want to focus on the positive. I want to focus on the fact that it is spring, that skies are clear over usually polluted cities. That Dolphins are swimming closer to shore, and that we are facing a great shift in our way of life and thinking about work life balance in a whole new way.

So this is a note from my home to yours. Now is the time for self reflection and course correction. Now is the time to do the things you “never have time for”. Now is the time to prioritize your health both mental and physical. Stay safe and stay creative in all your endevours!

Yours Truly,

Stella Williams

Social Distancing & The Writer Wk2 Update

I honestly have lost all track of time. I don’t know if its been two or three weeks of social distancing/ staying my butt at home. Have I really been staying home as much as I should? Have I accomplished anything of importance during this period of isolation?

The answer to both of those questions is absolutely not. I’ve had bi weekly appointments for Physical Therapy, gone shopping at least twice this week and although I have written something these last two weeks it hasn’t been anything I should be focused on.

I thought I would be okay with being at home all the time. I didn’t realize just how much time I actually spend outside of my house until now. From weekly meetings to a plethora of appointments, I may be home for most of the day but evenings I spend at least two three hours a day outside of the home. Now everything has moved online and my massive pajam collection is falling short of my daily needs.

This is not me complaining. I promise to do better this week with staying home and with writing. I have deadlines that I can’t miss so I am going to buckle down and get it done. I hope you all are keeping to the social distancing guidelines better than I have at this point.

Peace, Love, and Happy Reading/Writing!

Stella Williams

Social Distancing & The Writer WK 1 Update

Hey Y’all!

It has been one week of being in my house and while I wish I could say I have been productive. I have not. Sometimes I forget that I have issues with anxiety and depression that a global pandemic can understandably trigger. I haven’t completely freaked out with all the what ifs and doomsday scenarios my brain keeps throwing at me but I can’t say that it’s helped my creative brain in the least.

I won’t lie and say I didn’t see this being a possibility for me. I just thought I would be able to get a good weeks worth of productivity before the sweat pants and day naps became my day to day. I am doing my best to take things a day at a time. I have been forcing myself to spend time in the sun (in my backyard), and using my non creative time to spend more time with my diva tots while they pursue their creative endevours.

Anyway, I hope this week has been full of creativity for the rest of you! Stay Home, Stop the Spread, Save Lives!

Peace, Love, and Happy Reading/Writing!

Stella Williams

Social Distancing & The Writer

We are living in crazy times. I am almost nostalgic for the social catastrophes of 2019 at this point. At least then it was the same old BS and not a global pandemic causing people to lose their ever loving minds. The nihilists of the world are all sitting back with smug ‘i told you so’ smiles. I am an author by trade. I spend long hours alone in my office tapping away on my keyboard. The majority of my socialization is over the internet.

I honestly can’t relate to those who have no idea how to just stay home for a few weeks. I also can’t relate to the people who are selfishly stockpiling supplies like it’s the end of the world with no regard to their neighbors. So here is my attempt at explaining a few things about social distancing from someone who is a natural distancer.

*Disclaimer: I am not a scientist or health professional this is a summary of how I have interpreted facts about COVID-19 and what changes I have made in my life because of it.


SOCIAL DISTANCING

What is social distancing?

Basically staying as far away from other people and crowds as possible.

Why is it important?

The further away people are the less chance of human to human infection. Which not only slows the spread of the virus but allows scientists more time to produce a vaccine.

How am I coping?

Like I have stated above, the majority of my work I do from home in front of a computer. My volunteering exposes me to less than 10 people a week. So for social distancing the areas I have to worry about is grocery shopping and going to bars with my writers group.

How do I solve my distancing hot spots?

  • online grocery shopping for curbside pickup or delivery
  • hosting the writers group virtually through Discord, Facebook, or YouTube
  • Postponing/minimizing my volunteering

What’s my entertainment plan?

I am a homebody so I am already stocked up on things to do at home. Also keep in mind that Social Distancing does not mean that you can’t enjoy time outdoors.

  • Streaming TV and Movies
  • Board & Video games
  • Art & Crafts (painting, crocheting, sewing)
  • Literary Pursuits ( Reading & Writing)
  • Physical activity (playing catch with the kids, fetch with the dog, yoga, body weight only exercise circuit)

What I am basically trying to say is that Social Distancing isn’t hard. I’m not saying that it doesn’t have some detrimental economic consequences but those of us who have the privilege not to worry about the financial impact shouldn’t be complaining. Social distancing is the easy part. It could be so much worse and the whole point is to not let it get any worse. Staying home and not depleting resources in a panic is the least we can do for the greater good.

My Message to Fellow Writers

Please, for the love of all things literary DO NOT throw together COVID-19 stories to capitalize on this very serious global event. I’m not saying don’t write these stories if it helps you cope with the fear and anxiety. I am all for writing as therapy but it is an entirely different thing to monetize the fear and anxiety of others. Don’t be like those shady dealers selling dollar store sanitizer for insane mark ups.

Photo by Srikanth Popuri on Pexels.com

Pieces of Me: A Letter to My Fans

Dear Creatives,

It’s the third month of the year and I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with everything that has happened in my life so far this year. I wish I could say it’s been nothing but daisies and hours of quality writing time. Instead, I’ve been sucked down the rabbit hole of having a social media presence and marketing my butt off for my latest release.  I just want to say at this point that I am not complaining. It is an absolute gift that I can spend most of my days in front of a computer working for myself. I have few major distractions from my work other than my own bad habits with procrastination.

I continuously tell myself that I need to scale back. To give up just one thing, to prioritize like the boss I am. I just can’t. I want to. I think about it. I make lists and plans and strategies but, in the end, I only ever add to my list of to do’s more than anything else. It’s a real struggle. I’m trying to be better. So if You don’t see a post from me on social media or here on this blog. If you notice I go a week or two without a new YouTube Video please don’t take that as me being lazy or not caring. I just need a break before burnout truly sets in or I’m focused on a different aspect of my life. I am an Author, a blogger, a YouTuber, a Mother, a Wife, A community Activist, and HUMAN!

Yours Truly,

Stella Williams

P.S. Make Sure You Vote and for the love of humanity Wash Your Hands People! #CoronaVirus

Representation Matters

Representation Matters: A Poem by Stella Williams

I am a Black Author.

I write diverse characters in my books.

I am a Black Wife

I write Black love.

I write Interracial Love.

I write ROMANCE.

I write Paranormal Romance.

I am a Black Mother

I want my readers to finish my books with a wistful sigh,

a deep need to explore the worlds I create.

I write for the escapism.

Away from the side eyes, the suspicions, the threats.

I write for the drama and the joy.

I write to push boundaries.

Glass ceilings, border walls, and Gatekeepers Beware.

I write to bring awareness.

I write for people who look like me and for those who don’t.

I am a Black Veteran

I write to protect my peace.

I write to protect my sanity.

I write to fight racism and in spite of racism.

I am a Proud Black Woman

These are my ideas, my words, my stories, my voice.

Not to be stolen, adapted, ignored or pushed aside

Writing is my life.

I REPRESENT

New Release! Dauntless

The book you have all been waiting for has finally arrived! Dauntless Secret of Ceres Book 2 is set to release February 29th 2020 and pre orders are open now on Amazon!

Animated Gif of the Book cover for Dauntless: Secret of Ceres Book 2
A black woman poses with confidence in a library. A mystical purple portal swirls behind her.
ISBN: 978-1-7335638-7-1
ASIN: B084BNBKGP

The Great Sanctuary of Ceres is at a crossroads.

The Barrier is failing, Vampires are hunting innocent Aura, and the Ruling Council is in shambles. It is now up to the High Magistrate, Disrayan Centaurus, to diffuse the tension that threatens to implode everything the Aura ever stood for. However, the solution to her problems is also the man she swore never to trust again.

Maclovis “Mack” Andromeda has been working undercover with Vampires for years, forced to leave behind everything and everyone he held dear. Mack wants nothing more than to show Disrayan that he is still the man she fell for, but until his assignment is complete, he can’t risk being outed, even if that means losing Disrayan all over again.

The personal and the professional collide in this epic tale of myth, politics, and legendary love.

Haven’t read Ferocious: Secret of Ceres Book 1 yet?

The longest winter ever…

I don’t know about you but this January 2020 has felt like the longest month in existence. Everyday it seemed some new catastrophe or drama just sprung up out of nowhere. There has been death, disease, political turmoil, and natural disasters and there are still days left to go before this tragic month comes to an end.

Photo by Alana Sousa on Pexels.com

I know I sound pretty nihilist right now but I am bringing this all up to say that it’s times like these that spawn the best stories. When faced with hardship we as creatives are inspired to create beauty and light. So, yes, January 2020 has been a whole cluster but that just means we should all get to work in bringing the world back to rights through our art.

For me that looks like finishing the Secret of Ceres Series, creating fun and informative videos for the Serpentine Creative Youtube Channel, sharing the laugh out loud worthy memes on Facebook and Twitter, and filling your Instafeed with beautiful and creative content. These are not New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t believe in those. This is simply a wish list, a goals sheet, intention setting if you will.

Peace, Love, and Happy Writing!

Stella Williams

RWTF- AOC Perspective

Just when we thought the New Year would bring a fresh start in 2019 shenanigans, Romance Writers of America attempted to drop a sneak diss against Authors of Color. If you are unaware of the inciting incident that led to the implosion of RWA all the drama can be found under the Twitter hashtags, #IStandWithCourtney and #RWAShitShow.

To be complete honest, as a black female author I was unsurprised by the attempts to silence and discredit an author of color by an establishment that had proven time and again that voices of color are not their priority. (see #RITASoWhite). Likewise, I was not surprised by all the NWL’s calls for “calm” explanations of the trauma inflicted by their inability or unwillingness to accept systemic racism and microaggressions exist.

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

If anything, the entire situation is a prime example of how far people are willing to go to invalidate the accomplishments and concerns of marginalized groups. RWA circumvented their own bylaws to punish an author of color for calling out a racist book, attempted to lie to their own membership about the reason behind their shady behavior, offered a non apology and made several statements filled with veiled threats against any member who continued to speak out against the board. Even going so far as to attempt to stop a petition demanding the resignation of Damon Suede and recall of all board members involved.

I was hesitant to join RWA because of my own experiences with racism, both blatant and systemic that I saw within the organization. I joined last year when I saw that there were people stepping up to correct the wrongs of previous years. I volunteered to judge the RITA in order to promote diverse perspectives in the judges pool. I submitted my novel, Ferocious, in the hopes that it would be judged just as fairly as my non poc counterparts works. My hope for a more diverse and inclusive RWA has proven to be a mistake.

There is only so much fight and effort that I can expend on one thing and RWA has officially tapped me out. I have withdrawn my intent to judge as well as my entry of Ferocious. Which at this point doesn’t matter as the numerous other authors and participants have taken a similar stance the RITA Awards have been cancelled. I am still a current member because I want my recall vote to count but I have no intention to renew my membership when it is up.

RWA is a sinking ship with its current leadership turning it further out to sea when the shore was still within reach. At this point, I’m glad I am safely on the shores and not at all saddened to see it go.

Full Timeline of Events can be found in this article

The Implosion of the RWA by Claire Ryan

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