Sexism and Female Figure

blog pic august 16th

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

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged anything. For those of you who listened to last week’s Podcast entitled Fatphobia and The Lies I’ve Been Told, this is pretty much piggybacking off of that podcast and adding more thoughts to the topic because I feel that there is so much more to talk about regarding this very important issue.

I read and re-read Virgie Tovar’s book You Have The Right To Remain Fat and she spoke so much to every problem I’ve had basically since I was a small child. I was raised to keep quiet, to be obedient and to just accept life the way it was without getting angry or fighting back. There were pressures regarding my weight and for nearly forty years I’ve tried every diet in the book to try to “fit in” with society and act and be just like everyone else. For years, I’ve blamed myself for looking differently than others. For years, I’ve blamed myself for being outspoken, for advocating for myself, for not allowing people to tell me how things are going to be, especially men. This has created so much friction for me in terms of finding full-time work.

In my twenties, I was much quieter in the workplace and just took life as it was, as I was raised to do. I was dieting on and off, wearing compression garments that made me sick to my stomach and produced too much acid reflux and would make me nauseous and made it harder for me to use the bathroom. I would slap on tons of makeup, do my hair, wear loud jewelry and wear sexy clothes because I wanted to be recognized as a beautiful, sexy, vibrant woman. After I went to school to work on my masters and Ph.D., my mind changed. I began questioning everything. I realized right away that everything I had been taught in the past was a lie to keep me submissive and to keep me obedient and to keep me “normal” and suitable to the eyes of those in society, particularly men. I was trained that if I didn’t diet excessively that I’d die early from diabetes, heart failure, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. etc. etc. I’ve had an active eating disorder since I was in the first grade. I went from being anorexic to binge eating to being anorexic, and so on and so forth. I was so anxious, so neurotic, and made myself so sick for so many years. I saw my mother go through something similar. She married someone who was shallow and superficial and only cared that my mother was thin and never gave her the positive feedback she so desperately needed to hear in her life. My mother was always beautiful, my mother was always strong, my mother raised four kids essentially alone while my father did everything in his power to not come home until later in the evening where he would just end the day sitting on the couch watching tv until he fell asleep. The last thing in the world he wanted was to be near my mother. She developed such a complex throughout her life. But there was no need for it. She was and is the most perfect woman I can think of. She has beauty and grace and is such a fighter. She endured so much and keeps fighting each and every day and for what? So she can take care of a man who treated her so abhorrently throughout her life. She is a special type of hero as I watch her give my father such quality care each and every day while he is lying in the hospital bed in our living room. The man who called her every name in the book just because she enjoyed her food. That was her only flaw, food. I, to this day, never quite understood how it was such a sin to be full-figured.

I am my mother’s daughter to the T. I have her figure. I enjoy eating good food but the difference between her and I is that I’ve stopped caring what other people think of me. I don’t feel that societal pressure to be thin and perfect. I don’t wear compression garments anymore, I barely shave my legs and pits. I only wear makeup on special occasions and I have tiers of the type of makeup I will put on.  I call light makeup “Tier 1” makeup where I’ll wear a light BB cream, some blush, some gloss, some mascara, some cream-based eyeshadow and setting spray. Then the next level is “Tier 2.” When I worked as a sub/teacher full-time, I had “Tier 2” every single day. It was expensive, it was exhausting and I realized many years later that I wasn’t putting this on for my sake I was putting in on for other people’s sake. So that I wouldn’t look like a monster to them. So that I’d look pleasant in their eyes. So they wouldn’t have to suffer looking at this grotesque Grendel that I truly believed I was. Dressing the part and wearing all that makeup gave me attention I didn’t even want. I was sexually harassed in the workplace at my last teaching job. This crusty, old, toothless man on the brink of retirement kept coming on to me and kept saying wildly inappropriate things to me. He would tell me I smelled good and would ask about my perfume. Our students went on a class trip to this facility that taught kids about the workforce. One of the booths had a medical set up and he asked me to disrobe and put on a patient gown and wait for him to examine me. I was so desperate at the time for full-time work that I dutifully kept my mouth shut. But if I was the me that I am today, I would have ratted out his dirty disgusting ass so fast. This loser would also fall asleep in the middle of class and the whole building knew and no one said or did anything to reprimand him. They used fear to keep the non-tenures in check but now I have such an “I don’t give a fuck” mentality. I feel so empowered after all of the things I was able to accomplish that I don’t feel tied to these superficial rules or unspoken understandings. I realize that I won’t sacrifice my standards for anyone ever again.

Ever since I got laid off from my last teaching gig, I changed so, so much. As a writer, I read voraciously every article, I follow everyone’s social media, I read people’s thoughts, current events, what is really important to people and I’ve read so much about feminism, sexism, people fighting to be accepted in life and in the workforce and a fire awoken within me. I realized how fooled I was. I was re-living my mother’s life hiding in the shadows because of my physique, feeling guilty and ashamed for being heavier than the societal average. I fell for all those gimmicks and things that we hear about in commercials or see on t.v. or in the movies. The work culture shaming me into not buying that chocolate chip cookie that I really, really wanted.

I follow this body-positive woman on social media who discussed getting fat-shamed in public under the guise of being complimentary. She stated that the person sang the song “Baby Got Back” while she walked past her suggesting her backside was large. She brought up such a wonderful point stating, “How is that an insult?” I wrote and commented on her post and discussed my own experiences with being insulted over my figure also through similar means. The years I’ve spent substitute teaching, I was body shamed so many times by the students and they used supposed complimentary means to give me the hint that I was viewed as undesirable. They would tell me that I looked like Nikki Blonsky, Adele, or any other perceived fat celebrity out there. I knew it wasn’t a compliment. I remember when I first started substitute teaching, I was a lot thinner and I was once compared to both Amy Lee from Evanescence and Drew Barrymore. Why are we trained to view being compared to thinner actresses as a compliment but being compared to fat celebrities as an insult? I’d kill to be ANY of those celebrities fat or thin. They’re successful, rich, and financially set for life. Why wouldn’t I want to be any of them regardless of their physique? I’m so happy that I am able to live in a world where I finally see more representation in Hollywood of women who look more like me. I admire Nikky Blonsky, Adele, Britney Young, Chrissy Metz, Lena Dunham, Tess Holliday, Beth Ditto, and all the curvaceous and wildly talent beauties of Hollywood. I would love and be honored to be compared to any of these amazing women!

I just recently had my annual physical expecting to hear horrific news about my health. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that I am in damn good shape. No high blood pressure, no high cholesterol, no diabetes. My doctor said, and I quote, “You look like a healthy thirty-eight-year-old woman to me.” Thank you! That’s all I needed to hear. Now don’t misconstrue my words. I recognize and understand that some individuals have a genetic predisposition to have heart failure, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. But I don’t have any of these issues. I remember my last doctor before I switched to the wonderful doctor I have now, he told me that someone my age that looked how I looked should be taking Lipitor.  He said this without doing any bloodwork. He based it strictly on how I looked! He also told me without doing any tests that I have sleep apnea. Just by looking at me. I don’t snore. I only snore when I have a cold and I sleep the whole night and don’t wake up gasping for air. I can’t believe I allowed myself to be mistreated for as long as I was with that horrible, horrible doctor!

I feel so free now. I realize that other people will have their opinions. People like what they like and that’s fine. Just like some people might prefer rock music and others prefer country music. Some people prefer to go to the gym and exercise and others prefer to enjoy food and not be slaves to what others think of them because that’s what it all boils down to. Anyone who says they want to look good for themselves is full of shit. You do all of that so that others will compliment you and praise you for being dutiful and doing your job at being socially acceptable to look at. Who wants to be fat-shamed? No one. So we are brainwashed and manipulated into being good boys and girls and starving ourselves so that people won’t mock or make fun of us. We are in a society now with raised awareness where we now respect and accept people of all races, abilities, sexual orientation, etc. How is body shape any different? We aren’t the last classification that you’re allowed to mock or make fun of. We, like everyone else, deserve respect.

I realize being back in the dating pool since my break up, I am having a bitch of a time finding someone, not because of my looks. I’ve had guys tell me how sexy my figure was and people automatically assume that fat girls are “Down to Fuck” which is how one guy described me. What I’m finding to be the issue is that I consider myself wildly ambitious with my writing, intelligent, outspoken, and fierce, and have accomplished quite a lot over the years since I started this venture. Money doesn’t equate success to me. The amount of time, research, writing, creating, executing, marketing, blogging, attending webinars, reading books, social media, etc. Doing all of that and then finally seeing your work printed that’s what success looks like to me. Not the money in my wallet or bank account. Not my hair or makeup or pretty clothes or handsome men who give me attention who will only end up mistreating me in the future. That doesn’t matter to me. Being a successful writer, that matters to me. I’m done with superficiality. I want something real and I realized going back to dating that I may never find another man to be with and I’m at peace with that. I realize that men don’t want strong and independent and smart women. They want obedient, thin, submissive women who will spend hours praising them and allowing them to be successful while the women are barefoot and pregnant making jam in the kitchen. That isn’t going to be me. So until I find a happy complement to who I am, someone who appreciates me for every flaw, my makeup-less face, my greying hair, my clothes with stains and tattered fringes, my sandals with holes and broken straps, my hairy pits and hairy legs, my stubbled face when I don’t want to use depilatory measures to remove my facial hair. This is me. The real me. The unabridged me. The unafraid me. The me who no longer conforms to societal pressures. I don’t have to lose weight to fit in because I’m a metabolically healthy woman who is smart, sexy in my own way, independent where I can be given my finances, and I will pleasantly surprise you when I finally make it as a famous writer someday.  And I will do it looking just how I look today. Like the me I want to be, not what you want me to be.

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Thanks for stopping by and reading. Remember if you comment to keep it positive and nurturing. Only positive contributions get published on my blog. I don’t even read negative ones they end up getting deleted after reading the first few words so don’t waste the time or energy being mean or cruel. It’s unnecessary, foolish, and futile.

I am currently working on my new project. I am nowhere near ready to announce what it is yet. I like to keep things pretty quiet until I have a good working copy of what I’m doing. When I’m ready I will blog about it and let you all in on my latest project.

John of Art’s audiobook is currently in production (Thank you, Chris!).

Click on the link below if you’re interested in checking out any of my writing. Thanks so much! Have a great weekend everyone!

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

 

No One

blog pic july 16th, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Audible Page: A Wynter’s Tale

Promo Codes for A Wynter’s Tale:

For UK Listeners:

63YY6XLB44SX2

6SD66HTRRHZ5K

86WWER9THC4UL

9MFBR9DYZTWRY

A7W8DJA3QRCK8

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

For US Listeners:

2YWGDZFK55E82

3SAWYYYYBSP5U

5M3LUUT8JKEBK

5MQ4KUELAE2K4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VISIT THE MOONLIT GODDESS PATREON PAGE HERE

 

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

Vol 2 final front cover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VISIT MY PATREON PAGE HERE: THE MOONLIT GODDESS PATREON PAGE

My Radical Conclusion

Blog May 2, 2019

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

I am still pretty much fuming over yesterday’s ridiculousness over the embarrassment I exhibited in the doctor’s office. But instead of being negative about it, I decided to be productive and spent the remainder of the day searching for a new primary care physician (female this time, and a real doctor not these cute P.A.’s or whatever bullshit scam this country is peddling upon its citizens in lieu of legitimate healthcare). I also found a reputable ENT relatively nearby so that I am able to officially get some sort of hearing aid device for myself. I am sick and tired of being treated like a second class citizen. And I shouldn’t have to explain why I decided to start taking better care of myself. I am doing so because I fucking want to that’s why!

I was born in America. I have worked incredibly hard over the years just like everyone else. My means for someday obtaining financial freedom may be unconventional and not understood by those who were brainwashed into thinking that having someone else signing your paycheck is the only way to be respected and valued in the community. I am fiercely ambitious and you may consider me crazy but I will not stop fighting for a better life, for a better world, and my way of doing that is through my writing and art. This year, I feel that I have seamlessly transitioned from hobby writer to career writer and even though I’m not rolling in the dough, I have value, I am respected in my field, and I do deserve the same consideration and care as everyone else on the planet.

I read this amazing quote by Audre Lorde today. She once said, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” That’s the mantra I am currently adopting. I’m not going to let anyone guilt me into thinking that I’m not worth proper healthcare and I don’t have to justify why I’m seeking assistance in getting hearing aids, or bloodwork, or any other thing that will ensure that I remain healthy and mentally happy and at peace.

For years, I’ve allowed people to bring me down, to mock me, to make me feel inferior. But what have those people truly accomplished in their lives? Anyone can get married and/or divorced, have a slew of unruly kids, settle for a nine to five job making someone else richer, buy a home, a car and buy other materialistic bullshit that they just don’t need. I once prescribed to that notion. I felt hollow, empty for not being like everyone else. I tried the whole relationship thing. I was fed notions of possibly having a happily ever after, living in my own home, and all that. But I realized happiness is found from within and I feel truly fulfilled and free when I’m writing. I feel validated and purposeful and I know that my message is a strong one and others need to hear this message too so that we can all break these damaging so-called social norms that make people believe they need to achieve certain things and reach certain goals in order to make them feel whole. Granted, one may feel fulfilled with the lives that they currently have. I’m not arguing that my way is better than anyone else’s. My argument here is to respect that there is more than one way to fry an egg. Happiness is individualized. My happiness differs from yours. And vice-versa. I realize I give too much clout to others and their opinions. But it makes me fucking furious thinking there are people out there who appear villainous and actually thrive on seeing people fail and falling flat on their faces. This rage fires deep within me and I will not stop until I am recognized for my positive contributions to society.

I noticed right away since I was a little girl that I was not like everyone else. My first bra was a neon green disaster. I wore neon pink bicycle shorts and a playboy t-shirt hand-me-down from my older brother. My hair cuts were never fashionable and always uneven. I always got dirty from doing somersaults in the park falling into piles of geese-poop horribly embarrassing family and friends. I have fallen down concrete steps, knees bleeding profusely, while my dad was part of a Portugal day festival in the city hall where I grew up totally shaming my family and godparents. I have fallen down stairs more often than not, that was a major theme in my childhood. I have fallen after attempting to climb a retaining wall in fear of missing the school bus as my sister watched in horror from the school bus in front of all of her friends. I am shy, I am weird, I don’t smell the greatest all the time, I cry a lot and can’t control my emotions and sometimes appear somewhat of a crazy person when I am horribly triggered by cruel and mean-spirited people. I’m outspoken and feisty and have this unusual blend of soft-heartedness and lion-heartedness that often fight together until they harmoniously decide to get along and help me be the productive person that I am today.

I say and do weird things making others uncomfortable. I curse like a sailor on leave, I burp, I fart, I eat with my elbows on the table, I am comfortable talking about my bowel movements in front of family at the dinner table, I laugh at fart jokes and enjoy potty humor, and I wear dresses with stains on them that are not ironed and have cat fur all over them. My hair is in knots, my mother and sister forced me to dye my hair because it had ten-inch gray roots and they bought me hair dye from the supermarket so that I’d look decent for my latest newspaper interview. I may look like I have it all put together in my profile picture, but I’m a wild, feral, hot mess and I have been this way since the day I popped out of my mom’s vagina.

I say and do awkward shit, I can count the number of friends I have on one finger, I eat noisily and fast, I enjoy Mexican food and ice cold root beer and I am done apologizing for who I am.

For those who question why I dress well and have nice boots even though I don’t currently make a lot of money with my writing, don’t realize that my clothes are either donated to me by my mom since we are the same size, or clothes I have purchased years ago when I was teaching. I am not fussy about clothes and just wear old stuff that I take care of because I’m not a behemoth beast. I also notoriously hate wearing shoes and I only own 5 pairs of shoes. I own flip flops to wear around the house, sneakers to go walking in outdoors, my very old Doc Martens flowery boots which may look nice on the outside but smell like your grandma’s crotch on the inside from years of wear, my sandals for the summer that are on their last leg and are about to bust apart at the straps, and my winter boots to ward against ice and snow. I am sick of justifying who I am to others who lack any sort of emotional intelligence or even general intelligence. The amount of willfully ignorant people around me are astounding and no amount of education can create the level of self-awareness and common sense people need to really pay attention to the things that really matter around us.

To the person who stole my quarter bug juice at snack time consecutively every day for 180 school days in Kindergarten and I never said a thing to stop her, to the kid who spat in my face with a mouth full of ham and mayo every day at lunch consecutively every day for 180 days in 1st grade and I never said a thing to stop him, to the little bitch who lied and told the teacher I threw her down the stairs during dismissal when I was nowhere near her in line and I never defended myself, to the teacher who shamed me when I didn’t understand long division showing the class my paper with a zero on it trying to shame me into somehow magically passing not realizing it wasn’t because I wasn’t studying, it was because I just didn’t understand what to do and she did a lousy job teaching me, who will also never know that I got straight A’s in math from senior year in high school all throughout my college career including bachelors, masters, and doctorate years, to the bullies who called me fat and have compared me to every fat actress out there like that is some sort of insult when all of those so-called “fat actresses” are the people whom I admire the most in Hollywood, to the student who called me an idiot who provided the final straw on my last day of substitute teaching and made me finally realize that it was time to move on and taught me that I deserved so much more than the bullshit I was being served, to all of my abusers and oppressors of all forms who have created this neurotic, anxious, and often, depressed individual, I will continue to fight not for you, not because of you, but in spite of you and your patheticness. I continue to write in spite of you. I pour my emotions on this page in spite of you. To send a message to the world, who so desperately needs to hear it that whatever someone does and whatever their circumstances are, happens to be none of anyone’s business but their own, and what works for one person does not work for all. Everyone is on the same team and we are all battling the same villains. Instead of turning on each other and being cruel and meanspirited, reach your hand out to heal, not to destroy. Because you don’t know what is going on in another person’s mind. You’ll never know. I’ll leave you all with another one of my all-time favorite quotes from R.J. Palacio’s marvelous book, Wonder, “When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind.” Believe me. It makes all the difference!

By the way, I chose today’s photo because it looked like the middle flowers were flipping the bird. It seemed apropos given today’s topic. Alright, NOW I will choose kind! 🙂

(Of course, I appreciate all of my readers and followers but I wanted to give a shout out to one new follower in particular who gave me props for yesterday’s blog–My message to you is to always keep fighting for what truly matters in life and never let anyone tell you no!)

 

Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 3: The Wilted Perennials of Yesteryear Released Today on Amazon for Kindle and Paperback!

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

Hello everyone! I am so excited to announce the release of my latest work! Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 3: The Wilted Perennials of Yesteryear is now available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle Editions! I am so very proud of this work! This was my focus throughout the whole month of January. As many of my readers already know, 2019 started off with heartbreak. I saw two forks in the road for myself in 2019. I could have either taken the self-destructive path and allowed what I went through to destroy me internally, or use my pain productively and focus on my writing. So, I chose to work on my writing and rebuild all of the momenta I had lost in 2018.

For Dark Musings Volume 1, I had focused on my transition from leaving education to becoming a writer and that volume focused greatly on loss, and rebuilding my life from the ground up. Dark Musings Volume 2 was an experimental anthology where I wrote my very first epic poem and decided to incorporate illustrations, photography, and short stories with this work. I simultaneously released Volume 2 with the 2nd edition of Volume 1 to incorporate photography in this edition as well.

For Dark Musings Volume 3, I decided to include 45 poems and one short story entitled, “The Clown-Covered Canvas.” The 45 poems in this volume vary in topics including heartbreak, nostalgia, how I am coping with my dad’s dementia, and feminism. I experimented with several types of poetry such as: haiku, sestina, sonnets, concrete poetry, ekphrastic poetry, elegies, villanelles, acrostics, epigrams, limericks, free verse, tanka, and more! I tried to really vary the styles of each poem. I am very proud of this work. Since the theme for Volume 3 is “The Wilted Perennials of Yesteryear,” I decided to incorporate my photography of nature. I included pictures of flowers, landscapes, and photos depicting the handiwork of mother nature.

Here are pictures of the front cover and back cover of my book:

 

The back cover blurb reads:

Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 3, The Wilted Perennials of Yesteryear, focuses on heartbreak, loss, nostalgia, and coping with the illness of a loved one. The third anthology of the Dark Musings Poetry Anthology series contains forty-five poems and includes one bonus short story, “The Clown-Covered Canvas.”

For those of you interested, you may purchase my book using the orange links below:

Kindle Edition: $9

Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 3: The Wilted Perennials of Yesteryear Kindle

Paperback: $25

Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 3: The Wilted Perennials of Yesteryear Paperback

 

 

For those of you interested in my back catalog of other written works, please visit my Amazon Author Page for my writing: PSG Lopes/The Moonlit Goddess’ Amazon Author Page

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Or Amazon Marketplace for my song single, “In Recovery”: PSG Lopes/The Moonlit Goddess Song Single “In Recovery”

I am trying to work on possibly doing a Virtual Launch Party for Dark Musings Volume 3. I will update you more about that as and when it happens. For now, I am currently in the process of working on my next project. I am wasting no time and diving right in. I currently have 2 more things I’m working on at the moment. I want to thank the followers of my blog and social media, my weekly listeners of my podcast, and my friends and family who have supported me throughout this odyssey of mine.

Thank you for never giving up on me! Thanks to anyone who supports my work. I hope that you enjoy the work that you will kindly leave feedback on Amazon. It really greatly helps with spreading the word out on what I do!

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On a side note, for those of you who missed it yesterday! Yesterday’s podcast was the first interview I conducted with the ever-talented comedienne and writer Amanda Lynn Baez! We had so much fun talking about our career paths, women working in competitive creative fields, feminism and so much more! I was so happy to do this interview for several reasons. Firstly, Amanda is a former student and I love highlighting success stories of those who have graduated. I absolutely love Amanda’s positivity and fearless nature. She will let nothing get in the way of her success. She was an inspiration to me and motivated me as well. Last night, I was interviewed for my local paper and I was nervous about it in the morning but after conducting that interview with Amanda earlier in the day, and just hearing her story of empowerment and courage, that really helped provide me with my own confidence to proceed with my own interview later that evening. I am a firm believer in the saying, “everything happens for a reason!” So, thank you, Amanda! I wish you much success and luck in life!

If you haven’t yet, give the podcast a listen. Just click the orange link below! Thank you so much!

PSG Lopes/The Moonlit Goddess Podcast Interview with Amanda Lynn Baez

If any women are interested in being interviewed for my podcast please email me at themoonlitgoddess@gmail.com  

We can set up a time to do our podcast. I am highlighting women of all ages who are entering, have entered, or are well-established in entrepreneurial or creative fields and who would like to highlight their success stories to my listeners. These are volunteer spots as I cannot currently afford to pay my guests, but volunteers do get copies of my books and other fun treats for their time!

Thanks again, everyone! Onward and Upward!