Monday, 23 November 2020

#WEPff #WINNER of the October Challenge GRAVE MISTAKE! Rebecca Douglass' guest post Writing Through My Grief

DON'T MISS THE ANNOUNCEMENT RE UNMASKED AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST!!!

Hi, Renée here:

 October's winner for the WEP challenge, GRAVE MISTAKE, Rebecca Douglass, guests for us today. Her winning entry was humorous and fun. Just what we needed after such a crazy year.

 Congratulations Rebecca. Thank you for writing such an inspiring guest post.

Photo by Jarl Schmidt on Unsplash

Writing Through My Grief

 It may be a little strange that someone who mostly writes humorous stories, and is being honored for a story that made people laugh, is here to write about grief, but here I am, trying to explain the inexplicable.

 Many of you know that my husband of 26 years was killed in a cycling accident in May. That the accident profoundly changed every aspect of my life is an understatement. It affected my writing in ways large and small, putting a complete halt to it at times, while at others writing has been an anchor to help me through this horrible time.

 Everything from washing the dishes to raking the leaves felt changed by the accident, so why should writing be any different? A hole in one’s chest does make it harder to write. Because what I mostly write is humor, it felt like an extra burden sometimes. Was it right, or even possible, to keep writing goofy stories between grief bursts? And yet I knew I couldn’t stop writing, and writing light feels a great deal safer right now than writing dark.

 For several weeks after the accident, I didn’t write anything but the most personal of journal entries and kept looking at the heap of my current manuscript as though it was a creature from outer space—beyond comprehension and a little scary. I wasn’t even sure if I could, or should laugh. A friend straightened me out about that, reminding me that this loss doesn’t change who I am, and who I am is a person who sees the absurdity of life all around me, even at inopportune moments.

 The call for entries for the IWSG anthology gave me a reason to start to write fiction again. Over the course of the next couple of months, I wrote my story, one sentence at a time. On a good day, I got two sentences. I had no idea if that would lead to a story that was worth submitting (I still don’t, though I submitted the story), but that wasn’t the point. The point was to prove to myself that, broken though I was, I was still a writer. The point was to hear the voices in my head again, the ones that were wholly fiction.

 Eventually, I was able to write whole paragraphs at a time, and the story was completed. The true miracle, though, was that when the story was finished, I picked up my novel and began to edit again. To my amazement, it felt good. And I was able to write the funny bits, find the humor in the situations I dumped the main character into, and make progress, albeit slowly. Again, I made the commitment to work for at least a minute or two every day.

 Yes, you read that right: a minute or two. For me, that has been the key: writing or editing every day, giving myself purpose, but limiting my expectations. Writing under some difficult circumstances (by headlamp in a campsite cold enough to need a down jacket and gloves!) seems to have helped all the more. I’ve lost my anchor in the biggest sense, but writing has managed to endure. I am deeply grateful for the gift that is creativity, and for the community of writers who have helped me hang onto it.

I’m not who I was in April, but I am still a writer.

~~~***~~~

Thanks so much for your inspiring post, Rebecca. And congratulations again on your win for GRAVE MISTAKE.

The 4th book in Rebbeca's Pismawallops PTA Mystery Series: 

Death by Library

 You can find anything at your local library… even a corpse?

When things turn deadly in the library stacks, JJ needs some answers fast, before she loses her job—or her life. She’s determined to learn everything about the victim, and for once the library doesn’t hold all the answers. JJ and Kitty may have to face the ultimate peril: a visit to Mrs. Halsey, the oldest—and crankiest—person on the island.

Amazon

Smashwords (all ebook formats)

Barnes & Noble

Apple Books

Kobo

After a lifetime of reading, and a decade or more of slinging books at the library and herding cats with the PTA, Rebecca began to turn her experiences into books of her own, publishing her first in 2012. That failed to quiet the voices in her head, but seemed to entertain a number of readers, so she wrote some more, which generated still more voices. Despite the unlimited distractions provided by raising sons to the point of leaving home (and preparing to move without forwarding address if necessary to retain that empty nest), not to mention the mountains that keep calling (very hard to resist the urging of something the size of the Sierra Nevada), she has managed to pen a total of 9 books plus a novella (which we suppose makes 10).

***ANNOUNCEMENT***:

There's been a lot of disappointment at the cancellation of the December Challenge so, if you still wish to post for the 

Challenge, UNMASKED – please do.

Then let us know in the Comments of the December 1st post with a link so we can visit. POST ANY TIME IN DECEMBER. This is an unstructured challenge - no sign up, no winners, but the usual lot of fun leading up to the end of 2020 and our anticipation for a much better 2021.


Renée for the team:


Please Share the Love! 


@RebeccaDouglass #WEPGRAVEMISTAKE  #WEPwinner #guestpost https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2020/11/wepff-winner-of-october-challenge-grave.html @DeniseCCovey, @YolandaRenee, @LGKeltner, @OlgaGodim #amwriting #writingchallenge

@RebeccaDouglas #WEPGRAVEMISTAKE  #WEPwinner  Writing Through My Grief #guestpost https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2020/11/wepff-winner-of-october-challenge-grave.html @DeniseCCovey, @YolandaRenee, @LGKeltner, @OlgaGodim #amwriting #writingchallenge 

@RebeccaDouglas #WEPGRAVEMISTAKE #WEPwinner  Writing Through My Grief #guestpost https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.com/2020/11/wepff-winner-of-october-challenge-grave.html @DeniseCCovey, @YolandaRenee, @LGKeltner, @OlgaGodim #amwriting #writingchallenge


21 comments:

  1. Huge Congratulations Rebecca.
    You are most assuredly a writer and I am very glad to read that your creativity endures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Yes, if I lost my ability to write, too, I would really be lost.

      Delete
  2. Thank you for sharing so deeply your experience with us, Rebecca. Grief is a personal experience but I'm sure we'll all find some inspiration in your words and actions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so. I think I was moved to write it in hopes of helping others.

      Delete
  3. I'm sorry for your tragic loss, Rebecca. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I think it was inevitable that you, a writer, turned to writing in your grief. That is what writers do. They channel their emotions into their writing.
    There was a poet in Russia in the first half of the 20th century, Sasha Chernyi. He wrote a humorous little poem on the subject. I attempted to translate it, and also my translation is nowhere near perfect, it gives you an idea. And maybe a smile.

    Diarrhea / Compulsion
    (by Sasha Chernyi)

    The poet’s wife has died.
    He loved her more than fame and fortune.
    Grief swept him, bottomless and wide.
    He didn’t perish of misfortune.

    After the funeral he hurried home,
    Impressions swirling like a rampant tide,
    And hurriedly sprouted a poem
    “The poet’s wife has died.”

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  5. Hello Rebecca,
    My heart goes out to you because I too know how it feels to lose a husband. It has been over a year and a half for me, but I still find myself taking a step at time. My hubby was my greatest fan and supporter.
    I do wish you all the best. A friend told me after my husband died to be gentle with myself, and I am glad I listened to her. So, be gentle with yourself and continue to go slowly for however long it takes. Working through grief is not easy.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Pat. I know I’m not the only one, but it saddens me to realize how many of my friends have lost spouses as well. Like you, my husband was my greatest fan (along with my mother), and losing that constant support and reassurance is painful.

      Delete
  6. I'm just glad you kept putting one sentence after another. And glad you had a great friend to set you straight. Keep up the good work. (hugs from me and the boys)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Furry hugs from the little guys are always good!

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  7. What a poignant and beautiful post. Thank you for your honesty and your words. I'm so deeply sorry for your loss, but grateful for your ability to keep writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Being a writer is, in many ways, a blessing at this time.

      Delete
  8. I'm so very sorry for your loss. Writing is therapy, glad you have been able to get back to it. Thank you for sharing your experience. Profoundly moving. Wishing you peace and strength.

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  9. Congrats again, Rebecca - and sending more hugs your way.
    Writing has helped me manage with grief as well - it can be a solace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sending some hugs back to you! If nothing else, writing allows me to be someone else somewhere else for a while.

      Delete
  10. What a powerful piece of writing. I've been aware of your amazing struggle back from what...would have shut me down totally. You are my inspiration as I sit here in a mire of depression that's gripped me since August - for no real reason. Reading your post gives me the kick I need to write again - maybe one sentence per day. And I owe you the beta read I promised; a chuckle might help me, even if my crime cases tend to be darker than cozies allow. WEP December might happen after all, thanks to you, precious Rebecca. The conclusion of 'Custody Chain' needs to be uplifting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roland, what you deal with every day would probably destroy me—I’ve been getting through this as much as anything by spending a lot of time walking and hiking. Losing mobility is no joke. Here’s wishing you the best with your depression—which doesn’t require a “reason”. In fact, when there is a reason, it might not be depression! (My counselor keeps reminding me that grief isn’t depression, even though sometimes it has a similar effect).

      Delete
  11. Congratulations Rebecca. It was lovely reading your humorous story. Thank you for sharing your story of grief and continuing recovery. Glad you are back into your writing grove.

    ReplyDelete
  12. It was lovely reading your humorous story. Thank you for sharing your story of grief and continuing recovery. Glad you are back into your writing grove
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