Release Day: Guest Post from Like Shards of Glass author, R.H. Ramsey

RR_Like_Shards_GlassFirst, thank you so much for not only interviewing me and reviewing [easyazon-link asin=”0692214941″ locale=”us”]Like Shards Of Glass[/easyazon-link]but allowing me to become excessive and spammy, with a guest post. 🙂

What I would like to start with, in sharing my thought process in writing this book, is going back to the very beginning. And in the beginning, there was Monroe, her husband, and her sons. This was a family unit which was broken to begin with. No, I don’t mean broken in an obvious way, but in a way that is felt, never seen, and at times, not heard.

 

The home is described as a glacier. There are signs and signals, such as Carter, Monroe’s husband’s appetite. These signals make it clear to Monroe whether or not she exists, for in Carter’s mind, she is a poisonous masterpiece. He loves her, yet distances himself without explanation. And as many mothers/parents do, Monroe does not realize that this deeply affects Karter, her oldest son.

I was inspired by a number of things. Some very personal to me. One of them being, wanting to educate people about another form of emotional abuse: stonewalling. This can drive a person out of his/her mind, cause them to lash out, and make them look as if they are the one with “the problem.” Sadly, Monroe experiences this throughout her marriage, and comes to accept and thrive off of the pain her husband causes. Up until, and after, his death.

Even thinking about the way Carter took the lives of innocent people, and the lives of his own (younger) children, is sickening. I know I wrote the book, but I was a bit skittish about the way I approached this aspect of the book. It was in the room, always present, hovering, ominous, but no details leaked into the atmosphere of the story. It just wasn’t on my heart to include those details. The details I did include, where the fragile, horrifying state of mind, of a woman who’d lost everything she had. Honestly, I tear up imagining losing my children. No matter what age they are, they are your babies, and you feel as if you are put on this Earth to protect them. But what happens when you can’t? What happens when you get that phone call, or have that conversation face-to-face with someone who is telling you that they’ve been stolen from you? That they’re gone.

One reader put it perfectly: “Monroe read very much like someone alone in a padded room. She can hear the people around her a little, but she was insulating herself any way she could to keep from having to hear the voices that instead of being on the outside—were within.”

This paints the very portrait of Monroe Song that I was haunted by, from the time I began writing, the moment I said to myself, The end. What happens next, is heartbreaking. Monroe becomes wrapped up in sex, a fictional drug called ‘sky,’ which seduces here even more than her (much younger) lover. The affair is dysfunctional, sensual, and dark, as Monroe acts out the very brokenness she feels inside, within the ‘relationship.’

In closing, I would love to share with your readers a new excerpt, which expresses what I am trying to say:

 

For several days, I had been throwing up. My head ached as if it was splitting apart. Almost two months had passed since I’d moved in with Kat’s family, and I think the headache had been building, as well as the pains shooting through my stomach like hot lava spasms. I ached so badly that when Kat called my cell phone, called my name, and knocked on my door, invited me to play pool with her and her friends, I lay still, eyes closed, as if the boogeyman was in my closet. I just couldn’t pretend, anymore. Everything about being in someone’s home and routine, reminded me of my own home and routine. What was I supposed to do with myself up until dinner time? And what was I to do after I ate? I had no unruly little boys’ fingernails to scrub clean before the little hands touched my plates and silverware. I had no one to run bathwater for while Karter, Terry and Michael argued about who would unload the dishwasher.

“Just unload the damn dishwasher!” I would scream. I’d worked, cleaned the house, cooked, and they were complaining about who’d unload the dishwasher? Asking one another if the dishes were clean, hoping no one knew, so they could just turn it on and sneak out of the kitchen.

And to think of how angry I’d been about reminding them to keep their fingernails clean, when now I craved the scent of the playground. Lately, I left my room messy, just so that I could feel busy, the way I’d felt busy running behind them. As I sat rocking myself back and forth to the pulsing in my head, despising myself as I waited for Karter to bring me a bottle of wine, I struggled to piece together the past month. Even the day before was a blur; I wasn’t sure if it was Monday or Tuesday. I needed to get back to my job. The drop-ins would only take me so far. I had to get back to normal. I needed …

Needed my husband. No. He’s a terrorist. But he wasn’t always a terrorist. But he shot your children point blank. Your sweet boys. Sweet baby boys…

My hands were as dry as paper, quivering as I poured my last three pills in my palm. I heard a tap on the door, followed by, “Mom, you up?”

“Come in.”

“Can we talk?”

I held out my hand, shushed him and waved at the door as if I could will it closed from the bed. After closing the door, Karter handed me my new prescription, the bottle of wine, then ran his hand over his beard. The cast was gone. I’d forgotten about the cast, forgotten that he had so conveniently claimed he couldn’t remember what happened to his hand. His skin, the color of light golden sherry wine, looked dull. His beard was nearly long enough to be braided, and the hat he often wore hid his father’s slightly receding hairline. I missed his father’s receding hairline.

Karter rubbed his chin as he spoke. “How long are you – what are you doing, Mom?”

“Don’t.”

“Don’t what?”

“You know what.”

“I been trying not to.”

“Well.” Keep trying.

“Mom?”

“She’s not here!” Can’t you see that? 

***

Thanks for reading, and giving me a chance to share.

Excerpt: copyright information © R.H. Ramsey—Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

 

[easyazon-link asin=”0692214941″ locale=”us”]Like Shards Of Glass[/easyazon-link] is on sale now. Head over to Amazon.com to pick up a copy of this thought-provoking work.

Read the review of  Like Shards of Glass.

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