Wednesday, July 12, 2017

book Wounded Song

Have you wondered where I've been? Where's another blog?

Well...I've been busy finishing up final details of a book I've been working on since 2009. A book I started writing just because friends said I should write a book. Not because I dreamed of being an author or thought I could do this. But to simply see what would it look like if I did.

Well, it evolved and took on a life of it's own since February 2009. The past 3.5 years have been the most arduous. 2013 I went to my first writers conference, totally out of my comfort zone. I've been involved with two writer's groups. 2015 I went to another conference and received a reference for an editor. 2016 I called the editor and we formed a relationship.  She put me through the ringer with her thorough analysis of my book. And her advice was just one aspect of editing. Who knew you could hire someone for structure or grammar, or content, etc. But you don't get it all at once, or you could but you'll pay for that too. The past 6 months have been honing in on cleaning up my book, yet again, for the umpteenth millionth time! The past 2-3 months I have been living and breathing the formatting (the technical layout, etc of the book) to prepare it for self-publishing.

I have done much research, burning the candle at both ends while working full time. I can't claim to have kept a clean house during this time but I have managed to feed my husband. He did say the other day, "Enough of this starving artist thing, I'm hungry!"

I've never done this before and right now I make no promises to do it again! I'm tired, exhausted, and feeling fat! The starving artist part didn't seem to work for me as well as for my husband.

A proof of my book came Monday, as in yesterday! Now I'm going through it one more time. This is very daunting, surreal, and exciting to see all these years of hard work in book form! If all goes well, I should be able to announce next week that it is available on Amazon.

In addition to the late nights for formatting, I have recently secured a domain name, email address and started a new website for my book. The website is still in it's infant stages but is accessible.

From this blog-look in the right side bar and see a link that says about Wounded Song. Click on it and it should take you to my new website

Book related contact is:

I'm sorry this post isn't a blog blog, but I wanted to let you know what I've been up to.

Most of you know my story or bits of my story but so there is no mystery, my book is primarily about my abusive childhood. It shows how a kid can slowly dissolve and shut down during the every day life stuff of playing, going to school, church, etc. and eventually find healing with her parents.

If this topic interests you or you know someone you think might be interested, please share it with them. If you think you'd like to come to the book launch please let me know and if you're on facebook, let me know so I can send you the online event invite.

My book launch is:
If I haven't made it clear, I'm excited, I'm nervous, I'm nervous, I'm excited!
Thank you to everyone from over the years. You've supported and encouraged me by reading my blogs, giving feed back, cheering on my book, just putting up with me, or in one manner or other by being a friend even though I often said I can't come out to play because I have to work on my book. It has been part of the fuel that has kept me going when I wanted to burn my book and quit.
Thank you!
I will let you know when it is officially on Amazon!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Is Your Self Image Worth the Lies or the Victory of Hope?

Are you at the end of your rope? Do you believe the whisperer as he whispers in your ear you are dumb and will never amount to any good? Are you letting a bad day or month or year define who you are?

Have you lost all hope?
No one escapes the messages they received about their self-worth, their personhood. Messages come in all forms such as praise, edification, guidance, uplifting or perhaps destruction, lies, invalidation, tearing down, to name a few. Some messages were blatant while others were disguised.

Messages can be misleading. Perhaps they suggest that looks helped us to succeed in life, a job, a relationship, while others said we'd never make it, who'd want you, I disown you, you're stupid, too thin, too fat, too pretty, too ugly or you're trash.

The messages we receive, good or bad, often become the filter on how we see ourselves, the world, our job, our family, our friends, and perhaps even God. Some people know the message they received while others aren't sure or claim they don't have one.

And when our day is really bad, we might say, "Nobody understands me. Nobody understands my pain, knows what happened to me or what I've been through."

It is true that we are all unique and our pain is our personal story but it is also true that nothing is new under the sun, therefore someone will understand, at least a piece of your story. You just have to share.

But the enemy, the whisperer, makes us feel ashamed and so we hide or mask our pain and our stories with pride so we don't share. This is how the enemy divides and conquers. He separates us from the light and casts the shadow of dark doubt over us.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Grammy Barbara's Flannel Nightgown

I didn't know the week I spent with Grammy Barbara was going to be the last time I saw her in her home. My grandpa, Robert Gay, and Barbara moved to Venice, Florida when I was about 15. She was his second wife so we were taught to call her Grammy Barbara. I didn't think anything of that until one day she questioned why us kids didn't just call her Grammy. I didn't know either. Just following suit. I never knew her to be anything other than my grandmother so from then on I called her Grammy. When I was a little girl, she was the one who loved the cartoons I drew and made me feel creative, special and loved.

When my husband and I owned our youth sports photography business, we were asked to put together a photo kiosk and hire the help to run it for an old fashioned roller coaster that was being built outside of Fort Lauderdale. My husband basically lived in Florida for 6-plus months. Shortly there after I followed  and lived there roughly 4-months through mid-January.

The experience of being involved with a photo kiosk for an old-fashioned rollercoaster was something we had never done before. It was an adventure. We were entrusted with installing a photo kiosk to capture the thrill ride expressions of peoples elation, or screams, when going down the slope on a rollercoaster.  Not many people can say they did that. We're thankful for the experience and the many friendships made.
December 2000
Testing out my husband's photo booth
with Cyndi Jo and Bill who visited.
Dania Beach Florida is on the east coast and my widowed Grandmother was in Venice on the west coast. Living in Connecticut I didn't see her as often as I would have liked so I stole the opportunity in October 2000 to go visit and spend close to a week. I welcomed the solitude of the 3-hour drive which was roughly 200 miles across alligator alley. The landscape and the bird sightings were phenomenal.

This visit gave us a chance to get to know each other, now as adults, one on one, and meet some of her close friends who lived in the same trailer park. She had her favorite chair in the middle of her open space living room facing the T.V.. To the left of it was a little bathroom size waste pail where she collected her garbage. She didn't want the trash to pile high so her garbage was to go out every night.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Day My Sister Died

Thursday March 25 was moving day. It was already a chaotic week due to a last minute move when Dad announced we were moving. But it all came together thanks to mom’s organization and perseverance coupled with, just do it, because she had two days’ notice to pack up a house and three little girls.

Moving day
March 25, 1971
Getting ready to follow the moving truck to our new home, I was privileged to carry my 3-month-old baby sister Sandra Gay from the house to the car where I placed her in the plaid car-crib that took up half the back seat. Mom showed me to how to support her new neck in the crook of my arm. Once I managed the cement steps and walked towards the car in our driveway, I was relieved I didn’t drop her. After I carried her something shifted in me, a sense of responsibility, a sense of protection, a sense that at seven-years-old I was the oldest sister and the oldest of three siblings.
The moving truck unloaded boxes into our new home while I ran back and forth to the car to check on Sandy. Taking to my new role as the oldest I bugged Mom to let me hold her. She insisted I wait till the movers had her crib set up. I’d run and stand on tip toes as I peered through the back car door window and watched her sleep as her baby blanket moved with each breath.
Finally mom said, “You can go get your sister now.” Excited I ran, opened the car door, and reached in to lift her out of the crib. As I picked Sandy up with her baby blanket, she looked and felt funny. I didn’t need to support her neck like hours earlier. She wasn’t the same soft baby and she had turned funny colors.
I ran to get Mom who broke down and sobbed hysterically as she told me to get my other sister Cyndi Jo, who was six, then she drove us to the hospital. Dad met us there after someone found him over the CB radio in town. The candy striper who was assigned to watch me and Cyndi Jo walked us through the halls of Danbury hospital while staff comforted my parents grief.

The move put me and my sister in a new elementary school midyear. I hated my 2nd grade teacher because she was mean and whacked my knuckles with a ruler. I wasn’t sure how I landed in this place. I was in a fog, a different town and a new home.