My Story-Just the Bones

I was born to a young mother who was alone, beside herself, and scared. My biological father chose drugs and alcohol over me. My mother did the very best with the circumstances she was given. She married a physically and emotionally abusive man who spent years hurting both of us. He was a military man and we moved around frequently. We lived in Bamberg, Germany for a few years before coming back to the states. I don’t recall much from those years and those things I do recall were not nice memories.

I was fortunate enough to be able to live with my grandparents for a time and they taught instilled into me a passion for reading and writing at the tender age of three. I remember reading from small, fat comic books about Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, Scrooge McDuck and his three nephews, and putting words together with flashcards. I recall staring into my grandmother’s gigantic dollhouse and dreaming up the perfect life for myself. Though I couldn’t touch the pieces, I imagined the little dolls moving around, talking, and being the perfect family.

I was five years old when I told a sixteen year old girl, my mother’s friend’s daughter, about the sexual abuse. I was five years old when I showed the therapist with dolls the things that had happened to me. I was five years old when everything changed. My mother took my little brother and moved into a safehouse for women and children. I was too old, in school, and lived with my other grandparents.

My mother, with community resources, moved us to another city, and together, we began our new family. Starting a new school at six years old was very scary. Throughout the coming years I made friends but continued to carry a big secret. One which I never fully processed through. So I learned how to process events in my life by playing Barbie dolls and writing stories. My first story was written when I was eight. It was a combination of Curious George and Shirley Temple.

Following years, moving into teen years, I experienced more trauma. I turned to inappropriate coping mechanisms, but continued writing. When I was in sixth grade, I wrote a story about a brother who’d gotten AIDS and how his sister was handling the news. This won me an award at Western Kentucky University. It was the moment I knew that writing was a talent, a gift, and an appropriate manner to share my feelings and still being safe.

When I was fifteen, I found myself in a very toxic relationship which propelled me down many dark paths. Paths that would follow me for decades. While I found richness, goodness, and happiness in my life, still, the darkness, the secrets, were very much there under the surface. I continued with my writing however I was stuck in a ‘start a story’ mode and for the life of me, I could never see the words, ‘the end’ to anything.

I attempted NaNoWriMo so many times only to fail. By this time, I was married, had children, and was going to college. College was the one thing I felt I could do right. I was able to get my BA in Interdisciplinary Humanities and Psychology and into my MA in Professional Counseling courses. Still I’d never fully processed my past traumas and was very critical and negative towards myself. Working towards my MA made me really learn a lot and it helped me immensely. So much that I finally opened the drawers that were locked deep inside the mind, hidden in the chained, locked, impenetrable doors of the mind.

I suffered a mental breakdown.

I made it through. Stronger. Surrounded by loved ones, I paced myself and learned to love myself. I found out that my writing could be better. I found my stories could be bigger. I found out that I could write, ‘the end’. I had finished my first novel. And then with NaNoWriMo, I finished three more novels. I pitched one of my stories to an editor and they loved it. (It fell through when the editor left for personal reasons, so I had to start back at the beginning.) At the point, I was fueled with love and admiration for myself, for what I’d overcome that I didn’t let it get me down.

My best friend and writing partner passed away. I was lost again. And I left my writing. I put it aside, mourning the death of my friend and partner. I raced into my new career as a professional counselor, put my all into it, helping families learn communication skills, de-escalation skills, emotion regulation and coping skills. I helped bring families together, stronger, and I love doing so. Unfortunately, the life of a counselor, I found I had so much documentation to focus on. So much time spent in front of the computer, and it zapped all motivation to write creatively.

Then Covid hit. You’d think I’d have so much more time to be creative, but instead, I focused on being gentle towards myself, focus on my family, and self-healing. It’s been a year now since Covid became a thing and I am only now finding in me a place to want, a desire to write. My characters are talking again. My stories are calling out to me.

I no longer write to heal myself. I write to help others heal.

What Are You Doing?

In writing, I constantly try to learn and improve myself and sharpen my tools. Often I learn from reading from other writers. Recently I finished reading The Dark Half by Stephen King. I’d read it a long time ago but happened to get it for free and dived into it again. The story is about a writer who’s ‘killed’ off the identity he took on to write a particular series and the ramifications of doing so. It’s a great read if you’re looking for something for yourself. After finishing it, I had many thoughts about myself. For example, do I take on a different identity/personality when I am writing certain stories. I feel like we all put on a special ‘cloak’ that changes us when we are writing. Especially if we are writing something difficult.

As I write this now, it comes to my kind of my character Tarra, from my fantasy series. She’s an orphaned teen who is coming into herself, her powers as a mage, and her personal struggles of losing her parents. When writing her portions, I find I cling to the younger me, perhaps my inner child maybe. When I’m writing Anna, I am pulling on the life of a young, single lady who has strong emotions and desires.
In King’s book, he writes of the authors’Third eye’ and I loved reading about it and could absolutely feel that. As a writer, I do feel like it takes a third eye to create the illusions I do. Creating worlds, characters that spring to life, it is MAGIC. And magical. I can only hope that magic transfers appropriately to the reader.

I’m currently learning from Jerry B. Jenkins writers guild and love it. I’m focusing on increasing my brand currently while also learning to write more tightly. I’ve been out of the field for a while so these lessons are certainly helping me.

What are you doing with your passions lately? I’d love to see some pictures, read some passages, or whatever it is you are helping to fulfill your life. Even if it’s gardening, singing, cooking, WHATEVER it may be. Please drop a line and share!

Cheers!

On Writing…. 5/31/18

Just some of my writings…could go somewhere or not. I totally don’t know where this one is headed.

Blue Ain’t Your Color
“What do you mean?” I could see him staring at his drink across the room. He ignored my question as much as my stare. “I just cancelled all my plans for this trip that you promised we would take.”
He took a sip with a heavy, slow swallow. “I don’t think it’s the right time for us to leave town right now.”
“No.” I threw my keys on the glass table. “You just don’t want to distance yourself from the other girl.” I’d known he was cheating on me for the past two weeks. I just hadn’t wanted to believe it.
He dismissed my statement by looking out the window and refusing to reply.
“So that’s the way this is going to play out?” I looked around the apartment. We had only lived here for three months. It was going to suck paying the rent by myself. “I think you should leave.”
That got Adam’s attention. He finally turned fully around and faced me. “As in move out?”
I looked him over. God, he was gorgeous. And the sex was still good. I was going to miss his body. “Yes. I think you should move out.” Go mooch off your other woman. I didn’t want to turn this conversation ugly. He wasn’t worth my energy. I grabbed my purse and picked my keys back up. “I’ll give you the night to get your stuff out.” I didn’t think I could face the apartment all alone tonight, anyway. Continue reading

Podcasts Illuminations Equals Change

Tonight I listened to The Creative Penn Podcast “My 2017 Goals. Plus Visualization and Positive Thinking for Authors with Nina Amir” I must say, it was very inspiring. If you are a professional writer, or like me, a struggling writer, … Continue reading

Hello Strangers!

fullsizerender I know that I’ve really sucked at blogging as of late. It took me a while to adapt to my new job and the hours (and driving) that comes with it. As a family crisis counselor, I travel to family homes and assist them with intensive in-home therapy three times a week per family. I love my job, but it did take me a good while to get my schedule under control, learn the job expectations, and develop my own style for success.

Needless to say, my writing was put on hold. I took 2016 off from writing in almost every way. It did not hurt. However, I am finding that beginning is hurting. I lost my motivation, lost my routine, lost some creativity, and honestly, I felt I lost a huge part of myself. Granted, story ideas, characters, and plot twists played within the confines of my mind so I can’t say I quit E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. Continue reading

A New Year, a New NaNoWriMo!

nanowrimoAll this week I have been sweating bullets, racking my brain, trying to find a story idea for NaNoWriMo. Last year I got an idea just a few days before November 1st. The year before that, I dreamed something that led me to a solid story idea just four days before November 1st. And the year before that I pushed it to October 30th waiting for an idea.

This morning, I woke up from a dream, hoping it would give me something but it was a total dud. Ugh. What was I to do? I’m no longer a fly-by-night pantser who can just write as November speeds along. I HAVE to have some kind of idea. I was freaking out.

So, I decided to go walking. It’s how I got last year’s idea, and it ended up being a good one. I walked up a huge hill (2.2) miles total and ended up coming down with a seriously excellent story. And I had a blast writing it. I didn’t have an ending at the time and by the last week of November I still didn’t know how it would end, but I eventually found it…it just came with the writing. I was pleasantly surprised by it. Continue reading

inspiresI wasn’t feeling well at all yesterday, and while that is not too great of an excuse not to write, I still didn’t. So today I must do two. (I’ll do them separately, however.)

WHO INSPIRES YOU THE MOST?

Gosh…I really sometimes just do not like this question. I mean, in what atmosphere are we talking about inspiration? I have different means of being/getting inspired.

When it comes to my family, my mother-in-law inspires me. I was around her the most when I was newly married. We actually lived with my in-laws so it was hard not to be around them. Sharon (rest in peace) had the most beautiful spirit. She never had an unkind word on her tongue. She was almost always in control of her emotions. She led her family with a servant’s heart. She rose early in the morning and prepared food for everyone. She tended to her home without complaint. And she never, ever missed her hour of prayer with the Lord. (It was always at 5pm, right after her favorite soap opera. LOL) Why did, does she inspire me? She taught me by showing and by leading and by guiding me. She helped me to be the right kind of woman, a Godly wife and mother. It was in everything she did and said that I learned how I should present myself to my family, to others, and to the Lord. I was so very blessed to have her in my life. Continue reading

I’ve Been Smacked in the Face By My Muse!

So for three long years my writing partner Will and I worked diligently on co-writing our epic fantasy series. We finished in January with book one. I’ve not been able to touch the dang book (book two) ever since. Oh, I tried. I definitely tried. And we even got a good 25K words in to book two. But, I just wasn’t feeling it. And I could not for the life of me figure out why. Continue reading

I need space!

So, I have this small problem. I have a small living space. Now, I’m very blessed with my house but as my family grows (our kids are teens and preteens) our house seems to get smaller every time we have another birthday.

Being a writer, a professional teacher, and a hotel representative, and a mother of three (four if you count my husband…and I do) it’s so hard finding time and space to write. I used to go to various coffee shops, libraries, parks, and the like but I was always needed at home. It was just inconvenient and definitely a crux in my writing creativity. Imagine writing a great chapter only to have a phone call about where a book was or so and so won’t do what I told her. And obviously I can’t turn the phone off. They’re my kiddos. They need me. I totally get that.

But I NEED ME too. My creativity is hurting.  Continue reading

Perfect vs Reality

maze-beginSo I’ve woken up the last three mornings and wrote the minimum of three pages. The second day I wrote four pages. Yesterday I wrote nine. All long-hand. At this point I need to realize that not everything will just pour out and be a lucid story but in fact, most of it is probably shit that I will never use. But if I allow myself to look at the positive side, at least I am writing.

I still have not had any luck on the book I want and need to be writing on. I also have not returned to editing the books I have completed. I continue to procrastinate on those to do items on my list of needing to get done. But at least I am writing.

I got two chapters on a story about a woman who gets wrapped up in Continue reading