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Ten Life Lessons I learned from my family and how that inspires my writing.

My mom, my dad, my sisters, my brother and my extended family are my biggest supports when I say ‘I’m going write.’ They don’t know the industry, but they support me. This affects my writing because if a character has a large family, siblings all have their places. Even in Mything You, Ari has a sister Phaedra who shows up at the end. It was important to ensure her family had someone who cared about her. Characters without family need one and those with, well there is so much drama that can unearthed. I love everyone in my family, though we all have our moments.

1. Don’t cry or take everything literal. If someone blows up because you disappointed them, don’t cry over it and take it to heart. Sometimes people push because they mean well, and love you.

2. Don’t let others control or manipulate you. Siblings and parents might want the best for you, but if you don’t stand up for yourself, you’ll get knocked down.

3. When you go out in life, it’s important to have fun too. My family can be serious. Over Thanksgiving we might be discussing some un-important historical moment in history, such as the French Revolution, or we might be all fighting with each other and need to be dragged to the dinner table. Get over the drama, and enjoy each other.

4. Writing can be a release. Serious story. When I was in 8th grade, my classmates voted ‘when Victoria aka Greta grows up, she’ll be a writer and a reporter.’ I went home and cried believing I’d live some solitary life where I’d never go outside again. Yet after a knock down, drag out familial argument where emotions can replace the heating system, keeping us warm in the winter months, writing is a release.

5. You have the ability to put the others on mute in your head if you don’t want to listen to the opinion you disagree with. (I played that down. With family, I wanted to use the word psycho opinion, but then we’re Irish so we use hard words. No one is certifiable, though we all have our moments.)

6. Size doesn’t matter against a hurricane or family when stating an opinion. Nana might have been five foot, but she was stubborn as a mule with her opinion. When you believe it, no one can intimidate you.

7. Don’t go inside your head and never come out. This causes depression. Some have suffered or had tragedy that cannot be stopped happen, but retreating inward only hurts. You let yourself be a victim, or you don’t. Find a release.

8. Forgive. Everyone has a reason for their actions, and the reason isn’t always bad. Infuriating, yes. Well intentioned, also true. So get over, and forgive.

9. If someone is intense, teasing can both bring out the firestorm or help someone move faster. It’s okay to stir up the hornet’s nest if you trust someone and you intend to help them. Just be prepared and wear your armor for the next thirty or forty years, possibly longer.

10. Always talk to others. Stand up for what you believe in.

Did I mention the Irish side? We love each other intensely, and we fight. Many times, I refer to my crazy Scorpio family with a few Cancers to explain the emotional family I have in astrological terms. I consider myself the bubble of air in the family as the only water sign not in the house. And as this bubble, sometimes, I need to find an outlet to express the emotion. My family can inspire the noblest good guy or the evilest villain because in real life, we all have issues that make us both. Theseus is loyal, loving and true, but he also has a few moments of vanity and stubborn illogical needs. Ari almost gives up her love because she wants familial approval. In every story, emotion must be there. My family teaches me to this day. And I’m sure if one of them sees this, they will ask who did what, what did I out, why did I insult when none was meant. So if they see this, gulp… I’m prepared. So far they’ve liked Mything You, though I don’t want to ever share this book with my dad.