My first Nanowrimo and cover reveal for “Edge of Glory”

I did it.

I finished Nanowrimo. Fifty-thousand words in thirty days. I didn’t think I was going to do it, with 11,000 words left to do on Nov. 30. But there I was, 45 minutes to midnight, strung out on too much coffee and too many cigarettes, pouring myself a glass of wine to celebrate as I let the Nanowrimo website validate what I had written into “Edge of Glory” for the last month.

Glasses raised to the rest of you who won Nanowrimo! Some people were finished halfway through November and some were last minute sprint writers like me. And to those who didn’t make it, be proud of yourself for getting that much writing accomplished. Life likes to get in the way of this passion and it is easy to get sidetracked. I am so looking forward to next year, doing this again on my next book.

I am hoping to have “Edge of Glory” released sometime in 2015. It is not completed. This plot wants to take up more than the 50,000 words I hammered out this month, so we will see where it goes.

In the meantime, I am revealing the cover for “Edge of Glory” tonight. Here it is! And a loving shout out to everyone who cheered me on in the last month and kept me going. It feels great to be back into the habit of writing and actually getting something done. Thank you, guys! And thank you to my wonderful fiancé who kept encouraging me to sit down and write on nights when I didn’t want to and for bouncing ideas around when I got stuck.

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Saturday Musings ~ The Molly Shattuck case and brushing off male victims

A couple of weeks ago I posted a news story on Facebook about the allegations against former NFL cheerleader Molly Shattuck repeatedly raping a 15-year old boy. I post a mix of stories about male and female victims, because rape and sexual abuse happens to both. The reply I got from one of my male friends was surprising to say the least, and I was most of all taken aback that someone I knew had this attitude towards rape culture.

In the comments below the story I posted, we had this exchange:

Him: now why in the fuck couldnt I have met her when I was 15????? Sorry had to XD 

Me: Not even funny

Him: come off it 15 years old,shes an ex cheerleader you honestly think he didnt want it?it happens all the fuckin time,some women just get caught doing it and its illegal so its called rape,I doubt it was against his will

Me: This attitude is called rape culture. It lets people idiotically believe a rape victim “wanted it” even though you were not there to know for sure. You know what? Rape happens to boys too. It is not what every boy wants just because he has a dick. And just because he got an erection doesn’t mean shit either because especially at that age it happens involuntarily. Only the way ignorant when are the ignorantly submerged in rape culture say shit like he wanted it. I bet that’s going to be her defense in court too, just like every other rapist.

Him: I know what youre saying Im saying when its a guy,15 years old and his so called rapist is an ex cheerleader and still looks good for her age does that it doesnt look like rape,it al goes back to that teacher Mary Kay Letorneau,did she not have sex with her student who was 15 at the time?had 2 kids with him,they got married and whatnot,however,she got charged and convicted of rape and did her time,he did NOT want to charge her thought because he loved her but thats the law,now fast forward to now,theres countries with children being married to grown fuckin men,fucking disgusting nd disturbing,you mean to tell me a story like this is worse than a story like that?why because its in a different country?I started having sex at a very young age,it happened whatever,I cant change it nor would I want to,being 15?fuck thats laughable these days considering you have a show about girls being 16 and prego,think about it,this is really that big of a deal?Im thinking it wasnt rape,thats just what the charge is called.if it happend in BC out here?itd be legal just so you know. now there is a lot of sick shit out there but in my opinion,better a 15 year old guy than a 10 year old girl and by the circumstances it doesnt look as bad as they make it sound.

Me: The legal age of consent in Canada is 16. And again, not every teenage boy is a horndog. What makes you think she is not sick enough to use her supposed good looks to take advantage of him? It happens. I am well aware of what happens in other parts of the world. Guess what? Sexual abuse of boys runs rampant here just as it does for girls. It is just not talked about as much which leads to ignorance and the assumption it is what every boy wants. Really? Why is it suddenly OK for boys to be victims but not girls?

 

The conversation ended there as I unfriended him and another female friend commented to say that even boys can be pressured into having sex they don’t want, which is completely true and still rape as there wasn’t consent. If there is not clear consent and you still force someone into sex, it is rape. I don’t understand the attitude that just because he is 15 and the older woman is pretty that it makes this ok and that he wanted it. Not to mention in the article itself from the Huffington Post, it says that the boy is the one who reported her to the cops, which tells me that it was indeed unwanted sex. She also contacted him first on the Internet, which in itself is luring a minor, indicating she had the whole thing planned.

I have a hard time wrapping my head around this societal norm that boys cannot be victims of a crime so horrific. The gender lines don’t matter here. I wonder, would this guy have said those things had that been a little brother or cousin or his own son, shaming someone he knows versus shaming some kid he has never heard of before? Would that even make a difference for someone who holds this viewpoint?

Probably not.

And that is what has to change in our society, for all victims.

 The Huffington Post article can be found here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/05/cheerleader-molly-shattuck_n_6108168.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000021

People’s website also touched on this case: http://www.people.com/article/molly-shattuck-sex-scandal-friends-react

Photo by Lavinia Thompson

Photo by Lavinia Thompson

Saturday Musings ~ What does it mean to “really live”?

A recent Facebook post caught my attention. It was a simple image but the words were powerful and thought provoking.

“Are you really living or are you just paying bills until you die?”

Sometimes words simply pass us by and sometimes they are sudden, like the lights on a train on the tracks in the middle of the night and you never saw it coming. I stopped scrolling when I read that, cigarette in hand and staring quizzically into the screen of my phone.

What does it mean to “really live”?

It must be different for everyone. Some people travel and vagrantly see the world. Some are stay at home gypsies, much like I have become these days; dreamers of other places who stay settled where they are, somehow content in the life they have built. Others fall in love and never come out. Even love can take different forms; wild and free or calm and serene, like the changing moods of the ocean.

Does it mean finding what makes you content? Or does it mean we should stretch those boundaries and find the exhilaration of things we have never done before?

I can say that right now, in this moment, I am content. Cigarette lit as I write, rum in a glass beside the laptop and a recently-adopted stray cat to accompany the other fur babies on the chair beside me, with my fiancé on his way home from picking up dinner, there is bliss in this house. Between work and wedding planning, the eight fur babies in the house and writing again, my life as a whole has taken such a positive turn in the last year or so.

I can’t say what the answer is to the meaning of living. I used to live a life where when something went wrong, I up and left, no looking back and only a stretch of highway ahead. A lonesome stretch, even when someone claimed to be right beside me. When that went wrong, I’d run home again and do it all over again. I’ve stayed in the same place for about two years now. Same house, same town. The only thing that has really changed is the people. Some left and some stayed. One relationship ended in hostility and another blossomed most beautifully. There were backstabbing friends and there is still the best friend who has been there for the last 14 years in spite of men, distance and changes. I know how to be by myself and who my real friends are.

Maybe that’s the meaning for me: simplicity. A roof over my head, someone to love, my family nearby and the furry babies surrounding me when I get home every day, those noses in my face first thing in the morning to indicate breakfast time and the kitty cuddles right before bed. Johnny Cash once said his definition of paradise was having coffee with his wife, June, every morning. I can relate. Coffee in the morning or rum at night with my beloved guy are some of the fondest moments I adore.

Some people think that “really living” means thrills and glory. But I think happiness is what we create for ourselves that defines how we live, no matter what that means for you. It is your own art, your own creation and your life. Paint your own colours.

Photo by Lavinia Thompson  2012

Photo by Lavinia Thompson
2012

New poem ~ Long After the Moon

Only the night knows
of our lost conversations
hidden behind sleepy eyes;
drooping words
drawn from weary lips,
skies of satin,
stars of rebellion,
all the warmth of
summer’s sunset
in a touch.

Only the night knows
how moonlight sneaks across the sheets,
touches the crevices you lit up for me.
Darkened heart
enlightened by candle flame,
shades of enchantment,
hues of your words
like watercolours
on a gypsy soul;
paint my world.

Only the night knows
these walls are a world of their own,
while everything else passes by.
Wild souls
enlivened by a heart’s restless
rustle of wildflowers,
whispers of blankets
where we hide
by moonlight
somewhere in the night.

Only the night knows
intimacies of your skin on mine,
darkness between two souls,
tangled silhouettes,
heart beats in the air,
lost in passion,
engulfed in you.
For long after the moon
stops burning
I still long for you.

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New release and new take on writing

The last two years have been trying as far as my writing has gone. One relationship deteriorated to nothing and another started. Life shoved it’s way once again in between me and the craft I so adore. I wanted to have “Edge of Glory” out by the end of the summer but between job changes and other happenings, it didn’t happen. I’ve extended that time frame to a spring deadline at the latest. 

Earlier this year, I decided to take another look at what I have already published and reevaluate what I have been putting out there. It all could be better, from the writing to the editing and even cover art. I have not been putting out my best. So I took my new editor’s advice, renamed the book and it got a professional editor’s touch, which turned out to be the golden touch it needed. I can honestly say this time that I am proud of what I am releasing this time. I will also be rewriting and republishing my fantasy book after “Edge of Glory is released. 

In the meantime, I am thrilled to announce my first book release in almost two years. It is the new edition of my poetry book about domestic violence now titled “Melting Candles.” Of course, it is available on Smashwords, and in a day or so will be live on Amazon.

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Cover reveal!

So I said a few days ago I was going to do a cover reveal. Well, here it goes. The new edition of “She Wasn’t Allowed to Giggle” is with my editor and will be ready for release soon. :) So I took the opportunity to update the cover, and here it is!

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