Muscle memory can be a bitch…

As a fiction writer, I end up reading a lot of non-fiction. Some of it is pure research (see my By the Hands of Men series for novels that required a wide variety of source material to make the story feel real and lived-in). Often one text, or even a throwaway line on a single page, will lead me to others.
This book, by Dutch psychiatrist and early PTSD researcher Bessel van der Kolk, is one such happy (and sobering) discovery. A memoir of a woman’s recovery from alcoholism mentioned her experiences with therapeutic massage. The masseuse touched a spot on her back, saying something along the lines of “This is where we store sorrow,” and the writer reported that
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Plus a Bonus Personal Demon

Lovely way to start the year:

Got my writing desk set up, the office cleaned, and then ran across a couple of really nice 5 star reviews for By the Hands of Men:
 

“Absolutely incredible!

“I have always been drawn to historical series, because I needed to know how each character developed and finished his or her role in the story-telling. I was not disappointed with any facet in this series! Robert and Charlotte faced and survived unspeakable hardship and horror, yet their love for each other never wavered. Please read this series.”
 
and
 

“Beautiful

In an age where debauchery and ugliness is the norm, this book brings truth and goodness and beauty. A story of real love –
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Grief is not a gentle mother

And it has viciously kicked my ass most of this month.

Grief turned out to be kind of a reverse Trojan Horse:  it detonated in might and power and inevitability like Shiva the Destroyer, but there were gifts (perhaps even a kind of rebirth) to be found in the rubble.

 

The most gut-wrenching part of the loss has started to subside and, to almost no one’s surprise, I will write more about it later.

 

In other writing news, my High-School English teacher and I reconnected this summer after losing touch for a few years.  She was a tremendous educator and I was so blessed to have her in my confused young life as a High School Senior.   She …

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Very tough week, friends.

My high-school girlfriend, a long-time friend and encourager of my writing, died on Monday.
 
I had dreamed about her Sunday night, and it struck me as odd, since I don’t generally remember my dreams and I hadn’t dreamed of her in a long time. Then I received the news that she had passed away sometime Monday morning.
 
She was a gifted artist, loving, kind, compassionate, and wounded by life as are we all.
 
I am very saddened at this loss.
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Random rambling…

Below, my mostly squared away desk, including the keyboard tray I made from original house baseboards.

 

I feel like I’ll be able to start writing again, now.  I’ve found a cluttered desk is the death to productivity.  Read up on it, apparently your brain feels like it needs to check everything in the environment before it can focus on the task at hand.

Or, it’s a hold over from my Coast Guard days, when I had to have my Rescue Swimmer gear organized so I could find life-saving equipment at a moment’s notice in the dark, while dripping wet and slightly hypothermic myself.

Speaking of those days, here is a class photo from Coast Guard Aviation Survivalman School.

 …

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Gratefulness…

I recently was selected for a Bookbub promotion, which introduced the “By the Hands of Men” series to a whole new group of readers.

Some of the reactions have been just marvelous. I hope I am never so jaded by my progress that I lose my sense of gratitude that someone finds my books compelling or entertaining or perhaps even enlightening.

A Six Book Series Worth Reading.

“I have not committed myself to a six book series as I’ve never believed an author could sustain a story and keep it interesting for that long. I was proven wrong by Roy Griffiths with this series which I found myself finding time to read rather than to sleep. I wouldn’t recommend reading …

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