Friday the 13th and The Moonlit Goddess

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

Happy Friday the 13th everyone!  I wanted to update you all on what I’ve been up to lately in terms of my writing and other projects. This September, I decided to focus on getting myself back on track financially. I find myself constantly thinking of old, traditional ways and how they never worked for me in the past and even though I’m well aware that they never worked out, I still  have that idea of wanting to feel normal and wanting to fit in and wanting to have that traditional 9 to 5 job where I’d set my alarm at 5 a.m. and shower and get ready and make myself healthy lunches and go to an office and do my job dutifully and come home and eat dinner and shower and go to bed and do it all again the next day.

I don’t know how many times I have to make the same mistakes in order to get it through my thick skull that that person will never be me. I spent the beginning of this month putting my resume up through those online job finders and I got bombarded with e-mails from companies. I was excited at first. I was like hey, maybe I will find a regular, “normal person” job after all. But what I hadn’t realized is that the resumes are not read by real people. There’s software that sorts out keywords in people’s resumes and then if they feel that there are enough keywords then they present you with interviews. So, I got a few leads, made a few phone calls, wrote a few e-mails expressing interest in certain jobs. I was awarded interviews. I got excited. I was already spending theoretical paychecks I had not yet received from a job I had not yet been awarded.

There was one job I really wanted and was actually given a second interview for but this time I was meeting with the CEO. First of all, that person never even read my resume or knew anything about me when it came time for the interview. I cringed when the CEO opened my website and started playing my songs and going through all of my webpages and seeing all of my accomplishments. He basically thanked me for my time but gave me the ol’ heave-ho because there was nothing on my resume that suggested I qualified for the job. I looked at him and I said, well, I didn’t set up this appointment so someone must have thought I was qualified. Basically, thanks for wasting my time. I wasn’t very confident about getting this job because he blew me off the day before when the interview was originally scheduled for and I’ve experienced that in the past with teaching positions when I’d have to wait in the office for almost an hour for the principal to grace himself for the interview and I’d obviously not get the position.

So, I took this valuable lesson and said, fuck it. When are you going to get it through your thick, stubborn skull that you’re not like everyone else? Doesn’t mean you’re incompetent, doesn’t mean you’re unwilling, doesn’t mean you’re lazy, doesn’t mean you’re unmotivated. You just have to re-work your qualifications and make them work for you instead of trying to always fit and shove yourself into a mold you’ve never ever been able to fit in before in your entire life. I’m not unique. I’m not grandiose. I don’t think I’m better than anyone else. But I do know I’m different. And that is okay. I can use my difference to make a difference in the world and I kind of like that idea. I know that I’m a smart and capable woman.

When I first met my ex, one of the first things he told me was that I was a waste of potential. He said that I offered so many wonderful gifts to the world and was saddened that no one ever took the time to get through each layer. And for whatever reason, that was whether it was because of my weight, because I’m impossibly shy, because of my depression and anxiety, because I’m an emotional woman, because I’m down to earth and real and I don’t play the game that everyone wants me to play. I don’t say yes on no lips. I don’t nod in agreement on a head that wants tell you to go fuck yourself. I’m my own person. And because my life worked out the way it had, my opportunities were different than most people and that’s okay. I recognize that my difference is not a punishment and that I can use that to my advantage.

As a result, I’ve decided to offer my services which are highlighted on my main page. I have listed a whole bunch of freelance services that I offer a la carte for those who may be interested. I have a lot of things up there that may be appealing especially to those who are starting out as writers. Also, maybe to organizations who need public speakers to speak out about depression, anxiety, dementia, and other difficult topics to break the stigma and educate others what it’s like to live with these in your life. Whatever the case may be, I urge you all to look into my freelancing options and even if you’re not interested, maybe someone else might be and you can pass that along.

For September, that’s what I’m focused on for now is establishing my freelance business. I have a project that I’m planning on diving into for October and November to align with this year’s NaNoWriMo competition. Also, if you want to take a look at another important project I am starting around January 2020, take a look at my Patreon page here: www.patreon.com/themoonlitgoddess

Thanks so much for your continued support and interest in what I do. I was just recently told that this lovely woman I used to work with when I was substitute teaching bought two copies of John of Art. One for her and one for her colleague. When I released A Wynter’s Tale two years ago, she bought a copy and then the whole building ended up reading the book with that same copy. I explained to her that I am self-published and I don’t have a salary and every book I buy I get a very tiny portion of the royalties and that I don’t profit or benefit from the whole building reading my book for free. It’d be one thing if they were reading it for free and providing book reviews on either Amazon or Goodreads but they were doing neither. So they were reading the book and not supporting me in any way. So to combat the vultures, she bought two copies so she made sure she was supporting me. That meant just about everything to me. I was humbled and blown away by her kindness and generosity. It is because of women like her that I can get up in the morning and continue doing what I do. To know that there are still good people in the world, that’s just a lovely place to begin. I’d like to know more about good people out there which is why I will continue this fight to spread the word on my work and all that I wish to do with it. Thank you all again for always having my back.

For authors new and established, I’ve really been getting into reading again. If you’d like to provide me with a copy of your work, I’d gladly read it and provide a review for you via Goodreads. The only thing I ask is you extend the same courtesy. I get tons of free codes for my audiobooks so I don’t mind giving you a code so you can listen to either A Wynter’s Tale or John of Art when it’s formally released within the next few weeks. I thank you all in advance for anyone who is interested. Have a great Friday the 13th everyone and have a great weekend!

 

♥”I’m a stranger here, but I will learn its language and read its signs.”

-Amy Jellicoe, Enlightened, HBO.♥

 

 

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

The Majestic Wonderland that Became A Wynter’s Tale

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

The Wrong Kind of White

blog post june 10th 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VISIT THE MOONLIT GODDESS PATREON PAGE HERE

 

The Spirited Writer-This Week’s Podcast

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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

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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

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

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!