Sunday Snippet | “Family Matters”

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Near the end of In the Best Interest of the Child, heroine Olivia Chandler admitted she needed help to overcome her emotional demons and made the giant step forward to enter counseling. But the savvy child advocate attorney is too smart for her own good sometimes and nothing is ever easy with her.

This small snippet is from one of Olivia’s counseling sessions. Psychologist Diane Payton is as tough as her client and doesn’t give Olivia any slack.

***

Without a word, Diane went to her desk and retrieved the lone file from her In basket and returned to her seat.

“You have the right to review your file at anytime, Olivia, so just pretend you made a request and read the highlighted section for me please.” She passed a document to Olivia. “Aloud, please.”

Confused, Olivia found the section and began to read.

“Client is agitated and fidgets. Doesn’t maintain eye contact. Hands/palms appear to be sweaty. Voice tone is raised and speech is rapid. Almost childlike. Client is reliving the experience.”

Olivia read the passage again in silence. She frowned and looked to Diane for explanation.

“That was you as spoke of some of your former foster homes, the physical abuse you suffered, and life without your parents.”

Olivia Chandler couldn’t help but think of how horrible a childhood she had.

“Now read this one.”

Taking the document from her therapist, Olivia did as she was told.

“Client is the most relaxed I’ve seen her to date. Sitting in upright chair, legs crossed, hands clasped around knee. Her speech is animated and eyes are bright. Client appears content. (Happy?)”

“Diane, when was-”

“When you talked about Bruce.”

Olivia shook her head.

“This doesn’t prove anything.”

Her therapist smirked.

“You’re right, it doesn’t.” She leaned toward Olivia. “Or… it does.”

“She scoffed. “Now, you’re being facetious.”

“And you’re in denial.”

****

After winning her young client’s custody battle, Olivia Chandler knows she can no longer hide from her own childhood trauma. With support from Bruce Bellamy and his family, she enters counseling. Her therapy will not be easy, and may not be successful unless Olivia can forgive her mother for the years Olivia spent in foster care. But is Sarina Chandler the only one in need of forgiveness?

Bruce introduces Olivia to his adult children. But her continued refusal to visit her mother pulls at the seams of Olivia’s new-found love with Bruce. The unexpected death of her mentor blind-sides Olivia causing her to withdraw back into the darkness of her mind. She pushes everyone away… including Bruce Bellamy.

Defeated, Olivia Chandler believes it her fate to concede to the same trauma-born mental illness that took her mother. But two voices, one from the present and one from the past, will challenge her to fight for the future her father intended for her to have… or succumb to madness.

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A Guide to Writing Better Poetry: 5 Ways to Improve as a Poet

A Writer's Path

by Sean Martin

I’m frequently asked on Instagram how I write poetry, what’s my technique or creative process and could I offer any tips. I thought it would be easier to therefore compile all the advice I’ve ever given and condense it into a neat little guide for anyone who wants to improve as a poet or is simply interested in getting started with writing poetry.

Poetry is often viewed as a pretentious relic of the past that holds no value in the modern world. As technology advances and we drift further away from the root of our language, we find it more difficult to be creative and many people don’t see poetry as a creative form of expression anymore, not a relevant one anyway.

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Poll: What’s Your Favorite Type of Writing Contest?

A Writer's Path

Hi all!

I’m mulling over hosting a writing contest here on A Writer’s Path, including a cash prize and donated prizes from writerly service providers. It’d be an exciting addition to the portfolio of services, perks, tools, and opportunities we feature.

My question is, if we were to host a writing contest, what length/type of work would you most like to see as the subject of the contest? Please see the poll below to let us know what you think.

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6 Remedies for Writerosis

This post is on point – and #6…oh, yeah! 😉

A Writer's Path

by Elizabeth Wong

We writers have to deal with things a lot of normal people don’t have to worry about. While others have health complications that are mostly physiological, our crazy minds tend to make up some other issues for us to deal with, and most of the time, a doctor won’t help.

Writers have a lot of unique diseases — thoughtitis (formerly known as “writer’s block”), fanepnea (“fangirl/boying so much over something that I can’t even write my own story right now”), excimea (the urge of wanting to start a new story already despite having ten others waiting to be finished), Amafic’s Disease (the action of falling in love with a fictional character), and AHPPTMSQPDLPS (Anti-Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia Syndrome, or the addiction of using overly and unnecessarily long words) — to name a few.

Yes, we’ve certainly got life hard.

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What Can You Write in 15 Minutes?

Excellent ideas to keep moving FORWARD! 😉

A Writer's Path


by Kelsie Engen

Writers can mostly agree that writing is a time consuming process. You write a first draft, step back, revise into a second draft, send out for feedback (beta readers or developmental editor), receive and revise, send for final edits, then finally submit and (possibly change) and then publish. Whew. I get tired just writing that list.

Then factor in this: Some authors spend a decade or more writing and perfecting their novels.

So…what can you possibly do in 15 minutes?

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How “Social” is Social Media?

Social Health

Facebook’s mission is to “Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.” Is social media actually bringing us together? As a sociologist, I took a look at the research. Here is what I found:

Social media use is correlated with depression and low well-being. Yes, this conclusion itself sounds depressing, but let’s take a look at the data. A 2016 study surveyed 1787 19-32 year old men and women, finding social media use was “was significantly associated with increased depression.” Another 2016 study found “taking a break from Facebook has positive effects on the two dimensions of well-being: our life satisfaction increases and our emotions become more positive.”

Internet use is correlated with decreased loneliness among older adults. So it’s more complicated than the above studies might suggest. According to this 2015 study looking at individuals 65 and older, “higher levels of Internet use were significant predictors…

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