The Printed Fox: August 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Review: A Portrait of Our Marriage

Portrait of Our Marriage by Martha Emms

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I finished this book yesterday and had to let myself sit and think about it before writing this review, mainly because it stirred up so many emotions in me that I had to wait for them to settle before I could approach this.

My background is in psychology, and I found Brett's years-long descent into porn addiction to be accurate in how it changes behavior, sexual performance, and how it slowly encroaches and erodes the trust and emotional connection within a relationship. The metamorphosis from charming, open, loving husband to secretive, defensive addict was painful to read, but so true. His emotional manipulation of Nicky was another thing that was painful to read about but so prevalent in certain dysfunctional relationships.

The way he villainized her whenever she confronted him, and how he would compare his severe transgressions to her healthy behavior based on minimal similarity is so typical of this behavior. The reasonable party, who is only trying to find common ground, often falls into the trap of admitting to the addict's accusations, the way Nicky does time and again, and is a phenomenal example of how there is no reasoning with a dysfunctional addict or emotional manipulator. They don't operate with any logic or reason, and anyone who engages with them is set up for failure. Nicky learned this time and again, and her resolve to continue believing in her husband for the sake of their marriage and the years of foundation they built together made me ache.

I don't understand the reviews criticizing the ending. Sometimes a happy ending isn't them living happily ever after. Not when one of them is blind to their own addiction and actively demolishing the relationship. Even if Brett had gone to therapy, I think it would have been too little, too late. Nicky fought for her marriage for too long, tried to be forgiving, understanding, tried to only focus on the positives, and lived with shame. The moment she came to the decision that she did, she started living again. Truly living.

THAT is the best happily-ever-after!

*I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review

View all my reviews

Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

There's no rules!

Okay, I know it's cheesy,but I've got that Little Caesar's commercial stuck in my head about the guy who tries to throw off his shirt right in the store.

Yesterday I thought I was beginning my second-to-last class before graduation (sooooo close!) and was having a really hard time mentally bracing myself. I've been in no-holds-barred burnout for the last year. The full gamut: depression, apathy, even entertaining suicidal thoughts occasionally. I've just been so damn tired, and I passionately hate the school I'm attending.

But when I went to log in for class --since the campus is in AZ and I'm here in IN-- I saw that my next class in fact started on the 26th! So I have two weeks where I don't have to worry about school and dealing with stupid people. I can focus on things that I actually care about for the first time in way too long. My spare time --where I can do something for myself, or relax, or just sit down-- has been relegated to Sunday evenings after around 11pm or so, for the last three years.

I don't think I need to tell you how that has affected me both physically and emotionally.

So it's been amazing just to have that damn monkey off my back for two weeks. I'm getting important things accomplished that matter to me, and I don't feel like I'm just standing still getting eroded by stress and overwhelm.

It feels so good. I know it's fleeting, and by the time class starts again, two weeks will have felt like the blink of an eye. But right now, it just feels so damn good.

So expect to see a little more from me here, and comments on blogs as I'm out and about being useful and productive for the first time since enrolling.


Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Devil's Bitch blog tour!

Hello, my lovelies!

The blog tour for the release of DEVIL'S BITCH is in full swing, starting today over at Bunny's Review, so stop by and say hello!

If you're eager for a review, you can check out this amazing review Devil's Bitch has already received. 5 stars right out of the gate!


Available at:

Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Print) | ARe | Naughty Nights Press | Smashwords | Kobo

Also, Crystal over at Crystal's Many Reviews will be reviewing Devil's Bitch, as well, on August 16. So check back to see how she liked it!

For all of you participating in the blog tour, I'm giving away two copies of my first book, Of Hallowed Fiends and Darkest Fortune.

Enter the contest at each participating stop for a chance to win one (1) of two (2) eBook copies of "Of Hallowed Fiends and Darkest Fortune" from me. Contest is tour-wide, open internationally ends Aug 24. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For a list of all of the blogs on the tour, go to Coffee Beans and Love Scenes.

Good luck, and have fun!


Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Grab your torch and pitchforks! Psht.

The indies are up in arms.

 Recently there was a blog post over at this anonymous blog that I adore. The title was "Why Indie Authors Still Suck." Your computer screen will drip venom and vitriol by the time you get to the bottom.

The indies, understandably, are throwing a collective tantrum and the comments are exploding. However, they're exploding for all the wrong reasons. Judging from the comments, I think roughly 2% actually read the article and heard what was being said. The rest didn't get further than the title before having a hissy.

I had left a few comments trying to get people to just see what the blog post was saying, but the sheer avalanche of emotional immaturity, and author sensitivity, was overwhelming. So I gave up. Someone emailed me on my Facebook fan page to ask:

"Have a quick question. Was going through the blog post about 'Why Indie Authors Suck' and just wanted to say that your replies and posts have come off pretty hateful. I don't think that you meant for them to sound that way (or maybe you did) but I just wanted to know WHY you are backing the boat of all Indie authors sucking."

First of all, I deeply appreciate someone actually asking instead of making assumptions. So thank you, Facebook fan page follower --whom I won't name without their permission. It's refreshing. Thank you.  =)

I had started to reply, but my reply got so long that I didn't want this person to think I was overwhelming them with a huge rant, and I thought I'd just stick hit here instead.

I wasn't being hateful at all. At least not toward indie authors. Not toward anybody, in fact. I know I often come across that way, but I'm just blunt. Always have been. It's why you'll never see me at a speaking engagement. =)

What I do hate is emotional immaturity and people who shove words into someone else's mouth, and that's exactly what so many of these commentors are doing. Did they even READ the article? The claims made in the article, if you get past the raging aggravation, was that this author is an editor --both freelance and for a publishing house, which is mentioned on other posts-- and what comes across their desk is garbage. What these indie authors tell the General (him? her? no idea) is that they don't have to spend time on all the necessary things that make a quality book. They think self-editing, or a quick run through spell check, is justified as "enough." The General did say that there are some poorly edited traditionally published books out there, and there are some indie bestsellers. But think about it: those are the exceptions that everyone talks about. The other 99% is what the article deals with. And it's not that they're going out and buying all these indie books, but what they have to deal with as an editor. And I can imagine that a lot of what used to end up in the slush pile of a publisher's desk is now coming across the General's desk, hired as a freelancer to edit what is basically crap. THAT is what they're saying.

Most of the comments there didn't acknowledge any of that. They were so caught up in taking "indie authors suck" personally that they misconstrued everything in that article and then even made up other things and claimed the General said it! I can't stand that level of unreasonableness. Reading comprehension and analysis aren't that difficult.

Did they just find it impossible to put away their personal prejudices and ego? If someone is acting like a child, I will point it out. I enjoy conversations with reasonable grown-ups who can listen to a conflicting point of view and at the very least acknowledge its merit. This was a bunch of whiny children who stopped listening after the title, and then went on totally inaccurate rants or even made assumptions about the blog owner based on entirely nothing but their own prejudices. I find it amazing that fully grown adults can throw such amazing tantrums and be so hostile about something that wasn't even said. Who actually stopped to read the entire article without seeing what they wanted to see? A very few, and they had good points, but still made a heap of assumptions, or accused the blog owner of extremes that the blog owner never claimed.

Go back and read some of the comments, or the pingbacks. There are tons of assumptions made about the blog owner that are pulled entirely out of thin air. How do they know the blog owner is a man (or is that subconscious cultural sexism-slash-gender bias?), or that they're afraid of the indie industry, or is panicking, or is bad at their job simply because a personal blog isn't Chaucer quality? Where do they get this information, aside from their own imagination? And they feel justified in grabbing torches and pitchforks? Some commenters are even saying the exact same things the General is, but accusing them of having said the opposite, or ignoring that it was even mentioned at all. I find it amazing that so few people actually put aside their egos long enough to read the article and listen to what was actually being said.

The General has some very good points. Indie authors have to work really damn hard, harder than any other kind of writer. There are a lot of indie authors in my local RWA chapter, and they all say the same thing. I have a lot of respect for them. They also agree that skipping steps, feeling exempt from hard work, or ignoring quality in a book is not the way to be an indie author.

And please, go back and read the article a little more closely. Nowhere does the article say ALL indie authors suck. Only a good portion, represented by every bad manuscript to slide across the General's desk. And then the General lists why most do: and it comes down to the ones who feel they are the exceptions to the "work hard" rule. Recently, I had an indie author call me a fucktard on her fan page because of my review, despite how much I offered to help her because I respected her passion for writing. This is the kind of writer the General's talking about, and they represent the indie market every bit as much as Bella Andre and Aleatha Romig do. They outnumber the bestsellers because it's just the rule of percentages. That's something that I think indie authors just don't want to face.

Think of it like the auditions at the beginning of American Idol. How many awful performers come, believing they are star quality? Self-publishing means there is no panel of judges to find the ones who really can sing. It also means that there were literally tens of thousands of awful wannabes for the hundred or so truly talented ones. It's simple numbers. Yet somehow we're supposed to treat all the lazy wannabes as equally valid?

I don't back the boat of all indie authors sucking. C'mon, you've seen the few books I rave about here, and they are ALL indie! Logically, I can't do that and back the boat of all indie authors sucking, now can I? I couldn't even push my OWN books, if that were the case.

I back the boat of morons sucking. I back the boat of lazy, no-quality wannabes sucking. I believe they bring down the quality that we all work hard to bring to the industry. If you were in a car accident, would you want a trained surgeon working on you, or someone who just wanted it so badly that they put on the scrubs and ask you to believe in them? We are professionals and craftspeople. Why should I support the wannabes who think it's okay to skip out on quality and refuse to listen to why hard work is so important? Can you think of any good reason why I should?

I know this is long, and I'm sorry. But I really do feel strongly about this. While I'm "traditionally published," my publisher is considered an indie publishing house. So I have all of the limitations of a trad publisher while also having all of the responsibilities of an indie author. I know how hard I have to work, and I can sympathize with why so many indies don't like trad publishing. I'm in both worlds. It's hard. But that doesn't mean I blindly support indie, no matter the quality. The kinds of indie authors the General is talking about are the ones who make it that much harder to earn real respect.

Indie has sheer numbers, true. But think about that logically for a second. For every indie success story, how many bad-quality indie books are there? Even if you were generous and applied the 80/20 rule, that's still a ton of bad indie books out there. Again, think of it like the opening audition of American Idol. It's like all those awful singers you laugh or jeer at going to make their own records, calling themselves professional, and expecting to get top billing alongside Tori Amos and Andrea Bocelli.

Look at what happened at the RWA conference last month: the workshops on self-publishing were put in small rooms and ended up being packed to the gills and spilling out into hallways. Do you really think ALL of them are as dedicated to quality or unafraid of hard work, or are there going to be quite a few who think indie is the fast track to publishing? (Hopefully, since they all paid quite a sum for their entry fees, they take it seriously, but think about this: for every writer at that conference, how many do they represent in the wide world?)

Seriously, just stop and think about it for a second. Is it okay that some wannabe moron is churning out crap and running around calling themselves equal to what you look up to while you, or I, or any other indie that actually *does* put out quality is working their ass off every day? Is a dream really enough? All the really successful people in the world, did they get where they are on nothing more than dreaming, or did they kick their own ass to get there? I know what I want representing me as an author, and a lazy wannabe isn't it.

Please, just stop and think about that for a second: some lazy wannabe saying they're as good as your blood, sweat, and tears.


Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

It's time for another "Good Idea, Bad Idea"

How to Shoot Yourself in the Foot:

What do you do when someone leaves you a bad review on Amazon, or Goodreads, or any other number of product review book websites out there?

Do you:
A.) Ignore all reviews
B.) Cry, throw things, scream into a pillow, and then eat a tub of ice cream while wallowing for a day or so in self-doubt
C.) Take a deep breath and learn from it, since you know bad reviews are part of the business
D.) Call people who took the time to leave an honest review names like "fucktard"

I'm going to assume that most of you answered a combination of B and C. When I first started down the publishing journey, I had always thought I would do A. Reading a lot of authors' blogs and newsletters, I knew reviews were those bad train wrecks of the published world; they're generally awful to look at, are tragic, and the watching of such serves no purpose.

But I also had this macabre fascination. So I read my reviews. I have two that greatly upset me not because they're bad reviews, per say, but because there is no logic behind them that I can see. But did I go on my public Facebook fan page and call them fucktards? Hell no. Did I vent my frustration privately to my friends? You bet I did. They just made no sense to me!!!

Well you know what, me? Tough shit!


The thing is, they made sense to the people who wrote the reviews, and since it's their review, not mine, I have absolutely no say in what someone writes about my books. All I have is my writing ability standing there all alone with nothing but its own merit keeping it company. I've been writing for my entire life; I've been writing seriously since at least 1998. I've only been published with NNP since April of last year.

However, in that time I have put out two books, as well as had shorts in the exclusive Campus Sexploits anthologies as well as a Duo with the lovely Rachel Carling. And let me tell you, my editor is absolutely grueling, but I adore her. I love having someone that I can talk to late at night about the virtues of a clarifying comma in front of a non-independent clause because of a vague qualifier.

But that's the geek side of my Grammar Queen self coming out.


So I stumbled across this author on Amazon and the story blurb sounded kinda interesting. I was in-between books so I thought sure, I'll give it a shot.

It was awful.

Little to no character development. Verb tenses were inconsistent, and not just occasionally, but enough that it actually started to get offensive. There was no research on the smallest of details. It read like fanfic, like the author had a fantasy and was writing about herself, just ten years younger and with a different name.

But her passion for writing was really very clear in the book. At least, in what I read of it. In no way did I read the entire thing. It was just awful. I left an honest review in which I rated it 1 star, but I also offered to help her, to give her a list of resources I had found invaluable, and also offered to introduce her to editors I know. I could respect the passion, so I went to follow her Facebook fan page.

She said "fuck you" to the people who left bad reviews, and called them fucktards.

Really? I mean, really?

You're going to publish your book, and then go publicly throw a tantrum and call people vulgar names simply because they didn't kiss your ass? These were honest reviews. This is not how you behave in public. Crappy author or not, you're calling yourself an author and alienating your readers by calling them horrible names is not how to behave when your reputation is on the line.

Because as an author, your reputation is all you have.

The internet is forever, so be damn careful how you
treat the people who make royalties possible.
This is not rocket science.

But what really upset me, on a professional level, was how obvious it was that somewhere in this author's mind there was an utter refusal to hire an editor. That's kind of like in triage, with your femoral artery spurting everywhere, you refuse to hire a surgeon.

Why are you self-publishing if you don't have the ability to do everything for your book that a traditional publisher would? That's why you're self-publishing, right? Because --for whatever reason-- you've foregone the traditional route and have elected instead to be your own publisher, right? Well, that means having an editor on hand.

And if you can't afford an editor, you shouldn't be publishing. Seriously. It's like the great Elle Woods said:

Why let someone else do for you what you can do for
yourself? Except in the case of eyebrow maintenance.

I might add "editing" to Elle's very short list of "eyebrow maintenance" on things you should let someone else do for you.

Yes, I love Legally Blonde. Don't judge me.

After a while, you've looked at your manuscript for so long, read the same passages so many times, that you begin to see what you expect to see and not what's really there. You edit at 2am when your eyeballs are popping out of their sockets and the backs of your eyelids are covered in steel wool. You type "there" instead of "their," and you have two versions of one sentence in your head and don't realize that you've mashed them together so now your verb tenses are screwed up and you've inadvertently conceived a new word. Except it's a horrible word and should never be allowed to come to term.




If you have any respect for the written word, for books, for published authors, hire an editor.

If you want to skip the traditional publishing route and opt to self-publish, hire an editor. Self-publishing does not somehow lift you above the quality necessary to call yourself published. If anything, you have a higher bar to meet because of the unwashed masses self-pubbing simply because they suck so hard no publisher will touch them, and they don't want to pay their dues and learn how to write before becoming published. You want the instant gratification. You want everyone to kiss your ass because they wrote a book. You're rubbing elbows with them, and there is nothing to set you apart from the worst that can be dredged from the Riverbed of Wannabes except the quality of your writing.

Without an editor, you are every bit like the worst quality of wannabe hitting "publish" on KDP.

Lowest. Common. Denominator. I don't care what your excuses are. If you cut corners and crap out a shitty book that you then publish and expect to be called great, this is you.

If you attack your readers who actually went out of their way to donate time and write a review, this is you.

Be mature, suck it up, find the lesson in the feedback, and move on. In other words, be a real author instead of pretending to be one.

Stop fricking' giving us a bad name.

An editor is there to watch your ass so you don't make the kinds of writing mistakes that scream amateur like someone wrote it across your forehead when you passed out drunk at that massive frat party that you knew was a bad idea but went anyway.

Learn from Jacqueline Howett about why the internet is forever, and why bad grammar and a bad attitude make you look like a toddler who needs a nap, and out you for the hobbyist and delusional impostor you are. (You can read the disaster at ground zero here, and even though Ms. Howett has removed all of her replies, you can still tell a lot of what she said from the replies in the comments as well as a few quotes in the articles.)

Or learn from Kendall Grey. Because some of us take screen shots and let our fellow authors and readers know what you are.

And just in case you missed it before, I take screen shots, too. Because my fellow authors and readers deserve to know you call people "fucktard" and tell them "fuck you too" for leaving an honest review in which I even offered you help, resources, and access to my connections (meager as they are at the beginning of my career).

The interwebz. It's not just for porn anymore.

And if you're taking any of this personally and getting
upset, now might be a good time to ask yourself why.


Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

On body image

I usually refrain from mentioning anything remotely personal on this blog. Not because I'm secretive or some other vain reason, but because I had sincerely wanted to focus on writing: everything about it, all aspects of creating a written piece of fiction --from the fundamentals to the flourishes.

I love everything about writing. I could write a book about every letter in the alphabet, kind of like there are books about the history of the number zero. Personally, I think that's pretty fascinating, and I find the tools and technicalities of writing utterly absorbing. However, even when trying to push my blog and get readers, it turns out that no one gives a rat's ass about writing, really. That's what the analytics say when I check my blog traffic report, anyway.

'Kay, fine. I'm a grammar geek. I get it.

So I'll talk about something else a little closer to my heart. Something that still has to do with my writing, and my books: body image.

You see, as I sit here at my desk typing this, I am 230 pounds of self-hate. I don't know if I've always been heavy, but I do know I've always been made to feel fat. I remember being three years-old and having my mother pinch me and tell me not to wear something and to go change because I looked fat and ridiculous. Growing up, she would point out every little imperfection and make me cover it up somehow, so I got really good really fast at spotting them and hiding them before mommy dearest could come after me.

I think it was around the time I heard her whispering with my older sister (my svelt, beautiful, perfect older sister) behind my back about how atrocious and fat I was that it cemented in my soul that I wasn't quite human, that at a molecular level I fell short of what it was to be worth something, and that I would always be a fat affront to Existence. I was twelve.

Now you see why I love the written word so much. Books are, and have always been, my ultimate escape from my hostile and judgmental world.

Though my mother and I aren't on speaking terms any longer, I still have a psychological incarnation of her in my head. And in a twisted version of Stockholm Syndrome, my own inner voice has come to identify with her until it merged into this hybrid Me-Her, and you wouldn't believe how vicious I am to myself.

Or maybe you can.

I write in the romance genre. If you ask me, I write action/adventure or fantasy with strong romantic elements, which would disqualify my membership in the RWA (and certainly would exclude me as a candidate for the RITA Award), but hey. Most of my reader demographic is going to be married women, ages 35-54. And I honestly don't know a single woman who doesn't have body issues, or some insecurity about their looks.

If you do, you don't know how wonderful and rare you are. But I personally know none.

All of my heroines have some body issues somewhere. In Devil's Bitch, which was just released, by the way, Norelia is very insecure and self-conscious, though it only rears its ugly head in court, and around her classically beautiful and willowy cousin. Norelia will slouch, tuck her chin slightly, stand apart from her cousin so the comparison isn't so stark. Yet she has a beautiful body and is built like an Amazon. She's a warrior, with a warrior's body.

In Of Hallowed Fiends and Darkest Fortune, and its soon-to-be sequel Duchess of War, Anya feels she is plain and as un-special as a girl can get. In her own twisted dynamic with a harsh and judgmental mother, Anya internalizes the hostility as a sense of mediocrity. She believes she will never be beautiful or desirable, nor intelligent enough to tackle the duties that a noblewoman of her Province would be expected to perform. So she gallivants the countryside with the commoners because, in her mind, she will always be common.

In My First Fantasy, it's a little more subtle mainly because it's a short story. The main character has such a fragile and uncertain sense of self that events take place which make her wonder, "Is this what I like? Is this the kind of person I am? Is this all I truly am?" And she comes to believe it in the end. It's a wonderful story about the power and freedom in utter surrender, but also the tragedy inherent in it if there is no strong fundamental self to bear its weight.

For the last month, I've been working on changing my diet, exercising, and facing my health issues head-on. I haven't lost a single pound since my last weigh-in back in January, but I'm two sizes smaller, in marginally less pain, and as long as I am very strict about avoiding problem foods (processed carbohydrates, gluten, nitrates, sulfates, etc.) and making my green drink every morning, life is a little bit easier.

And...being a little forgiving of myself. Because, y'know, sushi. Fuck yeah.

Because of the way my mother's voice, coupled with my own emotional issues (growing up in domestic violence can make a kid kinda fragile), my own self-hate goes so deep it pops out the other side. It's bone-deep. Nothing can shake it, really. After thirty-one years of it --it started when I was three-- it's just part of my psychological makeup.

And I'm okay with that. I'm comfortable with it. I embrace it.

I hate hating myself, but I know that no amount of a changed outlook, or any other behavior modification therapy techniques or approaches will change it. And I will go on throwing the self-hate at myself as long as I am fat. Not that I hate fat people. No way. I love them. Back in Portland, I helped start up a group celebrating people of size, and the people who love them. And I'm a bit of a chubby chaser. But I have a double-standard with myself, and again, I am okay with that. I know it for what it is.

Can anyone else relate?

Of course, that doesn't mean that I am happy to simply remain fat and filled with self-loathing. It simply means that I know where I stand with myself and what I have to work with. Who was it that said something like, "You have to accept what is before you can change what is,"? Or something.

So I'm starting the change. And I don't want to hear anything about how my inability to love myself while fat is just me being brainwashed by socio-normative ideals of female beauty. Been there, done that, and it does not apply. I was taught I was fat and worthless from my own mother way before I ever encountered society's message. If anything, Vogue and Jessica Rabbit only proved what I already knew about myself.

If I can't love myself unless I fit my own definition of physical beauty, then damn it all, I will do what I can to fit it. And this time, I won't listen to the voice that says, "You will always be fat. You will never be thin," while flashbacking to that time in the kitchen when my dad was pinching my fat and telling me, "You will always be big. Your whole family is big. Be careful what you eat because everything will just make you fat."

That moment was the birth of my twenty year-long eating disorder, by the way. I was fourteen.

My relationship with food is, to say the least, dysfunctional. Eating every day is psychological warfare, trust me. Eating healthily leaves me prone to my food addiction, and I have nobody around me to help, or to turn to when my heart just hurts so badly I don't think I can go another minute trying to get better. And that's something I've never admitted to anyone, even myself. Trying to eat healthy, I've never felt so abandoned.

Honestly, without my comfort foods triggering their little dopamine trick in my brain, all of the fears, insecurities, doubts, and pain begin to awaken from the food-induced anesthetic, and I am outnumbered. I've kept them at bay with spaghetti, Taco Bell, and Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies for so long, y'know?

It's like being naked and alone with the monsters under the bed. At least before, I could feed my inner demons all them comfort foods and they'd be happy and go away for a while.

Why am I telling you all this? Because some of the best advice for a writer is to write what you know. And this is one thing I know. I know the fight against negative body image. I know how destructive it is, and how far back into early development it can go, and how many tentacles it can grow and embed themselves into other aspects of your life until it seems you can't even walk out your front door without a hundred of them slapping you upside the head. I know that no matter how you might hold your head high and say, "This is who I am, deal with it!" there are still days when you stand in front of the mirror, staring at your own personal imperfection and not quite loving yourself.

Because that's me, too.


Side note: We have a lot of fun discussions on my Facebook fan page. I also sometimes use it to crowdsource future posts. So if you want to keep in the loop, or even be mentioned on TPF, make sure to give my Facebook fan page a like and follow my updates!