I am a slow writer. Many of my stories were written on a cheap Formica desk I bought at Shopko. When I got married, I moved it into our small apartment kitchen. I would write on it after the kids went to bed.
I share this detail because it is a message to writers to keep plugging along. It may take a long time.
I also share this detail of my life because life gets easier as you age. You go through things, and you learn bad times happen and you will get through it.
So, because I began writing Shattered so long ago, I have lost touch with some of the emotions of being young. Mikey is young and fragile. Everyone is fragile at a point in their lives. And while, I am no longer as fragile as I once was, I think this vulnerability should be talked about.
My other message, I believe, is that we can’t let bitterness win. When we let bitterness take over, we miss out and push away the good things. Mikey is a good person. He is a gentle giant that values his friends and takes care of his sisters.
However, his undealt with feelings causes him to be bitter. Like all of us, bad thoughts lead to bad feelings and bad feelings lead to bad behaviors.
As I reflect on the story now that it is published, I have been thinking about how people do bad things because of pain. Which is no excuse. Men that treat women the way Mikey does in this story should be held accountable. But what Mikey goes through is a message for men. And that is, if we want a better world, we must have men that deal with their emotions. They must work through their pain. Be emotionally healthy.
Trauma leads to bad choices. In both men and women this is true. We see people, people we love, and they do things that we don’t understand. But that is the nature of trauma. Too many of us begin to make bad choices and then get caught in a cycle of hurting ourselves and others.