I couldn’t resist responding to the lovely Carol Adriana Estrella‘s post on Facebook this morning.
“Doing a small survey:
What are your first thoughts when you hear the word “bipolar”. Being that is an illness, I see it used around A LOT as an adjective or a subject.”
Visit the very hip and informative blog Is Ok Not To Be Ok to view some of the varied responses (including my abridged one).
Carol explains, “I did a very informal survey today asking people what were the first thoughts that came to their mind when they heard the word: bipolar. I got an incredibly array of answers from the usual (and often not funny) jokes, to what a harsh reality is to live as a bipolar individual.”
Thank you, Carol Adriana Estrella for starting the conversation today.
I hate the word, “bipolar.” It’s ugly, an overused throwaway word. Call me whatever. I’m a #Whatever if you must. Jackie works too.
The forward from GEORGIA PINE explains how strongly I feel about the word(s), “BiPolar Disorder.”
I wrote The Vast Landscape, the prequel to Georgia Pine at a dark, scary time in my life. Harrison, the brash heroine, was someone tangible I could cling to. She gave me reason to get up, to go on, to fight, a much-needed respite from what was happening in my real, everyday life. I made the conscious decision not to write about manic depression, the disease that has disrupted every neuron firing through my beautiful, chaotic mind. Bipolar Disorder, the label I detest, is en Vogue. It appears in trendy bestsellers, Oscar winning films and sensationalized television. It’s glamorized, modernized, made to look cool. Trust me, it is not. Mental Illness is the train wreck, the ugly, cruel, exhaustive, intangible, and solitary battle. It does not discriminate among rich, poor, smart, stupid; it brings grown men to their knees, ripping whole families apart. Writing The Vast Landscape freed me to live my dreams on the page. Harrison is I, I am she, mixed together so deeply the lines disappear. The outlines blur, intentionally. Was The Vast Landscape reality or fantasy? That is for the reader to decide. We are all disabled, broken parts, lost individuals, trying to find our way. Truth is what you know, here and happening now. There is only love and love is the bravest character of all. Harrison is the voice in our heads, asking the important questions. Where do I fit? Why am I here? Will I love, be loved? We are born with a fixed expiration date, yet we carry on, walking this earth the best we can until we’re pixie dust. Cherished, kept alive in memory and yellow parchment, we become precarious, aged photographs in a cardboard box. Lives touch, intersect in the most unpredictable yet meaningful ways. The essence continues because you do. Harrison leaves the door open a crack. I seize the opportunity to revisit my whole, healthy self a bit longer, live in the mystic beach home I adore, dream eyes open. Hope is our greatest asset. To choose hope against the worst possible odds is the true measure of life.
The story continues in… Georgia Pine.”
Excerpt From: Jacqueline Cioffa. “Georgia Pine.” iBooks.
5-Stars GEORGIA PINE “Amazing soulful journey!
Another amazing read from Ms. Cioffa! Her creative genius with storytelling and the ability to engulf you heart and soul into her characters and storyline is a rare talent to say the least. It was soulful journey from cover to cover. This is one of those authors that you just can’t wait to see what is coming next!” -Amazon review
Win a copy of GEORGIA PINE, other fab books: Mental Health Warriors Giveaway: FREE EBOOKS!!!!: http://wp.me/p5z3Dr-eE via @LithChronicles
This is my story.
Boots and a bag, sherbet sunrise, an extended furlough at the beach, the Cove, side-trip to the bayou and the self-confinement of four walls inside a nowhere home (a whole lot of love, shock and awe, bizarre happens, heartbreak, joy, birth, rebirth, gritty life stuff). Dual realities co-existing in parallel space and time.
Bam we’re back to the boots and full throttle.
One cannot be without the other.
I know precisely how EVERGREEN starts and where the heroine/ narrator ends.
Everything else is a dust storm of blood, tears and sunshine.
Time to kick up the dirt, get chaotic and trust the ride.
I love the messy middle.
I live for the mess, and it’s all in the middle.
“It’s a roll, rock and a break. Let her ride.” – Jacqueline Cioffa
“They have mere minutes left, not long ago lazy days in the thousands. Oh, if she could give some of them back, maybe it would stop. The deep lines etched across her mother’s beautiful face, the crude reminder it does not.” The Vast Landscape
— Bublish (@BublishMe) May 12, 2015
“I am not a mother, I only understand the depths, beauty and bitter-sweetness from her side. It’s what I know. The one truth I’ve learned that matters. I write the complicated mother-daughter bond from both sides.” –Jacqueline Cioffa
Author Interview with Jacqueline Cioffa, author of “The Vast Landscape” and “Georgia Pine”
“Do you have any unusual writing habits?I ‘write’ best when I’m doing something other than writing, walking the dog, swimming, listening to music, digging in the dirt. I’ll hear a word, hint of an idea or get inspired by something visual. I store the thoughts in a holding pattern in my mind. Sometimes it stays there for weeks growing and omitting until the character or idea becomes a full concept. Then, I type fast. Odd, but works for me.”
“The potential for great stories is happening all around you.” Jacqueline Cioffa
THE VAST LANDSCAPE http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H3P51LS
GEORGIA PINE http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00T270L88
“ Charting life by the ebb and flow of the tides, sunrise, sunset and the earth’s rotation. ”
-GEORGIA PINE by Jacqueline Cioffa
Tomorrow is #earthday2015.
I plan on hugging a tree, digging in the dirt, planting perennials, going for a walk in the woods, drinking fresh water from the tap, dreaming of a tiny home with a wall of glass on a beach and a lush, edible green garden.
And, to continue to write sagas filled with finite pink quartz, sand granules, crunchy gravel, sustainable gardens built on friendship, second chance love, bougainvillea, magnolia and jasmine sweet scents, acrid rain, coral reefs and the vast hues of nature providing a fresh palette to paint words with the earth’s rich, mystic elements.
I’m grateful for the dirt, sea, and stable ground I walk upon.
What would you like to do tomorrow? Here on this earth.
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“A book about growing up and figuring out who you really are and what you really want out of life. The struggles on the path to happiness.The Vast Landscape is a relatable book with a heroine that you can’t help but love and root for (and wish was in your circle of friends).
Do you believe in signs? I try. I want to. Some days they’re impossible to ignore.
I have a funny kind of feeling we’ve been here, lived this place before.
Maybe not in the same order, geography or circumstance. I don’t know, maybe not at all says the practical parts to me.
I’m pretty sure we won’t remember.
I’m quite certain the people I have loved deeply, who have loved me fiercely remain infinitely an existential part of my spirit.
One can hope.
Then again maybe I shouldn’t believe in this world, but a different one where pain tastes like cotton candy, death is celebrated with dance and joy, planes don’t crash into the side of mountains but glide on love. Heinous evil, racism, hatred, fear, greed, guilt are words no longer recognized or used in our vocabulary.
“We are made of star stuff.” Carl Sagan
I love that quote, it represents the fortuitous impossibility we are.
I look for them, the signs.
I can’t help but want them to be true.
Truth is universal, truth always wins.
The signs help make sense of the free-floating chaos swirling over, above, under and straight through us.
“Humans presume their orbs are unique, very different, when in fact they are not, they remain very much the same. The only variants are in shape, color and size.” – Jacqueline Cioffa
The quotes, imagination and creative worlds they live inside.
The orbs came yesterday in the form of magnificent, silver-light reflection shimmering atop the ripples of crisp blue waters.
I felt serene, almost happy.
I searched ‘orbs’ for a quote from “Georgia Pine” on my Kindle.
Funny, OTB came up instead.
Not funny at all, not to me.
My dad was a lover of the betting the horses and frequent OTB visitor. Like almost daily and I shared his great big, gambling fool heart.
The best of me lives in the orbs I have known and the signs, well…
The signs might not always be there, the sun will eventually die and burn out.
I am predestined to be star-dust set free.
GEORGIA PINE http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00T270L88