2015: Looking Back

Greetings! Queen here. Thanks for joining me as I travel through my 2015 Year in Review. I pondered over whether to do things month by month, category, etc. However, I’ve decided that I’m just going to wing it a bit.

2015-12-22

Background (Metaphor: White Noise)

During 2015, there were (and still are) a few situations occurring that I’ve kept a bit quiet. For one, most folks know that I am a private person and unless you’re in my close circle, then I’d like to be able to function without everyone diving into my business from day-to-day. Some items are helped by medicine while others require a different type of treatment involving months before it takes—even then, there is no guarantee that the 1st time will be successful.

So, for those who have been praying for me, continue to do so. For those who are still curious about what has occurred, keep being curious. If you are meant to know, you will know; if not, I guess you will find out (or not find out) like everyone else.

When I am experiencing white noise, I do my best to stay productive—to not let it deter me from the goals I’ve set for myself. In spite of, even because of, the disruption, I remained steadfast in my writing.

New Stories

Although I wrote this story late last year, the anthology it is featured in—Concordant Vibrancy 1: Unity—did not get published until January. My story “The Authentic Snap” is about a woman named Diann who has to choose between living for others and living for herself.

Excerpt

Diann lied to herself for too long.  She pretended the compromise was okay.  In hindsight, Diann now realized it was really a sacrifice of self.  Diann was just doing what she had always done—putting others before herself. In her mind, compromise was a part of building a relationship as well as a future.

At first, Diann thought she could deal with the cost of it all.  She didn’t frequent certain places because it caused too much discomfort and awareness of one’s other life.  Diann stopped dressing up because the other person (her Joah) felt pressured to emulate.  At times, she even went along with certain things when all parties were aware of her discomfort.

What could Diann say to Joah without the defense mechanism going up? How could she be spared the rant, “I never told you that you had to do these things”?

Well, Diann hadn’t been told directly. It was implied through unconscious suggestion. It was more convenient not to rock the boat, Diann understood.

How could Diann approach the subject without placing blame? Placing blame was too easy, and accomplished nothing.  Diann’s theory was this: for all the blame put out in the universe, one should take responsibility for the role played in allowing the things to happen.

The predicament never would have happened were Diann a meaner person.  She knew things would not have continued this long if her good traits weren’t amplified to being liabilities.  Plus, it didn’t help that Joah went along willingly with the scenario.  

Diann had developed an idea.  She believed they both became afraid, feeling like they needed permission to live their own lives.  The fallacy was neither Diann nor Joah could ascertain whether the person each saw at the interim was really their true identities.

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During the summer, I was invited to take part in the first book of the Divergent Ink anthology series, Crackles of the Heart. Along with Y. Correa and members of the All Authors Publishing House, we used our skills to address one scenario: Could a hot, handsome guy fall for the average, awkward woman? My answer “Tale in the Keys of Drastic” makes a person wonder if a playboy can really change his tune upon finding the right woman, even if she is an unlikely pick to the outside world.

Excerpt

          This isn’t my first time steppin’ to a girl. No, scratch that! There’s nothing girl like about all of those curves. They remind me of a long highway that only the most adventurous would travel.

           I’ve always been an adventurous man.

           The doctors would say it’s due to ADHD but I chalk it up to DNA. Even in my younger years, restlessness was my play date more so than contentment. For me, being content means being complacent. Being complacent meant satisfaction with being bored.

           Nope, definitely not me.

           Yet, I’m getting sidetracked. Where was I? Oh yeah, that curvaceous vixen— one that switched my eye from a state of wandering to a state of transfixion. Funny enough, that day I was going in for the kill: getting the telephone number from another young lady that I’d been chasing for quite some time.

           She probably paid me no mind—bobbing her head to some tune blasting through her Beats headphones. It wasn’t just her head that was moving. Her bountiful buxom bounced while it swayed in rhythm with each step.

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To round out the year, I responded to the call for submissions for the 2nd installment of Concordant Vibrancy, Vitality. In “Operation Restore”, one half of a former couple returns to their shared habitat to get things in order before saying good-bye for good.

Excerpt

I slid the bronze key into the keyhole. It did the familiar slight stick before complying with what I wanted. I stepped inside the house then paused, remembering the trick to avoid the disaster between key and knob. The shiny knob was gripped with one hand while the other hand did one, two, three quick jiggles prior to removal. A satisfying exhale leaked between my top and bottom lip as I closed and locked the back door.

While walking from room to room, pain and disgust put grooves in my normally calm demeanor. Disruption was in a number of spaces—a combination of torn and soiled clothing, neglected literature, and bundles of trash. One would easily surmise that a natural disaster of epic proportions had caused havoc in the historic house I once labeled home.

Yet, this was the work of one person. Matilda. Even in our union, she was not the cleanest of people. However, the least she could have done was left some type of structure. Perhaps Matilda was sending a message—a reminder of what our affair diminished into before she delivered its ending.

All of this muck simply would not do! This had to be put in order … at least as close as possible before I made my presence here years ago.

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New Poetry

Truth be told, I did not anticipate publishing any new poetry for this year. 2013, as well as 2014, was full of poetic collections by me. Yet, I was still doing a bit of writing here and there.

The first set of poetry I produced was part of a project with fellow author MJ Holman. Around May of last year, a few of my poems was featured in her book The Sea of Conscience. Shortly after the release of the book, I pitched an idea to her about a continuance of the work, since it spoke about a subject that I was not only passionate about but was familiar with—depression. Although she seemed interested, I didn’t hear back on moving forward with preparation until the early part of this year.

With the follow up to The Sea of Conscience, she wanted the division of works to be equal—she composed a segment and I composed a segment. My segment “Nuances of Color” mapped out the different arrays of emotions one can experience, not just from the individual suffering from depression but those who love them as well.

Excerpt from “How a Garden Grows”

Have you ever felt like an outsider
In your own life:
That you are just an actress
Playing a role
In something you never auditioned for?

You’re still there, wondering what you’re waiting for?

Waiting for a better that doesn’t exist?
Waiting for a tomorrow that will never come?
Waiting for a clarity that’s blocked out?

No … blacked out!

Our joint effort Waves to Light was published in September.

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Around the same time, there was a slew of poetry I wrote that had an overall theme—different happenings that could have an impact on the body. I was not sure whether to publish them or not but then I had a strange dream that would not leave me, even after I was awakened by an alarm clock. Let me reword, not necessarily the dream itself, but a phrase “Truth has no expiration date.”

That is how Spaded Truths became a series and Life-O-Suction was born, released in December.

Excerpt from “Succubus”

If you peeled away the layers of my skin
And the only organ you could see was my heart,
What type of image would be reflected?
One rushing with the blood of lasting love
Or one slowed with the taint of a mate’s neglect.

If you decomposed all parts of my body
And the only thing intact was my spirit,
What type of spirit would you see?
One that would serve proudly as your guardian angel
Or a demon seeking vengeance for your hurtful deeds.

I was once a presence that was a gift to you.
Now it is apparent that my presence
Is no longer a present.

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goals

So what is on the horizon for 2016?

For the Background—a decrease in the White Noise. I would say “eliminate” but in many regards, I am a realist. If I can get some of the static to not be as loud, that is progress. Once that happens, then I will set further goals to get the desired result.

For my writing, I plan on being a part of the next Divergent Ink anthology and possibly releasing another independent short story. However, my aim is to spend most of my time developing my work-in-progress Lacross Lane, which has the makings of being a novel. This year, I found little time to write on it because other creative ideas were at the forefront, screaming “I want to be seen now.” On this, I have to have tunnel vision or I’ll never get close to finishing it. I don’t dare say that I’m not going to publish poetry next year because that muse tends to be on its own timetable.

All right everyone! Appreciate your support. Have a great holiday (if you celebrate it) and many wishes for a bright New Year.

happyholidays

 

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Poet, short story writer, and aspiring novelist. This blog details my writing journey and everything in between: supporting other writers, doing a feature column and serving as editor-in-chief for All Authors Magazine Online.

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