A Child of Alcoholism Prays at Night

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Nicky Young, remembers an evening when the was eight years old.

What prayers do you remember, if any?

How did you escape? Your friends, family, siblings . . . what role did they play in your survival?

THIS IS NICKY YOUNG’S PRAYER, AND THE OPENING TO A VIOLENT NIGHT IN SHADOW HEART:

I always prayed the same way at night: “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the lord my soul to keep. If I die before I wake, I pray the ...

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WAYS TO AVOID TALKING ABOUT “THE PROBLEM” IN OUR FAMILY

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NICKY’S MOTHER SITS IN THE KITCHEN, TRYING NOT TO UNDERSTAND, EVEN AS SHE UNDERSTANDS, HER DAUGHTER’S NEED TO STAY BUSY AND AWAY FROM THE DARK SECRETS OF THEIR HOME.

Now, instead of the gratification she’d received from her work, she picked up my father from the front lawn after he’d passed out, or helped him as he stumbled out of his truck, or undressed him and put him to bed, and sometimes wiped his ass when he’d made a mess of ...

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MOM’S ALTERNATE LIFE

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This scene is from the first time Nicky volunteers with Ryan, as I waited to be picked up and started to notice my mother in a different way.

I was nervous and excited while waiting for Ryan to come and pick me up, as if I was going on a first date with my high school crush. I couldn’t sit still and I put my hair up, then took it down, pulled it in a ponytail, then let it ...

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Lies and Words of Shame Used for “My Dad is an Alcoholic”

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I agreed to volunteer at the veterans’ hospital in Yountville with Goliath’s pitcher, Ryan Tilton.

When he walked over to my in the outfield my heart nearly pounded out of my chest.

“I’ve cleared our Yountville date with management,” Ryan said. “Would this Monday work for you? We don’t have a game that night sowe can take our time and get to know each other a little.”

“Sure, Monday’s fine,” I said.

Yes, that would be so fine, Mr. Tilton.

“There’s a form ...

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TOP TEN TAKEAWAYS FROM REDWOOD WRITER’S CONFERENCE

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My day was so horrible before the Redwood Writer’s Conference on 4/26.  In every possible way, I was shaken. With the support of my husband and friends, I pushed myself to go to this conference. I had planned to go for several months.

Am I glad I did! My day was totally lifted up — way up! And I want to share the top ten things I took away.

1. Novellas can be 30,000 words, Contemporary Romance 50-70,000 words.  What difference could ...

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