Shameless plug time. If you’re following my blog/stories on here make certain you follow or like my FB author page as well. This way you will have first glimpse at teasers, banners, and any upcoming stories etc… Thank you for your support. Means so much. The link is below.
Please note that I don’t have time to work on other people’s stories. That includes coming up with titles, plot lines, reading whatever chapters are sent to me and going over certain characters abilities and how they work. I don’t mean to be rude. But this is constant as of late. I get this about three to four times a day now, from multiple people and I have tried being nice and helped as much as I can, but it’s become TOO time-consuming, and it takes away from my writing time, which isn’t much as of late. Please do not take offense. Just realize that when I have three or four hitting in one day, that adds up, and it makes it damn near impossible for me to have time for anything. I appreciate those that have turned to me wanting my opinion and help, it means a lot, but I just can’t do it anymore. Please understand that.
Dear readers/viewers/what have you,
I’d like to take a moment to be real with you. You see a good friend of mine, and I were talking the other day, and she gave me some rather ingenious advice that never even occurred to me as a mother of one teenager and one on the brink of hitting that milestone, teenage girls at that. I most certainly took that much-needed advice. That advice, however, led me to writing this. There are a lot of things that keep me up at night. My girls are one of those things, even when they’re right here “safe and sound”. My mind tends to play tricks on me or mother’s intuition will often enough kick in, and that’s when I pay extra attention and follow those instincts, even if I’m dead wrong, I’d rather be safe than sorry.
Why am I writing this? To raise some awareness.
At first, this was going to be about human trafficking and rape considering what all is in Galway Girls. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized there’s soooo much more to cover. Every minute of every day someone is a victim of abuse, alcoholism, drug addiction, human trafficking, rape, and mental illness (which can often enough lead to suicide). I know these are things no one wants to talk about much less think about as to why I tend to get a lot of hate in private messages about my stories containing these things. Someone once asked me “Harley, why do you write about such painful things if writing is your escape from the real world?” And I replied with this… “Because writing is the only therapy I can afford.” They lol’d of course and even though that was meant to be lighthearted and they got what I was going for, I also meant what I said. I went back an hour later and responded once again. “I write about those things because real-life situations often enough make the best stories. I can pick my favorite characters and put them in that situation and see how they would’ve dealt with something that I or someone close to me has faced. I’ve dealt with abuse, OD’s, rape, and suicide. When I say, writing is my escape that’s exactly what I mean MY ESCAPE. It’s how I cope, and you never know when a victim of these circumstances could be reading your work. If it helps them like it helps me, then that’s the goal I’m shooting for, and it makes every ounce of pain and those dreadful memories worth it. I don’t write to offend or upset anyone. I write what I write to make these characters as real as you and me. There are times I find myself wishing I could’ve been as strong as they were, and question what I could or would’ve done if I could go back in time as the person I am now. Would I have handled it any different? Or would I end up right back where I started, only to realize it didn’t matter what I did? Fate has its way and often enough it isn’t pretty. I know you hear the word ‘fate’ and think good fortune, but that isn’t always the case. I believe fate is what makes you the person you are at this very moment and from there you keep going. No matter how tempting it might be to throw in the towel, keep on trucking. Be the role model you always needed but never had and if you had that role model in your life then make them proud.”
I probably came off as too preachy as they never responded but getting a response wasn’t what I was going for anyhow. Hold your loved ones close, let them know what they mean to you. Life is crazy, and often enough we can be blind. As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of Sons of Anarchy, and this friend of mine let me know that David Labrava’s sixteen-year-old son committed suicide a few days ago. Like many of us, his father didn’t see the signs.
“He suffered from a depression we couldn’t see because he was a happy young kid,” adding, “Communicate with your loved ones, there might not be any signs. Cherish them. I am broken.” (David’s words himself on the matter.)
David Labrava played the character known as “Happy” on Sons of Anarchy. I wasn’t sure how to feel about this considering I had recently written a story where Happy saved his friend Eric from committing suicide in Playing With Fire.
If you would like to read the article the link is below:
Like I said life is crazy.
Watch your loved ones, hold them close, pay attention, talk to them…
My friend has a teenage son (yes this can happen to boys and men too!). She implemented a texted code message. A single letter is all she used, and her son knows if he’s ever in a situation where he doesn’t want to lose face with his peers and just needs a way out, he can text that letter to everyone on that list. For example his mother, his sister, grandparents, etc. His mother let him know in advance what that plan was. Example: Anyone on that list would respond with… Our grandpa just had a heart attack, and I need to pick you up now to get to South Carolina. This gives him the option to act upset when he answers, and if he doesn’t have his car with him, he can text the address of his whereabouts. That’s it. No questions asked. She picked a letter that wasn’t near the enter button and one he had to hit shift for (so a capital letter). That way it would be hard for this to happen by accident.
Keep your promise, no matter how tempting it may be to interrogate them. Don’t. When they are ready, they’ll come to you with the truth, and if they don’t just know you were the one, they turned to in order to get out of the situation. You may be the one that saved their lives that night. So if you have trouble sleeping at night like I do and toss and turn wondering what they are doing, sleep better knowing you helped them. You might not ever know the details but they trusted you at your word, and they will always remember that.
It’s like I told my oldest daughter…
One second is all it takes. One. You could turn your back and find yourself and your friends in a heap of trouble. Pay attention to your surroundings, play it smart. Children often enough think their parents exaggerate everything just to keep them grounded, but that isn’t always the case. That one second could change everything and put you in danger. We live pretty close to the border (Mexico), and human trafficking is a big issue around here, as well as assault and rape. Unfortunately, the town we live in has become known for its meth and meth dealers. Something we didn’t have a problem with a few years ago. I have no issue in being blunt with my girls. It might embarrass them and make them uncomfortable to talk about, but if I can raise just the slightest bit of awareness to them, or to anyone reading this, then mission accomplished.
You are priceless, never forget that. There is only ONE you and no one could ever replace you. No matter what anyone says. Know you are worth it and never give into that darkness. Keep fighting.
(PS. A chapter to Galway Girls will be up soon, probably LATE tonight if not tomorrow. A chapter of Altered Paths will follow this. I will post the Altered Paths chapter just as soon as I finish (Sunday or Monday if I’m lucky.)
I’m running a bit behind on getting those chapters out, but they are coming! RL got in the way, and I haven’t had much time to write. I hope to have a chapter to Galway Girls AND Altered Paths here soon (as in a few more days).
Thanks for your patience,
I will be working on another chapter to Galway Girls as well as Altered Paths. With any hope I will post them (both) within the week if not this coming weekend, depending on how crazy RL gets. I apologize for the long wait on Altered Paths but had to follow my muse and now it’s back. Thank you for your time and patience.
When I write…
Keep in mind this is an SOA story. This chapter involves some dark and very violent times. Read at your own risk.
That’s what it means. I put the warning. It’s up to you on whether to read from there or not. Cleary, a few of you, haven’t seen Sons of Anarchy if you have a problem with my writing. That and you must be new.
In that case, an introduction is in order…
The name is Harley, and I write what I damn well please. If you choose to ignore the warnings that’s your problem, not mine. Get ugly with me, and I’ll get ugly right back. I don’t understand why so much of this is going on lately. Did I piss in someone’s fucking cheerios? If so I apologize I must’ve been drunk and evidently haven’t any recollection…
If you follow my author page on FB you’ve already seen this. I felt the need to get this message spread about.
I started off writing this to a reader of mine but the more I thought about it the more I felt like this should be something everyone reads. This way you’ll all understand. Please realize I never meant to disappoint or hurt anyone with my writing or decision to drop a few of my works. The review/comment is below… and it is followed by my response.
I’m not an angry person nor do I feel any need to be hateful or bitter, very immature way to deal with your emotions. I can’t deny my disappointment and sadness that we’ve come to the end of the road, I’ve been following you now for nearly 3 years since I was the tender age of 19 but while I respect your creative decision as a writer I can’t continue too follow you. I’m not sure how other people read books or fan fictions but when you find an amazing book or fan fic (and your work is amazingly written) you become emotional invested and I have become invested in most of the stories you won’t be continuing and in your fan fiction writing style and as someone who hates unfinished stories and not having closure (like literally unfinished things make me feel very stressed and anxious) I’m distancing myself so it’s no longer something that will be at the fore front of my mind, I wish you all the luck in world on your future endeavours and hope your dreams come true hope to pick up a book one day and become enthralled like I have with your other stories and then realise it was you who wrote it as a big fan of your writing style I believe you have the ability to be an amazing success. Goodbye Harley, it was a great ride xx Joe
First off, I’d like to thank you for the three years you’ve given me. Secondly, I’d like to apologize for any stress or anxiety I have caused that was never my intention. My stories are meant to entertain and take my readers away from the real world, giving us that much needed break. Unfortunately, I went through a rough couple years with those I held close to my heart and I put too much trust into these individuals, only to find out they weren’t who I thought they were. That led to my decision on dropping a few of those particular stories as those stories were intended for them. I was made to believe I had to keep quiet and bear the pain on my lonesome and I did that for sometime. But I grew tired of holding all the pain in and though I will never mention them by name, I will not play their cruel games anymore. I’m just too old and frankly I have enough drama in my life without adding to that high school mentality. That’s all it really came to in the end. The reason I’m being so up front with you? I feel like you and all my other readers deserve the truth. Putting all your trust into someone and only to have it ripped away cuts deeper than any knife ever could and it’s caused me a lot of anxiety and trust issues, which isn’t fair to the friends that stuck by me through the sunshine and the rain, because that’s what a REAL friend does. I find myself questioning everything I do. That leading to hiatuses on certain chapters to just flat-out not being in the mood to write them. I write with my heart and soul and put my all into each and every chapter I write. Unfortunately, that means I use a lot of real life situations and all that did was bring back the pain I was trying so hard to distance myself from. As I’ve stated once before I write to get away from the heartache and pain RL throws at us. It’s my only escape as I used to turn to smoking and drinking and that doesn’t help anyone, especially my family. I had to do what was best for everyone and find my own medicine and this is it. That is why I am distancing myself from certain stories and moving on as it is just too painful. When something hits me like that it takes away from the reason I turned to writing in the first place and it’s no longer the therapy I need, rather than just a nice swift kick to the gut with each and every word I write because those words bring back too many memories.
I want to thank Joe and everyone else for your support. I knew I’d lose a few of you and was prepared. But it’s ones like Joe that make me smile because even if the journey has come to an end for them. They still believe in me and we can part with our heads held high and no ill feelings. I won’t lie it hurt when I read this at first as to why it took me three days to even respond. But it only hurt because I knew I’d disappointed them and took it wrong (at first). I read this comment over and over before coming to a decision on how to respond. In the end, all I can really say is thank for the three years you’ve given me and for believing in me.
Harley – a great ride indeed.
I will continue writing… only Death itself could stop me. ❤ *hugs to all*