WEP – The Crossroad

Click on image to go to WEP original site

 

Here’s my entry for this Challenge:

 

The Crossroad

 

 

I believe each of us come to a crossroad at some point in life, And at that junction, each must make a decision as to which road to take.

The chosen path would set the tone for how well you’ll live your life.

Or, how poorly.

I came to such crossroad at the age of twenty-five as I sat on the bathroom floor, leaning against the toilet, with an opened medicinal bottle in hand, its content mostly emptied.

How did I get to this point?

I experienced death time and time again.  Not personally, but through people whom I cared a great deal about.

A cousin whom I considered a best friend, one who truly understood me for me.  We were born a month apart. He never treated me differently even with my hearing impairment as he was dealing with a far greater condition. Over time his body atrophied, and death paid a visit just before our fourteenth birthdays.

A grandmother, also a surrogate mother, whom I spent much of childhood with, her lungs were too weak, as my last memories were of her sitting in a chair, next to an oxygen tank, fighting for every breath.   She left this world just as I turned seventeen.

Then came the man whom I married.  His face was like an angel whose sweet disposition drew people to him.  Instead of being his help-mate, I offered only cruelty.

I could blame my behavior to recently receiving a diagnosis that I was going blind.

Also to resentment.  Anger.  Even immaturity.

But, those were just excuses.  Cop outs.

When on that fateful day, an unmarked car pulled in to the driveway, something within me sunk, and a dark void entered.

And I knew he’d gone on, and was now truly an angel.

Remorse and regrets raged as they tore my heart to pieces.  Pieces I felt could never be put back together again.

So, there I was, sitting on the floor, staring into the toilet bowl.

I was at my crossroad. 

The house was quiet.  Everyone’s asleep.  I dared not wake them.  They’ve already suffered enough.

Such stupidity!  The ultimate act of selfishness on my part.

I stood up, set the now closed bottle on the back of the toilet, and went up to our… my bed.

And lied down.

If I should wake in the morning, I promised to be a different person.

 

*Author’s Note:  Although this Challenge was geared more towards fictional pieces, I felt I had to write my story since its title spoke to me.  I’ve never shared this particular incidence in public before, and it was difficult to find the right words.  Perhaps in time the words will flow more freely.

 

 

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My Own Battle With Mental Illness

Doll Hospital is an art and literature print journal on mental health

Just a little blurb this week about an essay I have published with the current issue of Doll Hospital Journal.

In the essay,  In Search of Hope, I recount my struggles through various losses and disabilities that brought me close to suicide as well as my battle with anxiety and depression.   Mental illness also runs in my family.

What helped me through all these?

Writing, and the love for my family.

For those of you struggling with mental illness, just know that you’re not alone, and to never give up!

*To read this digital issue, click on the Doll Hospital’s image on top and this will take you to the site to download the item.  It will ask for $5.00 but this is only a suggested donation amount. 

Two Writing Contests (Deadline is less than three days away!)

coffee-and-writing

Why I Write  

Submit a 250-word essay or a poem on why do you write.

Top three finishers will have a choice of seeing their essay/poem featured on A Writer and Her Adolescent Muse blog , or be interviewed for the same blog (Purpose? More exposure!)

Interested?  Click here.

spooky-halloween-pic  Super Short Halloween  

In honor of the upcoming frightful holiday, write a super short horror story (100 words max).

Story should be no more than PG-13. Think like Hitchcock…be creative and don’t rely on gore to scare the pants off your readers.

Interested in this one?  Click here.

Enjoy!                                                                                                                                   w

The Price of Not Writing

(Essay first appeared in the Why We Write section of 1888 Center web site on July 11, 2016.)

the price of not writing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why do writers write? Fundamentally it’s pretty much the same. We write because we must; because this is who we are. I could say the same for me, but I prefer to look at this from a slightly different perspective: what would happen if I didn’t write? 

I’ve done it before. This “hiatus” lasted for nearly ten years and I felt the consequences of my writing inaction.

Misery. Pure, pure misery.

There was also hate there. And anger. At what? At myself. At life. At various people.

During this period, I dealt with a lot of losses. My vision and hearing due to a progressive disease. The death of my first husband at the age of 25. A miscarriage. Nearly losing my second husband to Pericarditis. Job loss due to restructuring. My father to an aggressive lung disease.

You know, life.

It’s something we all experience. We get up each morning. We breathe. We eat (except for those who live solely by coffee). We go about our daily duties. And for those of us who can, we sleep.

Day in. Day out.

As humans, we’re survivors. I mean look at the history of mankind. It’s a miracle that we even exist!

So, that’s what I did. I strived to survive. Only it wasn’t enough. Anxiety and depression slipped into my life. I felt I was slowly losing myself. Heck, I wanted to lose myself! I mean why did I keep fighting to live? At some point in our existence, we all die.

Right?

Something was missing. A piece of me was missing. I just couldn’t figure it out.

My second husband, Jay, presented me with a gift for no special occasion. It was out of love he gave me this precious item, and because he knew me better than I did.

A journal.

A beautiful leather-bound book full of white pages.

Blank pages.

I instinctively knew what I had to do. I took a pen and painstakingly filled each page with words. As Hemingway so eloquently said years ago, I bled on those pages.

I’d found the missing piece of myself.

My writing soul.

So, whenever I’m asked, why do I write?

I write because the price is too high NOT to.

A Writer’s Routine

writing life

 

How would you describe your writing process?  Is it simple?  Eccentric?  Do you have a particular place where you’d prefer to write?  A place to go to in order to draw out your muse?  As I continue to participate in the Summer Writing Project sponsored by both Juke Pop Serials and 1888 Center, I wrote an essay detailing a little of my own writing process in the section called Routineology.

 

a writer is

Click on this image to read the short essay

 

Please share with us a bit about your own writing process!

The Price of Not Writing

the price of not writing

 

Why do you write?

Ever really thought about all the true reasons why you do what you do?  I had the opportunity to sit down and write an essay for 1888 Center about why I write.  Click on to read…The Price of NOT Writing

We Are All Cowards

In the end, there will be no heroes. Only cowards. It’s only human so the sooner we accept that the sooner we can get to dying.

Kind of crude? Perhaps but reality is nothing like the movies. Sure, we all like to think that we will miraculously rise to the occasion and be that hero we long to emulate from the silver screens; but, like many horror and drama flicks, even the heroes have to die.

Get a grip. You’ll never be that hero so stop thinking about it and face the reality that you’ll never be a hero, only a coward.

Always.

I wonders if writers-for both screen and paper-ever wrote themselves into their stories allowing themselves to either be the good guy or the bad guy; the hero or the villain. But I can’t think of any writer off the top of my head who would write themselves as cowards. That would be just too close to the truth, don’t you think?

I for one am a writer and many times I do write myself in stories mostly as the main protagonist who usually ends up becoming a heroine/hero of some sorts. You see I try to find something within the main character, myself, that could be of some value to others, and of course in the hope of being able to save those who I cared about.

C’mon, let’s get real. Could I really stand in the face of mortal danger and risk my life for others? Honestly, I’d probably would break out in sweat and soil myself, and then I’d run.

Unlike my characters, I am a coward through and through. There is no hope for me.

Yes, I’m belittling myself but it’s the honest truth!

I am not a soldier. I am not a police officer. I am not a doctor. I am not a firefighter. I don’t put my life on the line day in and day out for the betterment of society. It was my choice NOT to. Well, perhaps that’s not the whole truth.

I wanted to remained hidden but noticed at the same time. I want to add value to others rather than be a burden.

But…

I’m a person with not just one disability but two. For these reasons, I feel like I am less than a whole human being. Inferior to those who are able-bodied.

For these reasons, I feel like a coward and not a hero. I will always be that one to slow others down, or the first to be killed.

And that scares me beyond anything. No, not of death…but to be cause of death of countless of others who come in contact with me.

Instead of coming to people’s rescue, or helping the wounded or the afflicted, I choose to turn away and flee. Not for my benefit but for theirs.

I fear that my disabilities would hurt others more than it would help them. I much rather sacrifice myself so that they would have the time and opportunity to get to safety. To save themselves. To live.

Does that make me a coward?

So be it.

Looking Back and Ahead (Happy New Year!)

2015 new

 

As another year draws to a close, this is usually when I look back and see what I’ve accomplished as a writer, and then look ahead to a new year with goals and opportunities.   This year I did get a short fiction (The Pocket Watch) published at a new ‘zine, and I had an opportunity to interview a prominent poet for Motionpoems, but because the film didn’t meet certain criteria (due to the film-maker’s not following them), it was not ran/presented.  Yes, I was a bit disappointed; but I was grateful for the new experience and a chance to meet new people.  Who knows, I may try my hand at another citizen journalist’s assignment at some point.  To end the year, a short story (Jewel) and an essay (The Door) was published with Piker Press, and I submitted a (horror) short story to a (my first) contest.  I should know the result for this by the end of January 2015.

changes

 

 

 

2015 is looking more and more like a year full of life-changing events which I can’t elaborate on now.  And for that reason alone, I’m not going to set too many goals for myself.  What I will do is focus more on writing short fiction and essays, and hopefully read more books than I did in 2014.

 

What about you?  Were you able to accomplish as much as you’d hoped for this year?  What are your plans for the new year?

Cheers!

Three Reasons To Write Short Fiction

writing life

To be an apprentice to the craft of writing is a life-long endeavor.  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  I discovered writing at the age of eleven; since then I’ve continued to learn new things about it, and about myself.  Even at my age, I’m still trying to figure out what kind of a writer I am.

There are writers out there who know exactly who they are, and what they’re meant to write.  There are others though that are still searching for their true calling as writers.  I’m one of them.  The only thing I’m certain of is that I want to help others through the written word.

I’m currently struggling to write anything longer than short fiction.  I’ve tried to write novel-length stories for the past several years, and so far, I’ve only managed to complete a draft of one book (thanks to NaNoWriMo).  That was back in 2008.  I find it easier to finish shorter works whether they be fiction, essay, or a poem.  So, does that mean I’m meant to be a short fiction writer (or an essayist, or even a poet) rather than a novelist?

Who knows!

Right now, I’m going to concentrate on writing short fiction (for 2015 especially) and see where it takes me.  Here are my reasons for doing so:

1. My current lifestyle makes it difficult to focus on anything longer

2. I need to further hone my writing skills

3. I’m still figuring out which “niche” I should write in

2015 is looking to be a year full of changes for me.  I will elaborate on them in later posts.  These changes could be what will finally help me as a writer to get to that next level; whatever that may be.

Stay tuned!