Angie Merriam

Musings from a decorative mind


You've landed in my creative mind! Stay here for my book news, short stories, and a glimpse into the mind of a chaotic woman in the midst of balancing real life with the life of a dreamer.

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The Great Monster

Posted by Angie Merriam on January 13, 2014 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (0)

She stood facing her floor to ceiling mirror. Her reflection no longer startled her. Her body had changed considerably since the great monster chose to use her body as a host. That is what she called it now, “the great monster.” No one else seemed to have the ability to give her silent tormenter a name. Doctors were baffled and she sometimes doubted her friends and family truly believed her. Her monster was silent, nameless, and faceless. It’s hard to believe in something that you can’t see or touch or even put a name to. She knew it was there. That was all that mattered now.

She reminisced briefly on her life before the monster. Her hair seemed to shine brighter, her face appeared younger, but it was the changes in her body that bothered her the most. She was growing older, after all, so a few wrinkles were nothing to get excited over and her hair was mostly worn in a ponytail so who cared if it didn’t shine as brightly. Her body though, her body was so different.

She thought of how, at one time, she stood tall, strong, thin and straight. The monster had a different idea for her body. Her body now could swell from her toes to her head causing her once beautiful skin to stretch and contrast. Now tiny lines covered her skin as though the beast was marking its territory. Her once flat belly now protruded as though she was pregnant and her strong spine had given up on holding her upright. Her body leaned severely to one side more often than it stood straight. These were just outward appearances though. The things people could see. The things that proved something was not right were inside of her. It was the way the monster terrorized her insides that left her nearly crippled, mentally and physically.

Most days the monster ran with fire beneath her skin. It wreaked havoc on her muscles, her bones, and her mind. The pain was uncontrollable, leaving her weak, angry, sad, and, most of all, resentful of the life she had lived and of the life was now living. Try as she might her mind couldn’t compete with the monster. She tried, in vein, to quiet the monster. She would feed it morphine but the drug only made the monster stronger and her mind weaker.

Before she knew what was happening, the monster took hold of the morphine and begged her for more. Her mind was conflicted. She knew the dangers of the drug. She knew the risk of addiction. She also knew the pain that controlled her life. She knew the sadness she felt when the pain held her bed bound. She knew the morphine could keep the monster quiet, if only for a short amount of time, so she fed the monster.

She could feel the morphine rush through her body. She felt its attempt to kill the monster and its disappointment when it could do no more than numb the monster temporarily. She felt her body beg for more. Beg for the small moments of sweet release. The moments were few and far between but she lived for them. At least she used to live for them.

She visited more and more doctors but they couldn’t help her. The more treatments and drugs they gave her, the stronger the monster grew. The harder she fought the monster, the weaker she grew. Her sad mind and heart were now beginning to appear more often than her happy heart and mind. Some days she begged her body to heal. She begged her body to live, to fight, and to beat the monster. Other days, days that were becoming more and more frequent, her body begged for release. She cried to be let go, she prayed she would fall asleep and never awaken. Her emotions were in turmoil as the monster ripped her body to pieces. She was at a crossroads but she didn’t know which way to go.

She would wait. She would hope. She would pray to another unknown entity. She would fight. She would never give in. She would never give up. She was in a bitter fight for her life. She would keep her mind strong even as her body grew frail. Her opponent may be invisible but it would not win. She would win. She would stand tall and strong and straight. Her hair would once again be shiny. Her skin would glow. She hoped she would be with her family in this world when she finally beat the great monster but knew her body was weak. Her body may give out, but her heart, her thoughts, her soul would live on. That one thought gave her peace. She would cling to that tiny feeling of peace.

The Bottle

Posted by Angie Merriam on January 13, 2014 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Sometimes the darkness is too much. The light feels so far away. Her heart is heavy and her mind weary. No one knows the sadness she feels. No one understands the secrets she keeps. She longs for an escape and finds one in a bottle.

She has become a master of deception. Her face gives nothing away. Her smile remains in place and she laughs at the right times. If only she could express herself. She wishes for someone to tell her secrets to. Instead she finds her friend in a bottle.

Her heart is battered. Her feelings are bruised. The numbness settles in making the day’s easier to bare. She pretends she’s okay. She never speaks of the fear of losing herself yet she feels it all slipping away. The failure she feels is worse than the physical pain. Her body can take the abuse but her soul can’t take the failure so she turns her head to the bottle.

In her darkest moments she questions why. Why must she endure such hurt? Why must she love someone more than she loves herself? Why must that lover tear her apart? Does she deserve such pain? She must deserve the abuse. That’s what she tells herself when she’s lost in her bottle.

Day after day slips away. Her smile begins to fade. Her laugh comes less and less. The loneliness is unbearable. Her only solace is escape. The clear fluid burns away the pain. Every sip of her bottle numbs her heart a little more until she feels nothing. She loves to feel nothing. She loves the feeling of freedom from the pain.

If only she had found solace in a real friend. If only she hadn’t felt the need to keep the secrets of her lover. If only she didn’t feel the blame of her lovers abuse. If only she knew the love others felt for her. If only that bottle hadn’t been so tempting, that fluid temporarily healing every crack in her heart. If only she had found the bravery in herself she may not have been lost to the bottle.

The bottle that was once her confident. The bottle that whispered in her ear and enticed her with the feeling of nothingness. She felt happiness at the sight of her bottle. She longed to feel the burn of the liquor sliding down her throat as it settled in her belly. It reminded her that she was alive until the day that she wasn’t. The bottle was the thing that kept her pain away and the thing that took her life away. She lost to the bottle.

My dream cast :)

Posted by Angie Merriam on July 13, 2011 at 1:24 PM Comments comments (0)

I recently saw a post via smashwords asking indie authors to post thier 'dream cast' should their movie become a film. Well, I would be lying if I said I hadn't already thought about this. So, just for fun, here is a list of characters and actors I think would play the part well or really look the part! Tell me what you think! Who did you envision when you read the story of Shep and Lilly? This should be fun:)

Lilly: Emma Stone, Emily Browning, Amanda Seyfried or maybe Emma Watson if she had red hair

Shep: OK this was super hard for me because Shep is a total creation of my imagination, but here are a few possibilities....Ben Barnes, Jared Padalecki(although he is a little to old), Cory Monteith, Emile Hirsh,

Annie Levannah: Gwyneth Paltrow or Charlize Theron

Jax Bane: Johnny Depp-this one was easy for me :)

Akayleah (Leah):Lauren Graham or Kate Beckinsale

Kelsha: Angelina Jolie, another easy choice for me

James Mender: Jude Law

Serephina: Zooey Deschanel

Denali Levannah:Ryan Gosling or Leo DiCaprio(a little to old, but I like his intensity)

Eirene Levannah: Meryl Streep

Adair Levannah: Richard Gere or Robert Redford

whew, that was difficult!!!What say you?:)

song list for Standing Broken

Posted by Angie Merriam on July 4, 2011 at 11:44 AM Comments comments (0)

OK, so this is one of my favorite parts of my books, the song list! It brings together two things I love, music and writing! Here are a few songs that remind me of one part of the story or I just liked listening to while writing;)

Stronger-Sara Evens

Jar of Hearts-Christina Perri

Total eclipse of the heart-Bonnie Tyler

Love is a battlefield-Pat Benatar

Arms-Christina Perri

The edge of glory-Lady GaGa

I dont belive you-Pink

More to come!!!

and so it has been written

Posted by Angie Merriam on May 20, 2011 at 9:41 AM Comments comments (0)

I take my tiny laptop with me everywhere these days, just in case I get two seconds of spare time to work on Standing Broken. My trip to Les Schwab, yesterday, included. What better time to write? I bust out the laptop, fire it up, and dive in! I have known that the end of the book was coming, but had yet to decide the way the story would end. I was writing in Les Schwab and the ending just came to me. I wrote the last paragraph and re-read it and thought 'aha! that is the end'!

Now the weeks and possible months of editing and re-writes are going to begin, but the story itself is written! I have to step away from it for a few days, so it can be read over with fresh eyes. I don't want to disconnect completely though, so I have started on the cover design! I love this part of the process! Hopefully the book will be ready for viewing by the end of June, early July!!!!

I am very excited about it, and tried very hard to keep it from being the 'middle, boring, transition, but has to be there as part of the story, book'! I have read a ton of series that the first and last books were amazing, but the middle was just there to fill in the space. I really didn't want that for Standing Broken, and tried to keep it exciting, but maybe that's just the curse of a middle novel!?!?! I hope not, but time will tell! I am just excited to have completed it;)

On a side note: I am working on cover design, and will post ideas here and facebook! I am thinking of having people vote on their favorite and that will be the  one I use! More details will come in the upcoming weeks!

Chapter one Standing Broken(spoiler alert)

Posted by Angie Merriam on May 1, 2011 at 10:30 PM Comments comments (1)

Here is the first chapter of the follow up to Neveah A Broken Forever, titled Standing Broken! If you haven't read the first one, this will spoil the ending so read at your own risk! Be advised this is a rough draft, no editing has been done yet! Hope you enjoy!

~Chapter One~

My mind was in a fog as I stood outside the glass burial chamber that housed my mother and father. I had been told the memorial was magnificent. I slept through it. It was said many folks of Neveah came to bid farewell, sprinkle fairy dust, or cast spells that were to guarantee a safe passage to the other world. I wasn’t sorry that I missed the memorial. I didn’t want to be surrounded by hundreds of strangers as I told my parents goodbye.

My grandparents had led me to the chamber and then graciously left me alone. I was beyond thankful for that. We had not spoken much since my awakening, and I had yet to disclose my current state of health. I needed my time to say goodbye, I would deal with the rest later. I ventured around the chamber to the entrance. It was difficult to find as the glass door blended into the glass walls. I took my time though. I could see my parents lying within the chamber and I was slightly afraid to go in.

Once I found the door, I took a few deep breaths, then slowly let myself in. It smelled of wildflowers and warmth. The chamber was small, with only enough room for the platforms that held my parents and a small walkway. I stood by the door, willing myself to move forward. My mother was angelic dressed in a white gown with her blond hair brushed to fall over her shoulders. Her skin was pale, but her lips were pink. She rested with one hand to her side, and the other rested in my father’s hand. He was angelic as well, also dressed in white, and neatly groomed for viewing. I felt a stab in my heart at only having been able to know him a short amount of time.

I felt my heart break in two as I looked at my mother. Thoughts began to swim in my head. I had no clue what to do without her. I inched my way closer to her until I was close enough to touch her hand. I reached out and took her hand in mine. The feel of her sent a wave a grief through my body and I began to tremble. The tears I had tried not to cry were now flowing freely and I impulsively laid my head on her chest. I didn’t feel a heartbeat, and I knew I wouldn’t, but I could feel her. I laid there, sobbing and begging for her to come back. I was irrational but the reality of losing her was almost too much too bear.

I don’t know how long I laid across my mother, but I didn’t intend on moving. Then I felt a light touch on my shoulder. Whoever was behind me stood still and silent, waiting for me to gather myself before turning to face them. I felt slighted at being interrupted. I didn’t want to speak to anyone, or face anyone, I just wanted my mother. I finally stood to face my intruder and was shocked when I realized their identity. I couldn’t speak, as my mouth was hung open. My heart was racing and I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry. She looked the same, and was in the same white gown she wore on the table only she was standing in front of me. “Mom,” I said quietly, unsure if I was imagining this entire scene. I reached my hand up to touch her face. It was cold and soft, yet solid. She smiled at me, a tear in her own eye. I fell into her arms where she held me while I cried.

She finally broke her grip and pulled me away just enough to see my face, and so I could see hers. “Oh Lilly, my baby girl, things have gone so wrong. I am so sorry for all that has happened. I tried to always protect you and I have failed.” Her face was full of sadness and guilt. “No mom, you’re here with me now, it’s going to be alright,” I replied trying to force a smile. I knew as I spoke the words that all would not be alright, yet I wanted to believe it, even for a moment. My mother shook her head, trying to find the words to speak. “You are right baby girl, you will be OK, but I can only stay a short while. I have been waiting here for you, but I have to go soon. I am expected in the otherworld. I just couldn’t pass through without speaking to you. Come with me Lilly.” She grabbed my hand and led me to a corner of the chamber where she promptly sat on the floor and encouraged me to sit beside her.

With my mother, sitting there on the floor, I laid my head in her lap and relaxed as she ran her fingers through my hair. “How much time do we have?” I asked. “Not long,” she replied. “Where is dad?” I asked suddenly curious. “Only one of us was able to return, he thought it should be me.” She answered.

“Are happy to be with him again?”

“Yes Lilly, very happy. Although, I would rather be here with you.”

“Yeah, me too. What am I suppose to do now mom?”

“You are a very smart, independent woman. You will find your way and you will be just fine without me.”

“I’m scared mom. You’re gone, dad is gone, and so is Shep.”

“I know baby girl, I have been watching you. I saw the entire thing unfold. He loves you and he left to protect you from Kelsha.”

“I know he loves me, but what am I suppose to do wait in Neveah for him? I want to go home mom. This is not my home. This place only hurts.”

“I can’t tell you what to do next, you will find a path that is right for you, with or without Shep. I can’t tell you what will happen in the future. I know if he truly loves you he will find you. Here or back in the Ordinary world. Whether or not you choose to wait for him is your choice. No one would hold it against you if you wanted to move on. You are young and beautiful Lilly.”

“And pregnant.” I hadn’t meant to blurt it out like that, the words just came. I waited for my mother’s response.

“I know. I have known since we were reunited at the giants home. Your father knew as well. I think Shep did too.”

“What? Shep knew before I did?”

“A woman with child emits a different kind of glow Lilly, especially a Special who is home in Neveah. It’s almost impossible to miss.”

“But I mom, I can’t be very far gone! A month at the most! How am I able to feel it already, and how can everyone else see it?”

“Things are different here in Neveah, as you already know. Time may feel slower here, but pregnancy is different, it progresses much more quickly. If you wish to return to the Ordinary world you should do it soon, before you’re much further along. It will be dangerous to do if you are too far gone, and very dangerous for a baby.”

I considered my mother’s words. I would need to make a choice, and soon. I decided not to think about it now. For now I just wanted my mother.

We sat in soothing silence before my mother spoke again. “Please forgive me Lilly for putting you through this. Please know how much I love you! Don’t mourn for me or your father, we will always be watching you.” I could feel her solidness giving way and sat up, trying to stop her disappearance. “No, mom wait, you can’t go yet, I need you! I love you mom and I don’t blame you for any of this. You have always been wonderful to me and I will miss you greatly mom.” My words were coming fast and the tears were once again flowing. I was standing, as was my mother, who was nearly transparent now. She grabbed my face with her hands that were light as air and kissed my forehead. “Goodbye Lilly. Be strong, be brave, and never forget how much I love you.”

“I love you too mom, goodbye,” I said and then she was gone. I glanced back at the platform that still held my parents. I walked over and kissed my father on the cheek and then my mother before saying a final goodbye and leaving them to rest.

Although my heart was slightly lighter, I still felt the need to be alone. I decided to walk awhile, and try to make sense out of the senseless. I felt content knowing my parents were together and happy in some other world. Though I would miss them greatly, I no longer felt sad. With the weight of my parents’ death lifted from my heart, the desertion of Shep settled in, and agony bore a hole through the wound that my mother had just healed. I replayed the events over and over in my mind, trying to find what tore him from me. Things had happened so fast that the details were a blur. I decided there was no point rehashing what had happened. It wouldn’t change anything. I needed to make a choice and I had to make it now. I could stay in Neveah, have the baby, and then figure out what Kelsha was up too and get Shep back. The option was tempting, but I knew my choice. I wanted to go home. My mother was right, Shep knew where to find me. With my decision made, I headed back to the house. I wanted to go as soon as possible.

I made it to the house rather quickly and found my grandmother sitting alone in the great room. “Hello Meme,” I said softly. She looked over to me with a smile. “Hello Lilly, how are you dear?”

“I feel a little better now actually, having been able to say a proper goodbye. Thank you for that.”

“Of course, that was your right Lilly.” She looked at me as though willing me to speak what was in my mind and my heart. I knew I couldn’t just leave Neveah without a word, it would break her heart as well as my grandfather’s. They had suffered enough loss.

“I am sure you know I am with child. I am also sure that uncle Denali told you what happened on that mountain. Shep is gone.” I choked back a sob after saying Shep’s name out loud.

“Yes, I am aware of both. I am very sorry for everything Lilly. We put you and Shep in a terrible position and now things are just a mess.” She was openly crying now. I failed to notice the redness that was taking residence on her face, and the puffiness that was causing her eyes to almost appear closed. I went to her, and wrapped my arms firmly around her neck. Instinctively her arms closed around my waist, pulling into her lap, where we sat, embraced and mourning all that was lost to us both. “It’s not your fault meme, it was not my mother’s fault, and it’s not Shep’s fault. I made my choice to come to Neveah and I chose to find my mother and fight Jax. He is gone now, so the threat to Neveah is gone. Please don’t be sorry, there is nothing to be sorry about. We all did our best.” I finished, hoping my words were heard. I stood slowly and she finally looked up. “You will always have a home here, should that be your choice,” she said to me. Her tone indicated she knew I was planning to leave.

“I know, and I thank you with all my heart, but my home is with the Ordinaries. That is where I need to be right now.” I watched her as she slowly stood and came to stand in front of me. “Well, maybe someday, when the child is old enough, you can come to visit.” She was attempting to smile in order to comfort me and her voice was laced with hope. “I would love too. Who knows, I may get there and realize I belong here. You never know what the future holds,” I replied smiling back at her.

I went back to my room where I removed my mother’s clothing and replaced it with my jeans and Bon Jovi T-shirt. I packed what I had left in my back pack before I went to find my grandparents to say goodbye. I found them in the great room with Denali and Viviana. Hugs, kisses, and words of encouragement and love were exchanged before I told them it was time for me to go. Denali wanted to escort me to the portal room, which I thought was strange since it was only two flights of stair up. I didn’t argue though, I just followed him.

It wasn’t until we reached the room with the drawings that Denali finally spoke. “I know you have to go, I understand why, but know you have a home and family here.”

“I know and thank you for all you have done for me.”

“I keep thinking I should have done something differently, maybe things wouldn’t have ended this way.”

“It was nothing you did Denali, you tried just as I tried and everyone else for that matter. We can’t keep blaming ourselves for what happened. It happened and now we must move on.”

“I want you to know that I am going to look for him Lilly. I am going to find out what happened back there. I will stop Kelsha if I must. I will try my best to send Shep home to you.” His blue eyes were glossy and full of determination as he spoke to me. I hadn’t expected him to look for Shep, but was grateful and relieved that he was. “Thank you Denali. Be safe please!I love you.” I kissed him on the cheek before turning to the fake wall and pushing it aside. As I stepped inside the room I looked back at Denali, “You can always come see me in the Ordinary world you know.”

“Yeah well I just might do that. Goodbye Lilly.”

“Goodbye Denali.”

The Beginning

Posted by Angie Merriam on April 27, 2011 at 4:56 PM Comments comments (0)

Wow, what a big week this has been for Neveah! I am so excited by the jump in sales and the lovely reviews I can hardly stand it. To think, this story sat on the shelves of my mind for years before I comitted to writing it down.

I have loved writing since high school and spent many nights pouring my heart out in poetry. My love of writing coincided with many things-my love of music, movies, and most importantly boys. I met my husband at the tender age of 17 and before long we were a family. By the time I was 20 I had 2 wonderful little boys and at 21 we finally married. Life was tough in the beginning for us. Money was always tight to the point of being dirt poor, but we were generally happy. Our lives took many turns over the years, some very heartbreaking turns, yet my husband and I stuck together. We have since been "together" for nearly 17 years, married 11 years, and have added a wonderful little girl to our family.

It was my husband that sparked my interest in writing again. We were discussing our children, and though I can't remember the exact topic, I remember what he said to me, "Hun, you need a hobby"! I was slightly offended by this as I felt I did many things for our family, how on earth would I fit a hobby into my busy life? He continued on as though sensing my immediate annoyance, "The boys will be grown and out on their own soon, leaving us with one child at home and she too will be grown before we know it. What are you going to do when they are not here for you to care for? You should find something you like and do it," he finished, rather smugly I thought. He was 100% correct though, and I knew it.

I didn't have to think long. I loved music, but can't sing; I can't sew, knit, crochet or anything that may involve needles and fabric; I can't draw to save my life.......but writing, that I love. I have long since imagined different stories in my mind, mostly while commuting for work. I had many ideas for stories, books, poetry, ect.....Neveah was already in my mind and had been for quit some time. The more I thought about writing it down, the more I fell in love with the characters and the story took on a life of its own. I wrote the first book in 3 months and spent the next 3 months editing. Now, I may love to write, I don't love to edit. I can't afford to hire one, so many countless hours were spent reading, fixing, reading, fixing and doing it some more. I still missed a ton and was fortunate enough to have someone offer to help me edit and she did a great job.

I decided to go the self publish route because I wanted my story out there. I did research and chose what I thought was the best way of getting my story to readers. I have made mistakes, and I learn daily lessons, but this journey has been amazing! I would love one day to have a traditional publisher and plan to query agents, but for now I just love knowing people are reading my story and for the most part they are liking it.

(Stay tuned to hear how I self published)

Angie Merriam

The paperbacks have arrived

Posted by Angie Merriam on March 21, 2011 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Well, after re-format after re-format I finally got it right(I hope)! I came home over the weekend to find a box of Neveah books sitting waiting for me! Yes, I did squeel just a little and quickly took them out to show anyone who wanted to see! It's safe to say I am really excited! I couldn't be happier with the way it turned out and even if I only sell to friends and family I am super proud! The weekend also brought some good writing time. I feel like a made some head way on Standing Broken. I gotta get in gear, I promised to have it done in the Spring! Don't forget to 'like' Neveah on facebook and follow me on goodreads and twitter! Happy Monday!

My Playlist for Neveah A Broken Forever

Posted by Angie Merriam on December 29, 2010 at 1:38 PM Comments comments (1)

1. Born to be my baby-Bon Jovi

2. Avalanche-David Cooke

3. Always be my baby-David Cooke version

4. Keep the faith-Bon Jovi

5. Superman Tonight-Bon Jovi

6. What about now-Daughtry

7. It's your love-Faith Hill and Tim McGraw

8. This aint a love song-Bon Jovi

9. Life goes on-Poison

10. Let it sign-Robert Pattison

11. The Glory of love-Peter Cetera

12. You're the inspirtation-Chicago

13. Feels like tonight-Daughtry

14. I'm yours-Jason Mraz

15. Home Sweet Home-Motley Crue

16. The Sweetest Thing-Juice Newton

17. We're all alone-Rita Coolidge

18. The Glory of love-Peter Cetera

19. Smile-Unkle Kracker

20. Real fine place-Sara Evans

More to come