I’m sad. Not depressed in a clinical sense. I’ve been there before. I know what that feels like. This isn’t it. I’m just...unhappy. I have things to be happy about. I am in no way destitute, but I am still unhappy with life in general. I haven’t reached the pinnacle, though in many ways I’m much closer than most realize.
As I look around at the landscape I realize this wasn’t the mountain I wanted to climb. It was so hard to tell down there at the bottom which one I had started on, and the crossroads were all blind instinct. Now, after all that work, I’m not where I wanted go or even on that path. There is nothing wrong with where I ended up. In fact some seem to be impressed by it. How do I explain that yes, there is some notoriety here, but I wanted the notoriety over there instead. It’s like shooting the hat off a person when you were aiming for the apple. Yeah it was a cool shot, but not what you wanted.
Some people find themselves in this situation, and happily surprised, just keep going. There are those that the question of which mountain they are on never mattered as long as they had something to reach for. There are those that any success acted as personal empowerment and they gladly set on that mountain path headless of the rocks. In fact those persons seem to be able to leap over chasms and move boulders. We look at them as shining examples. I am not in competition with anyone so I am happy for their success.
I was not meant for mountain climbing
I’m not made for that kind of life. Success to me is far less tangible. All those plateaus and peaks and crags and valleys are fun and interesting, but not meant for me. I’ve always rejected the rat race. I reject the idea that I have to reach for anything at all. I challenge the need to have a traditional job, or parent like our society says, or live my life by any standard. I fully resent money. I resent the need to earn by someone else’s standard in order just to live. Why can’t I barter for food? Why can’t I make my own shelter? Why must I live life in this way? I can fool myself, by finding something semi interesting to do for a time, into thinking that I can live by these means. I excel most of them time when I set my mind to it. I’ve even made a name for myself in certain circles, for what it’s worth. In the end, though, I always end up feeling dissatisfied.
I have a deep need to live life unfettered. I hate being tied down by anything. Some ties I choose, like my children and lovers, but my lovers know never to hold me back, and my children will one day fly on their own. While I love animals of all kinds I don’t own many pets, other than cats, because I can’t just up and go when I want to. Cats can handle a night or two without you as long as there’s ample food and water. My dream is to live out of a mobile home so I can pick up and go whenever. Once we almost did just that with plans on homeschooling the kids, but we didn’t get the financing in the end.
I’m tired of trying. I concede the need for gainful employment and income so we don’t starve, but I’m going to do it my way. The truth is while my body *does* make working from home a need, I’d choose it anyway. I’m going to learn what I want to learn. I’m going to write what I want to write. I’m going to do my weird crafts. I’m going to do the things that nourish my soul even if that means I’m a large woman belly dancing in the living room. If it doesn’t nourish me, it’s gone. There will be some changes. Some will not agree with my choices and some may even be hurt by them. I’m done trying to make my soul fit in a box. I’m done making the mountain top my only goal. I don’t feel good labelling myself or closing myself into a space. Some really need that to feel safe and to grow. There’s nothing wrong with it. Just not for me. I am expansive. I am limitless. I am more than the surface you see.
I am adrift in the All That Is, and I go where I am willed.
I think the power of thought and intention is taken for granted. We have so much power to affect our lives but it is largely ignored. Someone I respect has legitimate problems with organized faith in general. She makes good points, but she hit on one that bothered me. Making fun of people asking for prayers for a loved one or a hard time. I looked at that and thought how can she be spiritual (which she is greatly) and not see the power of intention?
The universe is a vast animal that, by all accounts, will provide. You can call it science and say it’s the electrical impulses of our thoughts, something that has been proven, reflecting back to us. You can say it’s the power of the elements around us that answer our needs. You can say it’s God or a Creator answering your prayers. It all amounts to the same thing, but in our human need to understand it we all have different ways of defining it, different ways of understanding the rules. Person of faith to person of same faith, even, will have a different belief in how it works. That is the human condition. Some mysteries will never be fully answered.
However, I can tell you with great certainty from my own life, the universe will reflect whatever you put out. It’s this cosmic caretaker that wants nothing more than to provide what we want, but it doesn’t understand our basic human flaw. This little glitch we were all created with. Fear and worry and a need to obsess over it. See the Universe, however you define it, pays attention to what we think and feel. Its job is not to judge those thoughts, but reflect them. It doesn’t understand that you really don’t want to lose your job it sees only that you are spending a lot of energy thinking about that. So it gives it to you. Likewise for the good things. Ever notice how negative people keep getting negative things happening? Like the klutz that proclaims they’re klutz right before tripping on air. Or the person convinced they are hexed having all things they’re scared of happen. They focus on these thoughts being truth and the Universe reflects.
My point is this: We know the Universe will give us what we focus on. Spells, prayers, good energy, are all attempts and keeping the negative out our minds focusing on what we want to have happen. Simple belief can change worlds. It doesn’t even matter what you believe in. Those calls for prayers, or a focus on happy, healthy, whole, may not cure cancer. They can’t unlight the fire that burned down someone’s home. But they can and will reflect the good intention put out. Never discount, even if it’s not your faith, the power of someone’s call to prayer. Don’t feel you have to answer them in the way they say either, but with your own good intention however you see that happening.
Never discount that they are praying because they care. I’ve been through many hard times, and when things are at their worst, knowing someone cares, even if they can’t do a thing, makes me stronger. Heartfelt caring has more effect on me than actually fixing the problem. To know I’m not alone and this person actively has my back. People call to prayer because they feel helpless and go to what they believe in their hearts to be something bigger and stronger and humble themselves, something that is very hard for any human by our very natures, before it and ask. That is no small amount of caring.
Now this isn’t say that prayer should replace all help. Sometimes people say it and not mean it. Sometimes they feel it will wipe away their moral obligation by saying trite words and moving on. Making 100K a year, and prayer for a cure to cancer rather than donating to research or supportive organizations (Not Susan G Kolmen fund, don’t give them a cent, but that’s another rant. Research and you’ll see what I mean). Or showing yourself topless because you want to save the tatas but don’t encourage others to put in time or money to actual help. Raising awareness is another form of intent, or prayer that’s more pragmatic, but same thought. Get the Universe to reflect your needs.
But prayer, good energy, a spell, a call to awareness, given from pure good intention. That is gold. That is more meaningful than anything else we can do as a global society when action just isn’t feasible or possible. Even if I’m dying, and no doctor, or transplant will save me, to know I am loved, to feel the energy of people around me as I go is a gift you can’t put a price tag on.
Focus on the good. Focus on the outcome. Do what you can. And when you can’t do? Write a spell, announce your intention to the Universe. Pray.
In the end, love really will change the world.
X-Posted to Shadowed Paths
I wrote this to help people so it is cross posted to both my blogs.
I’ve debated about writing this blog. I’m not sure at all that this is stuff I want to share with the world, but the thoughts about it are running loose in my head bouncing around the edges of my skull like grown up bounce house. I had to write it out, if only to save my sanity. If you’re reading this that means I found a home for it. This is raw and personal and posting this is by far one of the hardest things I have ever done.
Boy that’s a heavy word once it’s out there. I’ve always hated the word as if something of the ugliness of its meaning somehow rubbed off on me long before I had firsthand experience. It’s a harsh, short word that at the same time being apt loses its veracity by its very simplicity. Shouldn’t it be some long, complicated, hard to pronounce word? Something that can never fully be pronounced correctly so that we end up using initials in common every day conversations? Well that’s silly too, isn’t it? This isn’t something that comes up in every day conversations. I’m on the fence as to whether it should or it shouldn’t be talked about. On the one hand this is something no one should ever have to suffer in silence. They should be able to scream about it if they want showing their anger to the world. On the other hand it is something no one can truly understand until they’ve been through it leaving all those shouts of anger as meaningless to society’s ears as this simple, harsh, little, four letter word that stands for an act so horrendous it destroys your world.
I’m avoiding. Can you tell? It’s easier to talk about etymology than to explore the definition and what it means to me.
I haven’t really hid this part of me. Those who know me best know it happened. You have only to read the details in my books to get a really good clue. However, I don’t talk about details. I’m one of those that never had the guts to report it because I knew what I would have to go through. I’m the one that wanted to hide and make it all go away, thinking if no one knew, it didn’t really happen. I thought I knew myself well enough to handle it. I didn’t. I didn’t handle it either. I have grown and healed some since and learned to live, but every once in awhile it rears its ugly head. That’s the reality. This is something that once it happens, you don’t get over. Ever. Tired of listening to someone go on and on about what they went through? Guess what. They’re tired of living with it.
I’ve experienced rape twice in my life. Once by a woman; my first “gay experience” that sent me screaming back into the closet for many years. The second time was my daughter’s father who was so oblivious to his actions to this day I’m not sure he realized what he did. In both cases these were people that were supposed to love me, cherish me, but instead they took my trust and ground it beneath their feet. There is no imagery that accurately captures what they did to me.
During the actual attacks you’re more in shock than anything else. We’ve been taught this is bad. Every woman and man knows not to let themselves be in this situation. I kept asking myself what did I do wrong? Where could I have made a different decision? What clues should I have been looking for? What parts of this are my fault? I must have done something wrong for me to have been in this situation in the first place, right?
I can already hear the screams and murmurs right now telling me it wasn’t my fault and not to beat myself up all the while thinking the same things I was thinking. Admit it, some of you want details so you can find some formula that would have somehow made these things avoidable. No one has the guts to say that, so instead you hold to the repeated confirmations that I was the innocent victim.
It doesn’t matter how many times you remind me, with sincerity or not, I will always wonder if I could have changed it. Always. My mind know it wasn’t my fault despite us both running through the details over and over again. My mind knows there was nothing I could have done in either case. The rest of me will always wonder.
This is a senseless act. There is no understanding senseless acts. They are by nature illogical, an enigma.
I will not describe in detail my mind going somewhere else, or the terror. I won’t describe how exactly I was held down or what I was forced to endure. We all know the definition of rape. I don’t need to relive it for you to understand.
I will tell you; however, that TV has it wrong. There are no tasteful cutaways. There is no music in the background or sound effects to tell you danger is coming. There is only that moment and whether you scream and fight or just try to make it end as fast as possible, the world goes on outside your space as if nothing was ever wrong. There is no one to come and save the day just in time. The sun still rises and sets on your bruises both inside and out, and the clocks keep ticking as you fight for your life.
There’s another point. Whether your attacker intended to kill you or not, it is always a fight for your life, because your life as you knew it gone forever…but you don’t know that yet. You think please God just make it stop! Then it does. And then…you’re nothing. Just a piece of discarded garbage on the floor or bed or wherever you happen to be.
Your mind isn’t reeling at first. At first you realize you’re alive and you’re not sure if you want to be. Then the lists start. What the hell just happened? Who to tell, do you need help, are you ready to let people know? If you have the strength to tell right away before you start really thinking and you’re just going through the motions of what society has told you to do in such an event, then things start happening without you and you’re forced into the process regardless of what you want. If you don’t act right away, each minute slips away and you do what I did. Hide it all deep inside and pretend it never happened.
Bruises fade, injuries heal. If you avoid people long enough no one will look at you and know.
You know. The person you were is gone. You look in the mirror and it’s someone else looking back at you as if you don’t recognize your own face. That never goes away. The person I was before is not who looks out at me from the mirror now. I’ve grown to like the person I am now, but at first I hated her. It was her fault. I would never have let that happen. She did it. This other me that had my eyes and fake smile.
I would walk down the street and I knew people, friends and family included, would see the old me with maybe a few more stress lines around the eyes or a smile that didn’t quite go as wide as it used to, but I knew deep down they were seeing her. This new person I had become and I hated her. I wanted to hide. I did for a long time.
Time heals all wounds right? If I hid long enough I’d heal and be able to come back whole.
Now that’s a joke. There is this hole in me. Two in fact. Those holes were beat into me by my attackers. They were the pieces of me that made me, me, and they stole them. Obliterated them. There is no stealing them back and replacing them. They’re gone. And now there’s a new form to me. I’m still made up of all the shapes and lines of my experiences and memories, hopes and joys, but it’s not in the same figure as it was before. It skews everything about me. My likes change. My hopes and fears shift position, my very soul and being morphs to accommodate this new form. It’s confusing and frightening, but it will happen whether I want it to or not, whether my loved ones want it to or not.
It took me many years to accept this new form as me, to love the face that looked back at me from the mirror. I can now take my shape and face and let it forge a stronger me, but I am not who I was before.
Those with loved ones that have been through such things are hoping beyond hope that their precious girl or boy will come back to them once they’re healed. They won’t. Who they were is gone forever. You truly want to help? Love the new them unconditionally even when they are unable to accept who they are now.
Rape is not non-consensual sex that involves forcible penetration. Rape is murder of the soul, of self. It is more damaging to loved ones than death. It is more significant than this tiny, little, harsh, four letter word.
Date rape is in some ways the worst of all. When you’re injured the world is forced to acknowledge that something life changing just happened and you can grieve while your scars heal and fade giving you time to accept the new you. When there’s not a mark, when you’re like me and hide the marks, you’re forced to pretend you are the same person you were the day before. Nothing has changed. No one grieves the old you because they don’t know it’s gone. You suffer in silence.
I suffered in silence.
I still suffer in silence.
It was my own fault I never talked about it much. Now, years later, settled comfortably into my new form, things happen, semi-horrid things are said by unassuming people, and I’m forced to deal. I’m forced to look at the holes, the edges worn smooth by ignoring, and remember what once was there. Now I have to grieve all over again. I have to mourn the death of someone I once loved. She is gone and I remain, and no one knows it but me…and now you, whoever you are reading this, if you haven’t been so horrified by my revelations that you stopped reading.
There is no conclusion to this. As long as we treat Rape like an ugly, four letter word, and not the complete death of a soul, more people, men, women, children, will have to suffer in silence alongside me.
Rape culture sucks, but if these were bloody deaths out for the world to see would we even debate that it needs to change?
If you need help or you want to help a survivor go to RAINN.org
Recently I had homophobia stare me in the face. It was a hard moment for me. I had a dear friend with whom I had been through many things, get offended near to the point of being irate because I said her adult, straight, happily married daughter was pretty enough to date. It was an innocent one off comment that meant very little. In retrospect, maybe it wasn’t the best comment to share with the world, but this was a friend; someone I trusted with my children. I trusted her so I didn’t edit myself. I thought that because she knew I was bisexual for years now and never judged me on it that she was one of the safe people in my life. A long friendship is now ended because of this.
I was so angry when this happened it prompted me to write the following FaceBook post: Dear world, I am bisexual. There is nothing wrong with being bisexual, heterosexual, or homosexual. We are all born to be one of the three or possibly more options. This is not something I can control. I will not hide myself because some people might be frightened of it. I will not refrain from thinking a girl is pretty especially when said girl reminds me of my girlfriend whom I miss. It does not mean I will chase after or proposition anyone. I have a lot of love in my life I am not going to 'turn' your daughter or sister. It doesn't work that way. Everyone now knows these things about me. Can we please move on peacefully and judge a little less?
While I was pleased with the overwhelming positive support I received, even from my family, I still morn for that friend.
Ironically, this post was also taken as my coming out of the closet speech, which is interesting to me. I never considered myself to be in the closet in the first place. I didn’t go to my parents house and talk about how there was this hot chic at store, but it was a pretty open secret if it was ever a secret at all. My husband knows. He even encourages my relationship with my girlfriend and the two of them are good friends. All of my co-workers and friends know about my girlfriend and my husband. My kids know. They wanted to know who the woman was Mommy was always talking to. So I told them she was my girlfriend and I love her like I love Daddy. They sort of shrugged and let that roll off. I’ve told my children for as long as they have been alive that I didn’t care if they liked boys or girls or both. I didn’t care who they loved or how they loved as long as they loved. They are 10 and almost 13 as I write this, so this is the time when their pituitary glands will begin to answer those questions for us.
I do have friends who are in the closet. I’m a braver person when I am fighting for loved ones. I think I tried very hard not to hide who I was so they would see it was okay, that even if the world did take a crap on them I was right there beside them. I know I stay public for my girlfriend so that she feels like our relationship is validated and hopefully has the strength to tell her family. I’m patient, but not a saint. I know the fear of people’s reactions and possibly losing those you care about. I understand it, even. I am pagan and remained in the broom closet where my family and certain friends were concerned for years. I rode my broom into the sunshine about two years ago. Funny how I found being bisexual more socially acceptable than being pagan.
In a way this was a coming out of the closet experience for me after all. Someone I cared about stopped editing herself and I was no longer seeing the world through the crack in the closet door. Now I was face to face with something I had hoped never to personally experience. The door was wide open and the light shone on my face along with the cold shadow.
Fear of me, of who I am, of how the All That Is created me from someone who should know better. What hurt the most was not that she had a moment of fear, but that it was fear of me. After all this time and all the things we had done for each other and our families, after all the hurt and pain and joy we shared, she found me fearful. I kept thinking there has to be something more to this. I don’t understand why this is a big deal. This couldn’t end like this. The reality is, something about me being bisexual frightens her.
Why is that? I know I will never get an answer to that, but I’m human. I’m drawn to ask. I’m drawn to rack my brain to understand why. I’d had conversations with her before and the logic of not choosing this and good people are good people was used. But when she was faced with the idea that her daughter was attractive to other women she had a knee jerk fear reaction. I knew fear existed. I’d seen it played out on social media sites and in the news all the time, but it never touched me. Not like that.
This is something I struggle with. Whether or not to review another author's work. Like any book worm I always have a book for pleasure on top of whatever I'm editing or formatting for JEA and my own projects. I just can't get enough of the written word. However, this brings up some ethical debates.
Reviews and ratings are an author's life blood. We live and die by them. Think about it. When you are on amazon or a library site looking for something to read, you first look at the star ratings. You organize your list so the highest ratings show up first. Then you find a cover the jumps out at you and click on it. Next you look at how many reviews the book got and how many were 5 star and so on. Then you finally read the description. It is essential that your book keep good reviews and lots of them. No one spends 20 minutes deciding on a book (well I do, but I'm a strange author type person).
As a new author I need to generate contacts with other people in the industry to get more exposure. I want everyone to read my books and review them and recommend them to other readers or folks in the industry, but then everyone wants me to do the same thing. That sounds simple and fair, but it's really not. This whole system can easily lead you into media and career hot spots you want to avoid.
Let me throw you some what if's. What if I read your book and love it? I leave a good review and you're happy so now you read mine, but you hate it, however you don't want to upset me so you fudge over the true critique the work needed. Well now you put a stamp of approval on a piece of drek. You have a bad reputation and now I do by association.
Okay so that one is a little far fetched. Try this one on for size. What if I read your book and hate it? If I put in a good review I've just associated myself with terrible work and whenever anyone reads it because of my recommendation their opinion of me goes down. If I give you the review you deserve you get mad at me and might either bash me publicly or leave me a bad review and hurt my career. So what do I do now? There is very little recourse. I can complain about bully reviews, but you can do the same to me. Who decides which review was fair and which wasn't?
One response to this is to only review books you genuinely like and hope for the best. Well now you've opened another can of worms. Sites like Goodreads tell the public how many reviews you've done and what the average star rating was for those. So if my star rating on reviews is high people think I'm a pay for review kind of person, no one trusts what I have to say. If my star rating is low, I'm mean and persnickety and just out to hurt people. Neither is true of course, but that is the perception.
It feels like because I'm an author my reviews would never be taken seriously. At the moment I've set my amazon to anonymous to avoid some of these pitfalls, but that doesn't help me generate more reviews or ingratiate myself to the industry. I've tried to look for creative solutions to this mess, but every way I go it seems another stumbling block.
I have joined the 21st century, folks. Didn't see that one commin' did ya? In any case you can now follow me on Twitter @SusanS_Writer.
It's been no secret I have been reluctant to join the mass market of social media. I never saw myself as someone who had a whole lot interesting or important to share. I have brief flashes of soap box material tangents or causes that mean something to me, but never a large amount on any one topic. I hate being spammed. I hate reading tweets like, "In the line at the store," especially from authors and musicians I follow. Because these things bother me so much, it never occurred to me that someone out there might genuinely want to know what I do with my day or the types of things I find important or funny.
Trying to market the things I do and my books has forced me into a borderline spammers market because everything is a numbers game. If only 10% of the people who read my posts buy a book...well then 10% of 200 people is more than 10% of 50. Exposure is everything. I always feel uncomfortable spamming but force myself to do it for the greater good. I think being forced into a corner doing something I take issue with has made me stay away from other uncomfortable corners out of spite for my situation.
Well I finally decided to put my big girl panties on, and deal with it. I won't be posting about long lines at the market or the quintessential search for my keys, but you may find excerpts and teasers from up coming books, art, jokes, and maybe a cause or two. Social media is what you make it. It is only vapid if you make it so.
Warning this has nothing to do with writing.
This is an old pet peeve of mine and probably not the last time you will hear about it. Every so often I kind of have enough of the media and the skewed images it forces on us. I get easily up in arms and pull out the soap box.
So here it is. News flash!
I'm a big woman. That's right I'm fat. By today's standards I'm probably downright obese. How many of you right now are thinking, "Whoopie freaking doo! A fat chic on the rampage. What else is new?" Maybe this isn't some major revelation but it still needs being said. Here's another news flash:
Big women are just as beautiful and desirable as skinny women.
Let me repeat that. Big women are just as beautiful and desirable as skinny women. That's right, I said it,and I stand by it. Here's another shocker:
I'm a big woman in the United States and I DON'T have body image issues. While I could stand to lose a few pounds for health, I still feel beautiful, feminine, confident, and desirable. I may not be every man or woman's cup of tea, but you'd be surprised at the offers I get, even being married, and not just from the freaks. Some of these men and women are GORGEOUS! And just to put this in perspective when I say confident, I don't mean in a put on a girdle and fake it till you make it kind of way. I'm talking, I once had to take a life drawing class online. This is the nude model class. Guess what happens when you have to do that online? You draw yourself. I had the guts to take a mirror and draw myself nude, in all my round glory, and I wasn't afraid of the reaction. In fact I got nothing but good comments.
It shocks me a little sometimes when people expect me to be depressed or want to hide myself because I'm big. I look at them and wonder what planet they live on. The average size woman in the USA is about an 18. The average size woman in the world is a 14. While there may be some countries that worry more about obesity in general, the fact remains, fat people live there too. Big and small people live everywhere.
I wasn't always confident. In my youth I struggled a lot with body image. The messages all around me were telling me I was ugly because I was fat. My mother mad major issues with obesity so the messages I got from my family were the same. "Don't be like your mother." They said this out of love and as an adult I can respect that, but as a kid...yeah it messed me up a little. Messed my mom up too. I was the freak. The outcast. I really was depressed because I was starved for peer attention but didn't understand what I had done to send them all away. And through this my heart kept telling me there was nothing wrong with me. But the evidence was to the contrary right?
Here is a truth I learned in adulthood, after having children, bad relationships, and a lot of time down and out.
1. It takes all kinds. There is every size shape and color imaginable on this planet and all of them are beautiful. If you take the time to see it and not be afraid of going against what the media says you're supposed to like, you'll see it for yourself. Get rid of the size 0 model image in your head. Drop the idea that women need to have DD breasts or men need to have washboard stomachs and really *look* at the person next to you. There's beauty there.
2. Your body has a natural place it likes to be. If we stop dieting and take the time to eat right--I'm not saying go ultra mega vegan, but maybe cut out fast food when you can and make better choices when you cant, and eat fruit and vegetables--and stay active--again you don't need to run a triathlon, but go play with your kids, do things you love, take a walk--your body will naturally find where it likes to be and go there. For some of us it really will be a size 8, for others it might be a 28. I know people in my life who are legitimately 300lbs and perfectly healthy. No heart trouble, no diabetes, no joint complaints. And I know 100lbs people are very sickly.
3. The media will only show the minority, not the ideal. There are very few people who can fit Abercrombie clothes. They show us that because it's exotic. Those models aren't always healthy, or happy. They do not love their bodies unconditionally or even their souls and minds.
4. There is more to life than beauty. Yes I am beautiful in my way, but I'm also smart, kind, creative, and funny. I love these things about me. I'm not perfect. I have flaws like everyone else, but when I started to love myself for these other qualities instead of judging myself by someone else's standard of beauty I began to love the whole package and that's when others started to notice me. It wasn't my size or shape that attracted other people it was the confidence shining out from underneath that attracted them. If you hide yourself and sulk you can look like a million bucks and no one will pay you any mind. If you walk tall and smile and let your soul shine, then you can be fugly and you'll attract everyone around you.
Here's a good example of all my points. I am a huge fan of Les Toil. He does BBW pin up girls. Look at this woman. She has to be over 300 lbs easily. Look at how lovely she is? How alluring? How sensual? How confident? How many women of all shapes want to be her right now?
Size means diddly. Living your life and loving yourself unconditionally is much more important and will do wonders for every part of your life.
Just to be very clear. Unconditionally means you love yourself regardless of what others think of you. Not judging yourself by other people's standards. Forgiving yourself for your mistakes. Wanting good things for yourself. Taking chances to make those things happen. Standing up for what you believe in. Loving ALL your good qualities. Knowing that even when life throws you for a loop you are worth the work it takes to see the other side.
That is my wish, ladies and gentlemen. That each of you can learn to love yourself unconditionally and stop the media blind side telling who and what we should be. They're not in your mind, your heart, or your soul. Who the hell are they to judge you anyway?
You may have noticed, even when I don't, but there are pieces of me everywhere. I suppose that's the nature of life and the exchange of ideas that leads to language and communication. The very act of conveying a thought and seeing that thought filter through another soul leaves a piece of your energy on that person. Every thought and idea leaves its imprint not only on you but on everything around you. We leave pieces of ourselves with every step.
Where was I going with this? I did have a more mundane point. It's Beltane so my mind is on the ethereal. I've noticed that pieces of me end up all over my writing. One heroine is a singer. I've sung all my life, with bands, with choirs, with symphonies.... One is an artist. Another plays cello. I played cello as a kid, but broke my bowing arm and lost interest when I fell behind. One heroine is a pagan through and through, but another is a teacher raised in a bible thumping church. One of my favorites is demon possessed and diagnosed schizophrenic. A little known fact is my mother is schizophrenic. All them are real in that they are scared and often clueless of how to handle the huge revelations that come upon them. And all of them have attributes about them I wish I had.
Each of these characters is a piece of me. I didn't do that on purpose. I do spend a lot of time thinking about what would I do if these things happened to me. What kind of raw emotions translate through different personalities. While I have always loved fantasy and sci-fi, I've never been impressed with the fantastic.
If a bomb goes off, you're going to feel it. Even the most battle hardened hero or heroine in the world is going to feel that. The noise that leaves your skin tingling like miniature shock-waves the vibration of the earth, the bright lights even in day...the utter sense of wrongness a bomb creates. Ask any veteran. The fear never goes away, you just learn to ignore it. Most of our military heroes will tell you they were scared shitless and aren't sure how they did it. If a bomb goes off the hero/heroine is not going to just watch calmly and walk easily though the heat and flames into the sunset. They're going to have a ton of emotions and fears and random thoughts, and mostly "Oh shit!". Bill Cosby once said, "First you say it, then you do it." Very true I've found. I try very hard to make sure those bits are included. The scene is only half of it. I guess it's no wonder that my characters are all parts of me. They would have to be for me to understand them.
What does this mean of me? I'm not sure I could tell you. If you combined all my heroines you *might* have a small idea of who I am, but that picture will be skewed with who I want to be and who I don't want to be all mixed up. It wouldn't be a clear picture, but I'm not sure I could separate these characters from the true picture of me either. It's all a piece of modern art, evoking emotion without a clear reason why.
Susan is a plural writer and artist by day, a child and pet wrangler by night, and occasional crazy person on the weekends.