Confidence – [Poetry]

Forbidden flavors I was banned from tasting.

Warmth I was scolded for embracing.

A radiant fire that would transport me to Hell

Unless I darkened for an insecure god and his spells.

Blood boiling once I learned of dignity

then taught to drain it for undeserved pity.

Confidence was always a mix of flavor,

sweet when pious, sour to a savior

who wanted to save me from myself,

condemning autonomy as an agent of Hell.

Back on Schedule and Kafkaesque Inspiration – [Just Me]

Hello all,

I had some mental health issues and a cold to deal with last week, so I disappeared. I’m a lot better now and am ready to get back on track. Being in bed gave me time to think about how to publish my upcoming short story. Self-publishing looks like the way to go considering it’s too long to submit to most magazines and too short for any publishing house to consider. I’ll let you know what platforms the story will be published on, Kindle Direct Publishing being a definite one.

It was aggravating having a cold while wanting to write and edit the story so badly. It means so much to me. I took the Kafkaesque approach in a more personal direction where I reflected more on Kafka’s life and my own life rather than focusing on the Kafkaesque genre as it’s known (but it still has the basic elements). That’s why I’ve been so enthusiastic about having it be my first published story. It will open the door to another new project where more music will finally be released.

There’s been a lot of chaos in the world, some of it warrants panic and some of it doesn’t. Art and the forced solitude without art kept me grounded in a strange way. I hope the rest of you stay grounded too. What I love about Kafka the most is his ability to make some sense of the bizarre, even though he’d often conclude to a state of powerlessness, the surrender to that revelation ironically empowered him as a writer. When chaotic or bizarre situations consume us and our environments, we often want to anchor ourselves in a place of control so we can stand our ground and brace the storm, but some of us get carried away by the momentum of the situation and we interpret that as a failure way too often. Change happens. Chaos is constant. Sometimes you have to go with the flow to relearn how to stand your ground. Change is just experience, not a complete loss of power, but of course, there’s still loss.

As someone who struggles with mental health almost constantly, I promise you I’m not trying to make this sound easy.

Be well and wash your hands. My heart goes out to all who are dealing with changes beyond their control.

Short Story Horror Writing Progress

On Instagram, I said I was working on a Kafkaesque short story and it’s going well. I’m enjoying it while editing the second draft…but I’ll admit that, yes, my focus was Kafka and his influence is clear, and yet subconsciously there’s some Poe influence, maybe Shelley. Ultimately, it’s me. Truly.

The goal is to publish in March. More updates soon.

Lying – [Poem]

Unsure if my immobilization

was inspired by one-sided conversation

where you’re pushing, pushing me down

asking me how I ended up on the ground.

“It’s my fault,” I say, “I keep falling.”

Breathing in dust, my brain is stalling.

You command me to walk,

my feet drag and drop

until I see a cliff,

like a true escapist,

and pretend to fall again.

Another lying breath.

Another fall closer to death.

– Kris Leliel

Read another poem: The Prose of the Fool or Peril

Or let me read to you: The Monster Within

“Home” is Where the Art is – [Article/Contest Entry]

So Vocal Media is having a challenge for Vocal Creators like me called “Behind the Beat” where we write about a song that changed our lives. I wrote about “Home” by Three Days Grace and ultimately it was a bittersweet experience, but so very awesome. Here’s the beginning:

The perfect parent doesn’t exist. There will never be a guardian with flawless parenting or the supernatural sense of knowing exactly what their children need all the time. However, every parent and child will come to experience the bittersweet fact of life called pain. Pain echoes in the hearts of the emotionally neglected with a perfect resonance that could bond them or break them. It transforms our relationships with one another and our relationship with life. That echo has reverberated for generations. In my time, the echo thrust into me through the song “Home” by Three Days Grace and it not only woke me to the pain I didn’t understand or know how to express, but also acted as my personal catalyst for self-expression and retrospection through the arts and friendship.

Click here to read the rest.

Second Draft – Session 5

Time to get back to recording my novel progress. The last post I did about my novel was January 13th, so going back to that, I have finally edited about 110 pages of my first draft and am starting to write through the second. The exposition has been really fun to read through again, but now it’s time to hone in the focus on clear settings, intriguing characters, and establishing solid plots and subplots. Though I am writing the second draft, I am still reviewing some old notes and tracking everything from timelines to character arcs…It’s a glorious nightmare and one day, I’d like to show how I organized it all for publishing.

I’ll stay in touch. Time to write, plot, and write more.

Read about 3 Essential Writing Techniques from Stoker’s Dracula


What is rhetoric? – Literary Terms 101

rhetoric: “The art of persuasion, in speaking or writing…The rhetorical process included five stages–invention (discovering the logical, ethical, and emotional arguments), arrangement (organizing the arguments), style (choosing words and figures in which to express the arguments), memory, and delivery.”

The NTC’s Dictionary of Literary Terms


Writing Advice

Vulnerability makes the writer…Read more…

Bram Stoker taught us so much in Dracula…Read more…


My Take on “Rhetoric”

When you decide to become an English major or have to take an English 101 class for Gen Ed, rhetoric gets beaten into you. As repetitive as it gets, I would say it benefits you in the end. There are so many writers out there, fiction and nonfiction, who don’t have substantial rhetoric, meaning their attempt to write something believable fails. Frankly, it happens to all of us. I’m not saying that everyone should stick to the decrees of rhetoric coined by the almighty Aristotle and his wonderful pathos, logos, and ethos formula, but for writing to become a personal art, you need that foundation that often comes from our studies on rhetoric. It’s more for the sake of sharpening your style rather than limiting you. Especially in our current time, if someone is writing or speaking to us without logic, without credibility, and without heart, they won’t pull us in. We’ll sniff out bulls**t instantly. Of course, we’ve taken in fantastical, illogical events and enjoyed them, we found interest in those who lost their credibility in some manner, and we have learned from those who have a blackhole instead of a heart. Persuasion is an art and like any art, it can’t be bound, but the study of rhetoric surely gives you something to start with.