Writer Cat Comic, Story One

Writer Cat Comic

Story One

by Stella Brians


Writer Cat is a comic about a homeless cat and a man who find each other and try to make the world a better place with their creativity. This comic (although not meant to be funny–perhaps graphic novel is more suitable) documents life as a struggling indie author/artist.



Thank you for reading!

To Be Continued….


How To Work Through Writer’s Block

How To Work Through Writer’s Block

by Stella Brians


(Photo Used With Permission)

I think that at one time or another we all suffer writer’s block in different ways and for a variation of reasons. Often I work on two book projects at once along with other more minor literary related responsibilities sprinkled in. My books are each nearing the middle to end which means that the entire story and all of its characters are going to have to come together in a respectable, meaningful way that flows. Sometimes towards the end we sometimes feel that we have said all that we have to say in the duration of the novel.

But we haven’t of course, because there has to be an ending.

In my two novels there are sizable experiences that the characters must take into themselves and deal with. There are events that have yet to happen, to be explored fully. Sometimes I get stuck on scenes–especially ones in which there is heavy description of a new place. In my novel in progress: The Wanderings of Colin and Hazel, there is a building that is haunted. The area is which we temporarily live is not full of enchanting Victorian mansions or condemned buildings like Connecticut was so I had to improvise.

An avid horror and paranormal fan, I was not shaken at all by the ghost videos I watched on YouTube, or the documentary on insane asylums. I found them to be educational and a breath of fresh air. I myself have spoken to spirits but not quite in that sense.

In the documentary I paid close attention to the design, overall architecture and state of the buildings. I learned a little bit about padded rooms and that not everyone who had to stay in an asylum was actually crazy. I saw interesting recording equipment used to speak to several different spirits at once. I thought that the investigators were very respectful of the spirits.

I paid close attention and internalized all of this for one section of my book. To some, this type of research might seem tedious but it is in fact absolutely necessary for writing a novel worth reading. There is still more research I would like to do for this scene but I have gotten what I needed for today.

Of course, my favorite research is in person but that was not available at this time.

Something else I can suggest is to use the history from your hometown or where you are currently living as inspiration. This could be a park with Native American history (Mohegan Park, Norwich, CT) or a somewhat famous park that used to be a cemetery (Cheesman Park, Denver, Colorado.) This is an example of how some of the greatest antidotes to Writer’s Block is right under our noses.

Something that I like to do when I’m feeling very frustrated with how my writing is going, I take a walk or do something else and then come back to the story later that day.

Rain Willow Dream


(Stock photo used with permission.)

Rain Willow Dream
Copyright 2017 by Stella Brians

(This is a poem/song for a Young Adult novel project I am working on.
Please note that it is copyrighted.)

I just want to live in a dream
In which I fly away and live with you
In this dream world,
We float far away
Surrounded by those we love forever.
I don’t want to be a mother. I want cats and quiet and you
And just to listen to shoegaze music on cassette tapes and watch rain storms.
This island is part of me in the way the branches sway
How the ocean sings and the gulls cry
You are always near, you are here
I love the way your feet fit in your shoes
And your sweet funny nose
Your eyes change colors in the rain
You’re with me in every way
I hope to see them again,  to never feel pain.
I wish to live and dream on this island of quiet and love. It’s made of raindrops and silence.
Don’t you see?
Beneath the gray willow trees I fold up inside
Within a blue cardigan
Inside the pockets are stars, stones, and shells
This island is part of me in the way the branches sway
How the ocean sings and the gulls cry
You are always near, you are here
I love the way your feet fit in your shoes
And your sweet funny nose
Your eyes change colors in the rain
You’re with me in every way
Carry the ocean waves
Inside of us as we sneak away onto the beach
Gray skies spill milk into the water
We’ll swim on and on
The rainy sky will carry us home
Through our dreams of rain and willows



Delving Into History With The Otis Library

In 1989, I was born in Hartford Connecticut to two really smart and creative people. Early on, I wanted to write and create books. I briefly tried acting and ballet, but what I really wanted to do was to write and eventually create art. We moved to Norwich in the very early nineties, where I spent a great deal of time at the Otis Library. It was the coolest place to me back then, especially before the renovation. I love old buildings, because of the history and architecture but also because I find them so interesting. There is a sense of mystery to them that I can’t always put into the words I would quite like to.

We were friendly with the librarians, and familiar with the children’s section. There was a cave, and a wall mural featuring a wizard, knight, and princess standing before a castle in the distance. The Otis Library had one of the finest young adult collections I have ever seen (although it is different now I suspect.) They had the original Three Investigators Series, The Escape to Witch Mountain books, all of The Hardy Boys books, as well as the Cherry Ames Nurse Series. There were many others, and I spent so much of my childhood immersed in these books. The Otis Library had the best activities for children, and the librarians were always so kind.

Recently, I read online about something called The Jim Lafayette Writers Series for science fiction and fantasy writers. I had no idea that this event had been going on for a decade, and I really wish that I had known because I would have loved to be a part of it in some way. Jim Lafayette was a young man who passed away at age 26 due to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Disease.

He spent a great deal of time reading and writing science fiction, and this allowed him to escape being confined to his wheelchair. I was deeply moved by his story, the story of such an intelligent and creative person whose life ended far too soon. Jim graduated from Norwich Free Academy (the same school as myself) in 1995. He then went onto Connecticut College and graduated with honors in English. His parents donated his large science fiction collection to The Otis Library, which I found fascinating. I myself have looked through the science fiction and fantasy section there myself and might have come across his books.

I find Mr. Layfayette’s legacy very touching because he was a writer like myself and also sketched as I do. I had no idea that this very cool person once existed in the town of Norwich, CT that I grew up in. I wish I had known a long time ago. He is also inspiring to me because although he had a handicap, he went to school and studied what he loved. He immersed himself in reading and writing science fiction, and also wrote a weekly video game review for The Norwich Bulletin.

In my own ways in life I have struggled, of course, very differently and much less severe than Jim Layfayette. My depression and anxiety have made things very difficult for me, and my writing and art are a way for me to express myself and share my life in a positive way with others. My goal is to turn what troubles me into something beautiful instead– be it a book, a painting, or a drawing.

The yearly event features writers of the science fiction and fantasy genres, but this time was different. This time song and performance was incorporated with the literature being read as I understand it. I very much hope to attend this event in the future. Thank you to the Otis Library and to others for keeping his memory alive.

To Learn More About The Jim Layfayette Writers Series:




Rainy Day Recipes–Autumn Apple Bread

Rainy Day Recipes–Autumn Apple Bread


I originally got this recipe from The Heart of New England Website here:



As many of you know, I am a New Englander and so I love to recreate baked goods from where I grew up. I recently made this recipe originally titled Apple Coffee Cake, and made a few adjustments. I also think that it is more like bread than cake, but it could go either way.

Here is my adventure 🙂

  1. Cut and dice up four Granny Smith apples, and then mix with a bit of cinnamon. apple bread 1
  2. In a bowl, mix three cups of flour, one tablespoon of baking soda, a half tablespoon of salt,  and one cup of sugar. Sift and set aside. 
  3. In a separate bowl, combine two eggs, a cup and a half of cinnamon applesauce, and two teaspoons of vanilla. Wisk and set aside. apple bread 3
  4. Now combine diced apples and cinnamon with your bowl of combined dry ingredients. apple bread 2
  5. Next, combine this with the mixture of eggs, applesauce, and vanilla. Stir until thoroughly mixed. apple bread 4
  6. Next, put into a bread loaf or cake pan (remember that this recipe could go either way.) 🙂
  7. Put your apple bread or cake in the oven at 350  degrees for 1 hour.  Apples should be moist and delicious! To keep moist after baking, cover or wrap with foil. apple bread 6


The Paperback Writer of Central Park, A Review by Daniel Bauldwin

The Paperback Writers Group

Book: The Paperback Writer of Central Park by Stella Brians
Review by Daniel Bauldwin

I had the great luck of meeting this author online and as such was given a copy to review. My first impressions were pretty good. Chapter 2 Hooked me by being relatable to me personally. As I read on I noticed some of the characters seemed to have very similar back stories, but they are all unique from one another. I also noticed, very quickly, that this book is extremely descriptive; describing almost everything in a fantastic way that makes it simple to imagine anything that happens.
The book focuses mostly on the young Elizabeth and her journey from writer, to indie author, to so much more as her heart goes through an equally difficult and spiritual journey.
The book itself really blurs the line between fantasy and non-fiction as a result (before picking a side)…

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Roadside by Angie Dokos, a Book Review

Roadside by Angie Dokos, a Book Review

by Stella Brians


Ms. Dokos was kind enough to send me a copy of her book for an honest, and well thought out review.

Roadside is a romantic novel about a young woman who is assaulted and left for dead in the woods. She is then discovered by Levi, a detective, and his son Zayne. Her name is Serena, and she is a college student who works at a convenience store. Serena managed to  fight off her attacker (who is later identified) and crawl to the edge of the road where she is found and rescued.

What I liked about Roadside was  the packaging; the cover was simple and cute, and it remained tasteful in that aspect, while other romance novels tend to show naked people clinging to each other in some kind of ridiculous embrace.

Roadside was different. The  lovable macaroni and cheese orange font, complete with heart and a calming photo of a nice road surrounded by trees was a refreshing change. Another thing I liked was that the novel kept you interested in the characters, Serena’s recovery, the discovery of her attacker, and her relationship with Zayne. These four factors lead the plot until the end, which is a very positive thing.

What I did not like about the story was the writing style, because it felt a bit rushed and that it needed more work. I wish that the characters were older, and not college aged because they seem a bit immature and silly and that took away from the story for me. The last thing I did not like was the constant mention of religious elements, and how it seemed to control how the characters acted and what they did. I am also not a fan of novels that take place in the South, but that is a personal preference and should not impact future readers views of this book.

Overall, Roadside is a great book for young people, and Ms. Dokos did a remarkable job engaging the reader throughout the book.

To Purchase Roadside:


Balloon Man Book Review


Balloon Man

by Frances Laskowski

Book Review

by Stella Brians


 Horror has always been one of my favorite genres, so I was excited to read Balloon Man by Frances Laskowski. Set in Louisiana in present day, Laskowski tells the story of multiple people who together are all a part of Cooter’s (Balloon Man) story as a torturer and killer. She also tells the tales of all who are affected by him, and how they are able to survive and live a more positive life after Balloon Man puts them through the wringer. He is a filthy low life who hangs around a massive alligator known as Pyrrain, and kidnaps children by enchanting them with colorful balloons. I really enjoyed Balloon Man because in the ways of the women’s torture and survival it reminded me of my beloved V.C. Andrews. Laskowski has her own way of leading one chapter into the next, so that you are excited to make your way through the story. I can say that this is a great book for any time of the year. It would make a great beach read, a story for Halloween, or something to take with you on a long train ride! I look forward to reading more of Laskowski’s work. Something really unique to the Balloon Man novel, is that Frances wrote a song for the story.

You can listen to it here: 

To Purchase Balloon Man for Kindle, Paperback, or as an Audiobook: