A big part of my process

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Authors are unique, and no two writers will ever have the same method of achieving their desired result. Sure, there may be many similarities along their journeys, but they will never use the same string of words to describe how stories come to them, how they harness the power of their imaginations, or characterize the voices in their heads that tell them how to write their individual stories.

The beginning of my trek into the writing world began many years ago and was suddenly repressed by reality. What started as a promising adventure sat on a shelf until the facets of my existence shifted and allowed me to embrace the creative part of myself once again. Picking up my first novel, still swaddled in its infancy, was a daunting task, but one I was eager to embrace and nurture.

Along the road to writing books two and three, comfortable patterns began to form. I was encouraged by my newly found mentor to buy a few white boards and they have become my saving grace in my writing process. Having the space to quickly jot down new ideas is a revelation and having those ideas staring back at me every day keeps me engaged in the stories, and motivated to continue writing.

I have surpassed fifteen thousand words in book four, and my muse is extremely long-winded. That voice I have come to love is pushing me to add words, not only to my manuscript but, to the four boards that flank me as I sit in my comfortable position on my couch. This is the place where I harness my ideas and feed off the energy and the words that come from places I will never see.

Board number four is a blank slate, but it is waiting to be filled with messages for the next series of books that will be written under the umbrella name of Farmhouse. If you haven’t had a chance to read the books in my current series, and you enjoy a good thriller involving serial killers, the first three books in The Relative Series – The Waking Hours, One Eleven, and Darkroom are now available on Amazon.

Alcoholism – the disease that lurks in the shadows

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The words that grip me today are saturated with reality.  They come from a place of experience.  They come from a place of sadness.   But they also come from a place of honesty.  This piece of writing is not fiction and comes from deep within myself.

Disease is a long and winding road.  I am an adult child of alcoholic parents.  There have been reams written on the subject, some of it is familiar to me and some seems to be a foreign language from another planet.  Each child that has grown up with the same label I have experiences their life in a completely different way.  No two children live within the same defined constraints of alcoholism and no two children will ever see the disease in the same way.  My brother and I grew up in the same house and I would put money on the fact that we would describe the experience from two completely different perspectives.  This is the reality of disease – it will affect everyone in a unique way.

I was always an intuitive child and I knew from an early age that my parents did not drink the way most parents drank.  Sure, life was fun, life was a party, but life also got swept under the rug and the hard times were diluted with an alternate reality that was sold in a bottle.  My childhood was not a horrible experience, by any means.  My parents were loving, affectionate and giving and our family knew how to care for and support each other and work hard for the things we got.  But the demons always lurked in the corners.  When life was good, it was great.  But when life was difficult, my parents would retreat into the safety of the haze that alcohol created and the world outside of the four walls of our home failed to exist.  They shared a blurred vision that perpetuated the colors of their elusive rainbow.  Their co-dependency only fueled the fire of the disease and, as the years progressed, my father was the first to show the physical symptoms of its true profile.  Alcohol is a serial killer.

His once athletic frame had become withered and yellowed and the spark in his eyes had faded.  The buoyant man brimming with life was transformed into an aged man who, at times, seemed like a stranger.  His personality slowly retreated into a dark corner and the vacant stare that remained only served as a reminder that the man we once knew had been abducted by the demons of his past. Watching my father suffer the prolonged and debilitating effects of the disease was horrific.  Thankfully the memories I choose to keep are those of the energetic, exuberant man whom everyone loved.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think of that serial killer lurking in the shadows.  I enjoy a glass of wine.  I appreciate a cold beer on a hot day.  But that enjoyment is tarnished with thoughts of a possible genetic mutation that may alter my pleasure and turn it into something sinister.  When I savor a red wine bursting with the aromas of blackberry and cinnamon, when I let it circle my taste buds with the pungent taste of earth and spice, there is an underlying sense of disquiet that the indulgence may have an ulterior motive.   I can only take solace in the fact that wine, for me, is a pleasure and not an escape.  I delight in its taste and my life is not affected by my enjoyment of its true character and nuance.  It enhances my palate, it does not control my world.

True to the form of a demented psyche, the serial killer has now targeted my mother. It has stalked her, circling her and batting at her like a cat with a mouse.  Seeing the recent change in my mom is more difficult because we have something to compare it to.  That all-too-familiar haunting look in her eyes and the subtle changes in her personality bring the experience with my dad back to the forefront of my mind.  We know what to expect and there is nothing we can do to change it.  We are helpless to watch my mom teeter over the same rabbit hole that swallowed my father.

Thankfully my mom is much like my dad and has the spirit of a fighter.  Deep inside she knows she is unwell, but her demeanor and her spunk tell a different story.  Together, as a family, we will board the windows and latch the doors to fend off the evil perpetrator as long as we can.   Serial killers may be tenacious, but this one has no idea what its up against.  Blood is most definitely thicker than water and the life force that flows in our veins is stubborn.  We will never give up without a good fight.   Disease will never trump a child’s love for their parents.