Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner

I just finished reading this wonderful story set during the 1940s.  As the story progresses we get to live the fear, anxiety and resolve of the people that were caught in this terrible war.  The innocents that had to fight day in and day out to survive.

In this particular story, we follow Emmy through her journey of losing her sister during the war and her long search for her.  The whole story is filled with a vivid loss that you can’t help but be pulled in.  And then there’s also hope.  The hope of finding her and of allowing herself to experience love, one of the things necessary to survive the evil times surrounding them.

At times you will hate and not understand the sisters, Emmy and Julia, and at other times you will love them.  The dialogue spread throughout is engrossing and you feel like you are sitting in the room with them.

If you are a lover of historical fiction and of a real, down to earth story, this one is for you.

Writing on Hold

For several months now, I have allowed my stress and occupations to take away from me the joy of writing.  I have channeled my dwindling energy into my work and household obligations, of which there is never a shortage of.  I am tired and I’ve reached the point where I just want to create.

I started writing my second novel and the idea took root quite quickly and began to blossom.  However, because of the situation mentioned above, I closed my notebook and left it alone.  I now feel guilty for ignoring my project.  I feel the story coming back to me and the need to get it all down.

I really don’t know how I can stretch my time any more, but I need to find a way.  Hopefully one day soon all of you will get the chance to meet the loving characters that are forming the world of this story.

I will no longer put my writing on hold.  Whatever it takes, I must write.  I need to regain my sanity!

Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes

I just finished reading this emotionally charged book.  I must admit, I was somewhat lost in the beginning with the introduction of characters because it seemed it was all thrown together in one paragraph and then I had to separate them as the story moved along.  However, the main characters drew me in with their love story. The story was divided in three parts.  And when I read the last sentence of the second part my jaw just dropped and I felt a huge wave of disappointment.  I was actually at work and when I went back to my station my co-workers were asking me what was wrong.  I was that troubled about the turn of events in the story. As the day progressed, I debated on whether I wanted to continue reading the book or pick up a new one.  I am so glad that I decided to finish it.  The story turned around and it had somewhat of the ending I was expecting.  The disappointment for me there was that the ending was kind of rushed and their reunion “bland”. With that being said, I truly enjoyed this story, since I am a sucker for an intensely felt romance. Now, time to pick another book and I hope that it reels me in just like this one did.

Autism Awareness

Before the year 2002, I had never even heard the word autism.  And when I did, I had no idea what it meant.  I didn’t want to ask for fear of seeming insensitive or nosy.  But I was curious, especially since this was something that affected someone that was coming into my life.  A beautiful, little boy of five.

I tried having conversations with him and he wouldn’t respond.  But he did know I was there and he came to accept me.  He would listen and follow instruction although he never responded with words.  I felt special, in the sense that I had the chance to meet someone so pure.  In time, I watched him grow and had the opportunity to witness how marvelously intelligent he was.

Then I lost contact and haven’t seen him for years, but often I think of him and how great a soul he had.  And I think of other children that are affected by this illness.  How they are largely misunderstood because we are not informed and we can be judgemental.  Instinctively we tend to blame parents for not “controlling” their children, when we perceive them as misbehaving, not understanding how much more they have to work and the situation that they’re in.

As with many childhood illnesses we have a lot to learn, but what I learned the most is that these little ones have a lot of love to give and it is simply, without a doubt, honest. So, today, in honor of those little ones I went blue and I am glad that my co-workers joined me and that by spreading the word we can maybe, just maybe, add in the effort to help and provide a better living environment to all of these families that need to be helped and understood.

Finding Courage

It has been a while since I have made the time to write on here.  My time has been consumed by family responsibilities, work, baseball and the works of my second novel. And just this week I was asked, if I wanted the privilege of joining a support group that concentrates in helping victims of abuse.

I wondered, at first, why me?  Why was I being asked to join?  The answer was, because of my positive outlook on life.  And I thought, that’s a joke.  Having grown up with severe emotional abuse I find it very hard to stay uplifting, much less find the words to lift someone else.  This aside from not being what is normally considered a “very sympathetic” person.

I’ve always been of the mindset that everyone fends for themselves, and that those that attempt to be altruistic are only fooling themselves, because not everyone wants to be helped.  However, this has given me the chance to dig a little bit deeper.  To find out what I’m capable of.

Victims of sexual abuse are given a chance to talk to others that have been through the same situation and they can support each other.  Whether the attack was from a boyfriend, spouse or complete stranger, saying no means no.  When those pleas go unheaded it affects more than the person that has been attacked.  Not only is their life completely altered, their family dynamics are also unsettled.

So, in this first post I guess what I’m trying to say is that, no matter how difficult a journey we must walk, in the end we can be strong while the attacker continues to be a monster.  They will never be free but a victim can learn to fly.  We are all building a foundation and coming together to give strength a face.  We may be damaged but we are NOT broken.  And we are beautiful.

“Shadows Over the Moon” – a short story

I had told myself that I wasn’t going to write today.  Why?  Because I lost a short writing competition, again.  So I have been wallowing in a mud pile of self-pity since I received the email telling me I didn’t make it. I know that I’m not the only one writing pieces for these competitions.  I did, however, have really high hopes for this piece. Especially since I am trying to get a book deal, I know that it would give me quite a boost to get recognition with something like this.  I have copied my short story below. Feel free to give me your thoughts and feedback.

Shadows Over the Moon

     I kept walking, with my head down to stave off the cold.  My fingers were purple and stiff.  I was afraid of folding them for fear that I would lose pieces to the wind.  I had no idea where I was going, only that I had been thrown out.  My tears froze on my face and I could remove them as icicles.  If only I was close to my family, but they had sent me to that house to serve.  They needed the money.  Besides, with a growing belly I would not only be a shame but a burden.

     The wind picked up as if it too wanted to condemn me.  As if it had the right to judge me.  I cried harder and fell on the ground.  Now I was not only cold, I was wet.  I closed my eyes and thought how cruel it was to die this way, alone on a street that I had walked every day to go buy bread for the ingrates that had put me out in it tonight.

    I heard the howl of a wolf and looked up to  find its shadow on the moon.  My stomach released itself and a light went on in the house to the right.  “Help,” I yelled, although it appeared to be a whisper.  The wind lowered its force and twice more I said it.  I heard voices, footsteps, and I felt a hand on my shoulder.

     Stiff as bark, I was picked up and carried away, one of my arms instinctively protecting the bastard that I did not want to keep.

**** I hope you enjoyed reading this.  And although, I have been feeling sorry for myself, I will only continue writing.  Many of the greats struggled to get their start, right?