National Child Abuse Awareness Month

April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month and to honor this, I have dropped the price for the Kindle version of My Father’s Prostitute to 99c on Amazon, and slashed 40% off the price of the paperback if you buy it though lulu.com. But that isn’t the only exciting news – I awoke this morning to find that Pixel of Ink had selected the book for their Book of the Day yesterday! I didn’t submit it to them and have no idea how it ended up on their radar, but it was wonderful news to wake up to this morning!

I think in return, I will be donating 50% of all proceeds from this month to a local agency that deals with the healing from childhood sexual abuse. There are several in the Seattle area so I guess the hard part will be to figure out which one…

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No More PTSD?

As a result of trauma, I suffered from PTSD for years.  I was jumpy and always on edge.  When I had kids, I knew I needed to fix that.  Kids jump on you, they surprise you, they do all sorts of things that aren’t compatible with PTSD.  So I did.  I spent years working on it so that I wouldn’t have such instant reactions.  Reactions that could hurt my child.

But I was never sure.  Was it gone?  Was I “fixed”?  I do still find myself scanning my surroundings.  I find it difficult to have a one on one conversation in a room full of people because the person in front of me is not a threat – so my attention focuses where there may be one and doesn’t allow me to focus on the person I am speaking with.

For the past 8 months or so, I have been taking Krav Maga classes.  If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s a self-defense martial art form that, unlike many other self-defense styles, is designed to inflict maximum damage on your attacker.  It was developed by the Israeli Army and is designed for close combat.

Last night as I was leaving the grocery store, I felt something in my back and heard a voice say “give me your money”.  I paused.  I hesitated and turned to look. It was my Krav instructor and I ‘failed’ the test.  He wanted me to react by sweeping his arm away while delivering a strike to the face. But I didn’t.  5 years ago I would have though.  So while that may have been a failure on one hand, to me it means my PTSD is no longer controlling me.

For me, that’s a “win”.

We Love Memoirs

Monday 31st August is We Love Memoirs Day and will be celebrated worldwide. We Love Memoirs (WLM) was set up on 31st August 2013 by two memoir authors, Victoria Twead and Alan Parks, who wanted to create a place where memoir readers and authors could come together and chat.
Victoria Twead is a New York Times bestselling author of “Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools” and the “Old Fools” series, while Alan Parks is the author of “Seriously Mum, What’s an Alpaca?” and the “Seriously Mum” series.
Victoria and Alan were determined to foster a warm community and have always discouraged authors from pushing their own books at readers. The results have been astounding, and WLM has grown quickly. New friendships are formed every day, and WLM meet-ups across the globe have become common. Small wonder that We Love Members is often described as “the friendliest group on Facebook”. Join WLM today and start chatting with memoir authors and readers. https://www.facebook.com/groups/welovememoirs/

Come join us!

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Turmeric the wonder spice…?

I’ve heard good things about turmeric in the past, so this wouldn’t surprise me if this study panned out. Although they haven’t yet tested this on humans – only rats – it is an interesting concept.  In a nutshell, they have noted that curcumin, a compound derived from the spice turmeric, has been found to alleviate PTSD symptoms in rats, possibly by easing inflammation in the brain. I don’t know how dramatic the change would be if you switched to adding more turmeric to your diet, but I don’t think it would hurt…. now where is my recipe book…

http://blog.lifeextension.com/2015/03/curcumin-may-alleviate-ptsd-symptoms.html

New Cover!

With all the excitement of winning the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for Best Memoir, I realized I had completely forgotten to upload my new cover!  This cover was graciously designed by Amygdala Art and I think she did a great job at capturing the spirit of the book.

My Father's Prostitute book cover

Wonderful review for My Father’s Prostitute

We just received our 30th 5 star review (out of 41 total on Amazon.com).  I am truly humbled every time I read one of these great reviews. As an author, it is incredibly rewarding to read such wonderful words. Thank you to each and every person that takes the time to leave a well thought out review!

“I’ve given five stars for one of the bravest memoirs I’ve ever read. Courage comes in many forms. Writing and publishing a book about childhood abuse, particularly sexual abuse from a parent must have been one of the hardest things for this author to do. Thank goodness for people who can write about such deeply personal and hurtful relationships with twisted parents, who instead of nurturing and loving a child choose to inflict their selfish perverted desires on them. I cried for this little boy who couldn’t feel safe in his own room or home. There is no doubt that this well written account will have helped other readers who have suffered in a similar way but may believe that they are the only ones; unique in their experiences. As readers we are drawn into this very moving account and have to read on hoping for respite and a positive outcome for the author. Without giving too much away, the author does forge a successful life for himself, but there are difficulties and hardships along the way.”

Things that could have changed your life…

A while back while doing an interview for the LA Times about the issue with pedophiles in the Boy Scouts, I had the opportunity to review a lot of documentation about my father. One of the things I noted was that in 1983, one of the mothers of one of the scouts had filed a report with the local police department about my father molesting her son.

Recently, I reunited with a couple of the people I was in scouts with, and one of them told me it was his mother that made the report, but nothing ever came of it.  I had always wondered who that scout was, but never thought about it too much.  But I had always known my father had approached this boy (who was probably 11 or so at the time) but never put two and two together.

it is unfortunate that the police did nothing.  I was 15 at the time and really not sure how much it would have changed my life.  Well, that’s not true.  Had they come and arrested my father it would have changed things a lot.  But whether it would have been for the better I couldn’t really say.  I would guess ‘probably’, but I guess we never know what the overall impact would have been for things that could have happened in the past.  I DO believe it would have changed my sisters life for the better, and I think would have changed this boys life most definitely (he felt nobody believed him and that had a profound impact on his life as it would anybody).  But for me?  It’s an interesting question.

Not one I choose to dwell on though – after all, we can’t change the past, we can only shape our future.  But it is interesting to think about…