TOUGH JOURNAL ENTRY THURSDAY 9/1/16

FullSizeRender (14)Today I did something I haven’t done since writing my debut novel, Even Tough Women Crack Like Eggs Sometimes. I listened to the needs of DIANE. I not only listened to what Diane wanted. I actually followed through by RESPECTING those needs. There has been so much dust kicking up as I excavate the wreckage of my past in the pages of this manuscript. In fact, a few TOUGH women have mentioned for me to take it easy because of what I have written – and because of what is coming up.

As I reach “The End” of TOUGH, so many emotions I tamped down have decided to take a stand and say NO MORE – FEEL THEM! Really FEEL them and not in the way I perfected growing up on Long Island surrounded by the vultures who share my DNA. Not in the way DIANE MORASCO has perfected a Swiss cheese version of feeling them either. But in a way that the little girl born at Jacobi Hospital on Pelham Pkwy in the Bronx with the curly hair, dimples and caramel skin needed. The precious little girl who arrived in this world a result of rape, the innocent angel God not only saved, but beautifully designed, despite the heinous machinations of her maternal parent’s DNA.

I was waffling about attending a morning appointment or staying in to nurture myself. Which was/is foreign territory. The perfectionist I am was going to keep the appointment despite what I needed. I figured I could just do what I always do and place my needs to the side and “do the right thing” as usual; until I realized I would be contributing to the abuse I endured by not listening to what I was feeling. I debated for over thirty minutes. I finally said to myself, “Diane, if you aren’t going to protect little Diane who the heck is?” I told myself I would make a decision when the snooze alarms on my iPad and Galaxy S7 went off. They went off within seconds. Imagine that? There are NO coincidences. None. Nada. I called to cancel and still debated with myself as I was connected to the woman’s voicemail. I was telling myself it would only be a few hours…blah…blah…blah. I left the message. After I disconnected from the line, I cried. I cried because I have been conditioned to keep on going despite honoring my needs. I have been conditioned to “act as if” no matter what it cost. And, I have been conditioned to “never let anyone see your weakness” – NOT EVER! Who conditioned me to behave in such a manner? I did. It was a way for little Diane to protect herself from the chaos of her environment. It was what got us through. It served its purpose then. It no longer serves us in any way that is healthy, loving or nurturing.

Today, for the first time I listened to our needs. I cried myself to sleep. I released so many emotions without fear of scrutiny. When I woke up to absorb it all, I ended up succumbing to more tears. However, these were now tears of grief for that innocent little girl who was tortured by frightened adults who had no damn business raising any children – NONE – when they had yet to address their own messed up stuff.

What was it that caused these buried feelings to erupt today? Writing the Even Tough Women Crack Like Eggs Sometimes Excerpt: Our DNA, the last few chapters of TOUGH, addressing my childhood without a filtered lens, dealing with my abuse, shinning a spotlight on my body image issues that stemmed from my sexual abuse, reading June Stevens Westerfield’s powerful book, This is My Body, writing The Vicious Cycle of Eating Disorders and Body-Shaming, Part 2 and Even Tough Women Crack Like Eggs Sometimes Excerpt: When Words Slaughter a Soul! last night; and knowing the final chapters of TOUGH will bring me to my knees – so I can rise from the ashes and grow into the woman I was sculpted to be.

I want to express my gratitude to the TOUGH women who have inspired me along the way,  Doreena, Louisa Winters, Parris Afton Bonds,  Tanya R. Taylor, Diana Layne, Cinda, Sibel Hodge, June Stevens Westerfield, and all of the courageous women who shared their experience, strength and hope within the pages of This is My Body.

With all my heart, I want to thank Frederick Joseph Paris, my Prince, for standing by me when I disclosed the incest. And, my hero for setting all of this is in motion.

Welcome to September, cookie cakes…soon to be pumpkin cookie cakes!

P.S. Here is the link to The Vicious Cycle of Eating Disorders and Body-Shaming, Part 1 in case ya missed it.

ADMSIG

Happy Weekend Cookie Cakes!

20160806_171808 (2)Happy Weekend Cookie Cakes!

I hope you are enjoying your weekend. For those feeling the heat, please take extra care of you and your loved ones. Please don’t forget about your pets! :]

There are lots of exciting things going on here at J Fox Ink™! My debut novel has a new name – Even Tough Women Crack Like Eggs Sometimes. I originally chose the previous title as a filler, so I can get it underway. And it is definitely underway, so much so, I have added two additional chapters. The earth angels that I have been blessed with decided to grab my hand before I fell off the edge. These beautiful spirits gently and lovingly shared their views on the tentative title going viral. I knew it was going to change just before it was released, but these brilliant women decided to give me a lil’ ‘ole nudge to do it now. I am not going to deny my little girl was like, “Really? Now?” And my big girl said, “Really? Now?” However, no matter how much I wanted to procrastinate a little further, I knew in my heart it was time. The last chapter I just completed really puts it out there. It kicked my ass even more than the previous chapters.

When the feedback starting coming in, I wanted to run and hide. Funny thing is, you can’t unring a bell. If I went to hide, it would be fruitless – the words were out there. The phenomenal storyteller, Tanya R, Taylor said my “heart really speaks in that chapter. Really speaks.” Yep, beneath the ice there is a heart. And award winning novelist, Diane Layne, said it is “heartbreaking.” This chapter took me through the paces. It felt like Serena Williams worked my bubbalicious, chubbalicious, curvalicious rump out! : )

Anyway, I am writing, writing and writing. Did I mention I was writing? Hahaha! When I am not writing, I am behind the scenes handling the business end of things. I have to say, this is the hardest thing I have ever written. EVER. I am digging deep, shining a megawatt spotlight on the darkness, clearing the wreckage, and dealing with secrets and skeletons. I am excavating, peeling the layers and revealing the woman I am today. And, that woman is emerging beautifully. In the last ten weeks, I am down 50 lbs. I have to thank my fitness angel for being such a powerful source of encouragement. Thank you, Avo! ;]

I want to thank some incredibly tough women who have been on this journey with me from the beginning – Tanya R. Taylor, Parris Afton Bonds, Traci Andrighetti, Gina LaManna, and Diana Layne. My heart is overwhelmed with gratitude for your acceptance, friendship, guidance, input, love, strength, and understanding. I am truly blessed.

Thank you to all of the wonderful writers for the congratulations and for being so unbelievably gracious in spreading the word about my upcoming release – Tanya R. Taylor, Parris Afton Bonds, Diana Layne, Sibel Hodge, Gemma Halliday, Beth Prentice, Barbara Valentin, Sally J. Smith, Gayle Trent, Dane McCaslin, Terrie Farley Moran, Lynda Renham-Cook, Summer Prescott, and Sylvia Selfman. You women are amazing!

And now, let’s dish on my upcoming 2017 OLD SEA HARBOR SERIES. I teamed up with an imaginative designer who understands exactly what I want for this series. I want readers to look at the covers and say, “Morasco, yes! This image tells the story nestled inside your gripping pages!” My designer is a radiant gem! The covers for THE OLD SEA HARBOR NOVELS™ are exclusively created by TRT STUDIOS™. This past week, the dazzling designer and I brainstormed on the cover for SPIRITS UNLEASHED. We ended up with not just the cover for the first novella, but the cover for the second novella, SPIRITS PROWLING. How cool is that? Way cool!

I want to thank TRT STUDIOS™ for ingeniously capturing the essence of my upcoming Old Sea Harbor Series. Thank you so much!

“TRT STUDIOS™ has magnificently brought my vision for my upcoming 2017 OLD SEA HARBOR SERIES to life. What started out as an adult series for J Fox Ink™ has turned into something beyond my wildest imaginings. THE OLD SEA HARBOR NOVELS™ will feature a Young Adult spinoff with REMAINS TO BE SEEN as the first release under the Lil’ Jake™ imprint. As well as, a trilogy of novellas containing the history surrounding Old Sea Harbor, New York.

SPIRITS UNLEASHED will be the first novella staring the evocative Vivianna Grace Diamant Spencer.”  Grab your copy December 30th 2016.

Whew! I have been a creative bumblebee.

Ok, that’s it for now! The kids want you to see what they do while mommy toils away. Hmmm…Hahaha!

As always, thank you for being here, and thank you for reading!!! Happy August!

ADMSM

Thank you!

thankyourbAs a writer I am used to having many distractions as I capture my thoughts on the screen or in a journal. I only needed silence while proofreading my work; however, all that has changed with the manuscript that is currently in production. My entire writing world has undergone a transition as I tap, tap, tap away on the keys. I don’t have anything playing in the background. For the first time ever, I am writing in silence. I don’t have any distractions to take me out of flow. As I mentioned, my writing universe has shifted; in fact, all my projects have come to a complete standstill. I may resume them once the manuscript is completed and is preparing to go live; however, putting them on the production schedule for 2017 is probably best. This unexpected manuscript has taken its rightful place front and center in my life – exactly where it was destined to be.

Screenshot (1)

I have been off the grid to devote every ounce of my time to soaking up this profound experience. I have been digging deeper than I ever imagined as the words pour out. Of course, while in the midst of what is flowing out of me, stuff is swirling and dust is kicking up. It is during this reflective excavation, I want to say, “Diane, what the hell are you doing?” And then I surrender. I let the tears cascade, take a breath, hug my three blessings, and keep moving forward. I know with every letter that appears on the screen, whether I like it or not, I am letting the sunlight heal the dark places.

Now, with all that said, the manuscript I am nestled firmly in the heart of will be the inaugural release from J Fox Ink™ and my debut novel. I did not plan it to be this way but this is the path I was fated to travel. I want to take a moment to thank some incredible angels for nurturing me on this journey. I know in my spirit; I would not have found the courage to propel further with this project if it weren’t for – Gin, Hope, Zeus, Tanya R. Taylor, Traci Andrighetti, Parris Afton Bonds, Diana Layne, Sean Platt, Johnny B. Truant, and David W. Wright. I thank you with all my heart for everything.

8/6/16 UPDATE: MY NOVEL DEBUT ‘TOUGH’ HAS A NEW TITLE TO FIT THE WOMAN I AM – ‘EVEN TOUGH WOMEN CRACK LIKE EGGS SOMETIMES’. THANK YOU TO THE INCREDIBLE WOMEN WHO ALWAYS INSPIRE AND SOFTEN THE TOUGH ME – TANYA R. TAYLOR AND PARRIS AFTON BONDS. XOXOXO

ADMSM
 

Writers on Writing: Interview with Parris Afton Bonds – Co-founder and First Vice President of Romance Writers of America

Parris-230x300Parris Afton Bonds is the mother of five sons and the author of forty published novels. She is the co-founder and first vice president of Romance Writers of America as well as the cofounder of Southwest Writers Workshop, all of which jolted her closer to being committed to Bedlam, which she has managed to avoid so far by a pretense at sanity.

Declared by ABC’s Nightline as one of the three-best-selling authors of romantic fiction, the award winning Parris Afton Bonds has been interviewed by such luminaries as Charlie Rose and featured in leading newspapers and magazines as well as published in more than a dozen languages. A New York Times best seller, she provides her time to teaching creative writing to both grade school children and female inmates both of which are captive audiences.

The Parris Award was established in her name by the Southwest Writers Workshop to honor a published writer who has given exceptionally of time and talent to other writers. Prestigious recipients of the Parris Award include Tony Hillerman and the Pulitzer nominee Norman Zollinger.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned about writing?

The most important thing I have learned is that I must permit myself to write wrong; that I must not sweat and angst over this first draft.  By doing this, worry-free, I both increase my daily output and enhance it.

How has this helped you as a writer?

You know, Diane, this method of writing, permitting myself to make mistakes, has been most invaluable not just as a writer but as a human being.  Life flows much more effortlessly.  Not saying that I still don’t angst a little.

PAB Stardust

Mac or PC?

I use a PC.  I know, I know ~ Macs are supposed to be so much better, but I typed my first book when I was five-years-old on a Royal manual typewriter, so when it comes to making changes in the name of progress, I wail and stomp about and take years to come around to succumbing to change.

Do you use Word or Scrivener?

Word–for the same reason as the “Mac or PC” question.

Do you write or take notes with an iPad or tablet?

Neither.  Aren’t I a pathetic professional?

Do you have any writing rituals?

Yes, I spend the first hour or so each morning tending to the business/marketing/promotional side of writing ~ answering emails, etc.; then the switch to the creative side of writing flows more smoothly.

Do you start by writing or researching first?

I used to research first, because it required checking out many books from the library, and I would try to accomplish this in as few trips as possible.  Now, I just write first, then if I need to check a fact, I switch my screen to the Internet and voila in a matter of seconds or minutes, I find out what I need to know.

 PAB dust-devil-final

Favorite spot to write in the winter?

In a cubbyhole with no view.

Favorite spot to write in the summer?

Same as the above question.

 

Diane, thank you for giving me the opportunity to connect with your legion of readers!

Thank you so much, Parris, for your kind words. Most of all, thank you for giving me many, many full-circle moments. I remember curling up on my bed reading your books as a teen while escaping from an extremely chaotic and excruciating childhood. Reading is one of my most treasured childhood memories. I am grateful to you and all the phenomenal writers who have guided me through and continue to navigate me today with such magnificent stories. It is a gift I cherish.

 

Visit Parris’s website for all the latest news.

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco

Review first appeared in Blogcritics.

It’s friggin’ tough to be a writer!

I am a wriiter quote Diane Morasco
“It’s friggin’ tough to be a writer. Yeah, you are born with an intrinsic gift but you learn to be a superlative writer. I’m talking about those scribes who take you on a roller coaster adventure with their intoxicating prose, riotous laughter, the ladies and gents who give you orgasmic pleasure with every sentence you take in, the suspense aficionados that take your breath away and leave you writhing for more. Ellery Adams aka Jennifer Stanley, Allison Brennan, Parris Afton Bonds, Ellen Byerrum, Harlan Coben, Mary Higgins Clark, Mary Jane Clark, Phillip R. Craig, Saranna DeWylde, Vivi Dumas, Joya Fields, Sara Humphreys, Miranda James/Dean James, Adam Kunz, Liz/Lizbeth Lipperman, G.A. McKevett, Tim Myers, Lynda Renham, Lisa Scottoline, Erica Spindler, Wendy Corsi Staub and Gayle Trent/Amanda Lee, Laura Bradford/Elizabeth Lynn Casey are such phenomenal storytellers. They bust their biscuits and nuggets to tell compelling tales that seem effortlessly plotted and they do it because they love what they do…or they are just bananas. They set the bar every single time. I am in awe of their gifts. They are absolutely extraordinary scribes. When folks think their writing profession is not working out, it’s not working out because it’s so friggin’ strenuous and these writers prove it can be done .” —Diane Morasco

Renowned Scribe Parris Afton Bonds Talks Writer’s Block

At the Top of Huayna PicchuDiane Morasco: Let’s talk about writer’s block. How do you deal with it? What are your tips and tricks?

Parris Afton Bonds: This is a two-parter. 1.)  I write, poop or not. If I have no clue to where I am going with a story, I might write, “The grass is green.” Then I must ask myself, “Well, Parris, why is the grass green? A writer has to get SOMETHING on the page/screen in order to ‘grow’ a story.

2.) I research; perhaps that’s why I love writing historicals, sagas, and historical romances. Facts fire off my brain’s neural light switch ~ all sorts of why/what-if questions now MUST be addressed.

PAB Blue Bayou book 1

Visit Parris’ website.

Copyright © 2014 by Diane Morasco. All Rights Reserved.