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.
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
ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES, UNLESS EXPLICITLY EXPRESSED OTHERWISE. FEATURED PHOTO TODAY IS FROM HIDDEN TRANSFORMATIONS COLORING BOOK PUBLISHED BY MINDWARE 2007. ALL RESPECTIVE RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019.
I realize it has been a hot minute since I have posted anything on my blog. I have been going through some personal issues that I needed to take care of in order to move forward with my writing and other ventures.
As many of my readers are already aware of, I have been a lifelong sufferer of depression and anxiety. I sought help in 2002 right after college but I didn’t stick with the regimen because my doctor ended up dying and I was sick of feeling like utter crap and no one helping me or understanding me that I went rogue and stopped going to therapy and quit the medicine I was taking cold turkey. Until then, I’ve endured many hardships but I’ve had some happy moments mixed in and was able to compartmentalize my depression and anxiety and bounce myself back to my own state of equilibrium and I was able to function in my own way. Yes, the underlying issues still remained but I was able to be a functioning depressed and anxious person for a very long time.
This year, I’ve faced one hardship too many and this was the very first time in my adult life that I found it virtually impossible to bounce back the way that I needed to in order to continue being a productive member of society. I just couldn’t handle things on my own anymore. The very last straw was how I was treated at my old doctor’s office in early May. I snapped and decided that enough was enough. I have been shit on my entire life and I wasn’t going to allow anyone else to speak to me in the way that I was spoken to that day. That was the very last day I was ever going to allow people to speak to me like I was lower than they were. I have accomplished so much in my life, so much more than most around me. I am not nothing. I have value and I deserve to be treated like everyone else. Today’s photo is a coloring book page that I found from a book in 2007. When I first saw the picture I thought it looked like me in my twenties, that’s why I liked it so much. Upon coloring the photo, the picture came to life to me and I wished I was that person in that photo: strong, powerful, beautiful, graceful, and poised, instead of the falling down mess I became in my thirties.
I realized I desperately needed help and the first step to getting that help was seeking out a new primary doctor. Due to the limitations of my insurance, I had to settle for another male doctor. I was very nervous going into the appointment the first time. I was grateful that my mom was able to go with me both times that I went so far. Thanks, mom! I have developed this new mantra based on Adelita’s Way song “Ready for War.” They sing, “I pray for peace but I’m ready for war.” That’s my new mantra. I go into every new situation hoping for a peaceful interaction but secretly my fists are clenched and I’m ready to fight holy hell if I have to to get to a healthy place mentally and physically. I went into my doctor’s appointment, not at all hopeful and waiting for the same spiel, “You’re fat, lose weight, here’s a bunch of prescription, come back in six months.” But what I found, pleasantly surprised me. He just had this positive aura about him right from walking into the room. I just knew instantly that I could trust him. I spoke to him, choking back tears, bravely telling him every single thing that had been holding me back for years and he not only listened, he handed me tissues, he gave me permission to feel how I felt, he gave me permission to relax and just let life happen, and not bear the burdens of the entire world on my shoulder. He is teaching me to tackle one thing at a time and that I can do what I can but I’m not a failure if I can’t do it all in one day. I was so relieved to finally find someone who fucking understands. I waited twenty years to hear those words even though, I really needed that every day my whole damn life.
I am finally getting my life back on track. I did bloodwork and I’m happy to report that I’m a fucking healthy thirty-eight-year-old woman! Fuck the assholes who are so concerned about my weight. I’m metabolically healthy and I’m proud of my body and I don’t need to fit into the standards of society. I go for walks when I can, and I mix good food with the bad so fuck everyone else who has a problem with me. This bitch is fat and she’s most likely staying this way for a while, at least until I get my shit together.
I am going back to therapy, I also made appointments for other doctors like gynecologist, dermatologist, etc. I finally feel like I have control over my life again. Everything was collapsing around me beginning this new years eve with my breakup, my dad nearly dying, and just trying to deal with all of the drama around me. The force field around me that I used to protect myself was weakening and I couldn’t hold on any longer. I was so relieved to unleash all of my heart’s burdens to my doctor. Like Carrie Underwood’s song, “Jesus Take the Wheel,” I’m not a religious woman, but I was so the personification of that sentiment that day. I gave all of my burdens to my doctor and he was more than happy to take them away from me, give me permission to feel, and help me acknowledge that I won’t get the answers that I crave for closure and described my life experiences as a gallery in an art museum and he said that some exhibits I can visit freely pain-free, but some I’m going to have to put a tarp over and walk by and that’s okay. Sometimes things just don’t get resolved no matter how much I grieve or revisit, or self-blame, or torture myself over. Shit happens basically. I needed to hear that more than anyone will ever know. I want to thank that man so much for not only saving my life, but seeing my life as something worth saving. He will never quite understand the immensity of his words that first day. Even his entire staff was helpful and kind and that meant the entire world to me too. So, thank you!
That all helped me put things into perspective and help re-set my mindset for my writing and other future ventures. I am a little behind on my editing of John of Art but I still have the tentative release date for both the song and the book as August 15th. I really want to make sure that this book is absolutely perfect. I don’t have any means of recording the song in a way that is professional so I’m just going to sing it and place it on my Bandcamp account when I’m releasing the book on the same day and will be sure to post links for both. If you noticed my Amazon Author Page, I did release the song lyrics already to the
John of Art song. It’s available for 99 cents for the Kindle, if anyone is interested in supporting me and getting a glimpse of song lyrics, I’d appreciate your support and feedback. You can access this and my other works on my Amazon Author Page here: amazon.com/author/psglopes
I found a wonderful resource in Amanda Palmer’s book, The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help. This book opened my eyes for a lot of reasons. I always felt like a loser asking people for donations for my work. I first utilized crowdfunding in 2014 when I was hoping to finish my phd. I ran out of funding for the oral defense and sought out the help of others. I will never forget my cousin, Julie, gave me one hundred dollars. I felt so touched by this gesture. I was not accustomed to having family believe in me and when she told me that she believed in me that moment changed me forever. Even though I didn’t meet my goal for the crowdfunding, I never forgot her kindness and I always promised myself to return the favor somehow someday but I never was in a position to do so. I was always struggling and coming up for air my whole life. But I want her to know that I will never forget that one moment of pure kindness. That moment taught me so much. It taught me that there are still amazing people out there. It taught me that there’s no shame in asking for help when you’ve exhausted all your other options. I’ve learned that it’s not being pathetic or foolish reaching out and asking for others’ help. I have just befriended an individual who lives in the deep south and he told me that in that area they are big on being neighborly and that’s what’s missing in the area in which I live, that long-lost concept of neighbors helping out neighbors.
I no longer feel foolish in asking for help when I need it. I feel that what I’m doing is powerful and can help a lot of people and I wish to continue fighting for my work. If others come along and help I’ll always be greatly appreciative but I’m no longer going to see it as modern day panhandling. Especially in the arts where people have to fight tooth and nail to keep art alive nowadays. Every bit of help counts and matters, as long as we work together to keep art thriving and alive.
On that note, I do have a Patreon account mostly for professional editing services and to produce my song professionally. If you are interested in taking a look you’ll find that page here: www.patreon.com/themoonlitgoddess
I thank you all as always for coming back and checking up on me and what I’ve got going on in my life. I hope that my words prove helpful and encourages others to seek help if they need it. What I’ve learned from my ordeal is you have to be persistent and not give up after the first try. You have to shout louder and louder each time until someone finally hears you. There are people out there who will listen. I wish you all a productive and fruitful week full of laughter, love, hope, and friendship. Let us continue to be good to one another and lift each other up when things are not going well in our lives. Judgment has no place at my dinner table.
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
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.
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!
ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019.
My family and I have been taking care of feral cats for almost two decades. What started off as feeding a stray cat here and there turned into a solid feral colony which we feed and take care of daily. It is costly and is a lot of responsibility. And it is more than just taking care of the cats. We have to fight with neighbors who do not agree with feeding strays because they make a mess and those individuals usually lack the proper education on how these animals live.
We have had so many stray cats touch our lives over the years. The gift of caring for another living being is just such a treasure. I never had children of my own, so I consider my cats to be my children.
In the early summer of 2017, three of our feral cats gave birth to a litter of fourteen kittens! We worked with this group in our town called TNR-Trap, Neuter, Return. This organization of volunteers will go around placing humane traps to capture the feral cats so that they can have them neutered or spayed, and returned to their colony. To date, all but two of our feral cats are neutered or spayed. They are the wildest of our colony and are virtually impossible to capture. Anyhow, of this litter, spawned my little Stan! I named him Stanlee after the great Stan Lee, the comic book genius. My family and I adopted Stanlee. I took care of him since he was a little baby. He was such a mushy, whiny little baby. He loved his cuddles and loved being warm and was such a sweet, inspiring little nugget. The head of the town’s TNR group captured the remaining kittens and gave them all proper homes.
This whole experience inspired me to create “The Will O’ The Wisp” children’s books series. Instead of looking at the same old boring children’s books you see in the children’s book store, I decided to create children’s books that educate and relay a positive message to children.
Little Stan’s Lucky Day teaches children about the difference between feral cats and domesticated cats and talks about all of my own cats and how Stanlee adapted to living in his new home. All of my children’s books are told in the form of a poem. That’s my writing style for the children’s books. The illustrations of this book were photographs of my domesticated cats that were stylized and filtered to look like oil paintings. Any proceeds for this book goes back to the care of the ferals and domesticated cats that my family and I care for as the care for taking care of the animals is very expensive.
Another message that I wish to convey is that it doesn’t matter if you take care of one cat or two hundred cats. Your contributions to these animal’s lives mean everything to these cats, who would’ve normally suffered without our intervention. All of my domesticated cats were once strays. I wish that I could take in every single abandoned or stray cat out there but I don’t have the space nor the resources for them. I feel good that I am able to do what I can for the ones we do care for. I feel that it is imperative to reach out and teach everyone, especially our youth, and teach them kindness, compassion, and mercy even for our furry friends!
Writing this children’s book was one of the greatest achievements of my life. I am so proud of this book because it was my first children’s book. I am also proud that it is meaningful. I see so many horrible children’s books out there. Books about crude things like farting and such and I think to myself, “How on earth did they get these books published?” With every work that I produce, I try not to be frivolous. I aim to write with a purpose and with meaning. I aim to help others and educate them on various topics that people may not previously be aware of and it is important to use my platform in a positive manner. These are some pictures of Little Stan’s Lucky Day book cover and of Stanlee when he was a baby and what he looks like now.
Stanlee is a very independent cat with a strong sense of self. He likes being pet on his own terms and even nibbles playfully on your hand when he wants more pets or when he wants to be left alone. He still loves and remembers his mama and will come to me when I call his name but out of all of my cats, he does not like to be coddled. He likes to explore and be his own cat and hang out with his other fur friends! I love my little Stanlee and will always cherish the time I had with him raising him as a baby. That time does not last when they are so small and are so mushy. Then they go off and become happy, flourishing adult cats! It is a great sight to behold and one that I am so proud to be a part of! Thanks so much for reading about my journey with feral cats and domesticated cats and the making of my first children’s book. This book, as well as all my other books, are available on Amazon as a paperback or ebook in Kindle format: amazon.com/author/psglopes.
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!
ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019.
So a lot has been going on in my life and I know that I have not been blogging lately. I have been trying to stay focused on writing my latest project, my second novella, John of Art. At the beginning of May, I had a lot of difficulties regarding issues with my health (the hearing aid debacle), finding a new doctor, and starting my novella and losing fifty-five pages of progress. That was all very devastating to me. But as usual, being used to adversity and being used to being treated horribly by those of little significance to me, I decided to keep going full steam ahead. What started off as a negative at the beginning of the month, has turned into prosperity towards the end of this month.
I am a full believer that life provides a yin and yang experience. For every negative, there’s a positive just around the corner. So instead of dwelling on everything that is going wrong, I am choosing to focus on everything that is going right.
As of today, I can proudly say, after thirty-eight years of struggle, I, PSG Lopes, also known as The Moonlit Goddess, FINALLY has procured my hearing aids! For every villain in the world, there are still heroes out there. A wonderful woman fought very hard for me to get my hearing aids. I am forever in her debt. What she did for me went above and beyond anyone has ever gone for me. She is a virtual stranger but she was so determined after hearing my struggles and what I went through. She worked hard to make sure that I have my hearing aids. I feel blessed. I feel an unfamiliar feeling. I am so used to being hurt, disappointed, abused, mistreated, that when people are actually good to me I am not sure how to feel. It’s quite unique, this feeling.
To have someone who barely knew me work so hard to help me, it is just such a gift. I am so beyond grateful that good people still exist on this planet. A million thanks to those who still possess kindness, compassion, empathy, love, patience, understanding, and mercy. She told me something interesting that I hadn’t thought of. She told me that those girls who gave me grief at my old doctor’s office were so concerned by me because of my beauty and because I am not miserable. They are all young, on the cusp of adulthood, late teens, working straight out of high school. The one who gave me trouble was an obese teenager who was already married and got knocked up during high school. She said she was probably threatened by me. The woman who helped me said that I have this light about me.
I feel that people have always been threatened by me inexplicably. My response to this is simple. I am confident because I know what it’s like to be with nothing. I smile because I have known my share of sorrow. I am fierce because I know what it means to feel weak and powerless. I recognize and understand that these girls have nothing but their small world in that office. They’ve never experienced anything greater than themselves and lack the emotional intelligence to properly understand and comprehend what someone like myself has gone through. My life experiences are a burden to me but they are mine and not easily understood by those without insight. Maybe one day they’ll get it. Maybe one day they’ll know. But not today. And that really isn’t my problem. My problem is making sure that I’m healthy and well taken care of and I should never feel guilty for wanting to better myself. So instead of harboring anger, I want to extend a thank you because without that incident I wouldn’t have pushed harder for myself to be the best possible version of myself that I can create for myself.
As for the fifty-five pages that I lost of my manuscript, I not only got those fifty-five pages back, but I am now one hundred and two pages richer in my manuscript. I am right on schedule for a July/August release of my latest novella, John of Art. I am in the market for an editor and someone to help me cut a song single for my book as well. The lyrics and melody are all set. I just need to record it professionally and get it ready for a co-release with my book in a few weeks. So if anyone knows of anyone who can help, I’d be greatly appreciative. Thanks for all your support and your constant revisiting of my blog.
Thank you all for your continued interest in my crazy world! Love to all and hope you are all happy and healthy!
ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, 2019. ARTICLE PHOTO COURTESY OF CARMO PEREIRA VIA LUSO-AMERICANO, May 10th, 2019.
Hello, everyone! There is so much to say today! First of all, I have released a new podcast this week with a whole range of topics including the latest article I was featured in from the Portuguese newspaper Luso-Americano written by the AMAZING Carmo Pereira (Thanks once again!). This article discusses my latest publication, my children’s book, My Papa and Me: A Children’s Book About Our Journey With Dementia. Also in this week’s podcast, I discuss all of my misfortunes in 2019, how I am learning to overcome them all and fight back and defend myself, the power of saying no when you’re not comfortable in a situation, and I even tackle the abortion debate that is heating up in our country as of late, plus so much more!
You can listen to my latest podcast here: PSG Lopes/ The Moonlit Goddess Podcast