” I sat at the kitchen table staring at my plate, wondering why I was there. It crossed my mind several times that no one could see me. They were all carrying on, eating, conversing, as if I had left the room, because I had made myself evaporate into thin air.

God, please, give me some wine and a bed, and I could make it to tomorrow.

Force me to sit and smile and listen and be, I would only cower away like demons to light.

“Mom,” Karter whispered. He gestured toward some dinner guest – a man whose name I had forgotten.

Mom. I hated that word.” (Like Shards of Glass)

 

Like Shards of Glass

Like Shards of Glass:

Beauty, pain, drugs, sex: repeat. Monroe Song, who considers herself nothing more than the wife of a terrorist, is struggling, failing, and drowning, trying to find her place in a world that has left her at the brink of insanity: Her husband, Carter, has opened fire at a mental health facility, before turning the ruthless gun on his sons, then himself.

Emptied wine bottles, and pills which bring her no relief or comfort, drive Monroe into the arms of Dominique, a man half her age, who offers her the perfect anecdote for her brokenness.

Monroe’s oldest son, Karter, once idolized his father. Karter is now haunted by his father’s face, words, and the massacre that is now his family legacy. 

If Karter’s hero is a monster, a terrorist, who brutally murdered innocent people, what does that make Karter? 

How can Monroe and Karter move forward when life has forgotten them? Then, again, with everything so distorted, why not spiral with the storm?

Like Shards of Glass is now available for pre-order! (The release date in late August.)

Please be sure and stop by, again, and also visit my Facebook page, as I will be sharing excerpts and more!

Shards promo 5

 

 

 

Are you ready to pre-order your copy of Like Shards of GlassYes? Click here!

 

 

Every now and then, I have to go back to the root of it all.

Why do I spend so much time on something that most would deem silly? How can I put so much into something that may not be … meant to be? Who do I think I am, to believe I could make it as an author, when no one knows who I am, there are so many writers just as, if not much more talented? Who do I think I am, the quiet girl, the introvert, with only less than a handful of people who have time to support this dream that I call my purpose? Just what type of person is crazy enough to put it all out there, keep trying, seeking feedback, hitting doors, hitting walls, picking herself up, and going right back into the unknown — that would be me. And any author (any artist, really) will tell you, it is so difficult, so humbling, so easy to quit, so easy to believe the naysayers, and those who say nothing at all as they, behind smiling eyes, wait for you to plummet.

I have to go back to the root of it all. Why do I spend so much time on something that very well could be … a dead end?

For those who feel caged in, and believe there is no way out, that it will never get better. For those who wake up every morning bruised, and go to bed sore, and out of shame, they don’t say a word to anyone. For those who live a silent battle that no one can see, that no one would believe. No one would believe that their life slips away with every moment … every invisible wound. For anyone who’s said no one understands, no one cares, no one is coming to save me. Anybody who’s been told, either aloud, or through the whispers of their own inner demons, that no one is coming to help. For that girl who has typed “lol” with tears in her eyes. For that girl who’s joked about it, but no one knew, she’d thought about it on lonely nights. She’d planned it all out in her head, and even as she joked, she meant it. For that guy who’s searching the bottom of an empty bottle — hurting himself, hurting others, breaking down, falling a part, giving in, but still fighting. For that guy who has replied “fine,” then gone home, and ended it all.

I have to remind myself, that although I may not reach millions, I might reach a few. That it’s bigger than likes, follow, comments, and shares. I have to remind myself. I have to remember why I am that type of person who is crazy enough to put it all out there, keep trying, seeking feedback, hitting doors, hitting walls, picking herself up, and going right back into the unknown. And I can never say never, but for now, I won’t quit.

landonmeme

Just Beneath the Surface: Landon’s Story, now available in digital format: Amazon

Excerpt

His heart raced as he looked into his bedroom. Just as he had suspected, he found Nova, sprawled across the bed, her eyes fixed upon the ceiling.

Landon leaned down and waved his hand in front of her face. Then, he snapped his fingers and clapped his hands. He picked up her hand and watched it fall, then examined the fresh scarring, from none other than a needle, along her arms. He sat down on the bed and checked her carotid artery. “Not again,” he murmured. “Nova, can you hear me?”

Landon ran his hands over her face and closed her eyes. He went to the bathtub and turned on the water, then jogged into the garage, where he grabbed a space heater and large bucket. He talked to himself as he plugged the space heater into the wall near the bed.

He knew moving in with her, both of them only eighteen years old, would not save her, yet he went against his mind, and followed his heart. But what good did hearts do if pain left both of them with no pulse?

Close to twenty minutes later, after filling the bath tub with ice water, Landon lay beside Nova as she slept. Landon remembered meeting her when they were young, becoming best friends with her, and promising to never leave her. But as Nova became dependent on escaping the pain of their childhoods, she, without realizing it, had been the one to leave Landon – time and again.
Tears fell from his eyes and wet her skin. He removed her dress from her body before standing to his feet. He scooped her up into his arms and said: “This is the last time you do this to me. You hear me? The last time.”
Landon carried her to the bathtub, then closed his eyes. He kissed her forehead and whispered: 

“Fifty-five.”

Landon set her down in the bathtub and waited  …

***

What is attraction?

What is control?

Are things ever truly as they appear?

Today, find out what happens when secrets are revealed, nightmares bring paranoia, and the horrors of the past come to the surface.

***

Just Beneath the Surface: Landon’s Story

Download UNDONE and read the first two chapters of Landon’s Story

Just Beneath the Surface

Mystery character thoughts

My wrath is a nightmare. But when she comes back to me, it’s like a dream.

She came to me with suitcases, holding a box, and the end was in the air.

But I knew it wasn’t over. Her eyes were red, weepy, avoiding mine, as if staying with me made her weak. I wanted to know who had been in her ear. I wrestled with my own anger.

This woman had managed to make me feel like a criminal. Me. Me?

I kissed away her tears, fears, the lies – the lies she tells herself about me.

She forgets the role she plays in who I am. My tone, my anger, my reaction – I am a reflection of her.

She behaves like a child, and I, her husband, corral her. Is it a crime to mold a child until he reaches adulthood? Is it punishable to curse and “handle”  the childish husband who tiptoes through the front door at midnight?

One midnight too many. Her broken promises, her disrespect, push me over my limit. She knows it. That’s why she’s here, holding a box, trying to hurt me, trying to convince herself that its over.

I look at her, and I see more than a box, more than a nervous woman, more than tears.

She belongs to me, and she doesn’t have to say a word – not a single word – I feel what she feels: We have a love that they would never understand. Its a force – a power most wouldn’t condone. But who are they?

She’s mine. I’m hers. And together, we will sleep – we will dream.

And like an unruly child, she summons my wrath.

Then comes the nightmare.

Then … she will come to me, again

like a dream …

Just Beneath the Surface

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lets-Laugh-Together/350498361721607

Funny … this is the way I felt about starting a website/blog.

Up until last year, I knew very little about blogs. I still don’t know a lot about blogging, and I actually wouldn’t call myself a “blogger.” Maybe that is because there is a lot of information I am lacking. I’m sure I’m not the only one … I’m so excited to share this interview with Sonia, who will be sharing some awesome information!

 Hello and welcome, Sonia! Would you like to share a bit about yourself?

My name is Sonia and I am the creator and founder of LogAllot.com. My website can be found at http://www.LogAllot.com where I help new bloggers with Blog Tips with Common Sense. I believe in always being straight-forward and tackling issues some bloggers just won’t address. My goal is tell anyone new trying to build an online presence to use their own head and think for themselves.

What is the number 1 tip – the first thing you would advise business owners, artists and new bloggers to do before publishing that first post?

Ask yourself: Is this post going to actually help someone or is it a post of me just ranting? What I have found after 3 yrs. of blogging is there are different types of blogs out there. They all don’t have to solve a problem, but a reader should walk away knowing he or she learned something or it evoked enough emotion inside to leave feedback.

If you blog about pets, are you blogging about all kinds of pets or just dogs? The more “narrow” your niche, the easier it will be to focus on topics related to problems that matter to others.

What mistakes do you most often notice in the blogs of newbies, business owners, authors (or artists in general)?

Blog design. When you are new, you really don’t have any type of design expertise, but newbies are so quick to want to throw up a website that they forget how it really looks. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but in the blog world, it’s not as forgiving.

Before you take a dive, sign up for either WordPress.com or Blogger (whichever you prefer) and learn how it functions. This gives you the opportunity to play around with it, how to create a post, and add image etc.  Use the Free themes first and teach yourself the ins and outs of how using a theme works.

Once you are serious and have an idea of what you want to blog about, then invest in a WordPress self-hosted (like BlueHost or Hostgator) and buy your WordPress theme or stick with Blogger and design it slowly.  If you buy a theme, shop sites like: Elegant themes, Themeforest or StudioPress for reputable themes. If you use a theme that is free, remember, there is NO SUPPORT when problems happen down the line.

Some Free themes have gotten better, but why would a developer spend a lot of time helping people for free? Maybe some will, but you get what you pay for. And last, keep your banner ads to a minimum: Do you want readers to focus on your banner ads or your content?

Having a poorly designed website is the #1 factor for losing potential readers.

Does size matter? As an author, I know that when writing, I can be wordy and ramble. Should posts be long and informative? Should they be short and sweet? In your opinion, where is the happy medium?

Bloggers debate this all the time and at the end of the day: it’s your blog, write the way you want. This is where I stress to new bloggers to “blaze their own trail” and do what works for them. You can’t make everyone happy, but if your posts are short, make sure your content makes an impact. If you don’t want to write, create a video tutorial to shake things up.

Don’t get inundated with all the advice given by so many bloggers. Learn to think for yourself and use common sense. You wouldn’t jump off a bridge because some blogger said it’s the right idea for your blog would you? Use your head and make decisions that are right for YOU.

Do you have any favorite author blogs, websites or Facebook author pages that newbies could browse to gather ideas? 

When I first started, TheSitsGirls and Kikolani.com was my muse for a long time. TheSitsGirls really hits home with a lot of “women bloggers”, while Kikolani breaks it down further and gives you the real “meat on the bones” type of posts.

 What about pictures? What is your advice/what are your go-to websites for free images?

This is a touchy subject because some bloggers don’t give credit where it’s due. I use either free images from Flickr Creative Commons (free) and credit back to the photographer. Another site I use is iStockphoto.com. They aren’t free, but once you buy the image, it’s yours to do whatever you wish.  If you see images from sites you frequent a lot, send them an email asking if you can use the image and link back to their website. Its good manners and it’s the right thing to do.
 

Off topic, what are some things artists and entrepreneurs can do on Twitter and Facebook? What would you suggest regarding drawing people in, instead of incessant marketing and plugs?

Twitter It’s a fast conversation. The second you tweet something, more tweets have surpassed yours in seconds. Keep the conversation lite and use it to share other content (not just your own) and network. Don’t run after bloggers like a lost puppy trying to belong, but a simple hello or sharing their content always works. Give it time to build a following and don’t BUY followers.

There are websites out there for unsuspecting bloggers looking to build a following and you will look like an idiot with fake followers. Follow people in your niche or like-minded bloggers and read their blog. Don’t just follow people to get a follow-back. I see mom bloggers do this all the time and professional bloggers don’t ever do this. Read other blogs, comment and share their content. It’s that simple.

Facebook – Facebook is another animal all its own. I can’t say I have mastered mine, but it depends on where you focus your time on Social Media outlets. On Facebook, share your content, but get in the practice of sharing other posts, your readers might find useful. Talk to them, about life and not just about blogging or social media.

If your blog niche is about Cupcakes, share recipes, pictures of unique cupcakes, run a contest for the best cupcake photo etc. If you sell something, offer it for free to a few lucky winners to get honest feedback. They can give you testimonials about its content and they will be your best salesman without you saying anything.

 What is SEO and what tips or references do you have? 

I was never an expert in this field, but use plugins like Yoast SEO (WordPress) to help optimize my website. Use alt-tags for your images (use keywords: seo-for-newbies). Newbies don’t know that your images also come up with in searches and is another source of driving traffic to your website. Or you can use plugins like ScribeContent.com to help you with keyword selection (not free).

 Heartfelt posts, limited views and nonexistent comments – have you ever found these things discouraging? What do you say to those who find themselves on the brink of giving up?

I feel your pain. Been there done that. Some bloggers will go on and on about how to get blog comments, but they don’t tell you the meat and potatoes on how to actually do it. For myself, I joined a Secret Blog Comment group on Facebook 1 year ago, joined Triberr and I started networking like crazy. The blog comment group was a group of like-minded bloggers that visit each other’s blog in the group daily (time-allotted) and comment on every blog in the group. You leave a comment, share and tweet after. Come back to the group and write done and move on the next. What this does is put your content on other blogs and when they comment on your blog, they SHARE YOUR CONTENT TO THEIR READERS.

With Triberr, I didn’t understand it for a long time and the creator finally broke it down for me. You sign up, join a tribe (type in keywords and join a tribe that interests you). You tweet other posts that your readers will appreciate and the blogger sees that your shared his or her content.

You are free to comment (doesn’t hurt), but the point here is that when they RETWEET your content, your post is shared with their readers. So your “Reach” starts to build and before you know it, your post has been retweeted dozens of times. Hence: if the tribe you join has a lot of members. If there is only 5 members in the tribe you joined, it might not get tons of retweets.

 

Example: Let’s say you join a tribe about Food. There are 50 members in this tribe called: Food Bloggers. Your blog is about food so it’s a perfect fit. See what I mean? You wouldn’t join a Marketing tribe because no one will retweet your cupcake recipe to other readers.

Wow …

You’ve been amazing, so much information to look over!! Thank you so much for your insight. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Networking – I can’t stress this enough, but if you start networking: Be genuine. People can smell “fake” a mile away. Some bloggers I want to slap on the forehead because they come off cheesy or only about their own blog. I saw one blog that stated if you don’t comment on my blog, I won’t comment on yours. Don’t be that guy or girl.

If you see content you like and it compels you to comment, then do so. If you like their blog and want to subscribe to their posts, then do so. Don’t do anything for the sake of getting something back. Some bloggers get butt-hurt when a popular blogger didn’t respond to their comment. Really? Just be yourself and if they don’t like you, keep it movin’.

Thanks, again, Sonia!! For more information, tips, or to connect with Sonia, visit:

http://www.LogAllot.comSonia 2013

Just Beneath the Surface I and Into the Atmosphere are now available in print!into the atmosphere full

(Although Into the Atmosphere is available, it will not be sold online). For details, feel free to

contact me at ari.r.james at gmail.com!                                                                                                    

Into the Atmosphere is a book about letting go: releasing our fears, doubts, pain and scars into the atmosphere.

Moving forward means letting go and handing our burdens over to God. Releasing our hurt is much easier said than done; this book is the first step toward identifying, releasing and moving forward.

Just Beneath full

Here are 7  facts about a few of the characters for this 7th day of March:

1. When her mother is distracted, Diamond, one of the main characters, will find herself in a dangerous relationship.

2. The ending has been considered quite suspenseful, and death will come to one of the characters

3. Kendall finds herself questioning the strong-willed woman she once was; she doubts herself as a wife and mother.

4. Diamond’s high school experience becomes very complicated, filled with vicious gossip.

5. Diamond’s younger brother grapples with feelings of hatred toward his sister and resentment toward his parents.

6. Kendall finds that everything she once believed about domestic violence is a myth — it could happen to anyone.

7. Diamond asks: “Is any attention better than no attention at all?”

When Kendall Berkely takes a look in the mirror, she not only desperately wants to run away from the stranger staring back at her; but she also knows that her days are numbered. She can feel it in her bones, and has the bruises to prove it. To make matters worse, Kendall will soon discover that her seventeen year old daughter, Diamond is on a path nearly just as dangerous.

After the demise of the family unit she once knew, a distracted mother, and being forced to accept a new stepfather, Diamond finds herself knee deep in a multitude of mistakes. When Diamond finds herself more lonely than ever before she crosses paths with Bobby Lidell; a teacher’s aide with a dark side. Just as Diamond realizes that she is in over her head, her mother and father have already been notified, and will do everything in their power to protect her.

But what is lurking in the shadows will not stop until a vow has been kept; what is lurking just beneath the surface will come seeking revenge.

Print: http://www.amazon.com

 

Here is my new Just Beneath the Surface II book trailer! I hope you enjoy!

In Just Beneath the Surface II, new characters confront what has been buried and laid to rest – or so they thought.

Landon, a mysterious engineering student has learned to treat his past as though it belongs to someone else. He has learned to control every thought that enters his mind: everything from his memories, to his smile, to the tone of his voice. Anyone who believes that they have begun to understand Landon is sadly mistaken. He is a man impenetrable.

His own brother, Peter, refers to Landon as a robot. Landon’s mother fears that he will soon self-destruct. Landon only wishes that everyone around him would accept and understand one thing; Landon has unlocked what he considers his most prized possession: the gift of control.

Seven is a peculiar beauty whose temper, harsh tongue and violent tendencies often get her into trouble. After meeting Landon, Seven finds her way into unchartered territory: his heart. Soon, Seven’s perception of herself is challenged. She is frequently urged to step away and reevaluate herself, as the handsome young man who is wise beyond his years gently coaches her into finding her best self.

As secrets are revealed, and an unspoken bond is formed, Landon and Seven grow to be inseparable.

Before long, the horrors of the past bring Landon full circle. As his soft stoic surface faces intrusion, his old self is relinquished to paranoia. In time, Landon’s world is threatened by the recurring nightmare he thought he had left behind.

Inside the mind of Just Beneath the Surface ‘mystery’ antagonist

 

It stays between Kendall and me

 What happens between Kendall and I is just that — between me and Kendall. Not one person could look me in the eye and tell me I don’t love my wife. That woman knows how I feel about her. Should it matter what anyone else thinks?

 

 

Women are peculiar creatures

 They have peculiar needs, peculiar wants, peculiar attitudes and peculiar ways of expressing gratitude – they simply never do it.

 A woman can call a man fat, lash out after a long day, make jokes about ‘training’ men, even laugh at his package. But the moment a man retaliates or admits to ‘training’ his woman, he’s abusive. Someone explain it to me, because apparently, I’m too ignorant to understand. I work all day. I work with incompetent fools, and I refuse to come home to an insubordinate woman. It’s the principal. It doesn’t change my love.

 

Looking back at all of our fights

 Deep down, I know I haven’t handled myself the way I knew I should have. Neither has she. I apologize to her in every way possible: Roses, my apologies, when we make love — nothing makes up for the moments where I take it too far, but the closest thing to making it up to her is the love we make.

 I give her everything I have, and I think that the problem with women is their inability to get rid of their walls. They’ve got walls around their hearts, and it causes them to do and say the most horrible things, as though men don’t have feelings too. I’m here to tell you — we, men have feelings. Maybe in your opinion it doesn’t excuse my blow-ups, but in my opinion, blowing up is the only way to get results with a woman as stubborn as Kendall. I know it’s wrong, and I want to handle her differently, but just when I think we understand each other, I’m apologizing all over again.

 

As time goes on, I see improvement, but I also feel her drifting away from me

 Nights like these I sit, I wait, I wonder, I hurt and I want her to feel what I feel.

 Nights like these, Kendall leaves me no choice.

 When she finally shows her face, and I’ve been here sitting alone, when I’ve got a business trip in the morning, and she’s out with her kids all weekend, I could crush her with my bare hands.

 Before I know it, I don’t even see her. I only hear her, which makes it worse. The sound of her crying when she’s the reason I’ve broken my promise yet again is like this trigger. I’m the loaded gun.

 She makes the mistake of telling me she doesn’t know if she can do this any longer. Did she think that would make things any better — was this the time to say that to me? No.

 Doesn’t she see me standing over her? Does she think this is the way I want it to be between us? Doesn’t she know I try?

 Yet I’m a monster for having feelings?

 

Watching her sleep, looking at what I’ve done to her

 People would think I’m the monster. They would think she deserves better. Well, they’re wrong, because once this passes over, we’ll grow stronger. And if she doesn’t change, and I can’t change, and if she leaves me like she says she will…

 

I don’t know

 

Honestly? I dream of a place where Kendall and me can just be. That place isn’t here. This isn’t where we belong. If she won’t submit to me here, I know for a fact that she will submit to me there.

 

 

 

 

 

 Just Beneath the Surface I

Just Beneath the Surface I Excerpt:

“His eyes saw so deep into me I could hardly stand it. He knew I would stay. It scared me to think that he had this hold over me. I had never in my life been the type of woman who would endure something like this. But I was so connected to him that I could not see clearly.”

Inside of the character ‘Kendall’ of  Just Beneath the Surface I

I am haunted

I can hardly sleep. I have no peace. I am afraid at every moment of every day. I don’t know me, and I don’t know him – not anymore.
To think of my family and the way things were – Michael, my children

God what have I done, and how did I get here?

I love him so much, but I feel that deep down, he hates me

I sense that I will die convincing him that I can be the woman he craved for so many years. I thought that I could be the woman who could show him the true meaning of love, and to cherish him; the woman who could love him with patience, and be everything that he needed. But every time he loses his self, he makes it go away -

Yet each time he screams at me, my heart stops, because I know what is coming next

Every time he looks at me that way, with such cold eyes, I know what will come next – my heart pounds, I lose my breath, and I want nothing more than to disappear.

Each time his hand raises, my life flashes before my eyes

Worse and worse
Each time he goes further – he finds new ways to hurt me, and when he tells me he will kill me if I leave, I believe him.

I’m embarrassed to think of what people will say if they find out

I think of the way I felt about women in the situation I’m in, now – I can hear myself so clearly. The way I talked about the things I would put up with, the things I would never tolerate – and being hit was one of them – now I hardly recognize myself. I am so ashamed as I think of the way I haven’t been there for my family. I think of the way Diamond needed me, and I was never there – I was so selfish. Maybe I really do deserve this. Maybe he’s right: I am selfish, and I don’t know what it means to put someone else first.

and now

I don’t know if I’m coming or going. I’m starting to believe he will never change. I’m starting to think that I will never be what he wants me to be. Things are starting to become more than I can take – each time, I feel as though eyes – those unfeeling eyes – are searching for more than love.  Each time it happens, I see death – I sense death – I feel it.

I once wondered what was just beneath the surface — and now

As he stands over me – blade glistening, I no longer have to wonder…

broken mirror 1

smashwords: purchase

amazon: purchase

collage by laura

***

“If it were that bad, she would just leave.

  • There are many reasons why women may not leave. Not leaving does not mean that the situation is okay or that the victim want to be abused.
  • Leaving can be dangerous. The most dangerous time for a woman who is being abused is when she tries to leave. (United States Department of Justice, National Crime Victim Survey, 1995)

Some people deserve to be hit.

  • No one deserves to be abused. Period. The only person responsible for the abuse is the abuser.
  • Physical violence, even among family members, is wrong and against the law.”

http://www.domesticviolence.org/common-myths/

“ANYONE CAN BE A VICTIM! Victims can be of any age, sex, race, culture, religion, education, employment or marital status. Although both men and women can be abused, most victims are women. Children in homes where there is domestic violence are more likely to be abused and/or neglected. Most children in these homes know about the violence. Even if a child is not physically harmed, they may have emotional and behavior problems.”

http://www.domesticviolence.org/who-are-the-victims/

  • On average more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States. In 2005, 1,181 women were murdered by an intimate partner.2
  • In 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published data collected in 2005 that finds that women experience two million injuries from intimate partner violence each year.3
  • Nearly one in four women in the United States reports experiencing violence by a current or former spouse or boyfriend at some point in her life.4

http://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/content/action_center/detail/754?gclid=CLyQz_Tp1rACFSKhtgodbROG1A

Thank-you-for-reading

In 2005, I completed my first novel, and for the next 7 years, said that I’d never share my work.

In 2012, I decided that awareness was more important than being shy; I self-published.

In 2012 and 2013, I submitted my books (and articles/essays) to countless publishers, magazines, and websites.

Through an author friend, I discovered what would become my publisher, Inknbeans Press. A warm group, whose mission is to publish works written about topics that may not be trendy, but accepts authors who write straight from the heart and strive to evolve and grow.

In 2012 and 2013, I learned that when it came to being self-published/published, there was much more than love of writing. I would need thick skin, to depend less on others, lose expectations that my work would be magically shared just because I’d poured everything I had into it. I started writing guest posts and reaching out to reviewers. I promised myself, that no matter what, (cluster headaches and all) I would figure out ways to do more in person.

As much as I hated the idea of stepping out beyond sharing my books – I would have to … talk in front of people and … *shudders*

Wait, where was I?

In 2014, I decided that I would put myself out there. Try to get my work into bookstores. Contact as many people as possible, to spread the word, to knock on every door that appeared, either in my imagination or through networking.

And what I feel is the biggest lesson — no, biggest shocker of all — is that I can appreciate, and dare I say I prefer, doing things in person.

Guest posts, reviews, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, online writing groups, (there are soo many options for networking and promoting online) are very important. But book signings, (even if hardly anyone shows or makes a purchase) are vital. And if you are as shy as I am, the more you do them, the better you feel once you’re in the moment. Whether you’re one to rehearse what you’ll say, or you find that you do better to ‘wing it,’ it gets better the more you do it. And here are a few more things that I’ve learned thus far.

1. Don’t expect people to do all of that hard promoting/marketing work for you. Word of mouth through friends and family is great. But they’ve got lives, careers, school, families — I repeat LIVES – of their own.

Leave your expectations with your rough draft. Trust me. You’ll get your feelings hurt, and you won’t get far. AT ALL.

2. If you do have a group of people who are dedicated to supporting your dream, and are sharing and spreading the word, thank them every single day.

Not everyone has that. You have to appreciate it, because people will become burned out if they feel taken for granted. Wouldn’t you?

3. I know what it’s like to be shy. Well, I don’t know that I’m that shy. Just an introvert, not great with small talk, not big on talking about me (in person).

Don’t be afraid to write down facts about your books that would be catchy, if ever you are stuck in line at the store, having small talk at work, chatting with a neighbor, etc. Then, if you are more of a “wing it” type of person, you’ve got something to build upon or take away from.

Hey!! Wait … don’t forget to ask a friend or loved one if you’ve written a huge ramble – sometimes we want to talk about the book in ways that confuse people. Or downright scares them.

Also, never be afraid to say that you are an author. This is something that I still can’t say. Let’s work on it together.

4. Contact everyone. Newspapers, bookstores (start with smaller stores, they’re so friendly you wouldn’t believe!!), libraries, local author events, radio stations, even local news stations!

You never know who is looking for someone interesting for their next article or news segment. I was shocked when a producer of a local show told me there was space available for an interview – with me.

Please, don’t let shyness ruin your chances to share. I nearly did. (Actually, I did for years and years.)

5. Just believe in yourself. And be grateful for every big and small thing that happens. Imagine the looks on your kids, grandkids, neighborhood kids, nieces and nephews’ faces, when you pull out your book, and tell them that you are an author.

Just like that, you’ve inspired a new generation.

excuses Grab a free ebook (Just Beneath the Surface I)

 

 

releaseday

 

Like Shards of Glass

Today’s the day Like Shards of Glass is available on Amazon, Smashwords, and all online retailers. Let’s start the giveaway to celebrate! dominiquequotescover-PNG-76

Enter here >> a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, don’t forget to stop by Amazon, and grab your freebie! Also, if you prefer Smashwords, you can download your free copy of Just Beneath the Surface there, also!

Here’s a bit of what’s being said about Like Shards of Glass >> reviews!!, and here’s an interview where I shared a lot of background and inspiration for the book >> Interview!!

 

 

Like Shards of Glass excerpt

Chapter 5

Monroe: Once upon a time…

Once upon a time, I awoke to my boys shaking me, whining that they were hungry. Now, I wake to the bitter taste of pills and wine. Not too long ago, I awoke to my hero – my husband. Even if he was not in bed, the indentation in his pillow, his scent, the whispers of his name painting the walls, were enough to remind me of his presence. Now, I wake to nightmares of what he did to my boys – the people at the clinic …

Many days I didn’t exist to him, and he seemed to have befriended the memories of lives which had slipped through his hands. Those friends, those memories, urged him to spend hours in the basement with his rifles. Yet still, I knew he would always at some point in the night, roll over and throw his arm across my waist. Sure, people talked about being with someone, and their true colors beginning to show. But what about being with someone – a goodhearted person, who had been destroyed only because he had always dreamed of being a hero?

As he changed, there were times when, despite living together for so many years, we were strangers. Never would I forget the night five years ago, when Carter had gone to visit his brother. I had unknowingly pulled up beside him at a stoplight after Christmas shopping. And when I looked at the car next to me, his eyes glowered back at me, pouring such hatred into my vehicle that I could only look away. We had not spoken in weeks, except when it was necessary or involved the boys; in that moment, he looked as if it was all coming to a head.

Once the light turned green, I hesitated, then glided into the intersection. Carter sat watching us pass, cars honking at him. The sound of the horns was like some off-key orchestra. Like a disoriented wasp, he sped up, crossed into our lane and rode my bumper. I remembered wondering if it was funny to him. But how could he be so stupid? Holiday traffic was no time to joke that way, especially with our sons in my car.

For several miles, he had driven so close to me that I watched his car in the rear view mirror almost more than I watched the road ahead of me. The car shook as we hit a small pothole, and I thought I saw him smiling a sinister smile. Our boys turned around and waved at him – all except Karter, who stared at me as if he knew something was wrong. Of course, something was wrong. Something within told me, warned me, to take the boys to spend the night with their great-grandparents. And I did.

I arrived home that night, and the same voice which told me to take my boys to stay with their great-grandparents, told me to lock the doors as soon as I made it inside – I didn’t listen. Like Shards of Glass (Amazon)

 

 

 

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This Thursday, August 21, is the day I’ve been so excited about — my latest novel, Like Shards of Glass, will finally be available – officially!!

UPDATE >> Like Shards of Glass Giveaway 

Don’t forget, Just Beneath the Surface is free on Amazon!!

And don’t forget to stop by Smashwords and download Just Beneath the Surface FREE!!!

Now, the part I was also super-excited about, was the giveaway. Slight change of plans ..

Although I won’t be able to do the type of giveaway I originally had in mind (can’t really afford to give away fifty, seventy-five, or one hundred dollar gift certificates, as we just moved, school just started, and the list goes on)IMG_20140806_142856_213

… I still have a few things I would like to do, to celebrate the new release with you. (Winners will be selected through rafflecopter in late September.)

 

megan

A bit of my cousin, Megan’s work (this is not the ‘shard’ jewelry)

*A ten dollar Amazon gift certificate

*Unique “shard” themed jewelry, handmade by my cousin, Megan Henderson

*FOR AUTHORS: A pre-made book cover by Laura Wright LaRoche

*1 free signed print book (by me … hope that’s okay? I’ve been told Like shards of Glass and Undone are pretty good reads. Oops! Cat’s out of the bag. 2 signed print books. Dangit.)

*Lots of free ebooks (By who? Well, by as many authors as I can gather to participate in this giveaway :-) )

laura

PRE-MADE BOOK COVER SAMPLE

*2 free GIANT bookmarks

 

I try not to do this, but I’m going there: Please share. When Thursday rolls around, I really need your help. Like I said, I try not to ask for shares, or likes, etc., but it would mean so much if you could take a second to share the book. And if you read it, and you feel as if you’re embarrassed for having shared it and told people to check it out – well, email me at (hatemail@booo!getoffthestage.com), and I’ll send you a free virtual hug and a heartfelt apology.

But, please. Please, oh, please. Once Thursday rolls around, share, share, share!!!!

Now that that’s over with, how about a new excerpt?

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Chapter 4

Dominique Hall

I dragged my gym bag to my bedroom, flung it on the floor, and grabbed some clothes.

I burst into the bathroom, rapping along with a song. My voice trailed off. Snatching the ear buds from my ears, my eyes trailed her: naked, drying off in the mirror, staring at my reflection unfazed.

Why was she unfazed? And what was that fragrance? Like some undiscovered berry and honeysuckle intertwined?

The gentleman in me shielded my eyes, while the dog channeled a deer in headlights, too stunned to leave and close the door. “I’m so sorry.”

And I feel like an adolescent; your body is etched in my mind’s eye, so every time we talk, from now on, this is what I’ll see. Like Shards of Glass

I swallowed hard, and managed to squeeze out, “I’m going.”

“Hey.” Her voice was as dry as dust, and the calmness surprised me, intimidated me. 

“Yeah.” What was I supposed to do?

“Make sure you, umm…”

“Knock, I know. I –”

“Make sure you give real music a chance. You listen to garbage your thought process changes into baby food – mush. Try some Marvin, Otis, some Sam Cooke. And do me a favor.”

In my peripherals I could see her wrapping herself in the towel. I raised my eyebrows, then eyes, then head, and replied, “Yes?”

“Bring me some wine?”

I nodded, eyes back on the floor, backing up, then turning away. She slammed the door behind me. 

I asked myself over and over, again what had just happened. Telling myself to hurry up, my feet moving me at the pace of a mummy until finally, I stood staring at the wine rack. For several seconds, I stood holding a burgundy bottle. In the glass, I saw not only her body: this bare rose, covered in dew. Her ribs were showing, and she was even smaller than when she had first arrived weeks ago. Only until she spoke, did she remind me of her ascendency. Small, she was not; she was a lioness. I was the mouse.

Eager to get back to her, to look into those eyes, which had looked at me almost as if they expected me, I knocked on the bathroom door. Taking a step back, looking under the door, I noticed the light was off. I turned, and clutching the bottle with both hands, as if the lioness would come pouncing – no, stalking, walking low to the ground, sizing me up in the corner of the hallway.

Monroe’s door was open, but I kept my head down as I knocked. She groaned, mumbled something, and I heard her bed squeak. Her eyes were closed, and for some reason I wanted to tip-toe. As I walked heedfully, she cleared her throat. I stopped.

Monroe frowned, “What are you –”

“You asked for this?”

“I know.” Monroe smiled, her eyes were closed.

She wore a satin bathrobe, which was an earth-copper color. I couldn’t tell where her skin began and the robe ended without staring too hard. I knew I was staring too hard. Taking my focus off of her skin, I eyed the cigar and incense burning side by side on her nightstand.

She chuckled as she spoke, “I was thinking – saying – before you tried to finish my sentence: once again you’re in my room all sweaty.”

Was I sweating?

“Hand me those.” She pointed to a prescription bottle. “Were you working out?”

I looked down at myself; I’d forgotten my shirt had been discarded at the front door. Handing her the bottle of pills and wine I said, “I was playing ball.”

“Dominique, you’re built like a gladiator. What’s your little girlfriend’s name? Is she tall? What grade is she in? I heard you’ve been job hopping. What is it you do, now?”

“I don’t have a girl in a grade. I’m almost twenty-four years old. A college graduate, Monroe.”

She hadn’t opened her eyes, yet I could feel them looking down on me. Why did she keep talking to me about my parents, lunch money, forgettable jobs and little girlfriends.

Preorder Like Shards of Glass 

Like Shards of Glass

Interested in catching up on Like Shards of Glass excerpts, chapters 1-3? Got you covered.

But first, let me ask you this: Who doesn’t love free stuff? I know I do. So, to kick off the week of my new release (Like Shards of Glass), Just Beneath the Surface is FREE on Amazon … Also visit Smashwords for FREE downloads! Just click here >> Just Beneath the Surface

Here’s a bit about the book, and a quick link to the (Just Beneath the Surface) reviews: There’s a feeling after reading this book of having been behind the scenes to see something rare and the need to share that new knowledge with women or men who may find themselves in a similar situation. >> Reviews

 

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Like Shards of Glass ‘catch-up’ excerpts:

Chapter 1

(Dominique Hall)

 

My eyes wandered the body before me: up, down, side to side. Monroe’s eyes were ovoid, pinched closed at the outer edges like art. The color of honey and copper was her skin. She was not curvy like most of the women who caught my eye; she was nearing rail thin. But her breasts were voluptuous, and teasing me beneath long black hair. Even with minimal make-up, she was the type of woman to drive men insane; mostly because we couldn’t figure out what it was about her. Heads turned when she entered the room; I had even caught my father finding reasons to look at her and ask her meaningless questions, like: “Where did you want this, again? Was this box fragile? Do you want me to take that for you?”

And as we stood in the quiet of her bedroom – the otherworldly garden, I wanted to say something, and fill the silence between us. I told myself to breathe deeply, as I could feel the heat building within me, and at any moment, I would give myself – I was mortified, intimidated. But her eyes lulled me. I wanted inside her mind.

I drank more, took her in, and wanting to remember her just as she was in that moment, confounding and breathtaking, I memorized her. She had changed into a pair of silk pajamas, nearly the same shade as her skin. There was no bra, and although it was a warm August night, I could have sworn she had caught a chill.

She set her drink down on the mahogany dresser, and I exhaled.

Finally, someone had moved.

“Oh! I almost forgot. I want to pay you back.” She reached for her purse. I wanted to stop her. “How’s fifty?”

Fifty what? Fifty for what?

I set my glass down beside hers, and shook my head as she took a fifty dollar bill from her wallet.

“Use it for gas or lunch money.”

“What are you talkin’ about?”

“The boxes and suitcases. I’m not gonna let you just –”

Lunch money? What?

I tilted my head as I spoke. “I wanted to help you.”

“Your parents made you.”

“I’m twenty-three years old; they can’t make me do anything.”

Monroe looked as if she wanted to laugh, but instead of making me feel even more like a child, she stepped closer to me. Her eyes traced over me as she reached for my pocket, opened it, and slid the money inside.

You win – and in which pocket was the letter I had stolen?

“Take it, Dominique.” Her hand lingered in my pocket for a millisecond too long. She stood on her tiptoes. “Just take it.” She pressed cold, cordate lips to my cheek and whispered, “Goodnight, and thank you.”

shards promo heart surgery copy
Chapter 2

Monroe Song

God, please, give me some wine and a bed, and I could make it to tomorrow.

Force me to sit and smile and listen and be, I would only cower away like demons to light.

“Mom,” Karter whispered. He gestured toward some dinner guest – a man whose name I had forgotten.

Mom. I hated that word.

“Monroe, what do you need, love?” Kat’s slightly parted mouth, and the way she cocked her head told me I had worn out my welcome at the dinner table. I wasn’t eating, could hardly keep up with the conversation, and was probably reaching for my wine far too much.

“What did I miss? I’m so sorry.” I shook my head and looked down at my plate. “So sorry.”

“Sorry why?” Dominique’s eyes seemed to glow as he entered the kitchen. Built like he spent his days and nights in a swimming pool training for the Olympics, his shirt stuck to his chest and abdomen.

Kat’s attention switched to her son, and a layer of tension melted from my shoulders. Her husband, Lonnie, threw up his hand and mumbled hello as he bit into his roll.

“You’re late, baby,” said Kat. “I’ll fix your plate. Will you really sit there sweating like that? Clothes stuck to your body? At the dinner table.”

Dominique responded with a grunt and reached for a roll.

“You heard your mom. Go wash up.”

Another grunt. A sound most young men and boys made when nagged by their parents. Suddenly, I had no control over my eyes, and as they welled with tears, I wondered how I would get through dinner watching them fuss over their son, when my boys …

“He was asking you how much of the city you’ve seen,” Karter whispered.

I could give a damn about this city.

Karter had always been too polite, overly concerned with who was watching and what people thought. Yet lies poured from the mouth of this mannerable boy like lava.

I finished my glass of wine and looked at him as if he spoke a foreign language.

“You need a nap, Mom?” he asked.

I cringed.

“I said, I’ll get his plate. You sit down and relax,” said Lonnie.

The tears came, again. They were a perfect couple, if perfect ever did exist. Lonnie was an average-sized man, with what I imagined was a Goliath-sized heart. He was quiet, and when he spoke, he spoke slowly, as if deep down, he knew that time was far too valuable to waste on impatience or rushing around like ants. A bit scruffy from working long hours at the hospital, Lonnie was quite handsome. Both he and Dominique bore a complexion like agave, identical under bites, which were nearly undetectable, and five o’clock shadows. Kat, a hefty woman who did not look a day over eighteen years old, was a gentle spirit. She spoke in what could be considered a whisper, but nearly every sentence she spoke had some sort of double-meaning.

I watched as Lonnie leaned down and urged his wife to relax. He squeezed her shoulder and told her to let him help her, that she had been on her feet long enough. It had been one month since Carter stole my life. It had been several months since I had been spoken to or touched as delicately as Lonnie touched Kat; the thought of being touched made me ill. I observed them as if I watched a movie, and felt a tremor in my legs. Placing my hands in my lap, I squirmed in my seat. The tremor moved to my hands. My body ached. And without my permission – without my knowledge, a tear fell from my eyes, followed by more tears. I scooted my plate around and pushed my fork off the edge of the table. Moving quickly, before Mr. Mannerable, prince of knavery, could fetch it for me, I leaned down, wiped my tears on the table cloth, and grabbed my fork.

Dominique sat down across from me, disregarding his mother’s request that he change clothes. He peered at me, then averted his eyes. I knew he could see the tears. Again, I was reminded that I was painfully “alive” for all to gawk and point at me.

After clearing my throat, I said, “Excuse me.”

I moved with purpose and walked as if I was late for a business meeting. Once I reached the bedroom, I collapsed at the edge of the bed. Then, using aching, trembling arms and legs, I crawled to my nightstand.

Meds. Wine. Sleep. Meds. Wine. Sleep. Pour pills in hand. Open bottle. Guzzle. Close your eyes. Vanish.

Forget the bed; the floor was fine. I pulled down the comforter and curled up with the bottle of wine. This was the moment when my boys knocked on my door and bothered me about snacks and boredom. Karter would shoo them away and tell them I was sleeping, then turn around and beg me to let him off punishment, so he could go to some silly party. Wasn’t this supposed to be the moment when my decorated hero came and lifted me off of the floor and placed me gently on the bed? Was that not what I deserved? If I am a mother, why am I on the cold, hard floor, drugged, shaking, tired, unable to sleep?

When do my boys call me mom, mommy, momma, and bother me about new shoes? Didn’t I give birth? Aren’t I a mother – a mother of four boys? No? Then who am I? Who am I and why am I here? Somebody make it all stop and tell me why the hell am I still…

Shards promo 4

Chapter 3

KARTER SONG

Somehow, I had managed to convince myself that I, a liar, destined to rob and hurt people, was destined to hurt girls – people.

Now, although I know I’m not a delinquent, my thoughts are like a typhoon constantly seeking ways to prove that I’m good. And then I stand and I watch myself trying – trying too hard – and I think: Why do you do this? What if you do this so people see the good, because deep down you know – you know you’re not good? And that scares me.

Almost the way it scares me that I don’t remember the days following – following the thing that my father did.

The memories are like watching a video reel where cameras only focused on the ground, shoes, sounds, and if possible, emotion. I can remember beating on a stranger’s front door, but I don’t remember how I got inside. Blood – I remember blood, a bathtub, a beautiful frightened face. Then, I can also remember waking up to wafts of grass, and the rushing water of a creek in an unfamiliar neighborhood. Walking for days, resting only in dark alleys, praying someone would find me and shove a gun down my throat, find no money and end it all for me. More than anything, waking up where my father loved to fish, my hand swollen, numb. It sends me into a certain madness, where I crave more of what happened, yet scold myself for what I pray I didn’t do. I pray I am nothing like my hero.

The last time I spoke to my grandparents, at my brothers’ funeral, they’d let me know that I was a terrible son for not showing face at the memorial, then tearfully told me my father had been cremated, and that his ashes had been left to “live on” at a park. A park? Where children played? The bones and fibers, the spirit of a child killer, a murderer of women, innocent people, at a park? My father …

My dad – my shadow. There wasn’t an ounce of fat on his body, for gluttony was a sign of weakness. In his head, gray mixed with pepper, and at any moment’s notice, he poured wisdom into those who scowled, and to those who listened earnestly. His arms and hands were made to build bridges and break apart castles. Dark circles granted his eyes permission to roam our home beyond the midnight hours. He possessed a voice that explained things and strained itself only when necessary.

My father was a father to all young men in our neighborhood. Whenever he saw fit, he told us how to hold our fists in a fight, to give firm eye contact to authority, to lie to liars, listen to girls, to give our earnings to charity. I’d stared up at him in awe as fatherless boys followed my dad like a pack of wolves, loading up our van, gearing up to go to his favorite fishing spot. Now, I look at his picture with lonely pangs. I get them morning, noon, and at night. It starts with chills, ends with fever, and everything in between is a grating pain in my soul.

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*I am not a psychologist, these are my personal thoughts and ideas, and should be coupled with professional help*



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Like Shards of Glass

Depression is very real. It’s touching and taking lives, whether we choose to see it or not. Look at the news. Take a look at the entertainers who’ve gone away. Many of the characters in the movies we watch, and novels we read, are struggling with mental illness within the storylines.

… Gone, whether we “believe” in depression or not.

Today, I will share ten things I believe could be uplifting in hard times.

1. You want to disappear, but you don’t want to wither away for good – nothing permanent. I know.

It’s just that, you hurt. And you need your own pocket in space, where time doesn’t exist. And you want to crawl into that safe space, where you can’t be misunderstood, called upon, or hurt.

Knowing this makes it no easier. Just because you know it’s you, and not others, or maybe partially others, mostly depression, doesn’t make it any easier.

In your fragile state, you want to isolate and remove yourself. And it makes perfect sense, to keep from lashing out, making things worse, the list goes on. But isolating yourself, and allowing your mind to tell you that everyone and everything is against you, will only bury you.

When your mind is clear, write down the things that make you feel happy, peaceful, calm, grateful, useful … you’re in a state of pain and numbness. You need to feel.

Keep the aforementioned list. And even when you don’t want to look at it, as your mind tells you lies and tells you that helping yourself is a waste of energy – energy that you don’t have – you look at that list. Look at it and pick something. Even five minutes of peace, are better than that hell you feel all around you.

I suffered from severe depression for over a decade. My condition deteriorated steadily. I was suicidal. ~Byron Katie

 

2. Everything that happens, you feel it on another level. Some wavelength straight from Satan’s lair. And it’s as if everything is crumbling. It’s as if everything is happening just to make you sink deeper into the ground.

There is truly no way around this. In your every day life, stressors will occur. People will make insensitive comments. People will minimize your feelings. Someone else will claim that they have/have had it worse. There is no way around it.

The only thing you can do, is carve out time for you. It’s hard to think about affirmations when self loathe is your main source of inner monologue. But if you can, as hard as it will be, breathe and distract yourself. Carve out time to distract yourself from, well, yourself.

Distract and distance yourself from any and all unimportant things that will zap your will to – well, remain awake and untethered from your bed.

Distract yourself how?

Meditate.quotesEver-wrestle-with

Art.

Music.

Read.

Movies.

Silly games on your phone.

If you can manage, activities with people who remind you what it feels like to belly laugh.

Take a look at that list you made in step 1.

“But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily ..” Elizabeth Wurtzel

3. It’s as if you’re alone. Well, not alone, but more like you are hovering over yourself and others.

Deep down, we all know we are not alone. But what we don’t know, is who we can lean on, and if it’s worth it. You know you are not the only person who suffers from depression, but it hurts too much to interact and participate in daily activities. So, what do you do, when your mind has made you a ghost?

I think that it’s important to try to surround yourself with people who understand you. They know you when you’re at your best, and they know when you’re not yourself. They recognize how fragile you are, and not that it’s their job to cater to you, they just want you to feel comfortable. If you want to sit quietly, it’s okay with them. If you want to listen to music, they understand. If you want to observe and smile a vacant smile, they know it’s nothing personal.

That’s just the thing. You need to be able to trust that your loved ones do not take anything that you are experiencing personally. The people you need to encircle you, will not judge, tell you how to feel, throw things in your face, or accuse you of trying to stress them out with your issues.

One in six people suffer depression or a chronic anxiety disorder. These are not the worried well but those in severe mental pain with conditions crippling enough to prevent them living normal lives. Polly Toynbee

4. You’d rather not get out of bed. Why should you, you say to yourself.

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It’s as if the bed sits underwater. And there’s an anchor pulling you down, under the covers, where you’re safe – safe but drowning.

You’re body aches from swimming upstream. Everything hurts from fighting off things and people that may not be against you. Stop. Try to stop. And the same way you are floating above yourself and everything around you, try to step outside of your thoughts. They are your enemy. One step at a time, you can free yourself from those shackles.

If you can stop those paralyzing thoughts long enough to say I’m going to be okay, then the next day, you can …

a. Stop the thoughts long enough to visualize yourself doing one thing – something – that is out of this bed. Even if that something you choose to do, is on the other side of the room, and ..

b. Breathe. Look around. You may feel lost. As if everything is unfamiliar, and you don’t belong. But you do. And you mean something. You mean so much. More than you realize … you’ve got to make yourself realize. It’s up to you. And if you can move yourself out of bed, and breathe, then the next day, you can …

c. Take a long shower. And keep breathing. And what if you pick a spot in a different room, and read or write or listen to or draw something that calms you?

d. Baby steps. Little by little, find your center, and as you find it, keep moving. Keep reaching. Keep searching. A little at a time.

Why do depressed people lie in bed? It isn’t because of great snuggle time under the blankets. It’s because depressed people can’t bring themselves to get out of bed. Almost any activity or task becomes a painful ordeal, even things as simple as taking a shower or getting dressed. Psychology Today

5. It’s as if those who don’t understand, say all the wrong things. Those who have experienced what you’re experiencing, are saying all of the wrong things. Those who haven’t felt this oppressive darkness, tell you to get up, work out, get over it – everyone has bad days. Those who’ve been where you are, may lump your problems together, or tell you that it will get better in a way that is nearly diminishing.

Guess what? Not everyone will understand. Hurts, but not everyone believes you’re as fragile and as broken as you say you are. The only thing you can do, is find a healthy balance between staying centered and picking your battles, keeping your focus on yourself and your recovery, and shielding yourself from the world – including those who know and love you. Please, don’t shield yourself from those who know, love, and want the best for you.

Depression begins with disappointment. When disappointment festers in our soul, it leads to discouragement.” Joyce Meyer

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6. Nothing you do is good enough. You may smile for a day, an hour, minute, second … but there’s no consistency. Everything you accomplish … not good enough. The things you do for others … not good enough. Your reflection … not good enough. Your. Every. Move. And. Thought: Not Good Enough.

I know, it’s not a good time for me to say this. But, I want to say it, anyway: You are more than good enough. There’s no better you than you. It’s so corny, I know, but it’s true. Without you, and your thoughts, and idiosyncrasies, and flaws, and expertise – oh, yes, you are brilliant!  … The world would lose a light. And not just any light. A star. You are so much more than this broken record that plays in your mind, and if you can step outside of what you’re saying to yourself, if only for a moment, little by little, you’ll defeat something evil. And you’ll go on to help the next man/woman who’s drowning.

“Some days, 24 hours is too much to stay put in, so I take the day hour by hour, moment by moment ..” Regina Brett

7. You are sleeping with the enemy. An enemy who whispers to you, that you are worthless. The world is better off without you. Why lie down and go to sleep, when you could sleep for an eternity? Why not use that razor, those scissors, that knife, for better things? It’s not like what you’d inflict on yourself would feel any worse than what’s breaking your heart, right now … so, why not?

Why not? Because you’re here, reading this, and you know, now – please believe me – your wings are fireproof. Covered in dust, singed, a bit bent – but not broken.

You’re a sight to see. Wings and all.

The whispers are addictive, but like any addiction, they’re a lie. And the lies – well, they can’t win. They simply can’t. There’s help. There’s support. It’s a long road, but you’re worth it, and your story, the story inside you – waiting to be told or written – is a miracle.

 

 

 

Now, babysteps … I, your loved ones, want to see you fly.  Hey-you-Yeah-you-Youre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

shards promo heart surgery copy

My very talented writerly friend, author Julie Frayn, invited me to participate in a blog hop. When you get a chance, check out her books:  Mazie Baby, It isn’t cheating if he’s dead, and Suicide City.

A bit about Julie:

“My one hope is that when I spread my wings and take this leap, my feathers catch air and I will soar.  Or at least not crash to the ground in a heap of twisted bird’s feet with my beak disjointed and sitting askew atop a pile of broken wings, while feathers float down and bury the remains of my dreams.”

Now for the blog hop! I’m going  to answer the four questions below, then in a couple of weeks, two more authors will post and answer the questions. Ready? Here goes!!

1. What am I working on?

Always an exciting question!

I know I’ve been saying this for a while, now, but I am currently working on my children’s book. The story was written in 2012, and at this time, Author/illustrator Ey Wade is putting together some beautiful sketches. I will take this time to polish it up. I am also preparing my novel, Like Shards of Glass, for publishing.

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

Honestly? Art is art, and it’s just a matter of preference.  My work probably doesn’t differ from other writers’ books, and that’s not why I write. I don’t write to compete, or prove that I can do it better. I just want to share a piece of me – that’s the only true difference, I suppose.

3. Why do I write what I do?

In short, I’ve always been attracted to picking apart the tough, dark, misunderstood topics. To bring illumination to these topics, would mean shedding light on those who are struggling, or have convinced themselves that they are alone – this is why I write, this is my passion :-)

 

4. How does my writing process work?

I really wouldn’t consider it a process. Sigh. But I’ll give you a brief description.

1. A conversation (or observation of dynamics between a group or couple), mental illness, unhealthy situations, what ifs, spark a flood of thoughts: Brainstorming.

2. I take my time imagining the characters who’d bring the above situation to life. What does he or she look like? Hair color, eye color, bodyshape and stature, etc …

3. I dream day and night of the vocal intonation, ideals, facial expressions, scents, disposition, and everything that makes a character who he/she is.

4. I bring the emotional and physical aspects together, and it’s almost as if I can hear the character’s thoughts, conversations, and disagreements.

5. Somewhere between physical attributes and personality traits, I begin jotting down notes and emailing/text messaging them to myself.

6. The book title.

7. The book cover, which inspires me to focus and finish.

8. When it flows, I begin pouring words onto the page, and developing beginning, middle, and end – and not in that order.

9. The last part, is probably naming the chapters, and writing the first chapter.

 

Are you ready to meet the next two authors? I think you’ll be pleased with their work – and they’re pretty friendly, too :-)

Marc Horn 

Marc was brought up in Dartford, England. Nothing much happened there – landing a job as a banana packer was the highlight – so he spent most of his time lost in his imagination.
Seeking change, he became an airborne soldier (not airborne germ, as a friend once called him) and had to parachute out of the first plane he ever went in. The boring days were over!

He’s drawn to stories of hardship and survival. Carlin announcing he’s ‘The Daddy’ in Scum; Brendan fighting for his family in Warrior; David searching for answers in Vanilla Sky.

Marc doesn’t hold back when he writes. Much of his work contains black humour. Some might call it a sick sense of humour, but whatever it is you had to have it in the army – you laughed or you cried.

He’s into writing psychological thrillers that are a bit different. He likes to depict thought-provoking, controversial situations and in some cases to make people more aware of uncomfortable but important topics.

Marc has published two novels. THE MORTAL RELIGION has been awarded Rabid Reader’s Best Books of 2013; E-thriller’s Thriller of the Month in April 2013, and is also listed on 42 Books to Love for Towel Day. PERSONA is an Amazon number 1 bestselling psychological thriller. CUFFED, his most ambitious project, will be released in the summer.

He loves sixties music and studying lyrics, meditation, skiing, off-road cycling, repairing bikes, martial arts and chess.

*************

Ey Wade

Ey Wade is the single parent of three awesome young women, whom she home-schooled into college and the grandmother, ‘Lovey’ of a little boy. Ey likes to say of herself Knowing me as a writer and author is like cracking an egg’s shell in the air and wondering how far the splatter will spread.” She is currently the author of nine books written through various genres’.
Product Details
Ey’s first book with her publisher, Inknbeans Press, is her YA thriller, D.N.A.  Nothing Would Ever Be The Same.  She’s also written a fascinating study of racial and cultural contributions to the revolution and evolution of the United States, Beads On a String, as well as a children’s series, In My Sisters World, and has recently started a chick-lit series of the intertwined lives of several women called Yes, Sam Takes Care of Me.

 

 

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