Forget Me Not

Never let somebody make you forget who you are.

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It’s raining in Maryland. Has been for days. It sets a tone.

I’ve been working on “Red Hunter” which is book three in my Red August series. It’s been flowing, but it’s been emotionally exhausting. When I started out writing fairy tales a few years ago, I was going to write short sexy erotic fairy tales. Instead, I’m mired in examining relationships, the way love works, who you’re “supposed” to have sex with, and why people manipulate others. About manipulation, spoiler:  it’s usually to get something they want, even if they don’t consciously realize they are doing it.

One of the things I’ve noticed about the people in my past who have manipulated me is that they all gaslighted me. It really knocks you off of your center when it happens, and usually you don’t see it coming. You think things are going well. You’re getting all this positive feedback and reciprocal joy, and then one day, BAM, you’re being accused of the very things that person was doing. Oh, and nothing is EVER their fault.

I think aside from the rain and the writing, the show The Handmaid’s Tale is making some of these old scars ache. Seeing all of those women climb over each other, use each other, and all of society controlling their most basic rights, it’s jarring. They’ve done a good and terrifying job of it. Feels a little too close to reality right now.

One thing that I do to help me get past this sense of foolishness for believing a person when they say they like me, or trusting somebody who was not trustworthy, is trying to REMEMBER WHO I AM. How can another person MAKE YOU FORGET WHO YOU ARE? I can’t really answer that. But you see it all the time. And these measures are temporary because there is always the chance that something will trigger all those old traumas and make you live them for a little while. At least, in time, the duration is shorter and the pain less severe.

Probably everybody but sociopaths go through this. Even gaslighters have their reasons for gaslighting. The important thing is to NOT forget yourself. Remember who you are. Also, there is always room for growth in all of these things. Even if that means putting up a wall and being less trusting–that’s still learning!

The other thing I noticed about being on the receiving end of gaslighting, is that people who CARE that they’ve upset, or hurt others will make the gaslighting even more effective on them. You question everything you ever did or said with that person and read and re-read your texts and emails and try and find the blame in yourself, because that’s who you are. YOU GIVE A SHIT. They don’t. They have to remain blameless or it unravels all the good stories they tell themselves about who they are. If you see something that you could have said or done differently, remember that. If you know better, do better. We all make mistakes.

On the one hand, I’m not sure writing this story is always good for me. Mostly, it is. It’s not much different than making soul-searching art. But . . . it’s just supposed to be a version of Red Riding Hood. It’s supposed to be a modern day fairy tale. Fairy tales are fun! Right? It’s grown into much more than that for me. It’s a way to examine societal standards. Love language. Age differences vs. maturity differences. Who we are told is “right” for us, and what the shape of a family should be.

I want to approach these topics with intelligence, maybe a little purple prose (it is a paranormal romance after all), and with a lot of heart where the hurt was.

I’m 5400 words in. Let’s see where this ship takes us, shall we?

 

 

Hell Week for Writers

I do some theatre work from time to time.  I enjoy making props and decorating sets.  The week leading up to opening night is called “Tech Week” where you get everything together and make it function – lights, costumes, props, sound, actor cues and so forth.  That week is also referred to as “Hell Week” because it’s very stressful. I have friends who are dedicated thespians who work full time day jobs then work until late at night after work to make a lovely piece of theatre for their community.  It’s a beautiful thing!

Anyway, I’m in my book’s Hell Week.  I need to get my edited, proofed, properly formatted manuscript of almost 90k words uploaded to the books sites by this up-coming Saturday.  I actually shouldn’t even be taking time to post this blog entry, but I couldn’t help myself.  I also wanted to explain, for those of you who like my regular posts of Wonderful Word Wednesday and Sensual Sunday, why those things haven’t been happening.  But I do want to share these photos of the flowers we bought at our local farmer’s market yesterday and also say that I am sure to write a Sensual Sunday soon about the farmer’s market.  This GORGEOUS bunch of flowers was only $8 from a family farm.  Buy local!  Support your local farmers!

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A Little Behind

I have to giggle like a third grader at the title of this post.

Anyway, I’ve been out of town finishing some fashion and accessories work and shooting photos.  That’s something I do when I’m not writing.  Which I want to constantly be doing, but it’s not practical.

I went down to Virginia Beach for Mother’s Day week and visited my daughter who modeled my creations.  She had a friend come over, too, and she did some modeling as well.  It was nice to have a visit.  I’m happy to be back at my writing desk, but adventures are good.  Don’t you think?  In any event, it’s put me behind here at home – but only a little.  I’m catching up today and I have to say, it’s going a-okay.

I’ve had so many ideas flowing through me for additional books in the Red August series that I just can’t wait to get down to it.  I have to clear some of this boutique stuff off of my plate first though.  But I do want to say that I try to enjoy everything while I’m doing it.  I don’t always want to be looking to the next thing as what is going to be the best and most happy thing.  I am happy making jewelry and shooting photos.  I am extremely happy writing.  I hope that the joy that I get from doing these things are imbued on the objects I send out into the world and the projects I sell to support myself.  I want them to be as wonderful to receive as they are to create.

“Red August” continues to be on schedule for the August launch date.

Thanks to everybody who supports my work!

Here is a sample from the photo shoot.  You can find my designs at GypsySiren.com.

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Sensual Sunday – Bloom

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Soft pink petals, parting.  You pluck them.  Pastel hues, gathered into bunches.  An offering that makes me smile.  I say a tiny blessing that I trust this gift.  Once upon a time I used to get flowers from somebody else.   Receiving them never felt as pleasurable as this.  More often I felt the thorns in those offerings.  As though there was an apology in them, for things I didn’t know were happening.  Sad things, behind my back. I blink the unhappy thought away.

I smell the bouquet and and sneeze.  A tiny squeak that always elicits giggles from anybody nearby.  Your face is warm and your energy is open.  You wrap your arms around me and I bury my face in, inhaling your smells and feeling the texture of your cotton shirt against my cheek. I grasp a wrinkle of jersey in my free hand and press hard into you.

I take them to the sink and fill a faded blue glass antique jar with water.  The smell of green as I snip of blades to tidy the ends.  Dropping them into the vessel I parade them to the table, sitting them on the lace tablecloth near the tea cups resting in a puddle of sunshine.

There is beauty in these small things.  These gestures.  And the beauty blooms and grows in new ways inside of me now that so much pain is behind me.  I am not in a constant state of receiving apologies for things I don’t know that have occurred.  It is plain.  You offer a gift that you were thinking of me and I accept the gift with trust.

We lay down together, spooning in our own ray of sun.  Your hand resting in the valley of my hip.   Your breath on the back of my neck.

“Tell me a story,” I say, only slightly childish.

“Once upon a time there was a mermaid…” you begin a tale made from familiar places and happy endings as I drift off to sleep.

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