Take a deep breath…
That’s right. Today my short story “Last Night” is free on Amazon. It’s a fast read so feel free to pick up your copy today before it goes back to it’s regular price! Did I mention I love reviews? Well, I do. Literary reviews are always welcome so feel free to post those to Amazon after you give it a read. Thanks again for your support.
I guess getting treatment does mean losing yourself. I started Invega and since then have not done much of anything as far as writing. I’ve just been sort of here, doing nothing. I did so some editing, but making grammatical corrections is hardly creation. The only creation I really do is drawing odd pictures at 1am for no apparent reason except to bring about some sense of normalcy. I don’t even really know why I draw them. It’s more an act of compulsion than anything. Sometimes it’s odd, almost random shapes while other times it’s faces. Here are some photos cropped down for size.
Other times I just seem to be writing random things down on paper and not on the computer, again, as if by compulsion. Here is an example.
Due to some odd compulsion, I feel like I have to stick them on the walls of my bedroom so that’s where they are. I talked to my therapist about this and we came to the conclusion that I am trying to find the voice I lost once I started taking the medication. Although I am sick, I’ve managed to still hold onto logic for the most part which I think is the reason why I’ve not gone completely over the edge. I know doing these things doesn’t make any logical sense, but for some reason I still like I have to do them. When I started taking the Invega, within a few days, that little voice I’ve heard virtually my entire life was silenced. Trying to live without it is…well, I can’t really describe it. It’s like trying to relearn how to live your life after learning how everything you already know. Simple things like reading and tying your shoes feels different and can be difficult at times. With reading, I can look at the words and understand them and know what they are trying to tell me, but when you’ve had a voice in your head other than your own reading to you all your life, when that voice is gone, it’s a very different experience. Essentially, I am having to learn how to read to myself all over again; this time with my voice doing the talking. I know. Technically speaking it was always my voice, but then again, it really wasn’t.
I find myself sometimes pausing while doing common things in life like putting away dishes. I remember the other day doing this and feeling embarrassed because it was something so simple, yet I became confused when putting up a bowl. I’ve always been so good at hiding things so as I’ve always done, I keep quiet for the most part when these things happen, but sometimes I can’t hide such matters. While speaking with one of my doctor today, I found myself wondering if I were using my own voice and becoming confused with what I was saying. Then a black butterfly flew through the room and I was the only one that could see it.
I think about films such as Donnie Darko and I read things from people that say “Oh, he’s so cool! I want to be just like him!” Are you kidding me? Donnie Darko was a paranoid Schizophrenic. I know it was just a movie and he was the hero and I can appreciate a great art film, but he really was going through something similar. Something was, in a sense, distorting who he was. Do these people think this is fun? Really? You know, I’d cry over this shit, but this god damn Invega has me so numb that I can’t feel a god damn thing! I might as well not even be breathing! I can’t feel anger. I can’t feel sadness. I can’t feel happy. I’m just here, taking up space. This is NOT fun. This is what hell must be like. I guess I must have really screwed up in a past life to deserve this.
I lost my voice. I lost a voice that actually helped me. Yes, by definition, it made me insane, but it brought out some of the most beautiful things about me as well. Now that she…yes, it’s a she…is gone, I can’t write anymore. It feels like that part of my brain has turned off. It feels like the connection just isn’t working anymore. I sit down to write and for the first time really in my life, I have a block. I used to be able to sit and just write and write and write. Now the only thing I can write are things like this which is really just me speaking out loud and writing it down. Call me insane if you want. I don’t care anymore. That’s another little side effect of the Invega. My apathy level is piquing. I am getting to the point where I just don’t care one way or another what happens to me. If I die, I die. I would say I want to care, but I don’t care about that either. I’ve had enough. This is pointless.
I’ve decided to give Amazon Prime lending a try to see how it all works out. So far in just one day, I’ve already got sales which is nice. The Prime lending, in case you are not familiar with it, basically means you can “borrow” a book from Amazon with no due date. They have a program where members pay a set amount to be a prime member which is about $78 a year and you get all sorts of benefits. Honestly, I’m not too into that sort of thing, but I know some people are doing it and if you happen to be one of those people, feel free to have as look at Last Night. If not, no worries. It’s still just $.99 so not like it’s a massive amount of money to check out what I consider to be one of the best things I’ve ever written.
You can check out the book on Amazon here.
Anyone that knows me knows I’ve had my fair share of good and bad relationships. Unfortunately, most of them have been bad and to an extreme degree. I guess you could say that while I can’t call myself an expert on the subject because no one really can, I will say I’ve learned a few things through my failures. There is one thing in particular that I want to focus on though and there is a big reason for it.
I’m not going to name names for obvious reasons, but I was going about my day and noticed a little spat on one of the more popular social networks between a man I knew and his girlfriend. It was made public that he was in the dog house for various reasons. Not wanting to be outdone, the girlfriend felt the need to offer her side of the story in her own way; also on the social network.
Now, I know him a lot better than I know her. Regardless, I refuse to take sides because only the two of them know exactly what’s going on in their relationship. Having been through similar events, I know better than to buy anything that is spilled out onto something like a social network because usually you only get bits and pieces of the story. Still, people who see those things are more than willing to start taking sides and of course, people begin commenting which only escalates the matter, making things worse.
My advice on this matter is plain and simple: whenever you argue with your significant other, keep those arguments between the two of you regardless of what it’s about.
I know sometimes tempers can flare and things that we will later regret can be said, but when you start posting things on places like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Blogs, etc., you’re only asking for trouble. First off, it’s no one else’s business but yours and your significant others. I know some people may argue that with me, but that is 100% true. I don’t care who you are. The argument that you are having with them has NOTHING to do with your mother, your friends, your cousins, your co-workers. Perhaps it might be about them, but the fact is it ultimately has to be worked out between the two of you.
Spreading your business around to other parties will only create boundaries within a relationship which will eventually grow. Soon, they will become so big, you will not be able to get past them and others who know about the arguments between you and your spouse / boyfriend / girlfriend will begin to judge without even realizing it and it’s not their position to judge.
In a relationship I was previously in, my ex felt the need to tell her family, not just her mother, but her aunts as well, about virtually every argument we ever had. The sad thing about it was she made it out to them that all we ever did was fight which soon made them question why we were even together. There were good times in there. I must admit not as many as I would have liked, but there were some. Sadly though, when the relationship did finally end, according to her family, I was the devil incarnate because all they knew was I was the man who left her after putting her in jail. They never knew my side of the story. To this day they don’t. I learned the same thing on my end. Because of the trauma I suffered at her hands, I revealed some details to my family and now they have this idea that she is this completely evil woman. I don’t believe she’s an evil person at all. She just had some problems that she needed to resolve. In the end, we both knew we weren’t right for each other. Looking back at it all now, we both know that there are times when we need to keep certain things between the two of us. It’s simply no one else’s business and it never should be.
I guess what I am trying to say is think before you speak the next time you feel like venting to a friend or family member about your significant other. It’s ok to be upset with them. When you are with someone, it’s a given that you will eventually get into an argument here and there. I’ve found that the best thing to do is to not EVER cut off the lines of communication. The “Silent Treatment” doesn’t work. Trust me. I made that mistake. I was an idiot for trying it. It’s dumb and childish and it’s one of my biggest regrets. If you find yourself upset with your spouse, talk to them. If your spouse if upset with you, put the damn TV remote down and listen to them. Talking to them for 15 minutes is more important than a stupid football game. Sometimes just letting them vent to you can solve an argument. Sometimes they just want to feel that you are still on their side. Remember, you are supposed to be that one person that they can turn to for anything in the world. The moment they feel they can no longer talk to you is the beginning of the end, but take heart in knowing that it’s not too late.
I often think about how I would redo some of my failed relationships. There is one in particular. I guess you could say she was the one that got away. I know we shouldn’t regret certain things, but I regret losing her. I can make excuses for myself by saying I was young, I was only 19, etc., but that won’t make things better. Looking back, I know why I lost her. She accepted me for who I was and didn’t ask me to change a single thing about myself. My problem was I was so caught up in what other people thought and I was too busy talking to others that I neglected her feelings. Still, she stuck by me as long as she could till one day she couldn’t take it anymore. I don’t blame her. I really don’t. That girl is married now, living a good life and I’m happy for her. Still, that doesn’t take away my regret.
The next time you argue with your man or woman, look at them and think about what you are about to say or do, even if for just 2 seconds. Think about how they are going to react to your words and actions because although you may not think much about it, your very next words can and will stay with them for years after. Believe me. I still remember the last conversation I had with that girl and I will probably remember it the rest of my life. Remember, if you truly love them, you accept them for who they are. You love them for everything that they are. You love their light and you love their dark. As I’ve said before, you will argue. There is no way around it. There are certain things that should stay between the two of you. Just make sure when you look at them and you feel that anger, make sure you see everything. Remember why you are with them and remember and hope that they are thinking and feeling the same thing, and that they are still there with you not because they have to be, but because they want to be.
Here’s a link to a post from my other blog. Enjoy.
Through the past year, I’ve learned a lot about myself and about writing. I’ve learned that there are times when I need to dive into a little more detail and there are also times where I can be long winded. I’ve slashed thousands of words out of my work since I began, but sometimes thousands just isn’t enough. I also believe I’ve found my place in the writing world. On more than a handful of occasions, I’ve been told I tend to write more as a story teller. That may seem like a general term for a writer, but I believe it’s not. Sometimes people write simply to inform you on certain events so that you know what happened. Other writers, story tellers, take you by the hand and let you walk with them as they lead you down the very same road it feel that they once took. So often I am asked if the events in my book are real because of the way I’ve written them. For many, it feels to them as if I am presenting to them a glorified anecdote and calling it a book chapter. I am ok with that.
It is for that reason that I am going through my previously released works and rewriting certain portions of them. Obviously, even after going over them countless times, there are still a few piece of the books that simply do not flow as well as I want them to and even a handful of grammatical errors. From my very first serious work to Rumbling Heart to my latest release Emily Martin, my style has morphed and become something very different that how it originally started. I’ve discovered my shortcomings and taken hold of my strengths. For this reason, I have decided to take on a simpler, story telling approach to my work from here going forward. In the first book, there is quite a bit of story telling, but I believe I made certain instances far more complex than they needed to be from a grammatical perspective. For this reason, I am sure that RH will go from about 220k words to something a little smaller; maybe about 210k. Still quite large, but smaller and still telling the exact same story. At one time I was going for more of a Hemingway type approach and style, but it seems that many of her techniques died with him all those years ago as some of my critics are calling portions of the work “old” when it comes to style. It was for this reason that I tried what I did with Recorded Butterflies. I took on a very different perspective with this work and I think i did alright. It still wasn’t exactly what I was wanting to do, but I did it.
The latest book Emily Martin is the one I am the most proud of. I found my strengths with this book and I was able to really connect with my Emily character as she tells the story. While I felt I was almost one in the same when it came to my character John, it turns out that I was more in sync with Emily and the way she saw her life and handled her station in life. It was obviously not the way she grew up or the life she lived, but it was more of the place she found herself as an adult. The feelings that she had kept pent up inside her were something very close to my own so I was able to really speak from her perspective. I will make updates to this work as well, but only for the sake of continuity. Even after the release of my final work in the series, I think I will still be most proud of Emily because of the way I was able to convey my feelings through that character.
That being said, I have work to do.
Visit Richard’s Amazon author page here!
Emily Martin will be available Tuesday September 27th, 2011 @ Smashwords.com, Barnesandnoble.com, and Amazon.
Emily Martin Synopsis
Dreams like this must die.
After hearing some of the most shocking news of his life, John Allen is beside himself. Although his suspicions about his wife hiding something were supported, he never once thought she’d be hiding something as big as this from him.
In this installment, the third book in the Rumbling Heart series and follow up to Recorded Butterflies, the way in which our story is told shifts and looks to John’s best friend Emily as she tries her best to share her insights, telling the tale as it unfolded following the months after that fateful night in Los Angeles. As Emily escorts John through what will ultimately be the toughest time in his life, she too is forced to look within herself as she deals with the reappearance of a man she wished she’d never met. As the months go by and the day which she and John fear the most arrives, she finds her life slowly spiraling out of control all while taking on even more responsibility that she never imagined would be entrusted to her.
As she fights to maintain her poise through it all, she is constantly asked to endure more and more and before she knows it, she begins to feel as if she is carrying the world on her shoulders. Stress reaches its maximum and soon she is forced to watch her best friend’s mental state gradually devolve into deep denial all while his wife slowly slips further and further away.
As she recalls the various memories from that time, she thinks about John and about how much he’s changed her life and she soon reveals what many of us thought all along. She also thinks back to the times she spent with John’s wife Olivia, and it doesn’t take her long to come to the conclusion that she didn’t love her simply as a friend, but instead, more like a sister.
Filled with heartache, drama, surprises, laugh out loud moments, and ultimate loss, Emily Martin takes you on a journey of the world as seen through her eyes, telling the story of her best friend John and how he is forced to deal with one of the hardest situations a person could face. She also exposes you to her inner most thoughts as she explains her decent into madness due to the near constant torment from the man that took her dignity from her as he works his way back into her world. As time marches on, the subtle cracks in her character slowly begin to become evident, but that suddenly seems like a side story as you are treated to an ending so wrapped in lunacy, you may begin to question yourself. Could this be it? Could this really be the end? All dreams must come to an end, but in some cases, they die a long and painful death.
17k words into the final book all while I still have Emily Martin in editing. The final book in the series is already turning out to be much more than I’d first anticipated. Within the first chapter, the characters have already gone through something completely different than any of the other books. Several lines will be crossed and already they’ve done that. Expect much more craziness from this book as all the madness will come to a climax and I promise an ending that will both satisfy, shock, and make your heart beat a little faster.
As I’ve stated in previous posts, I have held back EM as I wanted to be sure that I was able to get in all the information I wanted to and so that both books will tied together nicely. That being said, EM should still be out hopefully no later than early to mid October, maybe sooner depending on how much more I feel I need to do with it. EM was last sitting at about 170k words. I expect the 4th and final book to be slightly larger; perhaps 185k. As with EM, the final book will have different perspective and views, but in the end, it will ultimately go back to John, the original narrator. He started it so he should be the one to finish it, but not before a couple of others have their say. I am breaking the book down into 4 parts and as it stands, I’m not too sure as to which part will be the largest. Probably the 4th and final part, but who knows. Often times I find while writing I tend to go off into a different direction and toss in a few smaller, subplots before getting back and delivering the main point. Any extras will only further develop the characters as I don’t really like to toss in too much unneeded fluff.
The overall diction will remain middle to high as far as narration with the occasional lowering for certain plot elements. I’ve toyed with the differences between narrators, but with just a few adjustments for characteristic play, I doubt much of it will change.
I look forward to getting more feedback from all my readers and as always, thank you all so much for your continued support.
To celebrate the release of my latest book Recorded Butterflies, I have marked down the cost of the first book in the series.
Right now on both Barnes and Noble and Amazon, you can grab Rumbling Heart for just $.99 for a limited time. If you loved it, feel free to also pick up book two of the Rumbling Heart series Recorded Butterflies for $2.99. Thank you all for your continued support.