Drafts

I enjoy learning about how other writers create. What their writing steps and techniques are.

When I am first working on a story…a book…I usually write it, well, un-colorfully….if I can use a crazy word. Let me explain. I use plain, bland words. I might write a line like, “The boat rocked back and forth on the fierce ocean.” Eh…eh…. Later, I’ll add the words that matter and recreate the sentence. “The millionaire’s yacht creaked and rocked under the weight of the menacing waves. The novice millionaire captain was petrified. His friends and family fought to hold on for dear life against the storm that mysteriously appeared.” Then, later down the road it will change yet again and add points of view, character emotions, etc.

I met one writer who does things differently than I do.  She over describes things, then cuts out instead of building up.

What is your preference?  Your first-draft technique?

Thanks for reading.

Chicago Down (update)

Season’s greetings, friends.

After a wee bit o’ procrastination, a couple of false starts, and writing a few different openings,  I believe things are going well with Chicago Down.

I cannot honestly say  that I’m right on track. Yes, I’m behind where I had hoped to be by now. That’s fine. I won’t go postal about it & Karate chop my holiday lawn ornaments or anything.  Although, that might amuse local law enforcement & have the neighborhood talking straight through to New Year’s Day. I live in a tiny suburb, you see, blessedly free of violent crime.  For now…Until I take out that blow up Santa.  😉

Anyway. On Sunday I’ll post a couple excerpts from my first draft of Chicago Down. I hope that you’ll enjoy the read. Stay tuned for that.

In the mean time, I’ll keep writing and avoiding all inflatable holiday lawn ornaments.

Thanks for reading.

Rain Falling

Cat rainy day

 

RAIN FALLING

(From my journal entry of Tuesday, 10/14/14.) Most is from a journal entry, with added passages.

**
Rain falling steady
Warm air fighting Fall’s music
Autumn hums a chilling tune
**

Last week and this week is sure offering up some suspicious-acting weather. Some call it Indian Summer. It usually arrives in October of every year here. It can last 3-7 days. This one seems to be lasting seriously longer.

It did this crap last year, and it was an awful winter. 2013 ended rough, and 2014 began shitty. But, horses run. Fast. And thankfully the tides changed for me in some areas of my life. I’m glad of that even as some things stayed the same – good or bad. A thing or two got worse, a thing or so go better, but there were a few things that did not change at all.

Anyway – my handwriting is as shitty as it’s always been. I’ve been trying to work on my handwriting. Why am even mentioning my handwriting (in the WordPress version of this blog) I have no idea. I’m rambling.

Anyway, I have so many projects on the table – maybe too many – that I cannot accomplish even one. I have no idea what’s gotten into me… Or maybe, out of me. I’m gridlocked. I feel like I’m sitting in my car, stuck in a deep snowdrift, my wheels spinning as I watch the gas tank run dry.

I just paid an editor – who did fine work, by the way – to edit a book. I’ve mentioned it here before, Storm Dwellers. Well, I wanted to make changes to it. Some of these changes will take thinking and time. Therefore, I knew I would not make a near-Halloween release date. And, I was totally okay with that. Then all heck broke loose and I fell ill, and then Mom fell ill, then all sorts of craziness occurred.

Okay, back to Storm Dwellers. I received the edits back from the editor. I was all gung-ho to get this done, so she could take a look at the finished product. Deep down I knew that I would not be making a release for this Halloween. But then, I’d rather have a solid story than a Halloween release date. And if I really want an October date, I have all year to work on this story. It makes no difference to me and I’m sure it makes no difference to the editor. Time is what we have.

So, at first I thought I’d just lost interest in the story, but I knew better. And, believe it or not, I had no interest in writing anything at all! And I’d say out loud, “I don’t care! I hate writing. I don’t have to write.” In truth, I absolutely have to write.

It is not like I was working like made or anything before I got this bug. I don’t feel it is what’s referred to as “writer’s block.” It’s something else. What, I have no clue.

It is probably the reason I started this hand-written journal. To see if I can work out the bugs. I’ve gotten great advice on how to… or well, writers have shared ways they’ve overcome such obstacles in their past; they’ve offered exercises to help.

*shaking head*

What the hell is wrong? Editor returned Storm Dwellers. Something I worked hard on. I stopped dead. I have other manuscripts in the works. One I have 200+ pages. Stopped. I can make a list, but why bore you with my failures? Okay, I was told to not call them failures. So here goes…

I have newly started novels, some containing only a few chapters, some a few pages, some finished halfway, and still other stuck in limbo riding on their notes:
-The Devil Plays Dice (sequel to Someday Always Comes)
-Angel Maker
-Cop Lover (book 2 in a series after Angel Maker)
-The Adam Conspiracy
-The Gem of Crystal Beach
-Blood’s Immortal
-The Ghosts of Willow Marsh

Of course, the finished Storm Dwellers with a fresh return from the editor. Oh and a book of poetry I have work for.

And this list doesn’t end there – those are just the most notable. I was blessed with a Muse that never sleeps. Until now! My writing drove me crazy, often to the point a thought would cross my mind and the words would come out of my mouth. I had no control.

Here is the fact, and I’d like to share this because many people suffer with physical or psychological afflictions, or will at some point, especially as we age. We writers are not immune. In fact, it’s guaranteed that we will get some malady because we’re tagged. How else can we write? We have to be sad, angry, happy, crazy, or sick with something chronic and annoying but not always fatal. Often we are alcoholics, chain smokers or coffee addicts. Just to name a few things. I am no different. I find that I am not always sane, but in a good way. I think. But I’ve always had digestive issues, since I was about 30. It started innocently with GERD, gastric reflux disease. Then with an esophageal sphincter that doesn’t operate properly. Now it’s escalated to esophageal spasms, diverticulosis, diverticulitis, constipation, IBS, and now they’re going back in, in November, to recheck my stomach. Nice. So, I can’t eat, I vomit, stay nauseous. Check this and that for blood. Oh, yes there’s a whole list of gross stuff I can type here, but I’ll spare you the details. I spend quite a bit of time at the doctor’s office begging for mercy or lying in a hospital emergency department because they are the only ones that can stop the vomiting and pain and rehydrate at a high rate of speed.

My stomach and colon like to wreak havoc on my life, causing irritability and exhaustion. Which in turn causes depression. I cannot always sleep. Up, down, up down, every couple of hours. It gets on my nerves. I have to watch this food and that, and every day I find something else I cannot eat or drink, or something I should eat or drink. I found that too much dairy products are not good for the colon since they coat the colon and keep the good from attacking the bad. These bacteria cannot stay attached to the colon wall. This is the newest news. Guess I should not have eaten all that ice cream this summer. I have to take fiber, yogurt, probiotics, and this, that and the other! But I cannot have this, this and this.

I’m losing weight. Not a bad thing. But it’s due to the illness and my inability to eat larger meals. So anyway, I have to graze all day to avoid a full stomach. I find that doughnuts and light pastries are just what the doctor did not order, but at least they don’t make me sick.

I have been debating asking the doctor for sleeping pills. I hate them though. But I just want to sleep all night. Or maybe for like 5 hours straight for even one night. Just one night, that’s all I ask.

Oh forget it.

I miss Dr. Thomas. My prior doctor. She was so sympathetic and understanding. Seriously, June was a year that she’s been gone.  Nothing I can do.

Maybe I need a vacation. Even a 2-3 day retreat. I’d love to hear the sound of the ocean again. The real ocean, not the ones on those CDs. Just for a few hours. Maybe next year.

I miss the Texas sky. Dark blue during the day, purple at night. Maybe I can go to Texas next year and sky worship for a few days. Maybe go to the coast. Maybe not come back to this place. Maybe stay at home.

*Please note, of course, I did find out after this journal entry that it’s this medication I take for esophageal spasms causing so much mind blockage!…A medication that I am (was) on for a physical illness may actually be causing mental fatigue and disinterest in my own writing, like depression. Holy shit! See? You just never know. Anyway, as many of us know about medications, often they are two-faced. Making you feel better in one way, as they are destroying some other part of you. To hell with medicines! This is getting on my nerves.A medication I desperately need and there is only about one other med I can take because the others are some sort of blood pressure meds used in small doses, and they do not want to give me that, because despite I want to kill people often, my blood pressure is the only thing that stays normal, except when I want to set fire to things and throw stuff! 😉  I suspected that the medication was beginning to cause this, though it’s rare for the low dosage to cause any emotional changes, the doctor said. She said if it does, it should not be noticeable. Well, the last time I got sick, I could not take this med for a few days and I saw the difference but thought…”Hey, I need this,” and chalked it up to my imagination. Now I’ve fallen ill again and had to stop taking meds by mouth again…low and behold, the mind fog lifted yet again. So I guess, back to the doctor to find something new. Or I’ll have to seek out something holistic. That is if there is anything.*

Now, as for Storm Dwellers, I will have to work on this slowly to get it where I want it. In the meantime, since this medicine that’s caused me so many issues behind my back, is now leaving my system, I have had another story idea, which I posted about on Facebook as well as a short blurb here on WP a couple days back. It’s tentatively titled, Chicago Down. We’ll see how that works out as my senses come back to me.

 

Thanks for visiting my blog. And, be sure to check each day this week, I have blogs planned for each day. Happy reading!

(a poem) FOR THE DEFENDERS – YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL HEROES

A Re-blog…For Veteran’s Day:

**I began writing this poem way back during Operation Desert Storm. It was finally completed in 2009. I leave the copyright at 2009 because the poem hasn’t been changed much since. I wrote it for the people and animals who’ve died in “wars” for us since our beginning. I always like to share it somewhere on Memorial Day, Independence Day, & Veterans Day.**  I hope you enjoy reading it. Someone once called this poem “profound.” I don’t know about that but I consider it the best piece I’ve ever written in my life…and the best piece I’ll ever write. I doubt I can ever top it. Nor do I want to.

 

American Flag Eagle

 

FOR THE DEFENDERS – YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL HEROES, by Wanda S. Paryla

 

This work was written for every hero, past, present and future, of every state and nation:  “Strive to forgive me as I seek forgiveness; seek forgiveness as I strive to forgive, for we are all nothing if not humankind.”  ~Winter NightTiger

 

Some had an easy time, maybe even a good time; many had it insane.  But, they all went, never knowing for sure what consequences it might bring, and that makes them brave.

 

 

FOR THE DEFENDERS– YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL HEROES

I wish only to hold your head in my hands

And tell you I am sorry that you were tortured on foreign lands.

But I am afraid to speak and I dare not touch your face,

For I fear you’ll look upon me with disgrace.

Young and beautiful heroes –

Defenders of a government’s cause –

Without questions,

Without pause.

 

Pardon me

For my naivety.

For I was not there to see;

Had I been, I’m sure I would have lost it all to insanity.

Hear my plea,

Pity me, forgive me, forgive me!

 

Europe, Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, Middle East, and in other places, not afar, but right here.

 

That’s where you’ll find their ghosts.

Ghosts of both the living and the dead,

Young and beautiful heroes,

Many Champions whom we have never seen.

People whom the Ass and the Elephant dare not look in the eye

Lest they display cowardice and for the grandest of excuses vie.

 

But, not I – I shall write in ode to you, to the freedom defenders, alive and dead

Who walked on many a foreign land,

Crossed many dark and watery seas,

Who, reluctantly or not, killed many a monster that, once dead, was just another man,

Like he, with unheard cries and pleas.

Oh, the things I wish to say; how they spin around in my head.

 

I dream of looking into your eyes,

Even as my American spirit slowly withers and dies,

For I can never be as you,

An American peoples’ Champion, true.

 

I recognize the heroes – I’ve seen some here, some there,

With their American spirits lost everywhere.

And then, they return to us,

Dead or living,

In boxes or for life, striving,

And the politicians only pretend to care

Because they know – hell, they’ll never ever have to go there.

 

So, here I am,

Sad that I cannot give you empathy

For I have not witnessed first hand

The vile acts of political man

Upon my young and beautiful heroes.

 

I am not even sure if I have a right to offer you sympathy,

So please forgive me,

For I cannot claim to understand

Your suffering and your woes.

 

I wish only to hold your head in my hands

And tell you I am sorry that you were tortured on foreign lands.

But I am afraid to speak and I dare not touch your face,

For I fear you’ll look upon me with disgrace.

I am humbled before you, Champions –

Young and beautiful heroes –

With biting souls

Wrecked with the poison of political scorpions.

 

Your pain could never be eased by another.

No, not by your father, mother, sister or brother, and certainly not by any lover.

Your eyes have seen a wild animal darkness,

That no other person’s sleeping mind would dare dream to harness.

 

Their wars become no good for anyone.

Once it is found that the crusade cannot be won –

They always leave you there then, with praise left undone,

And at just thirty, twenty-one, or as young as eighteen,

They asked you to behold things that, at any age, you should never have seen.

 

They leave behind the real defenders of the cause – taking with them their congressional bets.

The cowards leave you there, deep in the oceans, in stifling jungle-laden lands,

In strange desert countries strewn about their burning sands.

They leave you to die, young and beautiful heroes, without any damned regrets.

 

And, lest they be called failures,

They dare not turn to you a saving hand.

They leave you to your lunacy and wounds, without allowing any cares or cures.

They leave you there, burning, dreaming of easier days and helping hands.

 

I lived not through any wars,

But, I have shared in our government’s alleged reaped rewards.

They don’t feel to owe you a damned thing,

Even as in your head, sickening night terrors ring.

 

But, as – when just a child – my father fought,

I owe you everything.

However, I can offer you naught,

Save with my pen, your praises can I sing,

Through mediocre poetry –

writing being my single grace –

I attempt to offer you dignity,

As I dare imagine my hands touching your beautiful face.

 

You who will never be the same,

I am full of disdain

For the harbinger of your undeserved fate,

And I cry out for a cure to your pain.

It’s the only thing that might ease my hate

Lest I go guiltily insane

And end up myself at hell’s iron gate.

 

To the freedom defenders of now or then,

Those who risk their lives so people worldwide may live dictator free –

As our government has always claimed to us it should be –

Wherever you are, wherever you roam, wherever you die – I pray you’re not alone,

And for you, to the gods of warriors I beg for a safe return to your memories of home.

 

No matter how much time has passed us

Since your terrible war left you restless,

On my heart, you’ll forever be –

Young and beautiful heroes –

As I know that your night terrors

Will never see you free.

 

Do not be ashamed.

Keep your heads high.

Don’t take any blame,

For you have no reasons to deny

Your magnificent valor.

 

The one forgiveness sought here –

Outside of that between warriors –

Is the mercy that I seek from you

For the crimes of my country’s leaders.

 

The Ass and the Elephant owe you a debt –

One, shamefully –

They can never repay.

Forgive me, though, for the courage they lack.

And alas, to me you must make yet another promise,

Please come back,

And this time, say that you’ll stay.

 

I wish only to hold your head in my hands

And tell you I am sorry that you were tortured on foreign lands.

But I am afraid to speak and I dare not touch your face,

For I fear you’ll look upon me with disgrace.

Pardon me

For my naivety.

For I was not there to see;

Had I been, I’m sure I would have lost it all to insanity.

Hear my plea,

Pity me, forgive me, forgive me!

 

The way I remember and the way I know,

Is through television and history books.

This is how I seek young and beautiful heroes,

Of both today and yesteryear –

The freedom defenders who seemed to not fear,

And never knew what it took

Until they had already become history,

By another man’s quest of glory.

 

Defenders of the cause, I must share –

Courage is not the absence of fear,

It is but the conquest of it.

You are true glory,

Armed with many a mighty story –

Young and beautiful heroes

Of today, of yesterday,

Of every day

And I would never deny it.

 

Whether you are dead,

Or still yet cursed with nightmares in your head,

Whether you trudged across frozen Europe,

Or you met with torture in Korea,

Whether you sat in silent madness in the land of the Vietnamese,

Or crawled through the desert sands of Iraq –

You are beautiful heroes.

No matter what they say,

You are the Champions of our way.

 

Your childhood will forever remain

Somewhere far away – left behind –

Carrying on somewhere out there without you, left lame.

Your youth and beauty, and maybe even your mind,

Is where you abandoned the child

To become a person of class, rank and file.

 

And while there will always be some in denial,

There are those of us who shall never put you on trial.

There is no need for you to tell me –

Lest it helps to ease your pain and dread –

But only you can help me to see

What it is that lies deep in your head.

 

I wish I could ease your heart,

But I don’t know where to start.

I know that no words I could ever say,

Could hold your beast at bay.

 

Pardon me

For my naivety.

For I was not there to see;

Had I been, I’m sure I would have lost it all to insanity.

Hear my plea,

Pity me, forgive me, forgive me!

Young and beautiful heroes –

Defenders of a government’s cause –

Without questions,

Without pause.

 

I wish only to hold your head in my hands

And tell you I am sorry you were tortured on foreign lands.

But I dare not touch your face,

For I fear you’ll look upon me with disgrace.

Europe, Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, Middle East, and in other places, not afar, but right here.

 

That’s where you will find your ghosts…

 

Young and beautiful.

Copyright 2009 Wanda S. Paryla

 

 

Wanda S. Paryla – Woman in Horror via Blaze McRob’s Tales of Horror

Hey all,

Check out Blaze McRob’s Tales of Horror. I’m presented there as one of his women in horror for this week!!  Also, just check out the blog period. A lot of great stuff going on there. And take a look at his past women in horror, which includes one of my favorites…author, Melissa Stevens, of The Illustrated Author. She’s is the illustrator who completed my awesome book cover!! Thanks, Blaze!

Check this out: http://www.blazemcrob.com/2013/04/wanda-s-paryla-woman-in-horror.html?spref=fb

Writing Organically

WRITING ORGANICALLY…

Or “organic writing.” Interesting words, all.

I first read the term organic writing somewhere on Internet a couple months ago. I don’t know how long the term’s been around, or who coined it, or why. I just know it fits me fine.

I’ve never sat down and wrote a synopsis in my life…first. In school, I wrote the paper or essay then made the paragraph or two-long synopsis. I hate outlines too. I hated it when I had to do a science experiment and write a long paper describing every step, turning point, find and assessment. Oh, don’t forget your outline!…said every teacher everywhere.

I know what the teacher expected. She wanted us to think through what we were going to do and make note of the steps first. Not! I didn’t do it then either. I never made the steps. I just threw gasoline on the fire and jumped up and down smiling like a lunatic at the blaze, then wrote a report.

I write my fiction quite like that as well. If you hear me use the term outlining that usually means that I’m making a list of characters, character traits, and all the places they’ll visit. Do they like pizza with or without mushrooms? Outlining might include, or actually be, character mapping. For my “vampire” related series, the vampires and others in the story have family lines and some characters are reincarnates, so I had to do a tree to keep all the peeps or history in order.

In my new release, Someday Always Comes, I did absolutely no outlining, nor did I write a synopsis beforehand. Sorry, I can’t work that way. The most I did with them is a little cataloguing of who they are and their entrances into the story. I did this because there are characters who are mentioned at one point in time, then disappear. I wanted to keep track of these characters so that I could clear up loose ends and tie things together, leaving no strings lying about.

I started a synopsis, for the first time ever, for a story idea I’ve been toying with – a novel called The Ghosts of Willow Marsh. I started it a long, long…long time ago, and the synopsis is at about 1 ½ pages, while the story is much further along. Whenever I pull up the synopsis, I just stare at the blinking cursor. So, se la vie, synopsis.

One of my favorite things is when the synopsis actually turns into the story, as it did with Someday Always Comes. Hey, biotches, you can’t stop the muse. I highly doubt I will ever outline anything…I mean, while being true to the definition of outline anyway.

Currently, I’m dabbling with three or so different writing projects, and they’re all vying for my time and attention. It won’t be long before one of them wins out over the others and I’ll start pecking away diligently at the computer.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I do work out scenes, and sometimes write them out by hand. In fact, for one of said projects I’m working on now, the very tentatively titled, Rise of the Witch Clan, I have several scenes on paper. Unfortunately none of those scenes are bridged to any other scenes, and collectively make zero sense. Also, I have questions written down, with different ideas or answers. A question about a ring. A question about a book. Yadda. Then I have tentative answers.

I keep an electronic folder for deleted scenes, or scenes I might save to possibly rework into the story, or its sequel. I mean that whole scene about the missing Suri being found, then summoned through a water fountain, gown flowing, hovering there like a goddess…Hell, surely there’s room for that beautiful scene somewhere. Of course, I know it doesn’t sound beautiful to you, but it does in my head, and once the reasoning behind it…the why and who, etc….is accurately revealed, it’ll be lovely to you too when I describe it thoughtfully. You just wait.

But also, I have no real structure to anything I do. I like to plot and plan, but I don’t like to stick to any rigorous schedule. I’m the type of person that would tour a foreign country with a group, stray from the path, slay a few beasts, meet and marry someone who looks like Leo DiCaprio, and wind up living with magical elves in northern Wales…er… or somewhere, for eternity. Never returning home again.

Okay. Back on track. I read an article in March/April 2013 issue of Writer’s Digest called “Go Organic”, by Steven James. Steven James is supposed to be a best-selling author of many things, even some critically acclaimed things. But, I never heard of him, so I had to look him up. Yes, he’s done a lot. For shame, perhaps I should read one of his books.

Geeze, where was I? Oh, Steven James wrote an awesome article called “Go Organic.” Right. We established that. And, guess what? I have the same view points as he does. I write in the same fashion as he does…as far as mechanics goes. I don’t have a best seller, but we’ll see later. I also love that he quoted from one of my favorite books on writing. Yep, “On Writing” by Stephen King. James describes how he “loves Stephen King’s analogy…comparing stories to fossils that we, the story-tellers, are uncovering. To plot out a story is to decide beforehand what kind of dinosaur it is.” He quotes King, “Plot is, I think, the good writer’s last resort, and the dullard’s first choice.”

James goes on to say that the analogy helps him to think of his writing less as something he creates and more of something he uncovers. I like that. That’s how I feel too. Wouldn’t you know it? Me, Steven James, and Stephen King all think alike. Spooky!

With Someday Always Comes, I just wrote it. From start to finished. But each day, I’d go back and read the work from the day before; sometimes from several days before, but always striving for realism and fluidity. Continuity. I didn’t want my characters to say back on Tuesday that they were going somewhere on Sunday, then didn’t go. I didn’t want their personalities changing accidentally. The changes, if any, would be gradual and as a result of some event.

I don’t want to create some roadmap for every story and follow it to the tee. Then what happens when the muse slaps your marbles around and…wham!…story line change. But guess what? We have this outline…the story’s progressed by the outline. We can’t change it!

No, I’m not a fly-by-night writer. Okay, well sometimes I fly around at night. But that’s a whole other blog. I want my stories to have depth. I want strong, natural bridges and scene changes. I want my characters to make their own choices when backed into a corner, when being approached by Big Foot on a road less traveled, or while wondering what to do while staring into the eyes of their true love for the first time in ten years.

Whaat? Who the hell has time for pulling out maps in those situations! Really? When would anyone have time to pull out a map and ask directions while running across desert sands from a man-eating shark with legs while trying to find Amelia Earhart? I’ll tell you who are the only people who could pull that off…that whole…“Stop Mr. Landshark, I know not in which direction we goeth! Please, let me consult the Map of Sultan before we fall into quicksand or some other shit and lose our pants”… the Wayans Brothers. So, I’ll leave that dramatics and comedy in their capable hands.

So, I will remain organic. I am so glad someone invented that really cool term. And guess what all you English teachers of mine, give me an F if you must. But no more forced outline writing for me. How can I write spectacularly that way?

Steven James has a good opinion and idea in his Go Organic article regarding creativity:

“Forget all that rubbish you’ve heard about staying on track and not following rabbit trails. Of course you should follow them. It’s inherent to the creative process….What you first thought was just a rabbit trail leading nowhere in particular might take you to a breathtaking overlook that eclipses everything you previously had in mind.

Without serendipitous discoveries, your story runs the risk of feeling artificial and prepackaged. Give yourself the freedom to explore the terrain of your story…embrace the adventure.”

As I said, it’s a good article. Make sure you grab this copy of Writer’s Digest.

I did some snooping on the internet regarding organic writing. My view is that there are several organic writers out there and many described the roots of organic writing the same, yet they have their own way of going about it. A little bit of this, and a little bit of that. No junk.

I just can’t create any other way. Are you an organic writer too?

Back Cover – Someday Always Comes

Here is one of the tentative back cover descriptions for Someday Always Comes (women’s fiction, coming of age).

*********

Updated 11/16/12

In a comprehensive narrative of courage, passion and forever friendship, sixteen year-old Tessa Price, an orphan with a broken heart, little trust and eyes on the future has one really big wish. That someday she could get out of the lives of her Aunt Kiki and Kiki’s abusive husband, Dino, or just die.

The difficult-to-impress Tessa spends her days theoretically saving everyone.  She is a heroine of an unlikely kind who denies her pain and regret by getting wrapped up in the troubles of others to forget her own.

With rock-star sized aspirations, Tessa seizes one moment in time and rolls the dice, taking her teenage friends on a life-changing journey, crashing and burning into someday. That road is wrought with grief and catastrophe and Tessa struggles to keep things together, while denying herself true love and ignoring her limitations until it’s too late.

As she watches her friends spiral to rock bottom, Tessa blames herself for their fall from grace. When the death of a loved one sends her reeling into substance abuse, Tessa, everyone’s champ, falls to her knees and becomes everything she hates. Even the life growing inside her seems unable deter her from a path of self destruction.

Can Tessa rise, once again, from the ashes? Moreover, will her champion wait for her with a genuine love forever?