Tooting My Own Horn

I may be thinking like the six year old version of me, but it believe I have written a story (and continue to write, I swear) that is a potential international best seller, even if I did publish it myself (Although the odds are long, it could happen. I have taken the first big step: publication).

I mean, I’m getting reviews like this:

“I am not one for staying up all night reading a book, but I did for this one.”

And…

“The ups and downs that Liz and Ty go through are so real life for so many mature couples these days. “

Or…

“enjoyed every moment of this novel not once but twice! Thanks for a well thought out, well written story!”

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I even made a video!

Promo video!

And until August 31, use the coupon code for 50% off at Smashwords.

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Death and the Comedian

For anyone out there who sees this and says, “Oh Christ, not another self indulgent blog about Robin Williams dying,” fuck you and go read something else. This is MY space and I can use my little piece of the internet any way I want.

On the off chance that any member of Robin’s family should read this, you have my deepest and most heartfelt sympathies. I never met your father, husband, friend, but I wanted to. I wanted to connect with the warmth and sweetness that lay within him, to find a non-cliched and meaningful way to tell him how much he and his work meant to me, just like millions of other people sitting around this morning staring at a TV or their computer and just blinking because they’ve been dealt an emotional gut punch.

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We loved him, too.

The nature of Mr. Williams’ passing has naturally stoked the social media engine. It seems obscene to see “trending” next to stories and comments about him on the Facebook news feed, but then, algorithms are soulless creations. It’s as if they’re encouraging us to be thanatopsical voyeurs, to soak up all the morbid and sordid content we can hold. The Grim Reaper’s Hometown Buffett, as it were.

Part of the the feast are the comments (including some being aired on news programs) about how suicides are “selfish” and “cowards” for taking their own lives and leaving behind people to deal with their grief.

Really? Allow me to rebut from personal experience.

2014 has been the toughest year of my life. In January, I had no job, no money, a hostile roommate who was threatening to throw me out (but keep my bed because she saw some value in it), and no prospects for improvement. My mother had died in September. My immediate family didn’t tell me what was going in (she had liver cancer), didn’t tell me when she died (one of my cousins did that), didn’t tell me when and where the memorial was, didn’t even ask me if I wanted the goddamn pictures of me from the house when they sold it (I did. Still do). I know better than to express interest in anything valuable where this group is concerned. For whatever reason I was completely, deliberately excluded from one of the milestone events of anyone’s life. And the fact that I’m talking about it now tells you how much it still gnaws at me.

I wanted to die. I wanted an end to my considerable pain.

Selfish? Wanting to end pain so bad (whether physical or emotional) so intense it makes life unbearable isn’t selfish. If the sufferer was in the end stages of cancer and took steps to end things, the same people condemning Mr. Williams would be saying things like “He’s out of his pain now.” You can’t always see the effects of emotional pain, but I assure you, they are no less serious than physical agony. I think that there’s an argument to be made for “everybody who has to deal with their grief” crowd being selfish. You want a suffering human being to remain in that state of acute misery so that YOU don’t have to confront pain and loss? Who the fuck are you? News flash: you are not the Center of the Universe and nobody is obliged to arrange his life to suit you and your opinions. However, the thought of giving ammunition to the hostile roommate and various others who would be more than happy to have yet something else on me to bitch about and add to their legend of martyrdom because they’re connected to Susan Thatcher gave me a reason to stay my hand. I have been an emotional trash can for years. Lotta shit got blamed on me, deserved or not.

As for cowardly, I completely disagree (Shep Smith over on Fox News said it). I could, in those pitch black hours, pray for God to take me (and I fucking did), but I lacked the nerve to actually take a proactive step. (I also lacked the means. I don’t believe in prescription meds, don’t own a gun, wasn’t about to open a vein and give the hostile roommate something to bitch about how I had messed up her house, etc.) As much as I love the friends who stepped up and talked me down from the ledge (almost literally),  my hand was stayed in a large part because I could not bring myself to do it.  This ties back to the “live life to please someone else.”  You want to keep another being in intense pain and misery because you think it’s bad form to end it? See previous “who the fuck are you”?

Of all the things said in the last 24 hours, the one that is killing me (and making me cry. I’ll have to take out my contacts now) is the picture I’m using to close. Before I go: Look,  you can talk to me if you want to talk. You can call 1-800-273-8255. That’s the Suicide Prevention Hotline. Whatever you do, I won’t judge. And neither should anyone else.

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There are Days and There Are Days

imageWriting is like any other activity in that some days, your pen (or keyboard) cannot keep up with your racing thoughts. You look up, it’s dark, in fact it’s the wee small hours of the next day, and your cats have gone to bed without you, leaving no space for the human who doesn’t know how to keep decent hours.

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You may sleep on the couch, but your novel’s hero is about to confront his greatest, masked enemy whom he doesn’t know is his long lost brother. (Or you may discard that part because you were so tired and brain fried when your wrote it that it’s ridiculous when you’re sane again).

Then, there are the days when you have your nice, hot coffee, you have turned off all distraction,s, seat yourself at your writing space and…

Nothing.

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Yup. Your brain has hijacked your cast of characters and pulled a Ferris Bueller. (And your brain says, “Hey! “Ferris Bueller’s on Netflix! Let’s watch it!”) I’ve had days where I’ve gotten bathrooms cleaned, laundry done and solved ten New York Times crossword puzzles, but couldn’t figure out what to write after a character says, “

(No, that wasn’t a typo)

The same goes with writing this blog. There are days where I have a specific point to make or information to share, the there are days where it’s just “Well, I need to put up a post.” Essentially the same as the character saying,”

(Still not a typo)

There is an upcoming topic on established authors bashing us self-published folk. Trust me, there was an uproar on Facebook. But today, I’ll just leave things where they are and end with my usual push to get all y’all to buy my books.

The One Without a Title

It’s time for forgiveness.

If I have genuinely injured or caused you harm , I am sincerely sorry. Very seldom do I intend to set out to harm or use anyone else. If you feel I have wronged you, it was not personal or intentional.  I am sorry.

If you have wronged me, I forgive you. With the objective view that time and distance permits, I realize that your actions were not guided by malice but by ignorance and selfishness. You cannot help who you are. You are forgiven.

I forgive myself for the wrongs I have done. In hindsight, I realize that my actions were driven by fear, ignorance, and desperation. I have learned since then to work from a more positive frame of mind for better results.

I forgive myself for the wrongs I have done to myself. They have sprung from trying to secure friendships from people who just wanted to see me jump through hoops, from attempts to live the life I want, from “I’ll show you” at bad times. I have learned my lesson.

I forgive those who have deliberately wronged me. You damaged things of mine for your own reasons, stole from me, excluded me from important events, and told yourself and others lies about me to further your own interests. I forgive you for demeaning the things I have done for you to support a bond that never really existed. I realize that you were raised to be self-centered, demanding, egotistical, and a hypocrite. I forgive you because you were raised by a narcissist to be the next generation, and have perfected “operational truth.” I forgive you for your buried hostility, competitiveness, and grasping ways. You have to live with yourself. I don’t. I forgive you.

I forgive the manipulators and users I have encountered. It is how you move through life. I will not apologize for realizing what your game was and refusing to play anymore. It is a shame that you lack self-confidence and fear truth to such an extent that you need to portray yourself as victim. While I forgive you, I will not allow you another chance to run your game on me again.

I forgive you for telling the untruth “Well, I did the best that I could.” That was an operational truth. You pursued a selfish course of action that shifted the burden of your duties to others and caused. I forgive you for projecting your insecurities onto me. I forgive you for messing up a healthy self-image because you were unhappy within yourself. You did what was easiest for you regardless of how it affected those around you. You did know better. You just chose the selfish path. I forgive you because in addition to the harm done, you denied it to yourself and others. You are forgiven.

 

i forgive you for using me as a proxy for your duties, as your emotional garbage can, as the means to achieve your ends then breaking promises made to secure my cooperation. Operational truth. I forgive you for not knowing the difference between who was telling the truth and who was telling you what you wanted to hear.  I forgive you for not treating me as you did the others. I am sorry I did not fit the mold you wanted me so desperately to fill to satisfy your ego.  I forgive you and I forgive myself for  ignoring my better instincts to try, unsuccessfully, to,please you. I forgive myself for,the damage I have done to my life in a futile quest to make you happy. I  forgive you for making those demands.

 

and I forgive you for not being the person I thought you were. You have shown yourself to be untrustworthy by all who meet you, a practitioner of operational truth. I am not the only soul stranded in the path of destruction you have left behind you. And there will be more. You have wished your ills upon me and gotten angry when I refused to accept them. I forgive you. Should our paths cross again, I will learn the lesson you taught me; I will keep you at arm’s length.  I forgive you.