Miss Spoken October

I was invited to read at Chicago Lady Lit Live event Miss Spoken on the subject of Gossip. It was a scary one for me, as I spoke more openly about sexual assault than I ever have before. It was also one of the easiest, funniest events I have ever been a part of.

I’m hoping to read at more events, and have been hard at work submitting poetry and essays again. I will be publishing my essay here at some point, but until then, attend the upcoming show on “Rites of Passage” in Chicago if you can!


(Photo from the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago.)

A sense of place

The first chapter of my serialized novelA Coven in Essex County, was published last month, and the second chapter was published recently. It’s probably about time I made a post about them.

In the first chapters, I attempted to create a sense of place, to highlight the town and a confined space within it. The Bridgeford Manor is a looming building in Innsmouth’s historic landscape. It was built on a fortune earned through negotiation with beings more ancient than Innsmouth’s occupants.

I don’t think I did a particularly good job. It’s too bad, because some of my favorite books employ well developed domiciles to house their stories. I’ve decided to make a brief list of inspirations:

White is for Witching, Helen Oyeyemi

Set in a bed and breakfast in Dover, White is for Witching is a creepy, erotic, chilling, and strangely comforting story of girls and women making their own places and bodily interactions.

Paradise, Toni Morrison

A New York Times article described Paradise as being about “Worthy Women, Unredeemable Men.” I cannot agree entirely, but this story about women making their own lives after existences defined by men, and the interloping forces of the community that seeks to engulf and control them, paints a varied and complex picture that is defined by and expands well beyond the house it is set in.

The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood

The Blind Assassin is about much more than a childhood home, but some of the lush flashbacks in the novel are set against a richly imagined house that becomes more symbolic than its mythologically inspired decorations as the protagonist ages.

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte

I’m not linking Jane Eyre, because… it’s Jane freaking Eyre. (And I doubt Bronte’s collecting those royalty checks.) There’s a lot to be said about this classic. Namely by me, on uncomfortable dates, after 2 or more glasses of wine. But one thing that is not talked about enough: the role houses play in the novel, before and after Lowood. Described in no small detail, the buildings where Jane lives with the families she is thrust into play as much a role housing her feelings as her drab wardrobe and quiet mannerisms.

That’s all for now.



It’s old news at this point, but on June 21st, the emerging literary website Visitant. However, I failed to post it on my author blog, so here it is: The official announcement!

Visitant will be publishing my novel, “A Coven in Essex County”, in serialized monthly installments. You can read the first one here: https://visitantlit.com/2016/06/21/a-coven-in-essex-county-part-1/

I completed this novel last year, and the bulk was written while I was working in a museum in the Rocky Mountains. It’s set in the fictional town of Innsmouth, Massachusetts invented by H.P. Lovecraft. The story’s intro has a pretty good overview, so I won’t rehash that, but I am so excited to share these women’s stories.

As each installment is posted, I will also be sharing a little bit about the research that went into the book, or about the personal experiences that inspired each chapter/woman. Be assured that I have been all of these women, as cheesy as that sounds. The circumstances are often far outside my own (for instance, I have never been married, much less against my will), but their reactions to them, their personalities, often have much in common with myself.

Please, enjoy!


The Big Move, Legend of Zelda, Et Cetera

I have just moved to Chicago, IL, but in the mean time, I had some things published. I will talk about the big thing tomorrow, but right now I’m going to focus on a piece I wrote for FemHype on my personal experience with Link’s gender in the Legend of Zelda series. Most of what I have to say is in the essay, so here’s a super embarassing photo of me as Zelda at 17. I made the shield out of particle board:



A Tag so Well Curated

I’ve been running the Tumblr image blog Babes in [full] Armor since 2011. It came out of a commentary blog I had been writing since I was 18. That has since been deleted, but Babes lives on, newly revitalized (when I remember to post…).

There has been a lot of work put into creating a page where the audience can easily browse by subject matter through clicking on a tag heading. I think I have done okay keeping this relevant and comprehensive.

However, sometimes you find a tag so perfect, so wonderful in its completeness and subject matter that you have to share it with as many people as possible. That for me is the Skeletons in Space Suits tag. Please, enjoy.



Nexus Game Fair and Beyond

I published an article on FemHype about my experience at Nexus Game Fair this weekend. Unfortunately, due to a lack of response about a tentacle rape game featured at the convention, I do not think I will be returning.

It was still a time to meet great people and learn some new games, and for that I am grateful.

I am working on a long-form article on trauma in games right now, and pulled some excellent suggestions on Twitter. Working through my contacts to get game designers’ input before compiling all of the information!

Here are two self portraits I took at Lincoln Park Zoo yesterday:


C2E2, Nexus Game Fair, and Well-Loved Movies

As I’ve said before, I’m a bad blogger. But I have been busy writing (sort of ).

In March, I reviewed my experience at C2E2 in Chicago for FemHype.

In April, I tore apart a well-loved horror movieThe Witch for Bitch Flicks, because apparently people still read what I write.

I may have failed to post when I published an essay on witches in Skyrim and Dragon Age, so here’s a link to that, too!

As of right now, I am working on moving from my current home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Chicago, but not before I attend Nexus Game Fair for a second time. Last year I published about my negative experiences there (some of them), and while I reached out to organizers this year, I’m still a little nervous. I love gaming, so I hope it’s utterly excellent.

JM out.

Exciting New Literature!

I have gotten bad at updating my blog again, but I promise it’s for a good reason! I am honestly really, really close to finished my book, and also I have been editing and sending out more stories than ever. In fact, last week I received three rejections in a five day period! That’s productivity!Continue reading “Exciting New Literature!”

Masques, and also Murder (and a little costuming)

I reviewed the indie game Masques and Murder! for the excellent website Femhype. Check it out, and if you think you might like the game, go throw your money at it! (Okay, don’t throw your money at your computer. Put numbers into the “pay what you will” box. It’s sort of like a calculator.) I truly enjoyed the game, and can recommend it wholeheartedly.Continue reading “Masques, and also Murder (and a little costuming)”