Vocal truly did give me my voice back. I had a long period of time where I didn’t write, almost ten years or more. I couldn’t write. It was beyond difficult. Motherhood was a challenge but so was depression. Especially if you weren’t aware that you were depressed.
I recall days of having blocks of time to write and I’d try so hard to get my notebooks together with my old writing and just start up again, but it was futile. The malaise of my thoughts would close up and give me a sense of never ending catastrophic conflict that would make me physically and mentally collapse under the weight of my stress and anxiety. I would start tinkering with ideas I truly loved that I would later finish with the arrival of a challenge issued on my Facebook account page: $20,000 prize Little Black Book Challenge(we ALL know about that one…)… and the rest was flat out history. I had finished all my half-baked and barely conceptualized plots with zeal and excitement, with weirdly lightning speed I churned out stories and poems like crazy (where did this ENERGY come from, I asked myself…I felt like a nuclear reactor just being turned on), publishing short stories, beat and pop culture articles, chapters of longer novels and poetry on my new Vocal account happily. This was in 2021 when I signed up for Vocal.
Two such stories were I am Bexley and The Half Paper Moon. The Half Paper Moon was a mystery crime drama, based upon a father getting justice for the murder of his daughter. I am Bexley was about a zombie woman in love with a human man, wherein a war that had started long ago between zombies and humans resulted in humans living in caves and bunkers—-and zombies living in mansions and houses. The zombies rule the world. This story (first chapter)was one of Vocal’s first stories in Fiction Community when it first launched. I remember when I got the email to curate a story for this new community and I was so excited I wanted to start writing right away! Bexley was born out of this inspired launch.
Out of all of my fully finished novels I have written here on Vocal, I am Bexley is the first one to be fully accepted and published by a traditional publisher. This was not an easy or overnight process. This has taken years of many rejections and many revisions, edits and submissions to many, many publications. My gratefulness to Vocal of giving me the opportunity to truly get out my full voice and understand my feelings as an author and a person by giving us challenges to broaden our skills and sharpen our set of writing tools into a honed and professional voice—-I can’t begin to tell all of you, new members and seasoned vets, this is a great place to stay and learn and grow.
I will always be grateful for this diverse and safe platform and what this community has brought me. To the supportive and brilliant writers and friends I’ve made along the way—-you all are amazing.
Along the quiet outskirts of Vocal’s publishing spaces, I am Bexley will always have a special spot in this platform’s memory, in my mind.
I am Bexley is the heart and soul of my career, as she represents someone who I see in my own life. My six year old son Noah has autism and is slightly non-verbal but that is changing with all the weekly therapy I take him to daily. He is learning sign language, to speak clearly and to express his emotions and needs and wants. Bexley was inspired by this. Zombies cannot speak. We all know this. We’ve seen them portrayed this way in every iteration of media. But what if they could?
What would it look like?
Sign language is a universal way to communicate and something I feel zombies can do. Writing can potentially be the next step. Writing gives the nonverbal a voice, and it gives us the inspiration to reach out and touch others to stand up and listen and speak louder to tell us their stories too.
Bexley does this, and I stand by her in this particular arena.
Thank you Vocal, you have my eternal gratitude for helping me understand this. And for giving me back my true voice.
My debut horror drama novel I am Bexley will be out (no date determined yet!) this year for the online publisher Resurgence Novels:
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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
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