Spur of the Moment Suicide Poem

Waking up that morning was supposed to be normal

I wasn’t expecting the conversation to be so formal

Your brother is dead, he shot himself last night

What? Are you kidding me? I asked as I squinted in the light

I sat in silence for I don’t know how long

Was this just a dream? Did I hear them wrong?

The next few hours were just a blur

Until I saw my brother’s son looking so sweet and pure

He was only three and didn’t have a clue

But I lost it when I saw him right out of the blue.

I couldn’t stop crying, I was falling apart

I didn’t say a word; I didn’t know where to start

My brain went numb and I just went through the motion

I had a baby to protect from the commotion

She would never get to know her uncle Brian

But maybe it will save her a lot of cryin

He was such a good person that took a wrong road

I wish I could have helped to lighten his load.

Suicide leaves family with a lot of guilt and sadness

It takes forever to get through the madness.

I have two more brothers that are still alive

I pray for them so they can thrive

My heart goes out to my mother

She lost her son, a pain like no other.

Time will heal all wounds they say

It has been twenty-one years and it still feels like yesterday

All of the feelings are not front and center driving me mad

But they are always there and they always make me sad.

I remember the good things about him and how he made me laugh a lot

When I am sad I look back at those happy memories and they really hit the spot.

So during the day when you’re feeling down

Think of the best times with your loved one and laugh like a clown!

Happy Valentine’s Day…

I wanted to take a minute to wish all of you a Happy Valentine’s Day and to apologize for being MIA for the past few days. It has been one heck of a week for my family on a personal level. 

So, first of all I would love to send a special THANK YOU out to Angela Ackerman from The Bookshelf Muse at http://thebookshelfmuse.blogspot.com/ for the amazing post that she did for us on Monday!!

Second, I would like to officially say that the February Writing Challenge eds today!

Third, be on the lookout for two more author interviews heading your way!!

Thank you all so very much for being as awesome as you are!!

Welcome our Guest Blogger: Angela Ackerman from The Bookshelf Muse!!!!!!!!


I’ll never make it.
I should just quit.
I am a total loser.

Bleak words, aren’t they? Still, a familiar echo to anyone receiving the soul-consuming rejection letter.

A perfectly good day can go sour at seeing, ‘Dear Author’. Our breath cuts off, our chest tightens, the shoulders sag and despair slams us down. We ask ourselves why we put ourselves through this, why we can’t just catch a break.

Unfortunately being rejected (or e-jected) is just another part of the writing gig, like metaphors and modifiers. Rejection is out there, it will come for us at some point. Some letters hurt, others can devastate. All of them challenge our self belief.

Staying positive in the face of rejection is tough. Each time our confidence is scraped, the rejection a message that our writing isn’t good enough to take on, which we translate into meaning WE are not good enough.

Sometimes moving past rejection is as simple as firing out a few more queries, tightening a synopsis or revising that first chapter for the 900th time. Other times, rejection can cause our foundation of determination and self-belief to quake. We feel like we’re letting everyone around us down, including ourselves. Maybe we should face facts and pack it in.

During these black moments, it’s important to find a way to shift our thoughts out of the self-critical mode. This is difficult, but it can be done if we look at the rejection in a different light: as opportunity.

I know what you’re thinking—rejections are closed doors. What opportunity could their possibly be from a ‘sorry, not for me’ type rejection?

There are always things to learn, even from form rejections to queries. The trick is shifting the way you think from the negative to the positive. When a rejection pulls you down, consider these questions:

What does the agent/editor need?
What is my responsibility to them?
What can I learn from this?
How can I see this rejection differently?

Let’s look at each one of these for a sec.

What does the agent/editor need?

The sarcastic answer to this is, ‘Not my work, obviously.’ But if you can set aside the hurt and place yourself in their shoes, there’s insight to be had on their side of the desk. Pretend you are the agent or editor opening this query—what do they need from you? What will make them successful?

They need to see a compelling query, well written with a character and voice that calls to them. They want to find something different, something that peaks their interest & makes it a no-brainer to scribble a note telling you to please forward the book. At the end of the day, this person wants to sign great writers, and they’d like nothing better for this query to make them tingle in anticipation! They need a strong story and polished writing. They want to see a query from someone who has targeted them specifically because of who they represent/publish.

What is my responsibility to them?

It is the writer’s responsibility to write a strong, inviting query that offers enough information to make the agent/editor NEED to know what happens next–not too little, not too much. Give them the shape of it, a strong sense of the character, voice and style. Your best work shows them you are dedicated to this story being published. You do this by slaving over the query, polishing it until it shines as brightly as your belief in the book itself. You also show that you chose them specifically because they are a great fit, not that you spammed them with your query, hoping for the best.

What can I learn from this?

Once again, turn an honest eye to the query. Evaluate whether you satisfied the editor/agent’s needs and fulfilled your responsibilities. Is there something you can do better, or did this query simply hit your ‘good enough’ meter at the time you sent it out? Have you done all the research on the market that you can, do you feel a niggle of guilt over a corner you may have cut somewhere? Did you edit enough, critique enough, tweak enough? Have you done all you can to make this query a success, as well as any materials you sent with it (synopsis, bio, first chapter, etc?)

How can I see this rejection differently?

Of all the questions above, this one is the most important. When depression hits over a rejection, asking yourself this will lead you to a balanced perspective again. Because a rejection is in essence a negative, this question challenges you to find the positive.

Think of the positive things this rejection symbolizes for you, or write them down if you like. First, it shows you had the courage to send out your work. It proves you believed in your story enough to get it published. This leads you to think about how far your writing has come, how your talent has grown, how many stories you’ve written or how long you’ve worked to perfect this one.

Seeing the rejection differently sets you on a path that allows you to re-appreciate your own growth as a writer and your determination to reach your publication goal. How many writers have you helped along the way? How many writers believe in you, cheer you on and know you can succeed? Focus on your strengths and your accomplishments.

Finding the positive in any circumstance can revive confidence, lighten mood and bolster determination. Too, your body responds to positive thinking, helping to slough off despair and doubt. Breathing is easier, tension leaks from the muscles. Posture straightens as thoughts return to moving forward, and what can be done to ensure success. Suddenly the rejection is put back into perspective–one person’s opinion, not a career-ender.

Try this for yourself the next time a rejection hits you hard–it really does work!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Angela Ackerman

Angela Ackerman is a Canadian who writes on the darker side of Middle Grade and Young Adult and is a strong believer in writers helping writers. She blogs at the award winning resource, The Bookshelf Muse and is co-author of The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression, a writing tool which helps writers navigate the challenging terrain of showing character emotion. Covering seventy-five emotions, this brainstorming aid provides a large selection of body language, internal sensations, actions and thoughts associated with any emotional moment.

What’s Up…

Hey Everyone, I just wanted to fill you on in on what is happening in my writing world this coming week. Author interviews, guest bloggers and the winding down of the February Writing Challenge.

On Monday the 11th we will be having a guest blog post and the guest herself will be sticking around to answer and questions or comments that you may have!! Her blog is VERY popular and I am very excited that I was able to convince her to do a post for us!!

Later in the week, the writing challenge will be ending and I am very bummed that we don’t have any entrants yet. So fun and easy, maybe next time.

I will also be posting another author interview toward the end of the week and I love that!! I am always excited to hear from other author’s and what makes them tick and stuff. ha ha

One last thing, you may notice that when I make comments and posts, it may say from, “FRaPS: Family, Relationships and Personal Situations” …no worries, that is still me, but it is for my business (as my writing is for fun) and my company just expanded onto the internet and I will be blogging for them. I love WordPress, but I can’t seem to figure out how to have more than one identity at a time on here. Oh well. Either way it is still me that you are talking to. 😉

 

Chicago Manual of Style

Grammar and punctuation I have always assumed was pretty basic. But now I am reading that writer’s should be following the Chicago Manual of Style. Seriously?

When has writing turned into such “right and wrong”? I love to write, for sure. But writing technicalities are making me write less. Ok, like, I know that we can all grow as writer’s and I am always willing to learn. But to read how some people say things like, They won’t pick up a book if it isn’t written in the form of this Chicago book style, then they won’t even bother.” Really?

I read, I read a lot, but I have never once judged someone’s style. I think that is what makes all of us unique in our own ways. Obviously if there is horrible punctuation and you just can’t make sense of it all, then it is difficult to follow along. But the style? Really?

I haven’t looked up this manual yet, I seem to be getting angry over some opinions that I am reading. I shouldn’t and I know that, but really, I don’t even want to write now. And this is something that I have NEVER said. Just frustrated I think.

Filtering in Fiction

How many of us do this? I do. I don’t like it, but at least I know that is something I need to work on. Does everyone know what it means?

The most basic form of a filter is when the writer tells the reader that a characters sees, hears, smells, feels (as in the sense of touch), or tastes something. A related, and slightly more nuanced filter, is when the writer tells the reader that a character notices, realizes, recognizes, or feels (as in an emotion) something.

So once you know that you are doing it, how hard is it to correct it? Hopefully not hard at all. I am guessing that once the problem is known, we watch for it, we are more aware, right? I just figured it out tonight, so I am not sure yet. But I am hoping when I get a chance to write again I will be picking up on it.

Have any of you ever been told that you are filtering too much? I would love to hear comments about it!!

Michelle Proulx - Author

michelles magical mini weekend blog tour

Having finally awoken after a very late night of the Game of Thrones board game and a tad too many cookies for my poor stomach to handle, I am now pleased to announce that Day 2 of my magical mini weekend blog tour is officially under way! My wonderful and artistic friend Celeste DeWolfe has conducted and posted an author interview with me (featuring different questions from yesterday’s interview, so stop panicking!).

Click here to soak in the majesty of the interview! (or just read it – your choice)

Theatrics aside, thank you again to both lovely ladies who participated in my impromptu and slightly disorganized blog tour. Virtual cupcakes all around!

Unrelated link of the day:

Theories about popular shows, movies, and games

Unrelated image of the day:

 

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