Blog

When Did You Know?

Women are my biggest inspirations for writing; their stories, their dreams, and their heartbreaks.  It was the inspiration behind The Song of the Sleeping Grass.

Recently, a dear friend of mine told me that her husband no longer wanted to be married to her, as he wanted to start a life with the girl he’d had a crush on in high school.  Her pain is so great.  Her daughters’ pain is immense, too.  So, thinking of them, I thought I’d write an imaginary question session from her to him.

———————————

When did you know?

When did you know that you didn’t want to love me anymore?

When did you know that you wanted to have her more than you wanted to have me?

When did you know that having your high school dream girl was more important than keeping your wife of 16 years?

When did you know that our marriage vows mattered none?

 

Did you know how much you would break my heart?

Did you know how much you’d break your daughters’ hearts?

Did you know what words you would craft in order to tell me that you no longer wanted me?

 

Where were you when you decided that it was over?

Where did you think we would end up?

 

How much is this supposed to hurt?

How long will this hurt for?

How am I supposed to get over this?

How am I supposed to forgive you?

 

Do you  know that I am the only one of us who is living in the now?

Do you  know that you were the cause of your daughters’ first heartbreak – one that they’ll never get over?

Do you  know that my friends are speaking truths to me while your friends are holding up your lies?

Do you  know that you are building a false narrative of our marriage just so that you don’t feel guilty over leaving me?

 

I   am learning that I will be okay.

I   am learning how to live in the truth.

I   won’t be sorry over how much I fought to save my marriage.

I   won’t look back and wonder if I should have fought harder.

I   gave you, our marriage and our children my all.

 

Will you  remember how much time and energy I put into educating and raising our children, saving our money, and building your professional future, all while deferring mine?

Do you  know how much you’ll regret this one day?

***

Hugs to you, K. You know where to find me.

 

Cyndia Rios-Myers

 

 

 

Blog, My Books

Going…Going…Gone

So, I went and did something. You all probably didn’t notice, and that’s okay. I didn’t want you to notice.  (And I am not being passive-aggressive. I swear!)

I removed one of my books from the online bookstores where it was offered. Before I tell you which book it was, I’ll tell you why.

  • Because it was too long
  • Because it contained smutty scenes

At the time, I enjoyed writing smutty scenes. As I’ve gotten older, I don’t like them as much. I want readers of all sorts of backgrounds to enjoy my books.

Will I edit the book and re-publish it? Maybe. But definitely not right now. I’m still in the trenches with Marta Morales.

But thank you to the readers who got hooked onto my books by first reading The Song of the Sleeping Grass.  Perhaps it will be our secret book.

The inspiration for that book is still alive and well – military spouses who gave their all, but were still discarded and forgotten.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

Blog

If An Older Person Says Things are Bad, Trust Them

Goodness. The title for this entry almost sounds political. This is not  political. I don’t want to be another voice in the media, influencing others with biased reporting.

The good thing about getting older…actually, there are TONS of things that are good about getting older. It’s a privilege denied to many.

Anyway, the good thing about getting older is the accumulation of experiences. A “bad” situation for a sixteen-year-old girl, versus a twenty-year-old woman, and the bad situation of a forty-two-year old woman are perceived differently. The way that a person can quantify goodness or badness increases with age. If you are a peaceful person and you learn to let go of the bad crap (if you can), you have a higher threshold of bad situations.

So, it is at the age of forty-one that I learned of a heartbreak that made me stop what I was doing. For a few minutes, I did nothing, but hurt for my injured friend.

I won’t get into what my friend’s husband did to her. Because it is a perspective thing. But I will say that a single gray hair can hold many experiences. The more you get, the more you know.

So, embrace aging. And if an older person says “I have a story for you,” then sit down and listen. You might learn something that will change you. It might reset your barometer on the good and the bad. It will give you another story to tell, too.

 

Blog

I Can’t Make This Up – Kevin Hart

So, I’ve been on a biography/autobiography book-reading kick lately. There’s just something about hearing someone tell you their life story. It is very personal. It makes you reflect on your own journey.

I just finished reading Kevin Hart’s I Can’t Make this Up – Life LessonsAfter reading this book, I discovered the difference between books that I can’t put down, and books that I don’t want to put down.

When I read a book that I cannot put down, it means that it is so engrossing that I do not get to other things in my life that I need to. Sometimes, a distraction like that is great. Life gets crazy and you get stuck in your head and then a good story comes along. It becomes the thing you need to have fun again.

But, in reading I Can’t Make this Up, I found myself deeply engaged, but also taking breaks in reading (for chores and life stuff) where I would then ponder what I’d read. I told my husband (not a huge fan of comedians) about Hart’s journey. I found myself inspired by Hart’s hard work ethic. That ethic engineered and crafted a niche and a career. It’s making me get back to Marta and the re-write.

So, you should read it. Tell others about it. You’ll come out of it impressed and inspired.

Blog

How The Conversation Could Of Gone…

***The following is an imaginary conversation between my daughter and I.***

In the car, driving Kiley from her college to our home for the Fourth-of-July holiday, which she’ll spend two days at home for.

Kiley: “Mom…so, Beck invited me up to Erie for the weekend.”

Me: Holding back a long sigh. “What about college? What about studying?”

Kiley: “Oh! We’re going to do it up there! Beck totally gets that I have to study and he’s going to study, too.”

Me: Working hard at holding back the sigh. “Really? Truly? You are going out of town with your boyfriend for an ENTIRE weekend and the plan is to….study? Really?”

My Husband: “Beck?! What kind of name is Beck?”

Kiley: “Dad! Ugh. We’ve been through this. His name is Beck! He didn’t have a choice in the matter in his naming, you know.”

My husband: Shrugs. “It’s a stupid name.”

Kiley: “Stop saying that!”

My husband: “I’ll stop saying that he has a stupid name just as soon as he stops  having a stupid name. Also, no. No going to Erie. You can stay in town at your dorm.”

Kiley: Grunts, sucks at her teeth and smacks the tops of her thighs with her hands. “Mooom!!! I want to go!!!!”

Me: “Dear, God. You sounded like you did when you were twelve.”

Kiley: Takes deep breaths and squeezes her hands. “You know, I could go and not tell you about it.”

Husband: “Fine. I’ll disconnect your cell phone!”

Me: My heart rate increases and my left eyelid is starting to do a dance. “Kiley? Can you understand why we might be doubtful as to the…studying that will happen in Erie?”

Kiley: “Mom! We are going to study!”

Husband: “Your coursework, or other things?”

Me: “Stop it!” I say to my husband. “Kiley: Why do you want to go to Erie?”

She was quiet for a moment. Ha.

“Because…it will be fun. College is supposed to be fun.”

Husband: Scoffing. “Yeah, right. College sucks.”

Kiley: “Dad! You’ve got four college degrees.”

Husband: “And every single one sucked.”

Me: “I don’t know why you think it’s supposed to be fun. With the exception of Anthropology and Business Law, I hated all of my college courses. Also, when I was your age, I got in trouble during my non-working hours. With guys.”

Husband, as he turns the blinker on to turn at a light. “Oh, good. This’ll be fun,” he says on a groan.

Kiley: “I’ll be responsible,” she says.

Me: “What does that mean? Tell me; what does responsibility look like, for a nineteen-year-old college student?”

I watch as my gorgeous daughter tugs at her bottom lip as she looks out the window. “You were happy to have me as a single mom,” she whispered.

Me: “I was. I am,” I said, my voice full of conviction. “I also had a job, an apartment, and a car. You are at year two of college. You aren’t on your own yet.” I let out a sigh, not wanting to attack her. She isn’t looking at me, and I know that I am about to lose her interest. “Tell me more about Beck.”

Kiley: “What about him?”

Me: “What will a…successful weekend with Beck look like? What does Monday morning look like – for you?”

She looks at me with a furrowed brow. Her pitch-black eyes look super dark. “Ummm…we’re closer? He tells me he loves me? I meet his family.”

I look at my husband, who lets out a sad sigh. He says nothing, though.

Me: “Is that a plan this weekend? Going to Butler to meet his family before going to Erie?” I gently ask.

Kiley: Lets out a sad sigh. “No.”

Husband: “I get it, Kiley. Traditional is boring. It’s easier to go with the flow. It’s easier to keep things uncomplicated.”

Kiley: “I know,” she says on a sigh.

I don’t know if I am supposed to let her f*ck up or not. I don’t know if I am supposed to give this Beck guy the benefit of the doubt, or not. I mean, what is she supposed to do in downtown Pittsburgh over a weekend? Could she get into worse trouble by staying behind? For sure.

Me: “Okay. Go on up and go.”

Husband: “What?!”

Kiley: Says nothing, but beams from the back seat of the truck.

Me: “But keep in mind that…little choices add up to big choices. A little compromise here and there can lead to bigger compromises down the road.”

Husband: “Just…keep in mind what the results might be for every decision you make.”

Son: Our son pulls off his earbuds from his ears. “Hey. Are you coming to watch my Parkour tournament this weekend?”

Kiley’s smile drops as she regards her little brother. “That’s this weekend?”

Son: “Yeah. I texted you about it,” he angrily says. “Twice.”

Kiley: Forces a smile and nods. “Yeah. I”ll be there.”

Son: “Awesome!!!”

*****

But all of this is fictional, of course. My daughter doesn’t go to college. She didn’t go to high school, junior high, or elementary school, either. But it is nice to say her name out loud – a lot. It’s nice to fantasize about what could of been.

 

Cyndia Rios-Myers

 

 

Blog

Stranger Danger

The easiest time of the day to pat myself on the back is when I am outside, running the trails with my kid. I am grateful to have a strong body that can run. I am glad that I have the motivation to do so. I am glad that in my post-forty age that I can still get out there and put a couple of miles in.

I am glad to teach my kid to love it, which my kid does. I love teaching that tough can be taught. I love looking at the local birds with my kid. I love seeing the greenery around us. I love watching how the seasons color the flowers and leaves. I love deliberately running into the leaves of an overhanging branch and catching the cold morning dew on my face. I love the way the sunrise paints the trail in shades of orange and pink. I even love smiling and greeting the regulars I see on the trail.

I don’t love the feeling of having to commit to memory the faces I see while running. I am not that threatening-looking a woman. I run with my kid. But I do greet every runner I see and I look them in the eye. I don’t let heat, humidity, rain, cold, or snow stop me from my runs. I don’t want a dangerous person to stop me, either. My cell phone is in easy reach, as is my bottle of pepper spray.

Men have been a danger to women from the beginning of time. It’ll never stop, I know. I hope that I can teach my kid how to act when a stranger becomes a danger. Because we can’t always tell. It’s kind of sad to think that “stranger danger” never stops being a thing. Running makes it trickier, because you put yourself into a more vulnerable position for a longer period of time.

But I’ll keep going out there. Hopefully my face will become a familiar one to many. We’ll see.

Get outside. It is worth it. (So is staying safe).

 

Cyndia Rios-Myers

Blog, My Books

To Retell a Story

Can it be done, though? Can you you retell a story in a different way, or is it a rewrite?

In Marta’s case, I think it is a little of both.

I am rewriting Marta Cleans Up. I’ll tell you why. The original version is very good. However, it is told in a women’s fiction vein, and not in a sleuthing series way.

I’ve kept all of the bones of the original Marta Cleans Up. The backstory is 100% what happens in my original book. However, the rewrite features a lot more action.

What spurred this?

I’ll tell you. A literary agent’s good critique did this. I’m at the point of my writing journey where I am not too proud to take good advice. There was an occasion when I didn’t take good advice. I wish I had. I wish that I didn’t think that my story was an infallible, real-life creation.

Now, I know that a fiction story can be pressed and pulled into different directions. I know that it is desirable to want to reach a bigger audience.

So, I’ll keep you posted!

 

Cyndia Rios-Myers