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

blog pic march 8 2019

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 Self-Disciplined Writer

blog january 25th 2019

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

Hello everyone! This week’s podcast is up!

For this week’s podcast, I discuss the 50 Shades of Gray author releasing a new series and what this means in a post “Me Too” movement culture, I discuss finding motivation during depressive and anxious times, how I maintain my self-discipline as a writer, and my quest for a new proofreading editor for my upcoming work! Thanks for listening!

Click on the orange link below to listen:

PSG Lopes/ The Moonlit Goddess’ Podcast

 

Podcast: The Imperfect Science of Forgiveness

blog pic january 18th 2019

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!

I Fear Success More Than I Fear Failure

blog pic january 17th 2019.png

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

Before I get into today’s rant, I’d like to take a moment to show off my amazing new business cards featuring my new logo and updated contact information. I also received postcards and stickers as well with the new logo to hand out to my readers when my new work comes out soon! A very special thanks to my sister for always taking care of her sissy! Thanks for always believing in me and pushing me to keep going especially on the days when I feel I have nothing left to give.

Now onto today’s topic. Success. When I first decided to leave teaching altogether in 2016 and start The Moonlit Goddess, I did some research and decided to focus on writing erotica full-time. There were so many things I was unhappy about while writing erotica but had read several articles of people becoming rich quick with writing erotica for Amazon through their self-publishing platform. Not really concerned about quality, I was writing four erotica short stories a month every month for four months. I charged a mere 99 cents a story and kept my identity under wraps and wasn’t really sure how to go about marketing my work. I knew that I still wanted to write poetry, and I dabbled in photography and digital art as well, so I knew that was something I was interested in also pursuing.

Several things went wrong during my earlier pursuits in writing.  I hated writing pieces in shame. I hated the way that people were speaking to me and treated me when I wrote erotica. I just ultimately felt sick to my stomach about it and realized that this was not my true path as a writer. I felt that my writing deserved an appropriate platform to address all of my hopes and fears. I wanted to triumph in my successes and lament in my failures with all of you without hiding behind this persona having to hide in darkness in the shame of my writing. I also had no one to properly edit my erotica because it’s not really something many wanted to look at let alone edit so I’d publish the work with a lot of typographical errors. A real amateur mistake. This whole fiasco lasted four months. I was simultaneously releasing poetry samples and my erotica from September 2016 to December 2016.

My new year’s resolution in January 2017 was to completely revamp my writing line in order to create pieces for everyone to enjoy. I was able to step out of the shadows and fully identify myself and my brand and, in my opinion, created something that I am truly proud of and can continue working on and improve upon as time passed. In 2017, I self-published two poetry anthologies, one novella, and a children’s book, along with my song single. 2017 was a great year for me and I had hoped that 2018 would bring similar prosperity. That would not be the case.

Even though 2017 was a successful year in terms of my writing, I was going through a lot of major changes personally. I had new people in my life whom I was using as a safety net while I was dealing with a lot of horrible trauma at home. This trauma involved my dad who is currently suffering from advanced dementia. I found a romantic escape and used that as a crutch as well as food. I gained a lot of weight in 2018 and was not concerned with anything other than moving overseas and beginning a new life. Throughout all of this, I hadn’t realized how I was cheating myself and not producing any writing at all. 2018 was a horrible dry spell for creativity and I’m so ashamed of myself for completely letting my dream slide through my very capable fingertips. During that whole romantic bubble, never did I once believe that while I was at home depressed, anxious, and dealing with the daily care of my father, I was simply letting precious time pass me by.

My world came crashing down in the new year of 2019. I woke up from the bewitching spell I was under and now a fire has been properly lit under my ass and I am no-nonsense back into writing 100%. I’ve been writing frantically every day since the new year and I’ve no intention of stopping. I recognize that I was regressing a lot and waxing nostalgic over the past instead of focusing on my bright writing future. I always ever knew failure and was terrified of what would happen if I actually felt a bit of success. That’s why I hid behind the erotica, that’s why I always self-sabotaged dieting and exercise, and I always forged unhealthy relationships that I recognize now are no good for me. I am always hiding. I am always playing it safe. I don’t allow myself the possibility of actually feeling what it’s like to maybe be a success for once instead of always succumbing to that self-fulfilling prophecy of failure. Failure is expected of me. I have never known true success. My family had never witnessed success for myself. They always expected me to fail. They know the flaky, unreliable, flighty version of me. They know that the second things are going well for me, I give up and run the other way. And that’s exactly what I did in 2018. I cheated myself repeatedly and set myself up for failure. I don’t know why I did it. I don’t know what I was thinking. I do recognize it now and am going to spend 2019 rectifying my past mistakes.

Maybe this path was meant to happen so that it would shake me up a bit and realize what a mistake I made and fight harder for the things that I want in life. I do want to succeed as a writer. I do want to get out of this financial rut that I’m perpetually in and I want to know what it’s like to treat my family for a meal without sweating about where I’m going to find the funds to replace the money I spent. I want to know what financial freedom is like and I want to be able to take care of myself first and foremost and have the capabilities of taking care of my family like they took care of me all of these years. I feel that we’ve all been touched greatly by misfortune over the years. It is well past time that my family and I felt what it was like to feel the sunshine of success touch our faces as we march towards a greater existence.

I know 2019 will be my year. And as of January 17th, 2019, I am fulfilling my end of the bargain.

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!