I am thrilled to announce that in a few more weeks Spurned: A Short Story will be released! As I sit here anticipating its debut, I can’t help but to wonder how readers will react to it. After all, it is a story that touches on bullying, peer pressure and low self-esteem. You may have already guessed that this is not your average cookie cutter short story, but it does have its “sweet spots.” Although it is a fictional story, there are elements in this story that I pulled from my own life. I was once bullied, struggled with low self-esteem and of course I had to deal with peer pressure, something that we have all experienced at least once in our lives. Seeing how bullying has quickly become an epidemic in schools, not just here in the United States but all across the world, I found it necessary to share some of my own experiences in this story. Make no mistake, bullying is not just physical harassment; it can be verbal, mental, and even emotional.
It is my hope that readers, especially those who are being bullied, will draw inspiration from this story because I know just how painful bullying can be. I want those who are currently being bullied to be determined to rise above their bullies and to keep on succeeding because in the end, after all has been said and done, they will be on the winning end. For those of you who are being bullied, I added a special encouraging segment just for you at the very end of this story, but you’ll have to read the story to find out what it is.
Bullying is a serious problem that is affecting more and more children every single day. It has become so widespread that I am tempted to say that bullying has become an epidemic. Children are being targeted in the worst way by school bullies and it seems like nothing is being done to stop such ravenous behavior. It breaks my heart when I hear reports about children taking their own lives because they were being bullied mercilessly day in and day out in school. It also makes me angry when I hear how bullies mock or make fun of the fact that the child they once bullied committed suicide. The effects of a child committing suicide reaches far beyond what any of us can imagine and the pain it causes is hard to bear. Bullying is no laughing matter and it is definitely not something that should be ignored or mocked.
As a child that was once bullied, I can tell you that bullying takes a toll on just about every part of your body and a lot of that is due to the stress of bullying. You wake up with knots in your stomach because you don’t know what to expect from your tormenters each and every day. Some days it may consist of name calling, other days it may consist of knocking you against the wall, the ground or even worse. I can remember times when I would be too nervous to eat because my nerves were in a bundle. Why? Because my body was racked with fear. Bullying is not only physical torture but it is also psychological torture.
In my blunt opinion, if a child commits suicide due to being bullied in school, there are two parties to blame. The first one being the parents of these bullies and the second being the members of the school board. If you know your child is a bully, why allow them to continue such despicable behavior? What if you were the parent of that other child being bullied? Put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if you saw your child coming home from school with bumps and bruises every day? There are millions of parents who feel powerless because they can’t protect their own child from being attacked at school which is why I blame members of the school board as well. Yes, we know you are “overwhelmed” and “under-staffed” but when you took your job, you knew that your job consisted of not only educating children but also protecting children.
If it sounds like I am ranting, that is because I am. This is by far one of the longest posts I have ever written on my blog and that is because I am passionate about stomping out bullying in our schools. My next piece of written work entitled Spurned: A Short Story talks about bullying and its effects. For those of you who have been bullied, I would like for you to read this story because it is a story inspired by events that have taken place in my life. I know how you feel and I completely understand what you are going through, but trust me when I say that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. All you have to do is just hang in there and stay strong. For you bullies, you are nothing but a waste of air and space so change up your act because most of the people you are now bullying will soon get the last laugh.
Whether you enjoy reading as a source of entertainment or watching your favorite TV show, drama or movie for leisure, the one common thread that links them all together is the act of writing. If you really take the time to sit down and think about it, the power of writing affects us each and every day. Take your favorite journal or magazine for instance. Your favorite journal or magazine would have never come into fruition if that very someone didn’t take the time out to sit down and write it. What about your favorite book, TV show, drama or movie? What do you think it took to make your favorite book, TV show, drama or movie into something so captivating, breathtaking and engaging? It took someone’s wild imagination, brainstorming and of course the skill of writing. Let us not forget the documentaries (which are my favorite) since most documentaries involve ambition and above all else the courage to make. That too involves the power of writing. Not to get off subject, but documentaries in my opinion hold a special place in our society because they take aim at important issues and subject matters that are generally shied away from or barely discussed as a whole. It takes gusto to write about something that most people are afraid to discuss let alone turn it into a groundbreaking film.
Without writers simply put, the world as a whole would be pretty bland and boring. There wouldn’t be anything entertaining to read and there most certainly wouldn’t be anything interesting to watch. Are we not grateful to have a world full of amazing writers? Those well-known and those soon to be known. So the next time you are waiting in line at the supermarket or waiting at a doctor’s office and you unknowingly pick up a magazine or book to read just to pass the time, thank a writer because without them your wait would be just plain dull.
I have been working on something special since my debut novel Poka City Blues was published six months ago and now I am willing and ready to share it with the world. Are you ready? Here it goes: I have been painstakingly working on a short story inspired by my life and I am happy to say that I am almost finished! Seriously though, I thought I was never going to finish with everything I had going on, but needless to say, I stuck with it and now I am almost through. For the readers who appreciated the sass and brazen honesty I delivered in Poka City Blues, you are really going to like this short story. I hold nothing back because I believe in telling it like it is afterall, that is the only way I know how. Just like Poka City Blues, you will laugh and in some parts of the story you may cry, but despite all of that, it is a short story that I am sure you will enjoy reading. For the readers who haven’t read Poka City Blues, log on to Amazon or Barnes and Noble Nook and check it out. See what other readers have been calling “an original take on fiction”; don’t just take my word for it. Until then, happy reading and for you writers out there, happy writing.
It has been a while since my last blog post, but let me say this, it was not on purpose. I know that I don’t post on a daily basis, but the fact is, I work full-time and on some days overtime (hammercy)! Not as a writer (although that is my H.O.P.E. one day) but as a healthcare professional. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my job because I enjoy helping people, but I have to be honest and say that writing gives my world a whole new meaning. Every since I published my debut novel Poka City Blues, all I can think about is writing my next story. Believe it or not, I have quite a few of them running around in this ole noggin’ of mine, my biggest issue however is finding the time to put them all down on paper. I’m currently finishing up a short story that I have been working on and I can’t wait to put the finishing touches on it. I’m so close to being done that I can not only see it, but I can also taste it!
One thing I have learned through my journey of writing is not to rush or overdo things. Let’s face it, sometimes we can’t do everything that we want to do at the time (or times) that we want to do it, and that my friend is okay. I used to beat myself up about it, but now I don’t. If I get to it, then I’ll get to it, if I don’t then I don’t. There is a saying that “good things come to those that wait” and in my particular case, that is true. My stories are much richer when I take my time and allow my stories to come to me, rather than me forcing them to come. My Mama used to say that rushing is for fools–Now I have been called quite a few things, but a fool was never one of them. We as writers have our hands full when it comes to penning intriguing stories. There is the brainstorming and let us not forget –> the editing, but what is the point of writing if you aren’t have fun doing it?
What is in a review? Well, that depends on who you ask. Some will say a review can make or break you. Others will say it really does not matter. I say that it is a little bit of both. Nevertheless, reviews in the end do hold a lot of weight. I never gave that much thought into what goes into a review or how important a review is until I self-published my debut novel Poka City Blues. I have to admit that at first, I was a little weary about how other readers would identify with my book because there were dozens upon dozens of articles about how important it is for a writer / author to have nothing but great reviews. Getting a bad review was like one of the worst things in the world according to a few of those articles and sure enough, I soon started to dread about getting my first “bad” or negative review. That is, until I came to my senses.
I had to convince myself that getting a bad review is not the end of the world. After all, we as a people are different when it comes to our likes and dislikes. What one person may like, the next person may despise, but hey, that is okay. Some of the greatest movies of all time had less than stellar reviews and some of the best books ever written were met with harsh criticism. Besides, a review can be perceived in many different ways depending on how you look at it. There is not one movie ever scripted or one book ever written that has nothing but good reviews. Somewhere amongst those reviews there is one person (or several persons) who did not like it or particularly cared for it. Now, I worry less about getting bad reviews and focus more on writing. Poka City Blues has only been in the book market for four months and I know that soon enough I will get my first “bad” review. When that day comes, I will accept it with grace and move on. In the end, a review is like an opinion; everybody has one. I see no problem in respecting that.
It goes without saying that if you want something really bad you have to go out there and get it. Easier said than done, right? Well, I suppose in some cases. As a writer, I love pushing boundaries when it comes to the books I write because I feel that no story or subject should be off limits. I believe that when a writer tells a story, it should be raw, emotional and vivid. Why? Because there has to be some sort of emotional connection between the reader and the story to really draw them in. I want the reader to feel what the characters in my book are feeling and I want them to be able to visualize and see what each and every character is going through. They may laugh, they may cry, they may get upset, heck, they may even cringe, but that to me is what good storytelling should be. You want a story to be on the mind of a reader long after they read it and you do not want them to stop talking about it, at least that is what I want. My “method” of storytelling may be unconventional to say the least, but I would not want it any other way. Readers who have read my debut novel Poka City Blues have responded quite well to it and I cannot wait to publish my next story or novel. I recently published Poka City Blues on Barnes and Noble Nook and I am looking forward to seeing what Nook readers have to say about my book.