I’m Still Standing…

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My Dear Readers,

I know it will be a shock to see a new blog post from me. Especially since it has been over a year since you’ve heard from me. I did not intend for my hiatus to be this long, I honestly didn’t. But as some of you may know, depression does not have a timetable. In December 2016, I was still in the midst of a depression cycle. There were some real-life struggles at the time with my little family that I do not wish to disclose. Though, I will say that even in the trying times; I could still see the light, and I truly believed I could withstand the storms. Let’s just say Hurricane Depression dropped down to a tropical storm.

Then after the New Year, a new storm hit. That my friends, I would compare to a category five hurricane. In fact, I was standing in the eye of the storm, my world calm and peaceful as chaos erupted all around me. Then the dark clouds came in, thunder roared and the rain washed me away. I will not go into details about what caused it, but I will say this: I was hurt deeply by people I loved dearly and lost them in the process. The pain was a lot to bear and when you mix that with depression, it makes one very dangerous cocktail. To say the least, I was not in a good spot.

I wanted to hide under the covers in my bed and wallow, I wanted to shut myself off from the world, I wanted the depression, the pain, and the sorrow to end. I wanted it to be over. I yearned for peace, yet the storm kept howling. I didn’t know if I’d survive this time. Yes, I know it sounds bleak, but that was my reality.

The night I wrote my blog post, I had a shattered soul. A small part of me wasn’t even sure if I would ever come back to writing, even though another part hoped I would. It took quite a few months for the pain to subside. Reading some stories, binge watching on Netflix, therapy, music, journaling, and tinkering in Photoshop helped a lot. It was then I saw glimpses of light. I also realized my anchor to this world was my son. My dear, sweet boy is the light of my life. His very existence is the reason I kept going, fighting the storms.

My husband deserves a lot of credit, too. He was an aircraft mechanic during his service to our country and what was broke, he fixed it. And that’s what he did with me. He took my shattered pieces and put them back together one by one. He tethered me to him during the storm and never once let go. Nor did he ever give up, even in moments I was so uncertain that I could wither the storm. He told me I could fight through it, that he loved me, that he was there for me, and made sure I took care of myself. Most of all, he believed in me and saw strength within me I didn’t know I had. I don’t know how I got so lucky to have him in my life. Though, I am damned glad I made that decision eighteen years ago to marry him. He is the best thing that ever happened to me, and I will be eternally grateful to him for being there “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health.”

I battled Depression and to quote Elton John, “I’m still standing.” I made it through the storm. I may not be the same person I once was, some of the twinkle in my eyes may be gone but essentially I am me, again.  I don’t really share my personal life with the world, but I thought perhaps sharing my story would be beneficial to someone else that may suffer from depression so they know that there is hope – a light at the end of the tunnel, if you will. If you are reading this and suffer from depression, I sincerely hope you keep fighting. It is a battle worth winning. Please know someone out there believes in you and knows you ARE strong enough to withstand the storm.

Now, with all that said…..

The reason I am posting today is to tell you that I started writing again around October/November. I had three chapters of Spirits In the Mist done, two one-shots almost completed, and did some work on Not Enough Time & Ties That Bond.  I also started a couple new stories. Needless to say, I was quite proud of myself, and the ever-picky Mr. Muse was pleased.

Well….that came to a screeching halt on Friday afternoon. I was working on a story and left the computer to let the dogs out. We had a power outage and it fried my hard drive. I lost everything in Microsoft Word and in Photoshop. Hubby tried to reboot the computer and it didn’t even make a sound when he turned it on. We both sat staring at an ominous black screen. We tried a few things to get it going again, but nothing worked. It was beyond saving. I am completely devastated about it…all those hours of work just gone forever.

I got a new computer for Christmas, and was in the process of deleting stuff I didn’t need or want, so when we transferred files I wouldn’t have to worry about having crap I didn’t want on the new computer.  This weekend was going to be the weekend I planned to transfer everything to an external drive. Also planned to back everything up online.  Ha! Just goes to show you what happens when I make plans, LOL.

Since my computer no longer has Word on it, I have nothing to type and save a document with. Microsoft Office is a hundred and fifty bucks, OR you can get it as a monthly subscription. The Photoshop program is a tad expensive, too. My son just celebrated his sixteenth birthday, and we had a bash to celebrate. My wallet is quite a bit lighter after paying for the aforementioned bash and presents. I wouldn’t have it any other way, but unfortunately that means I can’t afford to have things like Word and Photoshop, right now.

I took the hard drive frying as a big, bright neon sign from the Universe to just give up on fanfiction. I had every intention of coming on here and announcing that I was simply going to remove my stories and thank you all for your support. That is when I noticed that I still had my media files for some stories, like that next buttons and so on. I may attempt rewriting what I had at one point by longhand and typing it up here instead of the traditional copy/paste. I may not have new banners and all the “pretties,” but I can still publish stories. It just won’t be as visually pleasing to the eye.

I’m not one hundred percent sure as to what I will do. But I do know that it will be a while before I even attempt writing anything. I do plan (Ha! There I go again…plans) to try writing something short by longhand and typing it up here to see how it works. That makes me think of my first story, Reflections. I wrote that in a little spiral notebook, all 13,000 words by hand in pencil and typed it up on Word to send in for a contest. Nostalgia makes me smile. Irony does, too. Seems like I’m back exactly as I started, I just don’t have Word (or Photoshop), anymore. Maybe, just maybe it is a sign to go back to my roots. We shall see what the Universe will say, huh?

My goodness! If you have made it all the way here to the end, I sincerely thank you for taking the time to read what I have to say. I do have a couple more things to add, so bear with me.

First and foremost – to you lovely readers who’ve sent messages to me over the past year with words of encouragement, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your words have meant the world to me.

To my friends who have been loving, kind and offered me words of wisdom, I thank you. You have been a blessing and made my world better.

To every single one of you that ever read my stories, left a review and have been patient with my hiatuses, I thank you.

My apologies for such a long winded post, I didn’t intend for it to be this long, but it is how it went. Thanks again for reading and have a good weekend!

M4T

 

 

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Hiya!

Hiya!

You may or many not be wondering if I dropped off the face of the planet. Nope, I’m still here. Still undecided on whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing at the moment. Before I continue on, I have to profusely apologize for not getting my update to Second Chances up like I promised. I feel as though I’ve let you all down in that. Believe me, it has not been for the lack of trying…

My anxiety and depression kicked into high gear, and it made focusing on editing very tedious, especially when I saw the need to add some things to the chapter. Then, there was the matter of my two abscessed teeth. The pain was completely unbearable. They eventually had to be removed by an oral surgeon, along with two teeth near them. I’m still recovering from that and it should be completely healed up in about six weeks. They had to cut through the bone, and I tell ya…that is not fun at all!

The second thing I would like to mention is the Fanatic Fanfics Awards. Yes, I was nominated, though I did not place. Thank you from the bottom of my heart  to those who did vote for me and I offer  a sincere congrats to the winners!

Now I’ve got those two subjects out of the way, let me tell you my plans….First up, I will get back to editing part three of Second Chances and post it for you as soon as its done – I promise! After that, I plan to finish up my one-shots that are sitting there unfinished in my Microsoft Word docs (and maybe chapter four of Ties That Bond). Then, eventually get them edited and posted. I have to emphasize that I will have to go where the muse takes me, so I am unsure of what will be posted and when. I completely give up on trying to have a sensible schedule for posting. I’m sorry about that, but I can’t help it. I do thank you for your patience as you wait on my updates.

But….I can give you a glimpse of what is coming. Some of these may sound familiar because I’ve mentioned them before…

Shades of the Past – A TVD/Twilight crossover with our favorite blue-eyed vamp and like most all of my fics, he will be paired with Bella (Well, sorta). It will be more of  a flashback type of story where she reflects on her childhood and an old lover of her mother’s. Like many of my stories, it is AU and takes place after Edward breaks up with Bella. Its a little bit different style than what I’ve written in the past.

Love Don’t Live Here Anymore – An Angel(the series) and Twilight crossover featuring MY favorite broody vamp. Its a bit melancholy, with plenty of drama. Ultimately, it is a love story. The show is much darker in tone than Twilight, for those who aren’t familiar with Angel. I dare say, it is probably darker than TVD and the story reflects that. Its my aim to take the reader on an emotional journey along with Bella. With most of my fics, I tend to write in character and this story will be one of the few where some of myself seeps in.  I started writing it when the depression kicked in. You’ll notice it in the tone of the story.

A Kind of Magic – This is one you guys have been PM-ing about the most….Yes, its the Twilight/Charmed crossover with Chris and Bella as the pairing. I am halfway done with the second part of it, which I had to rewrite because the muse on that one wasn’t happy and I was half scared she’d blow me up, LOL (yes, its Piper). Again, this is AU and takes place during the events of Eclipse in the Twilight verse. I had to fudge the Charmed timeline  a bit to fit the story, though. This  is actually one of my favorite stories that I’ve ever  written  and hope y’all will love it as much as I do.

WARNING!!! The next one is a shocker….

It’s a Bella/Stefan story…..

Breathe…..relax…..take a sip of soda, coffee, tea, or whatever you have.

It sure shocked the hell out of me when that little plot bunny exploded in my head! I will admit that I am NOT Stefan’s biggest fan. That said, I wanted to challenge myself and write outside my comfort zone. The story is called Chances Are and takes place after season five of TVD and around three years after the events in New Moon. Its going to be one of my PG-13 stories because I can not imagine writing a lemon with Stefan, and we all know what a Mr. Goodie Two-Shoes he is. So, that means no blood baths either! If a sweet little romance piques your interest, then this is the story for you! I like what I have for it so far.

One shots are easier for me to write, and hopefully it’ll help me get back into the groove of writing. I have a couple other ideas and I’ll probably write those, too. Once those o/s are out of my head and published,  expect chapter updates to show up.

Hope you all have great weekend!

Love,

M4T

Hello!

Hello, hello, hello!!

No, I am not channeling Adele or Lionel Ritchie, LOL….

Just a quick note to apologize for the delay in updating Second Chances. My son  was out of school for Spring Break last week, keeping me rather busy. I’ve  also been dealing with a terrible toothache. Went to the dentist and discovered I have two teeth that are abscessed. I am now on antibiotics, so the infection is starting to clear up and the pain is easing off a bit. That means I am back at my desk, editing. Finally!!

Now that is out of the way, I am pleased to announce that I have been nominated in four categories for the Fanatic Fanfics Multifandom Awards. Its an honor to be included with so many fabulous writers! Voting will be open on April 11, 2016, according to their website. Please, take a moment and vote for your favorites. Writers like myself work very hard on our stories and get much encouragement when our readers/fans show their support. It means the world just to get a nomination! Below is a list of what I am nominated for.

1. Favorite Complete Fanfic – A Christmas Dream
2. Favorite Crossover Fanfic – Not Enough Time (Twilight/Vampire Diaries)
3. Favorite One-shot Fanfic – Against All Odds
4. Favorite Work -In-Progress Fanfic – Second Chances

If you would like to see a complete list of nominees, click here. Remember, voting starts on the eleventh. I would like to wish the best of luck to all the nominees!

Okay, I am back to editing – or as I like to call it, “Damonland.” 🙂 Have a happy Wednesday, folks! I’ll see you soon!

Love,

M4T

A Spirited Update

Hiya, my lovelies!

Chapter four of Spirits in the Mist is now published for your reading pleasure! I offer my apologies for how long it took me to get an update out. Hopefully, the chapter length makes up for it. At 7300+ words, it is the longest chapter of Spirits, yet. It is from Bella’s point-of-view and I have to admit I had a bit of a struggle with it. I find it much more difficult to write from her perspective. There were a couple of rewrites, only to have the power go out when I went back to edit the final draft. Word didn’t auto save my edits and I had to go back and redo them. Believe me, I was not a happy camper! I do think the chapter turned out okay, though. But I’ll leave that for you to decide. 😉 Don’t hesitate to let me know what you think!

Click the link or the picture below to take you to it!

Chapter 4: Stop and Smell the Roses

 

Spirits4X0-

M4T

First Part Of Second Chances Is Up!

Hiya!!

Can you believe I am actually posting something already? I actually had a chance to sit down and go back and read through the first section of the story I mentioned in yesterday’s post. I had done some editing before I submitted it to Fandom4Autism, but I still felt a little tweaking was needed I’ve read through it twice and I think it is about as good as will ever be. I hate editing my own work. I can do other people’s with no problem, but find myself overly critical when I do my own. Okay, I admit it – I am a little insecure when it comes to my writing and have a massive fear that I suck at it. But hey, I am not perfect! I just do the best I can and have to accept it. I know there are probably mistakes in my work, even after I edited it and worked on it more than once. I love my story, Reflections – but cringed at some parts of it and at some of the lengthy paragraphs when I recently re-read it. However, that was my first published story and I just don’t have the heart to go back and fix it. So that one will stay as it is. All I can do is hope I get better at both writing and editing. I just have to realize that I am not perfect, and I am by no means a pro at this. Writing is just something I do that I enjoy.

That said, I truly do hope you enjoy the new story. Second Chances is the name of the story and it’s first part is titled Bat Out of Hell. Click on the picture below to take you to it and please leave a comment and let me know what you think! Happy reading!

xoxo,

M4T

Second Chances Final Banner

I’m Back….

…to let you know I can really shake ’em down!

Now that I have “Do You Love Me?” stuck in your head, let’s hope I got your attention! 🙂  As stated in the title – I’m back. And no, not in the creepy Poltergeist way. I am writing again. *Cue the fanfare, rim shots, and drum rolls*

What can I say? It makes me happy to be back at the keyboard and to be tap, tap, tapping away. I am still having issues, but the days are less stormy and I am starting to see some sunshine. It is not to say the storm has completely passed…there are still days where I sit here at my desk and stare blankly at the screen trying to formulate a sentence while the muse whispers plot bunnies and one-liners in my ear. Then again, there are days where I become consumed with a scene or idea and the flow of words passes through my fingers and onto the page. The feeling to create something is indescribable and it brings me joy when it happens.

As much as I enjoy reviews and accolades for my writing, I have discovered that writing is something I really love doing for myself – for my own amusement. Though, I have to say that being able to share my stories with you and see people actually enjoy what my little brain conjures up (which Mr. Muse takes full credit for, by the way) makes me smile. I recently went back and reread my old stories and the reviews/comments left there; both here and on Fanfiction.net. Those kind words are priceless to me and warms my soul. They also give me the drive to finish the stories I have started and the urge to keep writing.

I can’t promise weekly updates as of yet, but I can promise you that updates will be coming soon and that you may see some new one-shots and short stories featuring other fandoms. I won’t deny that I thoroughly enjoy The Vampire Diaries fandom and that I truly love writing Damon. But you knew that, right?

However, I am planning on dipping into other fandoms. Some you may be familiar with, such as The Lost Boys, Charmed, Buffy, and Angel. The others, such as White Collar, you may not be.

I have decided that my Charmed one-shot, A Kind of Magic will be most likely a two-parter. I’ve been working on that and I think it’s near completion. The muse on that one isn’t sure which direction to take it. So, the first part will be edited and posted sometime soon. The second part will be posted once its finished.

I am halfway through a one-shot I started on ages ago. It’s an Angel/Bella story and that’s called Love Don’t Live Here Anymore. I won’t reveal too much of the plot other to say its rather melancholy – but the story is about life and the choices we make. Toss in evil, Wolfram & Hart, The Powers That Be, some tragedy, love and well….its a story that stuck in my head and had to be told. Plus, there will be Spike. Need I say more? Oh, and my favorite green demon will be featured, too…

I have also worked quite a bit on Ties That Bond and I think the next chapter to that is almost finished. I am hoping that will be up sometime within the next month. Keep in mind that I am working on my stories as they come to me. I worked on Spirits in the Mist last week. I already had the next two chapters to that done, but Bella demanded to be heard, so I had to rework some things to accommodate that and  the next chapter will be from her point of view. Her voice is quite a bit different from Damon’s and writing her at that point of time is quite challenging. In my other stories, she had/has already gotten completely over Edward, or was/is on the road to it. She either knows her place in the world or she is on the brink of discovering it. In this story, she is slowly recovering, but the wounds are still there, and to add to it, she’s in love with a vampire ghost. She has a lot to say, though…

I have wrote four pages of the next chapter to Not Enough Time, but that pesky thing called writer’s block has me stalled on it. I know what I want to happen and how I want the chapter to end – just tying it all together is leaving me befuzzled. I’ll let the muse work that one out and come back to it…

I have not touched The Devil Inside, yet. But I do have ideas for it, and need to muddle through them in my head before I start on it. I have no idea when that will be.

My head has been consumed mostly with my one-shots and I’ve been working on them. It’s good practice to write them for me because they have the beginning, middle, and the end all in one go and I don’t have to delve too heavily on the plot. The one that is really screaming at me is a Damon/Bella story tilted, Shades of the Past.  There are a couple others, but I am not sure if those will ever see the light of day. We shall see, eh?

As I mentioned above, I do have ideas for other fandoms and will be working on those as they come to me. I will update my current stories when I can and post my one-shots when I have them all ready to go.

This weekend, I will be posting a story that started as a one-shot for Fandom4Autism and it has grown to a four-parter. I haven’t written the final chapter to it yet, but the first part was donated to Fandom4Autism and I can now put it up here and on Fanfiction.net. I have some doctor’s appointments and my son has some appointments to go to, as well. So, if I can get the time to do one more read through of it and WordPress is in a cooperative mood, I will have the first part up for you by the weekend. That story is called Second Chances. I will put a small snippet at the end of this post, along with the header for it.

I am still battling with depression and anxiety, among other health-related issues, so please keep in mind that while I am dipping my toes back into writing and updating once again, it won’t be on a regular basis and it won’t be on a schedule. But I am back and it’s oh, so good to be here. Thank you to those of you who have reached out to me with your messages of support, good vibes and love. Your kind words mean more than you’ll ever know.

Xoxo,

Mommy4Thomas

As promised, here is the story header for Second Chances and a small snippet!

Second Chancesbanner

Bella’s eyes widened, “And just how long will your blood be in my system, Damon? I don’t want to be a vampire.”

He tilted his head side to side as if in thought, “Usually, it takes about 24 hours to get out of a human’s system; but you…had a lot. So, I’d say it’d probably take about a week, give or take…”

She gasped at the thought and looked at him, “Seriously?”

He chuckled, shrugging. “Seriously!” he mocked. His mouth formed into yet another smirk, “Here’s a tip…don’t die! That is, unless you change your mind about the whole undead thing. Otherwise, we’d just have to find a vein for you to tap. Viola! Brand new baby vamp!” He then snapped his fingers while she glared at him.

“How can you be so blasé about dying and living for eternity?” Bella asked, with incredulity in her voice.

He pursed his lips, “Easy! I didn’t have much choice in the matter…”

She shook her head and wondered for a moment exactly what his statement meant. She glanced anxiously towards her bag and was rather stunned he had actually went to the truck and retrieved it for her. More like stole it, she thought. There were so many questions she wanted to ask him, but she just knew he wouldn’t give any answers, at least not directly.

Damon saw her peeking at the bag and took the phone and the menu from her hands. “Go get a shower and I’ll see to breakfast.”

She arched her eyebrow at his demand, but said nothing. She got up from the bed, tugging at the ends of the t-shirt to make sure everything was covered.

He snickered, “Oh, stop that! I saw it all last night, sweetheart. Believe me, there’s nothing there I haven’t seen before!”

She placed her hands on her hips and with a huff of annoyance asked him, “Has anyone ever told you that you’re an ass?”

He smiled, “Maybe…once or twice.” He then winked cheekily at her.

“Well, you are!” she replied snappishly, deciding to blatantly ignore him while she dug through her bag to get her clothes.

His expression was rather amused as she stomped past him, heading towards the bathroom with her clothes in tow.

R.I.P. Jackie Collins

Jackie

I know I am on hiatus, but I felt that I had to come out and publically pay tribute to one of my most favorite authors, Jackie Collins. She was a true storyteller in every sense of the word. She often wrote about life around her and what she saw, only changing the names to “protect the not so innocent.” She created two of my favorite literary characters; Gino Santangelo, and his daughter, Lucky.

Gino was a typical street punk in 1930’s New York City who got into boot legging and gambling, becoming a notorious gangster and an all-around ladies’ man. He was smart and knew the art of survival in the criminal world. A man with a heart of gold that wouldn’t dare go into the more seedy things such as prostitution and drugs. He had morals – to a point. However, he was quite charming and you couldn’t help but love him.The first book followed his rise to power and the takeover of the “family business” by his twenty year old daughter, Lucky. She inherited her father’s street smarts and business acumen. Eventually, she turned everything legit and ended up buying a movie studio, then went on to build hotels. She was a true feminist and was a firm believer that women could do anything.

The books started in 1977 when feminism wasn’t exactly popular, and it was practically unheard of to write steamy sex scenes in novels. Jackie was a trailblazer in writing such stories. She was also a master at creating such well-rounded characters. She often wrote what she knew about – Hollywood. Only changing the names to “protect the not so innocent.” It was always fun to read her books and figure out exactly who she based certain characters on. She once said, “I write about real people in disguise. If anything, my characters are toned down-the truth is much more bizarre.”

I discovered her books way back in high school (which was decades after the first book was published). The Santangelo family saga is a series that encompasses eight novels. The most recent book was published last year. I read it in less than a day. Jackie had a style of writing that truly brought her characters to life and her books were paced in a way that it made you keep reading and reading until you suddenly found yourself on the last page; still wanting more. When you opened one of her books, you never knew where the stories would go or what her characters would do. It was always a wild ride.

About an hour ago, I was on Yahoo and read reports of her death. I am so deeply saddened by the news. When I write, I often try to bring my characters to life as she did, and toss in surprises for my readers. SHE is the inspiration for that. Her character, Lucky, was the inspiration for the woman I wanted to be when I read the books as a teenager – a woman with moxie, style and class, and she did it all HER way.

I hope wherever Jackie is, that she is at peace and I hope that she knew how much she was loved by millions of fans the world over. Her books will always, always be cherished by me. My thoughts and prayers are with her family on this sad day. The literary world will never be the same.