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.”


It’s been so long since I’ve logged in here that I almost forgot my password. I’ve had a time of it this last twelve months and that has been reflected in my writing. I came to a point where I just couldn’t continue with Dorian, getting the second book continuing his story published.

I stopped at a point where an assassin has caught him in the one retreat where he can be alone as a new king. In that moment, he relies on others to come and save him. The struggle to figure out exactly where the block about sending it to publication originated was a tough one. Then, the real struggle was to discover why I didn’t feel peace about that particular scene.

Let’s recap. It has been nearly four months since I last wrote so a recap is necessary. In 2019, I went to therapy for the second time. I had been diagnosed with depression and anxiety back in 1991 and treatment for that … well, it accomplished next to nothing. I was still depressed and anxious. Fast forward through my career as a caregiver, caring for my parents, which was about all I was fit for. I had been sick with the same mental illness women in my family always had. I had no way to fight it and, seemingly, no way to win.

At the end of 2018, my father passed and I had dreams and visions I’d nursed for all of that year, preparing myself to be free for the first time in almost three decades without anyone to care for. Since I was working specifically for family, I’d let most of my certificates lapse. I didn’t have money really to keep up with the CEUs anyway. I was at a place where I realized I could reinvent myself.

I started having problems almost immediately after Dad died. Keep in mind, I had my diagnosis. I’d been hearing voices since I was seven but I knew from watching women in my family – those who are under treatment for mental illness cease to be persons the moment they start telling their doctors that they hear voices. They are not treated like people. I kept that to myself! At the end of 2018, I’d been hearing voices again for months. Nothing horrible. Someone crying. Someone saying something I couldn’t quite hear. I prayed about it. I never told a soul. I didn’t want to go back on medication because it made me gain so much weight. I wanted to lose weight not put more on!

By April of 2019, I was very sick and barely able to function. I was hallucinating but I was rational! I realized I wasn’t being stalked by some extraterrestrial to be recruited to save the Planetary Alliance. I wasn’t delusional. I was just very sick and my sickness didn’t have a name. I got so miserable. I spent 2019 traveling as much as I could and, in April of that year, I started therapy.

I found a doctor I’d met during a conference, made an appointment, and told him my story as I remembered it. And I finally got a diagnosis that made sense! I was dissociated! That is the saddest part of being dissociated – your consciousness is trying to protect you from unholy things! My consciousness did such a good job of it I never once imagined this would be my reality. I remember reading about Dissociative Identity Disorder and it never dawned on me that I might also have that same thing. All the symptoms fit. A one hundred percent match! And the treatment – well, the treatment …

I’m still seeing this therapist, four years later. I’ve covered a lot of ground and done a lot of work and I have lifted the lid off pandora’s box to confront a moras of horror and sadness. My parents’ marriage was failing almost as soon as it began. My mother started to ask for a divorce in 1971, when I was turning two. My Dad refused. And thus began the domestic violence. He would beat her up but most of his vitriol was aimed at me. He was the cruelest person I have ever looked at eye to eye.

There are still come holes in my memory and there are still times when I “lose time” and also lose things! So many things! I find them in the weirdest places! But I am getting better and the evidence of that is in my writing.

And this, you might ask, leads where? How does this affect Dorian 2?

I wrote all of Joanna starting in 1984 but wrote most of what I’m publishing now in extensive edits started in 1999. I was highly, completely, and irrevocably dissociated then. In going back to read some of my old work, I’m finding loads of evidence that I understood what had happened to me to some extent and I was putting parts of my story down in fiction form, the only way I had to confront my pain. I truly thought my place in the story was as Joanna. When I conceived of the story in the 1980s, Rossyn’s name was Tristian and Joanna wanted to be rescued in the same way I wanted to be saved, a little girl’s fictional wish to be removed from a bad situation.

Fast forward to 2022 and I began to realize just how much of myself I had really put into my books. In fact, there were loads of parts which were written and I never remember writing them!! I was stunned and also kind of spooked. But when it came down to Dorian 2, I realized, I had put something of myself into every character! A bit of me was Joanna. A bit of me was Chandler. Another Stella. And a part of me went into Dorian.

Dorian had lived in repression and oppression for so long, he’d come to accept it as normal. He didn’t fight against it. That was where I had to make the changes. Today, with less than a hundred and fifty words, I changed that scene. Dorian didn’t do anything to fight back against the assassin in the original story, giving in to the darkness. But the part of me which is healing has been telling me in ways I couldn’t fully understand that he needed to fight! I needed to fight.

Last year was a terror for me. Some changes in my exterior world and my inner world led to the retrieval of an extremely painful point in my life, when I was 13. My mom was asking for a divorce again and Dad was punishing me for – I never really understood what he was punishing me for. He did some especially cruel and hateful things to me which, when I had those flashbacks, when I recovered that information, just absolutely knocked me on my ass. I spent months spiraling, talking to the therapist, and going back to school to study art and only art while dreaming of what I might do with the rest of my life.

I am hoping this edit will do the trick and I’ll be able to get Dorian 2 submitted into publication with the cover art I’ve already got completed. At some point in the future, I may redo all of these books, edit them up, make them another version of me just like now there exists a bolder, stronger version of me who knows her story now in much more detail. I’ll assess how I feel, how ‘we’ feel about Dorian 2 in the morning.

No one has ever left me a review. I’ve had a few readers who’ve told me good things about my writing, all while smiling at me like they don’t want to break my heart. I don’t know if anyone reads my books let alone this. But I wanted copies of these books for myself. They are a personal journey which heavily reflects my inner life as I struggled with mental illness, struggled to find my way, struggled to survive domestic violence. My Dad was such a good man. I heard that from everyone. His public persona was as a kind, charitable man. His private persona was very, very different. Few people other than me got to see that private persona. My mom basically divorced him in her mind if not in reality, divorced us all, really. Left me to fend for myself. All these years later, all I can say is that I survived. These stories were rolling around in my mind back in 1984. They helped me to make it to today. Having a copy of them to hold in my hand – Even if it means nothing to anyone else, it means something to me and that’s what writing is all about.

New Year Vibes

I don’t do resolutions anymore. I gave up on those a long time ago. But I do believe that changing from one calendar to the next is an opportunity to re-evaluate things and shift my perspective. I’m not alone in saying that last year was one of the hardest years I’ve ever had to survive. During my doctor’s appointments, I always have to fill out a depression inventory and, at some point, one of the doctors got to examining my answers to those. That prompted a psychiatrist visit.

I was completely overwhelmed last year and discussing this whole thing with the psychiatrist was in some ways intimidating but at least I can talk about it now. I guess that means I’m the conqueror to some degree. She told me that I’m exactly on track with my CPTSD and that I’m doing everything right – Not what my anxiety is telling me – and that I should just keep on swimming.

She also told me I should write a book.

I don’t tell many people that I’m a published author. I mean, my sales aren’t where I’d like them to be but then I’m not really promoting myself nor am I releasing new work. And all of that is entirely my fault. Instead, what I’m doing is playing with it all and learning my art. My vision is to be an author who creates her own cover art and can also help others to get their work up on Amazon and do their cover art! That’s my goal.

I guess I should do it for me first before I start to advertise.

So, with that, I’m going to try to set aside time every day to work on Dorian 2 which has been on my to-do list for – well, a really long time. I know what needs to be done and what has to change yet I’m unsure what that will do to the character arc.

I realized some time ago that I was putting my trauma and the processing of that trauma into my books. I realized Joanna was in a huge part a representation of me and my journey. In some ways, Dorian’s story mirrors my own better than Joanna’s. His experience of childhood adversity and being hounded by people who only wanted to hurt him mirrors experiences I’ve gone through which is perhaps one of the reasons I’m having so many issues with this particular book. Once trauma is processed, it becomes like a scar but scars can still be tender sometimes. They can occasionally break open and bleed again and need to reheal. With flashbacks from when I was 13 re-emerging last year, many of them of memories I hadn’t even realized I was carrying or had experienced, this becomes more real to me. I know I’m far from being the only one to walk this path. In fact, I believe there are many people who go through this.

Sadly, that shared sense of sisterhood knowing I’m not alone in this struggle doesn’t actually comfort me. What does comfort me is the fact that the Spring Semester is just around the corner. I’m going to a different campus to get away from paying for parking. I could do that when my grocery bill wasn’t scary. Yet another reason last year was so hard. This will be a new adventure for me and I’m going to be conquering math next which – I hope I’ve honed my combat skills. Math has always been hard for me to grasp, and I’ve got a lot of work to do to catch up. But there will also be art and that has been what is carrying me through all these hard times.

I’m so looking forward to putting out more books and sharing my writing with others, even if I just end up pulling them all down, doing better artwork on the covers and completely revamping them for a second release! I’m an author! I can do that! And I’m writing as well, on a book I started right after the massive flashback I had in June of last year which set off the misery cycle I was in for the latter half of the year. That book has been a huge comfort for me and the thousand pages of text I’ve generated are a testimony to the fact that we as humans can turn any hard thing into a good thing. We just have to decide whether we want lemonade or a margarita.

My hope is to be able to keep up with my author blog better this year and to have more encouraging things to post. I really hope that 2023 does its part by being cooperative and not being a brat. I hope the new year brings us all hope and courage, joy and contentment. I hope that by the end of this year, I will have two books released! I don’t do resolutions but I resolve to keep fighting the fight. I refuse to quit. If life keeps giving me lemons, then I’ll just have more margaritas!

Merry New Year

I didn’t even review my posts for this year because I already know. 2022 was a really difficult year for me personally. I’ve spent a lot of this year sick. It’s the main obstacle I’ve had which has caused me to be unable to do the things I most wanted to accomplish. It’s affected relationships, including my relationship with myself, and affected my work. It has affected what I was able to get done this year to a huge extent. I’ve had a huge amount of mental illness this year that I’ve tried to cover up because I didn’t want to admit to myself just how bad things had become.

Depression, anxiety, crushing fear and apprehension over a certain situation which I believed represented a small change in my world but became a change so huge that it just really cracked all of the recovery skills and progress I’d made in two decades and set me back – gosh, set me back a decade or more. I feel like I’m starting over in some ways. I apologize for not getting Dorian 2 out in a timely manner. I spent all of my time this year writing on the same book which became a way for me to process a really terrible and tremendous series of flashbacks of an event I thought I had already processed through.That is how I process my trauma. I started writing when I was thirteen after a terribly tragic event my parents exposed me to that just changed me completely. I write to get it all out of me and I’m up to a thousand pages on that book and I work on that to numb myself, process through emotions, and keep my mind busy so it won’t continue to run in never-ending circles of worry, fear, depression, and crippling anxiety. It accomplished that but it meant I got little else done. I’m actually really surprised I was able to complete the classes I took this year because my health was so bad.

It’s my hope to be able to release Dorian 2 early next year but I won’t make promises I may not be able to keep. I’m still having a lot of issues. I’ve had to reconnect with doctors and update my PCP on issues I thought I had solved, start medications again to keep control of my mental health. I’ve got people checking in on me that – I really thought I had no support network but it turns out I do and I’m so grateful for that. I’m aware that Depression kills. I’ve worked in mental health, so I know the risks and the stats. I don’t want to be a stat so I’ve focused on myself in a new way this last six months to the exclusion of all else. With that said, Dorian is still on my mind and my goal is still to finish the series even as I work on this other book which became a series all it’s own and continue to pursue my education to be the best of my ability. I’m grateful for those who read my blog here and those who read my books. I’m looking forward to a new year full of hope and promise. Every processed flashback is one more festering wound cleared out of my soul. I don’t enjoy the process, but it is what it is.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Holiday season however you choose to celebrate and safe travels. I wish you new friends and connections which will bring you joy and hope for all the days yet to come. I wish us all a stable world in which we can continue to explore and grow.

I wish you peace. Happy Everything.


How long has it been? Months? I’ve been away since my last post. By away, I mean an out of body experience that carried me to some deeper place from which I now seem to be just emerging.

In June, I was doing a summer semester to repeat classes in order to update my Associates degree, making it easier for it to transfer to a four year university. It was a simple class but I took the one with the insane teacher who used the weird online book and publisher developed assignments that came with the horrible user interface which only worked in theory. Four weeks of that and I was ready to explode.

On the close of that stressful class, I had a massive emotional flashback which just seemed to push me over an edge I didn’t realize I was so close to. So I allowed myself to decompress through movement one weekend, between Summer semester one and the beginning of Summer two.

I partied all by myself! I walked a lot. Over a three day weekend, I did close to 50k steps! I was on a roll! I realized at some point that I was tired. Worn out first by the school work and lots of sitting which had frustrated me to the extreme. Overwhelmed by this flashback which had been all emotion and little else, which for me feels much worse than a flashback involving images. This was me burning all of that off, frustrations and any other emotions which I might be feeling but not acknowledging just then. At the end of that weekend of walking, I decided to try and dance to some old favorite songs! What a wonderful experience that could have been!

The x-ray showed nothing is broken. However, there was numerous indicators first that there was indeed a deep joint injury. I was tired on top of the dancing and horribly sprained my entire left leg (wildly jumping up and down is not for me) and did something terrible to my left knee. I sat down for a couple of weeks and worked on my second semester. Then, feeling better, I got back up and resumed my life, unfortunately including the dancing.

That led to the second sprain. I hadn’t let it heal. So I sat down again and finished the second summer semester. Managed to pull an A and a B from those two short, intensive, slightly horrifying semesters. There was one week between the last summer semester and the start of fall semester. During that week, I should have poured all my effort into Dorian two. I should have. Didn’t.

Instead, I started another book and poured all of the stirred-up remembrances from that horrible flashback and my frustration of being forced to be stationary when I most needed to process things through movement! This book was fraught with all the feelings I’d recovered in the flashback and was fueled by much music (usually the same songs every single day) and when I looked back over it some weeks later, I discovered it was horrible but I had gotten all of the ideas down on paper.

Both summer semesters were online. The Fall semester was not, which forced me to start walking six blocks to class and six back to my car twice a week. Three weeks into the Fall semester, my left knee locked up. Thus the x-ray. I just love the phrase “age-related decline” but there were other terms in there too, like osteoarthritis and voids, and bursas. In simple terms, I’d injured then reinjured myself like three times and my muscles just got to the point where they were not working at all. I’ve been on forced rest for quite some time. I’ve been able to recover some of the use of my left leg but it’s nowhere near the movement I was accustomed to before the original injury at the end of June.

Stationary is not a word I like. I can’t ride a bike inside the house. That hurts too much. I can barely walk some days. But time, the doctor assured me, would cure all ills. And at some point, I’ll potentially start therapy to recover what I can. I started glucosamine and turmeric to deal with the joint injury and age-related issues plus the inflammation. All those things I was supposed to be doing in the house which I had ignored, I can’t do them now. I’m forced to rest and slow down and focus on things I was really running away from.

One of those is Dorian two. I’m still going over what is wrong for me to be stuck on an edit. I’m stuck on an edit! I’ve written seven hundred pages with this other book and am rewriting some of it now. So it’s not that I’ve got writer’s block. There is some issue in the continuation of Dorian’s story which is causing my brain to say nope when I try to edit it. I believe I’ve discovered what it may be and I’ve made a note on the manuscript while I’m letting it stew in the back of my mind. Meanwhile, I’m working on a manuscript of a fish with visions of being fast and furious.

As I sit here, late on a Saturday night, my left leg is aching. I’ve never appreciated a heating pad and a comfortable sofa so much before now. I’ve come to the point where I realize just how mysterious and frankly aggravating the whole writing process can be. As an author with a blog who wants to put the best foot forward and show myself being productive and all wordy, at the end of every day, there is a strange rhythm to how my writing works and I don’t always understand it.

I hadn’t even realized so much time had passed by until I realized there are only eight more weeks of the Fall semester left! Time is hurrying by me while I elevate and heal. Joanna is still on my heart and always will be. She’s so me but I’ve come to realize Dorian was another part of myself I hadn’t even been aware of. A different part of me is in the fast and furious fish who is taking up all my free time now. His struggle contains so much of what was included in that flashback in June. Joanna and her friends contained earlier flashbacks because that’s how I learned to process trauma. I write it out. Still writing. Just wishing I could be like those authors who seem to have reins which direct their skills and keep it focused. Mine seems to be as wild and uncanny as I am with my bum knee.

Final Edit

Editing is more than just reading through to spot errors in punctuation or grammar, something MS Word can usually do for me if I ask it to. Editing is often going over a document to see what the favorite transition word is of that document. I wrote one where, I swear, I must have used the word “then” two thousand times. One of my edits was focused solely on removing all of the ‘then’s. But I can’t remove them all! Some of them really do belong. It’s a matter of picking and choosing and deciding which ‘then’s get to stay and which have to be transformed into other phrases or just broken apart into two sentences.

Editing is actually quite fun if approached in the right perspective. It’s all about finding a voice for that particular novel, essay, novella or article which fits in with what the message is but also sounds the way the author wants it to sound. Sometimes, I’ll need to read through a sentence and the surrounding paragraph to decide what fix is best. It can be quite a challenge because after about forty pages, I’m normally paying more attention to the story than to the editing!

Perhaps this might give an idea of why it takes so long to accomplish the publication of a novel. I really don’t know why it’s taking me so very long to get Dorian 2 into print. Honestly, it’s been busy for me with college and also with some health issues which needed attending. Then there were household issues and Joey issues and just plain issues relating to the fact that if you spend days staring at a computer screen, a time eventually arrives when you want to do anything that doesn’t involve a computer. Burn out can happen to anyone. So much of life as a student, an author, a bill-payer, a book lover involves me staring at a screen.

For this particular book, Dorian 2, my favorite word was ‘so’. I could not believe how upset it made MS Word to have so many sentences begin with the word ‘so’. Therefore, I went out of my way to minimize how many incidences of that actually occurred. In general, editing for me requires too much attention so I’ll restrict myself to looking for certain things. Taking all the ‘so’s out for one, looking for spelling issues (which MS Word doesn’t always catch), and also making sure that if the character’s eyes are blue at the first page, they’re still blue on the last page! That means, other issues need to be addressed in future read-throughs. I pay attention to gender now. I didn’t used to do that but I do now. When I read new books by other authors (which does happen whenever I can schedule the time), I see these new trends taking place in fiction and how gender and also point of view are handled.

Point of view and perspective are also topics which must be considered. If this paragraph is allegedly coming from the thoughts of a character, does it seem like it does or is it in third person? Just a few changes of words and the placement of pronouns can make it seem more likely to be an internal dialogue and not an author stating instead of describing! Very technical and also something that can get by those who haven’t edited extensively, which was me for a great many years. I hated editing and had to force myself to do it. My way of handling it was to read through the novel and change things as I found them. Not a great strategy and certainly not time-saving, but it helped me to learn how to edit and I admit I practiced for years for I really felt like I had the hang of it. But it does take several read-throughs before I feel confident I’ve found the majority of the errors. I was just rereading Joanna two a few weeks ago to find some bit of character info I’d forgotten and found four mistakes I need to correct in a future edition! Just like trying to get ducks in a row, with so much text, it can be hard to get it all to behave as desired.

I realized while I was working tonight, the TV on mute, Joey asleep in his own bed (Yes. He has his own bed), and a fly buzzing around me that it had been quite a while since I posted anything. I’m still hard at work, editing the evening away. It’s a great way to spend a Thursday night.

Success At Last!

It’s comforting finally to be able to say I’ve got a cover image I’m pretty happy with. After all the starts and stops and changes in direction, I can say is that I’m way too picky. But I did put my heart into this one and tried to keep it similar to the image on Dorian One in that it has the filled in figures and not fleshed out people. It’s my hope to have the fleshed out people on the next cover which will be Rossyn One!

Going to art classes did help me with constructing the image I want. Unfortunately, it doesn’t help me know what image I want. That’s the issue I’ve had all this time. I’ve got a thousand images I can put on their but, halfway through construction, something inside me just says, “This isn’t the one.”

I know. There may not be “the One” for anything. Not for spouses or cars or cheesecakes. But for me, at that moment, I tend to listen to my gut instinct. It does tell me I certainly need to start designing the cover for Rossyn One now! And not wait until I’m thinking about sending it off to the copyright office. I actually believe, as I go through publishing more books and designing the covers, I’m learning more and more about how to make a great cover. Really and truly, covers aren’t what sells a book but a great cover can be what changes a mind. A great cover can say, this person spent more time on the cover and so wanted my business more. While a lackadaisical image on the cover just says it was designed, popped onto the front of the book, done.

That is one thing I still remember about cover art up to the late nineteen nineties. There were actual painters who really painted the image used for the cover and I could really tell. There were differences in cover designs if, for one book out of the others, they used another designer. It made a huge difference for me. I hope to one day be as good as a designer as I remember seeing when I look back at all the great cover art I’ve seen during my life. I’m not there yet. I’ll admit it openly. Designing a cover is still a challenge for me. I hope as I play more with Illustrator and art, taking more lessons, that will change.

Today in class, we had our first model. She was an older woman, maybe a few years younger than myself. She posed nude so we could practice drawing figures. I suck at drawing figures. That is my truth. I own it. But, like anything else, I’ll get better at it the more I do it. So that was one class down. I intend to take Drawing three in the Fall and, Figure drawing, so I can learn to make people on the page! People who actually look like people!

I was also thinking the other day about my life now. I’m enjoying these art classes so much. My father’s been dead for going on three and a half years. An old German guy, he truly was stuck in the land time forgot. His idea of home and family is nothing like what I see around me today. He controlled my every day and wanted to control every decision. If he were still alive, art classes would not be possible for me. He’d do everything in his power, including falling and hurting himself if it took that, to keep me away from a career in art or creativity. Why did he hate it so? I have no idea, but I wrote in secret for twenty five years simply because I knew he didn’t like it and wouldn’t support me while I did it.

I find it amazing that the arts are the thing which get defunded by those who have the power to decide what public schools teach. I used to wonder why that was when I’d hear stories about budget cuts years ago. I understand now why now. Art helps us to realize who we are in a clearer, more detailed way. It’s why there are cave paintings and ancient artworks which are still available to us now, because someone generations ago, sometimes hundreds of generations ago, wanted to explore who they were with a little artwork they may never have imagined would touch anyone but themselves. I find it very intriguing that art classes are so despised by so many who will then run out and spend a million dollars on some famous painter’s work just so they can hang it in their house.

Art is important and it’s why I think I have so many issues with making covers for these books. These characters were my friends during very lonely times and I don’t just want to slap some picture on the cover. I want something that speaks to me. Even if it only speaks to me, it’s an experience and a learning opportunity. I think that is the second biggest blessing in my life right now. There is a first big blessing in my life and maybe one day I’ll talk about that. For now, I’m going to find some dinner. Taking the rest of the night off to do some rug latching.

March On

February has always been a rough month for me. So many negative experiences happened in February, from my mother’s stroke in 05 to her brother, my uncle, dying in 17. This February was no exception to that rule. A difficult month filled with loss and gray skies. I was very happy to see February crawl away.

Enter March, filled with hope and thunderstorms. So far, all I’ve done is home repairs, but I am officially on Spring Break! So, I’ve spent a lot of time with Dorian 2 and I’ve also put some work on the cover. I’m so happy to say I’ve got the figures done in Illustrator. Hoping to decide on a background image/design. After that, all that’s left is to add the text and it’ll all go off to the copyright office!

That being said, emergency repairs are never enjoyable. I’m happy to have them done and can rest with some confidence I don’t have to worry about that for some time, but I didn’t enjoy spending money I would rather have funneled in another direction. With inflation and gas prices rising, I’m tightening the belt like everyone else. Less eating out and more cooking at home. Less driving and more imagining myself going somewhere in meditation.

Just as I was beginning to despair, I saw it! The very first flower of March was a blue-eyed grass blossom! I was so happy to see it. The fruit trees which normally bloom by the end of February are still bare, still preparing to burst forth with rich color and beauty. Seeing this first flower of spring definitely made my day better.

My evening isn’t over just yet. I’m sitting by the window, opened just a bit to let in the breeze. The TV is noise in the background and has to share with the sound of my typing on the laptop. I’ve spent my Spring Break doing not much at all. Did catch up on laundry and did a bit of clutter control. Mostly, I’ve spent my time reading which is always a great inspiration for working on my own creations. I’ll feel like I will have really accomplished something to get Dorian 2: Old Friend, into print. It’s required more changes than any of the others but once I discovered what was blocking me, it all went smoothly.

Next week, it’ll be back to classes and art. I do love the class but it challenges me. From drawing as a little girl to using art as a form of therapy to cope with trauma and family violence, there seemed to be something always in the way of my drawing after using art as therapy. Taking these classes have really helped me push through that. I’m still finding my voice and discovering myself. All of life is deciding who we want to be.


I hate February. My mother had her stroke in February. My uncle, her brother, had two heart attacks and died in February. Now I’ve lost another relative in February and the funerals just keep coming. It’s been a dismal month but I can say at least there’s been no repeat of Texas’ grid failure in 2021.

I am pleased to say I’ve finished editing Dorian 2. It’s ready to go to the copyright office. I am still, sadly, working on a cover design. It’s not that I can’t make one. I’ve made several, but each one of them just didn’t look like the right one to me. Maybe I’m being overly picky but I remember the cover designs from a few decades back.

I don’t really count the 1940s cover design as anything special. The wasp waisted, huge breasted women being abducted by glassy aliens and ridiculous robots was more like silly cartoons for me. But in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and, especially, the 80s, cover design rocked! In my mind, I can still see the cover image for Andre Norton’s Ralestone Luck and Patricia C. Wrede’s Daughter of Witches. Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series always had excellent cover artists. Over time, I got to recognize the skills of certain artists and to buy those books, often just for the cover art.

It’s quite possible I’m just being a perfectionist when it comes to the cover art on my books. It may also turn out that I’m not that great of a cover artist for fiction and fantasy novels. But since they’re mine, I get to play with it and make it whatever I want. I’ve turned out about a dozen images in the last year to grace the cover of Dorian book two, but even if they were great ideas they just never looked right to me. So, I’m starting on a new image with new media.

Still in drawing, class two this semester. I’ve always loved art and drawing but in the 90s when I was doing art therapy, that changed my relationship with art and added a sort of bad connotation to the act of creating art. I’m hoping these classes will help me to separate art from my therapy. I’ve really enjoyed meeting other artists and being immersed in the world of art, as a student. It’s been a wonderful inspiration for my creativity.

I’ve had some setbacks. February is so stressful my mental health has taken a downturn. I’ve committed to my medication regimen and using the tools of DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) and mindfulness to get myself through it as best I can. And the calendar is slowly marching through this month. I’m so ready for March and Spring and more stable weather patterns which don’t include freezing temperatures and snow. But the Texas winter is a good time to get things done inside and I hope that in a couple of weeks, I’ll be able to send off both book and image to the copyright office and to publish shortly after! That would make me very happy.

Happy 22

As I get settled into this second week of the new year, I’m aware that this is becoming more of life blog than an author’s blog. One of my favorite movies is Mr. Holland’s Opus where Richard Dreyfus says “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.”

My holidays were very different this year due to circumstances beyond my control. My Christmas present was a new furnace. Not what I wanted, mind you, but very much what I needed. This Christmas also marked three years since my father died. While I wasn’t close to him, he was still my father and I spent many, many years caregiving for my parents so they were, despite our difficulties relating, a presence in my world. This was the first Christmas I didn’t honor all the traditions our family when my parents were alive looked forward to. Even my food choices changed and I have to say it brought new life to me while I was in something of a crisis mode.

I’ve also had some health issues over the holidays which are not conducive to working much less celebrating. The New Year came just the same. Time marches on. I had plans for so much I would accomplish over the holiday break and I did none of them. Joey is still here with me and I treasure every day with my 16 year old cat. His middle name should be Demanding.

I have been working a bit on Dorian 2 but it’s been mostly on the sideline and I’m not sure why that is. I do want to get it off my To Do list, certainly. I’m enthusiastic about moving on to Rossyn’s first book but there’s obviously something I haven’t done to get Dorian’s second half ready for publication. It’s an odd thing, how an author feels that the characters communicate. I definitely feel some communication as I found a huge plot hole in one scene and realized I needed to repair a scene where a contributing character was essentially forgotten. So, work continues and I hope to have results soon and a book out by Spring. I’m not going to sugarcoat it and say it’ll be out in a couple of weeks. It won’t. I’m just not moving that fast. But I am moving and I’m warm again! Thankful to be able to scrape up enough to get the new furnace. Fifteen years is just long enough to forget how much you paid for the last one!

I am taking only one class this semester for the sole purpose of wanting and needing to accomplish other things. I want to focus on my math and get that out of the way so I can really consider transferring to a four year college and get a Bachelor’s degree. I love to study and all my studies have been at the Associate’s level so it’ll be an adventure to study at the Bachelor’s level. Additionally, I need to make more progress on the house renovations. I need my craft room done so my crafts won’t intrude on my bedroom! And with all the drama of last semester and this holiday season, I think it’s wise to slow down and allow myself some time, especially with all that’s going on this winter already. I don’t want to miss a thing and if that means I spend some extra time with Dorian 2, then I think that’s worth it. I hope readers will feel the same.

Blessings to you for this New Year. May we all prosper and grow!