A Journey of Souls

Sometimes it’s challenging to tell your story in just a few short words – but Our Gentle Sins is the journey of two souls who are recovering from past mistakes. Aren’t we all?

Cover Reveal!

Finally – title and cover reveal! Our Gentle Sins – due out June 21, 2022.

Our Gentle Sins follows the journey of Valerie who must face and rectify her mistakes and Jack is working hard to recover from his past and stay clean for his future.

But making a a new life for yourself is never easy, especially when the secrets of others are working against you.

Beautiful News

My short fiction story, All the Beautiful People, has been published by Hoxie Gorge Review!

With much appreciation to Hoxie Gorge!!

Postpartum Writers

Have you heard of Postpartum publication syndrome? It appears to be a real thing for many writers.

Many of us have heard of or referred to our “babies” when writing. The act of creation – creating – we are bringing something new into this world. A good book takes years of hard work, anxiety, and challenges.

Then it’s finished, it’s published, and we have to release it into the world. It is, in some ways, no longer ours. The precious little life we have brought into this world is out, and… well… I know we’re supposed to be excited, ecstatic, but somehow, for some reason, we’re feeling down.

It’s a gain, no doubt, but it’s also a loss. It’s a transition from one phase to another, and the hard work is not done yet. In some ways, it’s beginning again, in another way. We are no longer alone in the dark at a desk, but we got comfortable there. And this change from releasing our darling into the world is harder than we imaged.

Many writers go through a phase of mild depression once their work is published.

I’ve heard many “cures” for this postpartum publication syndrome, which include:

  1. Start writing something new. (Of course, I feel writing is the best way to cure my blues.)
  2. Talk to other writers. (It does seem to be a good idea to talk to those with similar experiences.)
  3. If it doesn’t pass quickly, talk to a professional. (Yes. Good idea. There are a number of types of professionals who deal with writers (there has to be, we are a questionable bunch)
  4. Absolutely know that you are not alone.

So – look at me – book’s not even released yet! haha. No worries! I’m okay. 🙂

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(this post, by no means, insinuates that the very serious topic of postpartum depression new mother’s face can be solved easily or taken lightly)

Secrets can be Deadly

Secrets, at first, seem so harmless. Yet, when you find the person you love is keeping something from you – something that could damage your relationship – secrets can be deadly.

Secrets can be the lies of omission. When someone doesn’t tell another something or includes it after it’s been found out or questioned. Lies of omission are the gaslighter’s favorite game. This way they allow their victim to fall into a trap – the gaslighter will question their trust. “I was going to tell you. I thought you trusted me.” There’s no easy way to get out of the advanced manipulation tactics.

“I do trust you.”

“Then why are you questioning me?” or “Then you should know I intended to tell you” insert “at the right time” or other. The manipulator will then pout or become angry – or start with one and end in the other. Whatever it takes to throw their partner/victim off balance, leaving them uncertain of how to respond or rushing to correct the situation, which is what they want. Power. Control. Over the other person’s emotions, ideas, opinions.

Another hint for my upcoming release:

BUT THERE’S MORE –

More secrets….

and more to come.

Cover reveal – coming soon!

Gaslighting

The old movie, Gaslight, is about a guy who tries to make his wife think she’s crazy. Have you ever had someone do that to you?

It’s the most maddening thing. Someone tries to convince you that what you think is happening, what you hear, and/or what you believe is all wrong and that you must be imagining things.

In fact, they get upset with you when you start doubting them and try to seek information for yourself. Of course, they are tying to keep you ignorant and under control. That’s what it’s about.

In my new novel – cover reveal coming soon – Valerie is a sweet, kindergarten teacher who married the man she thought could give her the life she wanted and needed.

Sometimes, let’s be honest, we gaslight ourselves. We believe there’s a certain something (or someone) we need or want for us to be happy. If we’re lucky, we figure this out rather quickly. But, seriously, how many of us are that lucky on the first go ’round?

So – is Valerie being gaslighted? or is she gaslighting herself?

Stop the Abuse

A few disclaimers:

  1. I’ve wanted to keep this blog writing related, and this one will sort of be related: One of the characters in my new novel is an asshole.
  2. I’m not a fan of reality tv – as seen in my previous piece – I’ve never seen any of the Kardashian shows, and certainly don’t appreciate Kim K’s latest words about/to women in business.

Given that – This whole Kanye and Kim that has repeatedly made the news makes me wholly uncomfortable and I’ve figured out why.

Trevor Noah said it:

“What she’s going through is terrifying to watch, and it shines a spotlight on what so many women go through when they choose to leave. You know, people always say that phrase to women. They go, ‘Why didn’t you leave?’ … Yeah. Because a lot of women realize when they do leave, the guy will get even crazier. And when I say ‘crazy,’ I don’t mean ‘mental health crazy,’” he said.

“What we’re seeing … is one of the most powerful, one of the richest women in the world, unable to get her ex to stop texting her, to stop chasing after her, to stop harassing her,” he said. “Just think about that for a moment. Think about how powerful Kim Kardashian is, and she can’t get that to happen.”

YES – THIS IS ABUSE. It is stalking! And the madman is threatening the only person I actually like in this whole fiasco – Pete Davidson.

I dated a man who would not leave me alone. I blocked his phone calls only to have him call me from a private number. I blocked his emails only to have him reach me from new email addresses. When I warned him not to show up at my house, he sent letters. When I wrote “return to sender” on those, he began sending post cards, then packages to my children – all of which went straight into the trash. It took more than two years – two years after I broke up with him – for him to stop. He’d even been seeing someone else while doing this. He’d even proposed to me while he was seeing someone else. As if he believed this was just a hiatus and all would be well again.

While he didn’t threaten me – too smart to put it in writing – the fact that he would not leave me alone was frightening enough.

It happened again, some years later, but this one did threaten me. I went straight to the police. In some ways, I didn’t hear from him again. However, he did damage in other ways through other people.

Because the laws of verbal abuse, threats, and stalking are not strong enough to actually stop perpetrators from continuing to abuse their former partners, we see in the news when it erupts in violence.

As Trevor Noah said – K & K’s drama is playing out in the public eye. We can see what is happening. We may have all dealt with an ex that was an asshole – but this goes beyond that. The woman shares children with guy. She can’t cut him off completely. She seems to be attempting to be civil – kudos to her. He continues to harass and attempt to control her. And he is threatening Davidson’s life.

If it is not stopped, we will see a violent end played out in the media.

Maybe the soon to be attorney can help create new stalking laws – perhaps she can see the seriousness of a problem so many others face and fight for them.

Let’s speak out – add to the #metoo movement with the #stoptheabuse movement and bring attention to all who face this type of harassment.

We can say no. We can walk away. We have the right to do that. And we have the right to not be shamed, harassed, attacked, or threatened when we choose a better life.

(More – or less – about the asshole in my upcoming novel on my next post.)

The Warp of Time

Did you ever notice how when you’re looking forward to something it seems to take forever to get here?

And when you’re nervous about something, it seems to come far too quickly?

I think these both describe the release of a new novel.

I thought I’d be finished with final edits. (Maybe I am and I’m freaking out about nothing.) I thought I’d have the cover in front of me – something visual for me to get me through those long nights of worry.

But, so I’m told, we have some time.

But will time go slowly? or will it speed up and suddenly be here and I won’t feel ready?

There’s so much more I want to do with this one – more book signings, more marketing. With the lift of restrictions, that is a possibility.

This story is a little different than my usual. But, then again, I have crossed genres before. I’ve done a little mystery, a little horror, some magic realism, but this is different. There’s actually a romance in this one. That’s not the only thing- you guys know me. The dark stuff is there. The mystical is there. So is some cold hard truths about love, drugs, marriage. And also – the beauty is in the details.

I hope to have a cover reveal for you in a few short weeks! The photo above – HINT. HINT. HINT.

Wellness Writing

It’s do over time. Sort of.

I play with this idea a lot, and we all do it sometimes. We think about something that happened where we could have said or done something different. As children, we had little power over our greater environment. We may have just wished things had taken an alternate path.

Some psychologists believe that it is our perception of events that does harm. If we look at the same event in a different way, it’ll appear possibly not as we first thought. (While I can see their point, I immediately think of traumas that can not be explained in lesser terms.)

However, let’s try an event we experienced as children or teens and rewrite that. Whereas we may want to come out as victors, trust the story to develop itself. Begin the incident and change one detail, maybe two. Follow where it goes.

I sometimes refer to this as reparenting ourselves. I feel if we do this enough it may give our inner children the power to feel at peace.

Feel free to share here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/writingtowellness/

I’m considering a Discord account for those who don’t use Facebook. Let me know what you think.