*For my Wonder Mom
I remember hearing your voice
when I was young.
You were always speaking to me,
soft flowing words
that would reach out to me,
wrap me in an embrace
and hold me close.
I remember feeling protected
when I was older.
I was trying to figure out
who I was meant to be.
You told me to be
proud of who I was
regardless of what others said.
I remember feeling loved beyond words,
even when we were far apart
from each other. All it would take
was the sound of your voice
to feel at home, to feel at peace.
Your words have always found me.
I am so proud
to have you as my mother
and I am honoured every day
to be your son.
It is my fathers voice I hear first
as it’s the one I have known the longest:
“Why are you so fucking stupid? Can’t you do anything right?”
The sound of the voice has changed over time,
taking on the tones of my ex-husband next:
“You really are as ugly as you look. You’re ugly on the inside.”
I try to push away those voices,
pushing past the fog that they create within me,
but still the tone of voice changes again.
I hear the voice of a past fiancée next,
the tone of voice is happy
even if the words cut like knives.
“You’re my little freak, aren’t you? You’d be more attractive if you lost twenty pounds.”
I turn away from the words, but they follow me,
latch on to my mind like parasites
and their voices are all I can hear.
I turn into a dark corner of my mind
and his voice is waiting for me too,
an ex-boyfriend that had strings attached to
every action of love that he made:
“You want to end your life? Go ahead and do it. The world would be better off.”
Every word from them is a
slap, punch, stab, roar, guttural growl
in my ears that all I can do is look at myself
and is it any surprise that I hate what I see
when I look in the mirror?
Then I hear another voice,
though softer, it is louder than all the others:
“I love you unconditionally.”
At first, I tried to turn away from this voice,
the one that spoke words that I couldn’t believe.
“You’re perfect for me.”
I wanted to run because the words didn’t hurt me,
they weren’t designed to degrade or take away
bits of me, but to hold me up and show me
who I really was.
“You’re too hard on yourself. I wish you could see yourself as I see you.”
Every time the other voices come,
this one voice chases them away
but I have to stop holding on
to what they thought of me because they never knew me.
They come back to me though,
from time to time,
filling my head with a noise like the buzz of bees,
loud and insistent.
When that happens, I have only to look
into the eyes of my husband,
the man who knows me better than I know myself,
and let the voices go.
Within myself, I stand upon a cliff
I can feel the wind as it brushes my face
and I open my mind to the wind
so that the voices, which have grown loud again,
will be released to the heavens.
I know that they will return,
that the voices from my past will return.
Every time, I will let them go and focus on my voice
as it sings a song I have yet to know
the words for.
Fantastic news! Captain Maven and the Shadow Man is available now!
I meant to have this book published for the holidays but with one thing and another, that didn’t happen. I did put it out on my blog, but this is the first time that it’s been available for purchase.
Here’s a bit about the novella:
It’s Christmas time in Ottawa.
Captain Maven is a superhero with a broken heart. After a bad breakup, he hasn’t been himself. The other superheroes in their group have been worried about him, but all he can do lately is look into his cup of power and remember what used to be. Finley, who controls fire, tells Maven to call his ex, but Maven knows that he can’t do that. Carley Bravo tries to cheer him up by offering to alter his mood, but Maven declines. He’d rather be miserable, even if it is Christmas.
When the nefarious Cracklepuss starts to kidnap children, they all know that they don’t have much time. However, this time Cracklepuss is not acting alone. There is a man that walks in the shadows, thankfully Captain Maven seems to have drawn the shadow man’s attention. When the shadow man endangers Gregory, Captain Maven’s ex boyfriend, Maven knows that their time is limited.
Along with Finley and Carley, there are a few others in their group: Tara can put people into an enchanted sleep and travel into the minds of others. Sandoz can reshape the world around him or destroy them at his will. Dez can control water and can cause rivers to appear where there was only a desert. Tianado can travel within the shadows, and he knows them well. They will have to band together and combine all of their talents if they hope to succeed against this unknown foe.
Can they save Gregory, find the shadow man and rescue children and the city of Ottawa from oblivion all before Christmas? A superheroes job is never done!
You can get your copy HERE.
A paperback edition will follow soon. Stay tuned for more info!
This book came about in a roundabout way, as all the best stories do.
I live with Cerebral Palsy and Multiple Sclerosis.
After my last MRI a few months ago, they found new lesions in my brain caused by the Multiple Sclerosis. I was put on a new drug called Mavenclad. Its purpose is to wipe away the immune system so that when it rebuilds itself, it will hopefully do so without the lesions. It’s a chemo drug normally used to treat leukemia.
When the medication arrived, it had a red sticker on it with a big white cross. I’d never received something with a medical symbol of any kind on it, but for some reason it stuck with me, that big white cross. I’m not sure how the subject came up, but when I was talking to my Wonder Mom one day during the treatment, she mentioned the fact that I was like a superhero and maybe the Mavenclad was going to ramp up my powers.
“I would totally need a cape,” I told her.
“Yes, a red cape with a white cross.” She said.
“No, not red and white. I would need a purple cape with a sparkly silver cross. That would be more my style.”
“Yes, you could be Captain Mavenclad!”
“Hmmm, what about Captain Maven?”
“That does have a nice ring to it.”
I couldn’t get the image of Captain Maven out of my head. I asked the very talented Cait Gordon if she could draw me a Captain Maven portrait. She did so, giving him a cup of power (I had to drink a lot of water when I took the Mavenclad) and a sceptre of light (I sometimes walk with a cane, and I like to sparkle). To say that I loved it is putting it mildly. It put the whole chemo med thing into something that I could draw light from, something that brought me joy.
Then it occurred to me, if my Mavenclad medication could be a superhero, what about all the other medications that I take? I ended up settling on Finley (Baclofin), Tara Dawn (Trazodone), Sandoz (Sandoz Solifenacin), Dez (Apo-Desmopressin), Tianado (Apo-Tizandadine) and Carley Bravo (CBD oil). They would be a group of superheroes who would do battle against Cracklepuss (Cerebral Palsy) and Max Shadow (Multiple Sclerosis), protecting the streets of Ottawa and keeping the people safe.
I normally write a story for Christmas every year and give it away for free. I thought it would be neat to write a story with this group of supers and set it during the holidays. It never occurred to me that I would write a full novella and I’m already thinking of other stories that could happen with the characters.
I can’t tell you what joy this story has brought to me and how much fun it was to create a world of superheroes that are really just like ordinary people…with a bit of something extra. I do hope that you enjoyed this tale as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Captain Maven and crew will return! Just watch the skies…
I was lost within your eyes
and I found myself
in your voice,
took comfort in your touch
the way that you put your hand
at my back to support me.
You let me place my hand in yours,
both our hands forming
a cycle made complete.
I was not searching
but when we met,
I found the part of myself
that I didn’t even know I was missing.
I had never planned on being married again,
having done it once before.
I didn’t feel that I deserved
another chance; in reality
part of me didn’t want to ruin
the thing that was growing
between us, afraid that somehow
it would shatter and cover us
with a fine layer of glass,
but the more time
that I spent with you,
I knew that I wanted to
give half of my heart to you.
I didn’t know the words
to say such a thing to you.
When you said them to me,
spoke aloud those four magic words
(will you marry me?)
my heart and mind stopped,
just for a moment,
so that I could take in the beauty
that is all of you.
In that weightless moment,
I heard a song begin within
the depths of me.
It has grown louder in the five years
since we first got married,
a melody that fills every moment.
I can hear the sweet sound
of its song when I’m not expecting it,
a lilting tune that makes me think
of the wind and often,
I find that I’m dancing with it
without even knowing.
It’s taken me some time
to realize that what I’m hearing
is the song that we
have created together,
forging a note every time
one of us says
(I love you.)