I Need Some Help

I had an idea for a 365-page journal. Maybe 366. On each page, it would have the date, a quote relating to abuse or healing, and perhaps also a line drawing of a flower or leaf or something else simple and from nature. I would call it “Book of Days.”

It sounded so easy! And then I started working on it and it wasn’t so easy after all.

Poking around finding quotes is fun. But when I find a fantastic one, it makes all the others look sort of dull. Now I am thinking I ought to get about 1000 and choose the best ones. My work has just tripled!

And then how do I get it published?  It would be useless as an e-book, because nobody could write in it. I doubt if anybody would want to download and print a 366-page PDF. Even if they did, the pages would float around and get lost because the book wouldn’t be bound.

These days there is such a thing as “print on demand.” You send a company a digital file of your book and they keep it on file and print the number of books you order from them. I priced a few and they turned out to be about what I wished the retail price to be. In this day and age, 366 pages is one beeeeeg book.

Some of these companies leave the marketing to you, others do the marketing (except for book signings, of course.) That brings the price way up. But I do not think it would be a good use of my time to do the marketing, which would be a half-time job, at the very least, in the beginning. Especially since I have never done it before and would probably make a large number of beginners’ mistakes.

So I’m asking for help on three fronts.

One is with the quotes. Got any inspiring lines that you are willing to share? Here are a few of my favorites so far —

It is never the child’s fault. – Anon

In all the years still to come, may your body walk as fast as the love and passion that moves you. – Catalina

I learned that it is the weak who are cruel and that gentleness is to be expected only from the strong. – Leo Calvin Rosten

Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speak whispers the o’er-fraught heart, and bids it break. – Shakespeare, Macbeth

The tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds. – Mexican proverb

Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible. – Saint Francis of Assisi

Everyone who terrifies you is sixty-five percent water. And everyone you love is made of stardust, and I know sometimes you cannot even breathe deeply, and the night sky is no home, and you have cried yourself to sleep enough times that you are down to your last two percent; but nothing is infinite, not even loss. You are made of the sea and the stars, and one day you are going to find yourself again. – Finn Butler

When in worry
When in doubt
Run in circles
Scream and shout.
“EEK! EEK! EEK!”
– contemporary Wiccan spell

Two is with the illustrations. Can you draw maple leaves? Daisies? Weeds?

Three is with printing advice. Have you published a book? What good choices did you make? Did you make mistakes I could learn from?

I’m open to all feedback. Even if you think this is a really dumb idea — I need to hear it.

Out from the Cult

born into a neon winter
garish and harsh
colors so bright they flamed
no closing my eyes
nothing to suck
only burning neon flames

grown in a cold cold winter
grey and silent
no color
no comfort
only me, alone

then oh!
on the horizon
sunflowers, rivers, green hills, sun and sand, soaring gulls, deer, rabbits, suburbs and suburbs of warm homes, laughter, dancing, song, beds and food and drink
a plentitude, a plentitude

It was a long road, but I got here

If I Could Paint with Blood

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I was looking back over old posts, and found that the painting didn’t come through in this one. Which greatly detracts from the text! So I am going to try again and hope for better results. I made a few minor edits while I was at it.

 

After I remembered the sexual abuse, but before I remembered ritual abuse, I worked a lot with self-hypnosis. It told me nothing new about my past but it helped me deal with the feelings that had been buried so long. That was okay; I wasn’t looking for more information. I was trying to absorb what I already had learned, which was far more than I ever wanted to know.

An early phrase that came up was “If I could write with blood…” which meant, or I thought it meant, was that the intensity of writing in blood would drive home the meaning of what I wanted to communicate. Like taking somebody by the shoulders, shaking them, and yelling, “Listen to me!!!” At the time, I had no idea what I wanted to say, I just knew I wanted a really powerful way of expressing myself.

A few days later I took out pencil and watercolors and started sketching my hand. It was as if the painting painted itself — it was like one of those coloring books from my childhood where you went over the page with a wet brush and a picture magically appeared. (Wonder if that kind of coloring book is still available?) My mind was blank as I did this.

I have never cut my wrists, and so there are no scars. But I was painting a scar — saying that my pain was so great that I wanted to, or could have, or might just as well have tried to kill myself. And the red? Is it blood, or flames, or both? I didn’t know then and I don’t know now. But it surely signifies injury and pain and it surely is intense.

Painting on my wrist is telling, if not in words, and the real scars that many of us carry are an intense, compelling way of telling. It is so sad that people cannot understand what we are saying when we hurt ourselves or even that we are trying to communicate something deep and awful. At times we ourselves cannot understand that we are trying to talk about what happened to us.

We have to find a way to translate our actions into words, and then we can make sense of why we hurt ourselves and forgive ourselves for trying to speak in the only way we had at the time.