Monday, March 29, 2021


Hi all, thanks for your patience and understanding. I've been doing a lot of retooling, and I've gotten back to a place where my work brings me joy again, which is wonderful.

It also makes me very excited for some fun new developments happening. First of, On Borrowed Wings is getting an audiobook! I'm once again working with Benjamin Fife and his awesome narrating talents to bring to life this sci-fi thriller about ancient giant robots, psionic powers, and overcoming the things that you think are holding you back from achieving your potential. That should be happening sometime this year, so keep an eye out for updates!

Also, I'm very excited for my guest appearance on W. Bradford Swift's Guest Author Readup series! It should be a lot of fun. You can register here (note that the information for March's Readup is still there as of when this post was written, but registering should get you on the list for the Zoom meeting for my appearance).

Finally, I just got done really fleshing out the plot outline for Blue Diver, and I'm so excited for it! I got to detail some fun secondary characters, as well as sketch out the basics for all the mechs. Maybe I'll doodle some concept art at some point. Also, I'm super excited because the story will at one point feature a Thorne–Żytkow object!!! Yay!! That's going to be fun. I love when I can fit nerdy stuff into my writing.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Brother Wolf

Ben Fife did an incredible job with the Thunder Girl audiobook! But as I was listening to it, I felt like there were some things I didn't quite wrap up well in the novel. And since Ben was already recording, it wasn't like I could publish a revised edition.

So instead, I decided to write my ideas in this short story epilogue!

I also figured since I was teasing so much at Salt Lake City throughout the book, I might as well actually write about it a bit.

Please note that this story is a direct continuation of the end of the book, so please don't read it if you don't want spoilers!


The setting sun, low on the horizon over the Great Salt Lake, dyed the peaks of the Wasatch Range a deep and vivid orange. It was summer, and the mountains were free of snow, covered instead with an abstract patchwork of trees and brush.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Networking thoughts

I had a panic attack yesterday morning. I went to sleep at 11, then woke up at 1:30 am feeling completely awful all over, and wondered how my life had gotten so stressful. Two hours and a lot of prayer and introspection later, I finally figured it out and figured out what needed to change, and as soon as I acted on my decision, the panic subsided and I was able to get back to sleep.

What follows are some thoughts and feelings on what I feel was a really bad turn in my writing career, and why I am changing direction right now. I'm writing this in the hopes that you will learn from it. I'm disabling comments on this post because I really don't care to know what anyone thinks of this. I'm sharing my feelings not because I care what other people think of me, but in an attempt to help others who may be starting to venture where I did. Pull up and pull out, now. You're worth more than that. Have respect for yourself and for your work.

I also apologize if you read this and feel like I am referencing you directly. If you are reading this blog, you are most likely not one of the people who caused me so much grief and pain these past few months. The people I am referring to - most of whom I have only had brief contact with - would likely never think to look at my blog, because they're too wrapped up in their own little worlds to have any interest in anything I'm doing that isn't benefiting them.

Mental Wellness Break

Hello all,

With the release of Earthkeepers and the Thunder Girl audiobook, I have decided to shift my focus to taking care of myself and my mental and physical wellness.

I will write a more involved post about this later.

I'm off to regain my happiness.

Take care, everyone.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Pixeldust blog tour, day 5

Huge thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for organizing this blog tour for me!


Note: I am not responsible for the content of these third-party websites, and some of them may be unsuitable for a younger or sensitive audience. I have linked directly to the posts for my blog tour, but please browse the rest of the site at your own discretion.


"I really enjoyed this read and would love to dive into the story a million times over!" ⭐⭐⭐⭐


"If you’re into gaming, especially role-playing games, I highly suggest reading this one!" ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Jazzy Book Reviews - this one doesn't seem to be up yet, but I will update this post when it goes live!


"A poignant examination of the lengths we’ll go to in order to escape a draining reality, and a look at what makes a villain a villain, and a hero a hero, this story is one that will resonate with a variety of readers on a variety of levels."


"A YA book with some powerful themes that transcend any specific age designation... T.K. Arispe has written a novel with affection and heart."

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Pixeldust blog tour, day 4

Huge thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for organizing this blog tour for me!


Note: I am not responsible for the content of these third-party websites, and some of them may be unsuitable for a younger or sensitive audience. I have linked directly to the posts for my blog tour, but please browse the rest of the site at your own discretion.


"Pixeldust will appeal to the children/grand children of my friends and especially those with girls who inform me that there aren't that many books in the Urban Fantasy genre that feature female characters quite as prominently or, more importantly, as positively."


"Pixeldust is the coolest book I’ve read in 2021, so far."
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Hearthside Storytelling - this blog doesn't appear to be working right now, but I will update this post when that changes!

Book after Book - excerpt

Maria Elena’s player character has been reset by the programmers for using magic to tamper with the game’s code in an attempt to stop some out-of-control non-player characters. She logs into the game and her character Quinny meets up with her brother’s character Lorik, as well as their NPC friend, the master thief Marlowe. Marlowe can help Quinny get her magic back—but right now the thief is dealing with an identity crisis, as she’s found out that she’s just an artificial intelligence.

Mai's Musings - guest post

"Growing up, I never rooted for the villains, but I sure felt sorry for them."

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Pixeldust blog tour, day 3

 Huge thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for organizing this blog tour for me!


Note: I am not responsible for the content of these third-party websites, and some of them may be unsuitable for a younger or sensitive audience. I have linked directly to the posts for my blog tour, but please browse the rest of the site at your own discretion.


"Pixeldust is a captivating and a funny read with a perfect blend of technology, magic, dangers and friendship." ⭐⭐⭐⭐


"Argh this was such a fun read! I actually ended up reading it twice just so I could stay in the world for longer!" ⭐⭐⭐⭐½

The Magic of Wor(l)ds - interview and excerpt

"I’d love to spend time with Gandalf, because I’m sure it would be extremely fascinating just to listen to everything he’d have to say. He strikes me as the sort of person who likes to talk, but I’m the sort of person who likes to listen, so I think we’d get along well."


"If I resigned myself to always following the railway of clichés, I would never be able to explore uncharted territories. And just as bad, my stories wouldn’t give readers something new to think about. The human experience and the wonders of the universe are so much more multidimensional than how clichés narrow, rigidize, and standardize life."


In the MMO Heroes of Avonell, Maria Elena’s player character Quinny has just taken a job working as a lucent mage under the mysterious Lord Zaragoz, in an area of the game Quinny isn’t sure she’s supposed to be in. When Zaragoz’s fortress staff discovers Quinny has pixiedust, she finds out what pixiedust is used for in the dismal city of Caed Dhraos...

Thoughts on accepting critical feedback/reviews

After my musings on being on the critic's end of things, and after having gotten more book reviews than usual over the course of a book tour, I've been doing some thinking about how it feels to be on the receiving end of critical feedback. I'd previously written a post about it in a Goodreads group, and then followed it up with another post the other day. So I thought I'd share the contents of both posts here and expand on their ideas a bit.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Pixeldust blog tour, day 2

Huge thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for organizing this blog tour for me!


Note: I am not responsible for the content of these third-party websites, and some of them may be unsuitable for a younger or sensitive audience. I have linked directly to the posts for my blog tour, but please browse the rest of the site at your own discretion.


"I am so glad to have had the chance to read this and really hope you give it a go too!" 
🐻🐻🐻🐻


"Pixeldust is inspired by my fond memories of growing up playing video games with my siblings. Like Maria Elena, I found myself more interested in helping video game villains resolve their issues instead of fighting them, and it frustrated me that video game plotlines always led to boss battles. I thought it would be fun to mess with that cliché and some other ones besides."


Maria Elena has started playing the hit video game Heroes of Avonell and created her player character, Quinny. Unfortunately, the plotline and non-player characters she encounters are painfully cliché and uninteresting. Quinny has begun to regret buying the game—and then she finds a glitch that takes her somewhere completely different...


"This is a fizzy, exciting triumph of a book." 
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Lecari.co.uk - review

"I really enjoyed the story and it was incredibly fun and original." 
⭐⭐⭐⭐

Monday, March 8, 2021

Pixeldust blog tour, day 1

Huge thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for organizing this blog tour for me!


Note: I am not responsible for the content of these third-party websites, and some of them may be unsuitable for a younger or sensitive audience. I have linked directly to the posts for my blog tour, but please browse the rest of the site at your own discretion.


"T.K. Arispe gives a fresh perspective on the typical RPG tropes, in a sci-fi/fantasy adventure that gamers – especially fans of The Elder Scrolls or World of Warcraft – will enjoy and identify with."
⭐⭐⭐⭐

also any time my writing is favorably compared to Terry Pratchett's I feel like I have accomplished a life goal


"A charming and gentle adventure story"
⭐⭐⭐½

B for Bookreview - interview

"Once I wrote a story that I got so into, I had to keep a notebook by my bed because the story was all I could think about as I was going to sleep and waking up, and I had to scribble down everything I brainstormed so I wouldn’t forget it when I went to sleep or started the day." (psst--that story was Worth Searching For, if you're curious)


"I can imagine this is a scenario a gamer would love and perhaps quite a few readers too, when the fantasy is real and being able to immerse yourself into the game is a reality."

donnasbookblog - interview

"If you could sell this book in one sentence what would it be? 

Gamer heroes, grouchy minotaurs, and tamales for Christmas."

Saturday, March 6, 2021

The audiobook is out!

 


I WAS NOT PREPARED. The Thunder Girl audiobook went through Audible's quality control much faster than I expected, and it is now OUT and available for you to download on Audible or iTunes!

If you prefer audiobooks over text, now's your chance to get acquainted with the fun-filled world of alternate-history-1894-with-robots-and-dinosaurs! 

And if you've already read the book and enjoyed it, you'll love the audiobook because Ben Fife does an excellent job bringing the characters to life. His Hermes makes me laugh out loud. It's the perfect time to experience the adventure all over again!

Easter message

This Easter season, I'd like to express how grateful I am for my Captain, Savior, and Brother Jesus Christ for all that He has done for me personally. I have felt His help and guidance through all of my challenges. He has healed my wounded and weary soul and brought new life to me. Even in the challenges I still face, I can feel him right there alongside me, laboring with me to make things better and endure trials.

How grateful I am for the Atonement He finished so that He could be the ultimate, perfect Empathizer and Healer to every single one of God's children. Because of Him, nobody has to go through anything alone.

Countless times I have prayed for the Savior's grace to help me through a moment, and immediately the peace, strength, and clarity has come. I love how He is right there with His hand outstretched for us to take it and be lifted to a higher place. I know that with His help, I will conquer all the battles I'm meant to fight in this life and return triumphant to my Father in Heaven.

#PostOfChrist

Friday, March 5, 2021

How to review a book you didn't like

Part three of my musings on how to give helpful and fair, yet kind, polite, and uplifting feedback on writing.

This part deals entirely with public reviews of books, and specifically how to tactfully review a book you did not like. By "public reviews" I am mainly referring to reviews you post on websites like Amazon and Goodreads, reviews that the author and everyone who looks up the book are going to see. Reviews that you post on your (professional) blog or social media are in a slightly different class, because these reviews will generally only be seen by either a) people who follow you or b) people who do an Internet search specifically for reviews of a given book. These reviews are not as prominent or far-reaching, but I will touch upon them briefly.

More thoughts on constructive criticism

The art of giving good literary feedback has still been the object of my study and ponderings lately, and after I wrote yesterday's post I found myself with more that I wanted to say and explore! So rather than edit the previous post and basically make it twice as long as before, I figured a part 2 was in order. In this post, I'll be talking about more ways to exercise tact when giving feedback.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Thoughts on constructive criticism

(This blog post is adapted from something I wrote in a group on Goodreads. It focuses mainly on giving con-crit, because receiving it could be a whole other essay in and of itself.)

As I network with other writers, I've been trying to find ways to give constructive criticism in a way that is honest and fair, but doesn't contribute to the writer feeling crummy about their work and discouraged. I think it's an important topic.

When I was younger, I thought giving constructive criticism was pretty straightforward: all you had to do was tell somebody everything that was wrong with their writing so they would know what to fix. Right?

BZZZT. NO. WRONG.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Pokemon-ish thoughts

I've just been sitting here, thinking about Pokemon, because that is the kind of person I am, and I had some game develop-y musings that I wanted to share. And I couldn't think of a better place for doing so than my blog, which is supposed to hold my musings.

They're doing Diamond and Pearl Version remakes! Yaaaaay! Generation IV holds a fair bit of nostalgia for me; it was the first generation after I graduated high school, and it came out when I was still trying to figure out how to adult, juggling college with embarking on my illustration career. It was also the first generation where, thanks to the magic of Wi-Fi, I was able to connect with more Pokemon fans than ever before, and Platinum was the game where I came closest to ever completing my National Pokedex. (Nowadays, that's something I'd only attempt if I'm really, really bored.) My local Pokemon League had disbanded shortly after the start of Gen III, leaving me a lonesome nerd for quite a few years, until technology improved!

 


Another commission from author J. K. Bailey of one of the characters from his Christian sci-fi trilogy Zealot Finale!

This is Vic, a comic-relief antagonist who's a mercenary with a cybernetic arm capable of transforming into a machine gun. J. K. describes him as "scruffy" so I tried to make his clothing look a little worse for the wear.