Writing Out Child Abuse


A Year Later: by jswaynemajordoma

After a year of setbacks, confusion, and things that didn’t quite work out the way we’d hoped, WOCA is back on track and ready to hit it harder than ever!

First, we are reopening submissions for the second WOCA anthology, Everyday Angels. We’re fortunate this time to have Paula Acton, A.R. Von, and A.D. Wayy already on the roster of authors who’ve submitted stories, and we’re looking for more! We’re seeking stories of 5,000-15,000 words, any genre, any heat level, for this anthology. The only rules are:

1) Child abuse MUST be a central conflict of the story, and cannot be depicted in a positive light or for titillation.

2) The abuser must face justice, in the system or the street: It’s entirely up to you!

3) The survivor must find closure in some manner.

If you’ve got the chops, or you have a story you’ve been wanting to tell but weren’t sure how or where, we want to see it!

Second, I’m proud to report that WOCA has raised $97.54 in the past year for child abuse prevention initiatives. Doesn’t sound like much for a year’s work, but believe me when I say every last penny of it was well-earned. We’re starting off slow, but I look at it as baby steps. Every sale is a victory, because it means that much more money to help child abuse survivors.

So tell your friends, your family, and even complete strangers. Open a dialogue. Abuse only survives in the shadows, and it’s up to all of us to take a stand. We’ll be back with more exciting news and plans soon!

Until next time,

Best,

J.S. Wayne



A Light In The Darkness Now Available For Purchase! by J.S. Wayne

There’s a certain irony in the fact that Writing Out Child Abuse is nine months, twenty-five days old today. To put that another way, this labor has gone on two weeks longer, at forty-two, than the average gestation period for a human baby. And make no mistake, it has been labor. The difference, of course, is that this labor has been shared by a small army of authors, publishing people, cover artists, and people who have generously opened their blogs to allow the authors of WOCA to come talk about A Light In The Darkness.

As I write this, I’m tired, but very happy and very proud. Having read the finished product of the anthology from cover to cover, I’m more convinced than ever that I made a good call with every story I accepted for publication. This book took blood, sweat, and tears to make a reality, but we did it, by God. The authors put up with my endless fussing and tweaking on the editorial side, while Laurie Sanders at Black Velvet Seductions showed me some ropes I didn’t know about and pointed out things I’d simply overlooked in the headlong rush to get other tasks accomplished.

So much remains to be done, however. WOCA now possesses a federal EIN number, step one in setting up a non-profit organization that can be recognized at the local, state, and federal levels. Now, of course, comes getting the money together to be able to file the requisite paperwork so WOCA will be doing business legally as a charity and dealing with the myriad other details that go into creating a charity.

In addition, WOCA is now accepting submissions for a second anthology. This call closes on October 1st. You can view the details at http://gilliancolbert.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/please-help/ if you’re interested in writing for this call. Submissions should be sent to wocasubs@gmail.com. All stories will be read, considered, and replied to as quickly as possible, but I’m aiming for a turnaround of one week between none and done.

As much as there is to do, and as weary as I am right now, it’s the kind of tired that comes from a job well done. I couldn’t be prouder or happier with the authors who answered the first call, and all of them have earned a debt of gratitude I can never properly repay. Similarly, Laurie Sanders at BVS, who I have truly come to consider an angel in the flesh, has been such an immense help that I could rave for days on end and never fully or adequately describe what an incredible bastion she’s been throughout this endeavor.

Thank you all.

To get your copy of ALITD, as we’ve come to call it, simply click the cover below or visit

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/170707

And with that, ladies and gentlemen, I’m off. With so much to do, I don’t really have time to send my cape to the cleaners just yet!

Until next time,

Best,

J.S. Wayne



We Don’t Need Another Hero… by J.S. Wayne

This sentiment formed the basis of the theme song to the smash hit Beyond Thunderdome, starring Mel Gibson and Tina Turner. In the movies and in books, there’s really only room for one hero, or at most a small group of heroes.

Here in the real world, things are a little different. Comic-book archetypes form the basis of our morality, daring each of us to be an extraordinary person and stand against the darkness. Everyone has the opportunity to be a hero, and the fact is in this world, we need every one we can get.

If this holds true for adults, it is doubly so for children. How many times have you read a book or watched a TV show where one of the characters reminisces about wishing a superhero would swoop in and carry them away? It’s a sad but nonetheless true fact that too many children can’t even claim their parents or loved ones as heroes, because those very people who are there to shelter and protect children instead use them in vile and hideous ways, for their own pleasure and to deflect the shame of what they allowed themselves to become.

The authors and production staff of A Light In The Darkness, WOCA’s inaugural anthology, are not heroes. We’re all just regular, ordinary people who share a common cause and a common hatred of anything which harms children. But, in the long months since the initial call went out, all of these people have done extraordinary things, carving out great swaths of time and sacrificing sleep, time with friends, family, and other valuable matters to make this anthology happen.

In a way, I had the easy job: All I had to do was read and give my thoughts. Organizing, keeping everyone on track and on task, and making sure the wheels ran smoothly was largely due to the efforts of Gillian Colbert. Hey, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m the guy for ideas and extra muscle, but I’m not so shit-hot on minutiae. That’s where Gillian’s innate eye for detail and organization comes in, and she deserves thanks neither I nor anyone else can ever adequately give.

Renee Vickers played her role as well, helping me keep my mind right and focused on why I started all this in the first place. Being an editor sometimes feels like playing the role of a budget-rate Atlas, and my hat’s off to anyone who can do that and still keep their drive to write their own material. Having a good friend around to talk to makes a world of difference, and she managed to help deflect my doubts about my ability while still finding the time to write her own material!

Eric Keys and Phoebe Valois both brought great stories and a fresh eye to the table, as well as some new perspectives on why a project like this matters. I’m very proud to have gotten to work with them, and it’s going to be very exciting to introduce these inspiring new talents to the world.

And Laurie Sanders, with Black Velvet Seductions . . . well, I don’t KNOW enough superlatives to adequately describe her and her commitment and assistance with this project, so I won’t even try. Let it suffice to say that if there was ever a person the appellation “angel” described, she’s it!

Okay, okay, enough gushing.The point is, we DO need heroes. However many we manage to assemble, it will always have to be plus one to protect every child who needs it. By doing something as simple as purchasing this anthology, you can help.

You can be a hero.

I promised y’all an excerpt when we were talking at the bar, and I’m going to deliver. Here’s a snippet from “A Hope In Hell,” one of my stories in A Light In The Darkness. Don’t forget to check out the ALITD blog tour, coming soon from Sizzling PR and featuring the WOCA authors! In the meantime, I really hope y’all enjoy this excerpt, and I’ll be back soon!

(The cover was supposed to go here, but an ID10T error prevented me from posting today. Next time, folks. Trust me, it’s worth the wait.)

Edit: Wait no more! Thanks to R. Renee Vickers, it’s here!

In A Light in the Darkness, the inaugural anthology from the authors of WOCA, a dark world awaits you.
Spanning centuries of time, encircling the globe, and running the gamut from eerie historical fiction to gritty
urban fantasy to page-scorching erotic romance, these authors unflinchingly dissect the horror of child abuse
in all its forms. These authors have taken great pains to ensure the innocent are assured justice and the guilty
pay for their crimes in the unique fantasy worlds they have created. Sadly, in real life, this is not always the case.
This book contains scenes of graphic violence and honest depictions of child abuse. Readers who may find such material unduly disturbing, objectionable, or “triggering” are strongly advised not to read it.
Some of the newest and hottest names in fiction have lent their talents to this collection, including Gillian
Colbert, Amber Green, R. Renee Vickers, Eric Keys, Phoebe Valois, and J.S. Wayne. All of these authors are
united by one core belief, and with this collection, they seek to turn their talents to a greater good.
One hundred percent of all proceeds from this collection are being donated directly to Writing Out
Child Abuse. These proceeds will then be dispersed to charities whose sole aim is to help survivors of child
abuse all over the globe. To learn more about WOCA or their fund-raising activities, or to get involved yourself, visit http://wix.com/writingoutchildabuse/intro.

She decided in moments that she didn’t care for the
feeling of traveling across the veil. The nausea and
discomfort the transit caused made her cranky and
irritable, ready to take offense at the tiniest slight. On
the other hand, that wasn’t wholly a bad thing, so long
as she vented her ire in the right direction.
The ranch-style suburban house appeared perfectly
normal to her regular sight. White siding, pale blue trim,
lawn the size of a postage stamp. The shrubs butting up
against the one-story dwelling were uniformly manicured
and well-maintained, the first of the spring flowers
peeping out between the branches.
She took a long sniff of the balmy evening air. It was
still early enough that her presence on the street wouldn’t
be taken amiss. After adjusting the hem of her green
jumper, she reached up checked her beret to be sure it
was squarely seated on her head. Normal, meaningless
gestures that had nothing to do with the reality of the
situation, but they would satisfy any observer.
Squinting slightly, she stared at the house again. Her
stomach fluttered as she invoked the odd sense only her
kind possessed. The pleasant, typical suburban home was
stripped away to be replaced by a vision of the true nature
of the inhabitant and the deeds the house had witnessed.
The house reeled and cringed on its foundation as if
struck by a god’s fist, the paint peeling and cracking,
running in some spots in bruises and lacerations
as produced by Sherwin Williams. The windows
spiderwebbed and jagged fangs of glass fell out of the
panes to tinkle onto the porch, falling through missing
boards in some places and crashing onto the warped wood
in others. Soon only the empty holes remained, as lifeless
and blank as a tragedy victim’s eyes.
She watched through the weed-choked chain link
fence as the ground began to shiver and boil, vomiting up
clods of earth and tangles of roots. Among the grasping
fingers of the broken roots, brownish and reddish pebbles
began to show through the spewing earth. The pieces
became larger and larger, until she recognized a small
thigh bone mingled among the destruction. A low moan
like the rustling of a dry desert wind howled around her,
the innocents who had suffered and died here screaming
out from their unhallowed and unknown graves for
surcease and revenge.
A head-to-toe shudder racked her tiny frame, and she
fought the urge to recoil. She pushed away the vision by
force, blinking several times to try to erase the memory
from her mind without success. Swallowing hard, she
squared her shoulders and marched up to the door, a half dozen
brightly colored boxes tucked under her arm. She
mounted the small flight of stairs leading to the porch
and rang the bell, taking care not to touch anything more
than absolutely necessary.
The dignified chime cut through the canned laughter
of a TV show. In a few seconds, a rustling from the
general area of the forced merriment told her the
homeowner would soon be arriving. She took one step
backward, hoping the queasiness in her stomach didn’t
show on her face.
The porch light clicked on and the door opened.

Until next time,

Best,

J.S. Wayne



Writing Out Child Abuse by jswaynemajordoma
August 22, 2011, 4:09 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The first thing you should know is, I’m not an organizer. I’m a heavy lifter, a workhorse, and an idea kind of person. Funny how things change.

This whole concept started when I read a couple of truly horrifying child abuse stories in the forum of one of the critique groups I belong to. I stared at the stories in open-mouthed shock.

Then the anger started.

Not the “I need to punch a wall and get it out of my system” kind of anger. This wasn’t even the “I need to go out in the desert with a firearm and go target shooting until I feel better” kind of anger. This was something colder and darker. Something deeper. And something that I knew could never be exorcised.

The second thing you should know is: I myself am a survivor of child sexual abuse.

There. I said it.

The abuse I suffered wasn’t at the hands of a family member or loved one. My family didn’t have any idea until I finally acknowledged what had happened, years after the fact. Years of hiding what had befallen me, of shame that somehow I had done something wrong, and of behaving in ways that left my family absolutely confounded, because they simply didn’t have the right information to understand what was inside me, trying to claw its way into the light.

When they found out, they spent a lot of time in recrimination. The signs were so clear in retrospect, and they just never quite put the pieces together. No matter how I assured them it wasn’t their fault, and that they couldn’t have known about what happened because I didn’t tell them, it made no difference. Parents being parents, I suppose. But nevertheless, my abuser set into motion something that had immediate and far-reaching effects for my family and the ripples in my life from what happened are still with me to this day.

To this day, I struggle with depression. My expressions of anger are occasionally more appropriate to a three-year-old (the age at which it happened, if you’re curious) than to a thirty-three-year-old man. There is still a feeling of shame, no matter how irrational it may be.

It also gave me a unique perspective on, appreciation for, and empathy for victims of child abuse. And a very harsh and unforgiving outlook on their abusers.

But for years, I didn’t have any clear idea of what to do to help others who’d been through what I have, beyond “something.”

That changed yesterday. I asked one question in the forum. When I had my answer, I got to work.

And this is the result: A collaboration between publishers, agents, and authors to help kids in situations like my own . . . and even worse. Kids who are in constant physical, mental, and emotional jeopardy and turmoil because of something that wasn’t their fault.

It’s in its infancy, but the overwhelming response in ONE DAY tells me that there are good people out there who want to make a difference. So I, and the other authors that have been contacted to assist with this undertaking, will keep on.

We’re going to tell our stories. The ones that really happened to us.

We’re also going to do what we do best. We’re going to write. We’re going to craft quality stories in our chosen genres, publish them, and donate the proceeds from our stories, novels, and novellas dedicated to this cause to charities whose only goal is to help children touched by these horrors. And, God willing, give these children hope.

Someone’s got to take the first step, though. And today, here, and now, that someone is me.

I’m J.S. Wayne.

Will you join us?




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