Some Thoughts on Amazon’s The Boys

blog post august 5th 2019

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

I just finished watching Amazon’s The Boys and have some observations I’d like to share with you all. First of all, I absolutely loved the idea of seeing superheroes, for once, being heavily flawed, culpable, and not as infallible as they’re always depicted. I also really liked how “The Boys” were “the good guys” or anti-heroes, really.

I have always had several issues with superheroes that I never voiced out loud for many years. My views may be seen as a widely unpopular opinion but here goes anyway. I always quietly noted all of the violence, all of the deaths, especially all of the collateral damage that was done while superheroes purportedly “saved the day.” You rarely see the superheroes acknowledging or taking a moment to apologize, to grieve, or to recognize all of the senseless lives lost and if they do it’s a mere afterthought. These superheroes are always larger than life characters who were given these powers and decided to dedicate their lives to being noble while saving the world from crime. But what if it’s not so black and white as we’ve been accustomed to while watching or reading tales in the DC or Marvel Universe?

The Boys provides a view of what it might really be like living in a world with superheroes in this day and age. We are heavily tied to technology and you can’t get away with anything these days without someone catching your actions on their phone and posting it to several social media outlets. You have to be careful with what you say, spin your words in a way that will get people to follow you, believe in your actions, and even pick a group, and with this show, in particular, the religious community and have them support your cause. In this world, they were made to be superheroes at birth and it wasn’t by some freak accident or some other hackneyed cause that became commonplace with superhero origin stories. We see how the individuals who are known as “The Seven” cope with their superhero status and how they unravel in front of our very eyes in quite a sight to behold.

You have A-Train who is fighting to keep his status as the fastest man alive, facing the reality of aging and the limitations of his body and toying around with Compound V to help him maintain his status as a renowned and beloved superhero. He inadvertently kills someone while speeding through residential streets with little regard for anyone but himself. He even sacrifices his own beloved Popclaw to cover up one of his many messes. To what end do your actions persist without consequences? One of the most poignant moments in the series is A-Train’s last conversation with Popclaw before killing her where he recalls what foods she ordered on their first date. He told her that he was impressed by her choice and loved how she wasn’t afraid to be happy. That was the most authentic moment that character had the entire season and that was the only chance we got to see A-Train being truly vulnerable, away from the Compound V, away from the influences of Homelander and Stillwell and Vought.

These “supes” as they’re known, are so scripted and violated and destroyed mentally as they’re constantly reminded by those around them how privileged they are to be apart of this elite group but what they had to do to get there is just way beyond what the average human being would tolerate just to become famous.

I always equated superheroes with the popular kids in high school. These are the kids who naturally excelled at sports, the beautiful young girls who were cheerleaders or chosen homecoming and/or prom queen, the Ivy-league bound kids, etc. These were the kids that I had the least in common with growing up. I was always awkward, shy, overweight, never pretty, plain to look at, unremarkable in every sense of the word. I’ve been bullied, fat-shamed, emotionally tormented, and so on my entire life and it has become something I’m used to. With every hardship I’ve endured and whenever I happen to tell my story to other people they always tell me how they are so impressed by how level-headed, smart, and accomplished I am. They tell me how strong I am to have gone through everything I’ve gone through and never turn to drugs, or alcohol or worse. I take my pain and I turn it into something positive. My weapon of choice has always been my words. I use words to make sense of my feelings. I use words to educate others to be better people. I use words to teach people tolerance, positivity, compassion, empathy, love, and respect.

I’m no superhero. I often end up sympathizing with the villains sometimes. Not that I’d ever condone any of their abhorrent actions. I can just sometimes relate more to their backstories and can understand how these villains did not have the mental fortitude to turn an extremely negative and unfortunate event in their lives and turn it into a positive.

This show, I realize, relies heavily on karma to serve these so-called heroes and heroines their just desserts. From A-Trains broken leg, to Translucents unfortunate demise, to The Deep’s gill violation,  to Queen Maeve’s coming to terms with letting all of those people die on that plane and the bitter loneliness she exhibits on a day to day basis just being her, to Homelander’s desperate need to father a child only to find out that he had a child as a result of his raping Butcher’s wife but only finding out several years later that the child actually survived. All of those cliched colloquialisms apply here: Fate catches up to us all, You get what you deserve, You reap what you sow. You get the point.

This show had raised so many thoughts and questions and I was really impressed from beginning to end. I was kind of dragging my feet starting this series and I rolled my eyes at the mere thought of watching yet another superhero driven series. This concept highly fatigues me and the concept has to be really mind-blowingly good for me to not fall asleep or even forgo watching it altogether. I really liked how the tables were turned and made what we would normally consider the villains as the kind of heroes/anti-heroes of the story. I liked how the superheroes weren’t always perfect, were heavily flawed, and weren’t even good people most of the time. I liked how Starlight was the young ingenue getting into something she thought was so noble and worthy only to be disillusioned and wrecked practically from day one after her sickening encounter with The Deep. We’ve all had moments where we find out that some of our heroes are not good people in real life and how scripted the majority of people whom we admire actually are and how Hollywood lies, and how things are absolutely not always as they seem. Thanks for reading my observations. I’d love to hear about your thoughts on the show. Remember, if you decide to leave a comment, only positive comments will be published, so keep it clean, keep it polite, keep it respectful, folks.

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My new novella, John of Art, is out now and is available for paperback and Kindle ebook on Amazon. It is also available as an ebook wherever ebooks are sold. If you’d like to get a copy of the paperback, just click the picture below and it will lead you to Amazon to purchase your copy of the new novella. Thanks to all of you who have already purchased your copy. I am in the process of making the paperback available through other platforms and my voice over artist is currently working on the audiobook and that will be released in September most likely.  Currently, I’m working on a couple of new things. I am working on possibly doing some book signings. I have just sent out a few inquiries regarding that so I don’t know if that will happen yet but will let you all know if and when that actually occurs. Thanks again and have a great week everyone!

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

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 Spirited Writer-This Week’s Podcast

ducks pic

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

This week’s Podcast is up! This week I discuss the latest updates on my writing and other projects. I discuss my new Patreon page and what I hope to gain from it and finally I discuss how sometimes strangers are more accepting and supportive of your art than friends and family. All this and more on this week’s Podcast! Thank you all for continuing to read my blogs and listen to my Podcasts and offer your support! It means the world to me!

LISTEN TO THIS WEEK’S PODCAST HERE

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

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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.
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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!
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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.
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Thanks for reading about my Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 1, first and second editions!
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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

Updates on My Latest Writing Project!

blog post may 29th

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

So a lot has been going on in my life and I know that I have not been blogging lately. I have been trying to stay focused on writing my latest project, my second novella, John of Art. At the beginning of May, I had a lot of difficulties regarding issues with my health (the hearing aid debacle), finding a new doctor, and starting my novella and losing fifty-five pages of progress. That was all very devastating to me. But as usual, being used to adversity and being used to being treated horribly by those of little significance to me, I decided to keep going full steam ahead. What started off as a negative at the beginning of the month, has turned into prosperity towards the end of this month.

I am a full believer that life provides a yin and yang experience. For every negative, there’s a positive just around the corner. So instead of dwelling on everything that is going wrong, I am choosing to focus on everything that is going right.

As of today, I can proudly say, after thirty-eight years of struggle, I, PSG Lopes, also known as The Moonlit Goddess, FINALLY has procured my hearing aids! For every villain in the world, there are still heroes out there. A wonderful woman fought very hard for me to get my hearing aids. I am forever in her debt. What she did for me went above and beyond anyone has ever gone for me. She is a virtual stranger but she was so determined after hearing my struggles and what I went through. She worked hard to make sure that I have my hearing aids. I feel blessed. I feel an unfamiliar feeling. I am so used to being hurt, disappointed, abused, mistreated, that when people are actually good to me I am not sure how to feel. It’s quite unique, this feeling.

To have someone who barely knew me work so hard to help me, it is just such a gift. I am so beyond grateful that good people still exist on this planet. A million thanks to those who still possess kindness, compassion, empathy, love, patience, understanding, and mercy. She told me something interesting that I hadn’t thought of. She told me that those girls who gave me grief at my old doctor’s office were so concerned by me because of my beauty and because I am not miserable. They are all young, on the cusp of adulthood, late teens, working straight out of high school. The one who gave me trouble was an obese teenager who was already married and got knocked up during high school. She said she was probably threatened by me. The woman who helped me said that I have this light about me.

I feel that people have always been threatened by me inexplicably. My response to this is simple. I am confident because I know what it’s like to be with nothing. I smile because I have known my share of sorrow. I am fierce because I know what it means to feel weak and powerless. I recognize and understand that these girls have nothing but their small world in that office. They’ve never experienced anything greater than themselves and lack the emotional intelligence to properly understand and comprehend what someone like myself has gone through. My life experiences are a burden to me but they are mine and not easily understood by those without insight. Maybe one day they’ll get it. Maybe one day they’ll know. But not today. And that really isn’t my problem. My problem is making sure that I’m healthy and well taken care of and I should never feel guilty for wanting to better myself. So instead of harboring anger, I want to extend a thank you because without that incident I wouldn’t have pushed harder for myself to be the best possible version of myself that I can create for myself.

As for the fifty-five pages that I lost of my manuscript, I not only got those fifty-five pages back, but I am now one hundred and two pages richer in my manuscript. I am right on schedule for a July/August release of my latest novella, John of Art. I am in the market for an editor and someone to help me cut a song single for my book as well. The lyrics and melody are all set. I just need to record it professionally and get it ready for a co-release with my book in a few weeks. So if anyone knows of anyone who can help, I’d be greatly appreciative. Thanks for all your support and your constant revisiting of my blog.

Thank you all for your continued interest in my crazy world! Love to all and hope you are all happy and healthy!

VISIT THE MOONLIT GODDESS PATREON PAGE

My Pilgrimage to the Ironbound

blog pic april 26th

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

I had an enlightening morning today. My father worked in an area known as the Ironbound section of Newark for nearly forty years. Shortly after he retired, my family and I realized that he was going through something because he began behaving erratically and drove our family crazy for months before we figured out his catastrophic diagnosis. Upon revealing his diagnosis of dementia, our family was devastated but we weren’t exactly familiar with the disease. We were unsure of its progression, we were uncertain of his prognosis; we were basically left in the dark. With each passing month, we become more knowledgeable and educated ourselves on his illness. A lot of what we learned was from witnessing it first hand. There really was no appropriate preparation for what was to come.

Before my father was diagnosed with dementia, my family was pretty much estranged from him. Even though we all lived in the same house as him, my father was a private man and preferred to live his life separately from everyone else. Because dementia is all-consuming and requires round the clock care, this introduced us to a whole other side of my father we never really knew. I realized that I never really fully knew this man I called my father. Not because I did not want to, mind you, but because as I said he wanted it that way. He had his job in the Ironbound, his clubs and organizations that he was a part of, he had his writing and art that he would pursue on evenings and weekends. He would travel and drive around areas alone and we were none the wiser. Since his illness, we became so intimately familiar with our father that it was as if we entered a rabbit hole, an endless fountain of knowledge and information about him, some unsavory, but for the most part, we learned of some things he was interested in that we never knew about.

Today I met with an amazing woman who is well-respected and revered at the Luso-Americano newspaper and discussed my children’s book which I wrote in his honor: My Pápá and Me: A Children’s Book About Our Journey With Dementia. It was so nice speaking to someone who knew my father well. I could almost feel his presence in that building. My father, once notoriously known for how well-dressed he always was, proud and confident in himself walking into the newspaper building and talking away with all of these fine people. It was so comforting to know that he was well remembered. A big motivator for me writing my latest children’s book was to ensure that nobody forgot about my father. He was so important for so many years in the Ironbound community and then he disappeared into the ether and not many people knew about what happened to him. Many abandoned him, some called about him in the beginning but then very quickly it was as if my father ceased to exist. That didn’t sit well with me. As complicated as our relationship was towards the end of his healthy years, I would never want his legacy to fade. My children’s book was essentially my way of coping with this devastating situation my family and I have been dealing with for the past six to seven years. It has been a long, torturous, and highly emotional road for us all. Our goal and mission are to make damn well sure that my family receives the best possible care for him and that he is remembered for his positive contributions to society. I may not have known this side of him well but it was clear from my interview today that he was respected and that provided me with reassurance.

I know that I will continue advocating for others going through similar circumstances. This disease is tragic and heartbreaking. So many times I sit and think about telling my father about all of my accomplishments in writing and I wonder what he would have thought about it. I try not to romanticize his reactions too much because prior to his illness our relationship wasn’t the strongest. But I’ve gotten to know this version of my father and I can honestly say he is lovely and sweet and we currently have the best relationship that we have had since I was a little girl. I have actually read my children’s book to him and he gave me a thumbs up and told me in Portuguese that it was good. I thought his reaction was sweet and heartwarming. This was not exactly the same as if I were to have shown my dad prior to his illness but I accept that. Our family loves him and are fiercely protective of him. I will continue watching out for him and I will continue to fight to ensure that each day he is met with the dignity and respect he deserves. His legacy will persevere. I will make sure of that.

If you are interested in purchasing any of my work, you can always check out my Amazon Author Page here. (click on the orange link).

You can also click on any of the pictures below to order any of my books, audiobook, or music.

My novella, A Wynter’s Tale, is also now available as an audiobook and is featured on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes! If you are interested, you can order my audiobook here. (Click on the orange link above for the audiobook!)

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Thank you very much to everyone who has already purchased my work in the past. Please make sure to leave a review and let me know what you think of my work! I appreciate you all always coming back and returning to read my blogs and to visit me on social media. I am continuously humbled and honored to have you all be a part of The Moonlit Goddess tribe!