A Memoir by Lisa Vaughn

Lisa was conservatively raised in a Catholic family in no-where middle America, where excitement is scarce and dreams are for sleeping. Little did she know, at age thirteen, she would suddenly find herself on a totally different path.

Through an unlikely chance meeting of a fellow classmate, she's surprisingly mesmerized, almost consumed, to befriend a girl who is obviously from the other side of the tracks...the cool side. Lisa does whatever she has to just to be accepted into this small club of coolness. Little did she realize, she was signing up for a lot more than social status. The two best friends find themselves innocently taking their relationship to a foreign level neither had experienced or saw coming.

A rollercoaster ride littered with choices and challenges Lisa never fathomed facing, especially in no-where middle America. She will find out what she is made of as she faces the consequences and struggles that come along with going against the grain.

Throughout their six year relationship, you will witness a touching story of human nature at its best...and at its worst. Showing just how far the human spirit can be challenged and pushed to a point where your “fight or flight” instincts naturally kick in. Struggling just to survive in a world where you are not like everyone else, but at the same time you really are. The daily struggles - both internal and external - are exhausting, yet necessary in their quest for one simple human need....love.

Finally breaking through all constraints that hold them back, reaching levels of one-ness that few actually obtain in a lifetime with their partner...only to find once they've reached that special place, it's not quite the right fit...for one of them, at least.

This contemporary story, told in the voice of the teen that lived it, will lead the reader through highs and lows, giving insight to the everyday challenges of the socially unaccepted, which will no doubt leave them rooting for the underdog. A true story of human resilience and the power of love...plain and simple.

*Please be advised, this memoir is real, honest, and raw. If you're looking for your typical 'sterilized' read, I'm not your girl - but if you're looking for a read that is written from the heart, certain to impact you on a human level, follow me! Have I got a story for you!

Monday, October 31, 2011

MondayMindset of a hippie-chick: The Scariest Thing I've Ever Done!

In keeping with the Halloween theme of spooks, ghouls, and  things that go bump in the night, here's another way to get your 'scare' on...Publish a book!

No wait, let me make it even more scary for you...publish your MEMOIR! Oh yeah, now it's even more personal - adding yet another layer of fear!  For those of us who have been there, I'm sure you can relate, especially the indie authors that have chosen to go the route that I took - the self publish route.  That dark, lonely corridor where you are completely alone and on your own - no agent, no publisher.  No one to fall back on, bounce ideas off of, or point the finger at when potential failure comes your way.  Nope, it's just you  dangling solo without any kind of safety net to catch you...yep, that's the decision I made.  Oh, and did I mention I'm not even a 'writer' by design? Oh yeah, I've never written anything professionally in my life...I'm an artist, not a writer! 

I can see you shaking your head as you read this, and I know what you're saying, 'What the hell was she thinking? Who'd sign up for that...on purpose?'  A masochist? 

Let me introduce myself, I'm Lisa Vaughn, and yes, I'm that crazy! Or should I say, I'm that determined when I have a project I feel this passionate about.  And that is what it boiled down to.  I have a story - and a message - that I've held inside my head for thirty-plus years, and it was high time I let it out.  It all started one bizarre afternoon, about two years ago, when I confided my tale to a friend for the first time in my life, and she convinced me the world needed to hear my unique story.  After realizing the potential opportunity to spread my message, I agreed -  it WAS time, in fact it was long overdue.  The problem is, I'm not the most patient person in the world, nor am I one that likes to follow 'protocol' - that's where the hippie in me comes out.  So I approached this project like any other piece of self-expression that I create, I jumped in head first and started, well, creating!  After two years of honing my very 'indie' story, and getting that dreaded rejection letter a few times, I decided to take this matter into my own hands - like I do everything else in my life.  I switched direction - I'd self-publish.  Problem solved. Or was it?   

There I sat, hovering over my keyboard, staring at the most intimidating icon I've ever come across...the 'PUBLISH NOW' button on Createspace at Amazon. My index finger twitched in anticipation, as beads of sweat broke out all over my body, and once again, I'd lose my nerve, taking another lap around the house - grabbing another glass of tea or checking on something, anything! Anything to give me another minute to think, another day to stall. What was I about to embark upon? By pushing that button, my naked soul would be exposed for all to see.  My secret story of my secret teenage life - my forbidden love!  And if that weren't bad enough, my talent as a writer - or lack thereof - would also be up for critique!  Seasoned authors, avid readers, english majors would all be scrutinizing every detail - every word, every grammar mistake, and punctuation error.  Would I look like a complete idiot?  Was I really ready? Was I truly out of my mind? Not to mention, would they accept my controversial story? Or would I be catapulted back to the days from which I wrote about - my 'unaccepted' days? It truly was like high school all over again.  And once again, I'd shut down my computer, telling myself, TOMORROW. Tomorrow I WILL do it.  I knew another read through was futile, I'd already ordered ten plus proofs - how many times could I rework this thing before I'd totally lose my voice, my style? I knew the only answer was to take the leap...it was time to JUMP, or put my dream of publishing to bed, and back in the drawer where it would sit for future generations to discover as they clean out my belongings after my death.  But I knew deep in my heart that I had worked too hard and too long  to let that happen...I knew what I HAD to do.

In the same way I approached my first tattoo,  I sucked it up and just did it. I finally hit the damn button. PUBLISH NOW became 'Thank you for your submittal!  Your memoir, The Gifted Ones, is now live on Amazon! Congratulations, you are now a published author!' OMG! What I dreamed about for the last two years as being one of the most exhilarating, exciting times in my life, became the WORST moment in my life. I immediately took to the couch  (with my favorite blanket and a feeling like someone just sucker-punched me in the gut)  and that's where I remained for the next few weeks - frozen in fear.  What had I done? I truly needed to have my head examined I determined.  Sure, I was a ballsy chick, but this was taking it way too far. I'd really done it THIS time! 

Fast forward: Slowly I convinced bloggers to review my little memoir, and again, I took to the couch to lose even more weight and time, as sheer terror took me over.  
And then the reviews started trickling in...gulp.  
Much to my surprise, they were GOOD! In fact, many were GREAT! Had I pulled this off? Were they really digging my story? Turns out, yes! In fact, many were praising my 'unique' writing style and honesty. Wow...Really? Who knew!
And here I sit today with a good little crop of 4 and 5 star reviews under my belt, and praises of thanks from people that needed to hear a story like mine, many connecting in their own ways to fit their own unique situations.  Now that's not to say I haven't been criticized by the formal rule-followers, as I knew I would be, but surprisingly they are far and few in-between. I think my message is so important, and my voice so strong, readers overlook the occasional faux pas, and accept my expressive style to get my point across. After all, isn't that what indie is all about? Your own voice, your own style? 
That's how I approach my art, so why wouldn't I approach my book in the same manner? A book, especially a memoir, is a very personal extension of the author.  If we all wrote the same way, the world of literature would be a very boring place, I think. 

So I'll leave you with this: Don't ever be scared to be yourself...after all, it's all you can ever be. If you strongly believe in a project, throw yourself into it and see it to the end - whatever route you have to take. Trust me, someone out there will appreciate your efforts, most importantly, YOU.  Did I ever think in a million years I would publish a book, let alone a memoir of the most intimate details of my life? Hell no. But now that I've witnessed what a little courage can do to enrich someone else going through the same thing, or perhaps open a mind or two, then trust me, it was more than  worth the trip! 

Next time you're looking for a read, perhaps something 'outside the box', may I suggest 'The Gifted Ones', my very raw, very real memoir.  At the very least it will  entertain you, and maybe, just maybe, you'll learn a little something about yourself too.  If we all share our stories of adversities, and how we overcame them, the world suddenly becomes a little less scary. 

Happy Halloween Everyone! Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

  1. Publishing is scary. I've been enjoying your book so far. But it would be 100x worse publishing a memoir. Fiction is bad enough. You've got guts, Lisa. And I'm glad, because it's a great read.


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