The Audiobook for A Wynter’s Tale is Now Available Through Amazon, Audible, and iTunes!

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019.

Here we are in April 2019! I feel like I have a lived a thousand lifetimes this year and we are only three and a half months into the new year! So much has happened to me personally and with family, and instead of dwelling on negatives in life I chose to turn my life around in a positive manner and got to work on several projects which are only the beginning for me this year!

Here is yet another accomplishment for me this 2019, so far! Thank you to everyone who is consistently viewing my website and reading my blogs and listening to my podcasts and has always been a beacon of light in the darkness. Your constant encouragement and praises are what motivates me to try harder and to keep going!

NOW AVAILABLE IN THE AUDIBLE, AMAZON, and iTunes apps: My first audiobook for my novella, A Wynter’s Tale! It is narrated by voice-over artist Chris Kenworthy! I am so proud of this work and having my work created as an audiobook has been a dream of mine for a long time! I am so happy to see it come to fruition! It is available now for $14.95 on the above platforms! I hope that you all enjoy!

Click the following orange links below to get your copy of my audiobook in the various platforms:

Audible: A Wynter’s Tale Audiobook via Audible!

Amazon: A Wynter’s Tale via Amazon!

iTunes: A Wynter’s Tale via iTunes!

 

A Wynter’s Tale is also available in paperback and Kindle Editions! Click on the picture below if you are interested in buying a physical copy of my novella!

The Literal Versus Creative Mind

blog photo january 29th 2019

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2019.

I had noticed a startling trend throughout my years as an educator. I noticed that kids just were not as imaginative and creative as they were when I was their age. I realized that the reason for this was due to the abundant access to technology. When I was a child, we didn’t have the internet, smartphones, Netflix or Hulu, or any of the fancy sophisticated video games that are out today. The kids of this generation are so overstimulated and are basically handed all the ideas without them having to work for any of it themselves.

I remember one assignment I presented to my fifth-grade students. They were to create their own short story. They had the ability to create their own characters, setting, time period, etc. We carefully went through what each component meant and once I was satisfied that they understood the assignment, I sent them off to work independently. The work I received in return was disheartening, to say the very least. What I got back were twenty-two regurgitated stories ranging from the origins of Mario and Luigi, Pokémon, or Disney princesses. I would remind my students that those stories were already claimed, and I wanted to read stories that came from their own minds. After revisiting the assignment once more, I then received much better stories. Some stories I genuinely felt had the potential to be expanded into novels someday and had encouraged the students to keep pursuing their writing. I had always wondered if their future teachers pushed them the same way that I had or if they reverted back to their literal way of thinking, completely forgetting they have the potential to be wondrous, creative minds!

When it rained or snowed in the 80s or early 90s, my siblings and I stayed indoors, and we used our imagination to create make-believe worlds and fight fictitious creatures and live to tell our harrowing tales! We made tents made out of blankets and used flashlights to scare one another, we would use our older brother’s or father’s camcorder and create screenplays and put on our own shows. We would use my younger brother’s playpen and pretend we were pro-wrestlers and kick the ever-loving snot out of each other. We would do arts and craft projects. I remember my mother buying me this magazine for kids that had tons of art project ideas and she would buy me all of the stuff I would need, and we would make the projects together. I know that when I had free time as a child, I would love to write in my diary or journal. I was always productive in some way that was not directly attached to technology.

Don’t get me wrong, there were days where I’d watch television. That was my vice as a child. I’d watch the heck out of soap operas or other trashy television with my parents and siblings, but in that era, we could take it or leave it. We weren’t addicted and we were able to expand our minds and create original ways of entertaining ourselves.

Here in 2019, I do not see any of these things that made my childhood so magical. Kids of this generation prefer instant gratification, have created a culture of cruelty and thrive on hurting each other, and everything is tied to electronics and the next greatest technological advancement. Parents are always trying to keep on top of their child’s demands and when new video games, cell phones, or other gimmicky devices go on sale, they have to be the first to get them or else they will suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out).

I’ve got a five-year-old cell phone and a just as old Nintendo 3DS and I’m pretty grateful for that. I can’t imagine feeling that pressure to constantly buy the next best thing. It’s tiring and damn expensive too. I guess since I’ve lived pretty humbly for the past four years financially, I have changed my mindset greatly. I recognize what matters more in life and objects and materials just don’t do it for me anymore. I’d rather have my health, the love of my family, good food, and a lot of laughs. Call me old-fashioned.

I remember one of my favorite episodes of the Twilight Zone, “The Shelter,” that perfectly describes how I feel people in 2019 treat each other when they are shown their true colors. “Damages? I wonder. I wonder if anyone of us has any idea what those damages really are. Maybe one of them is finding out what we’re really like when we’re normal; the kind of people we are just underneath the skin. I mean all of us: a bunch of naked, wild animals, who would put such a price on staying alive that they’d claw their neighbors to death just for the privilege. We were spared a bomb tonight, but I wonder if we weren’t destroyed even without it.” I think one major flaw of the current culture is our lack of empathy for one another as well.

Creativity and passion work best when people exhibit compassion, empathy, loyalty, and trust of one another. We need to feel that spark of creativity and instead of wounding each other or living for material goods, tap into that creative spirit and do so because you’re passionate about it not because you’re copying others or trying to compete. Do something creative that you identify best with, not what you feel matches the climate of the current FOMO culture. Quash the ego. Alleviate the troubles of a literal mind and allow yourself to find a passionate outlet within creativity.

I find it difficult being me most days. I feel like I live a very anachronistic life. I have always felt that I belonged in an earlier era in time like the 1940s or 1950s. I look around and see what kids are turning into and all of the politics going on around the world and my head spins. I just don’t recognize this place anymore and it deeply saddens me. Everything is happening much too quickly and often times I just wish for things to slow down. I’m reminded of a quote from one of my absolute favorite plays, Our Town, by Thornton Wilder. One of the characters, Emily, stated “I can’t. I can’t go on. It goes so fast. We don’t have time to look at one another. I didn’t realize. So, all that was going on and we never noticed. Take me back—up the hill—to my grave. But first: Wait! One more look. Goodbye, Goodbye, world. Goodbye, Grover’s Corners…Mama and Papa. Goodbye to clocks ticking…and Mama’s sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new-ironed dresses and hot baths…and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you. Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?—every, every minute?” I still cry when I read this play. This play has, for me, always captured how everyone still takes life for granted. Everything does move much too fast and it needs to slow down. We need to press pause and take a good look at ourselves and find meaning in our lives once more.

I think that Enigma song, “Return to Innocence” says it best: “If you want, then start to laugh. If you must, then start to cry. Be yourself, don’t hide. Just believe in destiny. Don’t care what people say. Just follow your own way. Don’t give up and use the chance to return to innocence.” With that “return to innocence” mentality, imagine what potential we can tap into for our own creative minds!

My First Ten Days

blog january 10th 2019

ALL WRITING AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2019.

There are two days in the year I just don’t give a shit about anymore: My birthday and New Year’s Eve. People put so much pressure on these days to be something fulfilling and special and magical. I call major bullshit on both.

My birthdays used to always be plagued for as long as I can remember. When I was younger the misfortunes started out small. I’d get killer migraines, horrible period cramps, or the flu, for example. Coincidence, maybe, but as I got older the bad luck became compounded and you can say it was almost theatrical in nature.

One year, I’d thought I’d mess with fate and celebrate my birthday three days after my actual birthday. I thought, hey maybe that would break the curse? I went out to New York City with my siblings. We walked around, we went to a museum and we ate at the Hard Rock Cafe. The day was picturesque. Couldn’t have gone better. I figured, hey the curse is gone. We headed home and got ourselves organized and got our nightly routines done so we could head to bed. We almost made it through a menace-free birthday celebration. Then the unthinkable happened.

My cat Viggo was playing with our other cat Maya and they were running up the stairs to chase each other when he literally dropped dead practically in front of our eyes. I was absolutely devastated. Viggo was the first cat we got when we first moved to New Jersey and he was my little buddy. He was the only cat I’d let sleep on my bed and if he would run out accidentally into the backyard he would always follow the sound of my voice and come back inside right away. We were inseparable.

We found him in our backyard in the year 2000. Our town had a traveling circus visit that summer and they had some cats in their routine and I always would jokingly say that Viggo was our circus cat because he came to us around the same time. He was a cantankerous old coot who would swat at you as you walked by and had no tolerance for your bullshit but when his defenses were down he could be one of the sweetest bastards you ever did meet. What made the whole thing worse was that past June I had lost my beloved dog, Merline, and that had been quite a blow as well. I hadn’t been fully ready to accept the loss of another one of my amazing pets. They were both older animals and had lived amazing lives and it was just their times to go. We got them both around the same time and Viggo was already an adult cat when we adopted him so he was about fifteen years old when he passed away.  The vet had said he had a bad heart and couldn’t be excited but how do you stop a cat from chasing our other cat? There was really nothing anyone could do. That event took me a long time to get over. I had vowed then that I’d really never do much to celebrate my birthday ever again.

This leads me to the new tainted event. New Year’s Eve. To me, this day just sets so many people up for failure. I think the holidays in general sets people up for failure. All throughout the holidays people are fake nice to you and there are decorations all over the place and holiday music is blasting and there are cookies and good food all around and everyone gains a thousand pounds and it provides this false sense of security. Then New Year’s Eve comes around and there’s so much pressure. Do you have a date on that night, are you going to get your new year’s kiss, are you going to sign up for the gym and lose the thousand pounds you gained since Thanksgiving, what is your new year’s resolution going to be this year? The madness never stops.

Then January 1st happens. People are dicks again. The decorations get dismantled and you’re literally holding on to the Christmas tree for dear life as your loved ones begin taking down the set up one ornament at a time. Why the fuck do we torture ourselves like this every year? We go from bright multi-colored iridescent lights, yummy food, wonderful upbeat music, to this gray, monochrome life. The music is gone, we’re eating crusty, old leftovers, my palate is confused and angry.

I had decided to do a sage smudging/burning ceremony on December 21st to cleanse my new bedroom/office space and I felt that that would provide me with a positive atmosphere to begin writing again in the new year. I found; however, that once midnight struck, bringing in the new year, it was just another disappointment. But I’ve decided that I don’t want to spend my life carrying this hatred and anger. It’s too big of a burden that I hadn’t even asked for. I’m a peaceful, loving woman and he’s the one who made the mistake, not me and I’m not going to punish myself by carrying his mistakes with me for the rest of my life. I’m much better than that. I deserve much better than that.

The other ridiculous crap that’s happened in the first ten days of 2019 is quite comical actually. Starting the new year off with this disgusting, debilitating cold. Having to deal with people coming in and out of our home during the remaining holiday season and not having a proper chance to convalesce and knock the cold out of my system was frustrating and aggravated me further. I got into a minor fender bender last week too, which was the other woman’s fault. We were at a stoplight and the light turned green and she hit the gas before I did and smacked me from behind. What’s funny is that this was the first time anything like this ever happened to me in all of my years of driving. I don’t really get into accidents or fender benders and I thought to myself, “man 2019 really sucks, bro.”

Next, while I’ve been revamping my writing line and updating my logo and such, I decided to update my business cards since the majority of mine are in a box in Ireland with my belongings that I’m never going to see again. I found a website that printed out business cards for dirt cheap and that’s about all my budget can handle these days. I used up the last of my Christmas funds and the order went missing and the customer service was an absolute joke and the exchange I had with one of their customer service reps was so laughable I swear I was in one of my stories. I can’t believe people actually conduct business this way and actually survive monetarily.

Why can’t life just be easy? As Avril Lavigne once sang, “Why’d you have to go and make things so complicated?” It’s always a struggle no matter what. There are always conflicts, there are always messes, there’s always drama. I just want to be at peace! I saw this funny meme on social media the other day and I’m going to follow it’s advice. I’m starting my new year officially February 1st. January was just a pilot run which was poorly constructed. 2019 take two! Action!

Onward to bigger and better things. I am facing today on with laughter, love, and light. I am not walking into drama unnecessarily. I choose to be free and unbothered by a world that just wants to hurt me. I really just want a peaceful 2019 and to just get on with my writing and work on being the best possible version of myself that I can possibly be, good luck or bad luck be damned!

Evening Updates

blog january 9th 2019.png

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2019. 

I will keep this one brief tonight, folks. Just wanted to shoot a quick update on what I am currently up to lately. Been trying really hard to get my freelancing paid pursuits going while also working on my creative passion projects at the same time.

There are many things that I’m brewing at once and it feels really good to finally get my momentum and groove back that I had back in 2017. The dust has settled with the tumultuous entrance to 2019. I’m happier now, unencumbered by the strain and burden of my 2018 self. The skin has been shed and I am ready to embrace my new self as I embark on all of the adventures I have for myself in 2019.

I made a promise to myself that I won’t speak a word about upcoming projects until they are already released or at least at the pre-order stage. I am determined to stay focused and productive and I don’t want to set myself up for failure. I am overwhelmed in the best possible way as I dip my feathered pen in the ink well of creativity. I am literally so inspired and my materials are flowing well and I am excited for things to come.

I don’t really have much else to contribute today but I did want to make sure that I did post something even if it was just a simple update as to where I’m at creatively. I really am trying to find a happy balance between the paid aspect of writing as well as my dream projects. I am still getting my routine down and it’s been very fulfilling and fun to be quite frank. I haven’t felt this spiritually in tune with myself in a long, long time and it feels amazing. As I continue to gain momentum and produce piece after piece I feel myself becoming stronger in my writing skills. I am really digging deep within myself and finding things about myself that I was unaware of. I feel like the events that occurred at the beginning of the year awoken me spiritually and forced me to look down deep within myself and ask myself what I am really seeking in life and I am finding it slowly but surely in my writing.

I wish you all a pleasant evening! I’ll be sure to produce a more constructive blog tomorrow!

Recognizing the Strong and Ambitious Woman

blog january 8th 2019

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2019.

When I first decided I was leaving education back in 2016 to pursue writing full-time, I was terrified. I had spent my entire adult life as either a substitute teacher or full-time educator. I was always doing some sort of traditional job where someone signed my paychecks and I didn’t have to worry about how I was going to pay my own bills. Becoming a full-time writer wasn’t an easy transition for me. I spent my time, in the beginning, learning about how to go about building The Moonlit Goddess writing line. The whole process was a serious learning curve for me.

What genres would I focus on? What were my blogs going to be about? How would I go about reaching a loyal following? Would people criticize my writing? What happens if I suck? These were all things that were rushing through my mind. I tried to remain positive and tried my best to just focus on the day to day and like a baby learning how to swim for the first time, I just dove right in! Mistakes would be made. I’d learn and adjust and fine-tune and create what I have to say is an admirable and respectable writing line.

I learned a lot about myself since starting this venture. I learned that there are a lot of people out there who are envious of my passion, charisma, and positivity. I remember one conversation I had with a fellow educator, who has since died, told me once that when you’re doing something right in life, your stuff will be so good that people will want to steal from you!

I never really related to this bit of sage wisdom until very recently. I realized that if people are emulating what I am doing, then I must be doing something right!

2018 was a horrible year for me. I was stagnant in my writing, I was making excuses, I gained weight, I was depressed, miserable, I hated myself. I really was going nowhere fast. I was miserable in dealing with my dad every day. I feel horrible for what my dad is going through and I wouldn’t wish dementia on my own worst enemy but at the same time I am resentful to be caring for this man who, when I was growing up, would rather put on his shoes so fast to get away from his family than to celebrate a birthday, a holiday, or come to a spring concert, or sit with one of his kids when they were sick with colds. It takes a completely special individual to put all that hatred and negativity aside and provide the quality care my whole family is administering to my father now. There was just so much inner turmoil going on that I relied on another person, wrongly, as a safety crutch. I realize now what a huge mistake that was and how much I cheated myself in 2018.

2019 didn’t start off much better. My money is ever dwindling, I started the new year running to the bank to deposit one lousy dollar so my bank account wouldn’t be charged an overdraft fee when they extracted the monthly seven dollar fee, and getting into a minor fender bender. I laughed to myself at how I thought by doing that sage smudging/burning ceremony that it would somehow represent a new beginning for me in 2019 but I’m wondering if I just unleashed holy hell on myself and if this is what I’m meant to experience in 2019–one ridiculous flub after another!

I consider myself a strong and ambitious woman. I’ve been through the depths of hell, slapped on my war paint more times than I can count and entered the trenches of war-torn areas of the darkest parts of my psyche. I’ve been through worse in the past and this to me is nothing new and nothing that I can’t handle.

On a positive note, 2019 does have some shining moments. My writing has never been stronger, and I do have some leads on some freelance writing opportunities. As I stare at my ledger of the list of upcoming bills that are soon due, I know that the clock is ticking and I need to keep writing daily if I am to survive in this business. I also know that as a strong and ambitious woman, what makes me strong and ambitious are all of the twists and turns and the ups and downs. I can’t expect life to be a straightforward path. There will be tons of obstacles and tragedies that I will face and it is how I face them that matter, not the tragedies themselves that I must focus on and I know with that powerful knowledge in my hands I know that I am going to be just fine.