Monday, December 8, 2014
I've had a rough six months, and if you know me, you'll know I don't like to publicly complain about much. I keep my problems to myself because I think, maybe people don't want to hear about it, or even care, for that matter. Life can get pretty damn muddy sometimes and wading my way through the sludge can almost feel impossible.
But then I think, why am I complaining?
My marriage is perfect.
My family is perfect.
My LIFE is perfect.
In light of everything being perfect, I can't help but ask myself why I'm still so...lost. So alone. I have family and friends who are always there for me, but I just feel....ugh, I don't know. It drives me crazy not to be able to pinpoint just what I'm feeling.
I had a good friend tell me today that she openly shows her vulnerable side because she hopes to show others that they aren't alone. And that struck me hard. In the gut. Why am I hiding? My outlook on life had always been to internalize. As a child, I had a rough go of things and unless you wanted a fight, you didn't tell others the struggles you went through. "Put a smile on your face and act happy," I'd be told.
I was a closet sad person. On the outside, I was happy and cheerful. I'd laugh and play, make jokes and seem carefree, but as soon as I got home and those doors shut, I'd be a different person. Someone who was scared.
I'm still scared--just for different reasons.
But my childhood shaped me into this person. Who am I?
I'm a wife and a mother. I love deeply with everything I am. I'm incredibly soft hearted. I write because it's the only thing I've found love in outside of my family.
But, is that all I am?
I'm not an adventurer or adventurous. I don't love to travel. That's the IT thing with people my age, but I'm fairly meh about it. I'd rather stay home with my family because it's where I feel most safe.
Does that make me a bad person?
These little things ran around in my head on a constant loop. Over and over. They still do. I've never been fully okay with who I am because I was always so worried about what others thought of me.
Today, as I was visiting with my friend, we talked about body image. *good Lord...the body image issue* LOL. But, her and I both agreed that we were okay with how we looked. Whoa, right? We weren't stick thin, and we may not be the most beautiful person, but we feel confident in our skin. It didn't matter if Joe Schmoe over there didn't like us. We liked us.
And as I left her house, I couldn't help but bring that full circle to the rest of my life.
Why can't I just be happy with who I am? Flaws and all. My body image wasn't the issue, my inner self was. Why do I have to be in this constant struggle to make others like me, too? And that's when it clicked. *snaps fingers* I love me. I really do. And I'm going to make a constant effort to be okay if others don't.
I am okay.
I am human. I am going to mess up, it'll probably messy and gross, but that'll be okay. I think it's time to stop dwelling on the bad and embrace everything that is good. These little imperfections are what make me who I am. It's okay that I don't like to hop on a plane and travel to exotic lands. It's okay that I'd rather spend my money on things for the house than buy expensive clothes. It's okay to embrace that I'm not perfect. I am not everyones cup of tea.
So, as I say goodbye, try to find the good and give the finger to the bad.
Thursday, October 2, 2014
1. In the very beginning, you're freaking ecstatic. "My story is fudging amazing! I can't wait to write."
Okay, so lets all be honest. We hate insta-love. Sometimes it works, and other times, it just doesn't. When you're a romance/contemporary/new adult writer, that's basically the one thing everyone can agree on. One of my good friends, Jennifer, told me, "when in doubt, wait. Always wait. Make them work for it." And, really, that's amazing advice. Take it. Use it. Implement it.
Uhhh, yeah, no. 92,000 words in, shit will change and all hell will break loose. Unless you're a crazy outline addict and write everything down, things will change. Shoot, even then. The story moves, and so do you. At least in my experience, where you want your characters to go and where they ACTUALLY go are two different paths.
Yep, you read that right. The possibility of peeing your pants the moment you write "The End" is very likely. Being done is almost so formal that it makes you want to lose bodily functions. It's like, holy shit, I just finished and now I have to edit.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Title: Anyone But Him
Author: Cassie Graham
Release Date: Fall 2014
Whitley Hayes is an ordinary girl with a gypsy heart. College is the only constant in her life. She’s made a lot of mistakes and she intends on keeping them in the past.
Move on and forget.
That’s her motto.
Jennings Cohen is no ordinary man—not at all. He would have never imagined his life would turn into such a spectacle. The tabloids exploit him, fans stalk him and the paparazzi are relentless. It’s not always fun being Jennings.
It doesn’t help that he has a secret. One that comes at a price he’s not sure he can pay.
Relationships get complicated and hearts shatter.
It’s not easy living a lie, but it’s easier than telling the truth.
“These people?” I question. I hadn’t noticed anyone else but Whitley since the moment I picked her up.
She levels her eyes, taking a drink of the water that was just delivered. I watch as she plays with the straw with her tongue, unintentionally. My mouth goes dry and I have to gulp past the lump in my throat.
“Yes, these people.” She slyly motions at the room. “Every person who’s made any sort of contact with you has this starry-eyed, dopey look to them.”
I put my arms on the table and lower my head. “You know,” I whisper. “I’m sort of famous.”
Next comes a swift kick to my shin and I wince, laughing. “Okay, okay. That was tacky.”
She covers her mouth from laughing. “Maybe a little.”
“What can I get you?” the waitress asks, interrupting us.
Whitley’s eyes widen. “Oh, umm.” She pushes the hair back from her face.
She’s so beautiful.
“Instead of the Mahi-Mahi, can I just get the one Mahi, because I’m not that hungry?”
My eyes bulge and I can’t contain my burst of laughter.
Saying nothing, the waitress pauses as Whitley looks up to her looking innocent and doe-eyed.
I have to give it to Whitley, she doesn’t break. She keeps a straight face and looks to the waitress, expecting a response.
“We,” the waitress, whose name appears to be Lacy, stutters, not understanding the movie quote. “We’re actually out of the Mahi-Mahi.”
Unaffected, Whitley closes the menu. “Oh, well, okay. I’ll just have the tilapia with roasted vegetables. Thank you.”
Lacy takes Whit’s menu, shakes her head and turns to me. “And, for you?”
Now she’s short with me.
“I’ll take the flounder. Thank you.” I smile at her, struggling to break the tension.
Lacy’s shoulders soften and she takes my menu and heads toward the kitchen.
When we’re alone, I look to Whitley. “House Bunny? Really?”
“What? I thought it was funny.”
“Me too,” I admit. Laughter is something that has been sparse in my life.
“Is it your favorite movie?”
She laughs. “House Bunny? God, no. Funny, but certainly not my favorite.”
“Then, what is?”
She takes a moment to think, not answering right away. “Honestly? I don’t really have a favorite movie. Well...I mean, maybe I do. It’s just so hard to choose. It changes all of the time.”
“Okay. Top three.”
“Umm...Princess Bride, Ferris Buller’s Day Off, and uhh—oh geeze, any Harry Potter.”
She seems embarrassed by her admission, but I sort of love her list. All classics in their own right.
“My name is Inigo Montoya. You kill my father. Prepare to die.”
“Yes!” She whoops. “Best line, ever.”
I laugh. “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
She stomps her foot under the table. “Inconceivable!”
We laugh together, and Whitley’s eyes sparkle with mischief.
“Okay, Mr. Famous, what is your top three?”
I hesitate. I’m always asked this question in interviews. Most are just hoping for their next endorsement, but I always give a generic answer. Usually, it’s the movie I’m filming or promoting at the time.
Cracking my knuckles, I try to really think about my answer. I’ve never genuinely thought about it. “Oh Christ, you can’t ask an actor that,” I laugh. “Really, I don’t know.”
Her shoulders sag. “You don’t know?”
“I don’t. I’m always in movies. I don’t have time to actually watch them. Hell, I’ve never even seen any of the movies I’ve filmed.”
“Wait, wait.” Whitley puts her hands up, stopping me. “You’ve never watched one of your own movies? Like, you’ve never watched yourself on the big screen?”
I shrug my shoulder. “Nope.”
“What?” she asks, dumbfounded. “Why? How? I mean—Jesus, Jenns, what do you do at premiers?”
I turn away, not really proud of my answer. “I leave. Slip out the back, or sit in the lobby. It’s always deserted while the film is running.”
“Then what? You return as the credits roll?”
“Wow,” she breathes.
“It’s just my thing. I don’t like to watch myself. In my eyes, I could always change my performance. I could have said something with more feeling, or looked deeper into the characters eyes. I’m hard on my acting, and in turn, end up beating my myself up. It makes me a shitty actor.”
Whitley stares at me blankly as I give up one of my secrets.
It seems like hours before she blinks.
“What are you thinking?” I ask. Frankly, I’m tired of waiting for her to say something. I thought she’d at least have an opinion.
Slightly shaking her head, she drags her fingers through her hair. “Holy shit. You have no idea.”
My mouth quirks down, and I tilt my head. “I have no idea, what?”
“You are...,” her eyes haze, letting me see into that door of her soul. “You are phenomenal on screen. Charismatic and fluid. Compelling and magnetic.” She touches my hand. “You draw people in with looks alone, Jennings.”
Not that my ego needs anymore feeding, but, fuck me, hearing her say those words. Words that don’t mean shit from anyone else, makes me feel like jumping on the table and shouting for fucking joy.
My smile can’t be controlled. “You’ve seen my movies, Whitley?”
She rolls her eyes, a smirk breaking through her features. “Shut up. Everyone has."
“I didn’t peg you for someone to watch those kinds of movies.”
She snorts a laugh and rubs under her eye. “Yeah, well, you’re sort of famous.”
“You can’t resist my raw magnetism, right? God, I’m sexy.”
Author of Unable to Resist, Cassie resides in Arizona with her husband, daughter and two dogs.
Cassie went to school to be an English teacher, but decided to quit to be a military wife. While, she always loved writing, she didn’t find her true passion for New Adult until she turned twenty.
Now, with one novel under her belt, she can’t wait to release Anyone But Him.
If Cassie isn’t writing, you’ll probably find her in the kitchen making baked goods for her family. She’s always believed the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and her husband proves that correct every day.
Cassie loves her readers and hopes she makes them proud.