As the world of blogging goes, you tend to e-meet (yeah, I’m pretty sure I’ve heard that word used somewhere before) a lot of people. One such person that I have had the pleasure of getting acquainted with is Demetria Foster Gray. Her blog, Shaken But Not Stirred, often offers insight about everyday life. To describe it, in her own words, it “showcases human behavior in its purest form to unveil how we navigate around, under, over, and through our daily existence. Because the point is, even though we get shaken up by life, it’s up to us to not be stirred”.
Demetria recently debuted her novel, Sifting Through Mud, which I literally just finished reading, and I’m really excited to shine the spotlight on her today.
Sifting Through Mud is a superb story of friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness. Demetria does a fantastic job weaving together two characters’ unlikely friendship by telling both their points of view: Nyla, the widow who unknowingly befriends the pregnant mistress of her dead husband, Nathan, and Vivian, the said mistress who initially tries to fight off their impending friendship. These two women fall in “like” with one another and find themselves connected emotionally whether they want to be or not.
Here’s a peek inside the story:
Nathan is in the family room watching sports on TV. My handbag and car keys are on the foyer table next to the flower arrangement I sent myself yesterday for our twentieth wedding anniversary. I grab my keys, my handbag, and open the front door. I pause in the doorway to look back over my shoulder, at the life I lived here. Then silently, almost invisibly, I walk out the door.
I have no idea where I’m going. All I feel is the overwhelming burden of where I’ve been. The toll and heaviness of an undesired life. For now, a hotel will have to do. One where no one can find me, and has big, fluffy pillows to hold my tears and muffle my screams. Tomorrow, when Nathan’s at work, I’ll go back for a few personal things. All I have now are the clothes on my back—clothes which are hanging wearily from my marriage-torn body.
The truth of the matter is, I’m a murderer. I’ve killed the one person who could’ve saved me—myself. I’ve traveled down this lifeless road for far too long, and now I’m stuck in blandness. I miss the flavor of life. The pleasure and joy of actually feeling feelings, instead of faking feelings. Faking joy, faking happiness. I’m living life without the spice of life and it’s taking its toll on me.
But thank God the dead has now risen, and it’s time for me to take back my life. To absolve my death. Which is precisely what I did over dinner this evening while Nathan was eating in front of the TV, and I was dining alone at the kitchen table. I asked myself two questions: (1) How much longer can I play a role that’s no longer suited for me?, and (2) How much longer can I hold my breath when all I want to do is breathe? The answers to those questions are what caused me to rise from the table, grab my handbag, and walk out the door.
The thing is, I don’t know how to love my husband anymore. Or if I ever loved him at all. It seems I did. I must have. But I just don’t know anymore. It’s exhausting spinning your wheels in a marriage that doesn’t seem to move. Not forward, not backwards, just stalled. Stagnant. A lot of bitterness accompanies stagnation. A lot of anger. A lot of slicing each other apart, and chewing each other up. It’s treacherous. It’s sad. It’s time to move on.
After driving for a half hour to the next town, I find a nice hotel with clean, spacious rooms, a deep Jacuzzi tub, fresh linens, and a complimentary hot breakfast in the morning. Nathan will be calling me when it becomes the middle of the night and I haven’t returned home. He’ll wonder where I am with a slight bit of concern. Or perhaps he’ll sleep like a log through the night and never give my absence a second thought. Either way, I’ve turned off my cell phone. His concern or lack of concern is no longer an issue for me.
You can grab your copy of Sifting Through Mud here: Amazon.com
Congratulations, Demetria, on your release!
About the author:
Demetria Foster Gray is a novelist, freelance writer, and communications consultant. She earned a degree in Marketing Communications and spent the bulk of her career writing for the corporate world. Creating fictional characters and building stories has always been her first love. A native of the Chicago, IL area, Demetria now lives in North Carolina with her husband and two children. Sifting Through Mud is her debut novel.
Places you can contact Demetria:
Her website: Demetria Foster Gray – Author
Facebook: Demetria Foster Gray, Author