Monday, June 30, 2014

You have to save YOU.

Good morning Love Birds.
Yesterday, I received some saddeningly ugly news.
A particularly significant ex-boyfriend of mine committed suicide a few days ago.
I haven't seen or spoken to him in years. This boy was not significant because he was still a part of my life--he was significant in the way that someone who altered you--for good AND bad--only can be.
He was not a nice person. I say that knowing full well that, in death, most people find something nice to say. And yet.
He wasn't nice.
He was abusive and dark and selfish and sweet and charming and romantic. Yep, he was "that guy" for me. In so many twisted ways. On my eighteenth birthday, I threw myself out of a dysfunctional home environment into an even more dysfunctional relationship. And from there, it spiraled downward.
Looking back, I can remember knowing that he was damaged. But then, we both were. And although I probably couldn't have put it into these words at the time, I know now that my deepest, darkest secret desire, expectation even, was that we would somehow save each other. I thought we'd be messed up together, get into trouble, toe the line of the law, fall onto the wrong side of it a few times even. But then, we'd drag each other up and out and put each other back together again.
Only, that didn't happen.
One horrible straw led to another and finally, came the LAST straw and then I had no choice but to get away. To stop trying to bring him with me and just GO. I left in the kind of way that felt hard and fast and completely cutting. I haven't spoken to him since. That was 12 years ago.
Then, yesterday, I received the news that he'd shot himself.
It's so, so sad, but for me it was deeper than an unfortunate story in the news of someone I once knew. It's brought to surface all sorts of old feelings. Not the least of which is that feeling of wanting to save him, of wanting him to save me. And in the end, neither one happened.
In the end, I saved myself.
This is not a post about "hey, thanks for being a jerk so I could get motivated to heal my life."
This is not a post about "suicide is so tragic. I wish we'd all done more."
It's just an observation. The choice to be saved from "that other path" is your own. Never anyone else's. You can't blame someone else for your failures. But, fortunately, that means you can't blame someone else for your success either.
In the end, it's up to you.
Today, more than other days, I'm so grateful that I saved myself.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Halfway rockstars don't exist

This is a post I first wrote for Phoenix, my author coaching clients. I try to use my own STUFF as encouragement for my authors. Mostly because whatever I struggle with, you struggle with. Whatever wears on me probably wears on you. People are essentially the same. I decided to also post it here because it's been a while since I've been honest in a raw kind of way about my personal life with my readers. And these last four weeks or so have felt really raw. (no lie, I blame that last moon cycle. That one was a bitch!) But it's a new cycle now and I'm feeling much more like my TRUE SELF. I've got a good handle on my personal truth and I want to share it with everyone else who maybe struggles with keeping hold of their truth instead of taking on someone else's. (Living an OutRAGEous Life isn't as easy as you think!)

When I'm faced with a new choice, I spend only a few seconds deciding whether I want it or not. If not, I walk away. If so, I go for it.
But then I have a bad habit of spending the next LONG WHILE second-guessing that decision or feeling guilty for taking the opportunity OR unhappy as I contemplate all the judgment others must be passing on me behind my back because they would never do something so crazystupidinsaneunreasonable or just basically outside the box.
If you're like me, this sort of thing happens when you try to do something outside the "YOU" that fits into everyone's definition of what you "SHOULD DO."
Like, for example, Guam.
In July, I head back there--without the kiddos. Some people think that me leaving my kids makes me a less-than-great (Or unstable, in some conversations) mother. Or a slew of other judgy things that have been pulling me down in all areas. I mean, I've been though enough of a personal journey that I can't NOT follow my dreams (of travel and true love and anything that makes me this HAPPY) but I've been walking around feeling YUCK about it. Like that will make all of the naysayers feel better or come around. "Oh, well, she feels guilty for it, so, we forgive her."
Uh, no.
Doesn't work that way.
My point is, if you've ever felt this too. Maybe with wanting to write but everyone telling you it wasn't a "real job," over committing even though you didn't WANT to do something for someone but you felt obligated (aka GUILT), being afraid to write the kind of story you WANT to write because "what will people think?"
Building an entire life out of what you're "SUPPOSED TO" do or be or act like, instead of anything that gets you so happy and lit up that it makes you OutRAGEous.
I see you all writing books and publishing and living out that part of your happiness. But what about the choices you've made for others? The secret stuff, the paranormal erotica, the wanting to move to Bali, the stuff no one knows OR the stuff you've chosen but then walk around feeling bad about???? And then you wonder why this choice isn't working out now! Well of course it won't, not when you feel so awful about it!
It's not easy letting go of the yucky feelings that come with being a rebel. But it's totally worth it. The fact is, no one ever became famous or achieved their dreams or left a lasting mark or FULFILLED THEIR DESTINY or lived a happily ever after by "half-assing" their choices.
I saw this on Facebook yesterday:
When you die, your life is summed up by two dates and a dash. Make the MOST of the dash.
What are you making of your dash?
If you like what you read here and want to join my Phoenix email list to get more of the same, you can click here to join Phoenix's mailing list. It's geared toward authors but my message: How to create your own OutRAGEous Life applies to everyone!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Top 5 Fictional Couples



Wait, what does that mean? Oh, yeah! It means the YA Storytellers are all posting about the SAME fun topic which is... Favorite Fictional Characters. If you want to read someone else's list besides mine, you can go to the YA Storytellers site and pick someone else to stalk.

For everyone still here, here's my list in PRIORITY ORDER! I have serious opinions about this subject!

1. Clary and Jace. No question.
Think about it, any other who can make you wonder if the leading couple are actually brother and sister and STILL make you want to see them make out AND not make it WEIRD, that's success! You know it. I know it. 
And Jace is, without question, my number one book boyfriend. #handsoff
2. Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters from The Fault in Our Stars. 
Oh, and this: "You're so busy being you that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are." -Augustus Waters. I love that one so much, I didn't have to look it up to type it here. And it's been a year and a half since I read the book. Any book with a quote that unforgettable gets into this list.
Augustus Waters IS true love.
Nothing else even needs to be said here.

3. Ren and Kelsey from Tiger's Curse by Colleen Hoover
Spoiler Alert: HE GAVE HER TO HIS BROTHER!!!!!!
Complete and total White Fang scenario!!!!!!
And I know she went for it for a while but that's because SHE was White Fanging him back!!! #TrueLove

4. Jess and Nick from New Girl. 
I know, I know. It's not a book. I. Can't. Even. Care.
Have you seen the episode from Season 1 where they kiss for the first time?????
THAT'S that shit where Every Girl Should Always Be Kissed Like That Forever to stay in love. Period. It was amazing. I smoked a cigarette after watching it. And then I watched it again.
*goes to find the DVR remote*

5. Okay, so I got this far and now I'm stuuuuck. There are sooo many!
Zoey and Stark from House of Night by PC Cast. #somuchtruenessinthelove
Alec and Magnus Bane from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
Trys and Four from Divergent by Veronica Roth
Katniss and Peeta from Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Nora and Bram from Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
If you haven't read Steampunk Zombies, you're just playing around. Get serious. 
This book was UH-mazing. it's a series. Go. You're welcome.

Okay, I think that's my final answer. This post was hard/fun/entertaining to write! Who is YOUR favorite fictional character?