My last post was on Halloween. I wish I could say I was just being slack since then, but that’s not the case. The last few months have been hard in unimaginable ways. I think I’m finally ready to talk about all of it and start letting some of it go.
It started in Mid-October, actually.
The first hit came when one of my romance publishers handed me the rights back to four of my books. That sucked, but was quickly put into perspective by life itself.
On October 19th, I went to the emergency room because I’d started bleeding. At the end of July, I found out I was pregnant, but all of a sudden, my worst nightmare was coming true. I was losing the baby. The next week was a swirl of doctors and bloodwork and waiting. By the end of October, my doctor confirmed that I had, in fact, suffered a miscarriage. Only my closest friends and family knew, and I wanted it that way. I didn’t need everyone in the world offering condolences and telling me I’d still be able to have more kids.
The simple fact is this: I was devastated. I felt like a complete and utter failure as a woman. Logically I know that’s not the case, but the thought that I was unable to protect that child still haunts me. It will for some time to come, I’m learning to deal with the grief. Or rather, I would have if bad hadn’t gotten even worse.
On the afternoon of November 6th, one of my best friends was murdered. I talked to Angie at 2:45, and half an hour later, she was dead in the parking lot of our workplace. Her husband shot her four times in the back of the head because she’d told him she wanted a divorce. There’s more Angie’s story, but I’m not quite ready to tell it yet. One day, though.
There was an immediate and irrational anger following the announcement that the loud noise was, in fact, a set of gunshots and that yes, Angie was gone. I wish every day I didn’t know what it felt like to want to kill someone, but I do now. Until that moment, I’d never felt that furious compulsion to commit violence before, but I couldn’t help it. It didn’t matter that he’d turned the gun on himself… all that mattered was that I wanted to go outside and stomp his head flat. I wanted to hurt him for hurting her, and in that furious rage, no act was too heinous.
You killed her… you stupid, useless, selfish son of a bitch!
YOU KILLED HER!
That anger has since subsided, but I wish I didn’t remember the way it felt. It was an adrenaline rush, pure energy and anticipation, and a driving need to destroy. Beyond that anger was numbness and a hollow ache. My heart physically hurt for her. I gave my statement to the police, which is what they used to close the case. I was one of four people in the world who knew the whole story, who understood the reasons why she’d left, and who fought to protect her from him. I always knew this situation would end badly, but I hoped I’d ultimately be proved wrong.
I still have moments of surreality; times when I pick up the phone to call her but remember she’s not there. I find myself crying for her, wanting to scream at him for taking her away. But the screaming does no good. She’s gone and she’s not coming back. And he can’t hear me. With any luck, he’s boiling in oil in Hell.
It feels like the joy has been sucked out of life these last few months. When I got the proof copy of my newest romance release at the end of November, my first thought was to take it to Angie and get her reaction to the half-naked cowboy on the cover. But she wasn’t there to see it. I still haven’t brought copies of that book to my office. I just don’t have the heart to talk about it. It was doubly bad because she was the one I would talk to about these sorts of situations. And not having her here to talk about what happened to her has been the hardest part.
The one bit of good news is that I have started writing again. It’s mostly short horror, and I mostly blame Jerry Benns at Charon Coin Press for it. We’ve become good friends over the last few months, and he keeps baiting me into things. I wrote a story for one of his anthology calls (I really want to be a fly on the wall when he reads it, too. It’s really twisted.), and have since been talked into taking on the role of editor for two anthologies. I’ve got another story in the works which is mostly his fault as well, but we’ll talk about that one when the time comes.
Writing horror has helped exorcise some of the demons in my mind. It’s helping me deal with the frustration, hurt, and anger. Words have always been my weapon of choice, and these last few weeks have been a battle. I won’t say it’s getting easier, but I do seem to be finding a new normal. 2014 was a bad year and I’m glad to see it go.
The goal now is to take it one step at a time. One day at a time. And maybe soon things will fall into place again. It won’t be easy, and I still have a long way to go to get past the events of the last few months, but I’ll make it. I’m like a cat in that respect… I almost always land on my feet.