Monday, June 18, 2018

What Do You Write?


I was asked this question today, and the simple answer is Romance. But I'm not certain my novels are strictly Romance.

Because there is some mystery thrown in, some supernatural activity which gives a lead into the fantasy element...One of my characters is a demon named Beast who operates to foil the characters romance in an effort to change the power structure of his little kingdom.

There is also the quasi-character of the Dragon Queen...in The Farmer's Daughter, she is the dream representation of one of the main character's abusers. How this character changes in the dream is indicative of how Craig perception of her crime changes, giving her less and less power over him and his life. Does he forgive her? Not necessarily. But he no longer lets her actions rule him.

We see more of the Dragon Queen's real-life persona in the sequel, Ring of Fire, and we realize there's more to the Dragon Queen than just Craig's imagination. Because it's hinted at, that the Dragon Queen has started entering Angela's dream as well...and that the physical realm and the dream realm are connected, as seen in the thunderstorms at the novel's end.

And some of that is the influence of my own love of fantasy novels. Although I once got rid of some of my books because I thought they were somehow sinful, I have since changed my mind...not only do I own the complete Harry Potter series (thanks to my mother-in-law) but I also rebought and completed my collection of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. Including the prequel novel. As well as Tad William's Memory Sorrow and Thorn series. And the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. You get the idea :)

The one element missing from my novels would be science fiction. Maybe if you stretched it,  considered the demons as aliens and the dream realm a different dimension. Maybe possibly. Maybe someday I'll try a science fiction story...I'd love to have a Star Trek novel someday...I'd say Star Wars, but I hung that dream up years ago. I do have a novel series to write someday set in a fantasy world, complete with demons, based around triplet royals (2 princesses and a prince)....two sets really, but that's for later.

I have enough fuel for at least four books dealing with Craig and Angela and their families. I have a spark of an idea for a fifth novel, but that doesn't have a green light yet. I am about 2/3's of the way through retyping The Farmer's Daughter, and once that is done I am going to read through RIng to see what will need to be fixed there. There has been at least one name change for a character and it's possible another character will get a name change.

Some of the religious content is being edited/deleted/restructured as well. Not the spiritual aspects, don't be confused by that like I obviously was when I originally wrote the story. And it is far from being theologically correct. I am taking vast creative liberties with the spiritual realm - we will meet both Lucifer and Jesus and Legion before the series end as well. One of the liberties I've taken with some of these characters is giving them different names. Many of them no longer go by their 'given names' choosing to be known by the names humans have given them instead. This is why it's called fiction.

I have cut some chapters which I felt was slowing the pace, which in turn has led to new scenes...because some of the cut chapters still happen, but I'm changing how I let the reader learn about them. So once this is done...I'm going to have to treat those sections as a rough draft again. Some scenes have been restructured so we're only seeing through one character's point of view instead of everyone in the scene...I may have to go through that again, see if the few blended scenes still work. I'm also changing some of the formattings...there will no longer be a ~ separating scenes. Rather, just using space and a font change.

The more complicated answer to the question directed at me today would have to be Extreme Romance. If that's not a genre, it should be. My definition of Extreme Romance would be to reference the 2002 Spider-Man movie...specifically, the Bridge Battle scene where Hob Goblin forces Spidey to chose between his beloved MJ and a tram full of kids, forces him to chose the kind of hero - the kind of person - he wants to be. I'll include the clip so you can experience it.



If that's not Extreme Romance, I don't know what is!

Happy reading peeps!

Friday, June 15, 2018

A Friday Post

I wanted to do posts Monday and Friday's but I've run out of words for this week. Suicide hit a lot closer to home this week, and even though I did not know either almost relative well...my heart is sad. So I am posting Gary Allan's music video for today...it has brought me comfort in the past. If you cannot see the light at the end of your night, and need help...the Suicide hotline is 1-800-273-8255

There is help for you, and hope. Much love to all.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Fake it to Make it

This post contains STRONG language. Do not read it the F-word offends you.

I've been giving this a lot of thought over the weekend, and I find I can't leave the subject of depression right now. Perhaps because of recent suicides, perhaps because in the novel I'm retyping deals with it.

Years ago, a lifetime ago, when I was going to an unnamed church, a friend and I were given TERRIBLE advice on how to deal with our depression. I didn't realize it at the time, but time has given me a different perspective.

We were told to keep it hidden, and when in a public setting to "fake it until you make it". Because you know, if you smile long enough eventually your mood will change. Grin and bear, just a different turn of phrase.

So not only was it a sin to be depressed, it was also a sin to let it be seen outside of the privacy of your own home. After all, if a Christian isn't joyful ALL the time then they're not a real Christian. If someone is depressed, then there is sin in their life that they aren't confessing and they need to get right with the Lord. Or worse...you had somehow opened a door for a demon to come and oppress you (not to be confused with possessing, that's something different)

FUCK THAT SHIT!!!

Pardon the strong language, but the fake it until you make it attitude is the worse advice ever. It denies the reality that sometimes depression is a real medical issue meant to be treated with drugs or therapy or both. This advice endangers lives!!

Yes, sometimes depression is the result of circumstances. But there is NOTHING wrong with being depressed because life has shit on you. Sadness resulting from job losses, illness, deaths, and other losses can and does turn into a lasting depression. My husband lost 4 family members within a relatively short amount of time, with a few losses on my side tossed in for good measure. So not only was he dealing with his own depression, he had mine too...and vice versa. And I'm not ashamed of those years -- loved and cherished family members were taken from us before their time. It hurt, and was a lot for both of us to process.

We need to stop putting a time limit on grieving.

Even if you are depressed for no reason you can discern...it's still not a sin. Odds are, there isn't a demon hanging on your back either. Sometimes our bodies do things we just don't understand, and sometimes parts just don't work like they're supposed to. Including our brains.

We all wear masks from time to time. Putting on a polite face to deal with a relative we really don't like, or coworkers, or that rude ass person being a dick at the drive-thru. This isn't that.

While religion can and does give people comfort, it can also be abused to...well, abuse people.

This advice is not something I still dwell on. I've washed my hands of the person it came from and understand that some of it was denial about their own mental illness. Probably still is as this person is still in the same church.

It's just recent events have brought the memories back and it makes me so angry! If your church has this attitude about depression being sinful, my advice is to run! Get out! If not for your own mental safety, then for that of a loved one. Find a church willing to accept it as a normal part of life, sometimes needing medical treatment.

If you've ever given anyone this advice...repent and apologize to that person and ask them how you can help. I wish more people had not treated me like I was some kind of leper just because I wasn't willing to put on a happy face when I was not happy. There were some, but I'm not naming names on either side of this set of memories. The guilty know who they are.

This attitude of having to be happy all the time is how so many of us who deal with depression on a regular basis have learned how to look happy on the outside. Which is why people are surprised when a "happy" person commits suicide.

I don't know why it is this way, I'm just venting really.

I just know that we as a society need to stop this harmful attitude. Before more lives are gone.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Happy Friday Peeps

Going to keep this short and sweet (I say that now).

Just checking it to see how you all are doing. It's never easy when someone "famous" commits suicide, never easy when ANYONE does...but when someone famous does it, there's so much more publicity. And it draws out so much negativity and erroneous thoughts about suicide and depression.

I myself was not well acquainted with who Anthony Bourdain or Kate Space were in the limelight. Bourdain's name sounds the most familiar to me, but even after looking him up on the net, I still couldn't place his face

I still grieve for Robin Williams.

For that matter, I still feel grief for the boy from high school who may have killed himself...for the mother of a friend who could no longer battle her mental illnesses...for the friend from high school who took her own life.

My own grandfather attempted to take his life. That is a story for another time. I do have permission to tell it, as I "interviewed" my mother and her sister. But the time wasn't right for me. The day will come though.

I have contemplated suicide before. I know someone else who has, but that's a story I can't tell...between them and me.

The joy set before me :)
But my story, short and sweet...I remember a couple different times in my twenties when the darkness was so heavy and I just wanted out from underneath it. The one that stands out the most, was the time I had a razor blade to my wrist. To the point I was drawing blood. I couldn't do it though, because my fear of death and pain was still greater than the depression. I really am grateful for that fear...because of the happiness I have today.

When I tried reaching out for help, I was accused of being overly dramatic and just wanting attention. By someone I loved and respected at the time. Still love them, still respect them...just not the same way. I can never really look at them the same way.

Obviously, I managed to survive and see my way out of that bout. And the bout after that. Just like I had many times before. Ironically thinking how much of a coward I was for being unable to take the final exit. Everyone thinks it's the ones who commit suicide who are being cowards and taking the easy way out. No, no they're not.

NO THEY'RE NOT COWARDS!

They are desperate. They want out of the pain and the darkness...and their desire for that freedom finally outweighed whatever fear of death they may have had. It's the only way they can see.

Which is why it is so important to not mock people when they talk about taking their lives or being depressed. Take every mention seriously, even if they've done it a hundred times before.

If you don't have anyone in your life you can talk to, who will take you seriously...please call the Suicide Hotline to start getting help that way.  1-800-273-8255.

And if you can...break contact with those who mock your pain. You don't need that.

I didn't know all this was going to come out what I opened the post to write. I intended something light and fun for the weekend. But once I started I couldn't stop.

This is something I take seriously and have a passion for. Which can be seen in my novels, because the two main protagonists both battle depression - among other things.

But for the real people in my life, if you're battling depression...know you're not alone. There are those of us who understand. Find a light in your darkness, be a light in someone else's darkness.

May your weekend be a safe one. Much love to all.