Major Life Changes Coming My Way This Spring 2018!

On March 3rd, 2017, my life changed drastically for the better.  Before this day, I was horribly depressed, anxious, lacked direction and a steady path, and was even suicidal. I had envisioned all these ways of ending my life. I knew exactly how I’d do, when I’d do it. I learned my family’s schedules. Knew what corner was the right place to do it in the house and what method I’d use and that was that. At one point in my life, it wasn’t a matter of if, it was a matter of when.

I felt hopeless, useless, I felt ugly, and worthless. I hated everyone and everything around me. I was completely inconsolable. Being a shy introvert with no job and horrible health insurance, I really had no options as to finding suitable help for my issues. I was really at my wit’s end and found no hope in my situation. No one would hear my soul’s inner cries for help and no one around me respected me enough to care or even notice.

Going backwards a little in my storytelling, I had gallbladder surgery back in 2014. It got pretty lonely convalescing so I decided to find a Pen Pal program online and met many individuals through this program over the years. I talked to people from all over the world and never really stuck with a pen pal for more than a handful of months, if that.

But on March 3rd, 2017, it all changed. I met this wonderful man from Ireland who turned my world upside down in the best possible way. I always joke with him because he is an animal care provider and I always said that he rescued me and I was one of his damaged and abused animals. And that I was so horribly damaged when we first met. He even showed me copies of our first exchanges when we first started talking. How desperately sad and neglected and truly unloved I was when we first started talking. We compared them to current conversations and how upbeat and genuinely happy I am now compared to that shell of a person just one short year ago. To say that this man is my soul mate is genuinely the understatement of the century. This man is life’s elixir. He is my soul’s true owner and he has healed me from the deepest, most broken part of me and made me whole and complete. All of those cheesy romance movies and romance books that I read ever since I was a child finally make sense to me. From Jerry Maguire’s famous line “You complete me,” to Julie Andrew’s and Christopher Plummer’s “I must’ve done something good” in the Sound of Music. I understand now. I understand and I feel Robert’s love resonate deep within me from many miles away. On December 5th, 2017, I met Robert for the first time and we had a true old-fashioned courtship. It was the greatest week of my life. We got to know the people we were away from our phones and computers. He was positively lovely online, but was doubly so in person. I have never in my 37 years of life met anyone who knew me so intimately and took the time to get to know everything about me. We finish each other’s sentences, have similar hopes and fears, have always carried around a horrible sense of abandonment and loss from the people around us who just never understood us. We are misfits to the outside world and we will never fit in to them, but with each other we know that we are all we need to survive this cruel and heartless world.

It has been a whirlwind of emotions. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life, but there are negative skeptics around that try and ruin that happiness and say truly horrible and despicable things. I feel that it is selfish and down right mean to comment negatively on someone’s happiness. For someone who was so lost and lonely and depressed and felt like she had no worth in the world to finally finding a man who’s gentle warmth embraced this wretch of a soul and loves me wholly and purely. Why wouldn’t you support that? It is sad that people use their own insecurities and fear to ruin other people’s happiness. Instead of harboring jealousy and resentment why not give your blessing and keep your negativity to yourself? You may not understand it, you may not support it, but it is happening whether you get it or not. I should not have a shroud of gray when I am finally feeling enraptured by the gorgeous hues of color dancing around me. I choose positivity and happiness. I choose to take risks and to try even when other people around me enjoy their ruts. I’ve always considered myself to be brave and to be a trailblazer and set the path for others in life and this is no different. I’m excited and am not afraid of what lies ahead. I’m excited and enthralled and for the first time in my pathetic existence I have purpose. I’m going to be someone’s wife, someone’s partner in all aspects of life. I’m going to have a home of my own that I can decorate and have total control over. I’m going to be able to cook my own meals and go out as I please and have a job that I rightfully deserve.

In April 2018 I will be moving to Ireland with my fiance. We have applied for housing by the ocean and I will be seeking employment there while I work on becoming an established writer and artist over there. My fiance has already begun networking on my behalf and has helped established my name there to give me an opportunity to flourish. Now that is true, honest, and selfless love. I am so excited for this next chapter in my life. I actually want to wake up the next day just so that days can pass and I can be put out of my misery. Number 45 got it all wrong. The only country I see as a shithole is mine. And I cannot wait to put that misery behind me.PicforBlog

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The Many Faces of Poverty

I have not had the easiest life. For the majority of my life,  I have been poor. There were moments in my adult life where I was financially secure and throughout those times when I prospered financially, I became exceptionally good at utilizing the money I was making and purchasing the things I knew I would need years down the line. My cell phone is three years old and I have had the same phone service since 2002 and that has remained the only real bill that I have since I live at home with my family. I do not own a car and do not have to pay car insurance. I only buy myself the absolute necessities. When I was financially stable, I would buy clothes that would last me for 10 years. I would buy myself makeup and stock up for at least 2 to 3 years. I would buy other toiletries and stock pile them into huge bins in my room and I would be okay until once again I would find a financially prosperous year. For the past two years, I have exhibited one of the worst financial hardships I have ever endured in my adult life. I decided to take time off from working in the education field and try to make it as a writer and artist. This has been one of the most joyous times in my life because I am finally getting an opportunity to pursue my passion, but at the same time it is one of the most difficult times because I do not have the money to buy the things that any normal person working traditional jobs with traditional salaries take for granted.

I have settled into this nomadic lifestyle that I have created since I graduated undergrad at 22. Now, at 37, with a bachelors, masters, and doctorate, I find myself in the most financially dire times when I should be considered to be at my most prosperous. I feel that people perceive poverty in a stereotypical manner and do not understand there are many facets to poverty. I am fortunate enough to have the love and support of my family and am given food and a roof over my head. Not many people have that. I recognize how lucky I am and exhibit my gratitude by helping out with my father who suffers from dementia and helping my mother with the odds and ends of running a household. To the outside world, I am seen as a taker, and as non-contributor and people misconstrue my financial situation all of the time. Since I am considered on the poverty line, I have medicaid for my health insurance. They think that it is easy getting medical coverage. It is not. Not many doctors accept my insurance especially doctors in special fields like ENT and audiology, which is why I have remained suffering with my hearing loss without proper intervention and assistance. I cannot find a doctor who will accept my insurance.

But when people see what I look like, they don’t believe that I am poor and I was even mistaken for a prostitute once at my dentist’s office just because my hair was done and I wore makeup. I was at the dentist office once a few years back and I was interrogated throughout the entire office visit about where I lived and how long I have lived in this town and what was my business in this town, etc. Do you think for a second that someone with better insurance and a well paying job would have gotten the same treatment I received that day? Absolutely not. I would even tell other people about what happened and because they are financially set they can feign sympathy, but they don’t really get it.

People hear you are poor and automatically think you are lazy, and you don’t want to work. That couldn’t further from the truth. Every time I received temporary full-time teaching spots for a given school year, I always gave 110% of myself. The positions I were given were temporary and I was never afforded permanent spots so I would resort back to substitute teaching. Substitute teaching became comfortable for me, especially as I got older, when my hearing loss became severe. I wasn’t expected to interact with people much and I didn’t have to embarrass myself struggling to hear individuals. And because I stayed in education so long, it became damn near impossible to find other work. And because I am so over educated even retail jobs would not hire me because they don’t want people smarter than they are working underneath them.

Writing became a natural fit for me. I can weave intricate stories and produce meaningful and thought provoking art work. I have achieved a level of serenity and peace every time I am given an opportunity to create. I don’t have to worry about not being able to hear others and don’t have to worry about feeling ashamed and embarrassed by my various shortcomings as I get lost in the wonderful world of silence every time I get sucked into the equally wonderful world of art creation. The problem is, it doesn’t pay. But I am working on that. I am planning some major life changes in 2018 that will hopefully change my financial luck in the future.

My point is, there are many faces to poverty. That saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” can go both ways. Just because I happen to wear makeup and take care of the clothes I have to make them look new, doesn’t mean I am cheating the system, doesn’t mean I am hoarding money under my mattress, and doesn’t mean that I am not struggling. I struggle every damn day of my life. It is also a damned if you, damned if you don’t situation because when I do wear makeup and dress well I get treated poorly and when I go somewhere in sweats with no makeup I get treated even worse. The photo montage that I have created are the various faces of myself with and without makeup. And regardless of whether or not I have makeup or not, regardless of whether or not I am dressed up or down, regardless of the backdrop in each of these photos, there is one thing that remains consistent and that is that no matter how I look on any given day, and regardless of whether or not I have money in my pocket, I will always, always find a reason to smile. As my mother always encourages, “Better times will come.” I cling on to that. I cling on to that as if my life depended on it, because my life literally does depend on it.

The Many Faces of Poverty Blog

The Unspoken Shame of Being Hearing Impaired: A Failing Society

Since I was 18 years old, I have been consistently attending jury duty dutifully every 3 years. It is truly the most hellacious experience I can possibly envision, but I did it because I felt like it was my civic duty.

Now, as a 37 year old aging woman, I am not the picture of health I was in my younger years. I do not clutch on to that sense of civic pride as I once did in my youth. Grappling with anxiety and depression, struggling to find ample work, and being profoundly hard of hearing since a young age have all affected me greatly over the years. My hearing loss, and lack of proper health care to provide me with the appropriate intervention I need, has made me suffer so much with low self-esteem and has severely lessened my chances of finding productive work. Living in poverty for most of life mixed with lack of proper health care, I never received the proper services including getting a hearing aid or even learning sign language. I have learned to adapt and evolve and have gotten by in life by learning to read people’s lips and watching what other people do and mimicking their actions, but that does not always work. I have missed important information in my work place that has gotten me into trouble numerous times in the past and have missed important information with my family that could have had serious consequences if I had not asked again to ask for clarification. This has been a stigma I lived with my whole life. It has even effected my job prospects in major ways.

Because I do not own a hearing aid and do not know sign language, what can a woman with profound hearing loss do to make a living? I have remained in the bubble of substitute teaching for many years because it was truly the only thing I could do, being hard of hearing. I didn’t have to answer phones, I didn’t really have to interact with the students much aside from giving their assignments and taking attendance, etc.

The fact that I am 37 years old with profound hearing loss, I have faced several hurdles. There appears to a serious lack of empathy and compassion that has become rampant in this country. People are quick to dismiss others with genuine disabilities. They are seen as lame and worthless. They are seen as liars and crybabies. When did our country become so callous and cold and incapable of exhibiting genuine warmth and care towards our fellow citizens? This is not the America I was raised in. I was born and raised here and right from birth we were raised to respect the flag, to be patriotic and to give others a helping hand where needed. Since when… since when is it alright to be rude and disrespectful to others who have a genuine disability that has plagued them their entire lives?

I remember early on in childhood always being hard of hearing and my classmates and teachers being purposely cruel and talking low on purpose because they thought I was lying about not being able to hear. I remember the months of recuperation when I would be completely 100% deaf after suffering horrible head colds. During one of these periods, I had given my high school teacher a doctor’s note to explain that I was deaf due to excess fluid build up in my ears and to kindly skip over calling on me for that day in class. I wasn’t trying to flake out of reading in class. I actually enjoyed reading aloud. I still enjoy reading aloud to this day. I genuinely could not hear if and when I was being called on by the teacher and couldn’t hear my fellow classmates reading so I wouldn’t be able to tell where to start reading from where the last person left off. Sure enough, the teacher had to call on me. I didn’t even realize the whole class sat there is utter, bitter silence for what seemed to be an eternity when I finally looked up at their shocked and horror-ridden faces. When I realized I was being called on to read, I just picked any place to read and read because I didn’t know what else to do. I couldn’t hear my classmates tell me to stop reading and one student grabbed my arm to get my attention. My face flamed with embarrassment. I was so mortified by the whole experience, but I was not going to let my teacher see me crack with the utter defeat and shame I felt.

I have become more anxious and depressed over my hearing loss as I have gotten older and it has made me less eager to leave my own home. I have become so self conscious over my hearing impairment, so afraid of being chastised for something that is genetic and completely beyond my own control.

I avoid phones as much as possible because I simply cannot hear what the other person is saying on the other line. I have to be facing individuals when they are speaking to me so that I can read their lips in case I miss vital parts of the conversation, and I have the subtitles on every show that I watch. Music gets amped up loudly, even though I know that will only ruin what is left of my hearing, but music has become one of the last joys remaining in my life.

What is the purpose of this conversation? Well, I feel that I have been targeted because I am poor and because I am hearing impaired and am being picked on by the powers that be. I feel that because I am perceived as weak, that I am an easy target and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Injustices occur in every corner of this country. It is up to its citizens to fight for what is believed to be the right thing and stick up for yourself. I heard the most amazing quote today from one of my favorite television programs, “When Calls The Heart.” The quote states, “Bad things happen, if good people do nothing.” This is exactly why I will continue to fight for myself and other people who are afflicted with similar issues as myself to ensure that we are all treated fairly and treated as equals.self portrait

Happy 2018!

Happy 2018, everyone! 2017 was definitely a very trying year for myself and my family. With dealing with my father, who suffers from dementia, with dealing with my own health set backs towards the end of the year, all the while trying to maintain a writing schedule and keep productive with my art work has been a super challenge!

On top of all of that, I found out yesterday that a 3rd party seller on Amazon by the name of Langton Distribution is selling my books without my authorization and attempting to sell them at double the cost! What they do is they would get a request to purchase one of my books then they would buy it themselves through Amazon legitimately, then redistribute the new book to the customer and make double the profit. I would only see royalties through Amazon not through when Langton Distribution would sell my work. Very dishonest! I complained to Amazon and have filed four copyright infringement claims against them, but Amazon warned me that there might not be much that I can do about it. My fellow authors, please don’t let this happen to you! Anyone who might be interested in buying my work, please make sure that you buy it directly through Amazon and not through Langton Distribution. They are attempting to rip you off by selling my work for double the asking price. Please spread the word and protect yourselves from something like this happening to you as well.

On a brighter note, I am regrouping for 2018 and want very much to release new work. Here is what I have in mind so far but the list is very tentative and is up for change throughout the year given where I am in terms of productivity.

List so far of things I want to produce:

  1. John of Art (novella) (Winter 2018) (Music Soundtrack to accompany novella)
  2. Shadows on Elm (novel) (TBA)
  3. The Robert and Paula graphic novel project (Untitled, release hopefully March 2018).
  4. Photobook (Summer 2018-Subject material and title TBA)
  5. 2nd children’s book (Fall 2018)
  6. The Frenzy Initiative (Late Fall 2018)

That is pretty much all that has been new with me so far. I am also planning a trip to Ireland this year. I am not sure when that is going to happen. I am hoping when I do go I will be inspired and have the time to dedicate to writing, producing songs, and taking as many photographs as I possibly can.

I will try to be better with updating you all with any news that comes up. As I mentioned earlier, things have been rather hectic with dealing with my father. That has become a full-time job handling him so it is become rather difficult to make the time to write and even send out a blog or two. I will try to be better in 2018. Take care all and hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and have a blessed and fruitful 2018.

Update on my health and the fate of NaNoWriMo

It is with the greatest sadness and disappointment that I must drop out of this year’s NaNoWriMo writing challenge. This past weekend I got gravely ill and have been working with my doctor trying to get myself better again. I feel it is more important since the holidays are so close by that I focus on my health and getting myself better for my friends and family in order to properly enjoy and celebrate the upcoming holiday season. This setback is a serious blow not just for my writing but also for making money for the holidays as well. This health setback makes it virtually impossible to make any money to save up for Christmas which, to me, is the most devastating. 

I plan on picking up the writing again in early 2018 as soon as I am healthy enough to do so. John of Art is at 85 percent done. It needs fine tuning and editing. Shadows on Elm is fully conceptualized, it just needs to be typed out. I will update you all when I can. Best of luck to those still in the running for NaNoWriMo!

NaNoWriMo 2017: Day 1 of Shadows on Elm

Today starts the kick off of NaNoWriMo 2017. I was hoping to have a workable office to write in by now, but it is what it is. I am going to have to work with what I have. Mapping out my new thriller novella, Shadows on Elm. Super excited to get started on this. The hamster wheel is turning fast in my head and I am definitely ready to tackle my next piece. I am hoping to have this and John of Art published by New Years Eve. I want these last two pieces to end my year of awesome! 2017 was a great year creatively for me. I got a lot done and I am very grateful for the chance to present all the work to you all. Thanks to my loyal followers, thanks to my family and friends, and special thanks to my Robert Peacock, whom I wouldn’t be able to do half of what I have done without his pushing me and motivating me and believing in me. When the forces were pulling at me to quit, he wouldn’t let me. Thanks, my rabbit, for seeing magic when you look at me. I hope someday I can see in myself what you see. ♡♡♡♡

ONWARD AND UPWARD!

Here’s to day 1. Best of luck to all participants. It is within reach for us all!

Little Stan’s Lucky Day Being Read Aloud Tonight During Ireland’s Children Book Festival. Plus, Other Writing News!


I am excited and proud to announce that today my children’s book, Little Stan’s Lucky Day, is being read during Ireland’s Children’s Book Festival. Special thanks to Robert Peacock for reading this aloud for me and for setting the whole thing up! You are everything to me!! ♡♡♡♡

I will be sure to post pictures of the event once I receive them.

In other news, working on finishing up my second novella, John of Art, and prepping to begin the NaNoWriMo month writing Shadows on Elm. I decided that the two books will be released close to one another close to the end of the year. I want to make sure they are both properly edited and want my last two published works of 2017 to be the best quality I can provide.

Thinking ahead, I already have some projects lined up for 2018. I am working on a photobook, which I will discuss more in early 2018. I have my second children’s book in the works as well. Also, I am interested in releasing Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 3. I am also working on a few more songs that I would like produced. I am trying to figure out an easier way of distributing that and getting more people to listen. All in good time!

Anyway, for now, please check out my children’s book: Little Stan’s Lucky Day! On sale now on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats! Thank you all for your continued interest and support!

PSG Lopes, The Moonlit Goddess Amazon Author Page

NaNoWriMo 2017, John of Art, Shadows on Elm, and the Release of Little Stan’s Lucky Day!

Working on finishing up John of Art by the end of October. Then moving on to Shadows on Elm for this year’s NaNoWriMo Challenge 2017! Very exciting times! In the meantime, please check out my children’s book: Little Stan’s Lucky Day! It is available now on paperback and Kindle Edition on Amazon. Remember to please leave feedback. Thank you for your patience and continued support!! I love my fans! 

 PSG Lopes, The Moonlit Goddess Amazon Author Page

John of Art is on schedule. Still on track for early November release.

Just a quick update for all of my fans! I am about 50 pages into my new novella, John of Art. I am right on track for my early November release. It is coming along nicely and I also have a big surprise for release date too that I am super psyched about!

Also, I am signed up for this year’s NaNoWriMo writing challenge. For the month of November I am planning on writing Shadows on Elm. So excited to dive right into that!

Check back soon for more updates. 

In the meantime, have you checked out my new children’s book, Little Stan’s Lucky Day? On sale now on Amazon in paperback and Kindle format. Check this out and other of my works on my Amazon Author Page here:PSG Lopes Amazon Author Page

Little Stan’s Lucky Day is being featured and read aloud during the Ireland Children’s Book Festival throughout the month of October. Thank you Robert Peacock for setting this up for me! It has also been entered into the Pen to Publish 2017 Contest through Amazon that would help me get signed through a traditional publishing company and I would be mentored by prestigious members of the writing field!

Thank you all for your continued support!! Much love to all!

Officially Signed Up for NaNoWriMo 2017, Little Stan’s Lucky Day Now on Sale!

I have officially signed up for this year’s NaNoWriMo writing challenge for November. I am attempting something crazy. I am going to try to write John of Art throughout the month of October and Shadows on Elm in November. If anything, John of Art will definitely be done for the NaNoWriMo challenge. 

In the meantime, Little Stan’s Lucky Day, my first children’s book is on sale now for Amazon Kindle and Paperback. My children’s book was chosen to be read and featured at Ireland’s Children’s Book Festival. Thanks to Robert Peacock for helping organizing this and serving as my proxy and reading my book aloud in Ireland! Little Stan’s Lucky Day is also signed up with Amazon’s Pen to Publish 2017 contest that would provide me with an opportunity to be published with a prestigious publishing company and would give me an opportunity to be mentored by leaders in the writing field. 

Thanks so much for your continued support! PSG Lopes Amazon Author Page