This post is a mixed bag of news and updates on my personal life, which pretty accurately represents how things have been going lately. It’s been a little of everything, all tossed together.
I’m doing well, and I mean that sincerely. The thing about being raised in an abusive environment, to the extent that you can’t even see that you’re being constantly abused, is you can’t see other things too. Once you break free, you notice parts of yourself and your reality that have always been there, blending into the woodwork. For instance, I’ve realized I have wiring in my head telling me if I get home after work and I don’t bust my ass either a) exercising, b) writing/editing, or c) cleaning the house – while also taking care of my kids, pretty much to the point of exhaustion and preferably accomplishing a, b, & c in the same day, I’m a total failure of a human being. Now, I know why this is. My narcissist mother hammered it into me pretty hard that I’ll never be good enough and I’m a lazy disappointment, hence the constant killing myself for no apparent reason. And I was burning out fairly spectacularly last winter because of this. You can’t constantly push yourself as hard as humanly possible without something breaking. Because I can finally recognize the reasons WHY I feel this way and why I have these instincts, I’ve been working to rewire myself in healthier ways.
That means giving myself permission to relax. I may go for a walk with my daughter, or accomplish little if I’ve had a stressful day at work. I’ve been working on my spiritual health every day, because of losing my brother and because my mother always used her God as a weapon against me. I’ve disconnected a little with social media to reduce stress (I use Twitter the most to share news). I’ve been taking time to listen to my own needs instead of always and only doing for others. Some of this may sound like common sense to you, but to me it’s been the biggest revelation of my life to know I’m allowed to take time and energy to care for myself. It’s made me happier than I’ve ever been, even as a child.
This has translated to a shifting of gears with my writing. I don’t write every day anymore. I didn’t write a thing for weeks. This freaked me out at first and added to my stress, but I’ve gotten back to it since and I am still getting stuff done. I’ve got a work in progress that’s at the 18k mark and going strong. I’ve got another one at 50k+ that I honestly may abandon completely.
Looking back, I notice now, too, broad phases in my work. For a while there, a lot of my novels were about actively striving, struggling and surviving. Right now, they all seem to be about recovering and healing. I think this a good thing. I love taking my characters closer to a better place and reflecting my own efforts to knit intangible things back together after someone else ripped them apart.
One message I really want to get out there to everyone reading, and something I wish I would have known years ago, is that no one – NO ONE – is automatically granted permanent permission to be in your life. Not a spouse, or a parent, or a sibling, or another family member, or a co-worker, or a friend, or a neighbor. If someone is actively making you feel shitty, get away from them. Find a way. Find a safe place and go there. If someone tells you you’re a bad person for trying to stop feeling shitty, get away from them too! There is one hell of a lot people out there who just want things to stay the way they are, because change is scary and takes work. They will fight you on your efforts to save yourself. Don’t pay them any attention. Keep your eyes on the goal and do for you. You’ll quickly discover who truly has your back, and it will probably surprise you to find out who that is.
Now, I do have three books written and in the works with Forbidden Fiction. The one most likely to be released next is titled, “bare.” It’s sexy, funny, exciting and different than everything I’ve done so far. The cover has been designed and there will be more information to come very soon.
I’ll be taking part in the blog anniversary of On Top Down Under Book Reviews in October and will be sharing a post on ‘bare’ on the 10th that will have a very unique giveaway. Some of you may know from my Facebook posts, but Officer Vargas in the Twin Ties novel, Double Heat, was based on a real guy who is a friend of mine. He’s straight and married to a lovely lady, but has been fascinated by my writing for years. For a while there, he only referred to me by my email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) after he sent me fanmail and I responded. So I wrote him into the story. He gives me ideas (via my hubby, actually) for gay plot bunnies and encourages me to expand Officer Vargas’s storyline in the future. In fact, Officer Vargas will appear soon in a novel outside of the Twin Ties universe (new crossover alert!). The giveaway on October 10th will be a paperback copy of Double Heat autographed by myself AND Officer Vargas. He’s even hinted that he might share a photo of himself signing the book, so stay tuned on that (his idea, by the way!) and be sure to visit On Top Down Under Book Reviews.
My genderqueer novel, Becoming Kerry, and a third installment to the Arctic Absolution series, Restitution, are also on the way soon.
The book I’m currently writing takes things in a threesome sort of direction. There’s a significant age difference factor and there’s a theme of people working as hard as they can to overcome mountains of hardship in order to just live and be happy. It incorporates several scenes I’ve had burned into my brain for years but hadn’t yet found a place for them to live, so I’m excited and enjoying myself.
Thank you as always for reading. Sending Jedi hugs and good vibes to all,