Surviving Despair Through Fiction
My Life In Denver
I’d originally intended for the remainder of Whiskey Witches to be based out of Denver. It was where I was living at the time. I knew the location. I had a deep affection for the area. I was Colorado born and raised for the most part. I mean, we moved a lot growing up, but most of my time was spent in Colorado. From the coal and gold mines of the Rockies to the Rocky Ford watermelon patches of the plains, Colorado was my home.
However, I was still dealing with the continued trauma of my family. I sobbed every Saturday and Sunday night for almost ten years. Those were the nights my mother “allowed” me to come over and sit in the same room with my daughters. Like, we weren’t even allowed to really interact. If we defied her wishes on a Saturday, my daughters were withdrawn and solemn on Sunday. And I knew what was going on. I knew the kinds of things that woman was saying to my girls. And there… Jesus. There wasn’t a damned thing I could because I was the idiot who’d said, “Sure. Let’s work together to do what’s right for those two,” instead of saying, “No. I’m fighting because what you offer is garbage.”
About halfway through Blood Moon Magick, I realized I wanted out of Denver. I wanted the pain to end. Some way. Some how. I had to stop hurting. My soul had to stop breaking because I was tired of gluing all the pieces back together again. I knew that getting out would mean leaving my girls behind. I couldn’t get them out of that house. I couldn’t help them. I only added torment to their weeks because I’m pretty certain I wasn’t the only one sobbing. I think I probably did as much damage to my daughters as my mother did, and all I had to do was show up. I didn’t antagonize. I didn’t fight. I did everything I could to make the situation better and easier for them during the rest of the week.
But the screaming statement there was… I didn’t fight.
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Learning To Fight
I did try to learn. Denver is filled with opportunities. It was built on the back of the booming construction industry. We built jobs and homes, and people flocked to fill them. I worked with therapists, hypnotherapists, martial artists, coaches, and one of the most amazing men I’ve met, my boss, David Pierce. Oh goodness. What that man had to put up with and the patience he lent me. He showed me how to build up a person, and, meeting that man, you wouldn’t think he’d be that kind of instructor. He was detail oriented, exacting, focused, stern, law-affirming. He once chewed me out for not using the right length of tape on the as-builts, and for not folding the page back exactly. To this day, I still do my as-builts the same way, and, let me tell you what. My as-builts are the best on each job site.
Going back through the book for the Collector’s and Author’s Editions, I realized that there were a few circular thoughts published in the narrative that belonged more to me than to Paige. Originally, I’d intended to delete them. You know, we don’t need to repeat the same thing multiple times.
Except that if it’s something we need to change, we do repeat it. I don’t use the same words in the same string, but the intent—I repeat the intent.
The Rut’s Comforting Cocoon
When you’re in a rut, there’s a sort of comfort there that a lot of people don’t talk about. I mean, there’s a reason we don’t pull ourselves out of the mess we’ve made as soon as we discover that’s what we’ve done. It took me a long time to create the energy I needed to move. I don’t mean move out of Denver. That took a lot longer. But to move my headspace, my mindset. To morph from that trapped little girl who should have been a warrior mom to this woman who could be the warrior woman even if she had lost her children. That’s—crap. That is a huge and heavy swing. Goddess bless, that was fucking hard.
But it started small. It had to. I mean, I was so incredibly low at this point in my life. I would drive back to my empty apartment I could barely afford and crawl into my tub every Saturday and every Sunday, unless my sister was there. I mean, she tried. She did. She saw how bad it was, and she attempted to be there for me, to keep me from doing something stupid.
She sometimes only made it worse, though, helping me dig that rut a little deeper. While she was there, I wasn’t allowed to talk about the girls, or Mom and Dad—whom I don’t call Mom and Dad anymore. I call them by their first names now—or my writing, or my job, or… me. I wasn’t allowed to talk to her. She was there to entertain me and let me know how hard she had it being in the middle. Was that hard? I’m sure it was. But I was drowning. And she was standing on the shore telling me to work harder.
So, Blood Moon Magick was me working through that huge mindset shift of grabbing myself by my own nape and dragging my toxic wasteland of a soul out of the deep dark depths of despair.
From the chips in the shifters’ heads keeping their spirit animal down to the demons hunting Paige to the sucking void that was the gate to Hell in Paige’s bones. Those were all me clawing my way to the surface for a single scrap of sunlight.
If you notice, I ended with someone on the outside telling Paige she had to go home. That was the only solution I could find at the time. I’d tried getting her to want to go back, and that wasn’t working. So, I created someone from the outside and had him tell her to leave.
Today, I hate the ending of this book. LOL! I hate that it took someone else to make her do what she needed to do. In my life, I told myself to leave, and I moved mountains to make it happen. That’s the story I wish Paige shared with others who are in the same emotional spot I was in.
However, she still helped me take that enormous first half-step. And for that, I am eternally grateful. Paige Whiskey saved my life so many times, and I am a woman I can be proud of, largely, because of her.