5 Local Restaurants You Should Support Instead of Eating at Applebee’s, Episode 1: Petaluma, CA

Petaluma is the last stop in the Bay Area before it becomes wine country. Located in the scenic Sonoma county, it has tons of amazing food, wine, and, yes, even beer.

Lagunitas, one of California’s most famous beers, is headquartered here a stone’s throw from Penngrove, CA where wine country truly begins.

The rolling hills and fog make the view not only scenic, but a “must see”.

People come from all over the country to visit Napa, but they often sleep on Sonoma, CA which is arguably even better. And much closer to the coast.

Risibisi

From their website: RATED BEST RESTAURANT IN PETALUMA.

Risibisi Restaurant in downtown Petaluma serves healthy, fresh, Sonoma Italian cuisine featuring the finest local ingredients found in Sonoma County. We provide a memorable fine dining experience second to none, transporting you to the rustic elegance of an Italian Trattoria.

What locals have to say:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The food was excellent. The drinks were delicious. The service was impeccable. A perfect dinner. Definitely our new favorite restaurant in Petaluma!!

⭐⭐⭐

I have been to Risibisi many times. But my last visit was very disappointing. After being seated I had to go to the bar to get water after asking for it when we arrived and it never came. We did not get any butter or olive oil with the bread and had to ask for it.

My beet salad was just okay and the crispy duck salad was not good. Our main course was mediocre. The waiter must have noticed my displeasure at the end he brought Muscat and some doughnuts that had way too much cinnamon.

We came for my mom’s birthday. I mentioned that when we arrived. The waiter brought a candle on a plain plate with the check. I am sad about my dinning experience because I have had a great time at Risibisi before.

I probably won’t be rushing back soon.

My Review: Trying it out today. Will report back. Though it is VERY expensive. Expect to pay $20 for one here.

El Gallo Taqueria

From their website: Best food, good food.

What locals have to say:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Fantastic food and amazing service. My friends had burritos and I had tacos and they were all equally good and they all came out at the same time. The speed at which they brought out the food was almost instantaneous!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Delicious food from a family-run style restaurant I usually get the combination plates and have yet to be disappointed. Food here tastes real without any fillers. The have delicious chile rellenos that are made very well.

My review: This is my favorite place to eat in all of Petaluma. The food is good, reasonably priced, and the staff is friendly. Honestly this is one of “MUST EAT AT” places. Their pupusas are AMAZING. Their burritos, especially the chorizo one, are fantastic.

Gohan

From their website: Enjoyment is key , which clearly shows in our restaurant. We offers Orient cuisine with modern influences. Our chefs work with fresh seasonal, preferably local, products. All dishes are prepared in our own kitchen. We offer an excellent product at a fair price.

We are happy to serve you a typical Japanese rolls with fresh fish and vegetables, a fine glass of wine or one of the carefully prepared meals from our kitchen. Our friendly and guest-oriented service staff will make sure your every need is being taken care of.

What locals are saying:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This spot is worth a visit. They serve large portions for fair prices. Constantly well kept and with fantastic ambiance. Would recommend to others.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This place offers extraordinary service and tasty food. One of my favourite spots around town. The food came out rapidly and the rates are fair. Will definitely recommend this spot.

My review: Service has always been incredibly slow for me. Even though every time I’ve gone it’s been completely empty, but the food is really good. So I’d recommend it if you like sushi.

Fourth & Sea

From their website: First off, we have the best fish and chips in Sonoma County and maybe this side of London!

How do we know? People tell us!

But we’re more than just great fish and chips. Our fish tacos for example, are nothing short of addicting. We know; we’re addicted. Two flour tortillas, cheddar cheese melted in-between, filled with seasoned grilled fish, coleslaw, and mild salsa.

Really good, really big, really filling.

What locals have to say:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Delicious food! Fish and fries were great. Clam chowder was amazing as well as the smothered hot dog. Its probably for the best that this establishment isn’t close to me or else I’d be eating out way too much! Dog friendly patio. Eat inside or out. Huge menu with home made ice cream for dessert.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

This place is a classic little spot in Petaluma. Great fish and chips, and monthly shake specials. Lots of other items on the menu as well if you’re with a group. Seating inside and out; great on a warm summer evening. Only downside is listening to the guy running the kitchen demean his employees constantly.

My review: Honestly? Great fish & chips for this area. There’s a place down south that I love a good deal more than here, but if I had to pick a place in North Bay it would 100% be Fourth & Sea.

El Roy’s Mexican Grill

From their website: Authentic Mexican Food Truck where the food ranges from burritos, tortas, tacos, platillos (specialty plates), sopes, gorditas, to mexican hot dogs.

What locals have to say:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Y’all know El Roy’s is great, I’m not sure what more I can say. So good, always great service. Only thing missing is margaritas!

⭐⭐⭐⭐

We love the food at El Roy’s. My favorite is the shrimp tacos. The salsas are excellent. The problem with the place isn’t the food or service it’s the location. It’s too small and hasn’t got much parking.

My review: This food is so good! I didn’t really like the tortas, but everything else is *kisses fingers* fab.

A Brief Summary of Current Characters

This really isn’t anything other than a very brief list of the characters for my ongoing projects. And honestly it’s missing a lot of my untitled works, my reverse harem stuff especially.

I’ll probably add to this any time I can. When I remember more of my characters or create new ones.

Wixen:

The Begas

Jessica

Tina

Sandra

Rita

Monica

Erica

Mary

The Apollyons

Violet

Persephone

Hecate Crane (Honorary Apollyon)

The Garions

Caspian

Jasmine

Monster Love Novella Series:

Bloom

Holly Juniper

Kraniea

Nighthawks

Holly Juniper

Chord

Natalie Yates

A City of Glass and Sand

P

Will

Jonas

Chuck

Efeara

Marjorie Diaz Series

Marjorie Diaz

Lucian Maravalle

Emmanuel Maravalle

Patrick Watkins

Cessily Whelan

Adorara Chibuzo

Eliza Diaz

Rhinoverse

Rhine Tseng

Teresa Rhodes

Jonas Kincaid

Margot Park

Cassia Park

Sung-Jin Park

Darcy Fable

Osha Bakshi

Theta

Don’t @ Me:

Celine Vargas

Helena Bram

A&C:

Asher

Calla

RH Story

Veridian

Vanth

Aurelia

Jasper

Stella

What it’s Like to Write Every Single Day When You Have ADHD

NaNoWriMo is upon us and we’re 4 days in. I’ve been participating since roughly 2005 and this is the time where I start ‘feeling it’.

“But Des!” You say, “It’s only 4 days in. Surely someone who has been writing books for a number of years can go longer than this.”

I can. I can write every single day for 5 months straight if I have to, but would I want to? No. I get burned out really easily from having dyslexia and ADHD and I need frequent breaks from my manuscripts so I don’t go insane.

With NaNo, I don’t get that luxury.

Yesterday I went on a cleaning spree before I even sat down to get my words in. Even then I had to break up my writing by watching YouTube videos.

See, I have a very difficult time focusing on things like writing when I don’t take frequent breaks to do other things.

If I focused on writing for a full day, I could pull 20,000 words out of my ass, and trust me when I say I’ve done that. I’ve only ever done it once, but I’ve still done it.

But after I did that, I proceeded to not write for nearly 3 weeks. I can’t do that during NaNoWriMo. I would never finish.

So instead, I trick myself by allowing my brain to get all happy from watching a TikTok compilation, a crack video, or maybe even a 20 minute episode of something that I know makes me happy and then I force myself to write for 3-5 minutes.

It’s a huge time suck, but it works out really well for me. I’ve made word count every year I’ve done this. And I know how it must look to the people who are watching me, but trust me when I say I am definitely working. This is just part of my process.

What NaNoWriMo Means to Me

When I first started doing NaNoWriMo I could barely get past the first few days without giving up.

I remember talking about NaNo on my old LiveJournal for the first time in 2005 and how I struggled with the grueling task of writing roughly 2,000 words a day.

That year I didn’t make it past day two.

Source: Andrew Neel

It didn’t stop me from trying it again in 2006, 2007, and 2008, however. I thought that if I could force myself to write every day and follow the grueling NaNoWriMo schedule, I’d be golden.

It didn’t quite work out that way at first.

In 2006 I quit after 4 days, in 2007 I made it a whole week, and in 2008 I only wrote for the first day and didn’t even make the full word count.

After 2008, I forgot about NaNoWriMo for a long time. I actually didn’t participate again until 2013 when I tried to write A City of Glass and Sand, a novel I still haven’t finished but occasionally go back to.

I lasted 15 days that year, writing a good chunk of City of Glass, but not coming anywhere close to finishing it. With all the work I’ve done on it over the years, you’d think I’d be done by now, but I’m not. The story is only 40,000 words so far and that’s very lacking for a dystopian SciFi novel set in the last two cities on Earth.

Source: Leah Kelley

So what changed? How have I won the last 5 years of NaNoWriMo and why now in 2019 am I suddenly writing encouraging blogs about it for other writers?

It all started in 2014 when I finished my very first novel-length work. I didn’t do this for NaNoWriMo. In fact, I did it in January-March of 2014 for a Star Wars anthology I was tapped to be a part of.

I had never done an anthology piece before, and they never gave me a length limit so I wrote a 52,000 word novel based on merging the worlds of Star Wars and Aladdin together. It was equal parts terrible and awesome, but after that it was like something in me changed.

Writing a 50,000 word story seemed easier somehow now that I’d actually done it.

Source: Ann H

I would struggle to write my first original novel, Tranquil, that same November, but I would make it to 51,000 words. Tranquil is nowhere near finished, but…at least I made word count for NaNoWriMo.

The following year, in 2015, I would do it again. Another unfinished slog of a work at 50,000 words with no real ending and it’s one I barely even care about or read, but I proved to myself that I could do this. I could write a 50,000 word work in a month if I stuck to it, tried hard, and believed in myself. As ridiculous as that sounds.

In 2016, it finally happened. I finished a novel for NaNoWriMo. Sure, I’d reached word count the past 2 years with these stories I didn’t love and forced myself to work on, but in 2016 I would write Wixen.

Source: Joy Marino

Wixen is the story that started everything for me. This was the first story I ever fell in love with. I pumped out 70,000 words that year for it and then spent the next 2 editing it every few months to the point where it slowly became this 150,000 word book about what it means to have a family.

After that, writing got a whole lot easier. In 2017 I would finish Bloom: A Monster Love Novella for NaNoWriMo and then proceed to write 2 more books that year.

In 2018, I published Bloom on Amazon and then then wrote and published my first Marjorie Diaz Novel. I wrote the second Marjorie Diaz Novel for NaNoWriMo that year and published it this year in March.

Over the past 5 years I’ve written 12 novel-length works. They’re all in various stages of being edited and some of them, while over 50,000 words, are incomplete. I have also written over 100 short stories and novellas in the same length of time.

Source: Pixabay

All this because NaNoWriMo made me believe it was possible to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Having to stick to that regimen showed me so much about myself and what I was capable of.

In the past I was always trying to edit words as I wrote them. I wanted everything I wrote to be polished and perfect, but I learned that the first draft of any work isn’t going to be perfection. Sure, it’ll have some good, but it’ll have a lot more bad. It’s up to you as the author to fix that.

Build upon everything good about your story and weed out every bit of bad. I like to think of it as sifting for gold. In the words you wrote hastily to meet your NaNoWriMo word count for the day, there will be some nuggets of pure gold that you can use to build a better story from the word vomit you’ve flung onto the page.

Get your words out and worry about the rest later. Nobody has ever published the first draft of a book. Fine-tune it first and I guarantee you’ll be a better author for it.

For this reason, NaNoWriMo is important to all of us. It shows us what we’re capable of and even if we don’t meet word count or finish the books we started writing, we still started something and that makes a world of difference.

Source: Pixabay

If you guys want to track my progress or become friends with me, you can find me on NaNoWriMo at Gin-Keros. Because if the past few years have taught me anything, it’s that NaNoWriMo is much better with friends.

Today I’ll be posting the first 2,000 words I’ve written for NaNo on my Patreon, for my $1 subscribers.

If you haven’t become my Patron yet, I’d recommend joining. Since I will also be posting Chapter 2 & 3 of Rhinoverse this month for my $5 Patrons. So stay tuned for more about that.

Don’t @ Me: The story of Helena Bram.

This year for NaNoWriMo I’m writing my very first YA novel. I’ve only done New Adult before this with main characters ranging from 19-24, but Helena Bram is 15.

I like to tell the stories of people who are a little older because 19-24 is where I did most of my own self-discovery. It’s when I went off to college and when I finally left my parents and family behind, but I realize that’s not normal. Most people do their self-discovery in their teen years.

But since I was preoccupied by being abused and not being able to really form my own opinions or sense of self, I sort of missed out on that. I think the only thing I really knew about who I was around this time, was that I wasn’t straight and also that I was deeply unhappy.

Enter Helena Bram. Helena is a 15-year-old nomad from Buffalo, New York who lives with her mother. Her father split a long time ago and she never hears from him, not even on her birthday.

This vaguely looks like her if she were a lot older and a lot prettier (also you can tell this game was made by a man and that says a lot)

At the beginning of the story, her mother has moved the two of them across the state of Tennessee from Memphis to Knoxville where she’s the “new girl” again. She hasn’t been able to put roots down anywhere, nor does she have any friends.

The only thing she does have is a strange and wonderful connection to Best Buy. She waxes poetic about how it’s the only constant in her life other than the fact her mother will uproot them or her father will always forget her birthday. All Best Buys no matter where you are, stay exactly the same.

It is in irrefutable truth.

The Best Buy in Knoxville is no different than the Best Buy in Memphis and that’s the sort of stability she craves in her life. As she browses the store, though, she happens upon a table she’s never seen before. Not in any Best Buy she’s loitered in across the East Coast.

That’s when she discovers Twitter. In 2023. When she’s stuck in 2005.

She becomes obsessed with the possibility of it, seeing into the future through a flat brick of a phone and she spends far too much time in Best Buy talking to people she doesn’t know and ultimately falling in love with a celebrity.

For a long time this is all she has.

Until she meets Celine.

This is, of course, a coming of age F/F novel written partially about my own childhood, but with elements of science fiction and fantasy in an otherwise mind-numbingly normal world.

I really hope I can pull this off.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting the first 2,000 words I’ve written over on my Patreon, for my $1 subscribers.

If you haven’t become my Patron yet, I’d recommend joining. Since I will also be posting Chapter 2 & 3 of Rhinoverse this month for my $5 Patrons.

Happy Halloween!

Here’s a quick gallery of my Halloween fun that I had today!

We did a party at work where we had a pot luck and people brought in baked goods. I made meaty rice crispy treats. They were good, but probably could’ve used more marshmallow.

I did accidentally dump an entire pound of rice crispies into them, after all.

Otherwise, I was Toni Stark, Iron Woman extraordinaire and my cat Ophelia was my Penny Parker, Spider-Cat.

Going in to NaNoWriMo

Since I just realized I ran out of scheduled posts and I haven’t posted anything for 4 days, I’m going to go ahead and start a brief NaNoWriMo series for the month of November.

I will also be posting all of my #SmoreWords and #LGBTRelease stuff here too since I haven’t yet and maybe I’ll finally get my #Rhinvoverse case studies underway and post the rest of my Avengers LTs here.

The world may never know 🤷.

After this I’ll do a quick Halloween post and then see what all I get done.

But, I digress.

Tomorrow is NaNoWriMo. For those of you who don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, it’s short for “Everyone who writes is about to be real agitated and on edge for the entire month of November which is definitely not going to mesh well with No Fap November and No Shave November, so I guess November is just going to be a giant hell month and there’s nothing any of us can do”, Or “National Novel Writing Month”.

I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo for the past 5 years or so and I’ve won it for the past 3, so I’m trying to keep that streak alive this year by writing my first YA novel called Don’t @ Me.

I’ll talk more about Don’t @ Me tomorrow (I’ve got a full list of blog prompts I just came up with for NaNoWriMo, so expect more from me tomorrow if I can get off my ass and actually post stuff.

So, going into NaNoWriMo I have a list of things I’ve done to prepare.

  1. Loose outline. Now, I normally do a heavier outline for my books, but I figured I’d try something different. I only have a loose idea of what I want this story to do and where I want it to go.
  2. Friends to write with. I only have a few people who I know will stay by my side every step of the way. My best friend Lisa and a few of the people I’m friends with on NaNoWriMo, but it’s better not to do it alone.
  3. Patience and Understanding. I might not finish this year. I’ve got a lot going on and tons of projects going at the same time. So there’s a good chance I might not be able to do this. I’m sure as hell gonna try though.

That being said, I still feel completely unprepared. Only time will tell if I’m going to make it through National Novel Writing Month.

If you guys want to track my progress or become friends with me, you can find me on NaNoWriMo at Gin-Keros.