Sunday, June 24, 2018

Welcome to my Home as a Single Parent



WELCOME TO MY HOME AS A SINGLE PARENT


Please respect our house rules:

1.       Reserve any and every judgement and expect the unexpected prior to entering my home.

2.       Remove shoes at your own risk. I advise heavily to keep your shoes on.

3.       Wear strong perfume or cologne to distract yourself from the variety of aversive odors that will impale you the moment you walk in.

4.       Do not provoke my teenagers – they WILL bite you.

5.       Do not get overly-friendly with the cat and dog. They are virgin males, and very possessive and territorial – If they deem you a friend, they WILL pee on your things and they WILL hump you.

6.       You are not a guest in my home. Make it your own and make yourself comfortable and help yourself to whatever you need. Just know that everything is probably broken and/or expired.

7.       If you’re hungry, the can opener and the microwave are NOT broken … yet. But you probably won’t find any clean dishes.

8.       If you’re thirsty, feel free to drink directly from the container.

9.       If you’re worried about germs, you probably shouldn’t be in my house.

10.   Absolutely DO NOT use the toilet before checking to make sure there’s toilet paper first.

11.   The livingroom is our very own efficiency apartment where we sleep, eat, dress, and play. The rest of the house is my office. The kitchen table is not for eating on. That’s what the queen-sized mattress in the livingroom is for.

12.   If you’re expecting a Betty Crocker-type motherly-figure, you may find her prepackaged in the dessert cupboard.

13.   My family takes a naturalistic approach to living, so expect that all of us will probably be mostly naked. (And our washer’s broken).

14.   We are also one with nature, so our home and property is a respite home for all of God’s creatures, such as rabbits, mice, spiders, insects, deer, turkeys, and other stray animals.

15.   If you think my house is messy, you haven’t seen messy.

16.   Don’t feel obligated to contribute to my “Help-my-home-I’m-friggin’-broke-just-like-everything-else-in-my-house” donation jar. Just feel bad for me and be generous and I’ll give you a signed copy of one of my books in exchange, whether you want it or not. 
Next up: Single Parenting from the beginning … and the complications of woo-hoo!
https://authoralmondieshampine.blogspot.com/2018/06/single-parenting-from-beginning-and.html

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

What's It Like Being a Published Author Part II


What is it like being a published author Part II

The Perks


 Previously, in my ‘What is it like to be a published author part I’ blog, I spoke of the cons. I always like to get the bad news out of the way first, because not many authors will reveal that side of the writing and publishing world. Even I second-guessed posting it, because we do live in a world where people prefer the optimists and the optimistic views over the pessimists and the pessimistic views.

If you missed Part 1, you can find it here: https://authoralmondieshampine.blogspot.com/2018/06/whats-it-like-to-be-published-author.html

But there’s two sides to every coin, and one side just happens to be the ass-end. (Get it? Tails? Bahaha) And there is no such thing as things or people either being fully optimist or fully pessimist, though the optimists may say differently. And that’s where we tell those types to either get their head out of the clouds or unbury their face from the sand, though those deemed pessimists will be told to look at the bright side of things or there’s a silver lining to every cloud, even though it’s actually the pink we want – you know, that whole pink at night, sailor’s delight thing - because I always thought the gray in the clouds meant pollution, and it’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, not a pot of silver.

But with this blog, I’ve vowed to tell the truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me Gosh, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Not saying we’re a world full of liars or that, prior to this blog, I lied pathologically. We’re more just … omitters … of certain truths and perspectives that we don’t think others want to hear, so that’s why previously when asked that question of What’s it like being a published author, and in every other author interview you hear or read about, the answer is never, ‘It sucks. Yeah, Dude, it really bites the big one. There’s times I feel like I’m floating in this empty abyss of nothingness and the only voice I have to talk to is my own that echoes back at me, but that echo is like a two-year-old that just repeats everything I just said back to me.’

So you’re welcome!

And now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I can answer that question in a more traditional way that you may already be familiar with.

What’s it like being a published author?

It can be really friggin’ great!

Not THAT great!




Or that!

More like … 

*Based on an annual work-invested hourly pay/income ratio as a career-writer of 40 years after paying the average bills*

There it is!

Well that doesn’t look so grand, you may be thinking.

That’s because it’s not about the money. And it’s that whole not-being-about-the-money that makes it so great. Why do most people hate their jobs? Because it’s about the money. What is the purpose of money? To pay for things. If it’s used for entertainment or luxury or convenience, it can be appreciated, but all of us harbor this deeply-imbedded resentment towards money and everything that we have to do to make it, because it’s never truly ours – nor is anything that we buy with it. Even the food we purchase and eat winds up in the sewer. Just sayin’.

Now this is not at all to say that I don’t enjoy getting paid for my work, because I absolutely do – you know, single Mom, homeowner, bills and this being-my-career-because-it’s-the-only-job-I-can-keep-because-I-can’t-get-fired and all. (Actually, I fire myself all the time, but it’s easy to get my job back because I’m stuck with myself for eternity). And if 5,000,000 people would be so kind enough to purchase my books, I’m certain I wouldn’t turn it down, because then I would need it to pay my carpal tunnel bills from 5,000,000 friggin’ signatures, but still.

Writing is my passion and being a published author was my dream, so starving artist aside, I am so extraordinarily blessed to be living my dream, and I was so very lucky to have gotten my first book published when I was hardly 20 years old. That was my first, and firsts are always the best. Except for kissing. First kisses are the most sought-after awkward, either slimy-or-dry-or-a-mixture-of-both moments that every person on the planet puts themselves through. But then again, I was only 6 and I made sure we got married first with my whole first-grade class in attendance. I didn’t even like the kid. But maybe it was because his last name was Redhead and his hair wasn’t even red; it was shi* brindle, but for obvious reasons, his parents couldn’t name him that.

(Sidetrack – remind me to tell you about one of my proposals that wound up getting broken off because I refused to take his last name. His last name was Woody. My first name is Almondie. You just can’t mix Franks & Beans all up in someone’s name, especially a female’s. Franks with spaghettios, sure. Beans with Tacos, absolutely, but not Franks & Beans.)


Return to point.


Ah, my first published book. I remember it like it was yesterday. For some reason, the publisher contacted my on-again-off-again-at-the-time-boyfriend’s phone instead of mine, and we were so close to being off-again, because I hadn’t heard from him in weeks. He’d glimpse at my manuscripts (the title), before I sent them out, and hate them. “Nobody’s going to read this shi*. (He has a potty mouth and is the one I named Dewey in one of my novels that I didn't publish). “Why can’t you write what people actually want to read, like horror movies and monsters?” So I titled one, ‘The Monster Down the Street’, knowing he would only read the title. Fast-forward a few months later, he called excitedly trying to tell me that a publisher left a message on his phone about wanting to publish my story, but cell-service was pretty rough then, so it came out all broken and I mistook his excited voice for a yelling-at-me-voice and I thought he was accusing me of a guy calling for me on his phone and me telling stories, so I got all defensive and started screaming at him and nagging at him and telling him he was a piece of  – well, you get the picture – “Almondie, a guy wants to publish your story!” he shouted above my own yells.

I’m sure every female has had the moment, and every guy has seen it. I think it’s a female superpower to be able to distort our features from red-faced devil to giggling-schoolgirl in the blink of an eye (or vice-versa). We’re just sw-evil like that. And when I called that publisher back, I was the most sweetest and innocent thing there ever was, but there wasn’t a moment more profound … at that moment. I was already a mom, so I’d already had many, many more profound moments, like being peed in the face, or finding the logs that my son was chewing on in the bathtub weren’t Lincoln logs, or finding all my maxi pads displayed all over the walls like they were stickers. And those magical moments of seeing your child’s first smile before they fart and crap their pants, or the first time they learn to feed themselves prior to learning how to use the spoon as a food-splattering sling-shot, but best of all those moments when they’re contentedly sleeping and you can just whisper under your breathe, “I can’t believe God gave you to me. Don’t know what the heck he was thinking, but I know I’ll never be more blessed, because you’re mine. Always and ever.”
My Beloved!
And oh boy, when I had the first hardcopy of the book (10 – that I’d paid for) in my hands, I knew my life was changed forever, because I was no longer just the closet writer that few people knew about while I worked one job after another and stayed up late-nights and early-mornings writing, despite my son’s 6-in-the-morning-wake-up-routine and my total sleep deprivation. I was a Published Author, and I was filled with pride, and a temporary boost in self-esteem and confidence.

3 books, over 40-publications, 12 years, over 400-rejections, and not-a-single-penny made later, one of my bigger life’s hardships struck, completely unforeseen … and changed everything!

A blessing in disguise that resulted in probably the best two years of my life so far in my writing and publishing career and, despite detours due to me preferring hidden trails over paved roads, sent me down the path I’m now on.

From Published Author to Publisher

                 The Birth of FreeBird Express Publishing



INTRODUCING THE NEW READ  & RELAX CORNER
Click here to read the Monster Down the Street for Free

READ & RELAX to The Monster Down the Street


THE MONSTER DOWN THE STREET
a children's literary story

By

Almondie Shampine


           
       We walked by the house probably three or four times a day, slowing our pace to glance in through the windows and gaze longingly at the old, rusty swing set. The place looked vacant, like someone hadn’t lived there for a hundred years. Weeds that nearly reached our bellies filled the small yard, and the once gravel driveway was lost in crab grass. Sycamore trees given too much freedom branched out over the house, shading it from the sunlight and adding to its already scariness.

            We never saw any lights on or anyone come and go. We never saw a moving shadow when the sun was setting low and shone light into the two front windows, but from talk in the schoolyard during fourth grade recess, someone lived there, but who?

            “Can’t be human,” my best friend Carrie whispered. We were standing in front of the old, yellowing house, as we did often.

            “No, definitely not,” I agreed.

            “What do you think it is?” she asked.

            “I don’t know.” I kept my eyes fixed on the broken screen door. Hanging from only one rusty hinge, it creaked as the cool breeze pushed it back and forth, back and forth. “Someone that lives in the dark,” I said.

            “With eyes that glow like flashlights.”

            “All alone.”

            “Doesn’t need to leave the house to go grocery shopping because it eats spiders and beetles and bugs.”

            “Just gobbles them up with no teeth.”

            “Except for two fangs to pin them down and suck their blood.”

            “It crawls around on its four claws.”

            “With long, sharp, green nails.”

            “Bloodstains on the tips.”

            “And it’s hairy, like a bear, like a . . . a . . . monster!” Carrie said, reaching for my hand.

            BANG! The broken screen door burst open and slammed into the porch railing. We scampered off squealing like pigs in trouble.

            Summer came round, meaning an extra eight hours of playtime every day. We tried to keep ourselves busy doing other things, like playing countless games of basketball, kickball, and baseball, and zooming through the Deer Run trailer part streets on our bicycles, but something kept us going back to the house everyday. The ground had become a raw brown from where we always stood, fifty feet away from the answers to our constant, quiet questions.

            Maybe it was harmless curiosity, or the fact that neither Carrie or I had a swing set, or maybe it was simply knowing that we didn’t know everything that led us to do what no kid had ever dared to do before. All I know is I’ll never forget the events that followed once we knocked on that old, wooden door.

            It was another boring day in Central Square, New York. I’d awaked to dark clouds and depressing rain, spent the morning reading, the noon hour dozing in front of the television, and the early afternoon staring out the window and loudly moaning my boredom.

            “Joann, why don’t you call Carrie and see what she’s doing?” Mom suggested. I think she just wanted me to stop whining about being so bored.

            Ten minutes later, I was out the door and walking to my best friend’s house. The sky was still dark, and the breeze was moist and cold, but the rain had stopped for now.

            “So, what do you want to do?” she asked.

            I shrugged. “I don’t know.” We sat on the porch steps, licking our berry popsicles in silence. “Do you think maybe it’s lonely?” I asked suddenly.

            “What?”

            “The monster. It sits in that house all day in the dark all alone. Maybe it just needs a friend,” I said.

            “Yea, to eat for dinner.” Carrie laughed.

            “Let’s go see if we can see it through the window.”

            “But we never do,” she whined.

            And there we were, once again, gawking at the house, wondering the same things.

            I gasped. “Look, Carrie, a light.” A dim light shone through one of the small windows, but the window was too high for us to get a good looking at the inside of the house.

            “Boy, those swings look like awful fun,” Carrie said. “It’s too wet out to play kickball, and if we ride our bikes, we’ll get muddy. If only we could just swing on those swings. We’d never be bored again.”

            “I’m going to go ask it if we can play on its swings,” I said. My fear was great, but my curiosity and boredom were greater.

            “What? You’re . . . you’re crazy!” she whispered fearfully. “You’ll get kidnapped and . . . and eaten. You’ll be killed. Remember what Tommy Thompson said, Joann? Anyone who goes up those steps never comes back. Tommy’s in the sixth grade, so he knows,” she warned me.

            I started for the yard.

            “Joann!” she cried.

            “Carrie, if it hates children so much, why does it have a swing set?” I tried to reason with her.

            “To get kids to come into his yard to eat them, just like robbers use candy to kidnap kids,” she answered.

            I paused halfway through the tall, sticky weeds. I was having second thoughts, thinking that maybe this wasn’t such a grand idea after all. No, I’d gotten this far. I was in the middle of a mission and I was not a quitter.

            “Or maybe he just wants a friend, but everyone else is too much of a scaredy pants to knock on the door,” I said.

            “I’m not scared,” she said.

            I challenged her. “Yes, you are.”

            “No, I’m not. I’ll knock on that door myself.” Carrie stubbornly tramped through the lawn, pausing beside me.

            We tiptoed toward the house, hearts pounding and bodies shaking. We grasped for one another’s hand and started up the creaky steps.

            “We both will,” she said. We lifted our trembling fists and softly knocked on the paint-chipped door.

            We heard something! SQUEAK! SQUEAK! The doorknob rattled as it turned. The door groaned as it slowly . . . slowly . . . opened.

            We were ready to bolt like lightning, maybe even faster than that. I couldn’t move my eyes from the door.

            . . . Slowly . . . Slowly . . . “AAAAAAH!” we shrieked.

            “Wait, you’re not a monster,” I said.

            “Did you think I was a monster?” The old, bald man with the bright blue eyes smiled at us.

            “Everyone does. We thought you were a big, hairy monster that ate children, not an old Grandpa,” Carrie admitted.

            I elbowed her. “Carrie!”

            “Well, I do like children for dinner,” he said.

            “Really?” My eyes got wide in fright.

            “Well of course. There’s nothing like having company to help me eat all my food,” he told us.

            My shoulders fell in relief. For a moment I’d thought he was really going to eat us.

            “We don’t like bugs,” Carrie said.

            He laughed, coughed real hard, and then turned serious. “You human beings don’t like bugs?” he teased.

            “Yuck!” We stuck our tongues out.

            “What about dirt? You like to eat dirt?”

            “Gross!” we shouted.

            “Hmm! Well, I do have some chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven, but I don’t think –”

            “Yeeeaah!” we screamed excited.

            “Why don’t you ever leave the house?” Carrie asked him.

            “I can’t get around like I use to,” he said, nodding his head down toward his wheelchair. That’s why we could never see him through the windows.

            He rolled into the kitchen and every time the left wheel went round, it squeaked.

            “Why don’t you ever have any lights on?” I asked, looking around the dark house. The kitchen light was on, but it wasn’t very bright.

            “I’m an old man. It hurts my eyes.”

            After filling up on cookies and milk and promising to eat dinner when we got home, we ran out to finally play on the swing set. It was old and rusty and the chains whined a whole lot, but it didn’t matter to us. Flying through the air, kicking our feet out, leaning forward, and jumping into the fluffy weeds, there wasn’t a better feeling in the entire world.

            We still wondered why an old man would have a swing set. Then he told us it had once been his daughter’s and that she and his wife were now in heaven with God to watch over them.

            Everyday that summer, we went to the house. We would help him clean and keep him company and he would always have some kind of delicious treat for us to munch on. Kids walking by and riding by on their bicycles would stare at us and quietly warn us about waking the monster. We never told them there was no monster, only a nice, old man who couldn’t get around much. Heck if we were going to share our goodies and swing!

            Then one day at the end of summer, he sat us down at his small, wooden table and said, “I’m going away soon, girls.”

            “Where are you going?” I asked with my mouth full of apple.

            “I miss my wife and daughter. It’s time I go where they are.” He smiled softly.

            “In heaven?” I asked. He nodded his head.

            “Can we come? We’d like to meet your wife and daughter, Mr. Mead.”

            He laughed. “That’s very sweet of you, little Carrie, but you won’t see them or me, again, for many, many years. Now, I just want to thank you girls for giving me peace and happiness these past couple months. Before you ladies came along, I was very sad and lonely. You gave back to me what I’d lost years ago when my two precious loves died, my wife and daughter.”

            “What else had you lost that we could help you find?” Carrie asked.

            He smiled real big.

            “There’s still no teeth in there, Mr. Mead. We didn’t find any either,” Carrie said.

            He laughed real hard, and then he coughed real hard.

            “My smile. You helped me find my smile,” he said. “Even though I’ll be gone, the swing set is yours to play with whenever you want.”

            “Thank you,” we said, but we didn’t really understand.

            He kissed our foreheads and sent us off to play on the beloved swing set.

            We never did see Mr. Mead again, but we’ll never forget him. His swing set kept



us busy and having fun on what otherwise would have been boring days, and no one



could make chocolate chip cookies like Mr. Mead.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Secrets


Nobody likes walking around with secrets, being perceived as someone they’re not, because those secrets have a tendency to eat away at us from the inside out while we come to feel like frauds in our own life and no longer recognize our reflection in the mirror. Conversations come to feel like we’re outside ourselves and we’re no longer a part of our own existence. Our realities become separated of who we really are. We begin perceiving ourselves in the ways others perceive us and we hate it, and hate that perception of self, even if it’s a perception worthy of greatness and envy. We begin identifying with the categories we fall into such as being a parent or a worker or a friend instead of identifying with self and who we are as a person and the life we’ve led and the experiences that we’ve had that shape us into who we are now, in this moment. There’s no deeper need than the need of purging all of one’s secrets and telling one’s story so as to no longer hide behind the perceptions of others and to just be known and accepted as who we are, right now, in this moment. Not who we were or who we might be in the future, but who we are NOW.

I’m finally ready to tell the world my biggest secret. One that I’ve hid from the world in my 35 years of life. One that only few people know and remains the secretive humorous logistics behind Almondie Incorporated. I’m going to start the coming-out process and hope that others will follow because I’m about to share with the world my biggest secret. My biggest secret is … I have polyfragmented dissociative identity disorder and I operate with over a hundred different identities/fragments/parts that I share my body with, only two of whom actually identify with the name Almondie and both of whom stay inside the body, which means I have always had to answer to and respond to a name that isn’t even mine. I’ve had to turn and respond to the name Almondie being called out my entire life even if it isn’t who I am. I’ve spent my life introducing myself under a name that isn’t my own. I’ve dedicated everything to that name. The 4.0 student in college. The professional singer. The writer. The author. The mother. The 40 jobs worked, and all but one of the over 30 places moved. (When I moved to North Carolina and began introducing myself as a name other than Almondie, my 7-year-old daughter at-the-time was quick to point it out).

Why?

Because Almondie is a 7-year-old child to this day that never got to live or grow up because she was in the midst of this almost cult-like extreme religion that involved a whole lot of abuse -physical, sexual, emotional, psychological - with the whole tell no evil, speak no evil shi**, and never speak against the ‘elders’ without risking exorcism and having to be reborn. I was reborn all right. Into over a hundred different people. I(We) protected the most innocent of self, but in the years it took to finally escape, a 7-year-old was no longer suitable for an older body and life, so we kept her inside and now dedicate everything we do to a small child that lost her life, sacrificed her life ‘in the name of God’ to those that would have done horrific things to her and destroyed her and hurt her beyond repair, a child that never got to live her life or grow up, because there was no way she could have survived and kept her innocence and beauty at that young of an age, so I (we) took over and endured those unspeakable things so that she wouldn’t have to.

But now she can never live or have her life, because the body aged, but she did not, because we locked her away too long in order to protect her. So Almondie maintains the purity and innocence of being untouched and untainted and has this beautiful heart full of love and hope and joy and beauty while we maintain the memories of the horrors without anyone ever even knowing our name. How’s that for a life-long secret?

Now it’s your turn.


Everyone Has A Story To Tell See How You Can Share Yours Everyone has a story to tell, but most do not share it for a multitude of …

www.freebirdexpresspublishing.blogspot.com

Monday, June 4, 2018

What's it like to be a published author Part I









What’s It Like Being A Published Author?

Those Blasted Stereotypes
This is the question I get asked 8 out of 10 times when people find out that I write books.
The purpose of this blog is for me not to lie or provide vague or proper responses that politically-correct-etiquette demands, like when you’ve had a hell of a crappy day and you’re wondering what you do it all for and what the purpose of it all is and someone asks you, “How are you?”, and you say, “Good,” even though what you’re really thinking is Eat Sh** and die! Or something of that nature. 
We don’t actually want the person to eat poop right before they kick the bucket, but smiling faces and happy demeanors of those who ask how we are when our frown lines are pronounced and our eyes
are bagged and puffy and we’ve got that deer-in-headlights look have a tendency to tick us off even more, because we’re supposed to say, “Good,” even though we’re clearly not. If we tell the truth, on the other hand, it’s even worse, because then you get that proper etiquette thrown back in your face anyway when the stranger says, “I’m sorry. What happened?” while they’re slowly backing away and looking left and right and acting like they’re busy because they clearly do not want to stand there and listen to your life’s problems.

So when I’m asked what it’s like to be a published author the majority of the time, I can already see the expectations of what that person wants to hear based on the stereotypes (and myths) of being an author. But unlike the how-are-you question, me just saying ‘good’ doesn’t suffice.
They want to hear about all the fame and fortune!
And my excessive riches!
And my hidden, raunchy tales of my ‘adventurous’ life.
(I watched three episodes of Californication after someone followed me around for three hours asking questions about my life as an author after Google-stalking me and telling me how much he loved that show and it was one of his favorites, and thereafter, I became legitimately embarrassed to tell anyone I was a writer, due to the show depicting a writer in a drink-and-drug induced porn-type lifestyle. Only then did I realize why he was so fascinated with me and asking so many personal questions while I was trying to work. On the plus side, he was the annual health inspector that passed us with flying colors).
It’s almost amusing the amount of ways that a person can attempt to ask you about your finances without them thinking they’re being obvious. No One asks about my finances when they learn I’m a single Mom without knowing about the author thing, because they know I’m friggin’ broke, but as soon as the author-thing comes up, I’m suddenly bathed in wealth and riches.
They’ll see my 88 beat-up Plymouth and laugh and say, “I see you like old cars.” Yeah, buddy, it’s a passion of mine to drive a car with no power steering, no air-conditioning, no heat, with a radio that can’t get any stations, that is leaking everywhere but … oh, wait, nevermind, that’s leaking too. OR
“So, why are you working here, then? Just to make some extra cash? Or are you working on a story?” wink wink. No, actually, I just love being a manager at a pizza place making minimum wage and doing deliveries with my above-listed car while my daughter sits home alone at night and I have to constantly fear someone breaking into the house or the house burning down. Truth be told, I WAS also working on my ‘Pizza Girl Chronicles’ story.
‘I’m an undercover operative working at a pizza place. The pizza place is called ‘The Pizza Place’.’
Some will be more direct and just say, “So you must be rolling in the dough, hah?” with a casual chuckle. Yeah, pizza dough and playdough.
The Reality
The myth

“Something like that,” is my typical proper-etiquette response.
So the answer to that question of What it’s like to be a published author? My first true answer: When you have more people trying to figure out how much money you’re making and trying to figure out if you’re famous than asking what your books are about, what your life is like, or who you are as a person, it can be pretty discouraging.
Me just a normal, regular person
Prior to being an out-of-the-closet published author (I kept it secret for many, many years), I’d had the typical life of a single female that had to worry about whether guys were interested in ME or – well, you know – and whether girls were my actual friend or just my to-my-face friend, but not behind-my-back friend. I dealt with standard jealousies of male and female insecurities. Before I went public, I never had to worry about people being interested in me for money or for fame, because people saw me as I was – a single Mom, working 2-3 jobs, writing & freelancing on the side, doing what everyone does to financially survive, but as one person, not two, in a state where the average income (and therefore prices) is based on two people, not one. Before I went public, I never had to worry about being exploited by strangers in a way meant to sabotage my life or destroy my reputation or hurt me.
Me in disguise, trying to get away from the creepers
(It's actually me playing Dad. When you're a single parent,
you have to be both Mom and Dad. That's my son in the
background going through a sexual identity crisis for some
unknown reason) [Kidding - it was Halloween, which makes
it completely  normal  for my son and I to switch genders. He
learned what it felt like to wear nylons and heals, and I
learned the benefits of eyeliner].
After I went public, everything changed, from the VERY moment I went public. When I had people that I thought were my friends suddenly acting like we’re boyfriend and girlfriend in public, which can be extremely awkward when someone’s invading your personal space, but they’re your friend, so you don’t want to hurt their feelings and publicly humiliate them, but at the same time, you’re trying to keep yourself from publicly humiliating yourself and crying, because you know that they’re grabbing your hand and putting their arm around you and suddenly trying to kiss you so as to be part of spotlight. One that doesn’t even exist.
As soon as the news went out, a close immediate family member of mine whom had nothing to do with me for years suddenly called me asking for money. Let me rephrase that – he inferred I owed him money for having to put up with me as a child and help pay for things, like the glasses that allowed me to no longer be legally-blind after 7 years of being legally-blind, failing kindergarten, and having everyone think I was mentally retarded versus blind.
I started getting friend requests left and right, not knowing the difference between a fan, someone I may have gone to school with or worked with (I went to 7 schools, 3 colleges, and previously I mentioned I’ve moved over 30 times and have had almost 40 jobs, so there’s probably a good 100,000 people at least that know me from one of the above-listed), or someone just assuming I was rich and famous and wanting in on it.
And I had those whom had nothing to do with me for years, decades even, suddenly take an interest.
The most heart-breaking was having those I loved become resentful and turn on me, like I no longer belonged, even though I was the same people. And I emphasize on was, because I am no longer, but it wasn’t being a published author that changed me, because I’d already been a published author for a decade. It was people’s negative reactions to me once I went public that changed me.
The most ridiculous of events that occurred were those that went after me for money, assuming I was loaded. One attempted to get me to pay him $5,000 by blackmailing me with bad reviews on all my books, claiming I ‘stole’ his work, in order to get his 5 grand. Fortunately, I have some basic legal knowledge, since previously I was going for a joint Ph.D in Psychology and J.D in law (another story), so I was able to get it to stop, but not before damage had already been done.
My first coming-out pic
So when the stereotypes of authors reveal them to be withdrawn, more reserved, introverted – like mice that just run out to get their meal and return to the hole in the wall. When they reveal authors to be uppity, snooty-like, and acting like they’re ‘above and more superior’ than others, incapable of casual interaction, it’s not because that’s how authors actually are as people. It’s because of the other stereotypes of authors being rich and famous that attracts the wrong kind of attention that leads authors to have to withdraw themselves from the world, to be afraid of people, to stay in the confines of their safe place instead of going out in public. And that uppity, snooty-like, superior stereotype follows the stereotype of what people expect. Because you’re no longer a person and human being. You’re a published author. That means you’re not normal and you’re not like everyone else in the world and you don’t have normal problems or a normal life and that’s how people treat you. You’re either monumentalized as rich and famous and amazing or you’re the target of the worst of people’s jealousies and the type of ugliness that only jealousy can cause.
So what’s it like to be a published author, Part I?










It’s lonely.


Stick around for Part II and I’ll tell you the perks!

https://authoralmondieshampine.blogspot.com/2018/06/whats-it-like-being-published-author.html
PART II

SINGLE PARENTING - from the beginning - and the complications of woo-hoo.

What’s it like being a single parent?   This is a question NOONE asks me, even though I’ve been a single parent and a sole-inc...