NaNo and a book release

Gooooooooooood morning, everyone!

It’s snowing here, which is triggering all kinds of nasty things for me (although that’s partly the return to yoga as well), but I have some great news to share so I don’t care about either.

I’ll get right to it:

NaNo was sucking hairy donkey balls. I liked the idea of the story I started out with but when it came to writing it, I just wasn’t… Well, I just wasn’t feeling it.  So I dropped it and started again  with something new. It’s more my style: violence and sex. 😉

I think this is a much better start than the one I had (which was a couple of women bickering):

Booze. Chocolate. And… Alexa Brenner let her eyes cruise the bar and spotted a few prospects. There was a table of some very muscle-bound men.  If she squinted – and she did – she could just make out some ink on the forearm of one of them. Interesting, she thought, nice ink. Looks like Charon in his boat. I like it. Definitely a prospect to complete the trifecta: Booze. Chocolate. Sex. It’s going to be a very good night.

She could use a good night. As Avatar for Isis, she rarely got a night off. She traveled from realm to realm, slipping through portals to carry out the whims and enforce the laws of her Goddess. Thank the Gods for an assignment in the monotheistic, non-magic Realm, the first in almost a decade, that allowed her a night off. It was the most boring Realm, as far as she was concerned, but it did cause her the most grief sometimes. Six billion people on the planet, three billion believed in this one God and that the planet was only six thousand years old, the other three billion believed in a multi-armed God and his family.

Why they couldn’t be more like the other eight Realms she helped police was beyond her. Five other Realms with non-shifters in them and they all accepted the fact that there was more than one God: Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Druid and that one with all the lizards they called dragons. She snickered because it still bugged the Dragon shifters in the Seventh Realm that the humans called those animals dragons. Alexa took every opportunity possible to point out that they looked almost exactly the same. Then there were the Elf and Fairy Realms, they had their own Gods. It made Empyrean, the home of all the Gods and said to be the hidden place of the purest fire, a little crowded sometimes.

And yet, she mused as she kept an eye on the tattooed muscle man with her peripheral vision, the Gods insist on calling this place a single God Realm. There are two, and subs, if you ask me. She shrugged to herself. It didn’t matter. The Dark Elves who had tried to take refuge here and spread word that magic existed no longer existed in any Realm and she had a night off. In one hundred and twenty-eight years of fighting for Isis, beginning when she was thirteen, Alexa’d managed to have a total of six nights off and a beautiful five out of six of them had been filled with debauchery. No one said men had the sole right to debauchery. A grin stretched her face.

Alexa leaned back in her chair and shifted her long, slim legs out in front of her, crossing them at the leather clad ankles. It displayed a lot of muscle and played peek-a-boo with a good amount of flesh. Her jeans were torn in numerous places, she’d managed to clean the ash off but there was little she could do about the rips, and lots of golden skin shone through. Damn the fact that Dark Elves fought with claws and then turned to dust when they died, anyway, she thought as she picked at a loose thread. The move also lengthened her torso and she impulsively stretched her arms above her head. Her leather jacket fell open and her breasts lifted along her ribcage, pulling her shirt up to display strong, toned abs. 

Pure feminine pleasure filled her as one of his buddies pointed her out and Muscle Man turned to look at her. She caught his eyes and they stared at one another for a moment.  It frustrated her that his face was shadowed and his eyes were hooded so that she, with her enhanced vision still couldn’t see well enough in this darkened bar, to tell whether he appreciated what he saw. Ah well, if he didn’t, the other sure did. She kept her eyes on him but offered the table at large a jaunty grin and a saucy wink before she gave him the once over. Her lips parted on a gasp of appreciation.

Irenaus Weber grunted. “So, it is another pretty girl.”

“You’re daft.” His second-in-command, a Dragon by the name of Damir Belakova, said. “Her skin is nearly glowing it’s so richly golden.”

“Yes,” said his Light Elf Master-at-Arms Zathlen Liondale, “she does glow. It’s almost magical.” He frowned as he read the woman’s t-shirt. “I am a little put out by her choice of top, though.” The shirt said “Dark Elves Do It Hot but I Do It Better” in bright pink sparkles on a black background.  “Perhaps she could do up that long jacket she wears; the denim would stretch nicely across her breasts.”

The fourth and final member of their team, the coms and tech expert, a Fairy named Florian Rosevine, laughed and slapped the Elf on the back. “Of course, you’re put out; she’s bragging on those assholes, your Dark side. And you’re right, her breasts would look lovely covered in denim.”

Irenaus rolled his eyes as he turned back around. “Knock it off, jackasses. She just flirted with everyone at this table. Clearly, she doesn’t discriminate. I am not interested in a woman like that.”

Damir scoffed. “She did not, boy. She only had eyes for you. What she did was show that she knew we were watching. Everything she’s done so far is for you. Go buy her a drink. It’s been a century since you’ve been laid.”

“A millennium is more like it,” Florian muttered into his ale as he leaned on the two back legs of the chair.

~~~

See? It has promise.

I’m still not entirely sure about the plot but I’ve managed to write close to 6k words in the last few days, (which has impressed Mike), so I’m happy.  

In other, more important news:

CREATESPACE FINALLY ACCEPTED GHOSTS AFIRE! 

I’ve been arguing with their file inspection process for weeks over the formatting. I used one of their damn templates and still had 4 formatting issues come up repeatedly:

  1. Orientation.  It kept telling me that I had some pages at portrait orientation (as they should be) and some at landscape! I was like “what the fuck, buttercup?? That’s so obviously not true.”  I went through the book three times, one page at a time, checking the orientation.  Then I highlighted the entire document and set the thing to portrait. I noticed that the first 4 or 5 pages were the wrong size and fixed that. And yet… “Your document has two different orientations.”  *tears hair out*
  2. The gutter was too small.  Okay, so the gutter, I learned, is the part of the page that dips down into the fold/binding of the book.  It’s kind of important that you don’t have your words extend into that because then your readers can’t get read the end of each line easily and it pisses them off.  And what pissed off reader wants to read your book again?  The parameters stated that for every book 301-500 pages the gutter had to be 0.625″. So I made it 0.625″.  Word kept rounding it to 0.63 for some reason.  Eventually, after submitting for the 6th time, I simply dragged the margin tab back toward the middle a bit.  STILL wrong.
  3. Content extends into the gutter.  Which makes absolute sense if the gutter was too small.  Except it was exactly the size they told  me to make it. 
  4. And the fonts weren’t embedded – “But we embedded them for you.”  Clearly they did not because that kept coming up again and again.   …….And I just realized that they would have had to do it for every new file I uploaded. Yes, I see that. However, I read their little how-to on embedding fonts, and I read Word’s how-to, and so I embedded the fonts and LO! the next time I uploaded a changed file I got “The fonts were not embedded properly so we embedded them for you.”  

After all the attempts I finally said “fuck it, it’s close enough” (because it’s readable) and hit “Ignore and save.”  So now it’s heading towards my KDP bookshelf to publish on Kindle, too. 

So it looks like HW3: Ghosts Afire will be published by the end of the weekend!  

Can I get a “woop woop”?? 😉

I have to go now. I need to write today but firs tI have to take care of this vicious migraine that’s made sure it’s made me take three hours to write this blog. 

Muah!

 

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Definitions and an Update

Hello!

It’s taken me over a week to get this blog out and for that I must apologize.

IYSAE wiped me out.  It left me far more exhausted than I thought.  I’ve been passing out at least twice a day this week, despite getting an appropriate number of hours a night and taking my B12.  It took me four days of sittings to get all the definitions {from the magnet words} together for you all.

And in the process, I discovered, to my dismay(!) that there are only 23 when there should be 26 words. I missed B, J & N.  No idea how.  I thought I got all the words.

Oh well, it’s done, right? The magnets and bookmarks both look fantastic and the people who took them loved them.

Okay, once more, here’s the magnet:

Sticker

Pretty, pretty.

Now, the definitions:

ANODYNE: an adjective that means something unlikely to provoke dissent or offense; inoffensive, often deliberately so. Or a noun as a painkilling drug or medicine. “Morphine is the most anodyne pain medicine we’ve ever seen.”

CYCLOPEAN: 1. denoting a type of ancient masonry made with massive irregular blocks. “that building has ridiculous cyclopean stone walls. Why would they do that?” 2. Of or resembling a Cyclops. “a cyclopean eye”

DASTARDLY: wicked and cruel; having or showing a lack of courage “It’s the story of a woman who plots a dastardly revenge on her unfaithful lover.”

EPISTEMIC: relating to knowledge or the degree of its validation “As human beings, it is very important to be aware of our epistemic limitations.”

FENESTRATED: adjective:  provided with a window or windows; (anatomy) having perforations apertures, or transparent areas “The capillaries have a fenestrated epithelium.”

GARBIST: noun, one who is adept at engaging in polite behaviour; an expert in etiquette “The golden rule of good manners for the garbist is to think of others before himself or herself.”

HONEYFUGGLE: To entice or deceive by flattery or sweet talk “Don’t think that I am unaware of your attempts to honeyfuggle me.”

IRASCIBLE: having or showing a tendency to be easily angered. “The older we get, the more irascible we get.”

KYPHOSIS: excessive outward curvature of the spine, causing hunching of the back. “If you wanted to get technical, The Hunchback of Notre Dame should probably be The Poor Sap with Kyphosis of Notre Dame.”

LAEOTROPIC: turning to the left: SINISTRAL (which means inclined to turn left or left-handed), used in particular to describe various shells, spiral shell cleavage patterns or the movement of volvox colonies (volvox is a polyphyletic genus of chlorophyte green algae

MARPLOT: An officious meddler whose interference compromises the success of an undertaking.

OBLIVESCENCE: the act or process of forgetting  “Our memory, and what is often equally important, our oblivescence, is what helps is become the  person we are; we just need to learn to use both wisely.”

PURLOIN: to steal something  “Judging by the look of satisfaction on the dog’s face, it was she who managed to purloin the last of the turkey off the table.”

RAMFEEZLED: Scottish word meaning worn out, exhausted. “After the book signing this weekend, I’m flat out ramfeezled.”

SUDORIFEROUS: adjective, bearing or secreting sweating “That burly guy was gross! I don’t care that it’s 150 degrees out, he should have done something about being so sudoriferous.”

TRISKELION: A Celtic symbol consisting of three legs or lines radiating from a center, usually in a triple spiral in rotational symmetry. “In Celtic lore, the Triskelion is associated with the connection of mind, body and spirit, as well as striving toward personal growth.”

ULTRADIAN: a recurring chronobiological cycle longer than an hour but shorter than a day, “Unlike the Circadian rhythm, which completes one cycle a day, the Ultradian rhythm repeats in a 24 hour time period.”

VITIATE: to spoil or impair the quality or efficiency of, corrupt “When peers and bullies apply pressure, it can vitiate the moral character of young people and lead them down the wrong path.”

WELKIN: the sky   or heaven (archaic English)  The welkin contains many stars, planets and heavenly bodies that are invisible to the naked eye.

XENIUM: a gift given among ancient Greeks and Romans to a guest or stranger, especially a foreign ambassador  “The xenium given to Maximus by the Emperor included a new blade, impractically imbedded with jewels in the hilt, a small sack with enough gold to make Maximus’s aide stagger to the side a little, and a dark haired, dark eyed girl who said her name was Aurelia.”

YGGDRASIL: From Old Norse mythology, Yggdrasil is the immense tree that connects the Nine Worlds together. It is the center of the cosmos and considered very holy.

ZOIATRICS: the science of veterinary surgery “Thank the gods the woman who operated on Micky was extremely adept at zoiatrics.”

What’s your favourite word? What word rolls off your tongue the best?  What word did you like the definition of the best?  My answers are  Ramfeezeled and Honeyfuggle.

Ignite Your Soul was slower this year than the other years I’ve been to it as a reader.  That was okay, it made my first time there as a writer easier. I sold some books – a few copies of A Year in the Life of S. Claus  and at least one full set of the Highland Wolves books.  The bake sale didn’t go as well as I’d hoped but we did raise a little money for the MS Bike ride, about $50.

Every little bit helps, right?

It’s taken me almost two weeks to write this – or remember that I was writing this *laughs* – and yet another Friday has rolled around again.  This week I found out why you cannot search for us in order to donate to our fundraiser:

The 2019 fundraising season starts November 1st.  After that you’ll be able to find me under my actual name, Jenn Van Massenhoven, or the team, The Longshot Riders, to donate. 

Don’t worry, I’ll remind you. 😉

I hope to see those of you I saw this year plue many more next year at IYSAE! 

One last thing!   Ghosts AFire: Highland Wolves 3 will be released in the next few days!

Muah!

 

It’s FIVE Days to IYSAE!

And I am petrified, anxious and excited all at the same time!  I’ve been working on books, on swag, and on deciding what to bake for the MS Ride fundraiser.  

I have the books at the printer AND I put HW3 in to the reviewers at Createspace, which means it will be released soon! 

Wanna see it?

HW3 cover final

It’s my favourite!

It’s stunning, isn’t it?  The background photo is of Glen Coe in Scotland. 

All three covers have things in common: the layouts – positioning of my picture, texts, titles and my name – as well as the colours of the title and author name.  The subtitle colour reflects the content of the book. (Anna does a lot with fire in this book.)

I’m so excited about some of the swag we’ve prepared!  We have a magnet and a bookmark I just love. And my banner, to go on the table and let everyone know who I am, is gorgeous and sexy.  Check them out.

Sticker

The magnet.

Bookmark 2

The bookmark.

banner copy

And the banner.

Aren’t they just frakin’ amazing?  

I will be publishing the meanings to all the words the day after IYSAE.  They’re almost all words that have disappeared from use.  For instance, honeyfuggle means to deceive by flattery or sweet talk, to swindle or cheat. 

And that banner. *whistles*  It’s sexy, no?  It’s not going to be missed, is it?  I’m hoping it draws people in like bees to a flower.  

I have to go but I leave you with three more things:

Ghosts Afire will be live by Wednesday and, as usual, as soon as the Kindle version is live, it will be free for three days.  I may make all three books available so you can get the entire series.  Or I’ll make a buck-a-book promo.  

IYSAE is at the Double Tree by Hilton in London from 10 am to 3 pm (… wait, *double checks*).  VIP ticket holders get in at 10, Gen Admin at 11.  Tickets are $20 at the door. Signing ends at 2, not 3.  

I will be taking my Chocolate Heavens cookies and my Orange Creamsicle cupcakes to help with our MS Ride fundraiser.  You can check us out here http://mssoc.convio.net/goto/thelongshotriders  to donate, if you want to donate directly. (Please do!) All proceeds from Saturday’s sale of A Year in the Life of S. Claus, the cupcakes and the cookies will be going into the fundraising pot.  Along with any other donations people choose to make.  

Have a great week!

Muah!

Santa is LIVE!

Good morning!

Make it happenIt is a good start to the week:  – Micky is doing well, though she’s sleepy.  That’s a good thing, it means she’s not going to tear stitches (like she did when she was spayed).  We’re going today to get her a Medi-shirt because the cone is making her depressed, which is bad.

Mike and I are feeling pretty good, though neither of  us slept well

The Santa book is LIVE! I’m thrilled with it.  It’s a gorgeous cover; the story is unique; and I think it’s an intriguing blurb (and have had people say so, which is even better).  

Tuesday:  

Choose daysWell, I absolutely meant to post that yesterday. A hundred things came up and I forgot I was writing the blog. ☺  

It’s a good thing, though, because I checked the website this morning and the

PAPERBACK IS LIVE! 

*happy dance*

I’m waiting on my physical proof but the digital copy showed that it looks gorgeous.  

You can get the ebook for FREE for a very limited time – until Thursday.  After that, as with the paperback, all proceeds will go to our MS fundraiser

You can buy the book here:

Ebook:

Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Year-Life-S-Claus-ebook/dp/B07GLVZH8C/

US: https://www.amazon.com/Year-Life-S-Claus-ebook/dp/B07GLVZH8C/

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Year-Life-S-Claus-ebook/dp/B07GLVZH8C/

Paperback:

Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Year-Life-S-Claus/dp/1725681218

US: https://www.amazon.com/Year-Life-S-Claus/dp/1725681218

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Year-Life-S-Claus/dp/1725681218

And speaking of gorgeous covers and greaat causes, let’s not forget about the anthology! 

anthology cover

The anthology cover is stunning, no?

Still for sale and still donating to Wounded Warriors Project. Don’t forget that you can pick that up, too.  Ten awesome cat-shifter stories from nine fantastic authors!

You can buy it here:

Amazon Global link: https://getBook.at/AG2-CaSCAntho
US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079MHWBZ4
UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B079MHWBZ4
DE: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B079MHWBZ4
CA: http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B079MHWBZ4

I have to go for now.  The weather here is insane and I’m getting a massive migraine. 

Have a great afternoon!

Muah!

 

The Drama, the Romance, and the Work That is 2018

Hello, my lovelies!

The Work:

Today I finished the final draft for A Year in the Life of S. Claus. 

I am thrilled!

I have to write the blurb and the tagline – something like Santa: magic man, businessman, car collector, vigilante. The real story behind the myth.

Dear Gods.  I hope I come up with something better. 😉

I need a blurb, too.  How do I pack so much adventure into less than 300 words? I guess we’ll find out.

Next up, and in a rush but no less quality job, HW3.  

It’s 50 days until Ignite Your Soul in London. I’m kind of freaking out a bit.  >.<

I don’t have anything done for HW3, the printer doesn’t have any quotes for me yet (partly because we lost touch until today… Not entirely sure why… >.> ), I have no swag done, nothing prepared for the table. I kind of want to run around like Marge Simpson with her hair on fire. 

Well, I suppose it’ll come together. Somehow. 

And here’s a reminder to buy the anthology!

anthology cover

You can buy it here: 

The Amazon global link: 

https://getBook.at/AG2-CaSCAntho

There are other links in my previous blog.

The Drama:

There certainly has been some! That mess that happened to my apartment at the end of April never did get fixed.  It took us a solid month of attempts at packing and a solid weekend of throwing my shit at a van and into a storage unit.

We took samples of the paint, visible mold, and the fabric from my couch and mattress.  We have bedding and clothing in garbage bags waiting to see if it can be salvaged. 

I was out of the apartment by the end of July, which was a relief!

I’ve been preparing applications to sue the property holder through the Landlord and Tenant board (which is why we took samples). That should be fun.  I don’t want to go to court with it, although, really, I should get something back for the sheer number of panic attacks I had and the strain the whole mess put on both me & my PTSD and Mike.  Assholes.  But I’m not that litigious. 

Also, I have come off of two medications – and I’m feeling much better in many ways.  My head is clearer and I’ve actually had the urge to write again. (Which means I’m planning on doing NaNo again!)  And, if I don’t refill this med, I’ll be off a third. I’ve been out of it for a couple of days now.  I’m feeling pretty good.

Mike and I are training for next year’s MS Bike Ride. It’s fantastic! I love cycling and I’m good at it. I’ve never had anyone say, “Yeah, you can do THAT marathon” before.  The conversation with Mike went something like this:

Me: *listening to radio ad for the fundraiser* I’ve always wanted to do that.

Mike: Oh yeah? We could do that.

Me: Really? You think so? I think it’d be fun and MS research is the closest thing to FMS research there is. 

Mike: You can do anything you want to do. It would be fun.

So we are taking my GT LTS-3 and his equally nearly-ancient bike out on tours of London’s multi-use pathways.  London is a gorgeous city.

A generous portion of the proceeds for A Year in the Life of S. Claus will be going to our MS Fundraiser. We are riding as a team and fundraising as a team.  The MS Ride website suggests five thousand dollars as the suggested team donation. 

We’re a team of two; that’s a lot of money.

Sure, I have some fundraising ideas – like the proceeds and a bake sale at the Ignite Your Soul Event in London (more about that in another blog…or later in this one) – but it’s a LOT.  You can bet I’ll be asking you all to chip in.  And if you leave your name, the most generous donation will get a prize pack.  Haven’t decided yet, but it will include copies of all 5 books (HW 1-3, Lizendale and the Santa book). 

The Romance:

Mike and I settled on an anniversary date for the start of our relationship. I’m happy. 

And now we are consolidated into one place, that’s pretty cool, too. 

We’re planning on spending our lives together so at some point this blog will see an engagement announcement. 

Then a wedding photograph. 😁

Happy author over here.  

I will do a COVER REVEAL this weekend!  Here’s a little hint:

Santa cover hint

 Pretty, eh? 😉

We’re off to go on a ride.

Have a great night everyone!

Muah!

 

Changes!

Hello!  

How are you?

I am doing better since my last post.  

I came through Term 1 with a 4.0 average and I look to be going that way again this term.  Mid-term grades come out next week, just before Reading Week.  I don’t know what I will do for reading week, I do know I will not be making a trip.  

Perhaps, just perhaps, I work on some research for these changes I’m about to show you.  

In Demon Plague, HW2, there came a visitor to the pack home, a large African Jaguar shifter by the name of Sentwali.  He wanted Anna, Liam and company to go to the Congo to save them from a witch stealing their shifter magic.  Anna and Liam agreed, though they stated they couldn’t go until after they’d helped find justice for those massacred at Glen Coe so many years ago.

I was struggling with the research because there is little available (that isn’t government or scholastic) information that would help me gain a feel for what it’s like to be in the jungle and on the waterways that run through it.  I was determined but it still wasn’t happening.  

I argued with myself for months about making Sentwali  from somewhere else.  I didn’t want to change the book, especially one that’s been published.

Now, I have to say a couple things:

  1. If you purchased the book already, the copy you have is now special.  Out of print.  
  2. I am much more excited about HW4 now.

Sentwali is now Damir, a Sabre Tooth Tiger shifter from Belarus.  The premise remains but the locale differs.  He’s still a large man, but almost as pale as Sentwali was dark.  

The new edition has gone out on Kindle and Createspace and will be available in print on Amazon in the next few days. 

I am satisfied with the arrangement and more eager to begin the research.  It’d be cool if I could go to Belarus to do the research (a terrifying prospect for the Congo!).  A brief search already yeilded much in the way of visuals and links to locations.  Maybe I will narrow down which part of Belarus he is from while on my short break from school.

There you go!

Today, it is hovering just around freezing.  We’ve had freezing rain, snow, wet snow and general dampness.  I saw some photo ops and went to see if I could manage any decent ones.  I did get the most perfect shot.  I am going to share it with you.  

I have to go.  Have a wonderful week!  And remember that Valentines Day isn’t just about your romantic partner, it’s about the people you love.  All of them.  

Muah!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Good Riddance 2016

Hello!

I know it’s been quite a while, again, but school has taken dominion over all else.  I want to discuss the year with you though.  It’s been…bi-polar at best.  Wild swings up and down.  

There have been 130+ worldwide celebrity deaths.  The American battle for president was between H. Clinton and Trump and Trump won.  I don’t care to follow politics but what the fuck was America thinking? 

None of that affects me personally though. I know what’s going on, for the most part, but my concern is my family, immediate and extended.  And we have had some pretty major events.  Here are some of them…

The Ups:

I published Highland Wolves 2.  I will be making a change to it though, one that has a major impact on book 4.  If you have a copy of the current one, it will become special in the next few days. I will keep you appraised. 

The government finally agreed that yes, I am fucking disabled and they should help me. 

That enabled me to go back to school.  I got through the first half of term one (I can only deal with 3 courses at once, not six, so I am doing half a term at a time) with a 4.0 GPA.  I start the second half of term one on the 4th.

Girlkid got accepted to the equestrian program at the University of Guelph, one of the top schools in North America and one with a world reknown reputation for vetrinary care training.  It is the only school on this continent or in the UK that offers her the science and other types of training that she wants to get her on the career path she dreams of.  

Boykid has the love of his life with him again.  

I am able to do yoga regularly and enjoyed a small remission in some of my symptoms.

The Lows:

Boykid was assaulted in September and he took the assault in order to protect his girlfriend.  Now he’s dealing with PTSD.  

My health has not changed, despite the remission.  I got bonchitis right before Christmas, capping off a flare in symptoms that started in September.  

My maternal grandmother died on Christmas day.  

Four days later… I don’t know that I should talk about this but…Well, I’m sitting here fighting tears so I will talk about it.  Damn those who would keep me silent.

Normally, I wouldn’t bring up something so personal but this is important.  It has lessons that I hope will help others. 

Wolfman has suffered from depression for years, and had some major ups and downs.  This year he had a couple of major blows that I won’t talk about here.  He took some time for himself to try and get it together.  It didn’t seem to help.  

Then I made a catastrophic mistake and he felt like I betrayed him.  Part of it was that I didn’t listen to him enough.  I didn’t close my mouth and stop telling him what he should do enough.  I didn’t stop trying to impose my will on his depression.  I can see that now.

I love him, I have forever and I will forever.  I only want to see him better and happy.  

It’s not my job to do anything but listen to him.  I should have shut up.  I know that what he did is on him but I can’t help but shoulder some of the blame.  

On the 29th (Girlkid’s 17th birthday), Wolfman made a very good attempt at suicide.  He was found by his family and his sister told me what happened.  She promised me that she’d tell me if he didn’t make it.  She blames me, blames all of us connected to him, but told me I deserve to know.

I went to bed, exhausted by my tears and fear, and was terrified to check my messages in the morning.   Since there was nothing, I’m assuming he still lives.  And I’m assuming he’s getting the help he needs.

And part of that is me separating myself from him and giving him time. If he’s ever ready to talk to me again, I’ll be here.  Still loving him.  

The reason I wanted to talk to you about this, on the final day of 2016, is this:

If you know someone suffering from mental illness then shut up and listen.  Close your mouth and open your ears.  Support, don’t dictate.  Help however they need you to; if that means listening, listen.  If that means sitting there with them silently, do that.  If it means helping them remember to take their medications or make their appointments (and they’ve asked for help), do it.

But for Gods’ sake, stop telling them what you think is best.  Step in if there’s a danger but mostly, your job is to support, listen, love.  That’s it.  

I pray that 2017 gives him time to heal and helps him find some peace, even if it’s without me.

And I pray that 2017 is a much better year for everyone.  I pray for those who lost loved ones.  

For me, changes are coming.  A move.  More school.  A shift in how I treat myself.  I have plans.  Dreams.  Goals.  And I will follow them through.  

I am posting this unedited.  I can’t bear to read what he did again.  My pain is for him, for me, for his daughters.  It’s about loss, fear, the thought of what was almost permanently gone.  I am heartbroken but there is a kernel of hope because Wolfman is one of the strongest people I know.  If he comes back to me, I will welcome him with open arms and beg forgiveness.  If he doesn’t, well, that’s what’s best for him.  

Much love and light to you and yours, dear readers.  Have a wonderful new year.

And Henry… If you’re reading this, I’ve need of you.  You know how to find me.