Cheryl’s Second Chance At Life


Cheryl is a dear friend of mine. She has gone through a lot. More than some of us could imagine. She was born partially deaf and with congenital heart disease. At 19, she lost her hearing completely. Several years ago, she suffered a stroke that caused her to lose some of her vision. Through it all, she has remained a happy and positive person.

Now, she is at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. Cheryl is on the waiting list for a heart and double lung transplant.

Her family can afford the transplants. But after the operation, they will need to move from San Diego to Los Angeles while Cheryl is under observation for up to six months. Her family could use some financial assistance for this and have started a GoFundMe campaign.

Times are rough for everyone. If you can’t afford to donate, then please consider spreading this campaign through your network.

Cheryl was the one who taught me the American Sign Language alphabet (and a few other words). She also gave me the nickname “Writer Dan.” It would mean a lot to me if you could help spread this campaign.

Read more about this strong woman on her GoFundMe page here.

Thank you for your time.

Voices From The Dark – Coming Soon

Voices from the Dark

Hello, ladies and gentlemen! It’s about time for an update, don’t you think?

Good gravy, I’ve been busy!

Here’s the scoop: I started going back to school. This Fall I began attending Benedictine University. I am working toward a degree in writing and publishing. Homework has taken up most of my time, so please forgive my absence.

In addition to that, I was working on a short story anthology for my writing group, the Writing Journey.

I was actually one of the main editors of the anthology. Now the project is in the capable hands of our publisher, It Is What It Is Press.
Voices from the Dark
The anthology is a collection of dark stories and poetry. I have a piece in it titled, ‘Til Undeath Do Us Part.

The book will be released by the end of the month. In the meantime, you can check out the preorder page.

When it is officially released, I will post an official link so you can order a copy (if you’d like). I’m pretty excited about one of my stories being published. Yay!

Stay tuned for more information!

Baby Vs. Balloons

Baby Balloons

Baby BalloonsHowdy. I just wanted to post a video that I should have posted a few years ago.

This is my son, Lincoln, on Halloween in 2012.

He was so pumped that he was about to be Master Yoda for his first Halloween, that he wanted to practice his Jedi skills by engaging in an epic battle with some balloons.

I present…

Baby Vs. Balloons!

Come on, peeps. Make it viral!

Back to the Future


Sadly, this post has nothing to do with the epic time traveling trilogy. Although it’s pretty neat that I’m writing this in 2015.

I have been given the Future Challenge by Transcend <3. It’s not an award, but a challenge. And it’s short and sweet.

Let’s get to the point!
Here are 5 things about my future:

In the future, I will…

  1. Be a published author.
  2. Have a degree in Writing and Publishing.
  3. Own a publishing company.
  4. Be good at time management.
  5. Be good at budgeting.

So now I get to spread the challenge like a virus to five other bloggers. Let’s see…

  1. Star Guy
  2. RaineFairy
  3. Cindy Knoke
  4. Shehanne Moore
  5. The Snarky Blonde

Now go thee henceforth and make it happen!

Oh yeah, so here’s the deal:

  • Thank the bloggers who nominated you. (Thank you, Transcend <3!)
  • Link back to the challenge creator, Dreams and Movie Screens so she can track your progress.
  • Share 5 things about your future (jobs, kids, marriage, travel etc). Then one day you can look back and find out how psychic you really are.
  • Tag 5 bloggers and put them up to the challenge.

So there ya have it!

[Insert funny and/or inspirational closing statement here.]

Le Medaillon Champagne

Le Medaillon

This review is long overdue. Actually, creating a new post in general is long overdue, but I have been busy working on some exciting projects, which I will discuss in the future.
Le Medaillon
Le Medaillon is a fantastic champagne brand based in Lombard, IL (not far from where I live). I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Jay Dhillon, the president of Dlux Brand LLC, the company that owns Le Medaillon. He was kind enough to supply me with a bottle of their Brut champagne.

(Thanks again, Jay. Sorry it took so long to write the review.)

I shared the bottle with a couple of my friends for a tasting. Honestly, we are more wine drinkers than champagne drinkers, though we have enjoyed the occasional glass of bubbly here and there.
Le Medaillon
The general consensus was that this was by far the best tasting champagne any of us had ever had.
Le Medaillon
The Brut is very light with a hint of sweetness and a crisp finish. It is no wonder that this champagne has received several awards.

We thought about mixing it with some orange juice to see how it would be as a mimosa, but it tasted so good as is that we just drank it straight.

In addition to the Brut, Le Medaillon also makes a Rosé and a Cuvée Reserve. I have not yet had the pleasure to taste either of those, but would love the opportunity to do so.
Le Medaillon
Something unique about Le Medaillon is that each bottle comes packaged with a silver plated necklace that includes a beautifully designed medallion. This adds another factor of elegance to an already exquisite champagne.
Le Medaillon
If you are thinking of giving someone a bottle of wine or champagne as a gift, Le Medaillon is a great choice!

You can learn more about Le Medaillon and their selection of top shelf champagne by visiting them at

Remember to drink responsibly!

Do I Have To Do Another One Of These? AKA The Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger

I’ve come to the realization that these WordPress blog awards are chain letters in disguise. At first I was like, “Oh yay, I’ve been nominated for an award!” And now I wonder who comes up with these. Maybe I should start my own blog award. I could create an award image with my blog’s URL on it, then people would be curious and check out my blog. And then I’d get a bazillion followers! MWAHAHA!

Now if only this blog was profitable…

Ooh, I know! Next time you buy something from Amazon, consider doing so through my affiliate link: Buy things at Amazon! :) (It’s not spam if it’s on my own blog!)

Anyway, now for the thing I was gonna do. What was this blog post about again?

Oh yeah! The lovely RaineFairy has nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award!
Versatile Blogger
It is such an honor to receive such a prestigious award. I’d like to thank RaineFairy for the nomination, my parents and everyone who believed in me, and *ahem* all right, I’ll just cut to the chase.


Thank the person who nominated you with a link to his/her blog.

Already took care of that above.

Nominate 15 blogs/bloggers for THE VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD, include a link to their blogs. 

Really? I gotta find 15 victims lucky bloggers to annoy bless with this scam award?

Here goes (in no particular order):

  1.  Teagan’s Books
  2. Shehanne Moore (and her Hamstahs)
  3. In My Cluttered Attic
  4. Star Wars Anonymous
  5. Conscious Cacophony
  6. Star Guy Blog
  7. Musings From The Mind Of Maehem
  8. Wibble
  9. Poetic Parfait
  10. Pure Haiku
  11. The Realm Of The Chaos Fairy
  12. C-Dog & Company
  13. Writer’s Notebook
  14. Big Body Beautiful
  15. Brighter Poetics

Sorry about You’re welcome for the nominations. I know these things take up a lot of time to complete, so my feelings won’t be hurt if you are unable to accept this.

Now, you have to list down seven (7) FACTS about yourself, like so:

1. I don’t think American “cheese” should be considered real cheese. It’s super processed and tastes funky.

2. I also don’t care for Swiss cheese or Goat cheese.

3. Other then the cheeses listed above, I love cheese!

4. I am also rather cheesy, if you couldn’t tell.

5. Sometimes I cut the cheese.

6. I don’t know why I’m talking about cheese.

7. Cheese.

As you can tell, I take these things very seriously.

You have to notify your nominees about this by posting a link to this post on their page. Once you’ve accepted the challenge and have blogged it, you have to post a link to your blog just below this post in the Comments.  Otherwise, it is a futile cause. Good luck!

Another Random Unofficial Made-Up WordPress Blog Award Thingy

Real Neat Blog Award

This time, I have received (or been nominated for?) the Real Neat Blog Award. I guess somebody thinks this blog is real neat.

Thank you, Star Wars Anonymous, for the nomination.

Here is what I need to do in order to achieve this prestigious award:

  • Put the award logo on your blog.
  • Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  • Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs.
  • Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.

Let’s get started.

Real Neat Blog Award

Boom. Got the first one done. It didn’t specify where on the blog, so I should be good.

Now to answer seven questions.
1. What is one of the most embarrassing things to happen to you? (Note: I didn’t say THE most embarrassing, just one of the most embarrassing)
My answer to question six.

2. What’s your favorite book? Why?
1984 by George Orwell because Big Brother is watching.

3. Who is your favorite Star Wars character and why?
Jar Jar Binks. Just kidding! I could be cliche and say Boba Fett because he kicks ass. Other favorites are Yoda because of his wisdom and Chewbacca because I’m part Wookiee. Don’t believe me? I do an awesome Wookiee howl!

4. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I can only pick one? I would love to go someplace tropical like Hawaii or Jamaica. I’d also like to visit several countries in Europe. Oh, and of course Japan.

5. What would be your ideal date?
Only one way to find out! ;)

6. What is one of your favorite childhood memories?
That time I got first place in the Boonta Eve Classic. Oh wait, I’m confusing fantasy with reality again. How embarrassing.

7. What’s your favorite candy? Not dessert, candy.  Like Halloween candy.

Now that we got that out of the way, what’s next on the list? I already thanked Star Wars Anonymous and linked to her blog.

Now to nominate others. Who shall my victims be this time?

Rejected Realities

Shehanne Moore


JLynn Cameron

I choose y’all! MWAHAHAHA!

Your mission, if y’all choose to accept it, is to answer these seven questions… If you dare!

1. What’s your favorite kind of sandwich?

2. How would you describe your ideal man?

3. Was that previous question too personal?

4. If you could be any kind of sea creature, what would you choose?

5. Who would win in a fight between Gandalf and Darth Vader?

6. What is your opinion of Doritos?

7. On a scale of one to ten, how lame are these questions?

Now answer the questions or suffer the consequences! Actually, there are no consequences. But I’ll feel lame if you don’t. Actually I won’t. I’ll be fine. Really. Seriously. Don’t worry about me. I’m just sitting here being awesome, so it’s all good!

If you decide to accept this challenge / mission / nomination / waste of your precious time, then let me know by commenting with a link to your post.

[Insert witty and amusing closing statement here.]

Lay Versus Lie

Lay Versus Lie

One of the most common grammatical errors is mixing up “lay” with “lie”.

I hope to shed a little light on things.

To put it simply:

  • A person lies down.
  • A person lays an object down.


  • I need to lie down.
  • You should lie down.
  • Take off those filthy boots before you lie on the sofa.


  • I can’t lay this book down.
  • You should lay down your weapon.
  • I had to lay the blanket on the grass.

The examples above were all in the present tense. Things become tricky once you use the past tense or past participle.

Instead of explaining those to you, I’m going to let Grammar Girl do it. She does a fantastic job.

Check out Grammar Girl’s guide to Lay and Lie here.

And remember, you need to lay the sheets on the bed so you can lie down.

Lay Versus Lie

One Year


It’s been one year

Since you sent me here.

To the place where

I’ve always feared.

How the time went by

Since you made me cry.

I wanted to die

When I learned of your lie.

What you did really sucked

And now I am stuck.

I feel like I’m old and fucked

But I’m rekindling my luck.

I won’t cry for you anymore

Or even call you a fucking whore.

I’m not sorry that I swore

Because loving you was a chore.

So now that you are free

How much better will your life be?

You don’t have to worry about me

I’m just here sipping tea.



Today’s Post Is Dedicated To…


Today’s post is dedicated to:

The whiners, the groaners,

The bitchers, the moaners.

Those with an axe to grind,

And other people’s business to mind.

Those who fight under a label,

Who are mentally unstable.

Those who won’t agree to disagree,

Who think they have a pedigree.

For those who claim their cause is just,

And think of me with sheer disgust.

For those who claim to be oppressed,

Without a clue that they are blessed.

Those who claim to want equal rights,

But take extremism to brand new heights.

For those whose views are quite insane,

Somehow functioning without a brain.

For those who lack common sense,

With skulls that are rather dense.
For those who want better pay,

But go about it the wrong way.

For those who won’t listen to reason,

And dream of genocidal treason.

For those who generate censorship fusses,

But openly bleed on public buses.

For those whose logic they have forsaken,

Always claiming to be mistaken.

For those who wage war, but call it peace,

Whose hateful slurs will never cease.

The brainwashed, the misinformed,

The ignorant, the raging storm.

Those who can’t see the truth,

Having been hypnotized since youth.

Those who wish to be left in the dark,

Those whose bite is just as bad as their bark.

Those who cannot plainly see,

Their obvious hypocrisy.

Those who never stop to think,

Who in fact believe that their shit don’t stink.

Those who need someone to blame,

Trying to make others feel the shame.

Those who want the world to divide,

Declaring superiority with selfish pride.

Today’s post is dedicated to you,

Because your time here is almost through.

You’ve run your course, you’ve had your say,

But the world will be better once you go away.

Sorry, not sorry, if now you feel glum,

But not everybody is freaking dumb.

First Day of Magic School

First Day of Magic School

First of all, Missing the Muse is two years old! Woot!

When I started this blog two years ago, it was a writer’s blog about everything except writing. Now it’s a writer’s blog about hardly anything at all. Le sigh.

But hey, here’s a new post for you.

Instead of tooting my own horn, I’m going to take this opportunity to toot someone else’s. Er, wait… that didn’t come out right.

Let’s start over, shall we?


A friend of mine named John has started a Kickstarter to help raise funds for an awesome project. Basically, he created an interactive children’s book that incorporates a blacklight to solve puzzles. It is totally fun for both kids and adults.

Check out the preview for First Day of Magic School:

Pretty neat, huh?

Check out the Kickstarter page for more details.

First Day of Magic SchoolI encourage you all, my loyal minions readers, to help John turn his creative vision into a reality. Even if you can’t pledge any money to the project, you can help by spreading the word and sharing the link on your own platform, so that other people will have the opportunity to help bring this cool project to life.

The beauty of the Internet is that we can spread information like herpes and exponentially infect countless others. (Remember, it’s all about suppression!)

So if all of my followers posts this on their blogs and/or social media platforms, and then all of their followers do the same, then it will reach at least two more people. (I’m not good at math.)

Did I mention the book uses a blacklight?

So what do you say? Pledge money or spread the love word so that my son can enjoy this thing.

Click here to do the stuff and be awesome!

Fantasticon 2014: Part 3: Dealers’ Room


Fantasticon 2014 took place last October in Milwaukee, WI. I posted two out of six review articles about the event. Then I got caught up with NaNoWriMo in November and forgot about it. Now that it’s February, maybe I should finish this up.

Part three of this mini-series is about the Dealers’ Room, where a myriad of vendors set up booths to sell their wares. These are the photos that I took.

Click a picture to enlarge it.


The first thing I saw when I entered.


Nintendo lovers are welcome.


They had a thing set up to scan people in their costumes and make a 3D model of them.

Check out Bodastone Photo Sculptures for more information about their photo sculpting services.


What convention would be complete without lizards?


Cute little fellow.

The lizards were brought in by the Madison Area Herpetological Society. Check them out if you like reptiles.

Indiana Jones

We found the lost Ark of the Covenant!

Indiana Jones

Dr. Henry Jones with the Holy Grail.


Indie writer Lauren Jankowski.

Lauren Jankowski, one of the indie writers I met selling their books in the Dealers’ Room.


From left to right: Leo Perez, some girl I was giving a hard time (she was a trooper), and Jon Michael Lennon.

Leo Perez and Jon Michael Lennon are great artists. Check out their stuff at Cheese Lord Comics.


Artist Dominic Lobello and his lady friend.

Another great artist, Dominic Lobello.


Leticia Figueroa (the Giggler) and her sidekick.

More great artists. Leticia has the best giggle ever. I could hear her giggling from the other side of the noisy Dealers’ Room. So I named her the Giggler. Check them out at Nerd By Design.


These video game peddlers are living the dream!

Love video games? Check out Gorilla Games.

Saving the best for last…

What I got the most out of the Dealers’ Room was getting to know a couple self-published authors who were peddling their novels at booths. This was inspirational because I realized that someday I could have a booth at a convention to sell my novels.


Harry L-B and his novel, Billy in Space.


“To Dan, good luck writing!”

Harry L-B writes sci-fi comedy. I bought a copy of Billy in Space, which he signed for me.


Donovan Scherer with his novel, Fear and Sunshine. And a ZomBean.


“To Dan, write them books!”

Donovan Scherer has a lot going on. As a graphic designer, author, and publisher, he runs Ratatat Graphics and Studio Moonfall. He wrote and illustrated the light-hearted horror comedy series, Fear & Sunshine, and Monsters Around the Campfire. He also created a fun game called ZomBeans.

He was kind enough to sign my copy of Fear & Sunshine: Prelude.

Check back soon for more Fantasticon pictures.

  1. A Taste of the Con
  2. Lightsaber Duels
  3. Dealers’ Room
  4. Celebrities
  5. Gaming
  6. Cosplay