Posted on February 19, 2016
My blog post of September 20, 2015 attracted a great deal of attention and I’ve been asked to write another post about body acceptance! In today’s post, I’ve extended my discussion of body love to include the HOW TO’s in terms of changing the way you view yourself. A big part of this includes the creation of a personal style that you love–from lingerie beneath your clothes to the coat your wear over them!
One letter said,”Your thoughts on body confidence and being true to yourself is something we not only agree with, but try to cater to as well. With our plus size styles we create designs that not only promote confidence but accentuates a woman’s curves. With that being said, we’d love to get your further thoughts on the subject.”
In response to the requests I have written a post regarding the way in which I embrace myself as I am. Here are the tools I use to “SEND OFF SHAME” and to affirm the beauty of my body.
Above: Mia in Adore Me Marcella Cami & Pajama set
EMBRACING MY PERSONAL STYLE
What plagued me was the underlying belief that no matter what I accomplished, or how kind and sweet and thoroughly wonderful I was, it was all disqualified by the fact that I was fat. Even before I gained weight in my thirties I lived in fear of fat. I had a boyfriend in my early twenties who said he was attracted to petite Asian women, and although I was not petite or Asian, I struggled to make my body fit this criteria. My mother, in her Hospice bed from which she couldn’t rise and in the final stages of lung cancer, asked me how my diet was going. It was one of our last conversations. And her focus on a thin body as representative of a beautiful and successful woman did not come out of nowhere, it was imposed on her by society, as well.
I have never been free of society’s shaming, and though I sincerely hope that the world is gradually changing in the direction of wider acceptance of people’s differences, there comes a point where I need to choose my own feelings about myself. About my beauty, about my self-worth, about my size.
It is time to stop the dieting, in favor of healthy and satisfying eating. It is time for chocolate to be “good” again. It is time for me to move my body because it is fun and makes me feel good. It is time to KNOW I am beautiful and worthwhile
just because I am.
It is easy to say “I’m going to accept myself the way I am.” It is easy to tell myself, “I am a big beautiful woman.” But how do I rise above the past fifty years of having had the image of the “perfect” size 2 or 4 or 6 body stamped into my consciousness as the only right way to be? How do I un-hear the slurs that have compared a large body to a house or a large sea animal? How do I do this? I cannot not care. I’m a woman who enjoys fashion and makeup and presenting myself to the world in a way that makes me feel attractive and beautiful.
So, in order to love and accept myself just exactly as I am, I have decided to embrace and love my own personal style. Style is important to me, and finding a style I like that works with my body is essential to my self acceptance.
I have accomplished this using several steps.
1)I have created several Pinterest Boards that I refer to often. One is called “Plus Size Beauty” where I pin pictures of mainly beautiful plus size women (but I have a number of beautiful plus size men, as well). I try to post a wide variety of women. I think that we (society) are highly influenced by what we see in advertisements, and if we never look at beautiful large women of various races, and are constantly shown only very thin pale women as representative of our standard of beauty, we will not begin to view any large body as a beautiful body.
I have another Pinterest Board called “Plus Size Fashion” where I pin plus size women wearing outfits I love. My favorite items of clothing are torn jeans and preppy shirts and leather boots, and lots of plaid flannel. Underneath my preppy/cowgirl exterior I like to wear sexy lace and silky camisoles as the contrast intrigues me. Creating this board has helped me to focus in on what I want to wear and how I want to look and feel. And I have another Pinterest Board called “Self- Acceptance” on which I pin positive self-affirming statements about how I choose to see myself and the world.
2) I turn the volume off or change the channel on ALL of the dieting commercials I see on television. When I was cleaning my closet, a weeklong event if you look at my September 20 blog post, I put the television on so I had something to listen to as I worked. I have to tell you, I heard more commercials from featuring Marie Osmond and Oprah Winfrey encouraging me to try out the amazing diet they support than any other type of commercial. I also became aware of what a huge business weight loss is, as many of the other commercials featured ways I could walk and climb away the pounds. So I can finally be happy.
I turn these off and tune them out.
3)I made a few rules to live by: Look for the beauty in all people. Appreciate the differences in people. Do not compare myself (physically or otherwise) to other women.
4)Associate with people who share my values—I find that I enjoy spending time with people who are not all about what they eat and which diet they are on and how often they work out, but who focus on they types of things that I find interesting and stimulating, like books and social issues.
5) Dress in what makes me feel sexy. And then go ahead and feel sexy. (AdoreMe.com’s beautiful lingerie helps with this!)
6) I take note of plus size women in the news. Right now I am very excited by the beauty and style and intelligence of presidential candidate Bernie Sander’s wife, Jane.
7) I constantly challenge myself to find new online styles and new online stores that offer clothes for all sizes. This is a way I can enhance my personal style and embrace myself, as I become aware that the fashion world is starting to see larger women and create fashion to please us.
This list continues to grow every day as I find ways to support myself and to support other plus size people. I’d love to hear how YOU embrace yourself and your style!!!
Mia Kerick ❤
Posted on February 15, 2016
Insult, swear, and curse word generator.
It’s real. Google it.
I succumbed to its lure. I confess: I was drawn in by its politically incorrect, crude, and perhaps even sleazy appeal. And I’m not proud of this lowly moment in my word-finding life. But I did it. I am guilty. Okay? So sue me.
It all started with The Bearded Boob Inspector. Well, no. That’s actually what caught my eye when I googled “creative curses.”
I think you’re going to need some history here. You see, I am driven by very personal, very demanding creative urges. These primitive impulses have led me to create dialects that have been referred to as “hick speak… nearly drove me out of my tree for quite a bit of the book. To supposedly be from New England, he sounded like some sort of redneck from East Bumblefuck, Alabama.” (Thanks, Todd with regard to Beggars and Choosers.) They have led me to write books using the stream of consciousness technique, where I had to fight the automatic use of punctuation in favor of allowing my thoughts to flow freely. I have written stories as emails, blog posts, diary entries and vignettes. The research I have done has been extensive when it comes to gay Christianity and bullying and gender fluidity and physical abuse and depression and alcoholism… and I got caught up in the Foul-O-Matic random curse generator.
Now that you have a sense of my need for a variety of expressive techniques, maybe you will better understand my need for discovering some uncharted territory. The plain and simple truth is that once discovered, I had to use the Foul-O-Matic. There was no room for, “you know, Mia, this might not turn out well.”
Gold-digging dick lover…
One-balled bottom slapper…
I could not deny their refreshing, though possibly lurid, newness. I had to use them in The Art of Hero Worship… but where?
Off topic: Wouldn’t you agree that a little dose of jealousy often moves the two main characters forward in their fledgling romance? Yes, I think so too. (Here is where Foul-O-Matic makes its entrance into The Art of Hero Worship.)
When Liam and Jason, two “straight” guys who survived hell together and are fighting romantic feelings, go out to have a few drinks they meet Lola and Missy Rose. Who just so happen to be interested in enhancing Liam and Jason’s “boys’ night out.” In the sexual way. Yeah. (Wink wink.)
These two girls are aggressive; they see what they want in the form of rugged, burly Liam and sleek, cool Jason. Missy Rose is cooing and shiny and overt in her sexiness, but Lola has a secret weapon for attracting attention. She is a creative curser.
EXAMPLES of Lola’s creative cursing from the text of The Art of Hero Worship:
1. “I don’t think I’ve see you two hunky spunk wankers in here before.” I think this dark-haired girl is trying to be flirtatious but I can’t be sure. Maybe it’s because I’m totally out of practice with the ladies.
2. “You alien ball sacks got yourself girlfriends?” My girl is also obviously much more comfortable with the creative use of crude language, than Liam’s. She looks right at into my eyes. “Don’t you understand plain English—I asked if you’re seeing somebody?”
3. “Hmmm….” Lola is deep in thought. “I think we know how to make a couple of jizz kings’ night out even more fun….” Ginny is right. This girl’s mind might be in the gutter but she definitely needs a new urban-language thesaurus.
And it gets worse….
4. “I’m Lola and she’s Missy Rose, some call us Bourne Sperm Riders.” Ewwww. Still, I reach out to shake Lola’s hand. She apparently has a different idea. Lola pops off of the bar stool and next thing I know, I’m wearing her like an overcoat.
5. “What’s so funny, tit-torch?” Lola doesn’t like being laughed at.
6. “Make that two Long Island iced teas. And Missy, it looks like you got yourself a bearded boob inspector,” my dark-haired girl chimes in with a husky chuckle, and then winks at Liam.
Liam, the bearded boob inspector. It has a certain ring… and I don’t like it.
Yes, there it is, The Bearded Boob Inspector… the creative slur that caught my attention and worked its way into my novel.
The reviewers’ comments, with regard to my creative cursing courtesy of Foul-O-matic, have not been consistently positive. My creativity may possibly have led to a chapter featuring less than believable conversation, because who on earth says alien ball sacks? (FYI, Lola does.)
Well, maybe my writing behavior in chapter 8 of The Art of Hero Worship exemplifies the pinnacle of a novelist’s immaturity. Or maybe it boasts that I have reached the summit of creative confidence. Or maybe it is neither of these. Maybe I just had fun with words.
Call me a criminal. Or call me a scruffy-looking butt dictator. I’m glad I wrote it.
Posted on February 10, 2016
I wanted to offer you a SAMPLE of what I’m writing… because I’m back to work on a YA transgender story. (Having finished and adult bigender love story, which is being professionally edited.)
This book is as yet, untitled… but I’m thinking about My Crunch Life, as the other narrator is trying his damnedest to be a retro hippy. PLEASE CHECK OUT MY CHAPTER SEVEN!! I would dearly love to know what you think. THANK YOU!!
Thursday 3:00 AM
I often dream about that day… and about the conflict, the anxiety, and the hopelessness that led to the flicker of contemplation about how much easier it would be… if I didn’t have to be anymore. Soon, though, the idea wormed its way into my mind; and even though I pushed it away, it came back. The brilliant and terrifying idea I had for of ending my pain came back and came back until it became a real option.
I’d been rejected by my peers a long time ago. My isolation at school almost didn’t affect me anymore. Alone is my natural state. I told myself over and over that solitary was how I liked it—how I wanted it. And a big part of me believed this.
As of last fall, only a few people still wasted energy on bullying me at school, unless you consider acting with total indifference toward somebody a manner of oppressing. To most kids, I was too insignificant to bully. I was nothing, except to Sydney Harper, and thus to her vicious clones. Sydney knew I was a threat—an academic threat—and she used every means possible to push me over the edge that I was already precariously close to.
But to be real, what I tried to do that day… it was mostly because of my body. Because of what was happening to my body—in terms of a word I’ve grown to fucking hate. Puberty. I was not the person I was starting to turn into. My child’s physique was far preferable to the… the hairy, big-balled, deep-voiced beast with constant erections who was taking over my body. And maybe it sounds like an exaggeration, but this is how it felt.
I put all logic aside—my mother’s future suffering included—and headed into what I saw as the light at the end of a brief and agonizing tunnel.
When I climbed up the rickety ladder into the ancient tree house in the only tree in the neighborhood, I was more truly trying to climb out of the pit of despair I’d fallen into. I saw relief in what I was going to do up there.
It was my only option, because, how can you live in a body that isn’t yours?
I wake up sweating because in my sleep I was back in that damned tree house sucking away at my bottle of Citrus Cooler Gatorade, scared to toss the next handful of pills in my mouth, but more scared not to. And having no words to explain to my mother—who I knew loved me—what was happening to my body and my mind. And every single time I wake from this dream, I’m assailed by an image of Ma, wearing the pain that for so long lived in my heart on her face—and I know I put it there!!!
“Ma!” I’m a coward. I was a coward on the day I tried to take my own life and leave my mother with nothing but five words scribbled on the back of a gum wrapper, and I’m a coward now. “Ma!”
But maybe it’s okay to be a coward, if you admit you’re one.
I’m faster on my feet than she is so instead of waiting for Ma to come to me, I jump out of my bed and run down the short hall, throw open her bedroom door where she is already sitting up, about to push herself from the bed. “Jules… my baby!”
Her arms come around me and I’m safe in a way I didn’t know I could be safe last October. “I dreamed about it again….”
Ma pulls me down so I’m lying on her chest and I know I’m not too heavy because my body is still a child’s thanks to the puberty blockers. “You did the right thing by coming to me, Jules. You’ve got me to turn to…. hear me?”
“Uh-huh.” I want to cry but tears don’t come. I think I cried them all last fall and there are none left. “I hate waking you up—you’ve gotta work in the morning.”
Ma’s grip gets tighter on my shoulders. “I woke up for you when you were a hungry baby and a piss-wet boy, and damn it, I’ll wake up for you now.”
“Can I stay?”
“You think I’d let you outta my sight?”
We both laugh. “I’m a pain in the ass.”
“A pain my ass couldn’t live without. Now lie down beside me and tell your Ma about what happened at school today.”
Incidentally, the note said, I can’t take it anymore. But I never knew I could turn to my mother, and she would change things this way. In this life-saving way.
Thanks for reading!! I’d love to hear what you think!!
Posted on January 14, 2016
Today is a big day!! It is COVER REVEAL DAY for my upcoming February 14th release from CoolDudes Publishing, THE ART OF HERO WORSHIP. And the first novel in my Mia Kerick Adult Collection, which focuses on the storyline without cutting down on passion.
Here’s the blurb:
Trembling on the floor, pressed beneath a row of seats in a dark theater, college freshman Jason Tripp listens to the terrifying sound of gunshots, as an unknown shooter moves methodically through the theater, randomly murdering men, women, and children attending a student performance of Hamlet. Junior Liam Norcross drapes his massive body on top of Jason, sheltering the younger man from the deathly hail of bullets, risking his life willingly, and maybe even eagerly.
As a result of the shared horror, an extraordinary bond forms between the two young men, which causes discomfort for family and friends, as well as for Jason and Liam, themselves. And added to the challenge of two previously “straight” men falling into a same-sex love, are the complications that arise from the abundance of secrets Liam holds with regard to a past family tragedy. The fledgling passion between the men seems bound to fade away into the darkness from which it emerged.
Jason, however, is inexplicably called to rescue his hero in return, by delving into Liam’s shady past and uncovering the mystery that compels the older man to act as the college town’s selfless savior.
The Art of Hero Worship takes the reader on a voyage from the dark and chilling chaos that accompanies a mass shooting to the thrill of an unexpected and sensual romance.
Posted on December 25, 2015
I hope you are all enjoying the Season with those you love!! I appreciate every one of you who reads this message!!
Love from Mia ❤
Posted on December 9, 2015
Here is my Facebook post from this morning:
So happy that “Come To My Window” won a Rainbow Award for Best Lesbian YA Fiction. It released last January during a time of huge turmoil, which I will not go into. I wanted to just forget all about this book, as in my mind it somehow caused my troubles. However thanks to support of good friends, and Raine O’Tierney swooping in to save the day by listing it for me on Amazon, “Come To My Window” came into existence (with meager fanfare). ❤
Little did I know it would make me so happy almost a year later!! 🙂
When you least expect it, expect it!!
Love Spell also did well in the Rainbow Awards, coming in 4th place for Gay YA Fiction.
Here is how it panned out in YA Gay Fiction:
Proud to be in a group so AWESOME!!
Inclination even got in on the act…
A GREAT DAY and THANK YOU to ELISA RAINBOW for your DEDICATION!!
Posted on December 1, 2015
Today is release day for my YA LGBTQ Contemporary Romance, Clean. And while there is romance, I struggle to classify Clean as STRICTLY a romance, because it is a book about social issues. In particular, it is a book about teenage substance abuse.
The two high school seniors who are the main characters in Clean are not using drugs and alcohol to alleviate boredom or to try out adult behavior or because of peer pressure. Trevor and Lanny use substances to medicate themselves—to dull the pain of difficult lives.
So, as the author, what would I like you to know about Clean?
First, I would like you to know Clean is very edgy. VERY EDGY. I went back and forth on whether to list it as a YA or a New Adult, but YA won out because of the two narrators’ youthful voices. This is the story of two teenagers, and although they deal with some tough stuff and experience sexual situations and abuse substances, it does not change the fact that this is a YOUNG ADULT novel. It is a mature YA novel, and edgy one, but still it was written to be read by teens and adults who enjoy books for teens.
Here are a few quotations about edgy YA that ring true to me:
“In terms of YA fiction, I think “edgy” means moving closer to adult genre fiction. Horror beyond R.L Stein, romance with a more adult view of sex, adventure with more realistic violence. It’s also more emotionally intense. There is still a big difference between what is acceptable in YA vs. adult fare, but it’s getting closer.” ~Austin Camacho
“Edgy to me has always been about topics that were once considered taboo. Today, some books cover illegal drug use and alcoholism but I’m seeing more titles about characters who must overcome sexual violence, are struggling with sexual identity, or must find a way to create their place in family groups. There seem to be more stories for YA about abandonment (youths living without parents), responsibility (youths who are the parents), terminal illness, and death.” ~Tony Russo
Secondly, I would like my readers to know that Trevor’s voice is written in the stream of consciousness style. Here are a few definitions of stream of consciousness I found online.
“In literature, stream of consciousness is a method of narration that describes in words the flow of thoughts in the minds of the characters.” Literary Devices
Its “purpose is to emulate the passage of thought through your mind without any inhibitors.” May Huang
Here is an example of how I use stream of consciousness in Clean:
“Laughter bursts up out of me too it just forces its way up from my gut to my throat to my lips and I can’t hold it back and I don’t even try too hard. The sound of my laughter fills up the cold shed where we’ll be drunk soon enough and he’ll forget I stopped being an asshole for a minute or two just long enough to laugh.” ~Trevor, Clean by Mia Kerick
I promise—I do know how to punctuate appropriately; at least, most of the time. But when writing in the stream of consciousness style, punctuation and grammar take a back seat to capturing the genuine movement of thoughts as they move through my character’s brain.
Third, I would also like to admit that I took a break halfway through the writing of Clean because the book was as tough to write as I think it might be, in places, to read. The research was intense—on the topics of head injury, drug abuse, alcoholism, and Alcoholics Anonymous, as well as on the sexual abuse of a minor—and it took an emotional toll on me. And writing the gritty downfall of two boys is not exactly fun. But the jewels I uncovered—the love, the trust, the hope—at the end of the novel made the journey worthwhile for me as a writer, and I hope for you as a reader, as well.
Finally, I suffered over the book’s title and the author’s note. Here’s why:
I do not like the use of the word clean for describing a person who does not have a sexually transmitted disease. I believe that having and STD does not make a person dirty, which is implied by calling people without STDs clean. Trevor, having been sexually abused by his guardian for the past several years, feels that he is dirty in more ways than one. He believes that he is in some ways impure, and thinks that he is also somehow dirtied by his lifestyle of drug and alcohol use. He longs to feel clean, and he considers Lanny perpetually clean. The subtitle, “Only by coming clean do they learn that they were always clean,” was added to clarify that I, in no way, am suggesting that people can be clean or dirty based on their behavior, or the status of their health.
And now, about the author’s note… It was my first time speaking directly to my readers (not through my characters) when not in the confines of an interview. I focused my notes on the way that many teens believe there is an immediate and complete solution to life’s problems, and it comes in the form of a pill or a joint or something you can snort or inhale. I realize that there are prescribed medications that can ease mental turmoil, and I do not intend to say that this is not true, but I believe that these medications work most effectively combined with hard work.
And now, I truly hope you are enlightened and uplifted by my fifteenth novel, Clean.