Mental Health

My mental health has been a rollercoster lately. I haven’t been feeling very healthy mentally or emotionally. Work was tiring and trying and when I walked through the door, I knew I wouldn’t be touching the stuff I brought home to do. Instead, I cooked dinner while my fiancé got ready and left for work. I plated my food and put the rest in the fridge for him for when he got home from work. Then I sat myself on my bed with my food and a glass of mountain Dew and put NCIS on while I ate.

That was only the first things I decided to do when I got home. By cooking, I took my mind off of the feelings of anxiety I felt lingering from work. I made sure to put on a show I enjoy while I ate so that I could relax. I made the conscious decision that this night was going to be about taking care of me. That was Monday night. I made a plan that I would shower and relax and play with my baby. Then I decided to opt against working long hours this week instead planning on leaving on time every day this week.

Anxiety takes everything out of a person. It prevents me from accomplishing even small things. When I feel it coming on, I know I have to take action. I distract myself. Teach myself something, do something I enjoy, eat, or talk to someone. I find something to attempt to keep myself from wallowing in the anxiety because I’ve found my anxiety can be handled if I catch it right away.

But what if I don’t catch it?

I sit in a ball and rock back and forth. Literally. Or I stare at the wall. And I cry. I cry and cry and cry. I get nothing done and it takes hours to recover. It’s difficult for me to breathe. So as time passes, I’ve learned how to recognize the warning signs and identify my feelings to prevent the worst. I don’t always succeed though and that’s ok.

Sometimes, we need to stare at the wall doing nothing. Sometimes, it’s ok to accomplish nothing. We are human. We aren’t always productive, and we are definitely not perfect. All we can do is try.

What does your mental health look like and what are you doing to work on it?


An Interview with Tiffany Heiser

1) Introduce us to yourself. (Name, place of origin, some of your likes and dislikes, genre you write in, etc).
I’m Tiffany Heiser, owner of and Fyre and Brimstone Publishing. I’m also a mother to a wonderful five year old son. I was raised in Granbury, Texas. I currently live in Dallas, TX, but the city living is getting old so I’ll be moving back to the small town of Granbury soon, and I’m excited.

My likes; I love to read, talk to and play with my kiddo and puppies. I also enjoy writing, graphics design, watching shows on Netflix, and I can’t get enough of family time. I also enjoy going to the lake, trying new restaurants, and just enjoying the small things in life; like Big Red and chocolate anything.
My dislikes; I’m not a fan of my loud neighbors at the apartment complex I live at. Also, not interested in the crazy city drivers, or the fact that I can’t get anywhere without dealing with traffic.


2) Have you written in multiple different genres? If so, which is your favorite to write and why?
I have mainly stuck around Paranormal Romances, however I am wanting to branch out to dystopians. But Paranormal Romance is my fave to read and write.

3) Which book of yours would you recommend someone who has never read you before begin with?
Well, I wrote books before but I have pulled those projects and doing a re-write. So, in May, I would recommend for everyone to read Yearn for Blood; the first book in my Blood Origins series. And to definitely grab a copy of an anthology I’m a part of coming out in March: A Guide to Claiming a Scaredy Cat.

4) What are your current projects?
Yearn for Blood and The Familiar’s Fate are my current projects. The Familiar’s Fate is part of an anthology that will be coming out in March that I’ve been enjoying being a part of.

5) Who are your role models? Who inspires you?
My role models. My mother has always been a role model of mine to get through life. When it comes to writing; my inspiration to continue doing it…I’d say is my own love for it. Do I want to become famous; it would be nice, but not my main goal. It’s something that relaxes me and I enjoy.

6) What advice would you give an aspiring writer?
Never give up. No matter what anyone says about writing, about your writing, about any of it. Just don’t give up. Continue coming up with stories, if it makes your heart happy; then don’t quit.

7) When did you start writing?
I started writing as a child. It has always been that thing that I can do to express myself. When things were bothering me or I was going through the hardest parts of my life; writing became my gateway to leave it all behind. I started out writing poetry- it was helpful and my mom still has a book of what I’ve written. In Middle School, I attempted short stories and that was just…bad ha! But then it grew to that point that I was ready to get into it for real.

8) Who is your favorite author? Why?
I have quite a few faves. But the person that got me back into writing and wanting to write a novel was Stephanie Meyer. Reading Twilight made me realize that I wanted to write again and that I was absolutely in love with the Paranormal Romance genre.

Check out more about Tiffany Heiser at the following links: 

Tiffany Heiser-twitter

Tiffany Heiser-Facebook

Tiffany Heiser-Author Page

Tiffany Heiser-instagram

Tiffany Heiser-Personal website


Novel Research

Currently, I am reading a fiction book whose protagonist is a novelist searching for a model for her hero in her novel. Of course, she finds him and goes to the extreme length of following the stranger around that day. I’m sorry, but I could never do that. I could never have the audacity to follow someone around to do “research” to write a character of one of my stories and books.

So how do I do my research? I pull from the people I know or the books I’ve read. I look for books that hold the kind of characters I want to portray and pull from there using only the characteristics I want to use.

Also, I’ve always been a very vivid dreamer. Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed very realistic dreams and remember my dreams. I use this to my advantage. When a character shows up in my dreams, I tend to use them in my stories and books honing in on what I want them to portray.

Another thing I tend to do is talk to my writing friends and brainstorm with them. I tell them what the goal in the scene is and what I need to happen and they help me figure out the path the character needs to take. I get a lot of help when it comes to writing because I have never thought writing a truly solo career, hobby, passion. It’s only solo if you make it solo. I believe getting help and feedback makes writing better.  It makes my characters come to life. It tells me if the character is coming across the way I want him or her to and warns me when I’m falling off track with the story.

Anthology: A Guide to Claiming a Scaredy Cat

I’m currently working on an anthology with some amazing authors. In fact, I’m interviewing those authors for the blog and you’ve been introduced to two of them so far! However, I’m writing under a pen name of Adalaine Rose. Why I am writing under a pen name will be discussed in a completely different blog article when I’m ready to reveal that. For now, I want to interest you in this anthology.

This anthology is a paranormal romance. Never been into paranormal romance??? Neither was I. 

However, I have a friend (none other than S.E. Isaac) who really got me hooked (If you haven’t read her work check out the interviews here: An Interview with S.E. Isaac and Another Interview with S.E. Isaac! ). I gave it a chance and really got into the genre and enjoyed not only reading it but writing it as well. I know it won’t be for everyone, but I challenge everyone to give it a fair chance.

Interested and want to know more?  Check out the link below!

Claiming A Scaredy Cat

Interview with Edward Blackwood

Edward Blackwood1) Introduce us to yourself. (Name, place of origin, some of your likes and dislikes, genre you write in, etc).

My name is Edward Blackwood. I am originally from West Virginia. I write primarily Urban Fantasy, a genre I feel in love with after my first Kim Harrison novel.  My family and I enjoy camp, hiking and biking; same as seemingly everyone else… ever! My family and I are working our way through the National Parks, building up to taking on Gates of the Arctic. I am a hunter, but as a rule I never shoot anything I won’t eat. But in truth, I am also a comic book reading, Role Playing Game playing geek!

2) Have you written in multiple different genres? If so, which is your favorite to write and why?

I have, in the past written military sci-fi as well as crime fiction. But I am always drawn back to Urban Fantasy. Paranormal Romance is a first for me.

3) Which book of yours would you recommend someone who has never read you before begin with?

This anthology is my first published piece, outside of some short stories in long defunct magazines.

4) What are your current projects?

I am finishing up an Urban Fantasy novel set in my native West Virginia. Sort of a look at how the Urban Fantasy setting affects the world outside the city.

5) Who are your role models? Who inspires you?

My wife. I know every author says that (unless they say their husband). But it’s true.

6) What advice would you give an aspiring writer?

Don’t wait. Put words on the page!

7) When did you start writing?

In college. I took a creative writing class as an elective because it fit my schedule. Four years later, I was still writing and working with the professor, who was my mentor until she passed.

8) Who is your favorite author? Why?

Raymond Chandler. I love his style, his voice and the way his words flow.


Why I Started Blogging

I figured I would let you all in on my motivation for blogging and sharing bits and pieces of my life and thoughts. I’m outgoing, but I’ve never truly let others read or see my writing before now. I’m a little self-conscious in that way so part of my motivation is to break out of my comfort zone. The other part of my motivation is to reach others in some way or form whether that be by giving exposure to indie authors through my interviews or me being open about my personal struggles with anxiety.

I’ve always wanted to help others. I spent my summers as a teenager traveling the US on mission trips doing vacation bible schools. I’ve been to both Haiti and the Dominican Republic on mission trips. Currently, I work as a substance abuse counselor helping people that way. I’ve tried to spend my life helping others and showing love even though I struggle with loving everyone at times.

When I started Article Alley, I figured not many people would see it or be interested in it. Surely, only my friends and family would truly be interested in it. However, I made a twitter for my blog, and on there I have 300 followers. On wordpress, 41 people follow this blog. That is way more than I could have ever imagined possible! I’m very honored that that many people find my writing interesting enough to follow the blog. Every last one of you amaze me.

I’ve learned so much from blogging that I never knew I would learned which just adds to the reason I keep blogging. I’ve learned that when you put yourself out there, people will respond. I’ve learned that I don’t care whether some people hate my blog and hate my content and that I’m proud of the work I’ve put out there. I’ve learned to trust myself and trust that who needs my writing will find my writing. I’ve made connections with other people that I otherwise would have nothing to do with and never have met. My life has been enriched by blogging.

For all the other bloggers reading this, why did you start blogging?

The Flu Came to Town

I’m a very bad sick person. I don’t do being sick very well. I tend to whine a lot saying how I dont feel good and everything hurts. And I’m very very needy. I’m so bad I’m surprised my fiancé hasn’t given up on me yet.

Today started out with me rolling out of bed and rushing to work to cover for someone running late… ten minutes after getting there it was like a train hit me and came back around the block again and again. Instead of being concerned, most of my coworkers told me not to breathe, joking around of course because they didn’t want to catch it, and I refused to leave until I spoke to my boss.

I left work and cried the entire way home over what was said to me and not feeling good. I know my coworkers were joking which I don’t blame them for not wanting this. But their words, joking or not, hurt and caused my anxiety and depression to sky-rocket.

When I got home, I was crying hysterically and my fiancé calmed me down. Then, he loaded the baby and I up and drove me to the minute clinic where I received the official diagnosis of the flu.  I had a 102 degree fever.

Going to Walmart to get my prescription, Lysol, Clorox wipes, tylonel, and ginger ale, I realized this meant quarantined. So now I’ve spent the day locked away in my bedroom spraying Lysol and wiping anything I touch with Clorox wipes.

Tomorrow night, the baby will go to be with Mimi while I get better and Anthony works. So until I’m fever free for 24 hours without having to take tylonel, I’ll lay in bed and read and write blog articles. So be prepared for an article packed weekend.

What do you like to do when sick and quarantined?