Day 2

Author SH Burgess holding #StandUpForAAPI sign

I’ve typed and retyped words here and none really can sum up all of the emotion I feel posting this message. I #StandUpForAAPI because I have too many lived experiences of racism and bias in my life. I want my kids to have a better world and know people are capable of change for good.

I don’t want them to have “chink” written in their yearbook or be asked for the millionth time if they know karate or have the over exaggerated question of “But where are you from?” be asked over and over since just saying you’re from Virginia isn’t good enough.

I want them to know the overwhelming joy of what it means to be Korean American. 🇰🇷🇺🇸

As an adoptee, I have spent most of my life either saying “oh I’m adopted” as if it’s an apology when people don’t understand why I’m with a bunch of white people <my amazing family> or telling people I’m Irish, so they’ll just stop asking where I’m from <and to be honest, I love the confusion it brings>. And it’s exhausting.

We must #StopAsianHate and support one another. We must embrace our differences as good things, beautiful aspects of our lives, and learn from each other.

Absence and Day 1

I’ve been on a bigger than expected hiatus from writing and blogging lately. On top of an already grueling day job, which I love, and demanding schedule as a Mom ride share service for my kids, we recently experienced a death in our extended family of a loved one to cancer. Covid made the past year impossible to help console and comfort the caretaker and loved one, so it was a hard hit when the passing was announced. And then the mass shooting in Atlanta happened, at the same time we’ve seen this rise in hate crimes against Asians and on top of that, my own realization things for for Asians haven’t gotten better, they’ve only gotten worse. A bit rough on this Korean American’s heart.

Last week sucked. There’s no other way around it. One day it was nothing but tears, the next anger, the next despair. My emotions have been scrubbed raw and joy seems to be a little less as I see more reports about the men and women’s locker room equality and outrage over that, then over the death of 8 people, 6 of whom were Asian.

But today! Today I saw amazing authors and friends book on Instagram about #StandUpForAAPI this week. I knew I had to join in. So, I’m only one day behind but I’m hoping this will keep me active. Join us.

About Me

Journal image with search box. Search is for for Who is sh burgess?

I recently took on the role of VP of Communications for the Virginia Romance Writers. As an introduction to the group, I filled out a little Q&A and I thought it would be fun to share here!

Name: SH Burgess

What do you write: It depends on what mood you’re catching me in 😉 I love creating characters with traits from paranormal/sci fi and mashing them up in an usual setting and they’re probably a sociopath with a killer smile. However, I recognize this is not for everyone so…Last year, I did finish a short contemporary romance. It’s going through some edits so we’ll see if it winds up a long contemporary, lol.

How long have you been writing? Since Kindergarten when I wrote the True Book of Paleontology instead of the standard My Dinosaur Book.

Published? Working on it, unless you consider my 11th grade English poem being published in an anthology of VA English students.

Best writing advice: Keep going until it’s a habit and you can’t imagine not writing every day.

Plotter or pantser: What is plotting? 100% panster. If I try and plot anything there’s a revolt in my brain and everything is full stop.

Favorite author: Preston & Child write my absolute favorite series. The Pendergast series are action packed, horror, science fiction, suspense, mystery, mind bending, spectaculars. I also love KMM and the Fever Series.

Last thing you read: Eyes That Kiss in the Corners by Joanna Ho – Great kids story about diversity and representation.

Other hidden talents/hobbies: I’ve played the flute for over <gulps> 30 years. And due to Covid, I think I’ve become the ultimate multitasker trying to do the day joy, hustle job, teacher job and cat wrangler all at the same time.

What keeps you motivated? The idea that my story is not like everyone else’s and someone out there may read it and like it.

What is the strangest thing on your desk? Maybe it’s more around what is missing from my desk, which would be the kitchen sink with the amount of stuff I have residing on it. Currently, I have a cat, two computers set up, a printer, an ipad, two phones, a Nintendo switch, endless amounts of post-it notes, stickers, notebooks, journals, a desk fan, countless water bottles, a cup of coffee, random snacks, nail polish, rubbing alcohol, 2 boxes of pens, a cactus and 5 cups of pens…make that 6. And then there’s also the clutter 🙂 The creative brain is messy.

What do you listen to as you write? Going back to the second question, it depends on the mood. I love Sara Bareilles, she’s my music muse, so she’ll be on more often than not. I have a couple of writing playlists on Spotify containing everything from Linkin Park, 30 Seconds to Mars to John Williams and the Boston Pops to Bon Iver.

Thanks for learning a little bit more about me. The beginning of the year has already been slammed with non-creative time. I’ve been feeling very guilty about neglecting my writing but since it doesn’t pay the bills at the moment, I have to let it be a sidelined. Hopefully, only for a little bit longer. If you’re interested in following some of my other social media, here’s where you can find me.

Where to find SH Burgess via social media links

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! We made it to 2021! I hope everyone had a great first day to the new year. I had a few moments of inspiration and a couple of new characters decided to introduce themselves to me. Seems like they’re a little lukewarm towards each other but meant to be, so I’m excited to see where they’ll be taking me next. If you can’t tell already, I’m a total pantser when it comes to writing. Any outlining, plotting, planning or other logical systems to character development and writing just don’t work for me.

My main goal for this year is to keep writing, a little something each day. It can be a blog post, edits or new material, just anything to keep my fingers and creative brain active. And then my big, hairy, audacious goal is to publish Zak and Sadie’s story. I’m not sure what the timing would be since they need those edits but before the end of the year, I’d like to feel that book in my hands.

End of 2020

Wrapping up the year, so long 2020!

The last day of a very long year. I wanted to capture a few thoughts before sitting back, sipping something bubbly and welcoming in 2021 with open arms.

2020 has certainly been a shift for all of us. For me, it’s taught me to let a few of those extra balls I try and keep throwing back into my juggling routine to fall. And it’ll be ok if they fall. Inevitably, someone will offer to help by either adding it to their juggling act or showing me it wasn’t an important addition to my own.

2020 has helped me get back on the writing horse. The daily grind of commuting, catching up with family once back home and other non-stop worries kind of disappeared or became a thread throughout my day, not a tangled yarn ball when I walked through the door at the end of it. This allowed me to swivel in my desk chair from work to hustle. I slipped easily into my characters’ lives and world and allowed them to carry me away.

I love that on the last 6 months of the year, 2020 brought me 20 minute writing sprints. It matched perfectly with the dream I had introducing me to Zak and Sadie. Their second chance at love woke me up and slowly, over the course of a couple months and 20 minutes a day, their story was crafted. I wrapped them up with a nice NaNo bow. Now my goal in 2021 is to go back through and edit the crap out of their back and forth but let them live out in the published world.

I have yet to tackle this website but hopefully 2021 will bring me some web inspiration and I’ll have more to share in the coming months. For right now, I think I’ll savor the end of 2020 a little bit more.

Winner! But…

NaNoWriMo Winner image

I received my NaNoWriMo winner’s shirt yesterday in the mail. There was a strange, really joyous emotion which created a gigantic smile as I ripped into the mailer. Perhaps it was the euphoria of being a first-time winner or maybe it was because this simple shirt made the win feel tangible. Someone had to package this shirt and send it to me. It wasn’t me printing off my own winner’s certificate. Weird, maybe? I hope and plan for future wins, so I’ll have to remember this post and see if I have a similar reaction.

My day job has been ramping up and therefore it has been consuming most of my brain power. My analytical and logical thoughts are drowning out my poor creative muses. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that as we approach Christmas, the workload will die down a bit and my muses will still be there to write. I feel an itch in my fingertips to just let their words fly over the keyboard, that’s right before my head drops and my chin hits my chest from exhaustion. They’ll just have to be my dancing sugar plums for now.

The End of November

November calendar
Photo by Gabby K on

It’s gloomy here in my corner of the world. A nice grey, slightly windy and rainy day to close out the month of November. For some odd reason, I feel like November was a fast month. Does anyone else feel this way? Perhaps it was the buzz of sprinting towards a NaNoWriMo finish or maybe it was looking forward to putting up some festive decorations and trying to find cheer in the midst of this pandemic year.

I’m sure next month will bring on a whole new set of challenges as we figure out how to close out a most interesting year. While 2020 has been, to quote almost every person, “unprecedented” <can we all agree just to retire this word?> I have, personally, found much joy and growth in the darkened storm clouds.

This month, I’m thankful we decided to decorate a little earlier with Christmas lights and cheer. I’m also enjoying the fact so many others have decided to do the same thing. The twinkling little lights keep me company as I sit at my computer at night and type. I’m grateful for the 20-minute sprints I was able to cram in and become a first time NaNoWriMo winner. The joy from writing another novel has really buoyed me these last few days of the month.

All right, time to return my thoughts to my day job and daydream about the writing process for later in the night.

Hello, Again

Hand holding "Hello You" card
Photo by Claire Morgan on

It’s been a while since I’ve delved into the fantastical world of website maintenance. I will admit, keeping an Instagram, Twitter and Facebook page all active is a doozie. Hats off to those of you who are masters at this art, because it is an art. I’m grateful for the ability to just integrate everything together and have everything publish at once. But for a website, I felt there should be more meat on the bones, so to say, not just some small snippet. So, if you happen to stumble across this site today <thank you> it will hopefully look different the next time you randomly visit.

My hope is to spruce it up so when 2021 rolls around, I can be more active and more exciting. I love it when others share their writing inspiration and I thought I could share some too!

I am currently working on my NaNoWriMo novel. I hit 50k words the other day so I’m actively ripping apart my nicely “pants” novel and stitching it back up with edits and revisions. I’m hopeful S&Z will be finished in time to help jump start an amazing 2021.

I guess that’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by and I hope they’ll be more updates real soon.

Chapter 3

Chapter 3Aleksander Hampton gazed through Philip’s lenses at the willowy female standing in the middle of his parking garage.  As soon as she had spoken her name he’d started a search through the web to find out more information.  He had to ensure she was safe and she would be oblivious to the party which was just starting.

Constance Smith, 31, held a BFA from Columbia and currently worked at Calling Shots.  Alek tented his fingers as he read more about the location scout but was pleased to find the female had not lied to Philip.  She shared a decent sized 2-bedroom apartment in California with two roommates but from her online travel bookings, it appeared she was rarely at home.  A few more hits told him she held basic loyalty cards to big box stores, a rarely used gym membership and a platinum membership to all the airlines and hotels.

According to her social media information, she used to date Trevor Giles.  This was the person she had mentioned had given her permission to be on the property.  Alek ran started a search on Trevor as he’d never met him or heard of him.  Trevor’s information told Alek all he needed to know about the male.  Through mutual friends, Trevor knew one of Alek’s drugged out family members.  They’d spent time drying out at the same wellness center.

Alek speculated Trevor tried to impress Constance by telling him about the estate.  Maybe he even told Constance it was in the Giles family believing the property to still be abandoned.  He wouldn’t have guessed Constance would drive there in the future or that Alek would be living there.  If only she had come to visit on a different day, Alek would have been happy to welcome her and proudly shown all the restorations.

Now, though, she could never leave.

“Philip, you know what to do.  I’ll see you in twenty in the ballroom.”  Alek broke off his connection with Philip and blinked several times, regaining his own eyesight in his office.

He gazed up at the wall of tiny CCTV monitors which encompassed the property.  The screens on the far right showed him the smartly dressed males and females all socializing in the main hall and 3rd ballroom.  They were most likely on their second glass of champagne and beginning to wonder why he hadn’t made an appearance.

His eyes began to travel the monitors toward the left side where Constance and Philip were beginning their journey through the tunnels.  Philip held on to Constance’s hand and was leading her down the middle of the tunnel.  Alek smiled as he saw a familiar black tie covering the female’s eyes.  He wondered how hard Philip had had to work to convince her to wear the blindfold.  Why the devil hadn’t she left?  Shouldn’t she have been scared shitless?

A flash in the middle of screens alerted him and caused him to pull back in his chair.  Defensively, he shielded his light eyes from the bang even though it was on the TVs.

“What the fuck is going on?” he barked into his com unit.  Smoke and debris filled three monitors trained on the top terrace on the west side of the estate.  “Col, I need a report.  Now.”

 While he waited for his lead in the area to update him, Alek reviewed all the screens to see if the incident had sparked any alarm in his guests.  Neither the party guests nor Constance looked as if they’d experienced a tremor in the property or were aware there was a small commotion going on.

Alek’s gazed dropped to view on the sub-basement, the rooms directly under the smoky terrace.  Every guest located there held their head up to the cameras and grinned from ear to ear.  Some of the faces looked supernaturally stretched as they all cocked their heads to the right side and then began laughing.  Alek swallowed hard and cleared his throat, the only sign he was unsettled by the event.


“God dammit, I’m here,” he heard his lead’s gruff voice come over his earpiece.


“I fucking heard you the first time, Alek.  We had to move some of your rented staffers out of the way before we could begin the assessment.”  Col continued to grumble into the com as Alek finally spotted him walking out on the terrace.

“Just give me the report, asshole.  I’ve got guests to go see.”  Alek rolled away from his desk and then stood up and walked to the opposite side of the room where he’d left his bowtie and mask.

“Don’t get your panties in a twist.  I’ll need a few to get an update from Moore about the cages but so far, no casualties, except for your dumbass lawn jockeys.  Good riddance.  Doesn’t look like there’s any big structural damage.”  Alek breathed a sigh of relief as he finished tying off his tie.  “Oh, shit,” Col cursed loudly.

“What?  Col?” Alek dashed back to his desk, throwing his mask on the floor.  “I’m turning your lenses on.”

“Hell no.  You know the fucking rules, Alek.  Stay out of my eyes.  Just take deep breath and look at this.”  Alek scanned back to monitors and spotted Col, a sick feeling in the back of this throat.  What was Col doing on that part of the terrace?

He watched as Col’s eyes dodged from the camera to a crate in front of him.  He nudged it with the toe of his boot and Alek watched as the open crate revealed 10 black bottles where 12 used to reside.

“Shit, we’re fucked.”