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Gelder Shorts

Gelder Shorts- Chapter One: Kowan’s Anger Part Four

Hi Everyone!

Here is part four, the final installment will be coming next week. I hope you are enjoying getting to see the Gelder world from a new perspective and getting to know Kowan better!

Enjoy!

Kowan’s Anger- Part Four

“Amell, how is Eleanor?” I speak to the terra master urgently. Our Queen, Eleanor, has just been attacked. I know nothing of the particulars yet. Only that she has been rushed to the hael wing, and that the top healer in the entire Gelder population is seeing to her.

“She is stable, for now.” The rock master murmurs gravely. “Poison, and it should have killed her.”

The last two words ricochet through me, filling me with terror. Kill her. The sweet, innocent female that has begun healing my jaded soul. Reviving my belief in the female kind, mending the jagged hole that Sylva left behind after her callous rejection of me.

Though that is not quite right. It was more than just rejection that Sylva did to me. Rejection I could have accepted. It is the fact that in her rejection she revealed that she lied to me the entire time we were together. Deceived me in how deep her feelings went. While I thought we were building genuine affection for one another, she saw me as a mere distraction.

Eleanor has burrowed deep into my heart, her purity of soul has reminded me why we must treasure our immortality. Why we must honor the gift we have been given by protecting life. A world without her shining light within it is inconceivable.

“What do you mean for now? What did Jarlin say? If it was meant to kill her, how did they fail?” I demand of Amell. I need more information so that I can plan her guard. No one will get near her again.

“He said that the poison is lethal to humans. One hundred percent of the time.” The gravelly words of Amell do not make sense at first. Even upon closer examination they still mean nothing to me.

“I do not understand, she is human.”

“No, apparently she is not. She is half human.” Amell holds up his hand to stem the question on my lips. “Before you ask, we do not know yet what she is. Jarlin is investigating this.”

“Do you think that she will be able to survive this?” I ask desolately. While I do not suspect that I will ever be able to love anyone again, not in a romantic sense, Ellie is the closest I have come since the lying sneke that is Sylva.

“Yes, our Eleanor is stronger than she appears. Jarlin is ensuring her survival, there is no one better suited.” I nod at Amell, no there is not. Jarlin is the most skilled healer in the cosmos. “We are better suited for ensuring that Eleanor is protected from further attacks. And keeping Danion sane.”

“Oh, yes. The bond madness will be tearing at him, and he was already precariously close to the edge as it was.” Concern slithers up my spine.

Bond madness is no laughing matter, it can drive a warrior to lose all control of his emotions and his powers. Danion has been struggling since Eleanor came on aboard, and the month long battle of wills that they waged did not help. Yet another reason I have no desire to find a mate. Bond madness is not a curse I wish to bear.

“The pain that Danion must be feeling…it must be tearing him apart.” Amell murmurs, his words causing me to stiffen.

“Pain? I would say he appears more angry than in pain.” So similar to my own anger. This never ending fury that swirls around me, refusing to ever let me know peace.

“Yes, he may appear angry, but the anger is fueled by pain. A pain so deep that the rage may very well consume him. If he loses her…we all may perish in the storm his pain will bring.” Amell speaks solemnly.

He is unaware of how his words have affected me though. Etan also hinted that pain can fuel a great rage but I discounted him. Perhaps I was hasty. There is no denying that our King is suffering, his mate poisoned and near death.

But his outward emotion is anger, not pain. An anger that possesses an eerily similar appearance to mine own. In all honesty though, I did feel pain when Sylva abandoned me. Could it be that pain is why I have not been able to let go of this burning rage.

If so, maybe I can finally find a way to free myself of these raging shackles that lasso me to the darkness. Maybe.

“I want two guards at all times outside this wing. No one, and I mean no one, except for Jarlin and Danion are to pass through without extensive vetting from us.” Amell’s clipped orders bring back to the problem at hand. The would be assassin in our midst.

“Yes, I concur.” As I am the leader of her guard, it is my responsibility to give orders to ensure her safety. Not Amell’s. “In addition, no one except for Danion and Jarlin will be inside without a guard present.”

“What of Joy? She will be attending her appointments here.”

Oh yes, another female who must be protected. Unlike Eleanor, Joy has never made me feel peaceful in her presence. She is so vivacious it makes me feel ill at ease. Unsure how to communicate with her. But she does carry the young of our species.

“She will be checked prior to entering the wing, but she can be inside without a guard.” I grudgingly yield. She will be there for long periods of time, and Jarlin will almost always be there with them.

“Very well, who should take the first rounds?” Amell asks me.

“I will, I will send for Griffin to take post with me. Amell, I want you and the others to being searching for the assassin…” Alarms begin blasting throughout the ship.

I flick my eyes to Amell, dread in them. That is a warning of a massive failure of the control grid. Danion and Golon come flying out of the hael wing.

“Guard her!” Is all that we hear as they rush down the corridor.

Amell and I share a look, “With my life.” I murmur. We have dark days ahead, and I will lay down my own life before more harm comes to our Queen.

“And mine as well.” Amell answers in return.

While my anger is refusing to fade from me completely, I know that I am close to expunging it once and for all. And my success is hinged on the small, delicate female who lies in the chamber behind me.

Gelder Shorts

Gelder Shorts- Chapter One: Kowan’s Anger Part Three

Hi Everyone!

Here it is, part three in Kowan’s story. Tune in every Wednesday for the new addition to the Gelder Shorts miniseries!

As I have stated, you do not need to read to the books, but it is recommended. If you have not read them but think you might enjoy them, link over to the books tab to purchase a copy today!

Enjoy!

Kowan’s Anger: Part Three

“Your mind is troubled, Kowan. It is making it only too easy to best you.” The mocking words of Etan flow over me as I am knocked to the ground once again. “What good is sparring with you if all I am accomplishing is watching you relax on the mat?”

“Oh, shove off Air Master,” I growl to the overly joyous infer. Those warriors who are gifted in caeli always seem to be so deimed cheerful. It is beyond irritating.

“Now Kowan, do not let anger consume you. I can sense the battle that rages inside you relentlessly. Always plaguing you and harming you. It has been this way for far too many years.” Etan’s tone turns on a dime and becomes as serious as an Erain attack. “The anger has served you well in the past, you channeled it and became one of the strongest warriors I have ever known. One I am proud to serve with. But now? You are no longer the master of your anger, your anger is the master of you.”

Etan reaches down to lift me from the mat, but I shrug him off and stand on my own. Shifting slightly to put some distance between us. I am not interested in the slightest to hear what he has to say. Mostly because I know he speaks the truth. After all these years, I would have thought that the anger would have left me, but instead, it has only grown.

Etan closes the distance that I have put between us, refusing to let me wallow in my self-loathing again. “What fuels this anger, Kowan? Let me help, you know it is a gift of the caeli line, to spread joy. Let me shine light into your darkness and abolish this rage once and for all.”

I study the warrior before me. “How could you hope to do that? You are so deim happy, you always have, what do you know of anger and pain?” I ask him, scorn dripping from my words.

If I was not a male whose battle instincts have been honed over centuries of bloody wars, I might have missed the subtle signs of how my words pained Etan. His face pales just barely, his eyes dull minutely, and the skin around his mouth tightens ever so slightly.

“Never speak to me about loss and pain again, your ignorance is no excuse. I know not of what caused your pain, and you definitely do not know of mine.” Never in all of the never ending years that I have known Etan, have I ever heard his words be so cold and hard.

Whatever secrets his past holds, he has kept them well guarded. “My apologies, you are right. It is not my place to assume you have no troubles.” Etan gives me a stiff nod. “But I do not have pain, only anger.”

“Anger would have left you long ago, this is pain. Your soul is bleeding, and you do not know how to stem the flow. I could help you if you only would let me.”

“I have no need, Etan.” I cannot bring myself to speak about Sylva and what she did to me. No one knows what actually happened between us, and I would like to keep it that way. I hate her for what she did to me. Yet I still cannot stop my love for her.

She turned me resentful to all females, and that is a crime I cannot forgive. She forever has sentenced me to a life alone, because I cannot open myself to love another. I loved Sylva, and I still do. But I hate her too, and this paradox is what plagues me. I cannot reconcile the female I loved and respected, to the cold hurtful infer who shredded my heart.

“Fine, if you do not wish to discuss your pain, what do you think of the divide between our dear King and Queen?” Etan asks me, and I am thankful for the distraction.

“Yes, the discord between the two is implanting tension throughout the entire ship. Danion has never been so livid, and Eleanor seems reserved as well.” I murmur.

Eleanor is an enigma. I can sense nothing but goodness in her, and the only time that my all-consuming rage seems to pause is when I am in her presence. She is a female, but I can find no reason not to trust her. And yet, the day after the joining ceremony with our King, she has spurned him. Thus causing him great pain.

Maybe she is just as conniving as Sylva is, “Why do you think she is doing this to Danion? Do you believe she is truly so concerned about Arsenio receiving a punishment that he deserves?” I ask Etan, as we both begin returning the scimaar’s we were training with to their rightful places in the hooks that line the walls.

“No, I do not think that is the true issue. I think that our Queen is struggling internally, her soul is crying out so loudly that I can actually feel her pain when I am near her. She is scrambling to find a place here in our world, and Arsenio reached out to her in friendship. I believe that to her, he does not deserve to be punished. And after a lifetime of being unfairly punished, she is loath to sit back and see it happen to another.”

His words seem to resonate inside me, the truth of those words grip me. Eleanor has been punished more than anyone ever should in their lifetime. To her, Arsenio’s transgression would seem minor, since she is unaware of the complexity of the mating bond.

“I agree, Etan. It seems opposite of her nature to cause anyone pain on purpose, especially her mate.” I nod to him, “It makes me very glad that I do not have a mate. And hopefully, I never will.” I mutter to myself. After Sylva, I have no desire to share my eternity with anyone else ever again.

“I agree, a mate can bring eternal pain and suffering if the bond is one-sided. It is a fate that no one should endure unless the bond will be fulfilled.” Etan’s response floors me.

I stare at him in surprise, so beyond confused at him. “You do not desire a mate?” Aside from me, I thought all warriors were anxious to bond.

Etan seems to stare at me in contemplation, “No. I am content where I am in life. Duty and honor are all I require to sustain myself for all the years ahead.”

Something in his speech seems off to me. Something I cannot identify, but it is as if he is hiding something. But it is not my place to pry since I have no intention of sharing my burden with him.

“Do you think the King will ever mend this rift between them? Will Eleanor ever accept him, or will he be locked into this eternity of suffering?” I ask Etan carefully. My fear for my King is great, but I also find I am concerned about Eleanor as well. I would not like to see her harmed in any way, even from Danion.

“Yes, once Eleanor heals internally she will be open to her mate. Danion will be happy soon. More than any of us, if I had to guess.”

It would not take much to have him be happier than me, I am so lost to my own despair. But Danion and Eleanor have a shot at true unfettered happiness, and I hope they find it. Who knows, maybe one day I can finally find a way to let go of my own anger and find some modicum of happiness again.

Once the equipment has all been returned to the hooks on the walls that surround the mats, Etan and I leave the sparring room together in silence. With a smile and a wave, Etan turns and walks down the corridor opposite me. Whistling as he goes even.

By all appearances, he has not a care in the world, but as I have found out today, he merely hides his despair better than I do. We both are suffering. I turn away, off to search for Eleanor, it is my turn to stand guard over her. Even if it wasn’t, I would still search for her. Her calming presence is something I desperately need now. The anger seems to grow worse by the day.

Hopefully, I can find a way to end this soon, I am not sure how much longer I can go on like this.

Gelder Shorts

Chapter One: Kowan’s Anger- Part 2

The next installment on Kowan’s Anger is here! These are designed to be a stand alone mini series for characters that are introduced in the Gelder books, which are available here. While it is not strictly necessary to read the books to enjoy this series, it is best to have read the books beforehand.

For some more information on how these Gelder Shorts will be set up, they will be in ‘Chapters’ that are broken up into five parts. Each chapter will focus on one character, and there will be a small plot that carries over into the other parts. Each chapter will be released once a week, on Wednesday while the chapter is unfolding.

These stories will give you a little more insight into the characters, as well as give a few hints for future books to come! Kowan is a character I really connect with, and I hope you enjoy his journey.

Enjoy!

Kowan’s Anger- Part 2

I ignore the message that is flashing at me on the communications tablet in my quarters, just as I have been ignoring it for the last several rotations. I have no desire to hear her voice, none what so ever. The female who betrayed me and lied to my face.

I turn away in disgust, quickly exiting the room and heading down the gleaming golden halls of the ship towards the research labs. I am heading to meet the highest ranking intellectual officer in the entire fleet, Golon. He is cousin to our King, and the only known being in the galaxy who possesses the ability to access every scrap of information he has ever read, seen, or heard.

It might not sound that glamorous at first, but when you consider that he has lived for over two and half thousand years, you realize the enormity of his gift. His knowledge has allowed him to rise to second in command of the fleet, only the King himself is above him.

We are planning on meeting and discussing the situation that our Queen was found in on Earth. A rocky planet inhabited by mortals that was the eighth addition to our Pact World agreement. This agreement covers the mortal planets that we protect from any outside threats. Such as the genocidal Erains (Air-ens) who crave death and destruction. One hundred Earth years ago we intervened and prevented the Erains from wiping out all of humanity.

We did this in exchange for the same thing we always do with Pact World’s, females. As a dying race, we are in desperate need of females to mate with, especially since those who are genetically compatible with us are few and far between. Eleanor, our new Queen, who I just escorted here to our royal ship, came from just such an alliance.

This alliance was not honored by the humans, they abused our future Queen horribly. While they might not have known she would be Queen, they knew she was important to us. We sent provisions for her, she should have been pampered. Why she suffered is something I am determined to get to the bottom of. While Eleanor is a female just like the lying Sylva, I am honor-bound to protect her and serve her. Even lay down my life for her if it becomes necessary. A female. Females lie as easily as they breathe…well that is not strictly true.

I must admit, our Queen is something special. There is a purity of soul that radiates out of her. I find that rather than pity for my King, I feel joy for him and the new mate that he was blessed with. Maybe some females are different from others…

No, impossible. Sylva was, is the most powerful and respected warrior in the fleet after Elite class warriors like myself and the rest of the Queen’s guard, and she lied to me for centuries. Eleanor is merely an exception to the rule. One I am not likely to find again.

“Greetings, Kowan. What ails you so? You look positively dreadful.” Golon speaks to me without opening his eyes. He is hovering over a small raised mat on the floor in his library, which is adjacent to his many laboratories. I know better than to question how he knows of my appearance without the use of his eyes. A male of Golon’s exceptional gifts is not one to trifle with.

“I am merely contemplating the struggles of our Queen back on Earth, and what circumstances might have led to her horrendous treatment.” It is not strictly a lie, merely an omission. I cannot bring myself to admit to my internal struggle of Sylva.

With my words, Golon’s face darkens. “Yes, it is abominable what was done to her. We must punish those who were responsible.”

I glance around the room, “Shouldn’t Danion be here? He is King after all, and this is his mate.”

“Yes, but with the bond madness so heavy upon him, I do not think it necessary to include him at this time.” His gaze falls heavy on mine. I understand what he is implying, our King is near his breaking point already. His power is bursting from him, he even harmed Eleanor unintentionally on their first meeting.

“You may be right, but it does concern his mate. He will want to be a part of these discussions.” I point out to him, we were both presents when the bond madness took ahold of our King earlier. For the first time in a long time, Danion lost control of his power. I for one do not want to be the one who causes his next lapse, I may not survive it.

Golon opens his mouth to respond, but a summons from his own communication tablet flashes. He walks over to it and accepts the communication request.

A three-dimensional display of the very female I have been actively avoiding for years flashes in front of me, Sylva. I have only spoken to her in a professional manner since her rejection of me, and the image of her in her body-hugging casual attire is a kick to the gut. She is still the only female that I could see myself with, and it is a scimaar in the chest that she wants nothing to do with me.

“Golon, I wanted to speak with you about a disturbing dream I had… Kowan? Is that you?” Sylva turns towards me, and I am forced to step up to the display. I refuse to cower and avoid her.

“Yes, it is me. I was discussing business with Golon.”

“Kowan, I really need to talk to you. This disagreement we have has caused enough strain between the two of us. Please, will you meet with me and we can put the past behind us? We were once partners, the best in the fleet…” I have had enough.

“Yes, we used to be. And now I have claimed a much more esteemed position than your partner. I have risen as high as a warrior can hope to rise to, I am the leader of our Queen’s praesidium, and that is a title I do not wish to give up. We went our separate ways, and that is all there is to it.”

“Kowan, please just let us talk about this…”

“No.” I turn my attention to Golon. “I will leave you to discuss Sylva’s dreams, and we can continue this later.”

As I turn to go, Sylva speaks again in a despondent tone that I refuse to fall for again. “No, you stay, it was nothing important, just some strange feelings I had while asleep. It is nothing.”

She makes quick and polite goodbyes and then she is gone. Once the likeness of her is gone from the room, I can finally breathe again.

Golon stares at me, “Kowan, perhaps speaking with her will lessen the pain you feel.”

“I feel no pain, only anger. Rage in fact. For the deceptions she had no problem telling me. Though I cannot forgive her, I wish her no ill will. But the anger is not something that I can let go of. It is a part of me, and it always will be.”

“If you are sure,” Golon murmurs, doubt evident in his tone.

I sigh to myself, I am not sure at all. Oh, how I wish I could let go of this anger. It has been a part of me for so long that it is beginning to shape me into a male I do not care for. Before Eleanor, I have never met a female since Sylva that I can trust. I am turning into a bitter old warrior who knows no joy. How can I heal a wound that I do not know I have?

I do not know, but I am beginning to hope that I can find that answer soon before it is too late.

Gelder Shorts

Gelder Shorts- Chapter One: Kowan’s Anger Part 1

This is the first chapter in the Gelder Shorts, a mini-series to add depth to the characters introduced in The True Immortal Series that are available on Amazon. They are stand-alone series and can be enjoyed by themselves, but they are intended to be read after you read the books.

Each chapter will focus on one character’s story and be comprised of five parts, with a new addition being released every week on Wednesday’s.

Hope you  enjoy them!

Kowan’s Anger

“So your name is Kowan?” The vile female sidles closer to me, pressing her devious self into my personal space.

“Yes and you are Lady Annabeth.” I make my words cold, stiffening my stance to add distance between us.

“Have you ever thought about claiming a woman? I think that I might love a good, hard claiming from a male like you.” Her sickeningly sweet voice rings false.

Her words cause a lurching pain in my chest. Claiming a female is a dream that died long ago inside of me. When my offer of a heart bond was thrown back in my face.

I stifle my biting response to this insipid female, keeping the words I actually want to say to myself. These meetings are the real hardship of our agreement with the mortal worlds. I despise these interactions.

Luckily, I usually can avoid them, except today’s claiming is too important. The King’s mate is finally of age, no one but the very best can be here to escort her to him. Every leader of the main power lineages is here on Earth for the express purpose of seeing her safely to the Gelder Royal Fleet.

A mate. I marvel at the beauty of the soul mate that our King has found. Our King is one of the very few warriors who has been blessed with the gift of a mate.

Such a bittersweet experience, every male who undergoes a mating of the souls is plagued with the bond madness. But if they can overcome it, there is nothing sweeter than sharing eternity with the other half of ourselves.

I once dreamed of a bond like that, and when I gave up on that, I offered my heart to Sylva, and she threw it back at me. Stomping on the ground for good measure. Her words from that day still plague me.

“Kowan, you know that you are the one male that I feel closest too. But we can’t bond, not like that.” Sylva’s brown eyes stare at me in disbelief. As if she cannot believe that I would ask her to join with me.

“Why not like that? We have been partners on every mission we have ever been on. Went through training together, we are closer than most mated pairs.” I grab her hands, “And physically, we are more than compatible.” I growl at her, we have pleased each other several times over the centuries. Both of us often turning to the other for physical release.

“Kowan, we are not more than compatible, we are fine…”

Her words ricochet through me, I drop her hands.

“That is not what I meant…Kowan!” I ignore Sylva’s plea. Her words are ringing in my ears.

Lies, all of it. She always told me that I made her feel new things, that never before had she ever felt so close to someone during the joining of bodies. Obviously that was a lie.

But not to me. For me it was true, she was the one female that I ever felt affection for. The only one that I thought could thaw the ice around my heart. Clearly, I was wrong.

Females, all of them, are devious. Even Gelder females it seems. As the Stars as my witness, I will never claim another female. Ever.

 

“Come on Kowan, what do you say? I have some time before the ceremony, you could give me a little taste as to what a woman who is claimed experiences.” The stupid human thrusts her artificially enhanced breasts into my chest and actually pulls her top down, exposes both nipples to the air.

She has gone too far if anything less that Gelder honor was holding me back I would not be able to stop myself from throwing this vile creature from me. She enjoys tormenting the humans around her. I can smell it on her, how she enjoys the feeling of superiority she wields when others cower before her.

I fear for our Queen’s fate that she will have to have this so-called ‘Lady’ be the one who helps prepare her for her new life.

To prevent myself from saying something that I would not regret, I simply walk away.

***

“She is exquisite, Kowan. Did you see her?” Etan, the caeli master in our Queen’s guard, asks me.

“Yes, Air Master, I saw her. She will do admirably as our Queen.” I respond to him while sharing a dark look with Amell. The terra, or rock, master. He is my second in command in the Queen’s elite guard, and he would not have failed to notice the rags she was dressed in.

We also paid a visit to her home today and know that we have been deceived in regards to her welfare. That is why we arranged for her to have the dress she is changing into waiting for her. The King would not be happy to see her in the attire these humans thought was acceptable.

“She is too good for Danion.” The bitter words are mumbled, but still audible, coming from the newly un-banished firemaster.

“Quiet, you speak ill against the King at your own peril,” I growl to him. Arsenio has caused enough problems, I refuse to allow more while he is in my command. “Are only responsibility is to protect the treasure that is Eleanor and deliver her safely to her mate,” I speak to him, but my words are for all of the warriors before me.

“Really? That skinny, disease infested slut is who you all are so excited about? She is nothing.” Lady Annabeth asks in disbelief.

Her words, on top of her outrageous behavior from before, is too much. I whirl to face her. “I will say this once, and once only. You are a disgusting plague in the galaxy, people like you who think of nothing but themselves. If we did not take an oath to protect all mortal life, I would take pleasure in killing you myself. As would every member of this guard.”

I can feel my power climbing inside me, threatening to burst free and attack the female who would disparage our Queen.

Eleanor is everything I thought a mate would be. Everything that Danion needs. If I were ever to meet a female like her, I might just be able to forget about Sylva, that festering thorn that refusing to leave my side. This female insulting that fragile and starving female is too much.

I am seconds away from losing control, there is nothing I can do about it. A hand on my shoulder pulls me back, I look over my shoulder and am shocked that Arsenio is the one grounding me. Allowing me to borrow his control.

His eyes glint devilishly, and suddenly Annabeth is surrounded in flames. She screams slightly and then turns rapidly in a circle, looking for a way out.

“Insult Eleanor Sette again, and these flames will be the last thing you ever see. I am not as honorable as Kowan here is.” Arsenio promises, then lets the flames slowly disappear.

Annabeth turns and knocks on the door, eager to be back in the presence of Eleanor.

Arsenio sends me a smile, “Now that was fun.

I can’t help my answering smile. I don’t know about fun, but the flames sure helped me let go of my anger.

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A New Outlook on Being a Writer: The Struggle of Fighting a Flaw

Hello Everyone!

It has been a while since my last post, I have been deep in the Gelder world…book three is off for another round of editing and on schedule for a November release! Almost here. I feel like it is some of my best work and I cannot wait for all of you to read it.

Also, I am excited to announce that I will be starting a small short stories edition here on my blog that will be free! It is going to be called Gelder Shorts and will contain scenes with characters from the Gelder books, stand alones in their own right but will also add to the Gelder storyline of the book that you can purchase on Amazon.  I will be working on the first installment and then posting it shortly!

Now back to my new outlook of being a writer, like I said in my last post, I am a very stubborn person. This stubbornness is actually what led me to becoming an author after a lifetime of dreaming about it. I did promise more detail on what exactly happened in my pregnancy so here it is.

In the last stage of my pregnancy, I was really struggling, but I refused to admit it. Even though I was so swollen that my doctor said: “We may have to cut off the ring!” when I asked her about my wedding ring and my concerns that I could not get it off, I shrugged off my worries. Along with gaining thirteen pounds in a week, having severe nausea and headaches, I still said everything was fine.

Once my water broke, and agonizing hours in the delivery room, it was discovered that I had severe preeclampsia and was stuck in the hospital for five days! If I had only reached out to my mother, or any handful of friends who had been through labor already, I would have been able to get the help I needed before it got as bad as it did.

That very stubbornness led me to go back to work early, even though I was still dizzy when walking and still could not control my blood pressure. I ignored the blatant signs that I was suffering from postpartum depression, I was not eating when separated from my baby, not sleeping, and every day I felt a little bit worse than the day before.

Finally, I couldn’t keep putting on a brave face, and I collapsed in the classroom, terrifying some twelve-year-olds. One moment I was describing the grading rubric for their solar system projects and the next I was crashing to the floor.

All because I was stubborn… And it did not end there. I am still stubborn, even now a year later and I still refuse to ask for help. But I am trying! But flaws are fickle, even when we win the hard battle of admitting we have them, changing is an uphill battle.

Right now, my gut reaction to any suggestion of help is… No, I am fine! Even when I am not. After spending a fantastic day with my one-year-old, I feel so tired some days, but the writing muse is still hard upon me. I end up writing in the wee hours while the house sleeps… Who needs more than three hours of sleep anyway?!

But enough of this poor me complaining! Thank you all for reading about me, and look for the first edition of Gelder Shorts!