Posts Tagged With: fiction

Sifting Through Mud with Demetria Foster Gray

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.

Front Cover Only - SiftingThroughMud resized smallSifting 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:

Author Photo - Medium sizeDemetria 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

Twitter: @DFosterGray

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Categories: Uncategorized, ~Writer Spotlight~ | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Make Your Journey A Good One

A few weeks ago I was driving down one of the main streets in my town and the marquee outside one of the carpet stores donned the quote “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one”. Considering New Year’s had just come in, I knew those words were meant to remind those who were wiping their slates clean to moving cautiously forward with their resolutions, having 365-days to do so.

Pic Courtesy of M. Kinnel

Pic Courtesy of M. Kinnel

After a week of driving past this same sign, I really thought how as writers, we basically live by a similar code each time we sit down to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. Granted, we don’t all write books. Sometimes it’s a poem, short story, a blog post, a non-fiction piece—well, you get the drift.

In essence, when a writer sets out to start a project, they are starting with a blank page, a fresh start. And it’s so invigorating when the creative words spill upon that blank page that it can make one giddy. To be able to bring our inner voices to life on paper is almost like some sort of validation our characters and their worlds are real. They are not just some imaginary friends we talk to on a daily basis.

Now, not everything that spills upon that page will be seen by the eyes of the world. I know personally I have a dozen or more pieces secreted away that will never see the light of day because they are just not that great. But I have to admit that those not-so-great pieces needed to be written in order for me, as a writer, to move on. Almost like a brain-purge. They are part of my writing journey.

Think about it, a basketball player may spend hours in her backyard practicing her jump shot on her homemade hoop. Chances are, no one will ever see her hitting or missing those shots but none of that matters. The efforts matter and are part of that player’s passage to becoming the best player she can become.

So, yes, every time writers pull up a blank page to begin a project, we are doing so with the intentions of writing the best whatever we can write and bringing those stories to life. And even if no one ever sees them, you can chalk it up as part of the path you are taking to become a better writer; whatever that means to you, just make sure your journey is a good one.

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.” ~ Brad Paisley

Categories: ~Me, On Writing and What Not~ | Tags: , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Rewrites: A Writer’s Woes

I’ve been dead in the water the last week or so as far as posting to my blog. I’ve also been behind on reading up on some of my favorite blogs and have been desperately trying to catch up.

Even though I wasn’t here, I was being productive. I tackled a rewrite of one of my short pieces. A few nights ago, after finishing it up, I went to bed dancing in the sheets, figuratively of course. Then a little twinge hit me in the gut.

I tried to ignore it and tell myself that it was something that I ate. I tossed and turned all night long and the next morning it was still there, waiting for me like the Grim Reaper. I took my shower. It was there. I ate breakfast. It sat right beside me. I applied my makeup. It stared  back at me in the mirror. It literally scared the hell out of me.

Courtesy of RBGStock.com

Courtesy of RBGStock.com

There was no avoiding it any longer. I had to face reality. It wasn’t leaving. It was that thing inside that tells me my story still isn’t quite right. It was that thing that hangs over my shoulder until I succumb to its wishes. It pulled me back to the laptop and forced me to pick apart my words and read aloud sentence after sentence, second-guessing myself every step of the way. Damn you, perfection!

Although I don’t consider myself a perfectionist, I do strive to put out a commendable piece. I think that’s a normal feeling for most writers. In all fairness, there are only two paragraphs that are giving me angst with this current story. If I could just get past them, I could finally move on with my life until the next story comes along and pushes me over the deep end.

Do you ever let that one story drive you crazy? Do rewrites and edits take you down an unending road of pulling out your hair?

Categories: ~Me, On Writing and What Not~ | Tags: , , , , , , | 24 Comments

What’s Your Genre Calling?

Libri_books2What made you choose the genre you write or vice versa? Did you fall in love with romance novels as a teenager? Did you see the latest sci-fi flick when you were a kid and get hooked? Perhaps Judy Blume‘s Forever steered you to pen YA novels? Or maybe you always had a hankering for solving mysteries and decided writing a crime thriller was better than becoming an actual private detective or working homicide? Better yet, maybe you like dealing in factual events and decided to lean towards non-fiction?

In this great big thing that we call the internet, I’ve connected with writers from all genre callings. I seem to always run into YA, fantasy and horror writers a lot. Not that that’s a bad thing in the least. I think we have a common bond as writers no matter what we write. We all go through hell or high-water with our writing and that makes us comrades in arms in my book.

Even though I like reading all types of genres, I, myself, find enjoyment in writing women’s contemporary fiction. Sometimes I’ll write about a sultry love story and sometimes my story ideas bend toward the opposite end of the spectrum, dealing with more serious matters that don’t have a thing to do with sensuality.

Then there’s a little part of me that delves into the darkness now and then. Not horror but stories that have little dark twists. I get excited when the reader thinks they have it all figured it out only to find out that nothing is as it seems. I’ve always gravitated toward stories like that. Oooo, I just got goosebumps! Sorry, I had a moment there! I’m thinking about pursuing publication of these stories under a pen name.

Ok, enough of me.

What’s your genre(s) calling? What pulled you in that writing direction? Has it changed since starting your writing journey? Do you ever dabble in a genre that you don’t normally write? 

Categories: ~Me, On Writing and What Not~ | Tags: , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Oh, By the Way, I’m A Writer

Until recently, only a handful of family and friends actually knew that I wrote…stuff.

Over the years, I’ve written little stories and poetry but not on a consistent basis. I definitely wrote more in my younger days when I had less responsibilities and an endless amount of time. I was footloose and carefree in those days, writing to my heart’s content. I even started a soap opera in junior high with three other friends, one of which was an illustrator. We actually wrote and illustrated four weekly episodes that we passed around to our friends for their reading enjoyment. Those were the days.

As I got older, I found Continue reading

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

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