Okay, I want to start off by saying, that 2016, had it’s good moments. I mean I went to Maine, got to see and hang out with a bunch of people I hadn’t in like 9-13 years. But, this year has also been the hardest, and suckiest years ever! This includes the year where my husband was unemployed. And for those of you who knew me back then, know, it wasn’t all that star light twinkle eyed of a time.
At least then, we had great people who understood our plight, who were there to help us, and gave us a place to stay till we got on our feet again.
This year, I will admit this, (and I can hear feminazi’s screaming already) : I would not have gotten through it, had not been for my husband, and our child.
Literally, the very beginning of the year, I lost my sister. Many of you will remember this. Because it’s kind of hard to forget. It’s one of those black stains that you can’t remove, so you just kind of build up around it, and keep moving on, but it’s always there, and you can’t forget it. It’s been like that for me.
Grief isn’t something anyone or anything can prepare you for, or how you will react to it. Some days, I’m fine. I’m moving right along, singing that Muppet song in my head, with a smile on my face, and I’m just fine. Then, there are days when I’m down. Where I don’t know if I can do what I planned to do. My heads so full of memories, and other things that are “More important” (ie, hanging out with my daughter, getting in touch with someone I hadn’t talked to in forever and thanking them for what they did for me, and how much they meant to me.). So needless to say, my writing has taken a nose dive.
People don’t really talk about what grief will do to you. I was raised in a way that made it apparent “we don’t talk about that.” Or “Shhhh, no one wants to hear that!” “No one wants to be reminded” So we all buried it inside and pretended it never existed. My mother, looking back now I realize, suffered from a lot of insecurities, and they impacted my development, and my sisters as well. I don’t blame her, hell, given the way she grew up, it’s amazing she’s as well as she is.
But no one even remotely said how grief would impact my mental state. Though it’s talked about all over. Grief causing depression, grief doing things to your emotional state, grief doing this to you, doing that to you. It’s in several several articles, medical journals, and talked about a lot on forums. Seriously, google it if you are concerned about it. Each person processes differently, and the one thing that they say, and the one thing people seem to forget in day to day life, is it doesn’t just go away. You can be sitting there, six to eight months after the death of a loved one, and be slammed by this blue state that you just can’t get yourself out of till it passes. It’s when it doesn’t pass that you have to worry.
I’m a writer, and I work on a project while I have a groove for it, while I have it there in my head. But if something happens to mess up my train of thought, it comes crashing down and I have no idea when I will get it back.
Several years ago, while I was working on Majeera Chronicles, back then it was Dark Fantasy (I changed the title because apparently Dark Fantasy was a genre!), I got into a huge falling out with my sister, and for the better part of a year, I couldn’t go near Majeera Chronicles. It wasn’t that I was reminded of the incident, it was that I couldn’t sit and focus on it. Maybe subconsciously, I did remember, and that was a problem I had to deal with. When things simmered down and I got back into a semi stable relationship with her, I was able to go back to it. Only to put it down when I realized, I’d been throwing myself at it for over ten years and I still STILL hadn’t been able to get it the way I wanted it. So I had to take a step back and think about how I wanted it to go. That was roughly a year ago, and I have since started to work on another project that I want to see to completion first.
Siren’s Cove came into creation in the Spring of 2016, my goal is to have this draft finished by the end of 2016 beginning of 2017. In truth, I wanted it finished before Halloween, but, in September, when most of my work was supposed to be done. I just lost it. I realized soon it would be a year since my sister had passed, the groove fell away. Like it usually does when I think about other things.
Does this mean that Siren’s Cove is going to take a back burner till 2017, I most certainly hope not. I don’t want to let this sit too long and have it be a story that I just can’t get back to. Like my Divines series. I started writing it online. Because it was the first really dark story I’d ever written (okay not true, but in my head, it was) and I’d shared it with Kristy, and what all I wanted to do with the series, and she applauded me, and wanted to read the finish product, but never did. I never finished it. In January, I started to write it on Royal Road as a way to distract myself from the grief and finish something for her that I’d been so far unable to do. When it was finished, I went to keep working on book 2, and PLOP! It left me. I realized the only reason I even finished book one was because of her, and I just had to stop. That wasn’t where I wanted to go right now.
Siren’s Cove came into creation during the two weeks that my wrists were utterly aching at every move. Even the barest minimum of a move. Turns out, I had tendinitis. Which the doctor said, just regular over the counter pain relief, and at least a week with braces on, possibly two. Be sure to wear them while sleeping. So I did. Sure enough, it cleared up, and Voila! I was able to write again.
Siren’s Cove is about four girls, who are as close as sisters, who make a wish to be more than they were. The next morning they wake up as different things. Something more. There is vampires, werewolves, mermaids, and stars (if you’re confused as to how a star, a in the space, the outer space, kind of star, can be a character in a book series, then look up a Wrinkle in Time. Seriously do that anyway, that story’s amazing!). There would be four books total in the main series, with two little novella’s in between books three and four. However, I wanted to write the first one in a way, that if the other three were never published, that it could be taken as a stand alone and I could later write the other three and the novella’s and maybe post them online or something.
I am currently editing the book, and so far, I love the way it’s going. I still have to write out a few chapters, but most of it is finished. I just have to finish editing the book, then I put it all into the computer. Let it sit for a few days before reading through all of it. Checking on my spelling, grammar, the way it sounds, the way it flows, and then, hopefully. Be ready for FicFest coming in the spring of 2017. That’s how I want to start the year as a writer. Is to put my story in a writing contest. I’m ready.
I think, what stopped me from working on Siren’s Cove, wasn’t just grief, it was because I’d been working so much it was time to stop and take a deep breath. Sit back and decide for myself where I wanted to go as a writer. Did I want to try the publishing world? And if I did, did I want to the self publishing, or try to get an agent and go that route?
But is that really what I wanted? Am I just doing this to distract myself? Or is this something I’m actually ready for? Am I happy with the way I have things planned?
Well . . .
I eventually realized that I wouldn’t know unless I tried, and to try, I had to finish what I started. To do that, I had to get my head back into writing. So, till I got my focus where it belonged, I colored in a few pictures, (like 5, yeah) in my ocean adult coloring book. (Seriously, adult coloring book? I would still color in a Little Mermaid Coloring book if I could fine them! An Ocean “adult” coloring book, and no tentacle porn? Or exotic looking mermaids, all beautiful and alluring in one image, then drowning and devouring poor sailors in the next image? — Yeah, I would own a coloring book like that! And I would have no hesitation whatsoever as I colored it in) Once my OCD side was finished with that, I tried to get back into writing.
But somethings kept nagging at the back of my head.
- I wanted to be healthier, so I spoke to my doctor got that started. Went on a diet, and started to exercise more.
- My hair. Good Lord what a mess that was!
Many of you know in early 2016, I dyed my hair outrageously.
The first had been a purple and blue, which slowly faded to an awkward gray and green color. In an attempts to cover that up, I went red.
Downside was, I still had green hair under all of that red. I mean, I would pull my hair back and all you saw was this awful green. I could have been a clown for Halloween if I had been so inclined.
So, I was finally able to get hair dye, and I went black. Yup, Black. Cherry Black, to be exact!
I got black lipstick for Halloween, and okay let’s face, everyday uses too. Because yes, I’m a goth at heart. I love back, I love the darker side of the things, the misunderstood, the evil can do evil under the belief they’re doing it to save the ones they care about. Yes, that’s all me.
Once I did that, I realized, yes, I was getting happier. I was more comfortable in my own skin now, at 27, than I had been, ever. I let my hair down, I let my soul show, and you know what, people still accepted me. Despite being told as a child through my teenage years that the way I saw things, the way I liked things, was wrong, just plain wrong, unacceptable, and people wouldn’t like me if they saw all of that. My friends, my true friends, always knew who I was. They weren’t put off by me, if anything, they were proud of me. Even my mother likes me better like this. And that’s saying something from a woman who once cringed at the sight of the my black nail polish.
My self, being myself brought all of my mental problems into focus. Yes, I was grieving, yes I was suffering from a horrendous case of writers block, but yes, there was a light at the end of the tunnel, that started with me taking the first step. By accepting myself, the side I only let those closest to me see, I was able to let go of the grief. It’s not that I’ve stopped grieving, but I wasn’t gripping it the way I had been. I was clinging to it for dear life begging for a chance to talk to my sister again so she would know how much I love her. Yes, I still cry. Yes, I still miss her terribly and wish more than anything I could go back and try to save her.
But I came to realize if I did, those people that Kristy’s organs managed to save, wouldn’t have found life again. Maybe they would have, maybe they wouldn’t have. That’s not for me to say. So, I made peace with the loss of my sister.
I still walk with grief, but, it’s not a weight now. I have it on my shoulder like a soot sprite from one of Studio Ghibli’s movies, and I still feel it, but it’s not a constant pain. I walk with my sisters memory in my heart, and as I walk forward, I’m holding hands with the love of my life, and the most precious thing in the world to me, my little girl.
If it had not been for my husbands constant love and support, I don’t know what I would have done. He kept me smiling, he supported me through the struggle. He didn’t question my sudden choice to stop writing for a bit. He merely smiled and shrugged and said “Whatever you want honey. It’s your choice.” He understood when I cried during a song for no apparent reason. He told me when I was starting to fall apart and lose myself, and helped guide me back to a place where I was calmer. When I started to unlock the chains that I had placed on myself as a teenager to keep what I had come to think of as my “Mistress Black” persona, he merely grinned.
Now, I’m free. I’m able to breath again. In order to get through the grief of losing my sister, I first had to accept that wasn’t the only thing that I was messed up about. There was a lot of things. The fact that I kept myself under lock and key, the loss of my aunt who I felt was the only one who understood me, the loss of my grandmother, the one I turned to when I needed help and guidance, the loss of my sister, who I felt was the most like me.
I knew I had made the right choice when I had a dream. (I know, cliche, but bear with me here). I’ve always believed that dreams are windows into something else. Maybe our subconscious, maybe to some other place. Some alternate dimension.
In the dreams, I was with Kristy.
The ones I had before, she was always there as I cried. She was always smiling, merely hugged me or ran her fingers through my hair and said “You have to let go.” I always thought she meant, let go of her. Which wasn’t something I was capable of doing. I wanted to go hold her, drag her back to reality with me. She couldn’t leave me, leave our mother, our sisters. But she would merely say that wasn’t possible, and I knew it. She would smile and remind me before I was woke up, “Let go.”
In this new dream, she was grinning. “You did it. You’re free.” I realized then what she’d been trying to tell me. Let go, of not only the grief, of myself. Be free. Be myself. Only by letting go, would I be able to handle the grief in a better place, and be able to move on with life the way I should. I smiled, hugged her, and said I looked forward to our next meeting in my dreams to come.
That was the closure I needed. What I didn’t get the hospital, what I didn’t get in all of the months to come. All of the “She’s in a better place.” “Things happen for a reason.” “God must have a plan.” “She’s an angel, and she’s guiding people now.” Didn’t help. Didn’t help me. I hated hearing it all, even from myself. I knew they were all true to some extent, but it’s not what I wanted to hear, not the closure I needed. Even though I didn’t understand exactly what kind of closure I needed.
Yeah, my sister is an angel, and I know it, because she helped me.
After the dream, I got up, and started to write. But Siren’s Cove just wasn’t coming out right. Not at all.
So I broke out a journal I had briefly jotted down an idea for a story to write on Royal Road that I wanted to work on someday. Most likely after I had finished editing Siren’s Cove. It was to be my next project.
When I started, I had about fourteen pages filled from the first time I wrote it.
Fourteen pages, front and back.
Fourteen pages, then I put it aside and started to work on Siren’s Cove’s second draft. When I picked it back up two weeks ago, I went from that fourteen, to one hundred and nineteen.
One Hundred and nineteen pages.
I have exactly twenty-four pages left in the journal. Twenty-Four!!!
I started writing to get the idea for all of it out, what happened, was literally, exactly that. I was even able to get the first book started. Which is always the hardest part for me, getting started. I’ve gotten down; how it starts, what happens in the series, down to the last little minute detail, and how it ends.
All in all, when I write this, it will roughly 44 chapters on Royal Road.
44 chapters, 44! Each them, not exactly a chapter in a book. No, oh no. Each chapter, is a book. Each book, is going to end up being a minimum of 60K. I have no idea exactly how long they will be until I start writing it, but that’s just a rough estimate given the amount of detail I’ve already configured, and several outlines I already had written. Did I mention that some of the books are actually stories that I already had outlined a bit? Waking Moon already has over 13K, and I’ve just barely gotten started with it.
Oh yeah, the series is going to be called Lunar Cycles. The first book is called Waking Moon.
haha, get it? See what I did there? Oh fine, don’t be amused by my terrible humor.
What’s Lunar Cycles about you may ask? How could you go from talking about your grief, opening up and accepting all that you are, to a story!? well, . . . that’s a good question.
Stories are who I am. I’ve always written them. Always.
Maybe not on paper, but always had something going in my head. As a child, it was hard to tell which was reality and which was the story that I was creating. I would get so pissed off when people didn’t follow the dialogue I already had planned for them. Sometimes they did, and I was blissful, other times I got pissed and their ad-lips just made me fumble and lose my focus.
Lunar Cycles, is a story that I’ve thought about for years. Even before the Majeera Chronicles. Not many people know that fact. Matter of fact, I can only think of one, and that’s my husband.
Lunar Cycles, I guess you can say, has been in creation since I was about five. (Since I’m 27, that’s 22 years.) When I first started telling stories and creating them in my head. But I didn’t have a context for them, or how the story should go. Now, I do.
Lunar Cycles is about a woman named Mallory, she goes by Mal.
Mal, had a good life, was a good wife, a great mother to a daughter to who had been born with a heart condition, and while there were struggles, they still came out with a smile. When their mortal lives end tragically, the Powers that Be greet her with remorse. It wasn’t supposed to end like that. Something was amiss with time, space, and the very worlds they’d created, but they didn’t know what. They were not omnipotent, like most mortals think divine beings to be.
For their mistake, Mal is offered a favor. Only one. They thought, she would have her soul cleansed, which meant her mortal memories would be removed from both her and her daughter and they would be together in heaven. Eternal rest and peace. But Mal had other thoughts. She wants to keep her memories, and she wants a new life with her daughter. One where they will not suffer at the hands of their loved ones.
The Powers agree to grant her request, after she helps them figure out what’s wrong. But to do that, Mal has to be trained, gain power, and be reborn several several times to hunt down and eradicate each problem. For her soul, it would be many many centuries till she was with her daughter again. Mal merely grins, what was a thousand years compared to a blissful easy life with her daughter, where they knew each other.
Mal was put to the test, and she is reincarnated several times, with a star to guide her. Her soul is not the only one being put to the test.
Her first love, her husband, Garret, who broke her heart, is also being tested. Having been discovered not to have willingly betrayed his wife. Something made him. A special bond is formed between two souls who find love in each other when they are first created, and it’s not a bond so easily broken.
Char, the one who wanted Mal to himself despite being almost a decade her junior, is her perfect soul match. Like two pieces of a puzzle that just fit perfectly together. A bond not so easily ignored, and he’s determined to make her see that.
But there’s another. A shadow who crawled out of the bowels of hell, broke free of his shackles, and followed her through her many lives to be with her. He’s willing to do anything it takes to help her, and to make her his. Even if it means ripping her away from the happiness she thinks she has gained.
Yeah, that’s the series. Rather long winded, but I’m working on it.
Well, this is a rather long post and I think I’m done.
Later everyone! I have work to do!