Writing Without Hesitation

It has been a pretty productive week for me.  Now that I have a specific focus for my book, I feel like I am on the right track and where I need to be.

audrey-hepburn-quotes-nothing-is-impossible-l4t3ten1In the past I have attempted to work on books or just focus on writing goals, but I would always lose interest.

This time I have found a topic that I am very invested in and there is no shortage of inspiration in this house.

Day in and day out I am surrounded with material to use.  I find myself just writing what comes to mind and not really worrying about how it looks right now.  There will be plenty of time for editing later on.

Finding focus in this project feels amazing.  I feel like I have been searching for that idea that motivates me to keep going and now I finally have it.  I think that all along I was trying to force something that wasn’t there. Like trying to tell a story that had no meaning to me.

I am not sure that this way of writing/inspiration works for everyone, but I know that since finding the right topic I have been seriously committed to making this happen.  Some people can write about almost any topic, but I find the better connected I am, the more I want it.


Find yourself…

Find yourself in your work. In your passions. In your quiet thoughts and expressions. Just seek to discover the inner most level of yourself and strive to seek further than that. It is then, you will be found.-ljk

I saw this on my Facebook feed about a week ago. It was written by a local artist, and I couldn’t help but share it with you.  I don’t think that she could have said it any better.

Navigating The Waters Of Self Publishing

Just a fair warning, this post does not answer the question of how to self publish.  Actually it’s basically the opposite.

successOur writers group just put together our fourth compilation of stories and poems for a spring themed book.  I submitted two of my poems to be published.

Our local high school has a printing machine and was able to print the books for $2.00 a piece.  The excited news is that it doesn’t take very long and we should have our books soon!

So I have been looking a head to different options when it comes time to publish my own book.  I already know that it will be self published, because lets face it, most books are now a days.

I could go the route of putting the book together myself and bringing it to the high school for printing, but then I started looking into ISBN.  I learned that I could purchase my own ISBN for the book, so that is still an option.

Then I went and looked on Amazon and they have Create Space. It sounded to me like it was an all in one option. I could get electronic versions of my book and print copies as well. They also handle the ISBN numbers as well.

I also know that there are a lot of small independent publishing places that will help you publish your book for a small fee.

I still have a lot to look into, but I do know that I want my book in both forms print and electronic. Plus I also want an ISBN on the back.

I know that there are classes or workshops out there on self publishing, I am going to look into seeing if there are any in my area.  I just don’t want to make a costly mistake.

Does anyone have any experience with self publishing? I’d love to hear from you if you do.


It Only Took Me Two Years

I promised my husband I would make him a red, white and blue blanket someday.  I bought all the yarn and started the project a little over two years ago.

Last summer I was digging through my closet and found the bag with the partially completed blanket in it. I decided it was time to stop procrastinating and get the job done.

blanketWell six months later and just in time for our 8 year anniversary I finished the blanket.

I wanted it to be a surprise, but a few mornings ago he came downstairs early and caught me finishing it up. That’s okay, because he still loves it just the same.

Making this couch length blanket served as a good lesson for me.  You have to start somewhere, and if you never take the time to work on it, it will never get done.

Big projects can seem overwhelming, like writing a book. But if you break it down and just stay committed eventually it will come together. Just like the blanket!

So I finally got my butt in gear and I have decided (this time it’s for real) to write a book. My goal right now is 40 poems that reflect the struggles of PTSD. After that we will see where it takes me.

I have added a progress tracker to my main page to serve as a visual reminder for myself. Hope it works!



The Day I Met Him

It was a Sunday afternoon. The club was quiet. Just a few regulars were scattered around the room, but nothing I could take advantage of. I decided to take a walk downstairs to the dressing room. The basement was always much colder than upstairs. I usually kept a robe in my bag to keep myself warm. I could smell the food coming from the kitchen. Despite it being a club the food actually wasn’t that bad.

mikeandiThere were several girls sitting there. The bright lights illuminated their faces. They were sipping on cocktails and touching up their makeup. You would think there would be lots of chatter, but most of the time it’s pretty quite.  Most of us come down here to unwind and get away from a minute.  I rearranged my towel before I sat down; it’s never a good idea to sit right on the chairs. You never know who’s been there before you.

I could hear the music playing, but I couldn’t make out any words. The bass was drowning out any audible recognition. I still had a few more sets before it was my turn to go on stage.  Maybe an outfit change would kill some time.

I had always enjoyed the attention I would get from the opposite sex.  I was fascinated by how a pretty face could manipulate a situation, which usually led me to getting what I wanted.  I started dancing when I turned 18.  A girl I knew said you could make good money, and I had never been the bashful type.

After moving to Rhode Island, I started working at a club in Woonsocket.  It wasn’t a dive, but the money just wasn’t there.  I needed a bigger client base, so I auditioned at the Cadillac Lounge in Providence. The club was run by Italian men that looked characters out of the God Father.  The only things they loved more than making money was women and pastries.

Rummaging through my bag I found an outfit that would work. It didn’t need to be fancy, just something different.  I slid off the lace dress that I wearing, being careful not to catch it on the heel of my shoe. I heard the D.J. over the loud speaker announce the next girl’s name. I had to go on stage after her, which meant it was time to hurry. I quickly tied my top in the back and slid on the hot pink bottoms. I normally wore a bikini style outfit with a short skirt over it. For some reason the guys always love the little skirts.

The glow of the pink neon lights lit up the sitting area. The “floor” as we called it looked pretty much how I had left it, dead. Chance was dancing on stage, but no one had come up to tip her. That’s pretty typical on a Sunday; most of the guys just come to watch.

Marilyn Mason’s song, The Nobodies began playing and that was my cue.  I walked toward the stairs of the stage and noticed three guys who I hadn’t seen early.  I thought to myself they were young, so not likely to give me much money.

Most of the time we see a lot of middle aged married men or the business type that are just passing through.  I’m not exactly everyone’s type.  I appeal more to men that like a darker side, a bit of mystery.  My face is scattered with metal piercings and I have acquired a small collection of tattoos over my body. My favorite one is a set of blue eyes on my lower back. My short black hair fit the look I was going for. At the time I went by the name Raven.

One of the regulars that I knew came up to tip me. He said that he felt bad that everyone else was just sitting there. I could have predicted that the group of younger guys wouldn’t come up to stage. They just sat there and watched me dance while drinking their beer.  After my songs ended, I collected my cloths and the few dollars that I made and made my way towards their table.

“You know, it’s okay to get up and tip the girls,” I sneered.

“I know, but I’d rather save my money for a dance,” one the guys said grinning.

Chance had come over to join the conversation.  I figured it was pointless to be sitting with them, but there wasn’t much else going on. I slid over onto his lap, trying to make myself comfortable.

The man I was sitting on introduced himself as Mike. He was good looking, in his early twenties.  He looked shorter than me, but my eight inch heels make most people look short. His body was firm I could tell he worked out. His short hair cut suggested that he was in the military.  The club was only an hour away from several military bases in Connecticut. Throughout the week it was pretty common to see groups of guys still dressed in their uniform.

He was dressed nicely, but not too dressed up. He wore jeans and a collared shirt, both name brands.  I found out later in the night that he had all those nice clothes because he used to work for Abercrombie and American Eagle as an in store model. If I had modeled for anyone it would have been Hot Topic or Suicide Girls. I tried getting comfortable on his lap, but I wasn’t having much luck.

“Your lap sucks, I can’t get comfortable,” I said as I shifted my weight.

“Well you have a boney ass, get up,” he said firmly.

“Seriously,” my face twisted with disgust.

“Yes, seriously. Let’s just go for a dance,” he suggested.

I led him upstairs to a private booth. I picked one near the back.  I liked to have some privacy. The booths were small with a red vinyl covered bench seat.  There were dividers between them, but the front was open. He sat down and we waited for the next song to begin.

We talked more than I danced. His eyes were fixed on my face; his hands never left my hips.  His gaze made me nervous.  I wasn’t used to people watching me so closely. Our song ended and he asked if we could stay for another.

“Sure, but it will be another $25 bucks” I said confidently. He didn’t seem to care.

It was $25 per song, with five dollars going to the house.  I never understood why people paid so much money for an average of four minutes to watch a girl dance.  I think it’s a little ridiculous, but they always come back for more. I hadn’t figured him for the type that would want another dance.  I assumed that he only wanted to come up here because he felt bad for not tipping me.

“That’s fine, I’ll pay you at the end,” he said calmly.

I continued to dance, my legs straddled his waist. I don’t know why, but he made me feel comfortable. Usually when I dance for someone new it’s all business, but not him, it was different. He was starting to grow on me, maybe tonight wouldn’t be so bad after all.

The song ended and he handed me a fifty. I placed the money in my garter and secured it with my elastic. His arm was wrapped firmly around my waist and he pulled me closer to kiss me on the cheek. The club had a loose policy on touching. I don’t normally let clients get that close, but a part of me was secretly happy that he did.

“Thanks for the dance, come back to my table and sit with me,” invited Mike.

“Sure, after I go and freshen up, I’ll be right back”. I could feel my face getting warm. I tried to hide my smile.  I couldn’t forget he’s just a customer. It’s hard not to look too eager. I couldn’t lie, I was kind of excited.

It was an unspoken rule that you did not date the customers. It’s just not a good habit to get into. One of the girls there was a long time girlfriend of the manager, and a few of the other girls acted as escorts for a select few.

He was sitting by his friends at the table when I walked over. He smiled and motioned me to sit on his lap. I leaned my back against his chest; somehow he seemed more comfortable now.  His hand slowly moved across my back and down to my leg. He squeezed my thigh and looked towards me. I could only laugh and shake my head.

I had never met a customer like him before. Something inside of me told me that I could trust him. I spent the rest of the night sitting at his table. When it was my turn to go on stage, he followed me.  Shortly after my first song started he asked me to dance on the pole.

“How high can you climb?” he asked. The stage had two poles one at each end.  The shorter one was ten feet tall and other one was closer to fourteen feet.

“I can climb all the way to the top,” I said pointing to the taller pole. “But once I get up there I can’t do any tricks,” I said laughing. I danced for him during both of my songs, his eyes never leaving my direction. He seemed very interested in me, but I didn’t know why. I didn’t think that I was his type, we seemed like complete opposites. He was the Abercrombie model and I was the chick covered in tattoos and metal piercings.

Hours had past and the night was coming to an end.  What was supposed to be a quick trip for the three guys had turned into an all-nighter.  Mike’s friend Jimmy had been on the phone several times dealing with an angry girlfriend. He had promised her that they were just going out to grab a bite to eat, but never said anything about going to the club. He spent half the night trying to come up with a good excuse about where they had been all night.

Before they left, he said a phrase I had never heard before, “I want to get to know you better”. He didn’t ask for a date or to take me out to dinner. He just wanted to get to know me. It was the least superficial comment I had ever heard. For the first time I gave out my phone number to a customer, but it didn’t end there.

“I’ll wait for you outside, I want to say goodnight,” Mike explained.

“Okay, but can you wait a few minutes. I don’t want anyone to see me,” I said quietly.

My heart was pounding and I found myself clumsy and uncoordinated. I packed my bag as fast as I could and tipped out the house mother. Mike was waiting for me outside the club standing next to his friend’s truck. I told him to get in my car quickly before anyone saw him. I honestly wasn’t sure if I would get in trouble for seeing him outside the club. My biggest concern was making sure that no other customers saw me.

I drove him next door to Wendy’s. The parking lot was only a few hundred yards away, but it was just far enough that no one would see us. We talked for a while about the night.

“I’m really glad that we decided to come here,” said Mike.

“Me, too. I’m just glad that I decided to come into work today. It’s crazy because I never work Sunday’s,” I said.

We talked for a half hour or so, but eventually I had to let him go. His friends had been waiting next to us the whole time. I can only imagine the things they must have been saying. He hugged me good night, not even moving in for a kiss. He jumped in the back of his friend’s truck and waved goodbye. As I drove towards the highway my phone began to ring. It was Mike calling to say that he already missed me.