Rant on Writers Block

I have writers block. Seriously, horrible, bad writers block. I don’t even know what to write on my blog today. I have four stories I can write, but even with outlines nothing is coming to my brain. I’m finding that as my financial situation goes down hill, so does my muse. (That isn’t this kind of blog, though.)

I know how I used to get over writers block when I was a kid. I’d put my headphones in and drown out the world. I’d scream at the top of a high hill over the desert outside of my housing area and then walk back daydreaming. Most of the time, though, I’d clean with my sister. During our cleaning everyday I would come up with a story, another chapter or something new. She’d let me go on and on. I’d pace, clean, do something. Later in my life, I would call her to do the same thing.

Most of what I want to write would not be suitable for public consumption. Some of it would even not fit in with my current story lines. It’d be more mature, maybe, than I really want to publish ever in my life. I feel the need to get some things out, but I know they are not what I should be writing.

I have half a first chapter done for New Camelot: Warlord. I am stumped on how to get the adventure started. I have over three thousand words in my outline just for that book! I should be able to combine it into something over 50 thousand words long. My characters have even hinted about side stories they want me to add into this new book. I want them on paper. I know they should be. Yet, here I am worried about stupid stuff. What if I forget what one of them look like while I’m typing up? Did I put the right age? I know these are things my beta and editor find later, but I’m worried they will miss it. I’m worried that you, my reader, will not want to read it if I screw up the little stuff.

Then I have that last chapter to The Storm. It was huge! I wrote it. I finished it. Then my laptop fried (literally smoke in the drive). Gone! I have to rewrite it. What if it isn’t as good? Does anyone even care anymore if I wrote it? I know 96 reviews on fanfiction.net alone says that people want to see what happens next. I just now need to get into the mood to finish it. I will get there sometime this week. I am determined.

Casey also needs a new chapter. That is where some of the my off-shoot stories are coming in. I have four books outlined for this one series. I don’t even know how adult I want to make these books. I know I could delve deep into the under belly of high school life, or I could keep it a light hearted teenage book about an outsider who becomes popular. I also have the choice to keep it light hearted for my innocent blog and publish the much darker stuff when it is gone to paperback. Do I want to mislead the public that way, though? I might write up a later mini-chapter and publish it under “M” rating on fictionpress to see how it does.

My last book that I’m working on is actually being hand written. I used to write all of my stuff out in notebooks for people to pass around at my high school. They would read the next installment and pass it on. Sometimes I would get things back with notes put into the margin by these friends. I craved this feedback and enjoyed it. I don’t get that same type of feedback on my original fiction anymore. Kind of makes me sad. So, I am bringing back the handwritten first draft for a book of mine. It is in a beautiful hard bound journal. We’ll see if I ever have it transcribed or if it will just become something to be sold after I die (if anyone ever cares to make me popular enough to buy something like that.)

The other thing that is holding me back is my lack of internet access. My phone has run out of data. This blog alone will have to be post dated when I get internet again. That is if I don’t grab the free internet at the grocery store tonight, instead. We’ll see. This lack of internet, though, makes research hard to do. It also makes contacting important people for feedback also very hard. With the need for instant reviews I need internet. I am working on that now. I hopefully will have full access come March (happy birthday to me).
I guess I just need to rant a bit. I’m hoping getting all of this down will mean I can sit tonight and bring about something. Another story. Another chapter. Anything. Let us hope for a new chapter for Casey this week or the last chapter of The Storm. On Saturday I will be able to blast my music and zone out. We’ll just hope that is enough now.

Today’s writing at least got done. It’s something. Sorry this was just drabble and a rant. Nothing interesting.

(Buy links are in the menu on this page if you haven’t bought one of my books. I suggest you check them out. Might be worth a subway ride or a plane flight read!)

PTSD Doesn’t Go Away

​So, today I decided to maybe let people into my life a little more. I have a book out there called “Fantasy Life: The First Year of PTSD After Child Abuse”. Hopefully you’ve read it already. A conversation last night got me thinking about it more. Here a few of my thoughts.

“Fantasy Life” is complete, but it wasn’t the end of my story. That book was completed in 2005. A lot has happened since then. PTSD doesn’t just disappear, either. I deal with it constantly.

Something about PTSD that most people don’t understand is that it is never cured. It can mild over time. We can learn to cope. Never does it completely vanish. I still have mood swings, nightmares, and times when I just can’t cope. I go through severe bouts of depression and anxiety attacks. 

Due to my food insecurities as a child, I am constantly worried we don’t have enough food in my house. I am shopping every week and I make sure to keep a running stock log of what is in my pantry. If I ever go to grab something and find I am out, I have a break down. Seriously, just can start shaking and wondering what I did wrong. This actually happened last week when I thought we ran out of ketchup. My oldest found a bottle hidden in the back of the pantry as I went to hide in the bathroom. (I really try to not lose myself in front of my kids.)

There are also the nightmares. I have learned to not let myself enter REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. This is the time in sleeping when the brain dreams. If I start a dream, I shake myself awake as fast as I can. Sometimes I am so exhausted, though, from not entering REM that I end up staying in the dream too long. Most of the time they are a nightmare. Either, a fable of my parents coming after me now, or a memory of a time when they did come after me.

The other thing that I want to clear up, if you have read my book, is that my sister at the end of the book is dead. She died in 2009. I tried to stay civil with my parents after boot camp until 2015. My sister’s kids live with their father in South Dakota and well away from the abusiveness of my parents. They are safe. I am happy for that.

Maybe a bit on what brought about the end of my parents contact with me is in order as well. In October of 2015 my bank account was hacked. I called my parents in an attempt for their help. The next day my father contacted my boyfriend with this ultimatum: Either marry his daughter or he was going to drag me back to his house to marry a guy of his chosing. Yup, that is what he said. He also meant it and he would give my children to their dad. (Court order states they must stay in this state for their safety. This is to protect them from my parents.) I was furious that he would assume that I even wanted to leave here. I was hacked, but he claimed I am a woman and thus did not handle my finances correctly. As a man, my boyfriend needed to take all of my money from me and run my life. My boyfriend agreed we needed to end contact. 

In November “Fantasy Life” was published. My mother then became furious. Her idea was that they would claim the entire book as false. In their attempt to have me pull it from publishing, they called me at 2AM. They hoped that if I was sleep deprived they could get me to agree. All it did was make me laugh at them through the receiver. I told them to talk about my book all they wanted to. I see it as free publicity. When they tried to get my cousins, aunts, and grandma to have me pull it, they told my parents they didn’t see where the falsehoods were. Everything sounded truthful from what they remember happening as well. Even two sisters of mine patted me on the back and said I did right. This forced my mother to throw an even bigger fit. Some family have now ceased contact with me for their own sanity against my mother’s harrassment. 

It has been 12 years since I wrote the book, but the abuse never really ended. I kept trying to please my parents through out these years, and they kept abusing me. Verbally mostly or attacking my siblings to make me know they still could. They couldn’t hit me anymore. Yet, I watched as my father beat my brother when I turned on the air conditioning while I was pregnant with my oldest. My mother called me fat during my sister’s funeral and then again at my older sister’s wedding. Told me that my boyfriend would break with me soon if I didn’t lose at least thirty pounds. They continued against my own kids as well at that venue. We ended up many times driving away with me nearly breaking the stearing wheel in anger. 

I have had text messages from them through out the years saying I am abusing my kids. They have even threatened to have my kids removed from me on false allegations if I didn’t raise them the way they wanted me to. I have had to talk to authorities many times and each time came up false allegations. When my oldest was diagnosed with a milk allergy and Autism, my parents tried to tell authorities I wasn’t allowing him to eat ANYTHING and I was diagnosing him to get money. Then my second was born deaf, and once again I was accused of trying to get money from the government and lying. Each time my kids have been through the wringer for me to find out if I am just a bad parent, and each time therapists, doctors, and specialists have stood with me against my parents trying to remove my children. This last year was bliss with them finally not contacting authorities, since they don’t know anything about my kids anymore. 

Even this last December my father tried to send me a card. I put “return to sender” and back into the box it went. I refuse contact. I broke the cycle and I am finally breaking from the abuse. 

Another thing that I don’t mention in the book is that abused children and spouses return a lot to their abusers. We crave the love we thought we had at one time. For some reason we feel that if we just apologize for their abuse we can get that love. Most people could not understand why I was talking to my parents if my past had been so horrible? Why would I seek out a phone conversation with a woman and man who constantly tell me I’m a horrible person? Mostly because they are my parents. It’s so easy to say that your kids don’t have grandparents because they have died. It is not easy to say they don’t have grandparents because they abused you and your kids. 

On social media you see all of these memes going around stating “I love my mom forever” or “My dad was hardworking and loved me.” Always with a “share this if you had great parents”. My least favorite, though, is the ones that state “As a mom I love all of my kids. Moms sacrifice everything for their children.” My mom did not sacrifice anything for us. My father worked hard to give an image to everyone around us, but then would break bones and scream in our faces. With parents like that, it hurts to watch people grow old loving their own. So, for a while I figured as long as I lived far enough away, then maybe they would change. They would learn to love me. They would adore me. They didn’t. 

I hold my own kids every night. I clean up after them when they are sick and I read to them books. I homeschool them, too, so I am there for their every milestone. Sometimes while I do these things for my kids, I have flashbacks of my own childhood. Sometimes I am not cleaning up a milk mess from my own daughter, but from my younger sister. I am not a mom in these, but rather a ten year old hoping to get the mess cleared before dad or mom sees. When my child struggles to learn a new verbal word and read it, I remember the time my dad tried to teach my brother to read by hitting him with the belt when he screwed up. I hug my child closer with those memories. I could never imagine losing my temper and breaking one of my kid’s ribs. I could never imagine telling my four year old that she needs to stop eating at 30LBS, because she is already too fat. My oldest is in third grade, and I know that when I was in third grade my teacher at school taught me how to bathe using a doll house. She also taught me how to bathe my younger sister and brother. I could never imagine making my third grader do those things for his siblings. He doesn’t have to, either. 

I feel that so much has happened between the book and now. I feel that these memories, sometimes still supressed and emerging, need to fade. They don’t, though. They come through clear. Memories in the form of flashbacks and nightmares don’t just disappear. 

After all of this time, I am still learning to cope. I’m functioning better than I was last year. I am a lot better than I was five years ago. As time goes on I will function bit by bit. The screaming terrors have ended for now. The anxiety attacks, depression, nightmares, sudden flashbacks, and the memories are here for a long while yet. 

After “Fantasy Life” is now my fictional stories. I love going into these new worlds and bringing my imagination out where my memories would just haunt me. Throwing myself into writing is helping me once again. 

(Buy links are in the menu on this page if you haven’t bought one of my books. I suggest you check them out. Might be worth a subway ride or a plane flight read!)

What the Media is doing Wrong

So, today I had to sit down and decide on a few things. I need a plan of action. I have come to the conclusion that my goal for 2017 will be to write something everyday. ANYTHING! Just skip any posts if you feel they are controversial, but I feel the need to just write now. 
Today’s post is from a writing prompt I received. As part of a writing group, we get these prompts every so often. 

What does the media get wrong?

Well, currently the media is a huge topic all over. We have “fake news” to “How is this real?” news. I used to wonder what Kardashian’s butt size had to do with my daily life. Now I wonder if I will find out any actual information about what is true in the world. You never know anymore.

I found that I have a hard time chosing between news sites. I cannot just pick up a newspaper anymore from the stands at the gas station. Some will have “news” and some will just be drivel. Yet, I cannot figure out which is which right now, either. 

Maybe aliens did land in the deserts of the Sahara last week during a raid on an Al Quida town? Who knows now!? 

Then I have to think about what is probably most important to my family at this moment. Again, I come across the same issues. I would like to know if the government passed that new law that could affect the education of my children. Three news sources say they are still working on it. Another five say it is done for. Two say they passed it last week. So, which news is “true”? 

Facebook is also covered in the same dilemma. If I didn’t use Facebook so often to keep in touch with fans of my books, I could possibly shut it down for good. I did take the actual app off of my phone. I only use the web browser now and the app for my page. 

With the current president-elect, I found myself glued to my Twitter more everyday. (You do know I have one of those, right? @France_Gamble .) The same issue is happening there. I follow people who are very passionate on their political stances. Which is great. Everyone should have a stance on things. I do as well, but I am less vocal about them. (Who really wants to know what a no-name author like myself thinks about politics?)

I am following everyone who complains, who shouts in joy, and stands up for what they believe in. The problem is that I don’t always agree with the right or the left. I also find myself hiding more often and just smiling in politeness at the ranting about situations. 

So, back to the news: I find that currently the problem with the news is that we cannot find a non-biased news source. You can follow Fox and know you’re following the extreme right. You can follow NPR and know you are following an extreme left. Both can be pushing their extreme views onto their clients. Are they both truthful, though? I don’t know. 

I think we have come to the view that everyone is probably lying about something. Somewhere we have found that the truth is being covered everywhere. (I should probably be prepared for tin-foil hat hate now.) I am not big on conspiracy theories, but if the Brexit vote showed the world anything, it is that politicians and media seem to lie to push their own agendas. 

I am still going to go with: The biggest problem with the media today is that we cannot discern the truth from fiction any longer. This is now a case of “Santa exists, but we have to find him on our own.” Sad and true altogether. 

There is my piece for today. My goal now is to write something everyday. I might not share it everyday, but I will be writing. I also plan to update some of my stories. If I don’t post, then suspect that a book or story was wrote today instead of a blog post. 

Thanks for reading. I’ll say what I wrote (if not a blog post) on my facebook page update everyday! Stick with me! I’m still trying to get into the habit! Bye for now!

(Buy links are in the menu on this page if you haven’t bought one of my books. I suggest you check them out. Might be worth a subway ride or a plane flight read!)

Happy Holidays

I am hoping everyone enjoyed their holidays. I did. The time with family and the great food always is a looked forward to event to me. This year was not different.

The bitter cold of winter is now once again on my home. Holidays are over. Life is now going to get brighter and brighter. We just have to keep looking forward.

In the deep dark days of winter, though, I usually have reflections. This year I have been so busy that I haven’t had my usual quiet time for thought.

The one thing I have been able to do was start three new novels. They will be this new year’s goals.

I hope to have Warlord done by the end of this month and sent to my editor. The cover is already finished. I am so thrilled to see such a lovely reception received on Blackout. I hope the second book to the series is loved as much. It is the continuation to our survival in the new dark ages. Jenn now has a new problem of making allies and enemies as she steps up to be a leader of a growing town.

The next book I will be writing in February is my attempt at a murder mystery or detective novel. A serial killer is out after psychics. Specific ones that have helped solve murder cases in the past. With one witness only a 6 year old little girl, our hero is out of his league. He gathers his friends from other branches on a quest to stop the murders and protect the girl.

My third book will be another fantasy novel. A king has died and a queen has taken the thrown. A girl claims to not be from the land. Magic, creatures, and a prince who claims to be the heir. Can everything come together for truth and justice to reign in this new and strange land?

Everything should be set soon to get out. I hope to find a way to get these all down. I know my editor is excited and hopeful to be reading my work again. I also am working on getting Keeper’s Kinn finished in the new edit. The new version should be published this year, as well.

One of the things I continue to struggle with is this blog, my twitter account, and my Facebook. Besides telling people about my books, I find myself wondering what I should be posting. Anyone who is better at social media than me want to help me?