The Genesis of Michael J’s Life #fiction #MichaelJseries


Image by Anja🤗#helpinghands #solidarity#stays healthy🙏 from Pixabay

Michael came from parents who harbored a deep secret. The man who he thought was his father turned out not to be his father. This man, Jarren Johanssen, raised him as his own, but it had been tough not only for Jarren but for Karena, Michael’s mom.

When her husband would go away on a business trip and would often be away from his family, Karena had soon become lonely. She would go to work to take care of their three children at that time which would leave her feeling weary. She had few friends she would hang out with, and a mother who occasionally would help out with the children. But, Karena needed a different kind of attention and love. While at work, she was being seduced by her boss on several occasions and had finally given in to him that night of the day her husband left for a business trip to California.

A few weeks later, she found out she was pregnant. Being hit with the conception date had hit her hard because she knew who fathered her child. And she was hoping it would have been her husband since they had an intimate moment before he left to go on his business trip.

It was the summer of 1978 in Houston, Texas when Michael found out about this at a barbeque after he graduated from high school. He had never felt so devastated since receiving this information. So, he had a sit-down with his parents and demanded answers.

“I can’t believe what I’ve heard. Is it true? I need to know!” Michael questioned as they sat away from everyone at a picnic table. He somberly sat down, shaking his head in bewilderment. He used his thumb and middle finger to massage the throb that threatened to come.

Karena had downcast eyes as she knew this day would become exposed someday. She also hated the fact that her son-in-law had blurted this secretive and personal information out to everyone. She would have to have a talk with her daughter about airing the family’s dirty laundry even to people like her son-of-law. The thing with that is, her daughter must have overheard it at some point because Karena had never told any of them.

Jarren gave his wife a sidelong glance and set his eyes back on Michael. He leaned forward and clasped his hands together on the table, trying to figure out how to say to a child the hate he has for his biological father. Or, how he truly feels about all of this. Nevertheless, it wasn’t Michael’s fault he was born. Jarren felt a rush of emotions hitting him all at once.

“Michael, I want you to know that I love you very much. I know this comes as a shock to you about me not being your biological dad, but we have gotten through the worst before. And, I’m not going to lie. It was hard raising another man’s son who, um, slept with my wife. And, er- in the beginning, I didn’t want anything to do with you. But when you were thirteen months old, and I was going through depression, you walked up and comforted me. It was the way you did it that helped-” Jarren paused because he was starting to get choked up.

Karena didn’t know whether to console her husband since she’s to blame for him to feel this way. It still hurts like hell to see her husband like this. Over the years, and after they had one more child when Michael was turning two years old, they had worked through it. Or so she thought. It had been hard, she won’t front, but what made it worse was Michael’s birth father kept popping up demanding to be in his son’s life.

Michael turned to his mom and saw sadness swimming in her eyes. Her long jet-black flowing hair was waving in the wind like a flag. He wanted to hear what she had to say because he needed to know not only why he was conceived the way he was, but why she never mentioned anything to him. Or at least try to. His stomach started to knot up as he expelled a long sigh.

Jarren took a quick glance at his wife with hurt and anger etched on his face. He then stood up and walked away. He has always been a proud man and not one to show his emotions much- at least not pain and sadness.

“Michael, I promise to talk about this to you. Right now, I want to wait until most of the people are gone so I can have that talk with you. Okay?” Karena reached out to caress the side of her son’s face. She is a private person and doesn’t like talking about herself or her family’s business around people who she feels are not family in that sense.

“Okay, mom,” Michael said quietly, closing his eyes when his mom planted a kiss on the top of his head. He didn’t know how to process it, and since his mom wanted to wait to talk about it, that time may not come anytime soon. He patted the head of his Saarloos Wolfdog, Rocko while he stayed at the picnic table deep in his thoughts about his life taken a drastic turn.

The next morning after breakfast as Karena and one of her daughters was cleaning the kitchen, there were a loud knock at the front door. She yells out to Michael to answer it.

She wasn’t quite in the mood for company and was hoping it would be a friend of one of her children coming to see them. But as she moves out of the kitchen and was heading toward the front door, she overheard a familiar voice.

“Hey, Michael! How’ve you been, son?” Standing at the door was a handsome dark-haired man with olive skin, gazing at her son with fatherly love in his eyes.

“I’ve been good, sir,” Michael responded. He glanced at his mom and saw she had reached his side with confusion and terror on her face.

“That’s good! Hi, Karena. Good seeing you again,” the guy said, staring into her dark brown eyes in a way that always made her feel uncomfortable.

“Michael, will you give me a moment with Mr. Xander, please?”

“Sure, mom.”

When Michael was out of earshot, Karena looked at the guy she fought so hard to rid herself of. The guy who, no matter where she goes, would always seem to find her, and she that she exorcised out of her system.

“You have some nerve being here. What if my husband comes home and sees you darkening our doorstep?” She hissed at him.

“I’ve been to Michael’s graduation away from your family. Now, I’m here to see him in person. I want to spend time with our son… today.”

TO BE CONTINUED.

©2020 Pamela E. Hester

Can One Truly Say Goodbye?


Courtesy by: Choschos on pixabay.com

When I think about the title of this post, Boys To Men’s song, It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye comes to mind. (You can listen to it here.)

Earlier this year, a cousin of mines had passed away. I didn’t found out until after they had a memorial service for him. He was missing for weeks before his body was found. Though I was over 14 years older than him, we know of each other, just not that well. And we weren’t raised up around each other either. Still, it is sad to know he had died the way he did. And he was so young.

This past Monday, another cousin of mines passed away. She was an elderly woman. I didn’t even know she was so sick and constantly hospitalized.

That side of the family, several of them, I don’t talk to because of what happened in my past because of them. So, though I had forgiven them for my own sake so I can heal and move on, I don’t have to go around them nor communicate. 

When I was told this Monday evening about her passing, I was shocked, and I didn’t know how I feel about it. I still don’t.

When I was a teenager, my life was in chaos, and though I won’t go into details about all the things I was put through (and my siblings), I want to let known that it is difficult when someone who caused you great pain, turmoil, and abuse turned out to be sick for so long and then passed away. I always wanted to sit down and talk with her when I became an adult, but I also wanted to stay clear of her. She was the reason for a lot of things going wrong in my youth. I wanted to know why she took us in and was supposed to care for us but treated us the way she did. And allow others to do it too.

Like, on many occasions, no matter how many times my dad (who died back in 2003) fought hard for his children to get us back, she and other members lied and schemed and did what they could to keep him away or else. It was so devastating, and I grew up with hatred in my heart for EVERYthing that happened under her watch for not only to me but also to my siblings.

I just wanted to get that out of my system in words. Sometimes, you look for the good amidst the bad, but the bad is overcrowding the good. Things happened for reasons unknown at times, and it can be frustrating trying to find out the whys, what-ifs, and hows to a situation when you are a teenager going through life changes. And dealing with people who are mean and so…

Okay…I told myself not to get into these things, but as of now, I find myself taking my days as I usually would upon hearing about her death. That brush, or more like an ambush of memories, came and is slowly fading. A few years ago, I had to do a ritual to let go of the past. It’s okay to think about things sometimes, to look back at how far you have come, but it is not good to dwell on the things that are negative and toxic. I had learned to let go and work on my mental health and not associate myself with certain people. And to do better in life for me, but also for my child.

That ritual I did, I had written pages of everything and everyone who had done something to me, and what happened to me. I went back to when I was a little girl and stopped at the age I was when I started the ritual. It took me the entire weekend to write what had seemed to be eight pages. I poured out every emotion. All the hurt, pain, anger, you named it and wrote it all down. Every single thing and every person, I wrote it down. I ended it with myself for being hard on myself and putting myself down. For allowing myself to go through the things, I took myself through and allowing those things to happen that shouldn’t, and not allowing myself to speak up when needed. Finally, I walked somewhere and burned the pages and said, “I release everything and everyone that had ever treated me and done me wrong. Every bad, cruel, and evilness. I release them from my mind, heart, and spirit.”

With people, our past selves, and whatever else, can one truly say goodbye? Sometimes with some people, like my dad, it took over a decade for me to come to terms with his passing. And to realize he’s really not coming back, at least not in the flesh. So, I feel like a person can say goodbye to someone who had passed on, in their own time, because everyone is different. I supposed it also depends on the person’s relationship with the person who had passed on when they were alive. And also, whether or not it was on good terms if that person wants to say goodbye. Perhaps some people want closure.

My cousin who passed this week, I am not sure when that is, and as I mentioned above, I won’t go into the details but, I had to get that out of my system and write whatever else I may be feeling on a sheet of paper, or whenever that “feeling” may come and write it and burn it. 

I don’t want to be numb.

The candles burning in the video is my way of virtually burning candles for someone who had a loved one who had passed away. Emotions are real, and so is grief. And I wish you nothing but strength, love, and healing.

Stay bless, 

Pamela

#Writing Is More Than A Gift #MondayBlogs


Writing is and has always been something that is embedded deep within my soul. It is something you don’t completely abandon—you’ll eventually come back to it—because it is a part of you.

We can look at writing as a gift because, in a way, it is precisely that. We share our writing with the world whether for monetary value, for free, or both; it is a “gift” that came from our hearts, minds, and souls.

I love it ever since I learned how to write and could put sentences together. And later pages that turned into a manuscript. Writing can also be a struggle because we all have those days where we may feel like we can’t seem to write a simple word or sentence down. Those long nights, the fatigue, distractions, you name it, can get the best of us.

Though, when you keep going, you’ll see what felt like the struggle had turned into quite a blessing to share with others. If writing is something you love doing, no matter what, keep going and go some more, and keep writing. Whatever it is, don’t stop because you may never know whose life you’re impacting.

Sidenote: I started a website some months ago that I’ve been working on: pamelahester.com. I’m still updating it, but feel free to look around. I also have started a newsletter I would love for you all to subscribe to by clicking here. It’s a different one I had before, and it’s a way you can stay up-to-date with my website.

Do you see writing as more than a gift?

PressThis: Kindle Vella: Description, Features, and Tips for Authors #MondayBlogs #kindlevella


Lately, I have been having so much going on that I pretty much almost abandon my blog. I have been busy working, editing my novel, and other things I will post about soon, and I can’t believe how much time have passed since I done the March Writing Challenge. I’m not trying to make excuses, just being honest.

Well, on to what this post is about. I have learned about a month ago about the existence of Kindle Vella that I am sure some of you are aware of.

Kindle Vella is something new Amazon is trying out that authors can be a part of. The thing with it is the stories, novels, or what have you, are broken down into episodes as the chapters of the stories. The works have to be stories that haven’t been published before, free or paid.

Authors can make money off it when readers read their episodes. I don’t want to repeat what is already being said below in the article, but I believe this may be helpful for writers/authors looking to get their work out there and to reach a broader audience.

Tell me what you think about Kindle Vella. And please feel free to click the link to read the full article.


Amazon continues to push its own boundaries in the reader market, this time spreading into a micro-industry that has been gaining traction elsewhere, resulting in an exciting leap forward for Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and potentially for authors as well.

The product is the newly announced Kindle Vella, a new Kindle platform created as a “mobile-first” approach to serialized storytelling.

In it, authors will have the chance to engage with readers in a new way, “one short episode at a time”.

So let’s take a deeper dive into this new platform.

In this article, you will learn:

  1. What Kindle Vella is
  2. How it works
  3. Its potential benefits to authors
  4. The step-by-step process to publish using Kindle Vella
  5. Additional tips and strategies to use

What is Kindle Vella?

Kindle Vella is a new platform from KDP, built specifically for serialized stories. On the platform, it will allow you to publish short episodes of your story, which will then be available to readers on mobile devices and online.

Features

Kindle Vella Interface

There’s a lot to unpack in the above video and on KDP’s pages on the subject, but let’s break down a few of the core features:

  • Episodes will be between 600-5,000 words long
  • It is currently only available to those in the U.S.
  • It will be available to readers in “the next few months”
  • At launch, it will only be available in the Kindle iOS app and on Amazon.com
  • Authors will receive 50% of royalties
  • Readers will spend their money on “Tokens” that will be used to unlock the story, episode by episode
  • You can publish, update, or delete an episode at any time
  • Readers will have the opportunity to engage with their stories using the following
    • Follow: readers will be able to follow the stories they want to read
    • Fave: readers can mark the stories they like the most, and the stories with the most Faves will be featured in a leaderboard
    • Thumbs Up: readers can give a thumbs up to any episode, letting the author and other readers know which installments they liked the most
  • Episodes will have space for an “Author’s Note” section, allowing the author to talk to the reader directly with each episode
  • The first three episodes of every story will be free

Is This New?

Kindle Vella is Amazon’s response to a number of similar platforms that have sprung up over the years, such as Radish, WebNovel, and Wattpad.

Each of these platforms feature bite-sized serialization, and while monetization differs from one platform to another, popularity of this format is seeing more and more attention.

For example, bite-sized serialization platforms have been hugely popular in international markets, such as China, South Korea, and Japan.

It’s no wonder, therefore, that Amazon has thrown their hat into the ring.

Source: Kindle Vella: Description, Features, and Tips for Authors

I Write Because… #Writing


Image by hudsoncrafted from Pixabay

 

I know I had shared before about why I write, and what writing means to me. Well, I would like to remind myself while sharing not only with my existing followers, but to the new ones as well. I appreciate you all.

Though I haven’t written much lately since participating in Camp NaNoWriMo in July, writing isn’t some sort of mind exercise to transfer thoughts into words on screen or paper. I write because it is a way for me to express myself creatively. I feel like I can create magic with my thoughts and with my fingers. Writing, to me, is a spiritual act because I am not only sharing what’s on my mind, in my heart, but speaking from within my spirit.

It’s also a magical thing when creating characters and world-building when it comes to writing stories. It is also scary reaching into those recesses of your brain to write and sharing what you wrote to the world. Writing helps with emotions and to overcome whatever one may be going through.

I want to forever share my writing to the world because it is one of the few ways I feel safe within my right. It’s where I can be my genuine self. Writing means the world to me since I was a little girl who had a severe stuttering problem and hates to talk. Writing makes me feel like I can conquer the world.

I want to understand words more and feel them deep course through my veins. And also because I still have so many stories and ideas to share that I keep putting off because I have a procrastination issue.

Famous authors’ quotes on why they write:

“I just knew there were stories I wanted to tell.” – Octavia E. Butler

 

“Why one writes is a question I can answer easily, having so often asked it of myself. I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live. I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me — the world of my parents, the world of war, the world of politics. I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself when destroyed by living. That, I believe, is the reason for every work of art.” – Anaïs Nin

 

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
— Toni Morrison

 

“So why do I write, torturing myself to put it down? Because in spite of myself I’ve learned some things. Without the possibility of action, all knowledge comes to one labeled ‘file and forget,’ and I can neither file nor forget. Nor will certain ideas forget me; they keep filing away at my lethargy, my complacency. Why should I be the one to dream this nightmare?” – Ralph Ellison

Tell us, why do you write?