The Damaged’s Epiphany!

ouchDriving down the road all alone, the radio drumming silently in the background, the rain slamming against the glass of the windshield… it creates the perfect environment for self reflection, huh?

I guess I used to feel like Father Time was as blind to my existence as I was to his–ah, youth–and while I’ve been paying attention to Father Time for quite some time now, it wasn’t until quite recently that I spotted Father Time noticing me back. It doesn’t feel like he’s knocking on Death’s door and pointing his wrinkled finger my direction, but he did pause in the crowd of souls, looked me in the eyes and winked. This has gotten me to thinking a little more often than I once did about what I have/n’t done with my life.

Damaged… I think I’ll always be damaged. I’m not the only one out there. My best friend is one of the Damaged as well. One of the results of being damaged is that I seem to have difficulty in completing stories. Let’s be honest, it’s more than stories. However, the thing pressing harder on my mind is writing.

I’ve never completed a single story I started.

So, what’s my hang-up? Fear of failure, fear of success? These two things haven’t really made a lot of sense to me and didn’t feel like either were my personal hang-up. These are the two usual suspects though… aren’t they? So, I keep examining these two fears trying to figure out which is mine, cause if I know what it is I might be able to step down a path to fixing myself.

Today, for whatever reason, I had an epiphany! It’s not really either.

I don’t want to be defined by my mistakes.

Yep! That’s the thought that smashed it’s way through the calm of my afternoon drive to my kids’ school. I had no idea I even felt this way until today. Childhood taught me that people simply will not recognize my efforts let alone my successes; I will only be seen for my failures and mistakes.

Wait! Huh? What does that mean? Come on self, explain this one.

Here is a seemingly simplistic childhood memory, yet in it’s simplicity it screams it’s complexity. A young child makes a spur of the moment choice to surprise mom and dad by cleaning the living room without being asked. The child simply wants to do something to please the parents. The child works hard, in her/his perception of things, and waits excitedly for the parents to come notice. In walks dad or mom. The child exclaims ta-da! then waits for the parent to be pleased.

“You missed a spot,” the parent responds pointing to an itty-bitty fleck of something on the carpet, then leaves the room.

When you grow up feeling that no matter how hard you try to do something positive, others will only notice the negative and you begin to feel that there is no point to even trying. That feeling will become worse. It divides itself, finds places to implant and grow, divide again and send its spawn off to other places in your soul to spread it’s infestation.

I don’t want to be seen for my mistakes. Failure does come into play but it is not a fear of failure. Everyone will fail. There isn’t a single perfect person out there and we will all fail at something, sometime. That’s okay. This is different. It has warped itself so many times. Being seen for my mistakes is just the beginning. It’s the top layer of the many issues that suffering a childhood of neglect, emotional abuse and bullying causes.

Another issue: All I can see are my own mistakes. There’s layer two. Thanks to the top layer, this is my second layer. Nothing is ever positive. Everyone in my life can tell me different, but it is so painful to never feel like I can ever do anything right. There’s always a mistake. There will always be a fleck on the carpet that I missed. My cookies will always be too dry, too crumbly, or too… something. My meals will never be good enough. I love to crochet, but that will never, ever be good enough either.

My writing will always be mediocre. Worse than mediocre. A 4th grade child would be able to write better than I can. I have no talent, no skill and zero ability to ever be good enough at anything… so why finish?

Why start? Well, writing is an addiction. It always has been and probably always will be. I think about writing constantly. I think about characters, plots, stories, worlds, words, sentences, even grammar!

The thing that sucks about this epiphany is I don’t know that it’ll help a single thing. So I know a little more now what the problem is. Great! But, I worry I could be permanently damaged. Hopefully Father Time will be kind and give me just a little less attention for a bit longer.

I won’t give up! I’ll keep trying because I love what I do. I just wish I could see and believe what I see in myself the way others around me do.

(This has been hard for me to share, but I doubt I’m the only one out there that has been hurt this way, and I’m sharing this publicly with hopes that someone will someday stumble upon it and know that they aren’t alone.)

 

Fae, Demons and Apocalypse! What a Birthday!

Karen Marie Moning

“Iced” by Karen Marie Moning, due out October 30th, 2012

For a couple of weeks, on Facebook, I’d randomly notice posts from author Karen Marie Moning. She was/is posting bits of her Fever series in honor of the newest book to be released in four more days. Iced! I am among many of her fans that are dying to get our hands on Iced.

Reading all these bits from the books got me in the Fever! I just had to reread the series. I devoured about a book a day making almost a week of Fever fun. Now if only somehow Iced would magically appear early in my hands! My birthday was two days ago. Wouldn’t that be one heck of a birthday present? (Look below for an awesome looking book trailer of Iced.)

Click Here for Karen Marie Moning’s site

If you haven’t joined the Fever yet, here is a synopsis of the first book of the series, Darkfever:

MacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman.

Or so she thinks… until something extraordinary happens.

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed–a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae… Continue reading

Damaged

What happens to the mind once it’s been damaged for a length of time? Is recovery possible? Is the person that was still there?

Damaged.

I think I’m damaged. I shutter when I hear “potential”. Oh sure, I had potential. Heard it all the time growing up. “She has so much potential, if only…”

My birthday is coming up soon. 40 is sneaking up quick. Since childhood I have wanted to be a writer. I dreamed up story after story. I lived to create. It was my favorite activity.

Potential.

A young child doesn’t understand the depths of potential. I’m not entirely sure my teen daughter yet understands the depth of potential. It can mean everything or nothing. As a young child I was dragged to parent/teacher conferences year after year and listened to the teacher complain to my parents about my wasted potential. I didn’t understand what the teachers were talking about, yet I knew it wasn’t good. I hung my head with shame, sat trembling in the cold, hard wood chairs that plague all schools, and listened not to the words my teacher was speaking but to the tone in which she spoke. Disappointment. Frustration. Concern.

I don’t know who my teachers felt these things for when these things were expressed to my parents. Today, as a woman with five children of her own, I hope the teacher’s disappointment was meant for my parents and not me.

Who the teacher meant her disappointment for doesn’t matter. What mattered was what I felt in my heart and soul.

I was a failure. Potential in the tone that my teachers voiced must have meant I was no good. That’s what potential was. Potential was another word for “nothing.”

Yep. Damaged. It would take a novelette at least to replay all the events of childhood that explains the damage that was done to me at the hands of others. I don’t want to write that story. I lived it. No one else should have to live it, not even vicariously.

I need to be repaired. I think that I’ve done some repairing already. It’s not enough though. Not yet.

I hate potential.

School has Started!

School has started! Nothing like having a thunderstorm for an alarm clock. Everyone in the household was awake 30 minutes early today. It was kind of nice, despite my hatred for early mornings.

I am as excited as my children. I’ve got my day time writing hours back.

So what does that mean for you, my dear reader and writer friends?

#1) I’m aiming to have a new page set up today where we can easily find some writing advice/tips from professionals. While I think advice should be nothing more than that, it is enjoyable to see what professionals have to say. Please shoot me a list of some authors you’d like to find advice from if you’d like to add to my list.

#2) I never did find a partner in prompt crime, so I will be restarting my prompts today as well!

#3) Some creative writing from me. I’ve been aching to write, even if nothing more than 10 minute quickies. This summer has been super crazy though. I mean the pull out your hair while standing on top of the dining table, screaming wildly, crazy. (Oh, opps, am I the only one?? Shhh.)

I’m looking forward to the next nine months of day time quite.

Upcoming Author Help List

I love to read what published writers have to say about writing. Like anything else I think you need to use advice in your own way (or not use it) because you’ll never be Soandso-Amazing-Writer-That-You-Love-So-Much.

Really, would you want to be? When asked the question “If you could be anyone in the world for a day who would you be” I answer, “myself.” Honestly, I don’t want to be anyone else. Ever. I’m me and that’s the only person I can ever be.

Anywho… while I’ll always be me and I want my writing style to be my own, I do enjoy reading writing advice from my favorite authors. I decided to make a list of some of my favorite articles to share with you all.

Is there anyone you’d really like to see added to the list?

Catching Up and Book Reviews (Ally Condie, Rachel Caine, Jeaniene Frost)

This has not been a good summer so far for my family. There has been a lot of hardships. So far, while it feels like there’s some kind of cosmic prankster focused on us, we are surviving and eventually every thing will pass by and we’ll be good for a while again.

So, I’m taking an opportunity to catch up.

Writing Prompts- I am still hoping to find someone that would like to buddy up with me on posting writing prompts. Until some of the home issues calm down I am not going to be able to post writing prompts promptly. *winks*

My writing- Is on hold as well.

Reading hasn’t been an easily achieved thing either. My read list is pathetic! Only seven books so far this year. Here is some short reviews of three of the books I’ve read recently.

Short Book Review (Spoiler Free)

Crossed by Ally Condie (YA)

From Goodreads.com

Crossed by Ally Condie

Chasing down an uncertain future, Cassia makes her way to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky–taken by the Society to his sure death–only to find that he has escaped into the majestic, but treacherous, canyons. On this wild frontier are glimmers of a different life and the enthralling promise of a rebellion. But even as Cassia sacrifices every thing to reunite with Ky, ingenious surprises from Xander may change the game once again.

My Thoughts

I enjoyed Matched. I also enjoyed Crossed. The first book was written from Cassia’s point of view. In this new book it flips back and forth between Cassia and Ky. At first I wasn’t sure what I felt about this. I have a hard time switching from something I’m used to. My experience previously was that the story was being told solely from Cassia’s point of view, so finding this had changed with book #2 was difficult for me to accept.

I did get into the story though and quickly found myself getting lost in Ky’s story as well as Cassia’s.

Since book one, I haven’t been a fan of the “love triangle” surrounding Xander, Cassia and Ky. Seeing things from Cassia’s point of view though, thinking about her life, the mind set she would be in, I can understand how this triangle came about. This book does not leave many opportunities for Xander to “fight” for his side of the triangle, but he does get a couple. I feel it is obvious that in the end Cassia will be with Ky, but maybe the author will surprise me with book three.

The world building in this second novel was brilliant. I enjoyed reading about Cassia’s world, both the one she was familiar and comfortable with and the tragic world outside her comfort zone that is going to teach Cassia how to fight for what she wants. This easily had to be my favorite thing about Crossed.

I look forward to the last book of the trilogy.

Ill Wind by Rachel Caine

Ill Wind by Rachel Caine

From goodreads.com

Joanne Baldwin is a Weather Warden. Usually, all it takes is a wave of her hand to tame the most violent weather. But now, she’s trying to outrun another kind of storm: accusations of corruption and murder. So, she’s resorting to the very human tactic of running for her life…

Her only hope is Lewis, the most powerful warden known. Unfortunately, he’s stolen not one but three bottles of Djinn-making him the most wanted man on earth. Still, she’s racing hard to find him-before the bad weather closes in fast…

My Thoughts:

Ill Wind is the first novel of a series of novels by author Rachel Caine. It is not a new series and there are quite a few books available to read. I enjoyed this first story due to the world building. I enjoyed the author’s vision of people gifted with the ability to control the elements.

Rachel is being chased by someone who obviously wants her dead. She doesn’t know who this person(s) is but she has a few guesses including the organization that she “works” for. The story starts off leaving the reader feeling as lost and clueless as Rachel is. I’m impatient. I know. This is why I give a story like this a chance. The author didn’t disappoint me. I was clued in to Rachel’s plight at a pace that kept me reading without stress.

What I didn’t like about the book was I felt some of the story was a little too obvious. I had it figured out quickly who exactly it was trying to kill Rachel. A particular character is busy helping Rachel throughout the story and I had him pegged from the start also.

Other than that, I did enjoy the story and I think I will check out book two soon.

Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost

Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost

From goodreads.com

She’s a mortal with dark powers…

After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person’s darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude…until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world’s most infamous vampire…

He’s the Prince of Night…

Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all—but whatever you do, don’t call him Dracula. Vlad’s ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him—a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.

My Thoughts:

Omg, omg, omg! I have been waiting on tiptoes for Once Burned to be released and it’s finally here. I am a fan of Jeaniene Frost’s “Night Huntress” series (beginning with Half Way to the Grave). When Jeaniene’s Vlad character appeared in the Night Huntress series I instantly fell in love with the character and wanted to see more of him. Jeaniene gave us that with this book!

*sighs* My biggest complaint? It didn’t last long enough. I devoured this book in a single day. I am a bit of a late comer to the Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance genre. Often, when I find a new author/book in this genre, he/she/it has been around for awhile and I have a few books to sink my teeth into. Where is the rest of the “Night Prince” series?! Shouldn’t I have a bunch of books waiting for me to devour?
Ok, I’ll have to be patient just like everyone else and wait for Jeaniene Frost to publish more of this series.
I think it’s obvious. I loved this book. It was fun!

 

The Heat Wave is Over?

  If you’ve been suffering through this heat then you know what’s been keeping me from posting my daily prompts.

Temps hit 103°F one day. Many other days were 99°F-101°F. Combine that with the humidity and no air conditioning–who wants to be at a computer?

I spent most of my time at the YMCA swimming with our family.

Since it’s cooled down today, I wanted to let everyone know that things will be going back to normal.

How did you cope with the heat?