I had a really bad time in a creative writing class I took in college.
It was my senior year and a very small class. I desperately wanted to write, but I was having huge problems even finishing one page. Everything I wrote felt clumsy, awkward, and stupid. I was also introverted, super sensitive, and just plain weird. On top of this, the other students in the class seemed to know exactly what they were doing. They seemed to be clicking with the teacher, and handing in work that aligned perfectly with her expectations.
And the teacher did have firm expectations, that much was clear. She seemed very knowledgeable about publishing and what people wanted to read. She had a lot of opinions on what we should spend our time writing, and what would be a waste.
My husband was just about to push the “place order” button on Amazon when he turned to me, fear in his eyes.
“I just don’t know if I can justify the cost,” he said.
We had spent the past few days going back and forth over this big purchase, but now that it was go time I could tell he was freaking out.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Well…it’s just that I’m not making any money at this, so…”
And that’s when I knew we were right back at square one.
No matter how many years you devote to the craft of writing, one question will always still haunt you. This one question pops up when you’re in the middle of writing a scene, and also when you’re lying in bed at night wrestling with self doubt. You might think you have the answer, or a whole set of answers, to this one question, but it always comes back around again. The question is…
I grew up in a family of alcoholics.
For many people it takes a lot of time to admit that, but for me, it took a lot of time to even know that. As an adult, when I started delving into 12-step programs, I heard horror stories about what it was like to grow up in an alcoholic family. Parents who frequently got arrested for drunk driving or getting into bar fights. Parents who were physically or verbally abusive when they got drunk. Parents who took off for days and weeks at a time on binges.
I spent the years of my early 20s in Seattle as a raging alcoholic, feeling like I was split between two different personalities. Between the Shadow and Lo is an autobiographical novel of many of the experiences I went through during those years. The book deals with addiction, depression, extreme dysfunction, and the dark side of life.
Starting today, Between the Shadow and Lo is available in ebook ($2.99) and in paperback.
Thank you, as always, for your support my dear writer friends.
I really couldn’t have written this book without you.