My Journey from Discovery to Acceptance to Change
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Hope Through Authenticity

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HE DIED BUT HE WILL NOT GO AWAY

My dad died last year. I miss him but he never really went away because I hear his voice – and not in a good way – all the damn time.

Today, I was rewarded with a publisher expressing interest (and sending a contract) for my second novel, The Unexpected Gift. This publisher is also interested in working with me on book 3. Great news! Exciting news! Daunting news!

My first extinct was to write an email to all my friends, my family and all the people in my writing world. I actually composed the email but before I could hit send, my dad joined me at the table with all his words of wisdom and judgment.

“Don’t send it. Every time you do something worth bragging about, you screw it up and embarrass all of us.”

And if that wasn’t bad enough …

“Who do you think you are pretending to be a writer? You send that email and you’ll be humiliated, and people will whisper and laugh. Oh, they will pretend to be happy for you but really they’ll be rolling their eyes and taking you off their friend list.”

And …

“You may have a publisher but once they actually read it, they’ll be tossing that contract in the trash and you’ll have tell everyone you failed. Again.”

And …

“People – especially those in your writing groups – will hate you. They don’t want to hear about success. They’ll talk about how you think you’re all that and then they will love watching you sink.”

My father had some wonderful qualities but his voice and his constant disappointment in me overshadows everything else.

So, as I much as I want to sing from the rafters, I can’t.

Instead I sit here writing this blog, fighting back tears, and expecting the bomb to drop – expecting my Dad’s words to be prophetic.

I hate this. I hate that his voice keeps me from ever believing in myself.

Shit, I wrote two books – that’s 200,000 words. They are for sale and people buy them. People say nice things. And you know what, Dad, I worked my ass off and that should be enough! But, it’s not, is it?

I’m fifty-five years old, my dad is dead, but he will not shut up and I cannot seem to stop listening.

I did eventually send that email, but I played the accomplishment down and sent only to a very few “safe” people. I want to call the email back – to delete it – to keep my damn mouth shut.

I want to be able to share and not care if people whisper or watch for me to fail.

As my dad used to say, “You can want {missing word] all you want but that doesn’t make it so.”

By the way, The Unexpected Gift has been officially optioned by a publisher – contract signed! I have written two books and I am damn proud of them. I plan to write Book 3 and I am proud of that already. Take that, Dad! 

I think it's important to add that my father had lots of good qualities. He was a hard worker and he always provided for the family. He was intelligent and could be funny. He was a master at card games. I do miss him.

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  • Meet June

    June with Purple Hair

    In April 2012 I had a mental breakdown. The real thing. I have about 36 hours that I don’t remember....

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  • All of my novels, at least so far, have an element of mental illness within a character.  Decide to Hope is the most autobiographical in that I struggle in many ways exactly as the female protagonist. 
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