Sunday, September 1, 2019

IWSG ~ Book Lovers Unite for World Suicide Prevention Day & a Bookish Giveaway!

I'm foregoing this Insecure Writer's Support Group monthly question to share a cause that is dear to me and has, in the past, caused me some insecurity. I'd love it if you'd comment, sharing from your experiences or opinions, but I completely understand if you don't. A huge 'thank you' goes out to this month's co-hosts: Gwen Gardner, Doreen McGettigan, Tyrean Martinson, Chemist Ken, and Cathrina Constantiner! For more participants, go HERE.

The first annual Book Lover's Unite for World Suicide Prevention Day Tour will kick off on Sunday, September 1st and will culminate in a twelve-hour Facebook Live Event on World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10th.

The purpose of this event is to spread mental health awareness among the book community, eradicate the stigmas associated with mental health, share our individual journeys in an accepting community, discuss books that effectively represent mental health issues, and raise money for the International Association for Suicide Prevention.

Mental illness is often misunderstood. Some believe it's feeling sad, while others think there's just something wrong with that person. And the biggest misconception is that the person suffering with mental illness can just think happy thoughts or maybe try smiling to make it all okay. We have a lot to learn about true clinical mental illness, but smiling more is definitely not a cure.

Without further blah-blah from me, here's the exciting author line-up for the Book Lovers Unite for World Suicide Prevention Day Tour:

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                         LINK                                             LINK                                        YOU ARE HERE!
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My Spotlight On September 4th

I talk about mental illness and depression from personal experience, one I RARELY expose. 

When I was around twelve years old, my mother was diagnosed as a severe or manic depressant. (Today, I believe it would be classified as bi-polar. Please correct me if I'm wrong.) For the remainder of my school-aged years, my father spent most of his time refereeing for her, while I shielded my younger brother of four years from any of the backlash. Yelling, throwing things, crying, complaining, grabbing my arms, being dissonant, and over-dosing on sleep. That's what I remember her doing all those years.

Growing up was tough. She threatened suicide sometimes, which made coming home from school kind of scary. I never knew what I might find. My mother wasn't a bad person. Frankly, she had a huge heart, always wanting to help others or be involved. But so often, her emotions (or so we thought) prevented her from doing so. She was sick, but nobody back then looked at it that way. She was moody or ornery or high maintenance. Other than taking her to therapist after therapist - that always failed - she never got any other help, partly her own doing. Everything was everyone else's fault. I even agreed to go to therapy with her in my later teen years to help her, and all she ended up doing was telling the therapist how wrong I was about everything. I don't think that's what she meant. It's just her view of reality was so eschewed that she didn't know any other way to act or communicate. 

Her behavior, attitudes, and roller coaster emotions were so confusing to grow up with, which made being the oldest extra rough. My dad tried everything, but nothing could ever make her happy, make her well. And that unhappiness needed an outlet. I've never, EVER said this out loud (Well, other than to my husband), but most of that unhappiness landed on me - the oldest child, a girl who was expected to grow up so fast. I feel like this is me crapping on my mom, but people have to realize that a family member with a mental illness is a family with mental illness. It affects every single member.

It wasn't until my mid-thirties that I realized how emotionally damaged I really was, the reason I had a hard time to show love, the reason I was terrified to accept love. I know this must sound seriously messed up to some of you, but I've never put my feelings about all of this into words. I've tried. I've just never been strong enough. I think I am now.

I've had a young adult story about a patient of mental illness and the affects it has on a child growing up within that perfect storm stewing within me for over fifteen years. I know I must write it. I think I'm finally ready. I want children/families with members suffering from mental illness to know that they can advocate for their loved one . . . but they also should advocate for themselves. 

Something I wish someone would have told me when I was younger.

Thank you for listening. <3 

Please scroll to the bottom of this post to enter for your chance to WIN the special giveaway I'm offering up.
Facebook LIVE Event!

Join us for a twelve-hour Facebook LIVE event on September 10th - World Suicide Prevention Day!

Want to lend some support?

Enter my giveaway . . .

What you'll get:
  • a Book Lovers Unite for Suicide Prevention day T-shirt
  • a Meditation Sidekick Journal from Habit Nest
  • some book swag from my books
 I'll be keeping this giveaway open until the Live Facebook Event on September 10th, so the more you spread the word the more chances you'll have to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a safe zone. If you'd like to share an experience or feelings about mental illness and/or suicide, you are more than welcomed to do so. Thank you for stopping by to visit the Alleyway!

Thursday, July 4, 2019


Well hello there, you wonderfully supportive author Insecure Writer Support Group friends.

Do you hear a difference in the tone of my writing voice? 

Good, and there's a reason. 

This post will be super brief because the hubby and I are gearing up with kiddo #4 to fly off to Italy today! Kiddo #4 is playing soccer in an international tournament there with his premiere team representing the USA. It's a great opportunity for him and a much needed getaway for us all after the past seven months of life's suckage. I'll take loads of pics and share when we return.


MOTLEY EDUCATION, My middle grade novel, has found a new home!!! And not just book I that had already been released, but book II as well. Thank you all for your support through this weird and trying time. I would have lost my mind (and might have stopped writing for good) without you. <3

When I know the details of the above I will let you know, and if any of you are willing to help me spread the word when each book is released please let me know. I'd really appreciate it!


What personal traits have you written into your characters?

It's inevitable that writers will eventually use a personal trait of their own or close family and friends in a character. I know I've used some in my characters.

What about you?

I'd like to thank this month's co-hosts: are Erika Beebe, Natalie Aguirre,Jennifer Lane, MJ , Lisa Buie-Collard, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor! Make sure you visit their sites, too!


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