Rival

Posted Leave a commentPosted in About the Author, Appearances, Contact, Giveaways, History, Natalya Orekhov, Posts, Symbol of Redemption, Symbol of Treason

In September of 2015 my husband and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary. We didn’t go out to a fancy dinner or escape for the weekend in honor of the wholesome digit. We ate a modest meal at Chick-fil-A where our two young children played with friends; and yet this lackluster outing subtracted nothing from our special occasion.

A lot had happened to us within that decade; we’d purchased our first home, invested our savings into building another to sell and make a profit (only to lose it all in the housing collapse of 2008). We had brought two children into the world, and managed to live on a single income so I could be a stay-at-home mom. Ten years worth of trials and celebrations, and yet there was still more to come.

A couple months ago we had found out, unexpectedly, that I was pregnant. Needless to say I was surprised since several years earlier the decision was made not to conceive again due to health complications from the previous two deliveries. It was a decision I struggled to cope with. My heart wanted to grow our family, while my brain did its best to explain why such a path was more reckless than not. So once the shock settled, I couldn’t help but be thrilled. It was early in the pregnancy, I estimated I was near the 5 to 6 week mark but as any mother would tell you, it didn’t matter how early, to me, it was my child.

My husband was amazing despite the life-changing news. He consoled me during my time of shock and supported me during my premature elation. This would halt all the plans we had been making (since our youngest was about to enter school the following year) and of course there was the possible complications we would likely face. Not to mention the financial strain. But we chose to look at this in the most positive light, taking what happened and making the most of it.

Just over a week had passed since we had found out when the world decided it wasn’t through with me yet. Blood during pregnancy is always cause for alarm and though some women can bleed and still carry their child to term, for most, the result is a miscarriage. This was not my first miscarriage, however it made this one no less difficult to bear. The waiting was perhaps one of the worst parts, inching through each day, holding out hope…sending out prayers. I dream’t I was having another son, a boy that was unable to join me in this world. I cried. I went through denial, imagining I had gotten it all wrong and that everything would work itself out. I felt inadequate and that I was somehow responsible.

It’s an experience I would wish upon no one. After several horrendous weeks the verdict was final, I had lost my child. My first miscarriage was worse than this one because I was further along, nearly 16 weeks. But soon after that miscarriage we conceived our son and it was the best medicine for my grief and loss. That new pregnancy helped me cope. Sadly this time, I would not have that option. I was left with only regret. I overthought every detail and searched for that one thing I could have done differently and maybe then things would have turned out better.

I had asked my husband, more times than I should have, if we could try again. It was unfair of me to do so, but my heart ached to get back what it had lost. Being the rational one, my husband gently coaxed me into the reality of what the risks were if we tried again. His reasoning was sound, full of merit, and delivered in the most loving of ways. But I could not accept it. I longed for that child and nothing seemed to help sooth that ache. My mind and my heart were rivals, each not willing to concede to the other.

I didn’t tell anyone about my loss. Aside from my husband nobody knew. I suppose I found it easier to deal with in private, or perhaps it gave me a sense of false hope. So long as no one knew, it wasn’t final right? I’m not sure in all honesty. Maybe by the time this post goes live, I will have finally shared this sad news, only time will tell.

This post was not intended to offer wisdom, it was in search of it, I think. As I composed the draft for this post, the feeling was bittersweet. Had I not miscarried, the release of Symbol of Treason would have been delayed severely, perhaps never at all. I would be busy with my newborn child and enjoying every moment of it.

I am certain that every reader of this post has shed tears and felt a pain in their chest centered at the heart. After all we’re just people, different walks, different looks, different languages; yet the same at heart. Blessings onto each and every one of you. As one door closes, may another open freely.

 

At the Beginning

Posted Leave a commentPosted in About the Author, Appearances, Contact, Giveaways, History, Natalya Orekhov, Posts, Symbol of Redemption, Symbol of Treason

To all who are reading this post, you are now a part of history in the making. In my world that is.

I had been contemplating this post for days, weeks perhaps. I had never hosted a website before. What would I write? What makes me think readers are interested in anything I have to say? These questions, among many more like them, haunted me. Honestly, I never found an answer. Is there one? See…more questions.

In the end I decided to simply be honest, write about this whirlwind of an experience and all the emotions I have been left with.

I had always wanted to keep a dream journal, fifty would be more accurate. I dreamed crazy, I dreamed hard, and I dreamed often. A polar opposite to my husband’s slumbering experience. Bizarre, sweet, downright insane visions floated within my head, more often than not waking me up. I would think to myself “I should write this down” but by the time I made my rounds to ensure both kiddos were tucked in and sleeping soundly, I was always too tired.

At a certain point my mind was so overrun with ideas, voices, images (I know what your thinking but I assure you, I’m not crazy) I decided to write one of the many stories aching to break out of my head. My husband looked at me quizzically the first time I told him I was writing a story. He smiled. I was nervous, nobody’s opinion mattered more to me than his so I stood still for what seemed like eons (when it was more likely several seconds) and he walked up to me, kissed me and said “I’m so glad you’re doing that. Let me know what I can do to help you do this.” I know. Amazing!

But nothing ever turns out the way you think. What I initially thought would take less than a year (18 months at most) ended up stretching over 3 years to complete. I didn’t exactly have ‘nothing’ to busy myself with on a daily basis. Sometimes months would pass, and as much as I wanted to unload my thoughts into Word, I simply didn’t have the time. This was in every respect a hobby after all and therefore was last on my priorities list.

I had mentioned to family and friends throughout various stages that I was writing something, the thought that one day I might actually publish this work was novel but far from fact. Everyone, including myself knew that only time would tell what would actually come of this ‘hobby’ that I’d poured countless hours (literally countless) into creating. So after a while I stopped talking about it altogether. Internally I thought “Well if nothing comes of this, its better if I don’t hype myself up.”.

This past July the rough draft reached final draft status and I was faced with the question of hiring a professional editor. I read numerous blogs and articles on the subject and to my astonishment, more than half of what I’d read said indie authors didn’t necessarily need an editor. That sometimes the cost was just too much for an indie author.

I struggled with the decision for weeks, teetering between trusting my literary abilities and logic laughing in my face. So professional editing it was. I had sent out inquires to over seven editors, many had responded with samples of their work along with quotes that varied from 1k to 5k. Like most people I wasn’t overflowing with dollar bills in my bank account. This was a huge investment into what I had to assume was still just a hobby. Like going to Micheal’s to purchase stickers and paper for my scrap-booking bins. A hobby. What was it worth? Ultimately my husband and I reasoned that writing the book, even if it never found success in the literary world, was nonetheless an accomplishment. If I took a shortcut now, ten years down the road would I regret it? And if I planned to charge consumers, wasn’t I obligated to ensure it was a quality product?

After much negotiation I chose to go with Kevin Anderson and Associates based out of New York City, NY. To Cole and Terry, thank you. It took nearly a month before I received my manuscript back. As contracted, Terry did his job and he did it well. Sadly for me, that meant I had a lot to think about. I could have chosen to leave my manuscript as it was, edited for grammar and punctuation, and published. Done. Or I could chose to heed Terry’s suggestions on where the execution was lacking, and make the revisions necessary.I’ll let you guess which option I went with. But I had no regrets. Nothing comes easy. If it did, what would I learn?

And then there was the website! If anyone ever tells you building a website is easy, they’re lying, or they’re eons ahead of me technologically. I chose to go with Bluehost.com and the design template was provided by WordPress.com. Should have been easy right? But we already established that I’m technologically impaired so I’ll leave it at that.

In a nutshell: this journey had been a long and bumpy one. I thank every visitor to my site, for reading this post, and being a part of a dream. Will Alice’s story captivate it’s readers? Will they root for her and stick by her as she navigates survival? I hope so. It has been a work from the heart and that’s a difficult thing to publish for the world to scrutinize. But I will not turn back now. I will see this through. Sink or swim, fly, or die trying.