Tag Archives: teens

Risky Issues and Lorraine Reguly

4 Sep

  Ebook-Cover-Risky-Issues-by-Lorraine-Reguly

 

 

It is my pleasure to present to you today a fellow writer and blogger Lorraine Reguly.

 

Lorraine-Reguly-author

Author Lorraine Reguly

 

Risky Issues by Lorraine Reguly serves a very necessary and worthwhile function; it opens the door to conversation. We all know that children and teens these days face intense and tragic challenges, and we all know that these same youngsters have a tendency to keep it all inside (sometimes threatened by the people who prey on them). Caught up in the silent web of pain, lies and deceit, kids will often make bad decisions, while if they had been able to discuss the issues and get some rational feedback, they could often see things in a different light and rise above the challenges to create happy, successful lives for themselves. This book could make the difference. A survivor of abuse herself, Reguly has seen all sides of this experience and brings her hard-won wisdom to bear. All her stories reflect the heartbreaking emotion faced by so many children today, and all bring them to a crossroads where they can turn away from abuse and turn toward freedom and wholeness. This slim collection of stories could easily be the lifeline that saves a child from the mire, a slender thread to lead them from the darkness. Read it. Share it. Talk about it. The conversation starts here. ~ Melissa Bowersock, Award-Winning Author

Lorraine Reguly

Author Lorraine Reguly

In her words . . . 

There is no doubt about it: fiction often mimics reality. Because of this, some of the stories in Risky Issues – although fictional – are based on real events. The first story, The Secrets of the Study, is about a girl who enters her father’s study to get some blank printer paper but instead finds papers that reveal she is adopted. To compound things, her father catches her… The second story, Pamela in the Park, is about a teenage girl who is out past curfew and is supposed to meet a temperamental drug dealer in the park to give him back some drugs she was holding for him. He doesn’t show up, but a policeman does… The third story, The Day Adam Saw Red, is about sexual abuse. Adam, a victim, gives a speech to his class about this topic, and then goes outside to sit under an oak tree to ponder his dire situation, as his speech was a masked cry for help. He is befriended by the school custodian, who is thought to be “creepy” but who takes the time to speak to him to help solve his problem… In the final story, My Best Friend, a young girl finds out that her Grandma’s dog died. She thinks of Snoopy as her own, and is devastated… The reason I have decided to share these stories with the world is to help spread awareness about some of the issues that children, teens, and even young adults may struggle with, including – and especially – the issue of sexual abuse. I am a rape survivor. I was raped when I was a fourteen-year-old virgin by a man over twice my age. I also told no one about this experience for years, as I didn’t know who to turn to, and it wasn’t until I became an adult that I sought counselling. I also had a male friend who, as a child, was molested by his stepfather for years. Unfortunately for my friend, the outcome was quite different from the one in The Day Adam Saw Red. It is my hope that those who are in similar situations can find the strength and the courage to speak out about their fears and experiences instead of holding their secrets inside – whatever these secrets or issues may be. It’s tough enough being a child, but being a child with no one to speak to is even harder. Let’s change that. Now.

author lorraine reguly

Lorraine Reguly

Q & A with Lorraine Reguly 

  1. What inspired you to write the short stories in Risky Issues? 

 

I actually wrote all four stories found in Risky Issues for a creative writing course. I had written them by hand, typed them up, and then converted them into an eBook. Of course, I did a bit of rewriting and editing before I released them to the world, based on the valuable feedback I received from my beta readers. The only one I did not change was the bonus story, as it was published as a blog post on one of my websites, and still can be found at http://wordingwell.com/my-best-friend/.

 

 

  1. Is the eBook, Risky Issues, based on real life stories or is it a fiction?

 

Risky Issues is comprised of four stories. Of the three fictional stories, two are very much reality-based. The bonus story is one hundred percent true, while the basis for the third story stems from the life of one my best friend who was abused by his stepfather each time his mother went to Bingo. Unfortunately, my friend was alienated from his mother when he told her of the abuse… which he, sadly, didn’t reveal for years. When he did, his mother did not believe him.

 

The stories in my book have “happy” endings, though. I wanted to present these serious issues in as positive a light as possible.

 

  1. Have you or someone close to you ever abused drugs or been abused?

 

This is a loaded question. I’ve known many people who’ve both been abused – physically, sexually, emotionally – and have been a victim of all types of abuse, too.

 

I’ve also known numerous people who have abused drugs, and I’ve abused drugs, too. Ironically, I used drugs in an attempt to deal with sexual abuse I suffered when I was raped. (I was 14 years old, and a virgin at the time. I also told no one about my rape for years.)

 

  1. Did someone close to you die recently?

 

Luckily, I’ve not lost any friends or relatives to death for a few years, with the exception of a few family pets.

 

  1. Are these stories for teens or for parents/adults?

 

These stories are for everyone, really… teens, tweens, young adults, and even parents or grandparents. I don’t really like to say, “Hey, this is for only teenagers. If you’re over 18, please don’t read it!” In fact, sometimes adults *should* read stories that are written for a younger audience, to help with communication as well as to enjoy a “lighter” read.

 

In addition, the issues raised in these stories could – and should – be read by both parents and children alike. I would have to say that I think the youngest reader would ideally be about 11 years of age. I say this because some of the vocabulary used may not be understood by younger readers. However, it seems like kids are getting smarter and smarter these days, so if it’s okay with their parents or guardians, I’d say, “Go for it!”

 

There are three more reasons parents should read Risky Issues. One, it will help them connect with their children. Two, it may help them face some of their own issues, if they have any. Finally, it will also reinforce some of the morals and values they are trying to instill in their children. I don’t think any parent can ever get enough of that!

 

6. What are you working on now?

I am working on my second book, Letters to Julian. It’s a collection of letters I wrote to my son throughout his life.

 

7. What genre would you say your book, Risky Issues fall under?

Risky Issues is a work of fiction, and is a collection of short stories geared toward teens and tweens, so I’d have to say Juvenile Fiction and Short Story would be the two genres it falls under.

 

8. Are you in this for the love of money, or the love of writing?

I doubt any writer is in it for the money. Writers write because they love to write, and I am no exception.

 

9. Which phrase in your book are you most proud of?

Truthfully, the last line of the poem that is included in the book is my pride and joy. Read the poem. You’ll likely agree. http://wordingwell.com/in-ones-eyes/ is a direct link to it.

 

10. Did you write your book in chronological order? Which part of your book did you write last?

The stories in Risky Issues were all written about six years after I wrote the poem. I wrote the front and back matter (Note from the Author, Acknowledgements, etc.) this past year when I put the book together. The bonus story was written last year, and it’s actually a true story, too, even though my book falls under the category of Juvenile Fiction.

 

Thank you, Lorraine, for being my guest today!

 

Lorraine’s Links:

I blog on both Wording Well and on Lorraine Reguly: Laying It Out There (where readers can subscribe to my Author Newsletter).

Facebook author page

Follow me on Twitter

Pinterest boards

Connect with me on LinkedIn

Get connected via my author page on Google+

Become a fan on Goodreads

Find me on Shelfari

Find me on Librarything

Buy Risky Issues on Google Books or from Amazon  – USA – Australia – United Kingdom –

Don’t forget to write a review! 🙂

author lorraine reguly

 At what age do you feel you should talk to a child about serious issues such as drug abuse or death? Would you rather be the one to talk to your kids about these issues, maybe using a tool like ‘Risky Issues’, or do you prefer a teacher have that talk with them?

 

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Character Interview: Robbie from The Basement

20 Nov

Hi everyone and welcome to my blog! My first novel The Basement is doing okay as far as sales! I want to thank all my fans and followers because without you guys this would not be possible. I also wanted to share my new book trailer (above). International Book Promo did a great job putting it together for me and I’m proud to show it off. I love it! I hope you do too!

Today, I am going to interview a significant person in my life. I’ve come to know him very well.

I speak of a young boy who goes by the name of Robbie. He is the main character in The Basement: Robbie’s Rite of Passage. Some of you have already gotten to know him quite well, others are in the process of getting to know him, but there are still many that have never heard of him.

Whether you’ve read The Basement already or have not had the chance to yet, Robbie is a boy worth getting to know, and this interview will reveal things that I don’t even know. So there will be surprises even for me.

I expect Robbie will be here at any moment.

(The sudden resonating echo of knuckles rapping on a door.)

Oh! That must be Robbie now.

(The clicking of high heels resound on the floor as Vashti, who dressed up for the occasion, walks to the door and opens it.)

Robbie’s here! I’m trembling with excitement. He is a handsome boy with eyes that reflect wisdom beyond his eleven years, along with a bit of sorrow. He has a dulcet smile. I can tell he’s nervous because he’s tugging on his checkered shirt, and his big brown eyes have not yet settled on one spot. Hmmm, I think we should get started before he changes his mind.

joshua-rush

Robbie

Vashti: Hi Robbie, how are you?

Robbie: Great!

 

 

Vashti: Lets have a seat and get comfortable so that we may start.

Robbie: Okay. (He looks around and sits with his hands together, rubbing them slightly.)

 

 

Vashti: Robbie, are you nervous?

Robbie: Um, yeah! (He giggles.)

 

 

Vashti: Well, don’t be nervous. I’m just going to ask you a few questions, and I want you to be as honest as possible with your answers. Your fans want to get to know you better. What do you think about that?

Robbie: That’s really cool.

 

 

Vashti: Who brought you to the interview?

Robbie: My mom.

 

 

Vashti: Oh, good! I’d like to meet her.

Robbie: I’m pretty sure she wants to meet you, too. You should go talk to her after this.

 

 

Vashti: I will certainly do that, Robbie. Now, lets get started.

(Robbie swallows hard and fidgets around a bit.)

 

 

Vashti: Robbie, do you enjoy school?

Robbie: Sometimes…um most of the times.

 

 

Vashti: When do you not enjoy school?

Robbie: Ah, there are, um, kids that pick on me sometimes.

 

 

Vashti: Why do they pick on you?

Robbie: I don’t know. I guess because I’m smaller than they are, and like, I get good grades and they don’t.

 

 

Vashti: Yes, you are an honor student. Your parents must be very proud.

Robbie: My mom is. (He lowers his head.)

 

 

Vashti: Your mom? How about your dad?

Robbie: (He shakes his head.) He doesn’t care. He’d rather I be an athlete like he was before he hurt his knee. He thinks I’m a wimp. I guess I am.

 

 

Vashti: Why, because you don’t play sports? That does not make you a wimp!

Robbie: My dad sure thinks so. He doesn’t care that I get straight A’s. My mom does care and we celebrate, just the two of us, on report card day.

 

 

Vashti: That’s very nice. How do you and your mom celebrate?

Robbie: We go to a bookstore in our neighborhood, and I get to pick out any book I want, and then we go for ice cream! (His face lights up.)

 

 

Vashti: That sounds like fun.

Robbie: It is.

 

 

Vashti: Robbie, do you think your father loves you?

Robbie: (His eyes fall to the ground, and he slumps a bit.) I guess he has to because he’s my dad, but he doesn’t like me. He wishes Nathan, Nestor or even Freddie were his son instead of me, I’m sure.

 

 

Vashti: Tell us — who are these people you mentioned?

Robbie: Oh! Nathan is one of my best friends, and he’s a very nice guy. We know Nestor from church. He’s a youth leader. All the kids look up to him. We call Freddie Spiderman because he’s the strongest teen in the neighborhood, and he does “Daredevil” stuff that no one else dares to do.

 

 

Vashti: What makes you think your father would rather have one of them as his son instead of you?

Robbie: My dad doesn’t yell at them or call them names like he does me. He puts his arm around them and pats them on the back when they do something that pleases him. I guess I never make him happy because he never does that to me.

 

 

Vashti: Tell me about Natasha.

Robbie: (He turns beet red and giggles.) What do you want to know about her?

 

 

Vashti: What is she like?

Robbie: She’s the most beautiful girl I know. She’s really smart, and she’s athletic too. She always beats me in a race. She and Barney are my very best friends. (Big grin.)

 

 

Vashti: Tell me about Barney. Do you think your father would want him as a son?

Robbie: Nah! Barney is too much like me. He’s a nerd, too! (He giggles.)

 

 

Vashti: Robbie, I’ve heard some disturbing news about something your father wants you to do. Could you tell me about that?

Robbie: Um. He… he wants me to go down to our basement at night. He thinks that if I go down there in the dark and kill the mice that nest there, I will prove to him and the neighbors that I’m a real man.

 

 

Vashti: What? You’re only eleven years old!

Robbie: I know! I told him that, but he says I have to do it anyway.

 

 

Vashti: Will you do it? Will you go down to the basement? At night?

Robbie: I have to! If I don’t, my father will go on believing that I’m a wimp and a scaredy cat. He’ll continue to call me names and embarrass me in front of my friends. I have to do it!

 

 

Vashti: Have you ever been down to your basement before?

Robbie: No, but everyone knows that there are creatures living in that basement.

 

 

Vashti: Creatures? What kind of creatures?

Robbie: No one knows for sure, but Barney’s cousin saw one. It nearly killed him!

 

 

Vashti: That’s terrible! Surely your father doesn’t know about the creatures. Otherwise he wouldn’t be sending you down there.

Robbie: He’s heard the rumors, but he doesn’t believe them. Anyway, he’s too drunk to care whether it’s true or not. I guess tonight I will find out unless my dad changes his mind. (Robbie stares straight ahead and tugs on his shirtsleeves.)

 

 

Vashti: Okay! Well, that is the end of our interview. Thank you so much for stopping by, Robbie. It was a real pleasure having you. Oh, and tell your mom to wait for me a moment while I wrap this up.

Robbie: Thank you. Bye!

 

 

(Robbie smiles faintly and walks away.)

 

 

Oh, I’m sure his father will reconsider and not make him go down to that scary basement. If not, surely his mother will not allow it, right? Of course! Robbie will be alright. Won’t he?

Robbie

The Basement’s main character RobbieRobbie

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Robbie’s dulcet smile

 

** The Basement is temporarily unavailable for purchase due to issues with the Publisher. It will be available again late this year.

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Why So Sad?

28 Sep
teen-depression-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q

Why So Sad?

Looking around on Tumblr recently, I noticed a great deal of gloom in many of the posts left by teenagers. I know teens are supposed to be moody and occasionally melancholy, but some of these kids seemed depressed, and it concerned me. Teen depression is a serious problem that affects every facet of a teen’s life. Teen depression can lead to drug and alcohol abuse, self-mutilation, violence and even suicide.

According to suicide.org, a teen takes his or her life every hour and a half. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24. Approximately 20 percent of teens experience depression before they reach adulthood, and between 10 to 15 percent suffer from symptoms at any given time. Why is there more despair and hopelessness among teens today? I wish I knew the answer.

One thing that surprised me is that only 30 percent of depressed teens are being treated for it. Are parents, teachers and friends not realizing that these kids are depressed?

Important things to know:

➢ A teenage girl is twice as likely to suffer from depression than a boy.
➢ Teens that are abused, neglected or bullied are at risk.
➢ Young people who experienced trauma or disruptions at home, including divorce and deaths of loved ones, are also more likely to develop depression.

If a teen you know shows signs of sadness and hopelessness, he or she may be depressed.
Here are some red flags, visible warning signs that can help you detect if a teen in your life is depressed.

If a young person . . .
➢ has unexplained aches and pains
➢ is sluggish
➢ doesn’t care about their appearance
➢ cries easily
➢ is very angry, irritable and frustrates easily
➢ talks about death and suicide (even jokingly)
…it’s time to wake up! You have a problem on your hands.

Depression can be easily treated, but first you have to understand that there’s a problem, and sometimes teens don’t know how to let you know. They’re counting on you to notice. So if you interact with teenagers, please pay attention. You could save a life.

Below are posts written by teens on Tumblr:

“My whole life is falling apart and no one cares about it.”

girl-teen-sad-depressed-lonely-stressjupiter

“It’s not fair! Instead of crying when I start to panic I get angry now. So freaking angry, and the stupidest shit triggers it. So now I’m the bad guy and I messed everything up again.”

Sad Teens

“I’m so fucking done with looking like this! I’m going to fast 2 or 3 days a week and on the other days I’m going to eat 600 calories or less and do the 30 Day Challenge and the 30 Day Ab Challenge, and I’m going to start running 4 miles. I will lose this weight before Christmas. I don’t care what it takes as long as I won’t be called fat anymore.”

Teen Depression

“I’m literally so shitty someone could easily replace me. Anyway, who gives a fuck?”

Teen Suicide

“Yesssss! I hate school. Life sucks! One more day of humiliating myself.”

Depressed Teen

“When you can only calm yourself by forcing yourself to think of the absolute worst thing that can happen to you, over and over, you know something is wrong with you.”

“Can I live inside Tumblr? : ( My real life sucks and I hate it.”

Sad teen

“I hate being alive so much. It’s one problem after the next and no one has any sympathy for me.”

“I’m a mountain that has been moved.

I’m a river that is all dried up.

I’m an ocean nothing floats on.
I’m sky that nothing wants to fly in.
I’m a sun that doesn’t burn hot.
I’m a moon that never shows it’s face.
I’m a mouth that doesn’t smile.
I’m a word that no one wants to say.”

depressed teenagers

Me: You wanna hear a joke?
 Me: my life.
 Me: *laughs at my shitty life until I breakdown crying.”

teens_depression_substance_abuse

If there is a teen in your life suffering from depression get medical help immediately. Click here for a helpful link.

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It’s only water? Tell that to a drowning boy.

19 Apr
It's only water? Tell that to a drowning boy.

The rain is pouring down into the well. Wells are meant to hold water!

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog. The Basement: Robbie’s Rite of Passage is my first novel. It is a Suspense/Thriller aimed at an upper Middle Grade/ Young Adult audience (pre-teens & teens). The Basement is a coming of age story about a pre-teen named Robbie and the many issues he faces in his young life (bullying, verbal abuse, alcoholic father, puppy love . . . ) and how the encouragement and support of his mom, friends and neighborhood heroes aid him in the task of overcoming these obstacles. You will feel an array of emotions as you read this novel ranging from indignation and sorrow to laughter and delight, not to mention a bit of thrills and fright.

Please enjoy a chapter from THE BASEMENT, and let me know what you think in the comments below. Your opinions mean a great deal to me and will help me develop further as a writer. Thank you!

Joshua Rush as Robbie

Rescue Delayed

Before leaving to go get help, Nestor had cleared away the plants that concealed the well. Robbie and Barney were really beginning to worry. For a while, Robbie and Barney could look up at a circle of blue, but now the sky was somber, and rain poured down in buckets. The sun would set soon, and even the feeble light that allowed them to see each other would disappear. Robbie wondered what would happen if Nestor and the others returned after dark – would they be able to find the well again?

The boys had no choice but to wait, even though the rain did not relent and the water was rising.

“We’re going to need to stand,” Robbie said in a wobbly voice.

Barney nodded—he had also noticed the rising water. He tried repeatedly to get to his feet, but his efforts were futile. He sat rocking back and forth, wincing and groaning in pain.

Robbie passed his hands along the walls to try to find something he could hold onto. His hands came across something he believed to be part of a tree root. He scrunched his brow and pulled on the root to test its strength; it seemed to be anchored securely to the wall of the well.

“Barney, I found something attached to the wall that I can hold onto while I try to stand. It feels like tree roots. Maybe there’s something that can help you get to your feet on your side.”

Barney made efforts to pass his hands over the walls near him, but each twist and bend of his body was like sharp, hot knives slowly entering his flesh. He howled in pain and closed his eyes tightly, clenching his jaw.

“Are you okay?” Robbie asked with a worried grimace etched on his face.

“I’ll be all right.” Barney was breathless. “How about you? Can you stand up?”

Robbie grabbed the root with his right hand and pushed himself off the ground with his left arm, but an excruciating pain in his right leg prevented him from standing. As a consequence, he fell back to the wet ground and into a seated position. He groaned. He knew now he could not lean on his right leg and figured he probably fractured a bone when he fell.

The rain continued to pour, and the water level in the well kept climbing. Robbie bit the corner of his lower lip and made another attempt to get up, gripping the root with both hands and putting his whole weight on his left leg. Doing so, he was able to rise. The effort of standing had made him dizzy, and he faltered off balance. He rested his back against the wall to steady himself. As he tried to move closer to the wall, his foot slipped, and he almost fell again. When he finally got his back up against the wall of the well, he let go with one hand. He stared wide-eyed at Barney, who was almost submerged. Robbie extended his free hand. “Try to reach for my hand.”

“I can’t move. Everything hurts.” Barney grimaced in pain and moaned.

“You have to try. You’ll drown if you don’t! Please try!”

“All right, I’ll try again.” He strained with all his might to reach his hand. A screaming pain shot through his legs when he moved. His right arm throbbed, and his ribs ached terribly. Barney winced and wailed in agony. He began to wheeze as it became difficult for him to breathe. He was in bad shape. Barney moaned and shook his head. “I can’t.”

“Come on! You can do it!” Robbie encouraged him. “The water’s rising fast!”

The water level reached just above Robbie’s knees. Only Barney’s head and his shoulders were above the water. He needed to get on his feet quickly before the water covered him completely.

Barney reached his arm out as far as he could, but he could barely reach Robbie’s fingertips. Robbie’s hand was only eight inches away from Barney’s, but it might as well have been a hundred feet away. It was no use—he could not elevate himself. Even if he managed to reach the outstretched hand, Robbie was not strong enough to support his entire body weight. Barney’s broken legs could not sustain him, so he gave up trying. There was a squeaking, creaking sound when he breathed.

“Barney, don’t give up.” Robbie’s voice was heavy with sadness.

“I’m sorry I can’t get up. I really did try. I gave it my all. I think both my legs are broken and I can’t breathe right anymore.”

Robbie’s heart sank as he heard his wheezing. He bit his lip, his eyebrows drawn in. He wanted to help his friend, but he could hardly help himself. What would Superman do now? was all he could think at the moment.

It was getting dark in the well. The boys could no longer see each other. Robbie’s heart beat hard against his chest. His breathing was fast and shallow. He worried mostly about the water rising above his friend’s neck and drowning him. He lifted his eyes, but it was so dark he could not even see the opening to the well anymore. All he saw was darkness. He decided to pray.

“God, I know you can hear me even from down here. Please save my friend. I know you usually help those who help themselves. Barney did try to get on his feet, but he just didn’t have the strength to do it. Please stop the rain from coming down. Don’t allow my friend drown.”

Robbie closed his eyes while he prayed, although it would not have made a difference if he had kept them open. It was pitch black in the well. He looked up again and opened his eyes. He continued to feel big drops of rain tumble from the sky and mix with his tears.

“Barney, talk to me?”

“I’m still here, buddy.”

“Let’s keep talking to each other, just so we’ll each know the other’s all right.”

“Sure, but it’s not going to be easy for me. Every breath hurts.”

“All right, how about I just check up on you every so often. All you have to say is ‘OK’ or ‘I’m fine.’ Is that good?”

“Yes, Rob-bie, that’s fff…”

Click to purchase The Basement at amazon paperback and eBook (Kindle)

Click to purchase
The Basement at amazon
paperback and eBook (Kindle)

Click to purchase  The Basement in paperback or eBook (Nook)

Click to purchase
The Basement in paperback or eBook (Nook)