In this Month of Love–Love Yourself

I was in a dark place. My marriage had failed. The separation and divorce tattered my son’s self-esteem. My writing had stalled and I had horrible nightmares. I was the most worthless person I knew (second only to my ex). Self-love was selfish, or so I thought. I wish someone had told child me, “love yourself.” It took years of therapy and self-examination to learn that self-love isn’t selfish. I was lucky. I could afford therapy and by the luck of the draw, I found some good therapists. Back then I had one thing going for me, I was determined. Determined to be the best mom I could be for my son, I knew I had to work on me. The Struggle It was a terrible struggle. Feelings of worthlessness, self-loathing, mistrust, and shame filled me with negativity. I hid most of those feelings from the people around me. That good old Puritan work ethic flowed through me. I plowed through the work day, the housework, and the Monday through Friday life stuff. Every other weekend my son went to his father’s house and I crumpled into a tearful, self-loathing mess. I feared I was going crazy. My therapist made […]

Summer Vacation: Terror in a Tent

When I was kid summer vacations were about getting away from home. I grew up in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio cities. Often childhood family vacations were trips to visit grandparents and aunts and uncles. In my teens, my family chose the adventure of camping. But sometimes the adventure turned into terror in a tent. At first, our camping vacations were to area lakes and parks. This time we were going to visit the Rocky Mountains. Now, I was already an insatiable reader. Usually, I spent camping trips reading ensconced in one of those folding chairs with that plastic webbing. I did some fishing, some hiking, and enjoyed cookouts and campfires. But stories were my thing even then. This time, though, I looked forward to the adventure of visiting the Rockies. Being a female teen I was up for an adventure to the mountains as long as I could wear cool clothes. No, I don’t mean the latest fad. I mean cool. We spent hours and hours in a four-door sedan. My younger brother, my much younger tomboy sister, my infant brother, my parents, my father’s “ancient” mother, and I squeezed into the “comfortable for four” car. Seven people in an […]

Writing Is Easy–Until It’s Hard

Writing looks easy. We all learn to write essays about what I did this summer at an early age. And writing is easy–until it’s hard. The hard work comes when you desire to create a compelling story. This is the story of one way to learn to create a compelling story. Many people instruct wanna-be-writers to read-read-read and write-write-write. That’s good advice, but it doesn’t go anywhere near far enough. One must also study-study-study the craft. Every writer starts at a different place in their skill levels. So it’s counterproductive to dictate that all writers must start here or there. All the steps are necessary. Only you can decide how deeply you must dive into the learning and in what order you need to learn these skills. This is the story of how I went about learning to write and publish my book. I share my story in the hopes that someone might find some guidance and inspiration in my story. As with most writers, I loved to read from the get-go. I don’t know when I started reading. Books and stories were as necessary to me as the air that we breathe. I wrote stories in a journal. I […]