Brief Humor & Check-Ins

“Don’t believe the hype”: Writing Updates, Story Releases, Podcasts and some Music

One of my favorite bands is 21 Pilots. They write a lot of deep, authentic music and advocate strongly for mental health. Sometimes the phrase “Don’t believe the hype” (from one of their songs, The Hype) will come into my mind when I find myself distracted by something in the world. “Buy this product” American society says, or “Join this group; network with this person; this is what success looks like–don’t you want to be like them?” Or “worry about this catastrophic event now”, says the 24/7 news cycle. Sifting through this information overload, trying to sort the gold from the fool’s gold is sometimes an impossible task. “Don’t believe the hype,” I will sometimes tell myself. “Just keep walking. Don’t be distracted.”

I have been walking through a difficult season in my life. It’s involved exhaustion, being extremely overworked and other personal challenges. It’s devoured my time and energy and, a long story very short, enough has been enough. I have been stumbling along with the guy in dusty sandals through the ordeal, learning to lean on him and not myself. He is leading the saint and I to calmer waters, but it’s taking some time to get there. These past few weeks have felt like the last miles in a very long bike ride. Pedaling, pedaling, pedaling. Eyes on the finish line, eyes focused forward, trying not to be distracted by any sideline games and foolery.

Writing wise, I have a few updates I’ve been posting. As a recap, I will be publishing a short horror story, “The Letter” this Fall in an anthology with other authors (preorder link here). My first short children’s story, “The Mermaid and the Yellow Jellyfish” is coming out this December as part of Fae Corp’s Kid’s Week (preorder link will be up later). I hope you’ll check out both and leave reviews. I have another short story I’m waiting to hear back for another anthology, and have been continuing to submit my novel to agents.

A more personal achievement–I donated blood for the 25th time recently. This was a goal I had been working towards for the past few years. If you ever thought about donating blood, I encourage you to check it out. It’s a constant need, as blood has a limited shelf life. Each donation can save up to three lives.

I also wanted to share a podcast I came across recently, for those interested in Christian and Jewish history in context of the Bible. It’s called the BibleProject. Currently, I’m listening to a talk on the 10 Plagues and Exodus. The history, the original Hebrew text and words–all so fascinating. So far, I have really enjoyed their balanced, loving approach to presenting and understanding the Bible and Christianity. I’ve also been on an Egyptian history kick, so all boxes crossed there. Good to listen to while bee-bopping on the rider, or doing some gardening. They’re funny, too.

I’ll end it here with a another song that’s been my jam lately. Stay well and happy writing.


My Children’s Book Cover Reveal: The Mermaid and The Yellow Jellyfish

Here is the cover art reveal for my upcoming, short children’s book recently accepted for kid’s week by Fae Corps. (A big thank you to them again.) Preorder links will be available soon. I’ll hope you give it a read, and even perhaps read it to the little mermen and mermaids in your life. It’s a tale about overcoming challenges, learning about mermaid mythology and helping others in need, even when it’s difficult.

Hope you are all well. Happy writing!


Book cover reveal by Fae Corps. Title: The Mermaid and the Yellow Jellyfish by A.R. Clayton. 

A water background with a mermaid with darker skin tone swimming next to a yellow jellyfish.
Announcements, Brief Humor & Check-Ins

Exciting Announcement: My First Children’s Book (Cover Tease)

My first children’s book, “The Mermaid and the Yellow Jellyfish” has recently been accepted by Fae Corps Publishing for publication in December 2022. Below, I’ve included a cover teaser that Patti graciously put together for me. The title, and my name, are the actual font used in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”. (Apparently the font is free for individual and corporate use.) This little Millennial girl, who has artwork of Ariel hanging in her house and who dressed in a head-to-toe Little Mermaid outfit (complete with lunchbox and backpack!) on her first day of Kindergarten, simply CANNOT handle this fact.

Many, many thanks to all those at Fae for reading and accepting my story, and continuing to work with me and answer my many questions. I originally wrote this story a few years ago as a reaction to current events I was seeing in the news. I hope you’ll give it a read and swim through the layers of meaning together with Liza, my mermaid protagonist. Order links and the cover reveal will be shared in the future.

Cheers and happy writing.


It’s the actual font from The Little Mermaid…Happy tears, happy tears.