Behind Closed Doors – Introduction

           The following is an introduction to my book that I will be blogging.  I would love to be able to tell you that you can look for a new post on “this” day at “this” time, but unfortunately, I do not work that way.  Writing for me is an inspired, and creative process.  Life is crazy sometimes and I hope to relieve some of the crazy by escaping into my book.  I do hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it.  I have never been published, or even attempted to be at this point in my life so I will not claim professional status.  If you enjoy it, follow me on this adventure!  I welcome all feedback, positive or negative.  Feel free to comment as you wish.

Happy Reading!!

This novel is inspired by a true story.

INTRODUCTION

 

woman-behind-closed-door

As a child, I had always possessed a great imagination.  I would pretend to be a witch, imagine trolls and monsters chasing my brother and I in the woods while we played in our secret hideout.  But what was happening to me was something I could never have dreamed up, even in my worst nightmares.  The constant tingling of my skin crawling, the fear of eyes steadily watching me, the extreme anxiety preventing me from closing my eyes at night all seemed surreal and quite frankly, had me contemplating what mental disease I was suddenly suffering.  My mind, for as long as I can remember, has done nothing but question my eyes, my thoughts, and my feelings.  Not only was I questioning myself, but I felt as though everyone else questioned me as well.  I walked around in a constant state of insecurity, and confusion.

Nothing in my mind seemed impossible.  Most of my days as a teen were spent dreaming of something great.  All I ever wanted was to do something so monumental, that it shook the earth.  I have always felt that I am meant for something tremendous.  That God was going to use me like he used David, or Noah, or Ruth.  I had desires in me to move mountains and make this world a better place.  My fantasy world is what helped me survive and kept me from going absolutely mad.  I dreamt of travelling to foreign countries, getting submerged into their rich cultures.  Other dreams were of me being the President, a Nobel Prize winner, earning the highest medals serving my country, the possibilities were endless. As I sit here now, I dream of greater things.  My mind never stops.

Maybe I was just dreaming of escaping.  I wanted to run so far away from everything I had ever known, but the truth is, It would have followed.  There is no running.  You cannot run from something that is not human, something that has an insatiable thirst for you, only you.  Ashamedly, I admit, that sometimes I had rather It have killed me, but that would be too simple.  It wanted to torture me.  Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually…torture.  Isn’t that always what the Devil wants?

Flow Interrupted

Writing is a learning process and I’m not just talking about literary knowledge, I am truly discovering myself through writing.  As you know, the only novels I really read are those of Nora Roberts.  She is a living legend and an inspiration.  I have watched several interviews of hers and follow her blog for advice because in theory, after writing over 200 published novels it comes easy to her.  In all of her interviews she actually stated the opposite.   There are days that it just flows and there are days where nothing is happening, it is all about the habit of writing each and every day.  As Nora says, “You can fix anything, but not a blank page.”  I was really in a flow last week.  I felt like it was just spewing out of me exactly as it was meant to be, no editing or anything!  My flow was interrupted by a weekend full of family events.  I had a blast don’t get me wrong, but my writing came to a screeching halt.  Foreseeing this tragedy, I took my laptop with me just in case I get an hour to myself to keep the magic going.  Didn’t happen.  However, I did stumble upon an amazing source.  As I was driving the nearly 1.5 hours to my parents house, ideas were flowing through me.  I quickly grabbed my cell phone and found the voice recorder.  Over the course of the weekend, as ideas came to me, whether it be a chapter idea, a circumstance, or even just a metaphor, I would sneak off and quickly record it.  Sunday night when I returned home, I grabbed my laptop and sat down to write.  Nothing was happening, my confidence was lost, then I remembered the Nora Roberts interview that I had seen.  I wrote anyway, of course I felt that it was a total mess.  So Monday night after work, I sit down to write and remember my voice recordings.  I had recorded nearly 25 minutes of ideas!  Some of them I listened to over and over again writing down the main points and categorizing them.  I read over the “mess” that I had  written the night before and Voila!  Thanks to Nora Roberts and my voice recordings, I was back in business!

Lesson learned!  Never stop writing, even if you do not feel like it.  Self discipline!  Start writing down or recording those ideas!  I have tried writing them down but I have found voice recordings to be the best because I can hear the tone I wanted to portray with that particular message and carry it into the book.  Never stop!

~Keisha Renee

I love a good challenge!

For five long years I have have wanted to write a novel.  I knew what I wanted to write about, it was only a matter of choosing which novel to tackle first.  It took me five solid years to build up the discipline and courage to make this dream happen.  I know nothing about writing a novel!  I knew it wasn’t simply a matter of sitting down in front of my laptop and “letting it flow.”  There is a reason that not all novels are best sellers.  Anyone can be an author, but not everyone can be a good one!

Anyone that knows me, knows that I can spend hours upon hours researching the most bizarre things.  Knowledge is power and life is fascinating!  So naturally, my first Google search was “How to write a Novel”  Don’t laugh at me, I know I’m pathetic.  I have written nearly 100 research papers, 20-30 page grants with ease…this is hard!  After hours of research and countless trips to Barnes and Noble, I finally found the book that is helping me the most!  My mind is wild and crazy, I’m probably, on some level, ADD, so I needed some serious guidance as my fingers could not keep up with my imagination.

After spending the last few weeks reading various reference books, being sure that I don’t look like a complete moron in the literary world, I found the perfect one!  Fast Fiction by Denise Jaden.  I am LOVING it!  God Bless this woman for writing this book!  I finally feel like I have some direction.  I’m slow riding a country road, taking in the scenery as opposed to what I felt before, Los Angeles traffic jam with no exit for miles.  I am writing this novel for me, no one else.  This is a great creative outlet, it calms me, and makes me feel like I am capable of more than what I’m showing.  I thrive on pushing boundaries and challenging myself.  With this novel, I must be careful not to get wrapped up in a time frame or pressure myself too much.  I want to enjoy this process and make it and enjoyable time in my life.

Thanks for reading and a big thank you to those of you who have shared my posts.  It truly warms my heart.  This is a slow process and now that I have the first little bit of it written, it’s time to structure and plan for the juicy center 🙂

~Sincerely,

Your Nora Roberts Wannabe

Chapter One – The Accident

The Accident

 

There she stands in front of me, face pale, lips quivering, eyes wide obviously stricken with fear.  I immediately knew that something was wrong, very wrong.  “What is it mom?”  I cry, “Please, what happened?”  I could tell it was taking every molecule of strength to say the words, “Your brother has been in an accident.”  I panic, instantly paralyzed by the words that no sister ever wants to hear.  My mind is racing.  How? What? Is he in pain? Or worse…is he dead?  Mom, mustering up her inner maternal strength managed to explain to me, “He wrecked his motorcycle and is being rushed to the hospital, get in the car we have to go now.”  Without hesitation, I tell my manager that I am leaving, grab my purse and race with mom to the car.  It would take us 45 minutes to get there, the longest drive of my entire life.

Riding shotgun, as mom is heavy on the gas pedal rushing to be by my brother’s side, my thoughts could not be controlled.  A mixture of fear, panic, sadness and pain will drive a person’s imagination wild.  Mine was no different.  It was a typical Sunday afternoon.  We had gone to church that morning, I went off to work, mom and Elisabeth were to spend a quiet day at home, and my dad had taken Luke to the motocross track to ride.  Luke has always been a Daredevil, lucky for him, he was skilled.  But even the Mighty fall.  Mom and I rushed in and met Dad, he was so shaken up he could barely tell us what had happened.  He had gotten a little too ambitious on some of the jumps at the track and in mid-air, his bike stayed in flight, but he didn’t.  He came crashing down from what onlookers said was approximately 30 to 40 feet in the air, landing flat on both of his feet.  Although this choice of landing ultimately saved his life avoiding trauma to his spinal cord, it did cost him every weight-bearing bone from his hips to his ankles. It was the unthinkable.

My brother was instantly rushed to surgery, his riding boots were the only thing holding his shattered bones in one place.  Doctors feared that he would never walk again and we were told that he would be in the hospital for several weeks at best because with the damage caused, it would take an unknown amount of surgeries on each leg to reconstruct them entirely.  Pain was all I could feel for my brother.  He lived an extremely active lifestyle and the thought of him never being able to run again, or even stand up, absolutely ripped my heart to shreds.  I couldn’t imagine what was happening to his.

It was several days before I got the chance to really speak to him, he spent so much time under anesthesia and pain medications that all he could do was rest.  Honestly, I was thankful for that.  It delayed having to deliver the news to the one person it affected most.  As a sister, you want to make it all better and take the bad away.  Under the advice of friends and family, I knew that my job was to help make this recovery as smooth as possible.  There was only one way to accomplish this task, and that was to start shuttling his friends to the hospital after school everyday.  I knew he looked forward to those visits, having laid in the hospital bed with only the company of parents and nurses, he needed a break and so did they.

  I called on many friends, including Jonathan, who were all making sure they fit Luke into their busy schedules.  Sometimes I would bring 3 or 4 friends, other times it was just Jonathan and I.

What a great first week!

Thank you to everyone for the encouraging words!  I am really enjoying this!  Please be patient with me, I write as often I can!  It’s flowing and I am so grateful. I have really enjoyed reading some of your blogs as well. It’s inspiring!  Hang in there with me, my hope is to have this novel finished by the end of year.  Maybe I can start 2016 with a published novel…that’s the dream anyway!  If you can dream it, you can do it!

Chapter One – Jonathan

Jonathan had a childhood much like mine, in fact, we spent the majority of our childhood together. He and my brother Luke played baseball together and they were part of larger group of friends, including Jonathan’s younger brother Adam, who spent many nights camping out in the fields of the family farm.  The boys would fish, ride the four-wheeler and play Survivor Man in the woods.

Being a tomboy, I played right along with them. Jonathan was the only friend of my brothers that I could stand being around.  The others, as fun as it was to outperform them on video games and backyard badminton, always wanted to annoy me.  Jonathan was never that troublesome.  He was raised in church, taught manners, and was always more mature than the other boys his age. My parents always welcomed him into the home as one of their own.  Even though he attended a different school district, he was always a wonderful friend to Luke.  They stayed close, and quite enjoyed competing against each other in high school athletics.  We were all very athletic and could always rely on each other for a little friendly competition and practice.

Jonathan was the one friend of Luke’s who did not seem to mind including me.  In fact, he was always the first to invite me into their games.  As expected, once we all entered high school, we saw less of him, but he was always invited on family vacations, and we would always hang out with him when our schools competed.   It was no surprise that upon receiving the news of my brothers accident, that he was right by our side.

Chapter One – Rachel

The idea of marriage was never on the forefront of my free willed mind.  Admittedly, there were times that imagining a life with Jonathan was exciting, and invigorating.  Let’s face it, I AM a woman.  Simply put, I had no interest in settling down.  At the ripe age of 19, who is?  My life was only beginning!  My dreams were big! Correction…HUGE!!  I had always pictured myself serving in the Army and being the best female soldier this Nation had ever seen.  Proudly decorated with so many medals that anyone within a mile of me could hear them proudly clanging as I marched in Pride for the Red, White and Blue.  My plan was to join after high school so that I could retire after 20 years of service and still have plenty of time to pursue a new career.  My parents of course, were not as keen on this idea, especially after September 11, 2001 when terrorists attacked the United States and President George W. Bush declared war.  Honestly speaking, that day fueled my passion more.  It would have been a great honor to serve and defend my Home Land.  But somewhere along the way, my train derailed.  I lost sight of who I was, and what I wanted out of life.

Being raised in the South, especially on a farm, there are three main components in life.  God, Family, and Work in that order.  Looking back, it was such a joy to be raised in the country.  I had endless fields for running, could keep any stray dog or cat that made its way to us for refuge, wise and friendly neighbors and learned the value of hard work.  My parents, Dean and Maggie, did not grow up wealthy, they worked hard to achieve their dream.  They dreamed of raising their children on farm where they could run and play with no hesitation. At the age of 12, my father riding his bicycle around the neighborhood, stopped by my 9 year old mothers house to confidently inform her that he planned to make her his wife.  A few years later, they married and started their family.  I proudly, am the first born, my brother Luke followed and my sister Elizabeth became the youngest of the family almost 9 years later. The rest is history.

I was blessed enough to always have a “partner in crime” in my little brother Luke.  There was only a one year age difference and no one could keep us apart.  The best of friends, of course we had our fights, but we loved playing in those woods together.  We had our own special fort that no one knew about, only us.  We were Huckleberry and Finn, one adventure after the other and you had better believe we were Marksmen with a BB Gun.  Even as we grew older, I knew that no matter what life threw my way, I would always have Luke. 

Until the accident…

Chapter One – The Wedding

Songs can trigger the remembrance of things you have tried so hard to forget.  To me, there is nothing more relaxing than sitting outside, feeling a warm breeze, staring into the sky and listening to classical music, letting the sounds of the pianos and violins take you away.  Today, as I put in my headphones, take a deep breath, close my eyes and push play…Pachelbel’s Canon starts playing.    I am instantly taken to the warm summer night in August, between the rolling hills in the middle of the country in front of the pond I used to fish in as a child.  The water is rippling from the slight breeze reflecting the mature Oak trees that cover the vast acres of the countryside.  I look straight and see the Blue Ridge mountains and am completely in awe of this beautiful vision.  God’s creations are so breathtaking.  The way the sun peered over the mountain range illuminating the beautiful scene that was my wedding, disappearing behind the lavish mountains that I had spent my childhood exploring, somehow had me seeing myself.  I was the sun, how I had once shown so bright and desired to be the light of the universe, was slowly fading behind the mountains of uncertainty.  These mountains, as beautiful as they were from afar, were very dark within.  The further into the mountains I went, the more alone I would become.  I would soon be lost, scared, alone, and no longer shine.  The thick forest would shade my light.  I would become part of the mountain, and that was my worst fear.  When I take my first step down the aisle towards him, I will no longer be me.  I would become him.  I would unknowingly become his accomplice, the one who keeps his secrets, the one who hides his true self, his cover and worse…his victim.

 

Ephesians 5:1 “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.”  Where we were once two separate, individual souls existing independently, we were to complete one another to form a greater whole.   In my eyes, this was not matrimony, it was certain death.  If only once, someone would have asked me if this is what I wanted without a shadow of a doubt, I hoped that I would have been brave enough to tell them how big the shadow really was. I had learned, through all of the premarital counseling and conferences we had attended that Jonathan did not interpret this scripture in the same way that those men did.  Those men seemed so grateful for their wives, praised them, gave them the credit they deserved for making them who they were today.  Jonathan viewed me as an accessory.

 

The feeling was mutual, I did not view my husband-to-be as these doting wives viewed theirs.

Ephesians 5:22 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands as you submit to the Lord.”  I struggled with the word submit.  Being unsure of what to submit to doesn’t exactly make it any easier.  Submitting was never my strong suit to begin with.  Proverbs 31:10 “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above Rubies.”  Now that sounds more like me.  I am a strong, beautiful, loyal, compassionate woman.  Am I not to be treasured far above all else?  At least by my husband?  How am I to submit to someone that does not see my value?  He sees me as nothing more than a formality, the tiniest piece of the puzzle lost in the center of the bigger picture.  Without me, he does not get what he ultimately desires.

 

My future became instantly crystal clear.  The days of excitement and wonder would be long gone.  In his words, “You need stop thinking of yourself.  As my wife, my dreams will become yours, that’s how God wants it.”  I spent hours upon hours trying to decide if this was true or not. Throughout the brief engagement all I heard was, “You are such a lucky girl, Rachel” “He is such a good man”.  Why did I not feel so lucky?