+YOU CAN CALL ME ANYTHING – BUT…

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The rest of the sentence?  Don’t call me easy-going!

There are places in my mother’s letters during the years of my young childhood where she wrote to her mother that I was “easy-going.”  Nope!  I was beaten and beaten down by abuse and lived in a world reined in by intolerable sadness – except for the inner sanctum of my self held so near to me in my heart – because I had never had a chance to get out!

What options did I have but to not resist?  I did what I had to survive – and showing NOTHING of myself as a person to Mother was a big part of what my survival demanded of me.

I am not easy-going now.  “Self soothing” is something I work to accomplish, and when events loom within and without that make demands on my resources, I do not respond to them in an easy-going way.  I am an INTENSE person.

I remember when I was in art therapy graduate school a classmate noted that “intense” is being “in tense.”  She meant IN THE PRESENT TENSE – in the moment – deeply engaged in experiencing my life.

Well, on Sunday morning I will be participating in a wonderfully generous gift from my youngest (baby!) brother.  I am leaving Arizona to spend five days with him where he lives in Alaska.  This will probably include three days with him on his 60′ yacht-trawler somewhere in Alaska waters. 

Yet traveling is anxiety producing to me.  I am working toward preparing myself in every way to actually ENJOY myself!  I will be stopping in Seattle for a few days to visit family there before I return home on the 11th of June.

I have a friend who loves to come stay in my home when I am gone to keep an eye on things and to relax in this quiet little neighborhood. 

I am very fortunate and grateful!  Away from the seriousness of my writing work I hope to reacquaint  myself with a quieter side of me.  I am thrilled to spend some time with my brother and family.  “Bon Voyage!”  I hope my going (and coming home again) is easy!!

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+’STORY WITHOUT WORDS’ – ITS EDITING HORIZON

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Destiny has evidently arranged that the planned editing of this book is going to happen during the first week of June as I am being treated to a visit with my youngest brother in Alaska.  We will spend the bulk of the visit somewhere out aboard his boat!  I have spent time these last 48 hours making sure the collection of past notes intended for my daughter to have as she edits are all in line for her where she can find them.  It looks like this brilliant capable daughter of mine will spare me the agony of having to do anything more on that book before it is published.  I will not be available for questions during the days she will have available for editing.

However, I know from comments my daughter made months ago when she read the manuscript that my final chapter of this book does not sit well with her AT ALL.  I refuse to have a single word of it changed.  I have finally decided that a brief epilogue might take care of ‘this problem’.  If my daughter questions that final chapter – really, the final WORD of the book – many other readers are likely to have the same response.

This is my compromise for Story Without Words:

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Epilogue:  Being Mother’s hope

Boiling down all the trauma of the first 18 years of my life to my mother’s desperate need to carve out a kind of hope for herself that she could hold onto by brutalizing me can make little sense to an ordinary mind.  Mother did not have an ordinary mind.  She had a desperate one.

Because she felt from her earliest life that love would only come to her when she was perfect the obvious solution was to become exactly that – perfect.  I was therefore born into Mother’s life to be all that was not perfect in her.  This was an inviolable arrangement that could not be tampered with or changed in any way.  As long as I was alive to stay all-bad Mother could be all-good which ensured that her hope for love would remain alive within the dynamics operating between us.

Mother never wavered in her need for love nor did she waver in how her mind had determined that it could be made available to her in unending supply.  As long as I remained alive as the personification of all of her badness – and not as a person in my own right – she had only that single need for hope – me.  Her mind’s design eliminated all risk that her hope could be disappointed because love could not be withheld or withdrawn from her as long as she could keep me in my (her) place.  She had all power.  I was imprisoned in her madness from the moment I was born with no chance of escape offered to me.

That I received enough love to be able to retain access to my own self in the midst of Mother’s madness is the miracle of my life.  It was the one exception to the fact that all love during the years of my childhood belonged to Mother that allowed me to live.  That my brother loved me was a fact in my life.  I did not hope for his love.  I had it.  His love for me was guaranteed and unchangeable.

There had been no such love available to Mother in her earliest life.  All she had been left with was the hope that she could find a way to earn love by deserving it.  I became that hope so that Mother could find her way to be loved.

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+REVERSE MARKETING A PERFECTLY GOOD BOOK AND ITS COVER? SOUNDS GOOD TO ME!

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I remind myself that I am not some kind of a Bobo doll designed with weight at the bottom of my being so that when I receive a PUNCH I will instantly and automatically stay righted to pop back up unchanged.

Life does change me as I move along through it.  I am not unique in this fact.  No matter how much trauma has altered my physiology brain and all, I AM human!  Humans are designed to learn and to change, to adapt and to return to a state of peaceful calm from which enthusiasm, interest, exploration, a sense of triumph and joy can flow.

Some of us just have more of a fight to fight!  Perhaps that means when we win we have more to gain.

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Thinking about how the best of minds, the best of scholars, the best of students will face a time if they write a dissertation that they will be asked to defend it.  I am today at the point where I am looking deep within myself – and I am coming up with entirely new ideas in defense of my book cover’s image. 

Challenge to our status quo is not a bad thing.  Reacting to that challenge and resolving it is not a negative process, either.  I had to turn all the way over several times, over and over, intensely struggling to find my own right way through the challenges that creating a MARKETABLE book cover creates!

I am not all the way through this process yet.  In defense of my image I understand this morning that it can do exactly what I wanted it to do:  challenge potential readers – and readers – in new ways.  Why not begin to do this before anyone ever considers the words of a book titled Story Without Words?

As I have emailed to my sister today, this is a daring book about a daring subject that I dare daring readers to read!

This is already a reverse-marketing book.

I also told her that by the time I got to the 9th manuscript in this double series I wrote into its pages that any reader – by the time they reached this point in my books – that was siding with my abusive mother against me — should back out of the book and quit reading.  I don’t want those people inside my books!

In all fairness I would rather inaccurate readers not buy these books in the first place!  After all, paying money for a book that eventually tells you to get the hell out of it could seem to smack of unfairness.

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We do not live in a culture that encourages individuals to express their own stories without words through art.  I know as an art therapist that every human being around the world is designed to pass through specific sequential artistic stages of development just as we pass from lying to rolling to sitting to crawling to walking to running.  Artistic developmental stages are just as clear – just as necessary – and certainly in our culture – are aborted.

My book cover tells a story without words.

How much more clear could that book’s cover be?

The current proposition to my son who can and will do the photoshopping of that image is that the brilliant light green of the bedspread be sampled, spread entirely over the area within the pink at the top of the image, and that the biggest, boldest, blackest and clearest lettering be used to redo the title – STORY WITHOUT WORDS.

I want to see THAT version before any other decision is made regarding cover work.  Yes, we also need to see that whole thing in black and white next – but if all ereaders but one display in color – I am not concerned with how a black and white cover looks to anyone.

If that doesn’t work – well, then, perhaps further compromises will march over the far book marketing horizon to land on my book’s cover.  Meanwhile, I will not participate in artistic rape.  I have integrity.  My book has integrity.  My cover art has integrity.  And these three integrities belong together intact if at all possible.

I am fine with presenting a postage stamp (thumbnail) image with bold clear readable type at that size that dares (challenges) reader to click on enough links until they see what the heck that complex maze of intense colors is actually about.

People can be so easily lulled into taking the easiest possible pathway toward dopamine release and a flash of satisfaction.  I don’t mind challenging (daring) them in such a way that they are motivated to take a tiny action outside their comfort-box, a tiny step off of their boring pathway, into a possible new world of discovery.

If we are going to consider the realities of infant-child abuse and trauma we are going to have to venture into untrodden territory anyway.  Why not do it with a first click?

If readers can’t be inspired to be curious by a postage stamp with a title, they probably aren’t the right readers for the book.  Story Without Words is written to be a prelude that leads into two separate series of books for an eventual total of probably 15 books. 

People don’t go to hear an orchestra play just to hear the prelude.  They are there for the whole shebang.  I want to market to shebangers!  Stopping infant and child abuse is going to require a reverse of current attitudes and inactions.  My contribution to the literature might as well begin with reverse marketing.

Maybe all we need to do is make the title clear and bold – and we are good to go.  I would like that to be true very much.

I can visualize the changes to this I mentioned above.  I like what I see – but actually seeing it changed will be better.  My son would have to sample the pink to erase the small circle overlaps as he changed the central color – but this may be doable….

cover 01 cropped corrected

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+SHOCKING NEW SCIENCE OF EPIGENETICS: ITS POWER OVER OUR SPECIES NOW AND IN THE FUTURE

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It only made my day harder when a friend suggested that there’s something wrong with me for caring about child abuse, for caring so much about my writing work, for – basically – not knowing HOW to live a trite life.

What’s WRONG with me, then, that leads me to give a damn about things like EPIGENETICS as it is being discovered in cutting-edge science – that our EPIGENOME is a whole greater level to what makes us who we are – and is harmfully and DIRECTLY affected by infant and child abuse that changes our DNA coding to affect GENERATIONS?

My friend tells me he loves me in spite of my continual concerns about the well-being of our specie’s little people.  Well, I’ll be jiggered!  I don’t understand him any better than he doesn’t understand me.

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This is a short, extremely informative and vitally IMPORTANT article!

  Epigenetics: How our experiences affect our offspring – New research suggests that people’s experiences, not just their genes, can affect the biological legacy of their offspring

 By The Week Staff | January 20, 2013

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Abused Children May Get Unique Form of PTSD

May 02, 2013

Child abuse scars not just the brain and body, but, according to the latest research, but may leave its mark on genes as well.

It’s a very interesting paper,” says Moshe Szyf, professor of pharmacology and therapeutics at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, who studies epigenetics. “The important thing about this paper is that it looks at PTSD that has different life histories. One group has a life history of child abuse and the other doesn’t and we see a completely different functional genomic appearance.”

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Childhood maltreatment is associated with distinct genomic and epigenetic profiles in posttraumatic stress disorder

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Why Your DNA Isn’t Your Destiny

By John Cloud Wednesday, Jan. 06, 2010

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Scientists Discover How Epigenetic Information Could Be Inherited: Mechanism of Epigenetic Reprogramming Revealed

Jan. 24, 2013 — New research reveals a potential way for how parents’ experiences could be passed to their offspring’s genes. The research was published January, 25 in the journal Science.

Epigenetics is a system that turns our genes on and off. The process works by chemical tags, known as epigenetic marks, attaching to DNA and telling a cell to either use or ignore a particular gene.

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Stress can affect future generations’ genes

15:21 25 January 2013 by Andy Coghlan

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Sorry, but this nonsense matters.  It matters A LOT!  And it especially matters to people who were – and to little ones who are currently being – exposed to infant and child abuse, neglect, and trauma!  Somebody better care.  Somebody better pay attention.  One of those some-bodies might as well be me.

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+ROUGH TIME. THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING HERE!

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I had no plans and certainly no intention of sucking my own trauma drama into the making of the cover art for the book Story Without Words as I have been posting about its process and progress recently.  I am comforted by knowing that loyal readers of this blog know exactly what I am talking about when I say what I say about myself in my life.  Yes, this book is about the trauma of intergenerational trauma from infant-child abuse and neglect.  Yes, I did intentionally plan for the cover art work to exactly reflect the nature of the stories (crime reports) that make up the backbone of this book.

So how did THAT trauma come to be present NOW in its own sidling, intrusive and bothersome way?

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I received further vital expertise in feedback today about Kindle publishing (and while the cheaper versions of this ereader are still in black and white, the Kindle Fire and many other ereading devices from which any ebook can be accessed and read are publishing in color).  Any of this blog’s readers who are considering epublishing can benefit from what I am learning – in my own very hard way – about this process.

No, I did not envision the cover art I created so carefully, honestly, thoughtfully and hopefully for this book in its THUMBNAIL size.  Nor do I know anything about marketing – and I assure you the person who wrote me the following words is an expert in the book business!  The following came to me in response to a tantrum sent via email that closely paralleled my previous post on this subject – and no, I have not personally used an ebook reader.

Okay, now that you got THAT off your chest…

Have you ever purchased (or even downloaded a free or 99c) Kindle e-book? Do you or anyone you know have a Kindle, or have you put a Kindle app on your PC? That experience will/would help you see how things look in the environment where your work is going to be viewed. The cover of ANY book is not about art, it is about marketing. If those two often-competing elements manage to compliment each other, so much the better.

There is a “cover” in Kindle-land, but unlike a conventional book it is not always the first thing a reader sees. In fact, often the reader will never see the Kindle book’s cover on the reader itself. This is because the author/editor selects the place in the book that is the “beginning”, and when someone “opens” the book, that is where they land. It can be the Title Page, TOC, the Intro, Chapter One, or whatever. It is hardly ever the copyright page, and rarely is it the cover. If the author does mark the e-book to begin at the cover, the reader is forced to page ahead to wherever it is they think is important enough to begin reading. Unlike a traditional book, an ebook reader will never finish a chapter, lay in a bookmark, close the cover, and gaze thoughtfully at the book’s colorful, intricate, and symbolic cover while the contemplate the author’s words.

BTW, how does your cover look in B&W? Do the shapes/words/designs still pop when the color is not there? This is important because the Kindle family is still B&W until you get to tablets (Kindle, iPad and others).

Final note: I’m fairly sure Amazon does not require that you use the SAME image for the itty-bitty cover thumbnail as you do for the book (i.e. the image in the ebook file that is marked “cover”). You can keep your gorgeous work of art for the book (although I think you’ll be disappointed with it in B&W, and 250 hours of works for something most readers will never see until/unless you do a print version is a shame) and just do a smaller, simpler, uglier (if you insist) version that is ONLY used for marketing on Amazon. What I think you CAN’T do is have one thumbnail image that displays on this page:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/digital-text/ref=pd_dp_ts_kstore_1

And when someone clicks the cover thumbnail to “Look Inside” they see a larger (but slightly/drastically different) cover:

http://www.amazon.com/Inferno-Novel-Robert-Langdon-ebook/dp/B00AXIZ4TQ/ref=zg_bs_digital-text_1

Then when they click THAT image they finally see your full-color work of art in this format:

http://www.amazon.com/Inferno-Novel-Robert-Langdon-ebook/dp/B00AXIZ4TQ/ref=zg_bs_digital-text_1#reader_B00AXIZ4TQ

You can see where it would be very confusing if the cover kept changing in each of these steps; the reader would think they accidentally got switched to a different book. That’s why I recommend a single cover version that “works” in all sizes and all environments where it is to be used.

Maybe your present image deserves a place inside the book as an illustration, if not as the cover. COVER = MARKETING, plain and simple.”

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I also received this response from someone who knows my story and the story of my family of origin very well:

“It really depends on the viewing device. The Kindle (which is black and white) is not a good vehicle for photos, drawings, charts, etc. And yes, the cover is not promoted in any way. When you begin reading a book on the Kindle, you start on the first page. The Kindle Fire, on the other hand, is great for viewing artwork. And, if you decide, moving forward, to move to paper books, the cover becomes obviously important. 
 
And, there are other ebook readers that might provide a different viewing experience; I have seen only the Kindle and Kindle Fire, so I’m not sure.
 
At any rate, it’s a beautiful, intensely personal, piece of art — heartrending, emotionally difficult, horrendous — but it came from you, from your experiences, and can be also used on your blog as a main piece.”

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Well, I have been flying around through intense experience of all the stress response survival-based emotions today – big time.

I have so little resources in my physical world – period.  Every loss – and this realistic useful information today STILL feels like a huge CRASH and a huge LOSS to me — hits me much harder than it would ‘ordinary’ kinds of people who have not been forced by circumstances of severe, chronic and horrible long-term early abuse and trauma to live such a constricted life as I have and do.

I don’t mean to whine about my life.  My current conflicts are simply very real.  I reacted in distress to the loss of my hoped for sense of triumph and success toward publication.

Instead – I returned to my friend’s with the super megapixel camera today (who did not remotely comprehend why my work is important to me, why I am so invested in it, or remotely why I would be distressed by the failure of the project that he so kindly helped me complete (I thought) yesterday.  This photograph today is the only one of those taken of the ‘new and unimproved’ version of the suitable-for-thumbnail cover that runs in landscape (horizontal) rather than in portrait (vertical).  As I have mentioned before, I have no way to crop images – they have been sent to my son and daughter for their very kind assistance in that department.

The cloth visible in this image simply runs UP and UP and UP — boringly, irritatingly, necessarily UP – so that legible lettering that can be read in a thumbnail image can be implanted upon it (This necessary version of an image can be lined up, cropped, whatever):

IMG_1778 mini short sided

That’s it.  That’s all I can think of.  I tried my best (see last evening’s post: +BOOK COVER: WE DID IT!!!!) and it wasn’t good enough.  Oh, do I know THAT feeling!  I suspect most if not ALL of this post’s readers know what I don’t even have to say here about that feeling!

I also greatly struggle with affirming for myself that I have a right to have ANY of the feelings I am having today!

Yes, the cover I intended to use was made as an image meant to be “a beautiful, intensely personal, piece of art — heartrending, emotionally difficult, horrendous.” That image was created to match with integrity every word of the book itself.  The cover was supposed to honor the story and vice versa.

Yet I do want to MARKET this book.  This ebook.

Yet I also know that because of severe trauma during the first 18 years of my life – my brain did not develop in ordinary ways – and that includes my LEFT brain hemisphere which cannot comprehend – really – what the FACTS of marketing even are!  (see: +Dr. Teicher’s ARTICLE ON TRAUMA ALTERED DEVELOPMENT)

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I cannot explain to or describe to those who have no clue from their own personal experience of being a trauma-changed person what my state of dysregulatory REACTIVITY – of ‘disorganization’ and of ‘disorientation’ of my internal relationship with myself and with the world FEELS like in response to this massive disappointment.  This IS a big deal to me.  I NEED to publish. 

Evidently I do NOT need to publish with my own art image on the cover of any ebook.

Health of a human being is greatly measured by our ability to flexibly and successfully cope with changes and upsets that appear in our lives — to positive resolution.  Trauma altered development steals from us the ability to respond to upsetting/distressing challenges in ordinary ways.  This is a very personal upset to me – of course it is!  But my difficulty in COPING with it was built into me by trauma.  THAT is what I hate!

I found strength for myself today by thinking that it might matter to some blog reader/s that I move forward IN SPITE of this upset – and do so successfully.  So what if I feel as though I was just drop-kicked across the Grand Canyon – half way – to crash into a fall – still falling — ?  Why let that feeling state stop me? 

I have been truly amazed at the difficulty of my emotions today – and at their intensity!!!  I wrote a piece in the 10th book manuscript that I just completed (needing edit) – that today’s experience has shown me needs one more critically important thought added to it.  I would NEVER have known that piece was missing — let alone how important it is — if I had not gone through (still going through it!) exactly what happened INSIDE of me today in reaction to — well — you dear readers know exactly what I am reacting to.

Thank you for being here!!  With all my heart!

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+KINDLE BOOK COVER – REALLY BAD NEWS

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I heard from a book selling expert this morning about the cover picture for Story Without Words.  Well, I am not sure I can find any words to describe how disappointed, discouraged and angry I am to hear this:

Interesting image, but waaaaaaay too busy for Kindle. Keep in mind that almost nobody looks at the actual ebook “cover” on their reader. The main purpose of the “cover” is for the tiny, itty-bitty thumbnail that is visible on the Amazon page. You want the title visible to the naked eye (at the itty-bitty size) with clear (not artsy) font, good color separation, no intricate designs that won’t look like anything at the thumbnail size.

Why on earth does Amazon Kindle recommend images that are 1563 x 2500 pixels in size if THIS is the truth?

Oh am I PISSED OFF!

In my tiny little disability-based life – who am I to think I can fight against all odds and create what I have been working to create?  That’s about the size of my life – THUMBNAIL!!

NOW WHAT?

Yes, I guess I needed to ask questions I didn’t have any way to know needed asking.  (See previous post for book cover image.)

Talk about dummying down the WORLD!  Yet it’s not the world’s fault that I don’t have the resources to publish in ‘traditional’ ways, don’t have money to fork out to pay for hard copy printings, don’t have the money to hire people to create a cover….

Oh – I am growling.  Or am I crying?  I can’t tell which at the moment….

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Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

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+BOOK COVER: WE DID IT!!!!

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This could not have come to completion without the generous help of a friend who brought his 12.1 megapixel camera to the scene today to spend time with me photographing what he calls the ‘diorama’ which is the cover for our first book – Story Without Words.  I thank him, and I thank my son for his prompt professional cropping of the image for this kindle-sized ebook cover.  I could not have done this without these dear men’s help.

cover 01 cropped corrected

I am relieved!  This has been a long, carefully orchestrated, patient haul.  Mod Podge, tissue paper, cardboard, glue, a few tin cans for the pillars, the careful printing by a young boy – and here it is.  I tried in many shots to get the abuser’s right arm out of line from the bedroom prison bars, but in the end this was the shot with the best color and detail – and it must be meant to be this way.  There would not be prison bars if there was not abuse….

It was a large construction, 36″ x 58″ to get all the pieces adjusted, attached, secured, leveled, plumbed — and I did the best I could do.  I will be content.  That the very top edge does not run perfectly level is, at least for now given the photographic abilities available, how this image will look.  It is a simple, humble, “primitive” and childlike piece – and such an image belongs to such a story – such an important story – as this.

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Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

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+CHILD ABUSE – DISASTROUS LIVES

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It has been a long, long time since I’ve set pen to paper to write a blog post that clears my range of vision and my feelings about myself in my life at the present moment.  I am out of practice.  I am out of focus.

The cover art for the book is completed and waits for my friend with his super camera to arrive at high noon to so kindly do what I cannot do.  The room where the art construction sits is draped from ceiling to floor with white sheets and reflective foil.  I can do no more now — but think about reasons why this entire book writing project means so much to me.

This work is my humble offering to the betterment of the world and to an eventual future when we will no longer allow infants and children to be harmed.

Yesterday I sat for three hours in conversation with a young woman who is one month from her 18th birthday.  I will refer to her as Nan – for Not Any Name.  I had never met this woman before.

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I switch now to my computer keyboard.  What is in my heart, mind and soul is so thick and dense I cannot pull and twist words out by pen in hand.  What can I say?

Yes, perhaps this girl is using meth – and in consequence has fabricated an intricate array of lies about herself in her life that fit no form of reality.  I do not know.  Being trained as an art therapist it is my nature to listen and to believe reports of trauma.  Even if what I heard from Nan is untrue, someone would have to be deeply, deeply troubled to arrange such a version of life.

Nan was kidnapped at a year and a half and taken by her father into hiding on the other side of America where she was severely beaten and repeatedly raped until she was six and some “Christian neighbors” became suspicious and made a report to Child Protective Services.  The father was apprehended.  The child taken into protective custody where her name came up on the national list of missing children.

The girl was returned to her mother who continued to bring string after string of violently sexually abusive men into her home.  Three months ago Nan performed a strip tease for her mother’s latest live-in for pay to buy a phone with minutes on it – which she took with her when she escaped.

Nan dropped out of school in 9th grade.  Her two older sisters are lost to meth use.  Her mother is down to 85 pounds (she showed me photographs) and is very sick with an illness that so far cannot be diagnosed.  Nan reported abuse in the home.  CPS supposedly investigated, found nothing, did nothing.  The “home” is riddled with violent abuse, sexual abuse and drug use.

There is no hope for this woman who is still at best a toddler.  Her trauma-altered development has left her with severe Borderline Personality Disorder with rage blackouts within which she most recently beat up her 10-year-old autistic brother and broke his arm.  Now she says she wants to get her own apartment to gain custody of this boy.  She also wants to have children of her own.

She claims to have short-term memory loss disability from beatings.  She sings, draws, writes and is quite smart — but typically cannot truly care about or listen to anyone else.  She showed me her flesh cuttings hidden on both of her legs under jeans.  She is often suicidal.  She believes that not only COULD she murder someone (stating that she witnessed two murders while with her drug-dealing father before she was six), but that she believes she will eventually commit murder.

In this state once she reaches 18 there is no medical coverage for her.  She has been in therapy with 8 therapists over the years.  She described disastrous “boyfriend” relationship patterns of “being in love” only to have her “trust and heart broken.”  She is petite and very pretty – engaging – and could not be more self-absorbed.  She appears to lack any ability to hear let alone process any information related to her condition.

This young woman needs to be sterilized, in my opinion.  In a right world she would be in perpetual quality care for the rest of her life.  (In a right world she never would have had these experiences in the first place!)  She and others would best be served if “RUN!  RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!” were to be tattooed on her forehead.  She will have nothing but trouble and be nothing but trouble until her last breath.  She can access no therapeutic care.

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I felt HORRIBLE as I left that conversation!  I was instantly reminded why I cannot “be” a therapist.  I care too much and I cannot leave my emotions out of my ongoing experience.  It has taken me 24 hours to become clear enough to even write these words.

My friend’s 18-year-old grandson, who she has raised, is becoming involved with Nan.  Horrors of horrors!  This young man is very sweet and gives to feel better about himself.  He is as much a perfect target for a severely mentally ill BPD woman as my father was.  I told my friend everything I was told yesterday.  I can do no more in that situation.

But I can publish these books.  If I have anything of substance to offer – it lies in them.  The cover art waits for its quality photograph….

prehoot cover 005

prehoot cover 006

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Please click here to read or to Leave a Comment »

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+COVER ART: HOPE SPRINGS FORTH….

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With immeasurable thanks to my daughter, here is at least a crop of the cover image that shows there is HOPE!!

r ccvr sideways 2-cropped

The crop was accompanied by her sweet words:

Hi Momma,
 
Please don’t get discouraged!  This is really an amazing image, and I think a PERFECT cover.  I also think it is very very close to being exactly how we need it.
 
I have attached two cropped pictures for you to react to.  They are not the maximum pixels that Kindle says (https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help?topicId=A2J0TRG6OPX0VM#dim; 1563×2500 wxh) but are VERY nearly the 1.6 that we are looking for.
 
Take 2 cover 003-cropped is 822×1418; to be 1.6 we’d want 822×1315 — I need to be able to crop just a little bit WIDER — there is enough in the columns, but it is the top part of the story board where I run out of the corrugated cardboard.
 
(cvr sideways 2-cropped is 1059×1743; for 1.6 we’d want 1059×1694 — the corrugated cardboard runs out)
 
Is it possible to extend a little extra cardboard on the top panel, or another design element (more circles or more pink edging?).  One other question — no biggie if it can’t be adjusted – but can the “t” in without be moved over to the right a tiny bit of the “u”?  I’m guessing probably not, and that is just fine.
 
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All of this being gobbelty goop stress-inducing mumbo jumbo to me — but taken one bite at a time with her translations along the ways – this CAN work!
 
All I can tell is that I need to fix that “t” and the end of “without” – which I think I can figure out BARELY how to shift….
 
I don’t see how I can add onto the top of this fragile, precariously balanced concoction — but I think I can figure out how to add 1-3 inches at the bottom.  I have already added (since this shot was taken) copper paper at the sides of the title….
 
Ebook covers are far narrower and taller than ordinary paper copy covers – odd, actually – but where there’s a WILL – and lots of patience and glue and encouragement – there will be a way!
 
Onwards we go – I am so grateful!!  Thank you, Ramona!!
 
And that I need to go online to find the manual for this older camera to find out how to improve the quality of these pictures so that there are more pixels to work with (I think that’s what Ramona told me….).

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+BOOK COVER ART – I’M FEELING LIKE A NOBODY WORKING ON NOTHING

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I could do so much MORE and so much BETTER if I had more resources for this whole project!  My eyes are aging so that I can’t even see the image as far back as I have to stand in the room to get this whole monstrosity in the view finder (whose view is not MY view!).  I try to be hopeful.  I try to be of good cheer.  But I don’t even have any way to crop this image other than put it on my computer screen and hold paper up to block out what’s not supposed to be a part of this image.

I have put over 250 hours of hard work into the creation of this cover art for Story Without Words.  I have so many trauma altered development changes to me that I can’t go out and choose my life.  I feel so limited in my world – because I am.  I hate it!

“Be positive, Linda!”

Yeah, right.  Here’s what I have so far.  I need a professional photographer!  This is about 32″ wide by 53″ tall – needing to be cropped and sized for an itty-bitty ebook cover!

take 3 cover 003

I am out of my league.  This work is above my pay grade.  As if I even have one of those!  At least on my old computer screen the detail on the little lavender plaque on the wall is GONE.  I give up for the day.  Give up!

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