No Regrets

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The days remaining of 2014 have hit the single digits and when a new year approaches, reflection over the past year can bring forth profound emotions. There will be regrets. Some big. Some small. But hopefully with those regrets come moments one wishes to relive everyday for the rest of his or her life.

2014 had a few of those moments for me.

I published my first book this year and my second will be out early next year. Being a published author had always been my dream and the timing of that dream coming to fruition couldn’t have been more perfect. It came while I was at an extremely low point in my life and the news gave me the lift I desperately needed. I finally had a reason to be proud.

For the moment, I was assured I could offer this world, this life, something, anything. I felt the satisfying emotion of self-worth that every person needs to feel in order to live each day with the confidence that he or she belongs here.

It’d been a long time since I felt I had accomplished anything and the sensation that ran through me when I finally achieved this was life-saving. But once the jubilation of signing my first book contract eased, I realized, “Holy Crap! I need to do it all over again!”

Yes. I had to get to work on my second book because nobody wants to be a one-trick pony. I hit more walls while writing that second book because the inspiration just wasn’t there. Not like it was with the first book, but eventually, I finished it and sent it to my editor. She liked it and contracted it. (Thank you, Jeanne!)

I’m in a much better place going into this new year than I was at this time last year. I was still a month away from being published and filled with severe doubt about everything I did. In some psychic way, I knew how much was riding on the outcome of my submission to the small epublishing company I had discovered online. I wrote the query letter but was cowardly close to not sending it at all. My emotions were out of control. I was crying a lot and was certain that I was in no state of mind to handle a rejection.

Looking back, reflecting on this past year, I’m relieved I took a chance with my writing. Sure, I had risked getting rejected and crying more than I already was, but I would have gotten over it eventually because I knew I couldn’t live with asking myself “what-if?” all the time. It only brings regrets.

Heading into 2015 I have another “what-if” scenario haunting my mind and it won’t go away. But I’m not sure I have the courage to do what I know is right. This could blow up in my face in a very bad way.

A year ago I put my dream on the line. I took a risk. I need to do it again because I don’t want 2015 to be the year of regrets.

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Photos courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

Celebrate 13 Days of Christmas with a Free Copy of Her Name

Please help Musa Publishing celebrate 13 Day of Christmas with a free ebook copy of my book, Her Name. For today only, you can receive not only my book, but a book from two amazing authors free!

Her Name is a about a woman who believed the beautiful woman she dreams about is the real love of her life.

Madison Andrews has spent her entire life–unsuccessfully–searching for love. She begins having vivid dreams of the same woman every night, and soon, Madison believes this woman is the love she has been searching for. Madison’s dreams become more intense and she realizes the dreams she’s having recreate moments taken from actual events from her life–and this woman is there for all of it. Madison searches for her, but how can she find a woman she knows everything about… and yet nothing? She doesn’t even know her name.

An excerpt from Her Name:

Now, I laid down my fork and leaned into my seat. I knew she didn’t want to talk about this anymore, but I did. “This all sounds crazy to you, and maybe in the beginning, it was something to joke about, but now, I’m not sure. These pictures were taken directly out of my life, and this woman was in every one of them. You can’t tell me I just dreamed it from memory, because my memory isn’t that good! The photos were identical all the way from the clothes we wore, to the smile on our faces. Hell, even the background was the same! She was the only thing that was different. How could that be?”

I stared at her, waiting for a response as she took it all in.

“Like I said on the phone, I just don’t know what you want me to say. I’m not sure what you’re asking me. Is it weird? Yeah, totally, but I’m no dream expert, and neither are you. Like I said before, maybe it’s your subconscious taking over. I’m sure there’s a logical explanation, and it probably has some fancy scientific name.”

“She’s my wife,” I said flatly. “I saw a picture of us from our wedding, and we looked like we belonged together. We know each other. I mean, really know each other. I wish you could see us together, because you’ve never seen me this way with anyone before.”

“And what way is that?”

“In love,” I answered.

“In love,” Shelly repeated and then pushed herself away from the table. “Well, Maddy, me seeing you with her is something that will never happen. Do you wanna know why that will never happen?”

“I know why you think that will never happen, but that’s where you’re wrong.” I stared at her and said, “I’m just gonna come out and say it. I think she’s real.”

Please check out Musa Publishing’s website at http://musapublishing.com/index.php?main_page=specials.

Thank you!

Her Name
Her Name

A Review for Her Name on The Lesbrary

My book, Her Name, was recently reviewed on The Lesbrary. The Reviewer wasn’t absolutely thrilled with a very specific shift in tone the story took near the end, but that’s okay. Not every reader is going to emotionally connect with every aspect of a story and be satisfied with it.

Still, despite any frustration she may have felt about the climatic ending, sentiments of the story stayed with her and made her reflect on her own life.

The Reviewer writes, “If truth be told, there will likely never again be a night that I don’t turn down the covers, anticipating the presence of my true love — though I don’t think I’ll be holding my breath. One thing is for certain, however. I will make a concerted effort to approach each moment as fully present as I’m able so as to prevent my very destiny from slipping away.”

This why I write. I want to emotionally impact someone’s life. I don’t write for people to tell me what an awesome writer I am. I don’t need to hear that I am the best. I write to make a person feel. That’s all I want.

“Without a doubt, Her Name felt to be more of a dear friend’s diary than a work of fiction.”

This will probably be my most treasured comment in a review ever. Thank you, The Lesbrary, for reviewing my book.

If you’d like to read the entire review, please click the link below. Thank you.

http://lesbrary.com/2014/12/02/kalyanii-posted-her-name-by-alicia-joseph/

Her Name
Her Name

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My Interview with Lynn Lawler

Today I am featured on Lynn Lawler’s Book Blog. Ms. Lawler is the author of the upcoming novel, Enlightened Desire. I am privileged to be a guest on her blog where she has given me the opportunity to discuss my lesbian romance novella, Her Name. 

Please follow the link to her blog: http://lynnlawler.blogspot.com/

Thank you!

Her Name
Her Name

Labeling the Lesbian

I write lesbian romance stories that don’t usually tackle the slew of political, social, or religious issues that can be so brutal towards homosexuality that taking one’s own life can feel like the only, and easier, option. It’s not. And it never will be, but I don’t write about those issues. Not yet.

The sexuality of my characters is at times so irrelevant in my books that the f/f romance could be swapped for their m/f counterparts and the story will read almost the same way. Am I playing it safe? Possibly, but what I know is this – I love a good romance – but eventually I will write stories with more substance, more backbone. I have a few in my slush pile, but for now, I’m a hopeless romantic aiming my bow directly for the reader’s heart.

I write about love and I choose two women to represent the love I want to show. But I’m very conscious that when writing about this kind of romance, I am avoiding the Butch/Femme dynamic of a lesbian relationship (even though it is very prevalent in the gay community) because I don’t know exactly what this combo entails and misrepresenting an entire group of lesbians isn’t something I’m willing to chance.

I neglect the whole Butch/Femme coupling because I know if I characterize a woman as appearing “manly” I will be tempted to attribute all the masculine traits that go along with that. I will write scenes with the Butch clamoring her tools underneath a car, or driving a pick-up, or with her face shoved beneath the kitchen sink fixing a leak.

Is this accurate? Do all Butches fix things? Does every single one of them know how to change a tire or rewire the electric cable? Are they even interested in these tasks or do they learn it to satisfy the expectations placed on them by the feminine women they date? Is this all part of the “role” in being butch?

If I wrote a Butch to be so typically “butch”, would I get slammed for it? On the flip-side, if I distinctly characterized feminine lesbian women as standing in front of the stove stirring a pot of some deliciously-mouth-watering concoction, or being experts at removing stains from any stubborn shirt, or as always being pretty and femme and femme and pretty, would it cause a backlash of angry Femmes? Gotta look sexy for the Butch!

Are these expectations placed in a Butch/Femme relationship accurate? I’m asking because I really don’t know. I hate labels and I refuse to make a distinction as to what kind of lesbian I am. I never saw my father hammer a nail into a wall. He didn’t even know how to put the Christmas tree together. My mother did that. But that didn’t make him any less of a man – it only meant he wasn’t a “handy” man.

Although I won’t label myself, I do know that in my relationships I see myself as the “protector.” I have an innate desire to take care of the people I love, particularly the woman I’m with and keep her away from harm. Does this make me the “man” because I’m the one who will jump out of bed in the middle of the night and tell my partner to stay safely in the room while I inspect the strange noises coming from the kitchen? Is it “gentlemanly” of me because I like to help my girlfriend slip on her coat and open doors for her. “Ladies first,” leaves me the one waiting and I’m okay with that, but that doesn’t make me butch.

I knew at a young age I had no interest in being Cinderella – with her white poofed-out ballroom dress and wearing her extremely narrow, high-healed, glass slippers that had to be, without a doubt, excruciatingly painful to walk in. No thank you. Give me Prince Charming’s black pants, elegant blue suit jacket, and flat comfortable shoes. And I’m good.

My role in relationships may seem male-oriented, and I may have an affinity for young men’s graphic t-shirts, camouflage shorts, hoodies, backwards hats, and converse cons (but even straight girls love cons, right?), and I don’t wear dresses, skirts, or anything that is extremely bright in color, still, this doesn’t make me butch.

It only makes me, me. And I say that ain’t so bad.

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Full disclosure. I once told an old girlfriend in lieu of flowers to buy me baseball cards – okay, so maybe this ONE thing makes me a little butch. 🙂