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Insecure Writer's Support Group

November's Insecure Writer's Support Group

Happy Thanksgiving to all. The month of November is always a short and busy month. When I'm sad and my kids are still mourning the loss of their dad I'm trying to find additional ways to remind them to be thankful for what we have, so if any of you have ideas, tips or suggestions -- I'm open and I welcome your advice. 

My kids are still grappling. If any of you suffered the same tragedy and don't mind sharing how you survived it, please feel free to pass along how you got through. I feel dangerously close to losing my son. My all American, distinguished scholar, Student Council, App creator, website builder, super athlete is slipping down the rabbit hole and I need to yank him back before it's too late.

He made the varsity soccer team as a freshman (and his high school is large and big into sports 5A) and as a freshman he was number one on the varsity cross country team. He and his dad shared a special bond at cross country meets. His dad also ran cross country in high school and his dad went to college on a cross country scholarship. The coach at Florida State invited my son to the cross country camp last summer to watch him run. He was Steve's coach at Florida, but has moved to Fl. State. I feel certain he will offer Bennett a scholarship if he continues in the direction he was headed when his dad was alive. His dad attended every meet. He planned the runs with Bennett. Met him at certain corners and told him when to pull back and when to pump it up. Toward the end of really long races, those in the lead thought they had the race in the bag -- they were nano seconds from the winners circle, then they lost energy and puttered out. 

That's when Bennett's legs levitated and he soared past the group in front of him ... then the next ... and next. The crowd in the stands strained their necks, where did this kid come from? He didn't run with any of the packs? Where did he get all that late energy? He was on fire? His dad taught him everything he knew. 

Steve never missed a meet.
Even when the chemo made him so sick he could barely move. Even when the cancer was eating him alive, and his weight dropped to less than his own kids and it took everything he had to attend. He was there for his kid. Right before his dad died, Bennett broke his leg. So he's been doing physical therapy and basically just healing this year. No running or soccer. Running has always been his outlet ... his way to get away and blow off steam, let it all out ... let things go. He's been trapped inside his own body and mind. 

I wish he would write, but he won't take advice from me. I'm not dad. But, I've got to reach him before he spirals down the wrong path. I'm scared for the first time in a really long time. He idolized his dad. 

The kids worshiped their dad and Steve adored them.

I finally started writing again. Not much, but anything is better that nothing. I plan on winning   NaNo. But we all know how time consuming NaNoWriMo is.
But, hey it was my kid who told me how much happier I am when I write. Now I'm afraid if I take my eye off him too long, he'll start rolling with wild kids. Maybe that's every mom's fear. Not just single moms whose kids just lost their dad. Oh and now he drives and he has a new car. So well,  yeah ... that scares the hell out of me too. Thanks Grandma!

I'm insecure because I still haven't managed to put my family back together and while I'm making some headway with my writing, I'm not back to where I should be. I am writing.  And I have discovered that writing through grief is wonderful. It allows authentic, raw emotions to spill onto the page. The downfall, is not having as much time as I would like to finish the emotional scenes. 

It's physically, emotionally and mentally depleting working yourself up to write a personal insufferable and impassioned scene ... being prematurely ripped away from the computer ... before letting it all out, is disturbing. Being forced to stop prior to completing ... is almost as tormenting as conjuring up the images and memories necessary for writing the scene. You can try and bring yourself back to that moment again, but you will never replicate the same heavy-hearted, poignant awareness or memory. Once the fleeting trance is gone, it's lost. I hope that made sense. 

This Month's Question:

November 1 Question: Win or not, do you usually finish your NaNo project? Have any of them gone on to be published?

Hmm ... I've participated four or five times. I've completed it (won) twice, and none of my books have been published. Now, when I say I've completed it, I have to admit, the mess I've written has taken me a year to revise. But, that's probably because I never prepared for NaNo in the past. I always thought it was cheating and clearly it's not. 

Be sure to visit the official Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) site.
And Give Alex Cavanaugh, the Founder and creator a great big thank you.

And don't forget to stop by and visit, and thank this month's co-hosts. Alex wouldn't be able to keep this going without his wonderful co-hosts (actually, he probably would, he's just too nice). But, this is a lot of work, so stop by and spread your gratitude.

Stay connected on Twitter @TheIWSG and hashtag #IWSG

Are you participating in Nano this year?

If you're doing NaNo you can find me Melissa Sugar on NaNo - Let's Be Buddies

I can always use an accountability partner. Do you need one? Or Motivation? Inspiration?


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Melissa - I can't offer much help - except continue to be there for Bennett, as well as your daughter and all their friends -... and perhaps see if his former coach can suggest someone else nearer Bennett to help ... speak to Grief Counselling, and the Cancer Support friends ... and Bennett's college - I'm sure you're doing those things ... it makes me sad reading this ... all the very best to you all - I'll be thinking of you ... cheers Hilary

The Cynical Sailor said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I'm keeping you and your family in my thoughts during this incredibly difficult time. I'm glad that writing is offering you some solace. I've added you as a NaNo buddy.

Sadira Stone said...

My heart is breaking for you and your family, Melissa. I agree with you on the emotionally wrenching scenes: it's so hard when I'm yanked out of the fictional world I'm creating before I've finished because--whether I realize it or not--I'm processing emotion of my own. I hope you find someone your son feels comfortable opening up to. His healing process may end up involving lots of physical movement--running, or perhaps something else physical. I agree with Hilary: his coach is a great place to start.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm sorry to hear of your son's struggles. Just keep encouraging him. Prayers for both of you.

S.E. White Books said...

Hi Melissa. I can't offer much help to you myself, but I write for a website that has many amazing, strong, wonderful women that are dealing with/have dealt with the death of a spouse and are raising their kids with that sadness. has a section devoted to grief. Something on the site might be what you need. At the very least you can know you're not alone! Good luck with NaNoWriMo.

Hart Johnson said...

I'm so sorry about the loss of your husband and holidays really are super hard. Harder still, what different people need is different. I lost my dad as a kid and it was super important to me to still have big full family around so I felt loved and surrounded at the holidys. But I also know people who really needed everything totally mixed up because the missing person was too large of a hole to bear. Ask your kids what would help.

cleemckenzie said...

I'll add my condolences to these comments. I'm dealing with the ever-looming threat of the same loss, so I have some idea of the emotional rollercoaster you and your family are experiencing. Im glad you've returned to writing and hope you find it a way to move on after your loss.

Fundy Blue said...

I can't imagine how you are navigating through such a painful time, Melissa! I hope returning to writing helps you get through this incredible loss. Your athletic son sounds like an amazing young man! How sad that he is recovering from an injury and can't run right now. I hope he can begin training again soon. I'm not sure if I have any answers on how to help him, but I am a big believer in unconditional love and just being there to talk or to listen. I don't know what your situation is, but perhaps you can attend his meets once he can participate again ~ or maybe there is a nearby male uncle or friend who can do that. Perhaps his high school coach could encourage him. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

Tonja Drecker said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, and I can't imagine how difficult it must be to somehow hold everything together. My prayers to both of you.

Unknown said...

I'm sorry for your loss. I'm glad you are writing.

Nick Wilford said...

I really feel for your loss. I just really hope that Bennett knows dad is still in his heart and spurring him on. That's what we tell our girls about their brother. And there are still plenty of times they break down in a flood of emotion. His dad wouldn't want him going down the wrong path. Glad to hear that writing is helping somewhat. Good luck with NaNo.

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Tyrean Martinson said...

Hey Melissa, I haven't stopped by lately, and I'm really sorry I haven't. I'm praying for you and your kids. Hoping all is slowly healing inside and out. Peace.

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