Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Book Release & New Sites

Thank you all for your support on this journey!  I wanted to let you know that Silence & Noise: one girl's journey into insanity is out!  Finally!

I have a few new sites and I will no longer be using this one so be sure to follow me there to find out the latest on the book and my writing and to get your copy of the book!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Blog

I have started a new blog for Silence & Noise, I hope you will continue to follow me there.  The book will be released this October along with a party to take place October 20th at The Listening Room in Nashville, TN.  I hope to see you there!  Please check out my new blog! HERE

Monday, September 5, 2011

Saying what i feel & being more like my dog.

my dog isn't much of a barker.  he is 7 months old and up until about two months ago i think i could count the times i heard him bark on one hand.  it's easily one of my favorite qualities about him.   he has been more on guard lately, i think he is at that growing and processing age and i am noticing more of his fears and curiosities.  he has discovered his bark and uses it more.  he doesn't bark non-stop.  he doesn't bark at random things.  he doesn't bark when being barked at.  he barks when something is not right.  when something unknown is approaching.  he barks when he is scared and needs to send a warning to his pack.  he barks to ward off danger.  he sees something that doesn't appear right to him and the tufts of hair on his back will spike up, it's his way of appearing tough.  really he is scared.  just a pup, but his bark would tell you a different story.  a few short, deep warning calls he sounds out concerning the situation at hand.  when my dog barks i listen and i look.  something is not right and he is letting me know.

dogs are instinctive.  they don't get caught up in their head space.  they don't worry about what people may think.  and they certainly don't hold back when they feel something isn't right.  they don't internalize emotions.  they don't stuff feelings.  they live in the moment.  they don't hold grudges.  they don't think, "my owner didn't take me for a long enough walk today so i'm going to withhold my love to teach them a lesson."  they don't think, "something isn't right but i'm not sure if i should say anything because i don't want to step on anyone's toes." or "i will just keep it to myself."  no, you come home, your dog is excited to see you, he licks your face, wags his tail, gives affection.  something is wrong and he lets you know, he doesn't hold onto the information to decide how he should use it and if he could get some leverage from it.  we as people have the ability to process our emotions, to understand the way things make us feel and to analyze those thoughts.  it is a unique ability, a true gift, but often it gets us into trouble.  we can get so caught up in our heads, in our emotions, in our racing thoughts, our anxieties, our worries our concerns.  we forget to live in the moment.  we forget to speak up and say what we think.  our friend is about to make a bad decision but we don't want to butt in, it isn't our place.  if i was walking right into danger i am certain my dog would try to stop me.  he would sound his bark, run up and protect me.  what is it about us that prevents us from following our instincts.  why can't we turn off the racing thoughts and just live, a little.  every now and then?

we are just as instinctive as dogs.  it's just that we spend so much time thinking and feeling that we waste our reaction time.  i think that is a lot of the difficulty with mental illness, even more so than the average person you get stuck in that head space.  reliving things.  holding onto things.  i wish i said what i felt more, what i thought more.  i wish i didn't hold onto things.  instead of saying, "nothing is wrong, i'm fine."  i wish i said, "i'm amazed i got out of bed today, i wish i could go back there now."  or "you hurt me today and i just can't get over it."  life is so fleeting, we don't have much control over the length of time we have here on earth, but i hope we remember to enjoy what we do have every now and then.  i want to live in the moment like my dog.  i want to let go of things.  i want to say what i feel.  i want to be carefree.

Monday, August 29, 2011

So, what's the Big Deal with mental illness?

it is the main theme running thru Silence & Noise, and while discussion of mental illness seems to be more prevalent in our society than in the past, the negative stigma has not gone away.  yes, there are tv and film characters who are portrayed as "depressed" or to suffer from some sort of mental disorder.  yes, your best friend might feel perfectly ok working, "i'm just feeling depressed today" into the conversation, and maybe you hear the occasional, "he must be bipolar" from time to time, and it's hard to read a magazine or turn on the television without seeing an advertisement about some new depression medication and all of its glamorous side effects, but what does it all mean?  and does it change anything for those people who are out there actually suffering from a mental illness?

in 2004 it was reported that around 26% of US adults had some sort of mental disorder, that would be like every family of 4 having at least one person living with a mental illness.  at that time that was close to 58 million people.  that statistic was in 2004 and only includes the adult US population with reported illnesses.  i'm not exactly sure what the statistics are now in the US and across the world but i can only assume they are higher.  so where are we now?  while the topic of mental health is discussed more frequently and not as hush-hush as it once was, i'm not sure we really understand it.  the prescription market has certainly taken a hold of the reins, making sure we all know what drugs are available and urging us to get them.  we all know that depression "hurts", and we all know the various side-effects of the prescription commercials and some of us have probably laughed a time or two hearing them listed off, but what does any of that really do for those suffering?  or for the families and friends?  or those who really just have no clue what any of it means?  is it knowledge?  is it information?  no, it's just a quick fix.  "hey you are depressed? take a pill".  "oh, bipolar you say, swallow this".  "hearing voices?, no problem i heard there was something for that".  and now we end up with a lot of people taking medication and ever more people not even understanding the problem to begin with.  this is not to say that medication is bad or that it can't help manage symptoms of some of these disorders, it's more to say that there is a whole lot more going on here than a quick fix pill.  a lot of these medications leave people feeling worse off than they were before, a lot of them are masking symptoms, hiding the real issues, a lot of them are causing major side-effects to the body, and again, it goes back to not really knowing what we are facing here.

still with all the resources and knowledge we have today, mental illness isn't taken seriously.  it's hard to put yourself in the shoes of someone who may be dealing with these issues when you aren't really sure what they are, or what it looks like.  how do you even know if someone has a mental illness?  yes, there are the obvious cases, but what about the ones who keep it just below the surface, keep it hidden?  it could be the person standing beside you waiting to get their morning coffee.  would it matter if you knew, would it change anything?  should it?  probably not.  but why is it when we hear someone has been diagnosed with cancer our hearts ache for them, but if we hear someone is bipolar, or depressed, or suffers from anxiety we think,"they need to be stronger", "just toughen up, get thicker skin."  there is no cure for bipolar disorder.  it can be treated and managed to a point, but it is a life changing diagnosis.  i think the more aware we are, the more knowledge we have the better equip we are for handing whatever interaction we may have with mental illnesses, whether in our own personal walk, a friends, a family member, a child.

Silence & Noise focuses on Lily's story, on her battle with mental illness.  it isn't a true story but i believe it deals with truth.  i think Lily could be anyone out there who is battling a mental disorder and i hope her story can help to shed some light on the negative and false stigma's still associated with mental health.

NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, it is a great place for anyone to start to learn more about mental illness. http://www.nami.org/

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I was thinking today about the idea of being normal and what that means or if it even exists. In Silence & Noise Lily is in constant battle with who she is and who she thinks she needs to be. She is overwhelmed by her emotions, the feeling of being an outcast. But there is also the notion that our uniqueness, our little idiosyncrasies, those are the very things that make us who we are. When we find ourself in our dark moments, sometimes we forget there was ever anything other than that. Than the bad. Our insecurities getting the best of us. Our pain overtakes us. And in those moments it's easy to get trapped there, to only see that. Alone in who you are.  And it seems like so often we are struggling to feel normal, to feel like we are understood.  Thinking that maybe we will never be understood.  And I think when it comes down to it, we are more understood than we could imagine.  Some people are just better with honestly than others.  Some people are more comfortable expressing what they are going through.  We usually just end up complicating it with this notion of normalcy.   In a way it exists because if we were all honest we would probably see we are more alike than we think.  But in a way it doesn't exist and it shouldn't exist and we shouldn't desire it because it's our differences that make us who we are.  Our pasts, our presents, our moods, our fears, our experiences, all of those things help to make our interactions that much more interesting.  It's a constant struggle, this life, and I am amazed by the strength I see in some people.  The things they overcome.  I do believe we are capable of overcoming more than we imagine.  We set our bars so low, but we are capable of so much.  I don't know that I really care about being or feeling normal anymore or what that would even look like to me.  I just have to live each day the best I can, and I think that's all any of us can really do.

on a side note...Silence & Noise: one girl's journey into insanity has been formatted, time to review it and send it off to my editor!  Only 2 months til the deadline...wish me luck.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Waiting.

so draft 3 is complete. it's now in the process of being read and formatted. it's a pretty great feeling being so close to the completion of silence & noise and i'm ready to get it out there. i have decided to self-publish which makes me very excited. it allows me so much freedom with the work and control over my writing which is very appealing. my husband who just so happens to be my manager has started the process of getting the book published and has already gotten a few book stores to agree to carry it, which it's pretty cool. it's all a learning experience and i'm really enjoying being 100% involved in the process. now that draft 3 is complete and it has been passed off to be formatted and reviewed by some folks i'm sort of sitting here waiting. curious about how the changes i made to the story will go over. wondering if lily's story will impact other's as much as it has me. i guess all i can do it wait and see.
we are shooting for an October release of the book, which i think is the best month of the year, so i'm pretty excited about that. Keep reading and i will post some new excerpts soon!

Monday, August 1, 2011


i stumbled across this writing a few days ago and thought i would post it here.  i think it fits in nicely with Lily's story.  it was written during its conception and really encompasses a lot of the emotions displayed throughout the novel...have you ever felt this way?

the older i get the more i find myself slip away.
the quirks i had - the desire to be alone, needing my space, observing.
stuff that could have once qualified as cute, quirky, playful.
now as each year passes the senses heighten.
the need to be alone magnified to a secluded mess.
anxiety with human interaction, intensified insecurities.
always thinking, feeling i won't be remembered or recognized.
imagining myself as completely insignificant.
standing against a wall watching the world fly by around me.
so close but just beyond my reach.
imagining i'm impossible to be around.
always up or down.
wanting to be alone, locked away.
needing companionship.
not wanting to leave the house.
staying out all night.
but watching always watching from the sidelines.
afraid of my own shadow.
knowing deep down i am nothing.
wishing i was everything but knowing even then none of this would change.
a prisoner in my own mind.