The End? Or the Beginning?

I really worked hard on publishing my first book. After all, it was my first book. I didn’t work quite as hard on the second, third and fourth. But when it came to the fifth book, the continuation of Dorian’s story has been quite a struggle. It doesn’t help that I’ve been sick for more than a year, dealing with my PTSD and with other issues quite possibly related to it but physical. I wrote Joanna in its entirety, or up to the point where I am in the series, while I was dissociated, with huge parts of my personal history hidden from me, large voids in my memory which covered close to two decades. Over the last twenty plus years, I’ve been working on getting well and doing what the professionals call Integration work. But these books were written during the years of 1999 to about 2015. I’ve worked at editing them for the remainder of that time. I didn’t want to change a lot of the plot or characterization. I wanted them to be a reflection of what I was going through at the time, almost like a diary of my inner world.

I’m hoping over time my writing gets better and also that my cover art improves vastly!

Today, after much consideration and going through some review tasks in Word, I fixed a few grammatical errors, perused the work wondering what errors I might have missed, and then I submitted it for copyright registration. That is the first step of publishing a book.

I am not madly in love with the cover art I created, a journey in itself, but it is the best digital art I’ve ever done to date. I am hoping with more practice and education I can create even better to come. That’s what these last three years has been for me, an educational foray into the unknown. I’ve enjoyed it and learned so much and feel ready to jump in with both feet.

This is also a journey of self-discovery. I don’t talk about my mental health journey much for two reasons. First, you can’t talk about something which isn’t in your awareness. I don’t know where or even how the brain hides trauma. I’m still trying to discover the location of an old phone I know I tucked away where it would be safe … It’s very safe. Where does information like that go exactly? Secondly, part of the abuse was a determined effort by my abuser to impress on me the seriousness of my talking to anyone about what he was doing to me. Like many abusers, he had a public persona and a private persona, each one worlds apart from the other. A third reason I don’t speak about it is because those who knew my Dad themselves don’t believe me. That is changing as I’m gathering to myself new friends who never knew him and it is so surprising to me today that when I tell my story people believe me. It’s the beginning of a new life for me, certainly.

I hope to have the copyright certificate back in a couple of months when I will be able to sit down and teach myself to use KDP again. It’ll be a rewarding experience to hold a copy of my book in my hands. It’ll be a sign that I can move on with the next books, that I have passed this unexpected hurtle. Rossyn One and Two show a different world where hope is beginning to creep in despite the imminent threat of Estorian conquest. I had so much fun crafting these books. They distracted me from some really sad years taking care of my mother as she walked the path of dementia. On the days I couldn’t write, I would just reread the books, adding a bit or editing a bit.

The Spring Semester ended today so I am off for 14 weeks. I’ve got plans. I’ve written down a list of things I’d like to get accomplished. I usually write a huge one hundred item list of what I imagine I can do. I was realistic. I have five items on my list. One of those is to prepare for college algebra. I made it through the prepatory class with an A so I’m hoping staying with the math and doing further study to keep myself fluent in it will help when I start the class in the Fall.

I am a bit contemplative today. As I’m doing chores, I’m also considering my life from the perspective of having put another semester behind me. I’m closer to applying to that four year university. I’m one step further along the track of becoming a better author, a better artist, a healthier person. One step at a time. The end of this semester is just the beginning of my next chapter in life. I think I’ll title it “How to get up off the sofa.”

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