My September plans for this blog got blown away by Hurricane Irma, then the most wicked, rib straining bronchitis I have ever experienced. So I was even more determined to make up for it in October with Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
DVAM is important to me because I am sick of the narrative, “No breaks, no bruises, no PROBLEM.” This simply is not true, people can and are brought to their knees every day by soul sucking emotional abuse, never ending legal abuse through the family court system, and financial abuse.
Studies show that 99% of DV victims are also victims of financial abuse as a method of control in the relationship. Financial abuse continues in the aftermath of a relationship in the form of unpaid child support to financially cripple the escapee.
This is especially abhorrent to me as children are the collateral damage.
This should never be tolerated in any society.
So I wrote a short story, Webs, to raise money this month for three charities close to my heart: National Coalition Against DV, National Network to end DV and Allstate’s Purple Purse.
But I though you may enjoy hearing how Web’s came together, because few projects like this are woven quietly or alone!
Last summer I had asked one of my oldest friends, Zan Phillips, an award-winning photographer, if she had some old photo’s I could have and use for blog illustrations.
She kindly responded by emailing me some of her work. In the batch was an AMAZING photograph of a large garden spider web, dripping with dew and sparkling against a clear sky.
I was mesmerized by this picture but I didn’t have anything in cue that would go with it so I held on to the picture. I knew I had to use that picture for something special as soon as possible.
Fast forward to this summer: I am thinking of what I can do for DVAM, in between runs to the store for bottled water, batteries and other hurricane supplies. I walk outside and from my back porch to the side of the house and see an enormous wagon wheel web. I stopped in awe of the biggest garden spider I have ever seen sitting smack dab in the middle of this work of art and eased my phone out of my pocket to try to get a picture.
I was thinking of Zan’s photo and how she may enjoy another web, but this one with Ms. Spider appearing in all her grandeur. At the very moment I am trying to get the picture, the screen door bangs and my 15-year-old Diva bounces out. She spots the web and the spider and starts screaming…. I feel quite sure her voice was heard three counties away…
“MOM! DO SOMETHING! OH MY GOSH LOOK AT THAT THING!” She goes on and on… She slams the door to my jeep so hard I was sure it was going to fall off and continues her ranting about the spider.
I noticed that Ms. Spider was not fond of all this racket and had disappeared up her web and was in hiding. I wanted to join her, but instead joined the screaming teenager in my jeep and told her that garden spiders EAT the bad bugs and she is to stay away, leave this spider alone!
Baby Diva pouts all the way to the store.
We come back and I am again trying to get a picture of this magnificent web without luck. I am a TERRIBLE photographer.
So I decided to get up early the next morning and see if I could get the picture like Zan did, with dew on the web. Hopefully the spider would be on the web.
Next morning I go outside, phone in hand, and the entire web is gone! I do not know if the winds picking up had blown the web away or if the drop in pressure made Ms. Spider decide to move or if all the racket had scared her off… But web and spider were gone.
A few days go by, I get a text message from my friend, fellow author and editor, Christy Mann. It’s a picture of a spider… in her bedroom! Christy is almost as hysterical as my Baby Diva.
I go through my speech, spiders eat bad bugs, maybe you should leave it alone! NOT HAPPENING at Christy’s house! And to be honest, I do not think Christy appreciated my “save the spiders” speech one damn bit!
I do understand. Some spiders are poisonous and people rightly have arachnophobia. My son, for instance, if he woke up to a king cobra hooded up beside his bed or a spider on his nightstand… Well the snake would be ignored as he crashed through the wall to get away from the spider. That is just how it is for some folks!
All of this is churning in my mind as I am up several nights with the most awful wracking, rib shattering coughing wondering what I am going to do for DVAM?
Maybe it was the cough medicine, or the insomnia…But Webs came out of one of those nights in between coughing spells, cough medicine and zinc lozenges.
Next thing you know I am calling Christy and asking her if she would consider donating her time as editor. And oh, by the way, the story contains a spider!
HAHAHAHA! Christy is a good sport and a great editor! I can show you the rough draft and you will see what I mean. Web’s is 110% better for her participation in its creation.
Now it’s on to the cover. It remains true, you do judge a book by the cover even an e-book short story!
Zan agreed for her image to be used for the cover and then the last critical piece fell into place.
Sharon Lipman of Fantasia Covers by Design agreed to donate her time and considerable talent to the cause and made the e-book cover for Webs.
Then it was on to upload to Amazon so you can enjoy!
All proceeds during DVAM will be split between NCADV, NNEDV and Purple Purse to raise awareness of DV in all it’s forms and provide assistance to victims.
I hope you enjoy Webs and if you ever find yourself caught in one these webs I hope you will reach out for the help that is available due to these amazing organizations.