This is How We Do It

blog july 28th 2019.png

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

First of all, I’d like to thank each and every one of you for the overwhelming responses I received for the release of my second novella, John of Art! I am beyond touched and honored to have so many congratulations for this latest book of mine! This was the book that didn’t want to be written. With so many obstacles and twists and turns over the years, I’m so thrilled that this book was finally published.

For those of you who are interested in purchasing the book, for now, it’s only available through Amazon in paperback and Kindle e-book format, also e-book format through Nook, Kobo, iBooks, and anywhere e-books are sold. I am working on getting the paperback distributed through B&N, Lulu, and other outlets and will reveal that when it’s finally available that way as well. My wonderful voice over artist will be working on the audiobook soon and that will be out the end of August, early September and I will let you guys know when that’s available as well. There is a song that accompanies the book. If you purchase the paperback or ebook, the QR code scans directly to the song. I figured there’s no sense in waiting for everything little thing to be completely done when the book is just sitting there on Amazon so I decided to do a limited release for the paperback and e-book version through Amazon and trickle the remaining releases as they come over the next few weeks. If you’re interested in purchasing the book you can do so by clicking on the book cover below. Thanks again to everyone. I have never felt this loved! Hugs to all.

There is one thought-provoking phenomenon that I’d like to address based on the many comments, compliments, and praises I’ve been receiving regarding my latest book that has me thinking. One of the most common comments that I hear as an author when I talk to non-writers is “Oh, you wrote a book? I should write a book too!” Not only do I find this to be a backhanded compliment which, in my opinion at least, diminishes the accomplishment of the author and makes it seem like it’s such an easy task that any average Joe off the street can achieve this themselves, which they very well may, but there are some things many don’t consider.

There are issues many don’t realize when they decide they want to write a book. Writing the book is the easiest part of the whole journey, it’s what you do after the book is done that’s what really weeds out the weak. You have to shift away from being a consumer to being someone who wants to sell your product. An important thing to ask yourself too when you want to write a book is “Do I support other local writers?” If that answer is a hard no then ask yourself the next question, “If I don’t support local writers then what makes me think that other people will support my work?” I try my best to give shout outs, likes, and praises to fellow authors. Honestly, I just don’t have the funds to buy each and every book of authors that I really like but there are so many ways to show your support. Even a friendly shout out and kudos from a fellow writer is one of the greatest joys and pleasures that I get out of writing that surpasses the delight of actually publishing the book. I made a promise to myself that when I was financially set that I would buy books of fledgling artists but for now my praises are all I have to give.

I’ve been writing professionally since 2016, and I’ve learned the hard way that friends, family, acquaintances, etc. are not always going to be your target audience. Depending on what you write, your style of writing, what you’re trying to depict in your work may not resonate with those in your closest circle. You need to widen the net past those closest to you and start networking and talking to others and build a connection. The novelty wears off after the first book and your friends and family will buy less and less of your work. You need a fanbase and those who follow and support your mission and what you’re hoping to relay with your words. Writing is not a frivolous action. Writers write with meaning, with intention, with the hopes that with every word we write, our readers will decipher and decode our words to learn who we really are as human beings. Writing, to me, is my battle cry. Writing is my way of getting people’s attention to a certain issue that bothers me so that others will get just as passionate and join me in making the world just a little nicer for us all.

Marketing your work takes patience and takes hours of networking. Social media exchanges, blogging, podcasting, newspaper articles, interviews, etc. It’s a lot to digest. Building a writing community with other fellow writers and artists so you don’t feel like you’re in this all alone is paramount to any other action done to create a successful career as an author. A prospective writer needs to decide who they want their demographic to be. Consider why you are writing a piece and why should someone care that you’re writing? It’s so much more than saying here, here’s my book, now give me your money. No, it’s I’ve just poured my heart out on these pages, will you take a chance and read this book? And even though it’s a work of fiction, if you read between the lines, you’ll learn more about me than you’d ever hope to know.

Saying things like I should write a book too truly reduces the hard work that went into writing and presenting this work to others and makes it seem like just anyone can just pick up a pen and write and make a good book. I wrote about this in a blog a year ago where I stated that just because you can string words together in a sentence doesn’t make you a writer and just because you can write doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Everyone’s got a sob story. Everyone has a story they believe would make a great book. But there’s a significant gap between those who feel they could write a book compared to those who actually achieve that goal and make the book a success. I’ve known people who spent their whole lives just writing one novel. I also know people who can crank out book after book after book. Everyone is different. Writing is challenging. People are going to criticize you and diminish you and reduce you to minuscule proportions. Writers develop thick, reptilian skin and rejection and criticism comes with the territory of writing.

You will learn who your true friends are, who your true advocates and champions are, as well as the leeches who hang onto you for dear life hoping you’ll make it big so they have an excuse to follow you around wherever you head next in life and be able to say, “Hey, I know that person! She’s my friend!” When in actuality they are no friend of yours. Other questions to consider: Do you become self-published or traditionally published? What genre you want to write: poetry, short stories, screenplays, movie scripts, tv shows, Broadway plays, novels, fiction, nonfiction, romance, speculative fiction, etc.? Do you get an agent? Do you need an agent? What’s your budget for each work? Can you live without watching t.v., going out with friends and family, and living as a hermit for months until your work is finally finished? Who will edit your work? Are the people you choose to read your work willing to sign non-disclosure agreements? Do you have trustworthy people in your life that will give you helpful, supportive feedback that is not negative or mean-spirited? As a writer, you begin to weed people out of your life who don’t follow or support your mission as a writer. You are either Team me or you’re not. There’s no time for being on the fence or being unsupportive.

I have people who have been reading my blogs, listening to my podcast, and following me since I started writing day one and that is something that I cherish the most. Those who have proven themselves loyal and have stuck by me and have carried me through the worst patches of my life while also joining me in celebration during my triumphs. Life is a nasty road to navigate through and you cannot do it alone. It is an honor and privilege to have you all there alongside me throughout this Odyssey.

Also, the expenses for writing and working really hard trying not to get duped by companies desperately trying to steal your precious dollars for services you don’t need like editing, formatting, book cover creation, submitting to services like Amazon where it’s free to publish, book review services, etc. People just see the final product. The book. And everyone’s suddenly a writer and an expert. It’s a silly thing to say really. And those words shouldn’t be wasted. I don’t want to hear maybe you should write a book too. Come back to me when the statement becomes, “Look, I’ve written a book.” Then we’ll talk. Until then, saying congratulations followed by a period is sometimes all the commentary that’s needed. Thanks for the continued support and thanks to those who have or will purchase the new book. I cherish you all and look forward to new and exciting things that are yet to come.

 

Upon Wit’s End: How the Near-Fatal Sting of Rejection Invokes Passion

blog july 19th 2019 A

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

When I was twenty-eight years old, I was smack dab in the middle of working on my master’s degree. A few years prior, I had just gotten fired for the first time in my life and I was so lost, so depressed, and I was essentially an empty shell of a woman. I lived in my bathrobe as I wrote paper after paper trying to finish up my degree. I overate and ate the worst possible foods ever, I watched a lot of t.v., I played online Scrabble endlessly for hours when I wasn’t working on school work, and I isolated myself from the outside world. The only thing that was going right for me was my educational path which I clung to for dear life.

One afternoon, my sister came home from work and forwarded me this writing contest. She told me to give it a shot and that the prize money was worth at least entering. So I did. I wrote this short story called, “A Breath of Freedom,” which I happened to include in my Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 2, nearly ten years later. Anyhow, one day I received a letter saying that I had won third place in the competition and was awarded $500. At the time, I had never cried so hard with gratitude. I had desperately needed that cash. I was able to use that money to buy my family Christmas presents that year. It was a true Christmas miracle. I even took my mother and sister down to Princeton to receive my award. I was even in the newspaper for the first time in my life. That period in my life was truly momentous and I will always be grateful to my sister for passing along that opportunity. I also remember showing my father that piece of writing. This was way before his diagnosis with dementia. He was a writer and artist as well and I remember him telling me that my story was corny after he read it. Instead of congratulating his daughter and encouraging her to move forward with writing, I was met with resentment and jealousy. I shook it off and didn’t let that sully this incredible event that happened in my life. This came at a time I needed to regain confidence, regain faith, regain the belief that somehow, someway, everything was going to work out alright for me. I needed this push in the right direction. I went on to finish my masters and work on my doctorate subsequently after and spent several years after that substitute teaching and long-term subbing.

In 2016, I was once again at a difficult crossroads in my life. I was laid off from a really wonderful teaching gig I had acquired. Being done with schooling, and wanting to finally start my life, I, yet again, was ousted from this security net I was provided with and found myself once more lost, uncertain of the future, scared, and most of all poor. I had to do something, and fast. I had been wanting to be a writer for as long as I could remember. When I went to Virginia the first year for my residency hours while working on my doctorate, I came across several amazing individuals. This one person, I will never forget, said something so profound on the last day of our residency that it stayed with me to this day. He said to our professor, “You’ve awoken a passion within me that I never knew I had.” That is what writing provided for me. Writing gave me a voice, which I never had before. Writing gave me a passion, which I was never allowed to have before. Writing became my salvation, my redemption, my hope, my peace, my sanctuary, my escape from all that ailed me. Writing became my therapist, my best friend, my confidante. Writing became my past time, my joy, my anguish, my pain. I spent hours, upon hours writing down everything that had ever hurt me in my entire life–every painful memory that still entraps me to this day. Writing gave me a release, gave me a reason, an excuse to finally let things go. Writing gave me permission to finally be the human being I had always wanted to be. Writing gave me purpose–a reason to get up in the morning. Writing became the one and only thing that no one could take away from me.

Since I’ve started writing in 2016, I’ve released so many pieces through Amazon. For funding, I’ve submitted side pieces to hundreds of organizations, magazines, contests, freelance opportunities, etc. But I had not been able to have a lightning strike for me twice since that day in 2009 when I won my first contest. Ten years later, technology is booming at its highest peak. Social media is swelling with promising new writers who practically step over each other, so desperate to be heard. My work has persistently gone unnoticed for years. I receive rejection more than I hear praise. If it wasn’t for my voice over artist/editor/mentor/newfound friend I’d quit completely. She has become such an advocate for my writing and encourages me to keep going every day.

 

blog picture july 19th, 2019

Writing provides me with so many ups and downs emotionally. There are some days where I feel so triumphant for how successful I was with my writing progress. I can belt out six thousand words in a day no problem and re-read everything and I feel such pride for how much I have grown as a writer over the years. Then there are the setbacks when I receive yet another discouraging rejection letter. I feel trapped sometimes. I feel like time is running out for me. Heavily in debt and fearful for my future, I often wonder how I became this foolish. I often blame myself and punish myself for not being “normal” like everyone else. I hate that I’m different. I hate that I stand out. I hate that my path has always been more difficult than other people. I just want to be like everyone else. But I know I never will be.

It’s been one heck a year for me. I have had to re-teach myself how to be strong and independent and break myself away from that mentality of being someone’s fiance. I hated that at first. I resented it even. I felt like Bella Swan from Twilight during the time she was away from Edward. You live your life and the time passes by around you but you’re not living. You’re barely breathing. You’re barely eating. You have no memory of the months that zoomed past you. You’re just surviving. Surviving was the very least my body was capable of in those lonely winter months. But then the sun comes out one day and its bright triumphant beams hit you smack dab in the eyes in the early morning and you wake up finally transformed and metamorphosed and you think, “Finally.” You finally breathe, eat, smell that fresh air, and feel the magnitude of what you’ve been through. You recall the harsh lessons learned. You become more protected, more guarded, more aware of your surroundings. You trust less, but you’re still you to the outside world, just this more polished version. I am not my mistakes. I am not my past. I am not my failures. I’m more than that. Way more. And with every rejection I receive, I’m only that much more determined to keep trying. To keep improving. To keep writing like I’ve never written before. If you don’t believe in me, who cares, I’ll keep writing until I find someone who will believe in me. I don’t write for you. I write for me. I write to keep going in this crazy world. I write for meaning, for inspiration, for perspective, for peace, for sanity. I write to make others see that triumph really does spawn from tragedy if you just keep going and let that sun reach your face. I will not give up. I will not allow you or anyone else to dampen my spirit any longer. Reject my words but somehow, somewhere, someway, someone will embrace me and I cannot wait for that day and tell you all about it.

PSG Lopes/The Moonlit Goddess’ Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/psglopes

No One

blog pic july 16th, 2019

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

I am a little late to the party when it comes to Game of Thrones. I am in the process of a major binge of the series and I am about to embark upon season eight, episode three. I have done very well avoiding all spoilers and despite all of the heartbreak and sadness that the series delves into each season, there are so many valuable moments to pick apart at and consider that are worth discussing.

One major storyline that really struck me involved the wonderfully written character, Arya Stark. This poor young girl endured so much throughout the series and instead of floundering and balking, she persisted and became stronger, more determined, and more resilient. With each heartbreak of watching or hearing of the death of her family members and other massively upsetting setbacks in this young individual’s life, she, to me, embodies true power and strength.

The part of the series I was most impressed by was Arya’s journey in Braavos apprenticing under Jaqen H’ghar and the waif to become one of the Faceless Men assassins. All of these scenes were so striking from where Arya learned to tell stories about her fictitious personas and learning to make them sound believable, to the moments where despite wanting so much to believe she was “no one,” she stubbornly hid and buried her precious Needle as a means of maintaining a link to her origins.

Like every strong and powerful woman in the real world, no woman wants to compromise her own values in order to fit in or advance. And no woman should. Arya knew she wanted to be a Faceless Man assassin, but she did not want to lose who she was, all she knew was Arya Stark. That was her identity, her whole way of being. After getting beaten, chastised, blinded, and nearly killed several times, she finally learned the lesson she was meant to learn. She was not no one. She’s fucking Arya Stark. And she can do it all. She can be Arya Stark and the Faceless Man and whoever the fuck else she wants to be. One of the most satisfying moments was her last encounter with Jaqen H’ghar when she told him flat out, “I’m Arya Stark,” after she places the waif’s face in one of the spaces on the wall and he nods in acceptance and lets her leave.

I saw the parallels in my own life and my own struggles as a writer and living my life each and every day trying to make myself known and respected in the writing world. I’m unremarkable to the naked eye. A “no one,” if you will. You could walk past me on the street and feel nothing towards me, other than possibly pity, by how disheveled I’ve become due to extreme poverty along with my bouts of depression and anxiety. I am a beaten woman. But I’m far from defeated. I know my worth and I will keep writing. I will keep screaming in word form to show the world that I have value and that what I have to say has meaning and is worth knowing. And when I finally prove victorious, I will have my moment of shouting to the world that I am someone. I am The Moonlit Goddess!

My second novella, John of Art, is completed and is in the formatting and publishing phase. I am trying not to be hasty with its release because I want to make sure there are no formatting errors or other aesthetic issues before finally publicizing the release of this novella. Also, it is in pre-production for the audiobook as well. Special thanks to Chris for serving as a beta-reader for my novella, offering her advice and guidance, and also for agreeing to voice the audiobook for John of Art. True loyalty is a very rare thing in this day and age. I am very fortunate to have her in my life. She has never said anything negative and as a true educator, she beams with positivity and encouragement and knows that gentle push to steer me in the right direction without a word of malice or a negative petty or jealous slight that I’ve been met with by several people whom I thought were friends of mine. It is a rare gift having someone like that in my circle and I am perpetually grateful.

In the spirit of Prime Day, if you are interested in obtaining the audiobook for free for A Wynter’s Tale, the first novella in my Seasons of Change novellas, you may do so by redeeming one of the promo codes below and using the appropriate link below to redeem the code. I thank you for anyone who downloads the audiobook and if you listen and like it, please offer a review either through Audible, Amazon, or iTunes. I appreciate you all taking the time to do that. A Wynter’s Tale is the first novella in the series. John of Art is the second book in the series and should be released in August. I will let you all know as soon as it is available. Thanks, everyone for your continued support and continued readership. It means everything to me. Sorry I have not been very active blogging. I have really been working hard not only publishing the book but also writing away for some paid pursuits. I am really trying my best to get some funding for future projects and it’s hard for me to juggle social media, blogging, podcasting, and freelancing along with the publishing responsibilities as well. I thank you so much for your continued patience. I am very eager and excited to present John of Art to you all.

This little book was an idea I’ve been sitting on for two years. After many false starts, it took me six weeks to write, along with two more weeks added on to create the book cover, blurbs, edit, format, publish, etc. I do it all myself (with Chris serving as my second set of eyes for fine-tuning! Thank you!). So I’m spread rather thin at the moment.

Without further ado, here are the links for the free audiobook downloads. Just take one of the codes and redeem it in the corresponding link whether you’re in the US or UK:

Audible Page: A Wynter’s Tale

Promo Codes for A Wynter’s Tale:

For UK Listeners:

63YY6XLB44SX2

6SD66HTRRHZ5K

86WWER9THC4UL

9MFBR9DYZTWRY

A7W8DJA3QRCK8

UK link to Redeem Code:  https://audible.co.uk/acx-promo

For US Listeners:

2YWGDZFK55E82

3SAWYYYYBSP5U

5M3LUUT8JKEBK

5MQ4KUELAE2K4

6PAGMCWSY9ZRW

US link to Redeem Code: https://audible.com/acx-promo

Also, if you are interested in my other works you can check all of them out below. Just click on the picture and it will direct you straight to my Amazon Author Page. All of my books are available in ebook Kindle and paperback format on Amazon. Thanks so much for your continued support and patronage.

PSG Lopes/The Moonlit Goddess Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/psglopes

My Thoughts Moving Forward

blog post 2019 june 25th

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES, UNLESS EXPLICITLY EXPRESSED OTHERWISE. FEATURED PHOTO TODAY IS FROM HIDDEN TRANSFORMATIONS COLORING BOOK PUBLISHED BY MINDWARE 2007. ALL RESPECTIVE RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019. 

I realize it has been a hot minute since I have posted anything on my blog. I have been going through some personal issues that I needed to take care of in order to move forward with my writing and other ventures.

As many of my readers are already aware of, I have been a lifelong sufferer of depression and anxiety. I sought help in 2002 right after college but I didn’t stick with the regimen because my doctor ended up dying and I was sick of feeling like utter crap and no one helping me or understanding me that I went rogue and stopped going to therapy and quit the medicine I was taking cold turkey. Until then, I’ve endured many hardships but I’ve had some happy moments mixed in and was able to compartmentalize my depression and anxiety and bounce myself back to my own state of equilibrium and I was able to function in my own way. Yes, the underlying issues still remained but I was able to be a functioning depressed and anxious person for a very long time.

This year, I’ve faced one hardship too many and this was the very first time in my adult life that I found it virtually impossible to bounce back the way that I needed to in order to continue being a productive member of society. I just couldn’t handle things on my own anymore. The very last straw was how I was treated at my old doctor’s office in early May. I snapped and decided that enough was enough. I have been shit on my entire life and I wasn’t going to allow anyone else to speak to me in the way that I was spoken to that day. That was the very last day I was ever going to allow people to speak to me like I was lower than they were. I have accomplished so much in my life, so much more than most around me. I am not nothing. I have value and I deserve to be treated like everyone else. Today’s photo is a coloring book page that I found from a book in 2007. When I first saw the picture I thought it looked like me in my twenties, that’s why I liked it so much. Upon coloring the photo, the picture came to life to me and I wished I was that person in that photo: strong, powerful, beautiful, graceful, and poised, instead of the falling down mess I became in my thirties.

I realized I desperately needed help and the first step to getting that help was seeking out a new primary doctor. Due to the limitations of my insurance, I had to settle for another male doctor. I was very nervous going into the appointment the first time. I was grateful that my mom was able to go with me both times that I went so far. Thanks, mom! I have developed this new mantra based on Adelita’s Way song “Ready for War.” They sing, “I pray for peace but I’m ready for war.” That’s my new mantra. I go into every new situation hoping for a peaceful interaction but secretly my fists are clenched and I’m ready to fight holy hell if I have to to get to a healthy place mentally and physically. I went into my doctor’s appointment, not at all hopeful and waiting for the same spiel, “You’re fat, lose weight, here’s a bunch of prescription, come back in six months.” But what I found, pleasantly surprised me. He just had this positive aura about him right from walking into the room. I just knew instantly that I could trust him. I spoke to him, choking back tears, bravely telling him every single thing that had been holding me back for years and he not only listened, he handed me tissues, he gave me permission to feel how I felt, he gave me permission to relax and just let life happen, and not bear the burdens of the entire world on my shoulder. He is teaching me to tackle one thing at a time and that I can do what I can but I’m not a failure if I can’t do it all in one day. I was so relieved to finally find someone who fucking understands. I waited twenty years to hear those words even though, I really needed that every day my whole damn life.

I am finally getting my life back on track. I did bloodwork and I’m happy to report that I’m a fucking healthy thirty-eight-year-old woman! Fuck the assholes who are so concerned about my weight. I’m metabolically healthy and I’m proud of my body and I don’t need to fit into the standards of society. I go for walks when I can, and I mix good food with the bad so fuck everyone else who has a problem with me. This bitch is fat and she’s most likely staying this way for a while, at least until I get my shit together.

I am going back to therapy, I also made appointments for other doctors like gynecologist, dermatologist, etc. I finally feel like I have control over my life again. Everything was collapsing around me beginning this new years eve with my breakup, my dad nearly dying, and just trying to deal with all of the drama around me. The force field around me that I used to protect myself was weakening and I couldn’t hold on any longer. I was so relieved to unleash all of my heart’s burdens to my doctor. Like Carrie Underwood’s song, “Jesus Take the Wheel,” I’m not a religious woman, but I was so the personification of that sentiment that day. I gave all of my burdens to my doctor and he was more than happy to take them away from me, give me permission to feel, and help me acknowledge that I won’t get the answers that I crave for closure and described my life experiences as a gallery in an art museum and he said that some exhibits I can visit freely pain-free, but some I’m going to have to put a tarp over and walk by and that’s okay. Sometimes things just don’t get resolved no matter how much I grieve or revisit, or self-blame, or torture myself over. Shit happens basically. I needed to hear that more than anyone will ever know. I want to thank that man so much for not only saving my life, but seeing my life as something worth saving. He will never quite understand the immensity of his words that first day. Even his entire staff was helpful and kind and that meant the entire world to me too. So, thank you!

That all helped me put things into perspective and help re-set my mindset for my writing and other future ventures. I am a little behind on my editing of John of Art but I still have the tentative release date for both the song and the book as August 15th. I really want to make sure that this book is absolutely perfect. I don’t have any means of recording the song in a way that is professional so I’m just going to sing it and place it on my Bandcamp account when I’m releasing the book on the same day and will be sure to post links for both. If you noticed my Amazon Author Page, I did release the song lyrics already to the
John of Art song. It’s available for 99 cents for the Kindle, if anyone is interested in supporting me and getting a glimpse of song lyrics, I’d appreciate your support and feedback. You can access this and my other works on my Amazon Author Page here: amazon.com/author/psglopes

I found a wonderful resource in Amanda Palmer’s book, The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help. This book opened my eyes for a lot of reasons. I always felt like a loser asking people for donations for my work. I first utilized crowdfunding in 2014 when I was hoping to finish my phd. I ran out of funding for the oral defense and sought out the help of others. I will never forget my cousin, Julie, gave me one hundred dollars. I felt so touched by this gesture. I was not accustomed to having family believe in me and when she told me that she believed in me that moment changed me forever. Even though I didn’t meet my goal for the crowdfunding, I never forgot her kindness and I always promised myself to return the favor somehow someday but I never was in a position to do so. I was always struggling and coming up for air my whole life. But I want her to know that I will never forget that one moment of pure kindness. That moment taught me so much. It taught me that there are still amazing people out there. It taught me that there’s no shame in asking for help when you’ve exhausted all your other options. I’ve learned that it’s not being pathetic or foolish reaching out and asking for others’ help. I have just befriended an individual who lives in the deep south and he told me that in that area they are big on being neighborly and that’s what’s missing in the area in which I live, that long-lost concept of neighbors helping out neighbors.

I no longer feel foolish in asking for help when I need it. I feel that what I’m doing is powerful and can help a lot of people and I wish to continue fighting for my work. If others come along and help I’ll always be greatly appreciative but I’m no longer going to see it as modern day panhandling. Especially in the arts where people have to fight tooth and nail to keep art alive nowadays. Every bit of help counts and matters, as long as we work together to keep art thriving and alive.

On that note, I do have a Patreon account mostly for professional editing services and to produce my song professionally. If you are interested in taking a look you’ll find that page here: www.patreon.com/themoonlitgoddess

I thank you all as always for coming back and checking up on me and what I’ve got going on in my life. I hope that my words prove helpful and encourages others to seek help if they need it. What I’ve learned from my ordeal is you have to be persistent and not give up after the first try. You have to shout louder and louder each time until someone finally hears you. There are people out there who will listen. I wish you all a productive and fruitful week full of laughter, love, hope, and friendship. Let us continue to be good to one another and lift each other up when things are not going well in our lives. Judgment has no place at my dinner table.

The Majestic Wonderland that Became A Wynter’s Tale

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

I wanted to continue the theme these past two weeks about my previous works. Since I just finished the first draft of my second novella, John of Art, yesterday I decided to utilize today’s blogging time writing about my first novella, A Wynter’s Tale.

These novellas are under the Seasons of Change theme of The Moonlit Goddess Writing Line. The goal for my novellas is to present modern day parables. The Seasons of Change novellas can be of any genre: romance, speculative fiction, mystery, horror/thriller, etc. as long as there is a central theme depicting a parable, moral, etc.

The plan was to do winter, spring, summer, and fall when I was writing these novellas but that didn’t work out that way. I wrote A Wynter’s Tale in two weeks in December of 2016 and then I self-published the novella in January 2017. I was so excited to release my first novella. This work also featured my own artwork for the book cover. The picture was taken right from my own backyard in the middle of winter! My mom even had the picture blown up and framed and she hangs it up every winter with her winter decor in our dining room. I am so proud of that photo and to me, it just signifies hope and a brighter future.

A Wynter’s Tale was first made into a paperback and Kindle ebook through Amazon but earlier this year I met the wonderful Chris Kenworthy who worked with me to create an audiobook for this little novella of mine and she absolutely rocked it! She gave me chills at how talented she is. She absolutely nailed my main characters, Lin and Wynn. She gave a voice to two of my most favorite characters to date. She made the funny scenes funnier and the more somber scenes just the right tone. I was so wildly proud of her and of this finished piece. The end result is astounding and I look forward to hearing more of her work in the future!

A Wynter’s Tale is a simple tale of a woman, Lin, who had a sad past even though she was brought up by a rich family. A particular trauma that happened to her when she was a young adult, shaped the woman she would later become. Having cold feet and desperate for adventure, she befriends Wynter, an equally disillusioned man who was also frustrated over the hand he was dealt in life. They serendipitously met and ended up going on a wild adventure. The genre for this novella was more on the romance side. The overall theme and life lesson I went for was subtle but basically was that bad things happen to everyone. Sometimes we understand the lesson we are meant to learn and sometimes we don’t get the answers in life that we are desperate to find. If you are unhappy with your life there is always a chance for change. The people around us are our greatest motivators. If we are surrounded by toxic people, that kind of awakens us and gives us the push we need to find better around us. That’s the main goal for this particular novella.

The sequel, John of Art, does feature the same characters along with new ones and takes place in the same fictitious Wister Bay, Maine. The genre and themes of John of Art are completely different. Although John of Art does have some romantic elements, I would not classify this as a romance. Contemporary fiction is more likely where I’d classify this novella with subtle hints of romance, mystery, drama, and that same modern parable vibe as the first one. There are hints of humor in this book like A Wynter’s Tale but this book is a little more serious. I wanted to test myself as a writer and each book is going delve into a completely different genre and different lesson. I want to expand my horizons and see which genre feels more comfortable for me to write. John of Art also takes place in the summer months.

One thing that I’m doing differently for John of Art is releasing a song single alongside the release of this book. I am particularly thrilled about this. Now that the first draft of my novella is written, I am going to work on my revisions and tweaking this week before passing it on for beta readers next week. Now that the novella is off my mind, for now, I am working on making the single happen. I am trying to get it done so that I can release them both together. I worked really hard on both and I hope that everyone who was a fan of A Wynter’s Tale will enjoy this book just as much if not more!

This book was met with a lot of resistance. A lot of people out there are filled with hatred, who don’t have and have never had my back. If it wasn’t for my amazing mother, sister, and the small handful of people out there who have shown me such kindness and unwavering support, I don’t know where I’d be. For those real-world villains out there, all I can say is thanks for serving as the accelerant to my fire that ever-rages with each negative action or word displayed. Thanks for making me angrier and more determined and more passionate and more persistent and more motivated and stronger than ever. With each work that I publish, I prove to myself that I am not the problem, those who remain stagnant in their own miserable lives who despise other people who work hard for a better existence, those are the people who really need to look into themselves, past the aesthetics of vanity and ask themselves what they are doing wrong in their lives. Instead of wasting time on fruitless efforts and dead-end streets, anyone with the drive and determination can make their own dreams a reality. And one of the greatest lessons I learned for myself, is that you are never too old and it is never too late to fulfill your destiny for greatness!

The next two books in the Seasons of Change line will be Shadows on Elm (Fall) and The Frenzy Initiative (Spring). I am not planning those any time soon. 2019 is pretty booked with my next projects but I do have the basic gist of each story outlined and those are TBA in 2020 some time. Thank you to everyone who continues visiting and reading my blogs. You all mean the world to me!

For this work and others please check out my Amazon Author Page here: amazon.com/author/psglopes

Also, please visit my Patreon page for those who may be interested in donating. Even a five dollar pledge would be incredibly helpful. All pledges receive some sort of incentive reward. This is all explained here: www.patreon.com/themoonlitgoddess

 

 

 

The Wrong Kind of White

blog post june 10th 2019

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

When I was a kid I was aware that my family and I were of Portuguese descent but I never really truly understood what that meant until I was much older. My initial observations of the culture happened to be negative and I found myself isolating myself from the Portuguese culture and focusing more on American traditions.

Aside from my dark hair and Portuguese features, everything else about me was Americanized. I enjoyed American foods, American music, American fashion, American actors, and so on. I never learned how to speak Portuguese either so I never really identified with that part of myself. I remember when I was growing up that all of our holidays incorporated Portuguese traditions. My mother would make Portuguese cuisine and desserts. My father was very active in the Portuguese community and was involved in many organizations for writers, artists, and teachers of the Portuguese culture. He used to drag us to different events when we were kids and I hated it. I always felt out of place. Everyone spoke a language I didn’t understand but regardless of the language barrier, there was something I understood even without translation. I was fat and that was something that always stood out to this culture. They didn’t want you to starve, there’s was always plenty of food and drink on the table, but heaven forbid you were heavy! The conflicting opinions held by this culture was unsavory to me and made me want to separate myself from them even further.

I visited Portugal once when I was seven years old. Both sets of grandparents lived in Portugal but I was only close to my maternal grandparents. We visited them the summer of 1988 and I remember so much of that trip even though it was over thirty years ago. I remember the foods, the smells, the beautiful locale of my grandparent’s home, and I remember the people. This trip would mean more to me as an adult than it did when I was a child.

When I graduated high school, I started exhibiting my first signs of independence. When I had to get my financial aid settled for college I realized that I wasn’t going to get any grants or anything. Although my name sounded ethnic, I am categorized as white. I have this conundrum of having a Latina sounding name but categorically I am white. I was never afforded any kind of special treatment. I was stereotyped and discriminated against because of my name, yet people considered me white.

When I got my drivers license, my name was truncated in order to have my name fit on my driver’s license. When I fought the woman at the DMV she asked me if I was a citizen of this country and I knew I was fighting a losing battle. The racist woman’s true colors became visible and no matter how much I fought the bitch, I wasn’t going to win and now every single time I show someone my driver’s license I have to delve into my pre-prepared speech as to why I sound like a not quite de facto Star Wars character.

This would be the general theme throughout my entire adult life. I realized that I didn’t fit in with the Portuguese culture because I didn’t speak Portuguese and I wasn’t a stereotypical Portuguese woman. I didn’t enjoy the Rancho and I don’t wear multi-colored outfits and dance and drink red wine on Portugal Day. I don’t enjoy random pig parts mulled together into an unsavory stew. I don’t like fado music. I don’t visit the Ironbound. I’m not a part of any Portuguese associations.

I’m not American enough, or white enough either. My parents both speak Portuguese. They both have accents. I didn’t realize that my parents were different until I was about fourteen years old. My mother encountered two separate incidents of discrimination. Once I was at the furniture store with her and she was looking for a new sofa and the man explained something to my mom. My mom got snippy with the man because he changed his policy and was not forthright about it. As punishment for my mom asserting herself, he blamed it on her accent and not understanding what he was telling her. I was so angry on her behalf, not just because of the insult, but it was also a sexist remark. The mere thought of women asserting themselves makes men feel the need to denigrate and degrade us.

Another incident involved a neighbor we befriended when we first moved to New Jersey. She was an elderly woman who was old-school racist. She would use horribly racist words and we tended to avoid her or just be polite and say hello and goodbye. My mom got into a fight with her once and she insulted my mom basically calling her an immigrant and to go back to her own country. This became a common theme in our lives.

I spent my whole adult life trying to find my place in the world. I have no identity. I feel that both sides of the coin have betrayed me at some point. I have felt bullied and oppressed because of my name. This name that weighs down on me yet I still keep more to prove a point than because of pride. I spent my whole life educating people that my name is pronounced Lopes as in slopes not Lopez with a “z.” When I was in elementary school, I even had a teacher tell me that I didn’t know how to pronounce my own last name. I even went home to confirm that it was indeed Lopes as in slopes and my dad laughed and told me my teacher was a bitch. So from then on, I got that whole “us vs. them” vibe not only from the Portuguese culture but from the American culture as well.

I never fit in with the Portuguese crowd. I went to a very diverse college, which I loved, but I failed to really belong in any one crowd. I enjoyed talking to everyone. I remember there being a big Portuguese community in that college but I was never welcomed in their club. I wasn’t one of the “cool kids,” which was fine with me because they appeared fake and two-faced anyhow and I associated the Portuguese culture, at the time, with lacking in authenticity. My limited scope of my culture was always with people who I viewed as snobs and unwelcoming which made me hate the culture.

I remember moving to New Jersey and my neighbors to one side of our home were never very nice to us and they clearly are very racist as well. They had a daughter close to my age that they kept away from me because apparently being Portuguese was contagious.

I also remember taking a test in New York City to become a teacher and I was actually accused of cheating because I got near perfect scores. Apparently, you can’t have a name like mine and be smart too. I called them out on their racism and threatened to get the ACLU involved over it. I was just so sick and tired of the blatant racism and discrimination and oppression.

When I decided to finally become a writer full-time I was faced with a very important decision. Would I keep my name or would I develop a pen name? I thought about it a lot. This was a major decision for me. I was tempted to choose the name, Simone Lawler. Was I really going to be that person who hid her cultural identity for the sake of sales? And then I decided that I would keep my name; however, I would abbreviate it since my name is rather long. Those are my full initials and my own last name. This was the name my father gave me and I was not going to be ashamed of it. I wasn’t going to let the ignorance and blind hatred of others get to me. I realized that being a writer is a huge responsibility. My ultimate goal is to maintain my authenticity and I aim to be relatable and educational and responsible in what I write. I want to teach others to do better, to be better, and the way that I accomplish that is through my writing.

Now at thirty-eight, I am much happier and secure with my cultural identity. I embrace it and realize that just like everywhere else you’re going to meet good people and bad people and that’s with any culture. Just because I had a few bad experiences with the Portuguese crowds as a kid, that doesn’t mean that every single Portuguese individual is like that. I just had very limited exposure to individuals of my culture. Now, I have a lot of respect for my culture, I’m fully immersed in the foods, music, and rich history. I am proud of who I am. I am proud of my parents and all of the hardships they endured when they first moved to this country in the 60s. They are two of the strongest people I’ve ever known and my heart swells with pride for them both.

There are so many differences out there. That’s what makes us so interesting as human beings. Every single one of us has an amazing story to tell and it is worth listening to. To shun someone because of who they are is so ignorant and quite frankly boring. I am so bored of racist people who choose to remain willfully ignorant. I feel so sad for close-minded people who will never get a chance to know all of the wonderful people out there. I feel it truly is their loss! I’m done explaining myself, explaining who I am, explaining why my name is the way it is. This isn’t Ellis Island circa the 1800s. We are in 2019 and what do we have to show for it? What has changed really? There’s still so much work to be done!

Thank you for taking the time to read today’s blog. If you are interested in checking out my books, please visit my Amazon Author Page here: amazon.com/author/psglopes.

Also, please view my Patreon page here: www. patreon.com/themoonlitgoddess

I am looking to acquire funding for an editor and to create a song single for my upcoming release, John of Art, coming late summer 2019. Even a $5 donation would help. Thanks so much and I hope that you are all doing well.

 

The Melancholy Dance That Became My Battle Cry: Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 3: The Wilted Perennials of Yesteryear

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

Continuing this week’s theme of revisiting each of my written work, I decided to write about my last and latest poetry anthology: Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 3: The Wilted Perennials of Yesteryear. Today’s blog discusses what my inspirations were, where I came up with the concept for this piece, and why it defined this new and improved version of myself for 2019.

2019 didn’t start off at all how I had anticipated. 2018, 11:59 p.m. Ireland time, 6:59 p.m. EST, New Year’s Eve. This was the last minute that I had a fiance, I had the prospect of a life in Ireland, I had hope for a brighter future that wasn’t filled with misery, depression, hopelessness, anxiety, extreme and painful poverty, and sheer and utter disgust and hatred for myself as a failure of a human being. My ex filled ideas in my head that I could have a fulfilling life with him and I wanted so much to believe that. I so wanted to be that girl in those fairy tales that were whisked away by Prince Charming and finally had her happily ever after. I salivated at the thought with the prospect of change and hope that this man would be my one true love and I would live and die with him happily in our little love nest in the middle of nowhere in Ireland. That’s the life I had hoped to have and at the time I couldn’t imagine anything better.

I am so impressed by how the next turn of events occurred because they truly felt like a plot from a movie. Midnight struck, his time. I decided to go and look into his Facebook page and kept clicking on pictures, and other people’s FB pages on his feed and then BOOM! The reveal. And it wasn’t what you’d expect. Yes, a betrayal but not of the cheating variety. My heart sank. A huge part of me died that evening. I wanted to die that evening. Everything I ever hoped for died in just sixty seconds. Spending my entire life pretty much being morbidly obese, you pretty much have it drilled in your head that no man will ever love you and you’re going to die miserable and alone with eight million cats. This man changed that perception for me. Before I found out he had betrayed me, he made me feel loved and made me feel that I was worthy of someone else’s love. Weight didn’t matter to him. We are inseparable. Two peas in a pod. Twin Flames. Or so he had me believe.

I’m not going to delve into much deeper into the events that occurred because that’s not the point of this blog. The point is what happened afterward. After making a clean break, I decided that 2019 would be a time to find myself again. Recapture the momentum I had previously before I met this guy and learn to live life with just me again. Being with him for two years, I was nestled in this safety cocoon. The best way to describe the feeling is that feeling you get after reading a really good book series and when you’re finally done you happen to look up around you and realize you are not part of that book series. You have a life of your own and you must continue on living that same dreary life. Upon looking up and seeing the world for what it truly was, I was so depressed, so scared, so uncertain about everything. I felt like a complete loser, a failure, someone who couldn’t even be successful in a relationship. At that moment, I felt like I was indeed the biggest fuck up on the planet. I have literally ruined every single thing I’ve ever had. Being engaged granted me a sense of pride and I loved being this person’s fiancee. I loved the exotic belief that I was going to move overseas. (My box of crap is still there which I will never see again in this lifetime). But there was something about him that in the back of my mind I knew I couldn’t trust. I had intended to go to Ireland in September 2018, but I completely choked and ended up not going. First of all, having crippling anxiety I am not good even in a car by myself so I didn’t have much hope that I could get on a plane alone. My mom had asked my fiance to come here first so that I could fly with him and he declined. My mom told me right then and there that that was a surefire sign that he was not the right one for me. I also was reluctant to leave because my father was pretty unstable at the time and I just didn’t feel right leaving my mom and brother with him while my other siblings were working full-time. They relied on my assistance and I knew that they were not going to be okay without me.

There were so many things running in the back of my mind, but there was also a lack of trust of him from the beginning. He was erratic, flighty, flaky, switching from job to job. He was poor too and he just wasn’t solidifying on a path that would bring him prosperity. I ignored the warning signs despite my family’s pleas. I was deeply in love. Being in love was a potent drug. One that I had never really experienced before and one that I hope to never experience again. The whole ordeal was so troublesome and I’m only now feeling somewhat comfortable in my own skin again.

One of the constant themes of our relationship dealt with farming, flowers in general, geraniums, wildflowers, etc. So upon our breakup, I derived the concept of the Wilted Perennials of Yesteryear as the title of my latest poetry anthology. Perennials being flowers which grow back every year. We had talked about growing our own vegetables, flowers, etc. on his land. So that theme always intrigued, impressed, and inspired me. The idea of them being wilted to me, symbolized the loss of dreams, loss of hope, loss of a better existence. He promised me a pre-Raphaelite existence. A life where we stood hand in hand walking into the multi-colored hues of the fiery sunset experiencing all of life’s ups and downs together. But that was ripped away and is now but a distant memory that seems like several lifetimes ago but yet having it only happened last year, hence my use of the word yesteryear.

I started working on this anthology right away as the new year started. I had compiled all of my floral photography that I had taken over the years and then furiously wrote poem after poem after poem of heartache, loss, betrayal, disappointment, disgust, hatred, madness, sadness, desolation, bereavement, anguish and pain. I not only wrote about my ex but wrote about feminism, about the pain of my dad’s illness, frustrations of family life, and even included a short horror story which I called “The Clown-Covered Canvas” which was inspired by two paintings I found in my dad’s closet as I was reorganizing the attic to convert into my bedroom/office space.

All of this work together became what is now known as Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 3: The Wilted Perennials of Yesteryear. This piece was so much more than just poetry to paper. This piece helped me merge into the woman I am today because of the events that occurred at the beginning of the new year. It made me stronger, more confident in my work, and was really the first piece that made me feel like a true writer. Unfortunately, this piece is the most expensive piece I have up on Amazon and that’s because it’s a fully colorized photographic experience that accompanies each poem and story. Like Volume 2, it’s colorized and expensive because it costs a lot to print colorized photographs and digital art. This piece deserved to be in full color. To me, the colors added to the imagery of the poetry.

I incorporated a lot of different types of poetry in this piece too. Volume 2 featured my first attempt at an epic poem. For Volume 3; however, I wrote sonnets, limericks, haikus, elegies, couplets, free verse, acrostics, villanelles, sestinas, ekphrastic poetry, concrete poetry, epigrams, ballads, epitaphs, tankas, odes, and more! I really utilized my skills and challenged myself to branch out and try new writing techniques and I definitely feel this was my most mature piece to date. I’m highly proud of this book. What is most amazing was this was the first writing piece that was featured in a newspaper article since 2009. In 2009, I won the 3rd place prize for the Ella T. Grasso award sponsored by UNICO. The prize was for my short story “A Breath of Freedom” which is featured in my Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 2: The Storm Over Vermillion Fields. The newspaper article spawned much-needed confidence to seek out other methods of advertising my work. It also inspired me to reach out and interview a fellow creative for the first time on my own Podcast. So the broken version of me merged with this new, improved version of myself who believes in herself and the work that she presents to the world.

This book will always signify to me who I am now and how I should never sacrifice or compromise my values and standards for anyone and that being alone is better than being with someone who makes you feel alone. The Wilted Perennials of Yesteryear is a book for any woman who wishes to regain their sense of strength, to reclaim their power and aims to provide the confidence, the perseverance, and resilience to overcome any adversities and challenges life has thrown at us. This piece is my love letter to any woman who felt wronged or betrayed or blindsided. For every woman who felt slighted, embarrassed, shamed, gaslighted… As the great and powerful Chaka Khan sang, “I’m every woman.” Thank you for reading today’s blog!

For this and all of my other works please visit my Amazon Author Page here: amazon.com/author/psglopes.

VISIT THE MOONLIT GODDESS PATREON PAGE HERE

 

Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 2: The Storm Over Vermillion Fields–My Most Wildly Misunderstood Piece To Date

Vol 2 final front cover

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

My second poetry anthology book, Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 2: The Storm Over Vermillion Fields was an ambitious piece. The concept of  The Storm Over Vermillion Fields was to create an epic poem. I used John Milton’s Paradise Lost as inspiration in terms of structure. It certainly wasn’t as long as Paradise Lost but I learned a lot about epic poems and how to write one and found this piece to be inspirational and useful in terms of how I wanted my epic poem to look. I did countless research on the structure and how exactly an epic poem should be written, what its goal and objective were and how to ensure that it came across in a meaningful way to my readers.

This piece differed from Volume 1 in many ways. Where Volume 1 featured thirty poems back to back, Volume 2 had the highlight major epic poem The Storm Over Vermillion Fields and then featured short stories, poetry, and other free writes throughout the remainder of the book. The book was fully illustrated with my own photography and digital art. This was also the first book that I created that was more costly because of its rich and colorful content. The printing process is costly in itself and therefore the price is rather high for such work.

There was also a lot of misconception as far as the title was concerned. The word “vermillion” and my choice of spelling happened to be controversial to some. People see that there’s an extra “L” and the Grammar Nazi’s have a shit fit. But the extra “L” was indeed intentional. The word “vermilion” is a color–a reddish hue. Now, I liked the word itself because vermilion was the color red and the epic poem does include an epic battle, so the imagery of seeing a storm in a field full of red was very powerful to me. But adding that extra “L” had more meaning that many people understood. The root word “ver” means truth in Latin. Million broken apart “milli” meaning thousand or you can take the full value of “million.” So, I put together the word vermillion to mean “a thousand truths.” The title The Storm Over Vermillion Fields really was supposed to mean The Storm Over the Fields of a Thousand Truths. But that doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, now does it?

There is so much hidden meaning in this piece wrapped in imagery and colorful language and to the naked eye, the wording can be very difficult to interpret. Now, I warned you all in yesterday’s blog that poetry can indeed serve as a hidden, secret language between the author and the piece she is writing. And this piece was no different.

The story may appear cliche in nature but so many people out there still suffer the same sad woeful tale and it is a story meant repeating.

The tale starts with a young woman who is imprisoned by her mother and sister. They value vanity and money over self-worth and have discarded the poor young woman and she was left to starve and die. Three princes came to their kingdom in hopes of marrying the young woman’s sister. To the naked eye, the woman was beautiful and appeared to come from good stock; however, she was rotten inside and was devoid of any depth or real human emotion. Her younger sister lonely in her prison cell sang beautiful songs which transformed her inner beauty into an outward beauty making any male suitor she met instantly fall in love with her. The mother and sister concocted a plan to make sure that her song was never heard from any of the suitors. One night the young woman cried out to the gods begging for her release and to find true happiness and finally upon battle after battle the right suitor found her and freed her, imprisoning the mother and sister instead and they both lived on to be free and happy.

I wrote this piece in 2017 and my thoughts have changed a lot since writing this piece. I had just met my ex-fiance and still had that Prince Charming/happily ever after complex that I firmly believed in. Upon our breakup this year, I realized that yes I still feel like I need saving but the only person who can save me from my own misery is myself. I don’t need anyone to rescue me. The key to my salvation and to my freedom is fulfilling each goal I have for myself. I have to keep writing and growing as an artist. I have a responsibility, I feel, at least, to reach out to others who share similar stories as I do and make them aware that they are not alone. I am reminded of the Stabbing Westward song Save yourself: “I cannot save you, I can’t even save myself, So just save yourself.” So save myself, I shall.

I harbor a lot of anger, resentment, and bitterness over everything that has happened to me in my life. As I got older, I realized that there are very real villains out there and just because I am a nice person that does not mean that all people out there are the same as me. There are cruel people, people who may not demonstrate violence in the traditional sense that we are accustomed seeing but instead their brand of terror comes in the form of abusive language, actions, and screaming and yelling. I am saddened and sickened daily knowing that this is my world and a world that I must live with on a daily basis. I sometimes want to give up on my life and wonder if dying would help ease my suffering. The emotional pain becomes much too much to handle at times and I often feel that I am not strong enough to carry my burdens each day. I don’t have anyone else. All I have is myself. No one else gets what I go through. And even with me explaining it over and over most will never quite get it. I also wanted so much to feel and be perceived as normal in the eyes of society but I never was normal. I was always different. I always dressed differently, acted differently, thought differently and I always stood out like a sore thumb. The isolation became crippling but I know of no other way. No one wants to be near someone who questions things and who doesn’t accept the way things are and is always challenging and demanding change. These are all feelings I had deep within me when writing this piece. I still feel this way even today.

I still really love this volume of my poetry anthologies. This sophomore effort really challenged me as a writer, as an artist, and as an individual. The epic poem, other poems, lyrics, and short stories featured delved deep into my psyche. I even re-visited old poetry that I found from when I was a teenager and incorporated some in this anthology as well. I always loved re-visiting my old writing. I enjoy seeing my evolutionary self and even though I’ve changed dramatically in my adult years, the general theme of my life remains intact: That desperate need to feel understood and loved by others, the crippling loneliness and depression, an ache for something else out there that I have yet to find. At thirty-eight years of age.,I still have yet to find what exactly it is that I am looking for. Maybe someday I will find it.

Thanks for your continued support and for following my blog daily!

You can find this and all of  my other works on my Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/psglopes.

VISIT MY PATREON PAGE HERE: THE MOONLIT GODDESS PATREON PAGE

Dark Musings Poetry Anthologies: The Origin and Story Behind My Poetry Series

red-bubble-12dark-musings-anthology-cover

 

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

In January 2017, I was four months into writing erotica short stories and I was miserable! Every month from September 2016 to December 2016 I released four erotica short stories on Amazon and I would simultaneously release six poems each month as well.
*****
When I decided to veer away from erotica writing and become a mainstream author, I decided my first published work would be the amalgamation of my poetry that I had released over the months from the beginning of my writing journey.
My first published release became Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 1. The cover art was my very own, which I am so proud of. I had not yet taken up photography at this time, so I wasn’t really well-versed in digital art and creating and manipulating my photographs yet. For my first effort at creating a book cover, I have to say this came out very well, if I do say so myself! I still had and have so much to learn but every month that I continue to write, it is a process and one where I am in a constant state of educating myself and growing as an individual and as an artist.
******
The poems for this particular collection dealt with heartache and loss which I felt when I had lost my job as a fifth-grade teacher back in 2016. I dealt with a lot that summer, after I was laid off and went to a very dark place. I explored my feelings and reached the deepest parts of myself and learned that every path leads you to somewhere new and if one door welds shut there are so many other pathways which one can explore. We keep exploring and entering new paths until we find one that is designed for us. I went from feeling like nothing and a nobody to regaining some semblance of purpose with my writing. My writing empowered me and gave me a voice.
******
I explored free verse, various rhyming poetry, song lyrics, and other poetic devices. I grew up reading and writing poetry. My first influences were Shel Silverstein, Edgar Allan Poe, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, E.E. Cummings, and so many others!
******
Poetry, to me, allows individuals to enter a world all of their own. It’s a secret language between yourself and the words on those pages. I love the thought of people reading someone’s poetry and every single person having a different interpretation of what the poet was thinking when they wrote that poem. I find that poetry is a conversation starter that can last for years. The subjects of poetry are endless. There is no right or wrong. You just grab a pen and write your deepest thoughts. Every emotion, every sadness, every delight, whatever demons or triumphs one faces can be celebrated and acknowledged through poetry. Volume 1 contains thirty poems. In March 2017, I ended up re-releasing Volume 1 as a 2nd edition which features my photography and digital illustrations. I co-released the 2nd edition with my Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 2: The Storm Over Vermillion Fields. One other thing I enjoy about poetry is that syntax, punctuation, grammar, etc. is very loose and relaxed. There are so many ways to play with language and what may be viewed as a misspelling or mistake may be a playful trick of language that was the author’s very intention.
******
It is in my poetry writing that I feel the freest as an artist. Many people think that poetry is dead and that no one enjoys poetry anymore but that couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s a real need and enjoyment for poetry. This age-old form of expression is still incredibly popular and we need poetry now more than ever before!
******
Here’s to what started it all! The spark that ignited a dormant passion that was buried deep within me for years of my life that I allowed to remain quiet for the sake of others. When I finally broke out as a writer, it was as if that dormancy erupted like a long forgotten volcano people took for granted. The presence of this menacing natural structure just laying there in the background underestimated and ignored. Then one day I just burst with rage and anger and sorrow and sadness and the words just exploded on paper and I haven’t stopped since. While writing Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 1, I have to say I was the angriest. There are several swear words in this book. People have mixed feelings about swearing these days so it really isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. For those who are open-minded and don’t mind colorful language many may relate to this anthology. I have definitely come a long way since this anthology was published but I will always be grateful to the doors this book opened for me as a writer.
*****
Thanks for reading about my Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 1, first and second editions!
******
You can find this and all of my other works on Amazon via: amazon.com/author/psglopes

How I Got My Inspiration For My First Children’s Book, Little Stan’s Lucky Day!

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

My family and I have been taking care of feral cats for almost two decades. What started off as feeding a stray cat here and there turned into a solid feral colony which we feed and take care of daily. It is costly and is a lot of responsibility. And it is more than just taking care of the cats. We have to fight with neighbors who do not agree with feeding strays because they make a mess and those individuals usually lack the proper education on how these animals live.

We have had so many stray cats touch our lives over the years. The gift of caring for another living being is just such a treasure. I never had children of my own, so I consider my cats to be my children.

In the early summer of 2017, three of our feral cats gave birth to a litter of fourteen kittens! We worked with this group in our town called TNR-Trap, Neuter, Return. This organization of volunteers will go around placing humane traps to capture the feral cats so that they can have them neutered or spayed, and returned to their colony. To date, all but two of our feral cats are neutered or spayed. They are the wildest of our colony and are virtually impossible to capture. Anyhow, of this litter, spawned my little Stan! I named him Stanlee after the great Stan Lee, the comic book genius. My family and I adopted Stanlee. I took care of him since he was a little baby. He was such a mushy, whiny little baby. He loved his cuddles and loved being warm and was such a sweet, inspiring little nugget. The head of the town’s TNR group captured the remaining kittens and gave them all proper homes.

This whole experience inspired me to create “The Will O’ The Wisp” children’s books series. Instead of looking at the same old boring children’s books you see in the children’s book store, I decided to create children’s books that educate and relay a positive message to children.

Little Stan’s Lucky Day teaches children about the difference between feral cats and domesticated cats and talks about all of my own cats and how Stanlee adapted to living in his new home. All of my children’s books are told in the form of a poem. That’s my writing style for the children’s books. The illustrations of this book were photographs of my domesticated cats that were stylized and filtered to look like oil paintings. Any proceeds for this book goes back to the care of the ferals and domesticated cats that my family and I care for as the care for taking care of the animals is very expensive.

Another message that I wish to convey is that it doesn’t matter if you take care of one cat or two hundred cats. Your contributions to these animal’s lives mean everything to these cats, who would’ve normally suffered without our intervention. All of my domesticated cats were once strays. I wish that I could take in every single abandoned or stray cat out there but I don’t have the space nor the resources for them. I feel good that I am able to do what I can for the ones we do care for. I feel that it is imperative to reach out and teach everyone, especially our youth, and teach them kindness, compassion, and mercy even for our furry friends!

Writing this children’s book was one of the greatest achievements of my life. I am so proud of this book because it was my first children’s book. I am also proud that it is meaningful. I see so many horrible children’s books out there. Books about crude things like farting and such and I think to myself, “How on earth did they get these books published?” With every work that I produce, I try not to be frivolous. I aim to write with a purpose and with meaning. I aim to help others and educate them on various topics that people may not previously be aware of and it is important to use my platform in a positive manner. These are some pictures of Little Stan’s Lucky Day book cover and of Stanlee when he was a baby and what he looks like now.

Stanlee is a very independent cat with a strong sense of self. He likes being pet on his own terms and even nibbles playfully on your hand when he wants more pets or when he wants to be left alone. He still loves and remembers his mama and will come to me when I call his name but out of all of my cats, he does not like to be coddled. He likes to explore and be his own cat and hang out with his other fur friends! I love my little Stanlee and will always cherish the time I had with him raising him as a baby. That time does not last when they are so small and are so mushy. Then they go off and become happy, flourishing adult cats! It is a great sight to behold and one that I am so proud to be a part of! Thanks so much for reading about my journey with feral cats and domesticated cats and the making of my first children’s book. This book, as well as all my other books, are available on Amazon as a paperback or ebook in Kindle format: amazon.com/author/psglopes.

VISIT THE MOONLIT GODDESS PATREON PAGE