Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I’m not a famous writer. I’m not well known. I go my own way as I see fit. There are a few things I’m “supposed to do” that I don’t do as a writer:

  • Attend writer groups.
  • Hang out with other writers.
  • Talk about my writing. How boring is that?
  • Get feedback. I’m not that interested in feedback. I just say I am to be polite.
  • Read all types of “writing ideas” and tips on how to write, what to write, or how to come up with inspiration. I went down that road and it fucked me up.
  • Outline and plan and plot the story. I just write the damn thing.
  • I don’t follow the “rules of writing” (there aren’t any on my planet) because they are nonsense. They annoy the shit out of me.
  • I don’t rewrite. I write and submit/publish my first draft. When I have tried to rewrite, the work never got done. I’ll scan it a few times, looking for typo’s or awkward sentences. That’s about it.
  • Try to learn how to write. Not possible. You learn by doing it and figuring it out yourself.

I started to write this story based on a very simple and quick thing I saw in the news. It was the London riots back in 2011. I was online a lot at that time – Google Plus, which has since been ruined by Google – and this was all over my stream for days.

I wondered what I would do if that started to happen here in my city. I figured I’d get a gun and sit on the porch and wait. Then I thought if I would protect anyone and that’s how Lena popped into my head.

Guns scare me, but I’m much more prone to protect someone else, so I’d probably do that if riots started happening here.

I believe that all inspiration comes from within and that all fiction has some degree of truth in it. Could be my truth, or your truth, or some truth from a drunk trying to bum money out of me.

Somewhere out there, Lena and Eli exist in some form. I know this to be true. That’s my truth and that’s all I need. I saw the two of them, sitting on a porch with guns, drinking beer and waiting for the assholes to come down the street and cause trouble.

It was as clear in my mind as much as this monitor is in front of me. I let them tell me their story. I listened, struggled, and made it much more complicated than it ever needed to be.

Once I knocked off my nonsense, I got to work and finished the story that I had started years before.

That’s my new thing – finishing what I started and getting it out there and hope for the best.

To me, this story is about two women who had nothing in common, each with their own demons, who somehow found a way to tame them together.

The story of two women who can’t be more dissimilar and yet form a friendship that defies all the odds until the day death drove them apart.

I capped it out at 15,000 words, but it could easily be longer. Maybe I’ll do that someday.

But for now, I want people to read it and take something from it. I write for me, first, and then for anyone who wants to read it. I write the stories I want to read and put it out into the cosmic universe and go onto the next one.

I hope you’ll check it out and never give me your feedback. Seriously. Unless you like it. You can tell me that.

Here’s the link for my site. $2.00 a month is all. Skip a cup of coffee this month and toss it over to me. You’ll not regret it.

My fabulous Patreon site

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I had the pleasure of talking with a young man yesterday. He’s a friend of a friend and came into the office. Let’s call him Gary, OK?

Gary has been in the United States for 9 years. Prior to immigrating here, he was an attorney in his home land. He has no intention of being an attorney here but is still passionate about human rights.

He told me a story of working for someone here in the US. The man underpaid his employees and was a criminal. Gary, very intelligent and fluent in English, caught-on very quickly what illegal things this man was doing and that he was taking advantage of his employees, many of whom didn’t understand English and did not know their rights.

Gary tried, several times, to get the man to change his ways, but he refused. Gary watched as the employees worked hard yet didn’t know they weren’t even being paid minimum wage.

Gary played a little dumb (smart!) and told the man he would sue. The man laughed at him and blew him off.

Gary then started a class action suit against him. He gathered up all the employees, made sure they understood, took care of them and sued.

And they won. $2,000,000.00 of which Gary took very little from.

For you see, like me, he doesn’t give a crap about money. He just wants people to do well.

I asked him “As someone who has come from another country, what do you think about the US?”

With no hesitation, he said “You know why this is the greatest country in the world? Because we can all come here, be protected, and live our lives. You know there are so many people who want to kill all of you? You know that most of us don’t and that we love you, your government and your Constitution and will die to protect it? Each and every one of us are proud to be an American.”

I choked up, got up and hugged him. I thanked him for being here, for caring about people. He hugged me back.

He talked about our history and I was beyond impressed.

“You guys are rebels and you flipped off those that sought to control you, tell you what to think, what to believe, and how to live. You told them to go to hell, broke all the rules and opened your hearts to the foundation and basis of your country – freedom of religion and that’s why we’re here.”

Remember that our system works. It may not be perfect, but it works.

You just need to be more intelligent on how to use it.

When you rant, rave, share degrading meme’s and pictures of the President of the United States, YOU HURT YOUR CAUSE! You are doing so much more damage and personally, I’m sick of your shit.

I don’t give a flying fuck what you think because you are being an out-of-control idiot and will never get your message across. Those of us who you might have had a conversation with and might have gotten some help, you are immediately muted and written off as stupid.

Here’s some advice from someone who has had 40 years of success in getting people to act:

  • Speak intelligently and talk to each person as if they are important, because they are.
  • SIMPLY state ONE objection and be very specific in that ONE objection.
  • Answer people’s questions AND LISTEN TO WHAT THEY SAY.
  • Give them ONE THING to do and help them do that.
  • Rinse and repeat.

Carry on and get your emotions under control. You’re hurting your cause when you react.

/done

 

 

Oh the outrage! Holy hell, Colin didn’t stand for the national anthem! Let’s burn his jersey and condemn him because he’s mean and not respecting our flag.

Well…that would be fine if it wasn’t so hypocritical.

What about these guys? http://www.arrestrecords.com/the-15-worst-crimes-committed-by-nfl-players/

Where’s the outrage for them?

And how about  my favorite, Michael Vick? Do I really need to rehash that?

Apparently I do. Here, take a look at one of his dogs:

vick

Not only did he fight dogs, he took his 2 family dogs (that his kids adored) and threw them into the fighting pit and laughed as they were torn apart. He has admitted that he got off on it, loved the horror that he created, and never would have stopped if he hadn’t been caught. Yes, it’s true. Go check out YouTube, but I warn you..it’s beyond disturbing.

He never served one minute of time for what he did to the dogs. He’s never paid one cent to the thousands of people who took his dogs in, rehabilitated them and gave them homes. By the way, there’s not been one incident of aggression in any of the dogs. They are all doing well and are a beautiful testament to the kindness and loyalty of the breed.

Yet one man decides to not stand for the anthem and everyone loses their shit?

OK, then stop supporting the NFL. Stop watching their games and buying their merchandise. You may not like what Colin is doing, but it’s not illegal (see above) and he is a man of color, so all you white people need to stand down.

I don’t care if someone stands during the anthem or not. I care about the guy down the street that is molesting kids or the woman who is being beaten by her husband or the child that goes to bed hungry or the dog fights that I am sure are in my neighborhood.

Save your outage and actions for shit that matters.

Not for some athlete that hasn’t harmed you, his family, friends or co-workers.

Chapter 8 – Andrea

Posted: September 14, 2016 in Uncategorized
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She sat in the dark at the kitchen table. Everyone was asleep. It had been a long day, but she wasn’t sleepy. She was never sleepy yet always tired. Tired for as far back as she could remember. She didn’t sleep so much as pass out for a few hours every couple of days. The meth kept her awake and the Valium helped her to relax  in the mid-morning when business slowed down as the men went to work or back to their homes.

But today, she was clean. Today she only drank coffee and soda. She would resume her habits tomorrow, but for tonight, she needed to be alert and ignore the overwhelming craving to numb her thoughts, her pain, and the endless images of nameless men who bought her for the hour or two that day. The images faded as long as she kept moving. She knew if she ever stopped moving, she would die.

She looked at the lit candle on top of the cupcake that she placed in the middle of the table. She purchased 6 cupcakes from the store the day before, but she only needed one, so she tossed the others in the garbage as she left the store. She wrapped the remaining one in a napkin and carefully put it in her purse. She was careful not to crush it as she walked home. She hid it in the back of the top shelf of the pantry behind a canister of flour. No one had ever touched the flour or even the top shelf in the 3 years she had been living in the house, so she was certain it was safe.

After everyone was asleep, she had gotten up and retrieved the cupcake and placed the candle on top of it. She lit it in the dark and sat back and quietly cried.

She never got to meet the child she had lost, but she knew it had been a girl.

To read the rest of the story, please join my patrons and supporters on my Patreon site. Only $2.00 a month. The best deal you’ll get all week!  https://www.patreon.com/SusanLewis

Chapter 5 – Going home.

Posted: September 7, 2016 in Uncategorized

#MyNameIsChantelle

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The rest of the chapter continues on my Patreon site. I do hope you’ll join in. It’s $2.00 a month. An amazing deal! Susan Lewis on Patreon

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As I continue to write my book and publish it online (check it out and follow along at: https://www.patreon.com/SusanLewis), I am struck by how natural and easy it is for me to talk to people and conversely, how difficult it is for so many other people.

Why is this?

Short of someone actually physically assaulting you, what’s the worst thing that could happen?

They insult you? So what. You’ve insulted plenty in your life.

They make fun of you? Yeah…again…so what? You’ve done that too.

They scare you? Walk away then.

They disagree with you? OH MY GOD! HOW HORRIBLE! Lock them up and throw away the key.

I remember when I was doing extensive work in the criminal justice system. One thing I needed was help and 99% of the time I’d hear “Yes, I’ll help you but don’t make me go with you in there. I’ll help with mailings or phone calls or even a few bucks, but…no…not…them.”

I’d sort of pause for a moment and look at them.

“Why? What are you afraid of? Another human being? You’re perfectly safe. In fact, you’re safer in there than out here, so what’s the problem? Looking at a student scares you?”

No one could ever really answer my question, so I began to realize it wasn’t the environment (though it is different). It was the fact that they would have to look at another person and take responsibility for them.

Holy hell, what was I thinking?

Well, I’ll tell you what I was thinking and it’s this – that it would be fun, different and I could learn and see “the other side” of things and maybe…just maybe…make a difference.

That I would get out of my comfortable and boring life and stretch my wings and abilities and DO something.
DO something. Not talk about it. I couldn’t handle another conversation about the latest TV show or how difficult someone’s life was because they couldn’t afford to take another vacation or buy the latest phone or car or whatever crap they were worried about.

So I went and now I’m writing about it. I’m remembering as much as I can and I see that on some level, I miss these women. I’m finally at the part of the book where I’m introducing some of them to my readers. I’m struggling with how to describe them so the reader feels they know them and are standing in my shoes.

What did these broken and horrible people do for me?

Well, that’s pretty much what the book is about, but in a nutshell, I can tell you that I learned as much from they as they did from me.

Last I heard, my program was pretty damn successful. 5 years after completing my stint, I heard back that not one of the them was a repeat offender. All of them got out, went back into society and behaved themselves.

The secret?

First of all, I had some great data and help to give them. You can’t get anything done without the correct tools.

Secondly, and I think the most important, is I listened to them. I did not try to change them. I sat down and heard every word they said. I did not coddle them. I did not allow them to be victims. I pointed them in a better direction and let them make their own decisions.

Thirdly, I pulled no punches. I ran a very tight ship, made the rules clear and never let anyone abuse those barriers. I even brought in a whistle to use if they stopped listening to me.

Sitting with the broken is tricky. You cannot allow yourself to get pulled into their crap, which they created, and sympathize and go along with their justifications. We are the ones who build our own traps and we’re the only ones that can unbuild them. Kind of cool and kind of sucks.

You’re the only one that can fix you but it’s almost impossible to do it alone. I tried and it almost killed me emotionally.

We all want everyone to listen and understand us, but how often do you do that for another? Huh? When was the last time you took the time to just sit and listen to someone and not judge them or tell them what they did wrong?
If you want to fix you, first go help fix someone else. Trust me, you’ll find that you’re really not that broken.

You just think you are.

The next installment of my book:

Sam saw the scissors in my hand and froze. I don’t know why I grabbed them. I looked down at them and was surprised to see them in my hand. Everything was spinning around in my head. I had a thought and then it was replaced with 10 more, maybe 20. Everything meant everything and nothing at once. Somehow this was my fault and my first reaction was that he was right. It was my fault. All of it. Somehow I knew he was right and then I knew he was wrong. I felt like I had been raped and was blaming myself for it. I grappled with that thought that it was something I had said or done that made him sleep with someone else. Someone else in my bed. My bed. Not her bed. Mine.

Then I remembered why I grabbed the scissors. I held them tightly as I raised up my hand and looked at him. His eyes darted from the scissors, to my face, and back.

He was scared.

So was I.

“How is this my fault?” I asked. I waved the scissors for effect. Seeing the fear in his eyes made me feel powerful for a moment. I waved them again, wanting to see him scared some more.

It worked. He gulped and took a step back. I heard Maverick crying at the patio door.

“What are you going to do with those?” he asked and nodded towards my hand holding the scissors. I had no idea.

“Are you worried that I’ll stab you? Do you think I’d be capable of something like that? Is that why you’re afraid? Huh? Is that why? Are you afraid I’m going to turn into Lorena Bobbitt and cut your dick off?” I asked and stepped forward. I had no intention of hurting him. The thought hadn’t entered my mind. As angry and hurt as I was, I was too busy fighting my own battle in my head of blaming myself and then blaming him. Back and forth it went, rapidly and with no control.

“Please put the scissors down. You’re making me nervous,” he said.

I looked down at them. I nodded, turned around, and marched down the hall and into our bedroom. I closed the door behind me and locked it. I opened up his closet and looked at all his clothes hanging there. All the clothes I had purchased for him, washed and ironed, arranged by the type of clothing and color, and all on wooden hangers. No wire hangers! I had probably spent $10,000.00 on him for his clothes over the last few years.

How many had he worn for her? What was her favorite? Did she go through my drawers and touch my things? Did she use my shampoo and hair conditioner? What about my razor and favorite soap in the shower or did she draw a bath and pour my favorite bubble bath while he rubbed her back and washed her?

I felt my heart explode with anger and jealousy.

I grabbed the expensive suit I bought him last year for us to attend a formal wedding. The wedding was for a colleague at the insurance office I worked at. I had been surprised to receive the invitation but gladly accepted. I took Sam to buy a suit and of course, we had to go to Nordstrom’s. Nothing less would do. Sam didn’t like anything on sale and I wanted him to look good, so I plunked down a few thousand and bought the suit, shirt, tie, shoes, and socks. He had no need for any suits but had to have the best. I agreed and had to admit he looked so handsome in it, I didn’t want him to take it off.

I held the suit out in front of me and took the scissors and cut the jacket from the bottom up, all the way to the shoulders. It cut smoothly and easily. I did that to his slacks. I looked for the shirt that went with his suit and cut the arms off of it. I watched as the fabric fell to the floor of the closet.

I started to feel better, so I cut up each piece of clothing, one by one, and watched the pieces fall to the floor.

I heard Sam try the door and then knock on it. “Suz, you OK? What are you doing? Open the door. Let me in,” he said and kept tapping at the door. I walked over and opened it. I still had the scissors in my hand.

“I’m fine, just busy,” I said and turned around and walked back to the closet. I heard him follow me. I took his favorite Hawaiian shirt and cut the sleeves off of it and watched the fabric fall.

He walked over and looked at the pile of his ruined clothes on the floor of the closet. “What in the hell are you doing?” he asked and tried to grab the scissors from my hand. I stepped back and put them behind me.

“No, you can’t have these. Get away from me!” I shouted. I knew how this looked. I was acting crazy and wouldn’t have argued with anyone who said so, but I didn’t feel crazy. I felt clear headed and aware. I felt as if I was taking steps to claim my life back. Somehow destroying his clothes was a way to do that. I knew if I didn’t do something, we’d end-up in another horrible fight, one that I might actually stab him. It was the type of crazy that made sense, if only to me. It was better that I cut his clothes rather than him. This was perfect logic to me in my  state of mind.

The rest of the chapter continues on my Patreon site. I do hope you’ll join in. It’s $2.00 a month. An amazing deal!

My Name Is Chantelle