Thanks, Yoda. I needed that.

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The quantity of words being added to my latest novel over the last two weeks has been abysmal, to say the least. I won’t bore you with the excuses I have for not writing, but the physical, mental, and emotional things I have been wading through lately are reasonable justifications for my inability to put words on a page.

As I looked out my window at the darkening sky, I talked myself into trying to write. My own words echoed in the kitchen as I repeated the mantra ‘I’m going to try’. As those words fell onto my kitchen floor, shattering into a thousand invisible pieces, I surprised myself by immediately uttering this well-known phrase in my best Yoda voice.

This quick blog post is the start of my doing. This is the place where the freedom of words has no limitation and I can allow my brain to create strings of words that have some sort of meaning, even if they are only meaningful to me.

It is time to kick the imposter syndrome back into the gutter where it belongs, find my chutzpah that seems to have gone into hiding, and write the words that will fill the pages until book number four is complete. Do, or do not, there is no try. Indeed.

I hope this is not my new normal

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I should be adding a considerable number of words to book four of The Relative Series. I should be tuning out the world and listening to the voices in my head that help me create my stories. But I am still distracted by any sounds outside my house that should be familiar sounds in my logical brain, but are still slightly menacing sounds in my overactive, imaginative brain. Conjuring up scenarios about serial killers and their potentially heinous crimes is not going to help me sleep while I am on high alert for any noises that make me think the intruder has returned.

Although the person who tried to gain unlawful access to my home last week was unsuccessful, I still feel the overwhelming anger of having my freedom violated. Since last Thursday, I have installed security cameras outside my home and will be installing motion-sensing lights to thwart any further break-in attempts. Having lived in my house for the past twenty-one years without incident, being forced to implement these new security measures is disconcerting, to say the least.

Although I live in a small town, I faithfully lock the doors and windows in my home and I lock my car doors when I return home from work. I have a pact with my neighbors, and if they hear the panic alarm on my car and it doesn’t shut off immediately, that means I need help. But I never thought that back-up plan would become necessary to being the front line of my defense.

The extreme feeling of distrust in humanity will eventually wane, I hope. The serenity I felt living in my tiny home will return, I hope. And the melodramatic perception that I am under surveillance at all times will soon be a distant memory, I hope.

I am willing my logical brain to win the battle of what-ifs, but for now, I will heed to the paranoia of my overactive, imaginative brain and err on the side of overly suspicious caution.

The things that mean the most

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Last week, on a sunny afternoon in broad daylight, someone tried to unlawfully enter my home. My first reaction was analytical. I studied the scene like I was crime scene investigator, and I made mental notes about the point of intended entry and the evidence that supported the attempted access. The following morning while giving my statement to the police, I even pointed out a few details the investigating officer had overlooked. The trespasser clearly struggled for the proper footing and was only able to open the window a couple of inches before they gave up. They were unsuccessful at gaining access, so nothing in my house had been touched.

Hours later, as the emotional ramifications of the failed break-in saturated my delicate sensibilities, I had a complete meltdown. I don’t swear much on this blog, but I’m not going to lie, I was fucking mess. If the person attempting to break into my house had been successful, I would potentially have been face to face with that person in my house upon arriving home from work. I don’t think that reality will be lost on me for the foreseeable future.

After a good cry, I slept surprisingly well, albeit on my couch. Since the intruder tried to gain entry through my bedroom window, I’m not sure how many nights will have to pass before I have the courage to sleep in my bed again. I have repurposed the white boards I have for my writing to cover my living room windows since I do not have any window coverings, and as I write this post, I feel like I am in my bunker, ready to defend my home. I repressed the reality of the violation of my privacy and replaced my fear with anger. I have a metal pole near me at all times, ready to be wielded against anything I deem as a threat. I am now an emotionally unbalanced Rambo, self-confined in a small space, and irrationally bothered by the sound of the hail currently hitting my windows.

But I’ll be honest. Each time I pass my bedroom and look at the torn screen, and the mangled frame of that screen, my anger is being slowly replaced by a bit of empathy for the person who brazenly attempted to break into my house in the middle of the day. I don’t have expensive things. My six-hundred square foot home is filled with things of great value to me, but would not be worth much to anyone else, and I am grateful none of my precious possessions were damaged. But I can’t help but think, what if the person who struggled to break into my house has nothing.

As I process my emotions through the cathartic practice of writing, I know I have riches beyond the measure of anything that holds a monetary value. So many of my friends and family shared their support and concern, and that is worth so much more than anything that can be bought or sold. Their words confirmed that I am richer for having them all in my life. Sometimes it takes a disconcerting event to remind you of the things that mean the most.