I guess the best way of doing this is going to be to break it up into three and work on each section at a time, praying that my little scatterbrain, can stay focused on each, individually and not keep jumping between.
So mistakes then :)
When writing Insane Reno, I knew it was going to be a story full of mistakes, not only because of my inability to coax grammar into making sense, (gotta love editors) but because my main character Tizzy, made it clear from the off, that she was a very strong, stubborn person, who was incredibly angry to boot and her mother Annie, was also a strong, stubborn person who was extremely afraid, so afraid in fact, that when forced to face her fears, yep you guessed it, she became very angry.
I know only to well that damaged mother, daughter relationships are fraught with all kinds of problems and also result in an awful lot of mistakes being made, on both sides and thus was pretty sure that Tizzy and Annie would lead me on a very big emotional roller coaster.
What I didn't expect was for them to open my eyes so much, to my own mistakes and also to the realities of my relationship with my own mother.
I expected, to be one hundred percent behind Tizzy all the way, after all, her mother had kept some pretty big secrets from her and in refusing to share them, was putting both Tizzy and her father at risk. What sort of woman would do that, not a good one surely.
But the more I delved into Tizzy and Annie's story and examined their relationship, the more I wanted to heal it. Tizzy was so sure that she was right and her mother wrong that she didn't stop to wonder why her mother became the way she had and that is a problem a lot of us have, we are so busy thinking about ourselves, that we don't stop to consider others.
We will in seconds explain away our own misdeeds, well if my parents had been more affectionate, I would have taken time to find true love and not just grabbed for affection where ever I could get it. Well if my husband hadn't made us move away from our family, I wouldn't be so lonely now and thus wouldn't be so grumpy and so on and so forth.
Yet when it comes to other people we can see that they might have reasons too, maybe your parents are making mistakes as adults, because their parents made mistakes with them, when they were children, maybe your husband made the choice to move, because he thought rightly or wrongly that it was what was best for you as a family, perhaps in worrying about providing for the family, he forgot that we need more than just money in life to be happy.
The point I am trying to make and the realisation that Tizzy and Annie's story brought me to is that we all make mistakes, no single one of us is perfect, we can only strive to do our best and sometimes in doing so we make the wrong choices. Sometimes out of a need for self preservation and sometimes, in an attempt to protect those we care about.
Think about this, how many babies do you look at and think, I see evil in that babies eyes, their is a bad person right there. You don't! Not unless your staring in some messed up horror film that requires you to think that way at any rate, or some pre-labour nightmare lol.
The reality is no baby is evil, they are an innocent little creature, just waiting for life to take hold and either build them up or sadly tare them down.
It is a combination of life struggles, bad choices and others mistakes that ultimately make those babies grow into broken adults.
unless we have walked in another person shoes we cannot possibly judge them on the mistakes they make, we have no right, because we haven't lived their life.
Mistakes are a part of life, regardless of whether we make big mistakes or small mistakes, all of us at sometime or another will make mistakes.
Realising this, made me realise that there was another story I had to tell after, Insane Reno, that there was a badly broken person who came across so terribly in Insane Reno that I just had to go back and show her reality, her past, to let her explain for herself, why she ended up that way and so the prequel to Insane Reno was born. Annie.
For the sake of troubled mother and daughter relationships everywhere, including my own, I knew that I had to let Annie tell her story and hope that in doing so, perhaps other mothers and daughters out there would try to see things from each others point of view.
I said earlier on, that I wanted to heal Tizzy and Annie's relationship, but in truth Annie stories is Annie's own attempt to heal her broken relationship with her daughter, it is her plea for forgiveness, even as I write it, I have no idea if Tizzy will accept it, will even hear it.
Because I am not sure Tizzy wants to understand, for she is happy believing that her life is better off without her mother in it. Sadly sometimes we don't realise how much we need someone in our lives until it is to late.
For those of you who are perhaps not writers or perhaps don't write in the same way I do, this might seem strange to you. You may perhaps be sat their scratching your heads thinking why is she talking about her characters like they are real people, she must be insane lol, don't worry, I haven't lost the plot.
When I write, I get a very strong picture of my character as a person and a very strong sense of how they would react in any given circumstance. Because of this, it can sometimes feel as if the stories themselves come from the very characters own mouths, as if they are somehow guiding your word and the story, from inside your head.
It is very much a process of discovery for me as I write, I always start at the beginning and let my characters guide me through the story. So even I don't know what will happen in the end, until I get there and as Annie has not finished telling her story, Tizzy has not had a chance to react to it and so I honestly don't know how she will react.
I suspect given Tizzy's nature, curiosity will get the better of her when it comes to reading her mothers words, but whether her mothers words will open her eyes or not, I cannot say just yet, because not even I have heard all of Annie's tale yet and as I said before, if we haven't walked in someone else shoes, if we don't understand the things that they have faced, we can't possibly begin to judge them.
I spent a large part of my life, hoping to discover something that I felt was hugely important and in fact am still doing so. I've spent my life trying to discover who I am, because I don't feel as if I know the real me, I feel as if some how, the real me got lost along the way and all that is left is a person I don't know or recognise.
The reality is that as much as I wish the happy go lucky, little girl, who had no cares and no worries, who was polite, kind, sweet and good, was still me, she isn't, she is gone, life saw to that. So constantly trying to discover who I really am, is kinda pointless, because the reality is, who I am now, is currently, who I really am.
Doesn't mean it is who I will always be either, because there are other things we can discover in life that cause us to grow, change, and adapt.
If we don't like something about ourselves we can strive to change it, it won't always be easy and at times might seem, near impossible, but we can strive to achieve it.
Strive to try, that's one of my favourite sayings.
I just finished reading a book today, called The day I died by Polly Courtney, that really looks at this subject, (possible spoiler alert here, you have been warned.) in it, a young girl, who actually goes by many names within the story, but who we shall call Jo, is involved in an accident that causes her to lose her memory.
Jo cannot remember her name, where she lives or anything connected to her personal life, her very existence up until she finds herself coming too, in a bit of a disaster zone is erased and all she is left with is a sense of foreboding and fear.
So Jo takes off, just jumps on a bus and lets it take her anywhere, anywhere, that is far away from the life, she can't actually remember and she begins to start her life journey again as a completely new person.
But as much as Jo tries to start afresh, questions begin to crop up about her past, as well as memories.
When she steals, she wonders is this the kind of person I was? did I steal? was I a thief? and though she still steals, she loaves herself for it. When Jo finds she has a penchant for alcohol, she wonders if she was an alcoholic, and if this is the type of person she was. But the reality is she is still that person, because she is still doing, though she does strive to change it.
Jo is constantly discovering new things, not only about her old life, but herself and not all of it good and she also with time tries to go back. She is ultimately on a journey to discover who she really is, even if it starts with her trying to avoid who she really is and become something new.
So when she does discover who she was, what her life was life before the accident, she tries to go back to it, but she just, doesn't really seem to fit, at least not in the same way she had before and that's because all those experiences had changed her, and caused her to grow as a person, grow into someone new.
The better her she had hoped for all along, but still not perfect, because no one can be.
Jo travels the ultimate journey of discovery and because of it, she grows and that is what life is about, mistakes, discovery and growth.
Growth, we are all growing constantly, every single thing that happens in our life, helps us to grow, be it in ourselves, in knowledge, in faith or in girth lol.
Sometimes, before we can grow we have to hit rock bottom, sometimes, for those who are a little less stubborn, we grow with relatively little heartache in our life, we grow from watching others mistake and pain, and by feeling compassion or a longing to understand them, to help them, to heal them. Sometimes it is a combination of the two.
whatever the case we are all constantly growing, some faster than others, but that doesn't matter, because we are all different after all and isn't that a good thing for the world would surely be a very boring place if we were all the same.
Finding God, was my ultimate discovery, (now don't go running for the hills I am not about to preach to you, I don't do that, I am simple explaining how it was for me, because I know only to well that people forcing God on others is not the way to bring someone to God, because when people used to do it to me I ran a mile. He was something I had to discover for myself. Any who, getting back on track.) Before I was saved, I was a real mixed bag of emotions and though I tried to figure myself out and others out, I could see why they might have done things, but I still couldn't let go of the anger I felt.
Finding my faith helped me get a lot better at that, because suddenly there was somewhere where my feeling were explained, where others had faced something similar or the same and come out the other side smiling. Where someone explained what I had to do in order to heal, there was the bible, God's word.
I went to God, full of anger, accusations, hurt, disbelief, and doubt. I went to God, determined to prove that he wasn't real, that he didn't care ( I know how can someone who isn't real not care right) and that there was no one out there watching over me and so much more beside.
But instead, I found people like me, people as equally flawed, people as equally broken as well as some amazing people who were healed, or healing, who were now trying to heal others, by listening, loving on them, and taking the time, to just be there for them.
These people weren't perfect and they knew it, they were flawed too, but it didn't matter because they were trying, trying so hard to be just good people and ultimately that is what the bible advocates, goodness, love, compassion, kindness, gentleness and so much more.
I watched these people take hours and hours of abuse from someone who was trying to ridicule them for their faith, days, weeks, months of it while still continuing to love on them.
The things those people went through and yet they never gave up on that person and because of that, one day, that person would open up, reveal their pain, pain that they had never been able to let out before, and it might only be for a moment before the shutters went up again, but it was a step towards there healing. Not everyone who was healed there turned to God, some did other didn't but they did all grow and they did come to respect and care about the people that took so much abuse from them, without ever giving any back.
Those people and God were the reason I was able to grow beyond the hurt, anger and pain that I had been battling with, and God and others I meet, or know continue to do the same.
God always seems to find a way to draw my attention to an issue I need to work on in my life. A bad habit or trait that I have that needs fixing in order for me to grow. Be it my stubbornness, my fears, or my self doubt.
I am growing much faster now, because I am more open too it, but there are so many ways that we grow, or come to grow. For all of us it is different, it's not something we can predict or make happen it just, does.
So to Summarise, mistake, discovery and growth are all apart of life, a way for us to become better people, we all will make mistakes, we all will seek to discover and we will all ultimately grow, so why fight it, why not just go with the flow, because the funny thing is, things have a way of getting better in the end, if only for a while.
love and hugs all Joss xxx
P.S. This has been a late night rambling, so forgive me if at times it got a bit confusing or if you felt it didn't make any sense at all lol. Oh look there's my self doubt again lol.
P.P.S, if you would like to read they day I died you can get your copy here
and finely a little song to remind you that the rain don't last forever :) enjoy.