This is How We Do It

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

First of all, I’d like to thank each and every one of you for the overwhelming responses I received for the release of my second novella, John of Art! I am beyond touched and honored to have so many congratulations for this latest book of mine! This was the book that didn’t want to be written. With so many obstacles and twists and turns over the years, I’m so thrilled that this book was finally published.

For those of you who are interested in purchasing the book, for now, it’s only available through Amazon in paperback and Kindle e-book format, also e-book format through Nook, Kobo, iBooks, and anywhere e-books are sold. I am working on getting the paperback distributed through B&N, Lulu, and other outlets and will reveal that when it’s finally available that way as well. My wonderful voice over artist will be working on the audiobook soon and that will be out the end of August, early September and I will let you guys know when that’s available as well. There is a song that accompanies the book. If you purchase the paperback or ebook, the QR code scans directly to the song. I figured there’s no sense in waiting for everything little thing to be completely done when the book is just sitting there on Amazon so I decided to do a limited release for the paperback and e-book version through Amazon and trickle the remaining releases as they come over the next few weeks. If you’re interested in purchasing the book you can do so by clicking on the book cover below. Thanks again to everyone. I have never felt this loved! Hugs to all.

There is one thought-provoking phenomenon that I’d like to address based on the many comments, compliments, and praises I’ve been receiving regarding my latest book that has me thinking. One of the most common comments that I hear as an author when I talk to non-writers is “Oh, you wrote a book? I should write a book too!” Not only do I find this to be a backhanded compliment which, in my opinion at least, diminishes the accomplishment of the author and makes it seem like it’s such an easy task that any average Joe off the street can achieve this themselves, which they very well may, but there are some things many don’t consider.

There are issues many don’t realize when they decide they want to write a book. Writing the book is the easiest part of the whole journey, it’s what you do after the book is done that’s what really weeds out the weak. You have to shift away from being a consumer to being someone who wants to sell your product. An important thing to ask yourself too when you want to write a book is “Do I support other local writers?” If that answer is a hard no then ask yourself the next question, “If I don’t support local writers then what makes me think that other people will support my work?” I try my best to give shout outs, likes, and praises to fellow authors. Honestly, I just don’t have the funds to buy each and every book of authors that I really like but there are so many ways to show your support. Even a friendly shout out and kudos from a fellow writer is one of the greatest joys and pleasures that I get out of writing that surpasses the delight of actually publishing the book. I made a promise to myself that when I was financially set that I would buy books of fledgling artists but for now my praises are all I have to give.

I’ve been writing professionally since 2016, and I’ve learned the hard way that friends, family, acquaintances, etc. are not always going to be your target audience. Depending on what you write, your style of writing, what you’re trying to depict in your work may not resonate with those in your closest circle. You need to widen the net past those closest to you and start networking and talking to others and build a connection. The novelty wears off after the first book and your friends and family will buy less and less of your work. You need a fanbase and those who follow and support your mission and what you’re hoping to relay with your words. Writing is not a frivolous action. Writers write with meaning, with intention, with the hopes that with every word we write, our readers will decipher and decode our words to learn who we really are as human beings. Writing, to me, is my battle cry. Writing is my way of getting people’s attention to a certain issue that bothers me so that others will get just as passionate and join me in making the world just a little nicer for us all.

Marketing your work takes patience and takes hours of networking. Social media exchanges, blogging, podcasting, newspaper articles, interviews, etc. It’s a lot to digest. Building a writing community with other fellow writers and artists so you don’t feel like you’re in this all alone is paramount to any other action done to create a successful career as an author. A prospective writer needs to decide who they want their demographic to be. Consider why you are writing a piece and why should someone care that you’re writing? It’s so much more than saying here, here’s my book, now give me your money. No, it’s I’ve just poured my heart out on these pages, will you take a chance and read this book? And even though it’s a work of fiction, if you read between the lines, you’ll learn more about me than you’d ever hope to know.

Saying things like I should write a book too truly reduces the hard work that went into writing and presenting this work to others and makes it seem like just anyone can just pick up a pen and write and make a good book. I wrote about this in a blog a year ago where I stated that just because you can string words together in a sentence doesn’t make you a writer and just because you can write doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Everyone’s got a sob story. Everyone has a story they believe would make a great book. But there’s a significant gap between those who feel they could write a book compared to those who actually achieve that goal and make the book a success. I’ve known people who spent their whole lives just writing one novel. I also know people who can crank out book after book after book. Everyone is different. Writing is challenging. People are going to criticize you and diminish you and reduce you to minuscule proportions. Writers develop thick, reptilian skin and rejection and criticism comes with the territory of writing.

You will learn who your true friends are, who your true advocates and champions are, as well as the leeches who hang onto you for dear life hoping you’ll make it big so they have an excuse to follow you around wherever you head next in life and be able to say, “Hey, I know that person! She’s my friend!” When in actuality they are no friend of yours. Other questions to consider: Do you become self-published or traditionally published? What genre you want to write: poetry, short stories, screenplays, movie scripts, tv shows, Broadway plays, novels, fiction, nonfiction, romance, speculative fiction, etc.? Do you get an agent? Do you need an agent? What’s your budget for each work? Can you live without watching t.v., going out with friends and family, and living as a hermit for months until your work is finally finished? Who will edit your work? Are the people you choose to read your work willing to sign non-disclosure agreements? Do you have trustworthy people in your life that will give you helpful, supportive feedback that is not negative or mean-spirited? As a writer, you begin to weed people out of your life who don’t follow or support your mission as a writer. You are either Team me or you’re not. There’s no time for being on the fence or being unsupportive.

I have people who have been reading my blogs, listening to my podcast, and following me since I started writing day one and that is something that I cherish the most. Those who have proven themselves loyal and have stuck by me and have carried me through the worst patches of my life while also joining me in celebration during my triumphs. Life is a nasty road to navigate through and you cannot do it alone. It is an honor and privilege to have you all there alongside me throughout this Odyssey.

Also, the expenses for writing and working really hard trying not to get duped by companies desperately trying to steal your precious dollars for services you don’t need like editing, formatting, book cover creation, submitting to services like Amazon where it’s free to publish, book review services, etc. People just see the final product. The book. And everyone’s suddenly a writer and an expert. It’s a silly thing to say really. And those words shouldn’t be wasted. I don’t want to hear maybe you should write a book too. Come back to me when the statement becomes, “Look, I’ve written a book.” Then we’ll talk. Until then, saying congratulations followed by a period is sometimes all the commentary that’s needed. Thanks for the continued support and thanks to those who have or will purchase the new book. I cherish you all and look forward to new and exciting things that are yet to come.

 

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

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

When I was twenty-eight years old, I was smack dab in the middle of working on my master’s degree. A few years prior, I had just gotten fired for the first time in my life and I was so lost, so depressed, and I was essentially an empty shell of a woman. I lived in my bathrobe as I wrote paper after paper trying to finish up my degree. I overate and ate the worst possible foods ever, I watched a lot of t.v., I played online Scrabble endlessly for hours when I wasn’t working on school work, and I isolated myself from the outside world. The only thing that was going right for me was my educational path which I clung to for dear life.

One afternoon, my sister came home from work and forwarded me this writing contest. She told me to give it a shot and that the prize money was worth at least entering. So I did. I wrote this short story called, “A Breath of Freedom,” which I happened to include in my Dark Musings Poetry Anthology: Volume 2, nearly ten years later. Anyhow, one day I received a letter saying that I had won third place in the competition and was awarded $500. At the time, I had never cried so hard with gratitude. I had desperately needed that cash. I was able to use that money to buy my family Christmas presents that year. It was a true Christmas miracle. I even took my mother and sister down to Princeton to receive my award. I was even in the newspaper for the first time in my life. That period in my life was truly momentous and I will always be grateful to my sister for passing along that opportunity. I also remember showing my father that piece of writing. This was way before his diagnosis with dementia. He was a writer and artist as well and I remember him telling me that my story was corny after he read it. Instead of congratulating his daughter and encouraging her to move forward with writing, I was met with resentment and jealousy. I shook it off and didn’t let that sully this incredible event that happened in my life. This came at a time I needed to regain confidence, regain faith, regain the belief that somehow, someway, everything was going to work out alright for me. I needed this push in the right direction. I went on to finish my masters and work on my doctorate subsequently after and spent several years after that substitute teaching and long-term subbing.

In 2016, I was once again at a difficult crossroads in my life. I was laid off from a really wonderful teaching gig I had acquired. Being done with schooling, and wanting to finally start my life, I, yet again, was ousted from this security net I was provided with and found myself once more lost, uncertain of the future, scared, and most of all poor. I had to do something, and fast. I had been wanting to be a writer for as long as I could remember. When I went to Virginia the first year for my residency hours while working on my doctorate, I came across several amazing individuals. This one person, I will never forget, said something so profound on the last day of our residency that it stayed with me to this day. He said to our professor, “You’ve awoken a passion within me that I never knew I had.” That is what writing provided for me. Writing gave me a voice, which I never had before. Writing gave me a passion, which I was never allowed to have before. Writing became my salvation, my redemption, my hope, my peace, my sanctuary, my escape from all that ailed me. Writing became my therapist, my best friend, my confidante. Writing became my past time, my joy, my anguish, my pain. I spent hours, upon hours writing down everything that had ever hurt me in my entire life–every painful memory that still entraps me to this day. Writing gave me a release, gave me a reason, an excuse to finally let things go. Writing gave me permission to finally be the human being I had always wanted to be. Writing gave me purpose–a reason to get up in the morning. Writing became the one and only thing that no one could take away from me.

Since I’ve started writing in 2016, I’ve released so many pieces through Amazon. For funding, I’ve submitted side pieces to hundreds of organizations, magazines, contests, freelance opportunities, etc. But I had not been able to have a lightning strike for me twice since that day in 2009 when I won my first contest. Ten years later, technology is booming at its highest peak. Social media is swelling with promising new writers who practically step over each other, so desperate to be heard. My work has persistently gone unnoticed for years. I receive rejection more than I hear praise. If it wasn’t for my voice over artist/editor/mentor/newfound friend I’d quit completely. She has become such an advocate for my writing and encourages me to keep going every day.

 

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Writing provides me with so many ups and downs emotionally. There are some days where I feel so triumphant for how successful I was with my writing progress. I can belt out six thousand words in a day no problem and re-read everything and I feel such pride for how much I have grown as a writer over the years. Then there are the setbacks when I receive yet another discouraging rejection letter. I feel trapped sometimes. I feel like time is running out for me. Heavily in debt and fearful for my future, I often wonder how I became this foolish. I often blame myself and punish myself for not being “normal” like everyone else. I hate that I’m different. I hate that I stand out. I hate that my path has always been more difficult than other people. I just want to be like everyone else. But I know I never will be.

It’s been one heck a year for me. I have had to re-teach myself how to be strong and independent and break myself away from that mentality of being someone’s fiance. I hated that at first. I resented it even. I felt like Bella Swan from Twilight during the time she was away from Edward. You live your life and the time passes by around you but you’re not living. You’re barely breathing. You’re barely eating. You have no memory of the months that zoomed past you. You’re just surviving. Surviving was the very least my body was capable of in those lonely winter months. But then the sun comes out one day and its bright triumphant beams hit you smack dab in the eyes in the early morning and you wake up finally transformed and metamorphosed and you think, “Finally.” You finally breathe, eat, smell that fresh air, and feel the magnitude of what you’ve been through. You recall the harsh lessons learned. You become more protected, more guarded, more aware of your surroundings. You trust less, but you’re still you to the outside world, just this more polished version. I am not my mistakes. I am not my past. I am not my failures. I’m more than that. Way more. And with every rejection I receive, I’m only that much more determined to keep trying. To keep improving. To keep writing like I’ve never written before. If you don’t believe in me, who cares, I’ll keep writing until I find someone who will believe in me. I don’t write for you. I write for me. I write to keep going in this crazy world. I write for meaning, for inspiration, for perspective, for peace, for sanity. I write to make others see that triumph really does spawn from tragedy if you just keep going and let that sun reach your face. I will not give up. I will not allow you or anyone else to dampen my spirit any longer. Reject my words but somehow, somewhere, someway, someone will embrace me and I cannot wait for that day and tell you all about it.

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

The Spirited Writer-This Week’s Podcast

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

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

LISTEN TO THIS WEEK’S PODCAST HERE

VISIT THE MOONLIT GODDESS PATREON PAGE HERE

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

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

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

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

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

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

Audible: A Wynter’s Tale Audiobook via Audible!

Amazon: A Wynter’s Tale via Amazon!

iTunes: A Wynter’s Tale via iTunes!

 

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

These Past 3 Weeks

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

2019 has proven to be one of the most harrowing years of my entire life. I have endured quite a bit over the years but I always seem to be outdone by even greater and more severe challenges. Just when I fear that I can no longer handle what is being handed to me, I finally, FINALLY, see the light at the end of that very, very long tunnel.

I thought new years was bad, but these past three weeks were simply the worst experience I have endured to date. First, I get the flu and bronchitis, then my father, mother, and brother all get it as well. My father, having advanced dementia, was strongly advised to get the flu and pneumonia vaccine this season. We took him to our local pharmacy and he received both vaccines in November. These vaccines gave us this false sense of security because regardless of these vaccines, my father received both the flu and pneumonia and had to be hospitalized. Granted, we were told that there was no guarantee even with the vaccine but it was definitely absolutely ridiculous how he got both back to back and it was such a severe case he was in the hospital for almost a week. He even had to spend his 76th birthday in the hospital!

My family was absolutely inconsolable. Watching my father struggle with fever, cough, sneezing, being in and out of consciousness, was so heartbreaking to witness. Once he arrived at the hospital, they gave me him fluids and Tamiflu. After his week at the hospital was done, we noticed some drastic changes to his behavior.

Dementia is one of the most unpredictably cruel diseases I have ever had the misfortune of observing for the past six to seven years. My father was always a man on the go. He was always working. He was a full-time math teacher during the day, he taught night school and worked at a community college on the weekends. The man always had plans, always was out the door and we barely saw him. During the summer months, he would socialize with his creative art groups in the city where he worked and kept himself occupied. This was the father I knew as an adult. As a kid, we didn’t see him much either; however, because we were young, he would make it a point to do some trips with my siblings and I whether it was to the movies, apple picking, the beach, the park, etc. These events didn’t happen often, but he tried when he had the time.

When my father retired, he became a completely different person. His behavior was erratic, he became clumsy, he became aggressive, violent, and made many foolish decisions. As an adult, I didn’t really know my father well aside from the hi’s and byes and light dinner conversations. I didn’t really hang out with him much. I considered myself pretty much estranged from him. So when these things were going on in my dad’s life, I just assumed it was because he couldn’t adjust well to retirement. I figured he was so busy his entire life and the shock of retirement was just too much for him. But the chaos became greater, the insanity of the events involving my father became so grand scale that as a family we knew it was time to intervene. We did everything we could from allowing his driver’s license to lapse and having his car towed, to other measures to guarantee his safety.

During the beginning phases of his dementia, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer as well. My father was very fortunate to still be healthy enough mentally to be properly treated and has since been in remission. We took him to the neurologist and he’s had MRIs and they had told us he suffered from a series of mini-strokes. There was no way of knowing when they occurred or how often they occurred. As a result of these mini-strokes, his brain shrunk significantly causing the dementia. They said he had a mixture of vascular- type dementia and Alzheimer’s-type dementia. I remember one of the last things the neurologist told my brother at the end of the office visit after diagnosis was that we were in for years of heartache. He certainly was not kidding.

Over the years since dad’s diagnosis, we have had to become smarter and sneakier and wiser and always tried to keep one step ahead of my father. He would sneak out of the house and walk the streets of our town and be gone for hours and we would have to call for help. He would touch all the kitchen items and make himself “food” made out of napkins and milk. He would try to feed our cats saucers of dish soap. He would pace and wander all night in his bedroom not remembering he had to sleep. We went from doctor to doctor until we finally found one with the compassion and empathy to guide us and my father through each stage. She has been an absolute blessing and up until now, she has prepared us for what was next to come.

When dad came home from the hospital, my siblings and I were shell-shocked watching dad’s newest transition of this distressing illness. Dad lost his speech, he looked at us like we were public enemy number 1, and he refused to eat or drink anything. We all came to terms with the fact that this may very well be the end. He may need hospice care and it may be time for us to finally accept that it is time to let go. After the hospital visit, the hospital staff set up several health care professionals to visit the home and evaluate my father and to help with his care. We received two very caring women who have also helped us further understand our father’s condition and to kind of relinquish some control over what was going on.

As human beings, we are raised to believe you have to eat and drink to survive. The one nurse practitioner that visited us taught us that in my father’s condition that need to eat and that need for a three-meal structure no longer exists. He will eat when he’s hungry, he will drink when he’s thirsty and we can’t make him do anything he doesn’t want to do. Even though to the naked eye it appears our dad is long gone, there is still the shell of the man he used to be in there somewhere and that man craves attention and dignity. He won’t be told when to eat, he won’t be forced to live up to our standards. He will do what he wants to do when he is ready. After hearing that, I was finally able to ease the tension that had been burdening my shoulders these past few weeks. I’ve let go of that desperate need to want to save my father’s life and to keep him living for a thousand more years.

Once I let go, I realized that my father began eating and drinking again. I nearly collapsed with relief. Along with eating and drinking, my dad began saying a word here and there. If you say, “Hi, how are you?” he will say “Good.” He will also nod his head yes or no when you ask him questions like, “Are you hungry?” or “Are you cold?” This was also a great relief.

I have literally been by his side since he’s gotten back from the hospital and I have been putting myself last, as usual. I haven’t been blogging, I’ve been lax with my podcasting, and I have neglected my latest writing project. I know that is completely and totally unhealthy of me to do. I just have been so traumatized over this event. I just wanted to be there for my father because I realize how short life is and I don’t know how many more moments I will have with my father.

I think life works in mysterious ways though. I think that even though this was such a tragedy, I feel that this has brought us all closer together as a family. I feel like I finally have a relationship with my father. I will never have the kind of relationship I always lacked and always wanted growing up, but I am satisfied with the relationship I have with him now. My father has become a sweet, kind, and vulnerable man. My family and I are constantly advocating for better care for him from the healthcare system. We have reached somewhat of a current homeostasis at the moment. His care is under control. We have people who come periodically to monitor his well-being and as a family we all take care of him and provide him with the best round the clock care we can possibly provide him with given our lack of knowledge of healthcare. We do the very best that we are capable of doing. Given our lack of finances, he is being cared for at home. We’ve adjusted and he is finally at a comfortable level post-hospital. At this point, this is the best we can expect given his condition. We are grateful to have him eating and drinking and engaging with us here and there. At this stage in my life, after everything I’ve endured, and my family has endured, there really isn’t much more we can ask for.

On this day, International Women’s Day, I’m going to allow myself to step away for a while and join the living and get the things I need to get done that I’ve neglected nearly a month ago. I’m happy to be back in my office writing and producing. It’s where I feel the most alive and happiest. Thank you all for continuing to visit to read my blogs. Thanks for the well-wishers. I had the loveliest comment on one of my blogs last night that helped motivate me to get back on track. Thanks to that individual. I am happy that my words bring comfort to some. I wish you all a very lovely day and a restful and relaxing weekend!

Why I Don’t Regret Being Childless

blog january 28th 2019
ALL WRITTEN AND ARTWORK ARE THE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY OF PSG LOPES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2019.

Many individuals nearing forty have already accomplished many milestones like other people within their age demographic. These individuals have had jobs for close to twenty years, they’re married, they’re living in their own homes, they have children, and are set in their lives. Many have even paid off their student loans. Their lives are picturesque, and they are living their own versions of happily ever after.

In 2019, this ideal has become a rarity, not the norm. I spent my twenties in an explosive tumultuous pattern of bouncing from one unfulfilling position to the next in the education field. I either quit my job, got fired, or flat out left. I didn’t know what I wanted in life, but I did know that education was just not the field that I belonged in when it came to a career path. I enjoyed my years working with children, but it just was never something I felt passionate enough about to try hard enough to stay and succeed at it. I accept blame in my role in getting fired and quitting and leaving. I understand I’m flawed and not every individual is made for a traditional career.

It was because of my decision to leave education that prompted me to seek out my masters and doctorate in business administration. There were many bumps and turns with this decision as well and this path was no easier for me to find gainful employment.

My twenties were exploratory and soul-searching years for me. My thirties consisted of me attempting to build a foundation for a lasting career. I have made a tremendous amount of mistakes. I have made many friends and many enemies along the way, but I don’t regret one moment of every adventure and mishap that I engaged in over the years.

Years passed by, I am actively getting older and I feel that my childbearing years have effectively escaped me. Before I go on, this isn’t a rant on why having kids suck or why women who choose to have children are weak or pathetic. I am a true feminist and believe that women are entitled to make any decision they choose that makes them truly happy. If you want children, wonderful, if you don’t want children, that’s also wonderful, as long as either option is 100% your choice.

I toyed with the idea of having a child with past relationships, but I was just never financially secure enough to ever justify bringing life onto this good Earth.

Even though I am still figuring my life out with my writing, I feel like I’ve finally found my bearings in life and am on the right path for myself. Coming up with this decision took me several long years of trial and error and heartache but I have taken effective steps to course-correct my writing line and have taken the appropriate measures to forge full-steam ahead with my life goals.

Because this decision has taken me so long to get to, I realize that I had to make a difficult choice. Do I stop the momentum I’ve worked so hard to achieve, or do I pursue the expected path of finding a relationship and having a child? In my past relationship, I felt my identity slowly slip through my fingertips. I was settling into this housewife persona and it wasn’t a comfortable fit for me. I’m too headstrong, feisty, and fiery. I’ve been described as being sassy, aggressive, volatile, but with a gentle heart of gold. I recognize that I am a special individual and I feel that I deserved more than to settle down and have my dreams quashed and forgotten. That whole phoenix arisen cliché was not wasted on me. I firmly feel myself strengthening and rising above every single day.

Aside from spending nearly two decades working with children in the education field, I feel that I have had my own experience with raising a family in a way. I spent my whole life taking care of others. I essentially took on the persona of the matriarch of the household whenever my mother traveled to care for my grandparents when they were both still alive. I was always doing housework, driving my siblings around, cooking, and other duties typical of a traditional mother figure. I also actively take care of my cats both indoor and outdoor and I consider them all my fur babies. I have been involved in the caregiving of my father who has been suffering from dementia for the past four years.

I realized with all of this, I am fulfilled. I have my family, I have my fur babies, and I have my father to take care of along with my fledgling writing career. I have all the components to make me a successful individual without the traditional archetype of wife and mother. I do see family and friends and watch their struggle with their children and I often feel grateful that I dodged a tremendous bullet. I was never one to succumb to societal pressures and conform and have children. I have always functioned on my own timeline and do not feel that if I am not a mother than I am unsuccessful in life.

I came to the realization that after nearly forty years of taking care of others, it was finally time to begin taking care of myself and worry about my own needs and whether or not my dreams and goals are being realized. I feel the importance of no longer living in the shadows of other people’s expectations of who I should or shouldn’t be. We all have one life to live and it truly is up to us to find a path that we can be satisfied with and to thrive in regardless of any pressures around us from those who may or may not understand our point of view.

Podcast: The Imperfect Science of Forgiveness

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

In this week’s Podcast, I talk about the imperfect science of forgiveness, my anxiety and depression, a PSA for fellow self-published writers, my freelancing, donors, passion projects, writing contests, and MORE!

Listen to my Podcast here: PSG Lopes/The Moonlit Goddess Podcast

Thanks for your continued support! Have a great weekend everyone!

My First Ten Days

blog january 10th 2019

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

There are two days in the year I just don’t give a shit about anymore: My birthday and New Year’s Eve. People put so much pressure on these days to be something fulfilling and special and magical. I call major bullshit on both.

My birthdays used to always be plagued for as long as I can remember. When I was younger the misfortunes started out small. I’d get killer migraines, horrible period cramps, or the flu, for example. Coincidence, maybe, but as I got older the bad luck became compounded and you can say it was almost theatrical in nature.

One year, I’d thought I’d mess with fate and celebrate my birthday three days after my actual birthday. I thought, hey maybe that would break the curse? I went out to New York City with my siblings. We walked around, we went to a museum and we ate at the Hard Rock Cafe. The day was picturesque. Couldn’t have gone better. I figured, hey the curse is gone. We headed home and got ourselves organized and got our nightly routines done so we could head to bed. We almost made it through a menace-free birthday celebration. Then the unthinkable happened.

My cat Viggo was playing with our other cat Maya and they were running up the stairs to chase each other when he literally dropped dead practically in front of our eyes. I was absolutely devastated. Viggo was the first cat we got when we first moved to New Jersey and he was my little buddy. He was the only cat I’d let sleep on my bed and if he would run out accidentally into the backyard he would always follow the sound of my voice and come back inside right away. We were inseparable.

We found him in our backyard in the year 2000. Our town had a traveling circus visit that summer and they had some cats in their routine and I always would jokingly say that Viggo was our circus cat because he came to us around the same time. He was a cantankerous old coot who would swat at you as you walked by and had no tolerance for your bullshit but when his defenses were down he could be one of the sweetest bastards you ever did meet. What made the whole thing worse was that past June I had lost my beloved dog, Merline, and that had been quite a blow as well. I hadn’t been fully ready to accept the loss of another one of my amazing pets. They were both older animals and had lived amazing lives and it was just their times to go. We got them both around the same time and Viggo was already an adult cat when we adopted him so he was about fifteen years old when he passed away.  The vet had said he had a bad heart and couldn’t be excited but how do you stop a cat from chasing our other cat? There was really nothing anyone could do. That event took me a long time to get over. I had vowed then that I’d really never do much to celebrate my birthday ever again.

This leads me to the new tainted event. New Year’s Eve. To me, this day just sets so many people up for failure. I think the holidays in general sets people up for failure. All throughout the holidays people are fake nice to you and there are decorations all over the place and holiday music is blasting and there are cookies and good food all around and everyone gains a thousand pounds and it provides this false sense of security. Then New Year’s Eve comes around and there’s so much pressure. Do you have a date on that night, are you going to get your new year’s kiss, are you going to sign up for the gym and lose the thousand pounds you gained since Thanksgiving, what is your new year’s resolution going to be this year? The madness never stops.

Then January 1st happens. People are dicks again. The decorations get dismantled and you’re literally holding on to the Christmas tree for dear life as your loved ones begin taking down the set up one ornament at a time. Why the fuck do we torture ourselves like this every year? We go from bright multi-colored iridescent lights, yummy food, wonderful upbeat music, to this gray, monochrome life. The music is gone, we’re eating crusty, old leftovers, my palate is confused and angry.

I had decided to do a sage smudging/burning ceremony on December 21st to cleanse my new bedroom/office space and I felt that that would provide me with a positive atmosphere to begin writing again in the new year. I found; however, that once midnight struck, bringing in the new year, it was just another disappointment. But I’ve decided that I don’t want to spend my life carrying this hatred and anger. It’s too big of a burden that I hadn’t even asked for. I’m a peaceful, loving woman and he’s the one who made the mistake, not me and I’m not going to punish myself by carrying his mistakes with me for the rest of my life. I’m much better than that. I deserve much better than that.

The other ridiculous crap that’s happened in the first ten days of 2019 is quite comical actually. Starting the new year off with this disgusting, debilitating cold. Having to deal with people coming in and out of our home during the remaining holiday season and not having a proper chance to convalesce and knock the cold out of my system was frustrating and aggravated me further. I got into a minor fender bender last week too, which was the other woman’s fault. We were at a stoplight and the light turned green and she hit the gas before I did and smacked me from behind. What’s funny is that this was the first time anything like this ever happened to me in all of my years of driving. I don’t really get into accidents or fender benders and I thought to myself, “man 2019 really sucks, bro.”

Next, while I’ve been revamping my writing line and updating my logo and such, I decided to update my business cards since the majority of mine are in a box in Ireland with my belongings that I’m never going to see again. I found a website that printed out business cards for dirt cheap and that’s about all my budget can handle these days. I used up the last of my Christmas funds and the order went missing and the customer service was an absolute joke and the exchange I had with one of their customer service reps was so laughable I swear I was in one of my stories. I can’t believe people actually conduct business this way and actually survive monetarily.

Why can’t life just be easy? As Avril Lavigne once sang, “Why’d you have to go and make things so complicated?” It’s always a struggle no matter what. There are always conflicts, there are always messes, there’s always drama. I just want to be at peace! I saw this funny meme on social media the other day and I’m going to follow it’s advice. I’m starting my new year officially February 1st. January was just a pilot run which was poorly constructed. 2019 take two! Action!

Onward to bigger and better things. I am facing today on with laughter, love, and light. I am not walking into drama unnecessarily. I choose to be free and unbothered by a world that just wants to hurt me. I really just want a peaceful 2019 and to just get on with my writing and work on being the best possible version of myself that I can possibly be, good luck or bad luck be damned!