Tag Archives: MFA program

If You’ve Got the Money, I’ve Got the Friends

Credit goes to my dear friend Alora who is photographed in this picture as well.

Credit goes to my dear friend Alora who is photographed in this picture as well.

I have some talented, creative friends. Some I’ve known since high school while others I’ve had the pleasure of meeting through the interwebs and social groups. And yet I’ve found a few of the most rewarding and passionate people through my MFA family at Carlow University. As easy as it is to enjoy the company of people with similar interests, I think I admire my friends more for our differences. Now, I know this is a normal side effect of being social is having the opportunity to learn from those around you, but I hit the jackpot which brings me to the main event of this post.

Rion.  K Orion Fray to be exact. That pseudonym will be one to remember, so it’s important to establish who you will be googling long after this post is over.  Currently residing in Virginia (too far from me in little ‘ol Pittsburgh), my time with Rion is limited to the interwebs for which I am incredibly sad. At the same time, I am forever grateful for the moments where I had the opportunity to hang with her in person and enjoy her company. She is a wealth of not only knowledge beyond both our years (Rion is older AND wiser), but of sheer talent and creative expression.

Credit to K Orion Fray. This is her recent cosplay of Cecil Palmer from Welcome to the Night Vale at Tekko Con 2015

Credit to K Orion Fray. This is her recent cosplay of Cecil Palmer from Welcome to the Night Vale at Tekko Con 2015

When I first met the phenomenal entity that is Rion, I was just settling into my writing chops and discovered some writers within my MFA program to have honed skills that I never imagined could exist.  Rion and I were in the same workshop group for the semester and our mentor, the wonderful Janice Eidus, assigned us a quick ten minute writing prompt. It was one of many that we would get over the next two weeks, but it also allowed us to share or writing with each other.

And this is when I realized what a powerhouse Rion is with words. In the ten minutes we had to write I managed a measly half page of composition notebook paper. Rion had typed well over 5 pages worth of material. I’m not talking D-grade, needs a dozen revisions quality writing. I’m talking A-quality, ready for an editor’s commentary and approval. She is like the Mariah Carey of wordsmithing.


Below are three of the services my beloved friend has to offer my beautiful, intelligent internet friends. Each service has a description from Rion as well as the link to said services. I have the pleasure of ordering a pair of her handmade earrings, which I will show photos and my experience down below in that section.


I love writing and telling stories, so those two have been something I was interested in for ages! When I found out people would /pay/ me to read stories? Gracious. That was something I jumped on, especially since for most of my life, I was always the one who had to read everything in school, because I was the only one “good at it.”

The website hasn’t been updated recently, but I promise I’m still around. I’ve done copyediting semi-professionally for several authors, and am willing to talk about doing it for others. Payment can be discussed on a by-project basis, at korionfray@gmail.com  I’ll do anything from manuscripts to looking over essays and college applications. Just gimme a shout and we’ll work something out.

Audio workhttps://www.acx.com/narrator?p=A1WR4LIZKZJRWN

I am on ACX as an independent contractor available for audiobook narration. I have clips up of my work, and can answer questions if needed via the same email as above. I’m very flexible in what kind of work I do, and I’m always willing to try something new! I love narration and have a pretty quick turn-around time. And at the prices I suggest for my work, I’m significantly cheaper than a lot of other VAs out there.

 Azazel and Penemue: Handmade Jewelrywww.etsy.com/shop/AzazelandPenemue

I’ve been dabbling with the idea of making and selling jewelry for a while now. In fact, I had several finished pairs of earrings already made when I opened the Etsy store, from when I first bought/got the beads. (I don’t have a clear memory of where they came from, though! How strange.) So when I lost my job, I figured that now was a perfect time to finally get on that bandwagon. Not only did it give me a potential source of a little money, but it also gave me something to do, to keep myself active instead of sitting like a sad little unemployed lump. I’m hoping to branch into other jewelry outside of necklaces, as well as knitted/crocheted items as well, and maybe some embroidery floss bracelets. You never know! The possibilities are endless.


Credit goes to K Orion Fray owner of Azazel and Penemue. This is the mascot  Toby, the Corgi.

Credit goes to K Orion Fray owner of Azazel and Penemue. This is the mascot Toby, the Corgi.

The set of earrings I purchased were Hoo, Hoo Brown Owl Post Earrings. The photos below show what you get in the bubble wrap envelope. A hand written note and the earrings packaged in a neat, little bag come with your order along with an invoice (not shown) with a thumbnail of your order and all the details.


I’ve got to say the earrings are flawless. They don’t feel heavy despite the fact that they are posts with a little dangling charm. At the same time, the material feels much sturdier and wearable than most of the jewelry I have in my jewelry box. I cannot wait to purchase more earrings when she has more animal based ones in stock, and I even have a collaboration planned with her for a custom necklace based on the one in my novel, Dollhouse Daughter.


2015-04-18-19-09-42-982So, my minions. That concludes the feature of Rion or K Orion Fray—my friend, colleague, and entrepreneur. Check out the links to her work/services and you will not be disappointed. Let me know what you all thoughts of this Friend Feature I’m starting and if you have any suggestions for friends of yours that you’d like to feature!


P.S. Rion’s website korionfray.com also has a multitude of material for your reading pleasure including a blog about writing and several serialized pieces. There is plenty of Rion to go around. You will not regret the time you spend getting to know Rion.


Happy Reading/Writing!

Obligatory Cat photos:





Filed under Breaking News

Writing With Janice Eidus: MFA Prompt Compilation

So, I haven’t had much time to post about my wonderful third residency, but I am proud to post the piece I read at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens tonight with some stellar colleagues in the program.


Carlow has such amazing writers and events that challenges me at every turn. This pieces uses the characters from my manuscript, and is compiled from two prompts given by my mentor, Janice Eidus, who has shuttled me to knew writing heights. Please let me know comments, criticisms, and what you enjoy about it. Happy reading and writing!

The doorbell echoed down the hall, waking Cassie from her mid-afternoon nap. She brushed her blond hair away, so that she could see the carved elephant clock on the mantle.


Mom wasn’t expecting any company while she’s out, and Dad doesn’t get home until 5:00 pm. I am not answering that.


Whoever was outside began knocking incessantly until she yelled, “Go away, I have a guard dog and he’s trained to bite sensitive parts.” The knocking continued, forcing Cassie to lose the comfort of the worn wool blanket and go to the door.She pulled a stool to see through the peephole, but found no one waiting on the porch steps. Instead, a clear vase with delicate, periwinkle orchids were placed in front.


She raced back into the living room, tearing open the curtains of the bay windows, secretly hoping the mysterious delivery person would be hiding in the bushes. There was no one in sight. Clutching her mother’s enormous red umbrella, she flipped the dead bolt open and cautiously walked outside.


Once she confirmed the porch was safe, Cassie made two laps around the house, even checking the locked shed in the back. When she returned to the porch, the umbrella was released from her sweaty palms in favor of the embellished card in the flower arrangement. It read thinking of you on the front.


I guess Dad bought these for Mom, but he didn’t tell me that they were coming to the house. Maybe it was a surprise for


Her thoughts melted away as she turned to the interior of the card. In neat cursive writing it read:


Cassandra, I have been watching you. For weeks, I have watched as you live a beautiful life and I want to be near you. Meet me at the play yard five blocks from Lewisham Library before sunset. I will be waiting.

The unsigned card fell from between her fingers, landing close to the dropped umbrella. It didn’t matter where it landed because the horror of its contents was already flooding Cassie’s body with adrenaline.

I’ll bury the flowers, so Mom doesn’t find them in the trash. This creep is not getting away with this. I’ll make him know that he can’t follow around 13-yearold girls for fun.


Back inside, Cassie dressed for war. Covered in black from head to toe, she stared at herself in the mirror. Her father messaged her, explaining that they would be out late for dinner.


They won’t notice I’m gone.


By the time she got there, the sun was already dipping beneath the London skyline. At first, she saw a few children playing on the swings, but it wasn’t long before they vanished into the orange twilight. Cassie ventured towards an abandoned brick building that looked new in the decaying area. Sitting by the entrance to the building was an ordinary, wood chair covered in a chipping white paint.There were flakes of paint littering the spot where the chair sat, but the flakes distracted her for only a second as a dark man in a ragged yellow tunic stood to greet her.


He smiled at her like a father would watching his children; his pearly teeth gleaming in the remaining light. Cassie’s eyes widened, her palms sweating again, and only one thought screamed inside her head.




Turning quickly, she picked up speed and ran, pushing herself further from the danger. The sweat seeping from her pores as she ran from the man she wanted to forget.


Why me? I wish I was brave enough to staybut no. I’m a cowardall talkIf only Nathan was here, I need my big brother.


Once she passed some recognizable landmarks, her hands unclenched and nail marks peppered the palms of her hands.


The only answer I have is to run. I bet Nathan isn’t worrying about me anymoreBackpacking through France with his girl friend, why would hewish I had his uncomplicated lifehe can have the stalkers.


The house came into view, and was exactly the way Cassie had left it–dark and inviting. Entering the familiar space, she headed for her brother’s room as she frequently did in recent weeks.


It still smells like him.



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Filed under Fiction-Read and React