Content Warning: Domestic abuse.


Abusers love to victim blame. It’s always there, if you look for it.

“You pushed me into it.”

“It’s YOUR fault I hurt you.”

“You MADE me lose my temper.”

Sometimes the littlest thing can trigger me. I got triggered tonight, and it brought so many things back to me.

Things I really don’t want to think about.

But they’re still there, still part of me.

I’m constantly saying ‘Sorry doesn’t fix it.”

It doesn’t. You can say you’re sorry as much as you want, and sure, it’s nice to hear, but… it never fixes it. That’s harmless enough if you left the toothpaste cap off, but when it comes to harm? Hurting someone else physically or emotionally?

Yeah… nope.

Once abuse, especially repetitive abuse has happened to someone… well, I guess we can heal, but that damage is and will always be a scar we carry.

The Japanese have a tradition that I’ve always loved, that of ‘healing’ pottery with gold, silver or platinum.

It’s called Kintsugi, and I’ve always adored the concept.

But gold won’t heal my scars. It won’t heal the scars of any Domestic Violence survivor.

And reading about a DV victim tonight… one who couldn’t get away made me so sad. The constant judgment calls about ‘well why didn’t she just leave?’ That followed it…

Yeah. It hurt.

Look, sometimes, you CAN’T leave. you CAN’T get out.

If you’ve got small kids, sometimes the ONLY choice is to stay in a bad situation, because leaving and taking the kids with you? That would put you all in a WORSE situation.

Stay with someone who only hurts someone once a year or so… OR take the kids to a shelter and hope like hell you can manage to feed all of you?

If you can’t… what, you starve?

I don’t envy people in those boats. I really don’t.

Because an abuser will ALWAYS justify their actions. They will ALWAYS put the blame on someone else.

Because it’s never THEIR fault. It’s never THEIR responsibility to do better, be better.

Always. It’s rather one of the hallmarks of the breed.

I wish so much for everyone in that situation to be safe, and loved, and able to leave and still remain safe and loved.

I wish everyone who has experienced Domestic Abuse could find peace, and independence from their abusers.

Because it’s nigh impossible for a person with kids to make it on their own these days (props to every single parent out there, I have no idea how you do it.)

The other thing that I and many DV victims/survivors do?

We learn to rationalize the abuser’s behavior.

We learn to THINK that… maybe if *I* hadn’t done *X* my abuser wouldn’t have turned on me.

But they would’ve. Eventually.

They always do.



Musings on Coffee Shops

It’s Monday, which means blog share day through the ‘verse, and the only things I have to talk about are my weekend experience and the sensitivity read I just sent off back to the author.

Since I CAN’T talk about the sense read, (and omg, I want to SCREAM from the rooftops about how good the book is, seriously), I’ll talk about my weekend instead.

There’s a TON of writing advice out there, if you look for it. My best advice to everyone trying this thing for the first time is to find what works best for YOU. Then trust it.



Coffee shops.



They’re a thing, right?

Not for me they aren’t.

I figured I’d try. I did volunteer (perhaps unwisely, because I’m very much an ONLINE sort of person and not an IN-PERSON sort of person) to be Municipal Liason for nanowrimo for our local region.

I so far, have actually enjoyed the experience? But I don’t know if I’m doing a good enough job as far as the ‘get-together with people’ part.

Because it REALLY doesn’t work for me.

I had a feeling it wouldn’t, I mean, I’m old enough and I’ve been writing long enough (30 years now, and wow does that make me feel old) to know myself and how I write best.

So when others in our local area asked if I’d be fine with them planning write-ins, since I wasn’t quite measuring up there, I leapt at the chance to.

I even went, and yes, I kept an open mind.

Even though my heart felt like a jackrabbit sounding alarm in my chest as I made my way there.

And I wasn’t sure if I could make myself go inside.

I did it though. I went inside, and even though I couldn’t find a seat that let me have my back to the wall (which helps me in so many ways) I stayed for 2.5 hours.

I got 290 words of crap written.

The noise was too much, and I didn’t feel safe using my headphones with my back to the room. I ended up playing with my fidget spinner and chattering much more than writing. I was not a benefit to the writers around me, I don’t think.

It was very nice to briefly meet other writers, especially local ones. It was nice to meet my dear friend, and to see another friend I rarely get a chance to see in person because of life.

But I won’t be doing it again, the write-in thing. I do much better when I’m in an environment that allows for sensory control and calm pacing.

I know what works best for me to write, and that’s being in my cozy den of a nest, in my home, with my music blaring in my ears and my favorite snacks to hand.

I do have to admit that the salted caramel coffee at Coffee Culture Cafe in London Ontario was absolutely fantastic.

I might go back and get more, next time I’m downtown.


NaNoWriMo 2017, Let’s Do This!

Okay. So.

Everyone has to find their own method for writing novels. Shhh. I’m serious! Pipe down!

There is a metric TON of ‘writing advice’ out there but there isn’t a skeleton key or a magical panacea that is going to help YOU get YOUR novel written.

‘Cause that’s on you. You’re the one who has to BICHOK it (Butt In Chair, Hands On Keyboard)

And it’s HARD. Give yourself a pat on the back for even trying!

I figured I’d outline my methodology and the tools I use, so that if any of them can be of help to you, you can steal’em.

First things first. I rarely wait until exactly midnight on nano eve. I know, I know. But I try to make sure I sleep during dark hours during nano. I have insomnia, so on the nights when I’m likely to sleep, I try to make that happen. You need to be aware as you’re going through nano, especially if this is your first one, that if you want to ‘win’ you’ll have to write, a LOT. That means it’s really easy to neglect your health. Drink water! Take your vitamins! Try to be aware of that thing called sleep as well as that thing called writing.

One of the things me starting a day or so ahead of time gives me is a bit of a cushion. Usually by the time nano rolls around ‘officially’ I have a word count cushion of between 6 and 20K. This year, I started with 17k, most of that was actually cut from the end of the first book in this series and will be part of the second act of this second book, because it fit better in the timeline.

It equals out, because my goal for nano is never the 50k. It’s always the first draft of a full novel, and my novels range between 80 and 145k. This year, I’m shooting for 100k.

Nano is me lighting a fire under my butt to help myself remember how much I really do love fast drafting (and I adore it. It’s wonderful.)

Now, to the tools and techniques.

I outline ahead of time. It was a hard-won skill for me because, at heart, I’m a pantser. I learned in nano 2015 (when I drafted what became Ilavani) that in order to write that fast, you NEED to let go of ye’old editor brain and just WRITE.

Having a skeleton outline helps me do that. (It also saves my butt on revising and editing, too, which helps, a lot.) I focus on making it pretty AFTERWARDS.

I use Scapple to outline. It’s free-form, so you can use the Three Act Structure or the 8 point story arc or whatever version of outlining works for you. You can do a free trial of it, it’s made by the same peeps who make scrivener.

You Don’t Have To Outline. 

But it works for me.

Secondly, I use word count goals, I write in Scrivener (you can get a free trial of that too). Under the PROJECT tab, click PROJECT TARGET. It’ll let you customize it to how long your books should be and how many words you should shoot for per day. (NaNo suggests you shoot for 1667 words per day.)

I use AeonTimeline for keeping track of what is supposed to be happening when, and making sure that X event happens before Y and Z comes after both. Downloading the software automatically gives you a free trial. It has a bit of a steep learning curve, but there’re videos on youtube to help you out.

I utterly love the word counting function on Nano. I found Pacemaker to be quite helpful when NaNo isn’t available for tracking purposes.

Don’t forget that I have a resources page here on my site, some of the weird stuff I link there may be of help.

Now, go out and write some words!