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

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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

In Recovery-My first Song Single-The Story Behind the Lyrics

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

I have been dabbling with writing song lyrics since I was a little girl. I was absolutely obsessed with Celine Dion when I was about twelve years old. I played her cassette tapes so often that they’d get destroyed and my older brother would have to keep buying me new ones because I just couldn’t stop listening! I became obsessed with her voice, with the songs she sang, and everything about music in general. I started toying around with music lyrics and even dreamed of one day being able to write a song for someone as amazing as Celine Dion to sing it. As I got older, my tastes in music evolved, adapted, and grew. I still love and appreciate Celine Dion but my tastes have definitely darkened over the years.

My song, “In Recovery,” is definitely a dark song but it’s often misinterpreted. This is a love song about a love that started off positive and nurturing and just turned toxic. This was inspired by a real-life love I had once upon a time and that experience inspired not only the lyrics for this song but for a future book series that I’d eventually like to tackle someday soon.

The song is featured on SoundCloud but is also on Amazon as a compact disc to purchase. The lyrics and melody are my own. Because I didn’t have the means to sing the song myself in a studio and am not knowledgeable in the equipment or software I’d need to record the song myself, I hired outside musicians to record the track. The song is fully registered with ASCAP. I am a member of ASCAP publishing. This was one of the funnest projects I got to work on. Writing can be a very lonely profession. My favorite moments are when I get to network and work with others and collaborate.

My first exposure with collaboration was with this wonderful photographer I met believe it or not while doing my nails (Ironically, this was the last time I’d get my nails done because I just can’t afford such extravagances anymore). She heard my story about how I was a teacher and decided to leave the profession to pursue my writing full-time. She decided to take a professional photograph of me and use it for a series she was working on similar to Humans of NY. That was the first time I actually felt legitimized as a writer. I felt respected in my field and I felt that all of the hardships I had endured in my life all led me to this moment.

The collaborations continued after that with other amazingly talented people. The group who worked on making “In Recovery” happen were amazing. What they do is a great concept. Having a group of musicians and producers help you cut your single and get a suitable demo ready is genius, really! And what I liked the most is that I own the rights to the song 100%. That was very important to me. Having limited funding sucks because you’re at the mercy of others to help you get things done. I hate allowing myself to feel vulnerable and putting others in charge of something that I created but I was grateful that this turned out to be a positive experience.

Earlier this year, I was able to interview a former student of mine on my Podcast and that was also an awesome experience. She is an established comedienne and actress. She is so smart, so talented, and so carefree. She is fearless and I am so proud and so inspired by her positive outlook on life. I interviewed her shortly after I had broken up with my fiance and I feel that having the experience interviewing her gave me the confidence and courage to keep going in my pursuit of creativity.

Since then, I was featured in two newspaper articles celebrating the two books I have published this year so far: My second children’s book and my third poetry anthology.

The next thing I was able to work on this year was creating an audiobook for my first novella, A Wynter’s Tale. I am grateful to have met a wonderful voice-over artist who took on the challenge of reading my novella. She did such an amazing job bringing my characters to life.

I am truly blessed being able to have accomplished everything that I have so far in my creative work. I am working constantly on creating new work, working on my paid pursuits via freelancing and other leads I find. I am excited to be able to continue to pursue my passion in life and that is creating new writing, music, and art for everyone to enjoy.

I am about 75% done writing my second novella, John of Art. The story is really taking shape. I am pleased with where things are heading in the story. The story flows well and I feel that I have created strong characters that many will able to relate to when they read my work. I am searching for an editor to edit my novella once I have finished my first draft. I am also in the market for musicians to help me with a song single that I want to produce that will coincide with the release of the novella. That’s my motivation for starting Patreon. I realize that my ambitions are growing along with my passion and I need help! Up until now, I have been doing things myself in terms of the writing, formatting, book cover, art, illustrations, etc. My sister was my editor for everything up until this point but she wishes to retire LOL. I am grateful to my sister and my mother who have been so super supportive from the very beginning. I am very grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given. I love learning new things and I am constantly striving to do better than the previous work I’ve done.  This journey is definitely a complicated one and one that I am proud to be on. I don’t take anything for granted and recognize how fortunate I am to be given such a gift to be able to write full-time.

Thank you all for reading more about me and what I do. I have embedded my first song single “In Recovery” for you all to listen to and enjoy. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the song. Let me know what you think. Thanks, everyone! Have a great Saturday!

View PSG Lopes/The Moonlit Goddess’ Patreon Page Here

In Between Blessings: My Latest Podcast This Week, The Latest Article Featuring My Children’s Book: My Papa and Me: A Children’s Book About Our Journey With Dementia, and More!

blog post friday may 10th 2019

ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019. ARTICLE PHOTO COURTESY OF CARMO PEREIRA VIA LUSO-AMERICANO, May 10th, 2019.

Hello, everyone! There is so much to say today! First of all, I have released a new podcast this week with a whole range of topics including the latest article I was featured in from the Portuguese newspaper Luso-Americano written by the AMAZING Carmo Pereira (Thanks once again!). This article discusses my latest publication, my children’s book, My Papa and Me: A Children’s Book About Our Journey With Dementia. Also in this week’s podcast, I discuss all of my misfortunes in 2019, how I am learning to overcome them all and fight back and defend myself, the power of saying no when you’re not comfortable in a situation, and I even tackle the abortion debate that is heating up in our country as of late, plus so much more!

You can listen to my latest podcast here: PSG Lopes/ The Moonlit Goddess Podcast

VISIT THE MOONLIT GODDESS PATREON PAGE

My Pilgrimage to the Ironbound

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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!

The Balloon Launch

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

One of my most vivid memories as a child which also happens to be one of the most environmentally reckless decisions my elementary school had ever made was the balloon launch my school did on Halloween when I was in Kindergarten. I remember those cheesy trash bag cheapy Halloween costumes we used to buy in the 80s. I was Mickey Mouse that year. I remember entering Kindergarten was such a hard time for me because I was so horribly shy and anxious and I was always nauseous and gagging from my anxiety and I just hated being in school that first year. For some reason, this event was what helped solidify my position in school and made things seem not as dire as they had been at the beginning of the school year.

I grew up in Yonkers, New York. I went to a Catholic school for nine years (K-8th). The walk from my school to the nearest park was short so our entire school walked over to the local park with a balloon in hand. The balloon had a note attached. The note contained our names and the address of the school with a letter stated if found send us a letter. So when they blew the whistle it was our cue to release the balloon and watch the multitude of colored, helium-filled plastic ascend into the air. Their final destination was unknown. Whether they got wrapped around trees, or eventually descended into ponds, and lakes, damaging living beings’ eco-systems, or less likely landing by people, one would never know.

I remember how naïve and foolish I was then, and even now. I was very Catholic and I believed in all the teachings we were taught in school. I remember foolhardily wishing that my letter would be found and that I’d be the one who would get the letter sent to my school. I remember the ridiculous daydreams I’d have about it in class. Having my name called from the P.A. system. Me proudly walking down to the office to claim my letter of victory. “Ha, Ha! Suckers! My letter was found and yours wasn’t!”

But that victorious day never came. There were only two students in the whole school who got letters sent to them and of course, mine wasn’t one of them. Of course, it had to be someone from my class who was chosen and then one other from another grade that was chosen as well.

That Halloween, in general, was ill-fated. My Mickey Mouse costume did not make it the entire day. My older brother, who was a lot older than I was, walked me around our apartment complex and took me trick or treating and we didn’t make it past two apartments because as he was holding my hand in such a hurry because he was so mad to be trick or treating with his baby sister, I tripped and fell down the stairs ripping my costume straight down the middle. Hysterically crying, my brother now mortified, dropped me off to my mother and then he went off with his friends.

This was my first real experience with being let down by holidays. Yesterday, Easter Sunday, I reminisced on all the past Easters my family and I had celebrated together and I realized how lackluster all holidays have become as an adult. You romanticize how things should really be and how they used to be. The new spring dresses, the pastel colors, the dyed eggs, the daffodils and tulips, the cherry blossoms, the birds chirping, the bees buzzing, the Easter bunny, the endless chocolate, the money gifts from relatives, the train of people coming in and out of your house, the long-ass masses we used to endure when we were practicing Catholics. Now, even though all those things still exist around us, they just don’t bear any meaning. That could also be the depression talking, but I just find it not as exciting and just feels like just another day to me. What I’m left with is the memories of all the past holidays. Every Easter, Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, and so on where all of my family happened to be young and healthy and had the illusion of happiness and gratitude.

That Kindergarten Halloween was memorable to me not because I unceremoniously tumbled down hard clay tiled stairs successfully tearing off my entire costume Hulk-style. That Halloween was memorable because of that balloon launch. The explosion of colors, the anticipation, and excitement being a part of something greater than myself. That was the first time I felt like I was a part of the community around me. I felt included. I felt like I belonged. Now, as a jaded adult, I’m left to my own devices more than not. People only come around when they need me for something not because they actually want my company or attention. I’ve seen and done it all and I just don’t feel that magic anymore. No Technicolor, no enchantment, no hopes and dreams of a brighter future. This is it. All I have left are the memories of the colors, excitement, and that feeling in my stomach of anticipation and excitement. All I have to show for my Easter is a hollowed out feeling sitting in this chair in my “Stay Golden” Golden Girls t-shirt wondering if this is all I have left.

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On a brighter note, I want to thank everyone who has purchased a copy of my new audiobook for my novella, A Wynter’s Tale, so far. Please don’t forget to leave a review after you have listened to my book. I am so grateful to each and every one of you. Thanks for always coming back to keep reading my blogs, buying my work, listening to my podcasts and saying hi to me on social media. I haven’t been posting as often as I know I should. I have been trying to be present for my father. I don’t know how much time he has left, so the moments I have with him where he is having good days means that much more to me. I am happy to report that I am currently working on my next project. This work is a little more involved and I am hoping for a July 2019 release. So I am always plugging away at some new project. For those of you who are interested, you may purchase my audiobook in the orange link below (Just click on the orange link of your country of origin). Thank you all again! I hope you and your family had a wonderful Easter yesterday, to those who celebrated. Whatever you happen to celebrate, as always, I wish you all much happiness and good health!

The audiobook for A Wynter’s Tale (Written by PSG Lopes, Narrated by Chris Kenworthy): Available through Amazon, Audible, and iTunes!

US: A Wynter’s Tale Audiobook

UK: A Wynter’s Tale Audiobook

FR: A Wynter’s Tale Audiobook

DE: A Wynter’s Tale Audiobook

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

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

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

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

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

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

Audible: A Wynter’s Tale Audiobook via Audible!

Amazon: A Wynter’s Tale via Amazon!

iTunes: A Wynter’s Tale via iTunes!

 

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

Read-Aloud of My New Children’s Book: My Pápá and Me: A Children’s Book About Our Journey With Dementia (Podcast)

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

Hello, everyone! Please listen to this week’s podcast where I discuss and perform a read-aloud of my latest children’s book: My Pápá and Me: A Children’s Book About Our Journey With Dementia, discuss updates and latest projects, and more!

Thank you so much to all who continue to visit my blog, purchase all my books, listen to my podcasts, and just overall offer their emotional support. You all are amazing and I cherish each and every one of you!

Enjoy the podcast and hope you all have a fabulous and restful weekend!

Listen here to this week’s podcast: PSG Lopes/The Moonlit Goddess Podcast on Anchor

 

April Updates!

blog photo april 3rd 2019

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

It has certainly been a while since I have last blogged about anything in particular. This past winter has been hectic, to say the very least!

Between the new year’s eve debacle, the torturous January that followed, being sick this past February with the flu and having both my parents afflicted with the flu, my dad being hospitalized with both the flu and pneumonia and spending his 76th birthday with strangers, our family being prepared for the worst thinking this was the end for my father, the stairs of the attic completely crumbling and not having access to my office or bedroom for a few weeks while my younger brother and brother from another mother created all new stairs, all contributed to my absence from the blogging realm.

2019 hasn’t all been bad! On a much brighter note, my father is doing very well, thankfully! He is situated in our living room with a fully functional hospital bed. He eats well, he enjoys reading magazines, he watches television, and he is able to answer simple questions and has become more verbal over the weeks since he’s been home from the hospital. Aside from the obvious afflictions that come with advanced dementia he is doing remarkable! There are still things that need to be taken care of, he’s obviously still in physical and mental decline and there’s no way of knowing when the end will occur. He has good days and bad days, but he can still laugh and still smiles and can still interact with us and that has been a huge blessing for my family!

Also occurring this year so far, I have released my third poetry anthology: Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 3: The Wilted Perennials of Yesteryear, which has been featured in my town’s local newspaper, and I finally released my new children’s book: My Papa and Me: A Children’s Book About Our Journey With Dementia. I decided to do a meaningful children’s book. It’s a simple poem illustrating what I went through when I found out my dad was sick. It is said in simple language and does not get into too much detail and is meant for children of all ages to learn and understand about this treacherous illness that their families may be experiencing themselves with a loved one. With every piece I create, I vow to not be frivolous with my writing and to write with purpose and meaning. I see so many ridiculous children’s books out there about topics like farting and other crude topics and I just feel that books are like food for the soul. You wouldn’t want your child eating junk, so why feed your child’s mind with junk, too? They deserve to read meaningful and powerful literature to inspire them and nurture their souls. That was my intention with my latest children’s book.

This piece was a real labor of love. It took weeks to get it all together and to finalize the formatting. I laughed to myself thinking I’d do a children’s book next after the poetry anthology because I thought it would be an easy venture. So many things went wrong during the production of this book and it dragged on many weeks more than I had originally planned. I am happy it is all said and done and the book is now fully released. I am pleased with the end results and am looking forward to my next projects in the upcoming weeks!

Another interesting opportunity that I got involved in this year, is the creation of the audiobook version of my novella, A Wynter’s Tale. I was presented with an opportunity to turn my novella into an audiobook and I set up an advertisement to do so and the lovely, incomparable Chris Kenworthy was gracious enough to accept my proposal for the audiobook and now the audio production of my novella is one other feather in my cap added to my work portfolio. I am super excited for its release and I will inform you all when it is finally available and will give all of the information on how to order your copy of the audiobook. It has been two years since I have released A Wynter’s Tale and I have learned so much about myself as a person, as a writer, as an artist, and I have pushed myself farther than I ever imagined I was capable of going. I am so proud of myself for continuing on and creating new pieces for everyone to enjoy. Each day I am blessed to present new works that demonstrate the varying aspects of the human condition and how we can all be better people if we all just work together. Thank you, Chris, for doing a phenomenal job bringing Wynn and Linda to life!

I realize my podcasts have fallen by the wayside as well over the past few weeks and I will resume podcasting this coming Friday. I will be doing a read-aloud of My Papa and Me. So stay tuned for that!

I also have my Goodreads page all updated. If you are interested in adding me through there, just click here.

Another thing that has gotten me through the painful start of 2019 is playing Pokemon Go. I am not much of a gamer, per se. I do play Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the Nintendo 3DS. I am also looking forward to the new Animal Crossing that is supposedly going to be released later this year through the Nintendo Switch. I have also played Pokemon on the 3DS during the Sun and Moon and Ruby and Sapphire eras. I played Pokemon Go for the first time in 2016 with my siblings. There were so many bugs throughout the game’s launch that we couldn’t stand it anymore and stopped playing.

This past Christmas, my sister renewed her interest and told my siblings and me how good it became and we all got into it again. What was so life-changing about this game was that I went through such a dark time this past winter with my breakup and my father being ill that I just didn’t want to leave the house. I just wanted to stay nestled in my room all day and I simply wasn’t living my life to it’s fullest. I mean, yes, I was able to function in terms of eating and sleeping and getting on with my daily responsibilities in terms of the house’s upkeep, taking care of my cats, and my father’s daily care, but I stopped caring about myself in the process. I literally would not wash my hair for weeks, not do my laundry, I would stay in the same clothes and I just was simply existing. I would breathe air involuntarily. I ate and drank to live and derived no pleasure in it. My world was gray.

By playing this simple game on my phone, it rejuvenated my will to live. I started wanting to leave the house again. I started caring about my appearance and started fixing my hair and my makeup again. I started wearing more clothes that I have in the closet other than the one green dress I wore on repeat because I just didn’t have the physical strength to go looking for another outfit. My family and I even found this amazing park that is a joy to play in because of the amazing wildlife and scenery, and also because there’s so much valuable gameplay in this particular area. All of this together has made life worthwhile once more for me.

The game is complex, it’s designed for everyone to enjoy. I appreciate the challenge and how it’s essentially a world-wide scavenger hunt. I like that it encourages people to get exercise and to leave their house. I like that it is a community-building game where you can make friends out of strangers. There are many friendly faces we have met along the way since we started playing and it is nice to see that this little game can bring so many people together especially during such a tumultuous time for our country. I know you’ll always find a friend when you know they play Pokemon Go. Regardless of any perceived differences, the game brings people together and that’s why I really love it. For anyone who plays, if you’re interested in adding me as a friend, my friend code is: 5019 3681 8101. My name in Pokemon Go, of course, is MoonlitGoddess. That’s how you’ll know it’s me.

On a final note, if you are interested in buying either my children’s book or my latest poetry anthology, just click on the picture links below. My children’s book, My Papa and Me: A Children’s Book About Our Journey With Dementia is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats ($12, $5, respectively). My poetry anthology: Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 3: The Wilted Perennials of Yesteryear, is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats ($25, $9, respectively).

I want to thank everyone for continuing to come back and read more about me and what is happening in my life. I appreciate each and every one of you. Thanks to everyone who has purchased my book in the past and recently. It means so much to me! I will let you all know when the audiobook comes out for A Wynter’s Tale. I am super excited about this latest addition to my writing repertoire and I look forward to hearing what you all think about it! I wish you all a wonderful week ahead!