Typos, typos, typos

Wearing all the hats–author, editor, proofreader, cover artist, publisher–is hard. My friend says I’m being hard on myself. The trouble is I went into writing my novel, Oracle, wanting it to exceed expectations for a self-published novel, especially since I’ve always gotten the impression that the publishing industry and reading audiences tend to think and operate as if self-published work is of low quality and its writers have low standards.

Oracle is a really great story and I’m in the process of editing the novel for Wattpad, Pressbooks, and print. If I could pay an editor, I’d have one, trust me. I know typos can take away from reading a perfectly good book and I am the type of writer who cringes at typos and grammatical errors. So as I read through Oracle again in printed format, I’m finding errors I never noticed before, along with things I’d just rather change. I was so excited about participating the 2019 National Black Book Festival that I may have printed the book before it was totally ready. At least that’s how it feels in retrospect.

I am trying not to be hard on myself, but I won’t be satisfied until I know I’ve done as good a job editing as I can so that this novel is the best reading experience possible.


This month I am participating in National Novel Writing Month. Writers around the world are writing 50,000 words this month, donating to the cause and participating in virtual events (all virtual this year because of Covid-19). Last year, I wrote about breaking an almost 10-year streak writing and winning. I “lost” by about 7,000 words and I was devastated. This year I’m not doing so good either and doubt I’ll make the 50,000 word limit though I’m doing my best.

Its been a hard year.

I’ve been sick for over a year, including having surgery to have my gallbladder removed. I’ve also moved out of Fresno, California and relocated to Kansas City, Missouri. Honestly, I was starting to feel trapped in Fresno and think its a good thing that I left but relocating is like starting all over again.

This October, the National Black Book Festival went virtual so I’ll be posting my interview soon. So awkward (I’m laughing, don’t worry), I don’t think I interview well.

I started publishing/serializing Miradey, a fantasy romance novel, on Wattpad. Check it out!

Miradey is cursed. It isn’t her fault and no one can save her. She sees no way out of her fate when she is duty-bound to protect her people…especially when she must eventually protect them from herself.
When Benedict Orion discovers Miradey’s name on a ledger of the cupids meant for him, he refuses to give up on saving her. With the help of The Third Dragon on The Hill and a lot of magic, he will reach across time and reality for her.

Infinity Second, serialized on Wattpad


So sit back and read now that I have published the final chapters of Infinity Second on Wattpad. Once I’m done publishing all the chapters, I will label the book as complete. (I wanted to enter this story in the Watty Awards 2020 but its about 9000 words short and I worked too hard on it to go in and fluff it up for the extra words.)

Infinity Second Covers 2

Everybody knows that everybody dies. But how many people can say they live twice but die only once? Nikelle Evans discovers she is a special kind of human called a Mortality.

Morality are human in almost every way…except before they die and see their life flash before their eyes, they have one very long second in which to live an entirely separate life as a different person. After joining the Mortality Investigations Bureau, Nick/Nikelle unravels the secrets behind the death of her mother and what it truly means to be mortal.

Black Writers Weekend 2020

Black Writers Weekend (@blkwriterswknd) | Twitter

I found out about Black Writers Weekend (August 27th-29th) though Wattpad where I currently serialize my work. This year the event was virtual because of the Covid-19 pandemic which was convenient for me since I otherwise wouldn’t have gotten the chance to participate.

Hearing Octavia Butler and Harry Potter basically in the same sentence was a joy for me when it came down to a discussion of diversity for Black authors and how we made limited in our participation in genres like fantasy fiction. Panels I listened to included

  • I am a creative | a Dafina conversation with Donna Hill
  • I Am Creative | A Dafina Books Brunch Talk w/ Mary B. Morrison
  • Panel | Rocking My Black Girl Magic
  • Create + Master a Writing Career with Wattpad
  • Panel | Black Librarians Speak Out

This event was uplifting and I could sit back and do my hair while listening and watching!

National Black Book Festival 2019

Yep, I was there. It was a good learning experience for me. The turnout wasn’t all a Black author (especially a Black fantasy author) looking for exposure could have expected and paid for. Still, I think I’ll give it another shot next year.

Most of the writers this year were children’s author so it was cool to see so many writers talking to Black children and children in general. Including myself, there were three other fantasy fiction authors at NBBF this year. I had at least two people ask if we were the mystery section!

I think I learned to pitch Oracle pretty well and a lot of readers seemed interested in addition to those who actually bought the book. It was very nice to meet A.L. Riley, the author of Eerth Awakening, who was sharing her fantasy/sci-fi book on my right which I’ve had the pleasure of reading after the Festival.

It was a little difficult to get around the room and meet other authors since I had to watch my table by myself without an assistant. Half the time I looked up, someone looked like they might be stopping at my table to look at or talk about my book. The other half of the time I was too nervous I’d miss someone if I left the table. BUT I did manage to meet other authors and publishing professionals.

A.L. Riley,  Eerth Awakening

Mwalim, Land of The Black Squirrels

Dr. Deitrick Gorman, Relaxed & Ready

Ernest M. Fountain, Songs of Poetry From the Heart

Keturah Kendrick, No Thanks

Angela Monay, The Test of Time

Angela Adley, Growing Up Without my Daddy

Edwina Fort, Redemption

Linda Murray, Stop Being The Apple That Fell From The Family Tree

Traci Byerly, Unapologetically Gray

Freddie Smith, Your Birth Is Not In Vain (audio)

I met A LOT of authors and business folks so I’ll name a few more: Claudette Milner, Roderick D. Talley, Julia Royston, Rhonda Lawson, Myran Jones.

One thing I seriously thought about: I have a Kindle and have had an Amazon account since 2001 if I’m not mistaken. Most of the books I read are from the Kindle store though I’m fairly critical of Kindle’s literary content, particularly its romance genre. But KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) does reach a lot of readers so I’ve considered publishing there, just for the sake of outreach.

Don’t forget! Oracle by S.T. Rucker is available to read for free online at Wattpad or you can get your copy on Lulu.com.

Here’s to valiant attempts–NaNoWriMo 2019


For the first time since 2008, I “failed” at writing 50,000 words during the month of November. By 5:18PM on November 30th, looking at a 7,160 words left to go, I gave myself permission to simply stop.

I admit: I cried a little. I berated myself. I felt adrift and like the world made no sense. I thought, How could I fail at this?  How could I let anything come between me and this fruitful yearly goal?

Let’s be real, this year alone, I’ve had–

  • an incompetent property manager threaten, verbally abuse, and attempt to evict me.
  • had the same property manager protect the upstairs noise nuisance tenants who have harassed and stalked me since I signed my lease last December
  • been harassed at work for over two months to the point where I almost had to file a federal lawsuit
  • ended my relationship with the remaining abusive members of my immediate family
  • been repeatedly reminded that half the healthcare “professionals” in Fresno are useless and shouldn’t be practicing medicine.

This chronic stress level included but was not limited to: food poisoning caused by a co-worker (who also got sick from her tuna salad but saw no connection in both of us getting sick the same day), multiple sinus infections, an ulcer, migraines, anemia, chronic anxiety and panic, 8-day starvation/no appetite, depression, suicidal thoughts and ideation, eight Emergency Room level pain attacks that led to a gallstone diagnosis, chronic indigestion, and vision changes. That’s just for starters and I dealt with all of this by myself while everyone stood by and watched.

After the most recent fiasco with the assistant property manager and the upstairs residents in my apartments and a severe pain attack on Nov 30th at 1:00AM in the morning, I just couldn’t do it anymore.

I know that I did the best that I could under the circumstances. Because I knew that, I gave myself permission to let go of my current streak and JUST SLEEP and recover from the pain attack, depression, and exhaustion. Instead of cowering in shame at 2019’s November failure, I will try to look forward to building a new streak next year. Or die trying!


‘Oracle’ by S.T. Rucker at the National Black Book Festival 2019

I am pleased to announce that this year I will in be in Houston, Texas at the National Black Book Festival exhibiting my novel, Oracle. The festival takes place October 24th – 26th, with author exhibitions on Friday and Saturday.



Special Limited Edition Cover

Find out more about the National Black Book Festival and participating authors here.

Oracle by S.T. Rucker is available to read for free online at Wattpad or you can get your copy on Lulu.com.


Hey I [Want To] Read Something!: Brown Sugar Fairies by Aiysha Sinclair

I LOVE Black girl magic. It’s what my work in the fantasy fiction genre is all about.

So whenst (yes, “whenst”) I stumble across a book by a Black woman concerning a Black girl and a Black-freaking-fairy on a website called blackgirlnerds.com, I get a little excited. Brown Sugat Fairies: Saroja’s Quest is exactly this. I’m looking forward to trying this one.


Image from blackgirlnerds.com

Read Brown Sugar Fairies: Writer Aiysha Sinclair Creates Black Girl Fairy Magic and find more on instagram at @brownsugarfairies or on the website at www.brownsugarfairies.com



ORACLE (Book I)–complete

So things haven’t improved all that much since the last time I wrote here. But I’m still writing though and gearing up for National Novel Writing Month.

Oracle (Book I) by S.T. Rucker is complete. You can head over to Wattpad and read it totally free.

Welcome to Oracle–a sprawling school of magic overlooked by a crystal mountain, surrounded by fields and forests beneath whipped clouds and endless blue skies. Caprice Bilberry is a witch who suddenly arrives at Oracle’s extraordinary campus and is informed that as a student here, her greatest wish will be granted: She will be freed from generational enslavement and have the right to go to school and practice her magic. Why say no and return to life as a slave in a colonial village where using magic is an offense punishable by mutilation and death? But you know what they say: If something is too good to be true…it usually is. Caprice, Nezzle, and Bossa become friends, soon unraveling a terrifying secret: The school is more than what it seems, demanding a price more sinister than its lofty goals reveal or make up for. Its the ultimate fine print. For one does not simply enter and become a student at Oracle school….


Oracle (Book I) by S.T. Rucker is available to read online at Wattpad


The Village Hidden in the Vale (Book 2) is already in the works. I hope to have it finished in 2019. I started writing Oracle in about May 2016, so now that I’ve spent time in the world of Oracle my goal is to finish the second part much earlier, barring the blow back of the devastating, emotionally and mentally crippling things that tend to happen to me.

Exasperated, drained, and writing on,



Struggle. Since I last wrote here or updated any of my social media accounts I have gone through so much struggle. I’ve lost a loved one. Had to resign from my job and leave my students. Been let down over and over again by the system. Realized that there isn’t a single soul except myself that I can rely on. Suicidal depression brought on by lifelong disadvantages. Poverty. Anger. Abuse.

When have I had time write anything, focusing on what I love? Stories. Creating worlds and crafting. How can I focus on what I love when struggling to survive? How can I feel like my stories matter when my life is valued by no one?

So here I’m updating for the sake of updating.