Welcome the authors of a newly released anthology to Romance Beckons. These authors... Eric Arvin, Abigail Roux, TJ Klune, SJD Peterson, S.A. McAuley, and Jason Huffman-Black... have crafted an unconventional bundle of short stories that I can't wait to read. Today, they come to give us advice... well, not actually us but their younger selves. It's great to read. THEN you get the chance to answer the question yourself in the COMMENTS below for a chance to WIN A FREE BOOK!
If you could give your ten-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?
On the night of February 18, 2003, for god's sake, listen to your inner voice and DO NOT GO TO THAT PARTY!!
Stop competing with and hatin’ on your sister. In a couple of years she’ll make some really bad choices when peer pressure presses down on her and she’ll choose to take drugs. Instead of pointing fingers and turning your back on her, give her a hug. Maybe, just maybe, she won’t feel so alone when she gets older and lose her life because of the choices she made as a teenager.
Dammit. It's okay to curse. It's okay to cry. It's okay to show weakness because people can see through to the strength. It's okay to make the choices you're going to make because you'll learn from them. It's okay to be who you are and like what you like. Also, when the doctor says don't play volleyball, don't go and fucking play volleyball the next day, you asshole.
Dear 10 year old TJ:
In your near future, you are going to see your first porno magazine that one of your friends found in their Dad's work shed. Keep a few things in mind: It's okay that you are looking at it with a horrified fascination unlike your friends who are all saying things like "Oh man, I'd do stuff to her" (even though they have no idea what "stuff" is).
And secondly, do not, in an effort to just say SOMETHING, tell your friends how pretty you think her nails are when they ask you what you like best about the naked woman. They will look at you very weird. Keep that to yourself for just a little bit longer. Soon, you can let your rainbow flag fly and it will be epic.
Love, Future TJ
Oh boy. This is tough because wow! So many things I would want to tell me. I guess the most simple would be to hold on because things get better. And to write down all those feelings and stories that are in my head. Writing has helped me through so many things. My ten-year-old self was not in a good place so there could be more drastic messages—but I think I’ll stick to those.
Sit in that maple tree for just a bit longer. Get lost in those books about ancient Egypt and Cleopatra, and curl into that old tattered quilt until Dad has to turn on the buzzing yard light above the garage for you to read those worn pages. Remember the sound of the crinkling, cracking dustcovers, breathe in the scent of well-loved paper and hold it close. You’ll stray from that love for a while, but it will never truly disappear. Leave a piece of yourself there—in that moment, that tree, that freedom—for eternity. It’s who you are. And there will never be anything wrong with that.
CONTEST! What would you say to your ten-year-old self? Leave a comment below and one person will win an ebook of Crack the Darkest Sky Wide Open!!
The anthology Crack the Darkest Sky Wide Open—with unconventional stories from Eric Arvin, Abigail Roux, TJ Klune, SJD Peterson, S.A. McAuley, and Jason Huffman-Black—is available now for pre-sale at crackthedarkestskywideopen.tumblr.com. Mark it as WANT TO READ on goodreads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17311411-crack-the-darkest-sky-wide-open.
Blurb: Of humanity there are darker tales. Stories that take some squinting to see through. Unconventional stories. Tales that threaten to break the heart by cruel twists of fate, the dogs of war, or demons that are all too real; whether they be of unrequited love or a karmic slap in the face. Happy endings take a time in coming, and some never arrive. But through all the darkness there is light, a glimmer of hope and wonder…if one has the will to see it