I #Failed | Good – Now Go Fail Again – A #Writer’s Tale

Yeah so…I think I’m ready

Ready for what you may ask if you care…

Ready to get back down to the business of writing something worthy of your read.

Something worthy of myself and my abilities. You see, as a writer…especially a writer with a day job, family, other obligations etc. etc. and a husband who likes to talk…A LOT, (yeah I know what you’re thinking, most women would be ecstatic) I get distracted beyond measure.

To be honest…no, to be truthful, I’ve allowed myself to become distracted…repeatedly for over two years. I craved it. I went on a quest for distraction.

I’ve sworn to myself almost daily that I would write. I do in fact write quite a bit for my day job in sales and marketing but that’s content and copywriting. It’s creative in a different way. Yes, I’m telling stories about a product or products to sell them but I’ve neglected the most important product I have…myself.

For three years, I was immersed in writing books, editing books, choosing covers, designing covers, publishing and marketing my books. Once I went independent there was no going back…or so I thought. Today, I realized I’ve failed myself. I’ve failed my readers. Looking back, my doubts that I’d ever succeed as a writer crept slowly in like the sunset and it stayed dark. Not North pole dark or Alaska or something where you know in a month or two the sun will rise again. I’m talking eternal night.

If you read anything on my blog, especially this week, you’ll see I went on an adventure. A real life adventure and was out there in the real world doing real world stuff with real people. What I’ve discovered is I have been in a terrible rut and although I enjoyed my adventure tremendously for the most part, I was terribly uncomfortable in my own skin. I felt restrained, stressed and even weary at times because I created this monster. The monster being me. The monster who has so much crammed into her brain all the time now with no outlet that I find it nearly impossible to relate to anyone outside of my closest circle. I can’t even open up my feelings anymore unless I’m about to explode. I feel backed into a corner and yet I crave the corner and press further and further into it until that’s all there is.

It all started when I finished my last book. It was collaboration that was beyond wonderful yet beyond excruciatingly painful at the same time. The whole process of rewriting a book in my own voice caused changes in my creativity that I could not have foreseen for it was immediately after the book was closed on that endeavor that I became stagnant. This was worse than writer’s block, this was flat lining.

I couldn’t see it. I couldn’t feel it anymore. My insatiable hunger to pour out my very heart and soul into words became a tangible need to avoid it at all costs. I tried…I really tried. I’d sit for hours in front of a blank screen. One of my dearest writer friends / a real friend, encouraged me and did her level best to lift me up and turn the lights back on in my brain but all I could do was write a few chapters, tear them apart, write them again and them slam my laptop closed.

It hurt. I cried. I ate…way too much. I felt alone and lost and worst of all, a complete and utter failure.

Seven books. I wrote and published seven books in the span of three years. Obviously I had stories to tell. They have pretty great reviews and some have won awards so I must have been doing something right. I spent more money than I made, on marketing, and even gave away thousands of kindle copies just to get my name out there. I’m no different than any other independent author in that respect and I know that. I’m just an example of that quote, “The moment you’re ready to quit is usually the moment right before the miracle happens…don’t give up.”

After three years of nonstop writing and publishing…no miracle. I let go.

I felt like no matter what I did, I was never going to reach the level of success I wanted. Not fame or fortune, although money wouldn’t hurt but I wanted that best seller status. I wanted to see my books out there…everywhere…

That’s where I fucked up.

Then this quote hit me hard…

But first, I had to admit to myself that I didn’t quit…

I GAVE UP.

I started because of the voice in my head that evolved into a story about a little boy with special gifts who kept nagging me to tell his tale.

I started because for 48 years of my life, or at least as far back as I could recall, I always wanted to be a writer. I knew there were stories I needed to tell. I knew I could make it happen and all I had to do was sit down and write.

Of course there was a whole lot more to it than that but I didn’t know and I didn’t care and I knew failure at that time wasn’t an option. All I could think about from the time I woke up in the morning until the time I went to bed at night was writing. I chomped at the bit all day until I could get on this old keyboard and tell you all about my imaginary friends. I was excited and alive inside…

Alive inside.

Alive on the page.

Alive in my heart and in my mind and filled with dreams and goals and stories.

Somehow they all became clouded and the voices stopped. There was no cataclysmic event. There was no physical or emotional turmoil. There were changes of course in the real world but nothing outside myself caused this. This was an internal failure. A break down of the spirit and joy writing had given me because it became so much about business and promotion and selling and numbers and fear and doubt…and failure.

Well, today, I started hearing the voices again. I started feeling deep inside a spark of desire and hunger.

I started shaking off the pressure of finishing both my book series’ and perhaps finishing one of the other novels I was writing that are stand alone’s and pitching them to agents. I got ideas for a few other books as well and hurriedly jotted them down, as we do so I didn’t lose them.

Failure is a fact of life.

We go where we have to go, inside of ourselves and sometimes, a fishing trip or just shutting out the noise of day to day life can open a window in your mind and allow you to see yourself even in the dark.

I withdrew not only from the world but from myself because I was disappointed in my failure to achieve the goals I thought I wanted. Now I see what I wanted wasn’t the truth of it. I had to fail. I had to go through this darkness to understand I had lost that part of myself in the process that gave me the gift and the desire to write in the first place.

Did I say I’ve read A Song of Ice and Fire THREE times in the past year? Yes, all of the books in the series. I’m obsessed with George R.R. Martin’s writing and even listen to the audiobooks on my commute. I’ve been studying that master for a year. Inside and out I’ve studied him and I still don’t know half of his genius but nothing will stop me from trying to achieve it. So at least the last year hasn’t been a total literary loss. I’ve been studying and absorbing the craft as much as I can.

Now, I need to go forward.

This will be a process. This will be a rebirth of sorts for me but I’m no longer in the dark. The sky is lighter and the sun is just below the horizon.

Fuck money. Fuck best seller status. Fuck all of it. I just need to write and write often and well.

If the miracle happens so be it.

The real miracle is just knowing I have an outlet for this ballooning information and imagination inside of me that has reached critical mass. Inspiration is everywhere now. Pictures. Sounds. Music. Nature. Sleep. It’s everywhere.

I’ll not force it ever again. I won’t guilt or pressure myself to write. That’s a poison I won’t swallow. There is something that keeps playing in my mind now though. It’s a quote from the Game of Thrones television show. It’s an exchange between two of my favorite characters: Jon Snow and Ser Davos Seaworth.

 

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#Vacations | Big Game #Fishing | #BreastCancer Research

There I go. Off living life again and this time, it was a two for one trip. Another Fantastic Voyage in the books!

It’s no secret I love the beach…the ocean…my family…my friends…margaritas and about a billion other things but checking off a bucket list item is always on the table. I don’t necessarily go hunting down bucket list items but when they become available, with the added cherry on top to do it for charity, hell yeah I’m in!

Poor Girls Open

About a year ago, my sister in law, Kim, came to me with an opportunity to take a fishing charter out of Ocean City, MD to fish for big game…like, BIG fish way out in the Atlantic ocean. Every year there is a tournament called The Poor Girls Open that has been going on for 25 years.

From the web site:

The Poor Girls Open is a ladies only billfish release tournament benefiting breast cancer research. There are also added entry levels for tuna and dolphin. This tournament was started by Capt. Steve Harman as a way for local waitresses and bartenders to have an affordable and fun competition while raising money for a very important cause. The tournament continues to grow with over 100 boats entering. Participation is not limited only to anglers as there are silent auctions, 50/50 tickets, T-shirts for sale, and other fun events helping to raise money for breast cancer research. In the past 3 years alone, the Poor Girls Open has raised over $100,000 that was donated to the American Cancer Society.

Unfortunately last year, we had no way to raise enough money to do this (it’s not cheap) and can be upwards of $5,000.00 including entry fees and charter, but we knew in a year, we could definitely figure out a way to get sponsors and raise enough to make it happen.

Thanks to Kim’s cousin Val, we had a boat with a captain, (you have to find your own) enough money and sponsors to enter, a team name and a crew of five hearty women and even had our own T-Shirts made up for our team. We were ready to go!

Then, just last weekend we found out from a reliable source who also happened to work part time as a first mate on a few boats, that our “captain” had bailed on us because we didn’t have enough money to enter every calcutta across the board, giving his boat the chance of winning the tourney, BUT would have ended up costing us an additional $2,350! We’re actual poor girls here dude! WTF?!

The boat charter was $1,800

The entry fee was $550 for 5 anglers

Hotel for the weekend $1200/5

Etc. Etc. Etc. We were grateful just to be able to afford all that so when the news came in that he had dumped us 5 days before the tournament, Val sprang into action and found us a BETTER boat, BIGGER boat, and a better captain and first mate almost overnight. “Everything happens for a reason” isn’t just a cliche.

We ended up pulling enough money together to enter one calcutta and we were just happy to be able to participate.

We arrived Wednesday night August 15, 2018 and registered. Our condo was right on the bay so we had a lovely view.

From there, we took a few pics, had some delicious finger food and then hit the grocery store for some sandwiches and snacks for our trip. Then it was shower and Zzzzzzzzzzzzz. 3:30am wake up call.

Here we are! Bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to take on the high seas! Okay well we’re awake and we have beer for later so…

The Sunset Marina before sunrise. This was at 4:45am.

Those are the lights of Ocean City, MD way off in the distance behind us.

Pre-dawn and let me tell you, this boat was making tracks! We were going so fast that if you weren’t used to it and had experienced sea legs, you better hold on or you’re gonna hit the deck. That’s our first mate, Bobby on the right. He worked his butt off getting everything ready for us.

Michele (L) and Kim, keeping stationary as we blasted through the waves and waited for the sunrise. It was incredible out there. Once you’re out about 10 miles from shore, the water changes to a deep blue. We were constantly in awe.

Way out there with the tankers!

Okay…sun’s up ladies! It took us about 3 hours from shore to the fishing area, which was approximately 60+ miles from the dock. We couldn’t drop our lines until 8:30am so we picked our order of fishing. How it works is, we each were given 30 minutes on the rods. Every 30 minutes, another girl stepped up for her turn for three complete rotations. There were six rods in the water with bait and three teasers. Teasers are these cool lures without hooks that basically flutter and splash on the surface of the water to attract the fish.

NO LAND IN SIGHT FOLKS! Here’s Bobby setting up the rods. Once the baited lines are ready, the poles are mounted and at 8:30, the lines go into the water and the captain moves the boat slow and steady, dragging the lines behind us. Here fishy fishy!!!

If it were only that easy…they’d call it Catching instead of Fishing

30 minutes per woman. So basically, every 2 1/2 hours, it was my turn. You sit or stand in the back of the boat and if you get a bite, you grab the rod, hop in the fighting chair and reel your ass off. Unfortunately for me, I spent my three turns watching the teasers flutter in the water. Nothing. Nada. Ziltch. Zippo. Not one nibble. Also unfortunately, neither did any of our crew…except for one.

I’ll post the link to the video at the bottom of the blog so you can see what happened.

For a brief two minutes or so, what we’d waited all day for actually happened…then it didn’t happen, all thanks to what the captain suspected to be a defective hook. As you can see, the pointy end…the part that matters…GONE with the fish…a 250lb Blue Marlin.

hook

I want to add that any billfish aka white or blue marlins are catch and release. Tuna and Mahi Mahi (aka dolphin fish) are keepers.

Here we are. There’s our captain, Mike, in the blue shirt and we are from left to right: Val, me, Kim, Debbie, Michele and Bobby. Proud as can be. We survived the waves, the sun, the waiting, the long hours, biting flies and sore rear ends siting and waiting for a fish, and yet we never felt better because it was all for a wonderful charity; breast cancer research. All of us have been touched by this dreaded disease via family members. Some lost their battles while others more recently stricken have beat it, all thanks to research and the American Cancer Society.

We were tired but as Kim said later that evening, it was a GOOD tired. The tired where you know you earned it!

We left the dock at 5:00am and returned at around 5:30PM. Yeah we slept well that night.

We slept well after a bit of girl sillies.

The next day was all fun and games. We earned it. We started the day with a great breakfast at the 45th Street Tap House on Coastal Highway. I highly recommend their Bloody Mary’s and their sunsets on the bay…actual sunsets, not a drink.

Then we did a little pool crashing (shhhh) and swam and chatted the afternoon away at said unmentioned pool location. Then off to the Clarion Hotel and Lenny’s Beach Bar for dinner and drinks to hear an awesome band play. Plus, we made a new friend! Our wonderful waiter Relja from Serbia. He’s in college in Serbia studying finance. We adopted him and low and behold, his mother is a breast cancer survivor! Every summer, hundreds of young adults from Europe are sponsored to work in Ocean City (and other cities) for the summer. Most if not all of them work two jobs and live in deplorable housing, yet they were all the nicest kids. We adopted this one. 🙂

Now for the video. Michele is in the chair reeling. Val is behind her reeling in one of the teasers to get it out of her way since the fish will come up the middle, which of course, it unfortunately didn’t. Captain Mike told us had that hook not snapped, Michele would have been in that chair for up to and possibly beyond FOUR HOURS. No one could have helped her because rules are rules. You have to bring it in yourself.

We told her we had every confidence she could have done it but I guess…we’ll never know.

BUT…

THERE’S ALWAYS NEXT YEAR!

If you or your company would like to sponsor our team for next year’s Poor Girl Open, please contact me at pegfabulous214@gmail.com. I will add you to a my personal mailing list (NO SPAM) and update you when we begin actively fundraising. Thank you so much!!!

THE WINNERS!

I’m Not An #Expert on Anything – I’m a #Writer – No Rules Required

For my blog stop, I’ve chosen a previous blog which I felt is timeless and that expresses who I am as a writer, completely. 

I hope you enjoy it!

quote-advice-to-a-new-writer-there-are-no-rules-in-this-profession-do-what-is-good-for-you-anne-rice-122-70-88

And that’s good enough for me.

I tell stories. I have a few awards so I suppose that means I don’t suck at writing. However, even with six novels and a novella to my credit, as well as hundreds of blog posts, I do not nor would I ever call myself an expert in anything. Nor would I dare to offer advice on the best way to do this or that, simply based on my own experience. I worked hard and I wrote from my heart, soul and gut. I was published. I went from being a writer to an author in the span of less than a year. How did I do it?

I wrote. I focused on my goals and did it my own way. That’s exactly how you should do it too; regardless of what your own way is. Just please, the only rule I stand by 100% is EDITING. If you are transitioning from writer to author and actually publishing a novel, pay someone to edit for you. Please, for all our sake’s.

Every situation is different. I’ve made mistakes but I’ve learned from each and every one; some bigger lessons than others. Regardless of what writing technique you use or formula you choose to follow, if you don’t approach that formula with a positive attitude and maintain the ground rules firmly at the heart of it with honesty and humility, you can really end up unhappy with the results of your work. Try it your own way first! Experiment! You may be creating a formula that only works for you and that’s perfect!

Every time I begin a new project that will hopefully evolve into a novel, my knees knock, my mouth waters, my heart races and hands tremble. That my friends is fear – fear I’ll write fifty thousand words and suddenly decide I’m unhappy with the story. Fear that my loyal readers will not like the behavior of my characters and even my main character. Fear that a beloved character may die a horrible death and my readers will wish the same for me…figuratively of course.

NEWS FLASH: Readers will love your story and readers will hate your story and it really has nothing to do with you. How they feel is about their own taste and that’s fine. 🙂 That’s how it should be! 

  • Do you outline your book?
  • What kind outline? Detailed or more like a guideline? 
  • Do you just let your characters lead the way and pray they aren’t taking you down the rabbit hole?

I would never presume to tell anyone what is right and what is wrong with how they approach a project. Doing what you are comfortable with and what you see as a plan and system you can live with and work well with is to me, far more important than following some text book guideline laid down by someone or someones who think they are the expert.

I’m not an expert on anything – I’m a writer. I ONLY want to be a writer when I write. I don’t want to offer you advice, let you cry on my shoulder and most importantly, I won’t tell you how you should do anything. My experience is mine. Go get yours. Don’t be be afraid to spread your wings and fly!

“On giving writers advice, offering “rules.” I’m asked a lot about this, and people bring great lists of rules for writers to the page all the time. What do I think? I can’t say it loud enough. There are NO RULES for all writers! And never let anyone tell you that there are. Writers are individuals; we each do it in our own way. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you’re not a “real” writer because you don’t follow their rules! I can’t tell you how much harm was done to me early in life by others judging me in that way. I was told in college I wasn’t a “real” writer because I composed on a typewriter; I was condemned later on in damn near apocalyptic terms for “not writing every day.” “Real writers” are those who become “real writers.” That’s all there is to it. And again, we each do it in our own way. For me, stubbornness has been as important as any talent I might possess. I ultimately ignored the people who condemned me, ridiculed me and sought to discourage me. I laughed or cried over it in secret; and went right on writing what I wanted to write, the way I wanted to write it. I knew of no other way to become the writer of my dreams. If you want to be a writer, go for it. Critics are a dime a dozen, and people who would love to see you fail are everywhere. Just keep on going; keep doing what works for you. Keep believing in yourself.” ANNE RICE

I’d listen to this woman before I’d listen to anyone else. She’s 100% right.

Demons & Pearls #BlogTour Has Begun!

drinking animated GIF

Tomorrow is the BIG DAY!

DEMONS & PEARLS will officially set sail!

Please check out the fabulous Bloggers below who have signed on to help me christen this ship!

Break out the champagne…uhhhh…I mean RUM and let’s get this party rockin’!

Demons_&_Pearls_Cover_for_Kindle

 

https://vashtiqvega.wordpress.com/ 4/13/2015
http://tometender.blogspot.com/?zx=3f47bc15730bf020 4/14/2015
http://scvincent.com/ 4/14/2015
https://jaxjill.wordpress.com/author/jaxjill/ 4/15/2015
http://www.chkarasilverwolf.com/ 4/16/2015
http://www.mcsimonwrites.com/ 4/17/2015
https://olganm.wordpress.com/ 4/17/2015
https://mbarkersimpson.wordpress.com/ 4/18/2015
https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/ 4/20/2015
http://silverthreading.com/ 4/21/2015
http://kindleninjareviews.blogspot.com/ 4/27/2015

I also have several bloggers interested in reviewing the book and will update with that information later as well.

There are still a couple more I need to add but I want to shout out a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has signed up to participate!

Less than 24 Hours to go!

 

The Size of Your Audience Doesn’t Matter…

Since I’ve been writing like a fiend for almost two months now and completed a new novel in the Ivory Razor Adventure Series and am nearly ten thousand words into another, my book sales have taken quite a hit.

However, I know as long as I keep up the good and hard work, I’ll bounce back. After all, practice makes perfect. Right little kitty? 😉

audience

A Love So Big It Hurts and The Gift of A Dream

One of my granddaughters fell ill over the weekend. REALLY ILL.

What Matters Most

Saturday night I received a frantic call from my daughter that one of the twins, Harper, who had just been to see the pediatrician on Friday for a mysterious fever and an unusual bout of lethargy, lack of appetite and not wanting anything to drink was much worse. Unable to find an obvious issue, the doctor diagnosed her with an oncoming cold.

He was wrong. REAL WRONG.

By the time my daughter called me Saturday night, my granddaughter was pale, screaming in obvious pain, barely able to focus or function at all and was in dire need of immediate attention. I stayed with the other two girls while she and her husband rushed this terribly sick fifteen month old baby to the emergency room. I’m going to name the lousy hospital emergency room too – Harbor Hospital in Brooklyn, MD. It’s the closest one but by far their emergency room fucking sucks!

My seriously ill granddaughter and her desperately frantic parents sat for THREE HOURS waiting to see a doctor! How do you leave a baby as sick as this sit in a waiting room for three hours?! You fucking assholes all need to go jump in the Baltimore harbor! I hate you and I wouldn’t take my cat to you if you were the last emergency room on earth!

To be honest, I’ve always hated this emergency room. I have been there twice now with one of my granddaughters and both times have waited no less than three hours. The hospital itself is not my problem, just the ER. I gave birth to my son there and had an excellent experience. I’ve known others who have been admitted there who have had good experiences but they can shove their emergency room right up their asses.

My granddaughter was so severely dehydrated that she required three IV’s before she could even wet a diaper. She was misdiagnosed with a bladder infection according to the house pediatrician who saw her this morning and claimed her tests for bacterial infection came back normal. Apparently, they never did find out what was wrong with her and labeled it a virus of unknown origin. However, my daughter will follow up tomorrow with her pediatrician because a baby who was perfectly healthy on Thursday night, somewhat sick on Friday morning and completely dehydrated, lethargic, disoriented and screaming by Saturday evening needs a fucking diagnosis!!!

Thank GOD she’s better. She was released this afternoon as her fever was gone, she was eating and drinking and had wet her diaper several times. Could the three rounds of antibiotics have cured her? Could her little body have cured itself? Maybe one of these so called medical professionals who will send out an exorbitant bill for her care will magically figure this out.

Oh, and please don’t come at me with how wonderful the medical profession and physicians and nurses are. I KNOW how wonderful they are and have far more great experiences with them than bad. I’m speaking on this one emergency room and this one situation with one of the loves of my life. I’m sorry but you can’t touch this.

My opinion is this: If you can’t figure out what is wrong with a child who cannot tell you what hurts, go back to medical school or send her to a pediatric specialty hospital! A virus of unknown origin is NOT a diagnosis! If anything like this ever happens again, we are going straight to Johns Hopkins!

***************************

The gift of the dream is something directly related to this but a supernatural experience I will never be able to forget.

You can believe me or not. As you can tell, I’m in an “I don’t really care what anyone thinks” mood tonight.

Saturday night I was up very late. Harper’s twin, Scarlett and my eldest granddaughter, Esme were wound up and wide awake until after midnight due to the chaos and stressful evening prior to my arrival and my daughter rushing out to ER. They’d heard their sisters cries and seen the pain in their mother’s eyes and were difficult to settle down but somehow my grandmother magic kicked in and I had them both tucked in fast asleep by 1:00AM.

They conveniently live right next door so my husband had checked in on us allowed me to run over and make a coffee and grab my phone charger so as not to miss any updates from my daughter. Once he went home and the children were sleeping, the house fell silent except for the purring cat near my head on the back of the love seat.

Not that I slept. I was worried sick. I woke to every sound. Scarlett was fighting a cold and coughed a bit and whined. The cat leaping down and then her subsequent crunching on dry kibble in the kitchen. The occasional car driving by…you get the picture. Scarlett awoke at 4:30am for a bottle and At 5:00am, I received a text message from my husband asking me if I needed anything. He came over and checked on us and then went out and brought me breakfast and a well needed coffee.

I could see he hadn’t gotten any sleep either so I whooshed him back out the door and within minutes, that delicious sausage, egg and cheese bagel, a text from my daughter that Harper was resting in her room with medical attention, the knowledge that the other girls would most likely sleep until 10:00am, and the coffee, dropped me into dream land at last at around 6:45am.

By 9:15am, I woke, sobbing.

The dream started out horribly. I was in my daughters house and I opened the front door and a strange looking animal was trying to come in. At first, I thought it was a skunk as it appeared to have the while stripe down it’s back. I tried pushing it with my foot and closing the door but it got past me. I was screaming “No! No!” and suddenly behind it, chasing it were all kinds of cats. All different colors, racing past me so fast I couldn’t stop them and behind them were my children and some other people, chasing the cats!

I turned around and joined the chase but I was screaming at them to get the animal. My son yelled out, “Mom, it’s a big rat!” and I screamed back, “Well get it!” I turned back to the front door which I had finally managed to slam shut and the wall started to crumble away at the front of the house and a giant hole appeared and through the hole came more animals! All kinds, shapes and sizes and I screamed to run for the girls to get them out of the house and was shouting, “Help Me! Someone please help me!” when suddenly, everything went white.

I was sitting up on the love seat I was sleeping on and standing there in front of me in my daughter’s living room, was my husband’s grandmother. She was the matriarch of our family. We lost her last September. She was 93 years old. She was our rock. She was our light in the harbor, our adviser, our revered and precious elder. Her word was the gospel in our family and her loss was felt so deeply we are all still recovering.

Granny June Bug

Oldest Baltimore Ravens Fan!

I couldn’t believe my eyes. I have had no dreams of her since she passed. I think of her every day. I remember how she would scold us and discipline us and then take us in her arms and hug us and kiss us and make it all better.

She was wearing one of her signature light blue sweat suits with the flowery embroidery on it. Her hair was perfectly coiffed as it always was and she glowed. She looked so pretty. That’s what I told her.

I stood up and said, “Gran! Oh my God Gran! You look so pretty!” She held out her arms to me and leaned down and hugged her. She looked like she did the first time I met her over twenty years ago. I could feel her hands stroking my hair like she used to. She held me back away from her and said,

“Everything is going to be alright.”

I replied, “But Gran, we miss you so much. We all miss you.”

I grabbed her again and hugged her tight.

“She stroked my hair again and said, “I know honey I know. I miss you all too. Give them all hugs and kisses for me will ya? And tell them I’m wonderful. My beautiful girl. Don’t worry. Everything’s going to be alright.”

She started to pull away from me and I held onto her.

“No Gran, please don’t go!”

“Honey, I promise. Everything is going to be fine. Now I have to go.”

I was sobbing. She was gone. I was standing there in the middle of my daughter’s living room, sobbing.  I kept saying to myself, “This is a dream but everything is exactly right.”

What I meant was the room was EXACTLY as is really was. I can’t remember having a dream where the room was perfect. The stockings hanging on the mantle. The cat sleeping on the ottoman. The light on in the kitchen. The Santa clause on the ledge in the foyer. The baby socks on the floor. The blanket balled up on the love seat. It felt so real it scared the living daylights out of me.

My eyes flew open. Tears were running down my cheeks. I sat up and could barely catch my breath. I got up and opened the front door and stepped outside to somehow snap out of it but I was shaking. My hands were trembling and I started sobbing again. I texted my husband but he didn’t answer so I called him and told him I needed him right away. I told him immediately that my sobbing wasn’t about the baby so that he wouldn’t worry. Then, I told him about the dream.

I know she was there. She was there either as her soul, her spirit, her energy or some inexplicable image from my subconscious, that just happened to be able to replicate my daughters living room down to the baby socks on the floor.

The day before, my husband and I went to a fabric store because the eldest granddaughter decided she wanted her bedroom at our house completely redecorated in Disney Frozen, so I needed to make her all new curtains. When we were looking for the fabric, a family was picking out some fleece and the mother said, “Oh look at this. Granny June will really love this.”

I’m sorry but again, not a coincidence. You can say hearing her name in the store the day before triggered the dream but I believe in signs. Had we stopped to eat first like we’d planned, we’d have never heard that woman say what she said.

Last night, I was reminded of a similar dream I had…again, over twenty years ago. Almost the exact same situation. I was going through a terrible traumatic time in my life. My sister Barbara was always my rock prior to Granny June. She died very young at only 53. She was 19 years my senior and was like another Mother, as were most of my older sisters. I could always turn to her when something bad happened. She too came to me in a dream. Again, I woke up sobbing. Again, the room was exactly as it really was. Again I was embraced and told everything would e alright, which it was. The only difference was when I woke up from the dream with my sister, My clothes smelled like her.

Yesterday, after my dream about Granny June, I instinctively smelled my shirt. However, I only smelled a clean, fresh smell for a few moments and then I smelled like me. Then I thought…

My sister was known for her perfume. My Dad used to say you’ll smell Barbara coming in the house before you’ll see her.   I don’t even think Granny wore perfume but she always smelled fresh and clean. 🙂

Our little angel Harper is home safe and sound. Smiling, giggling and although she’s definitely not herself after having been through such an awful ordeal, everything turned out alright…again.

Goodnight my lovies.

Sweet dreams.