Saturday, May 11, 2019

Congratulations! You've Discovered the Mother's Day Depression Post!

The more I write about grief and depression, the more followers I lose. So why do I do it? Why do something that seems, on the surface, pretty bad for my writing career? Because I'm finally realizing there's truth to that old saying I never used to believe: if your work helps just one person, it's worth doing. Even if fair-weather fans bail, I'm here for YOU, you dear, darling ONE person who needs this post.

Yes, it might be a bummer! Read it if you want, don't if you don't. I'm not forcing anyone. Do what's right for you.

I want to talk about Mother's Day, because it's tomorrow, and it's on my mind.

As you probably know, my grandmother died six months ago. My cousin died just a couple months before her. I think that's all the background you need.

This'll be the first Mother's Day since my grandma's death, and it's hitting me hard. Not just my grandmother's absence (and I do miss her hugely), but the feeling that my family is disintegrating without her. She was the glue. She was the matriarch. Without her, how do we hold together?

For the past ten or twenty years, the whole family's been assembling at my grandmother's house on Mother's Day. It was never a planned event, like Christmas and Grandma's birthday, which were the other two occasions on which you could be sure to see all the aunts, uncles, cousins, babies. Everybody just sort of showed up at Grandma's house because she was the mother of the family. Where else would we spend Mother's Day?

My grandmother never wanted a "final resting place." She didn't believe in that sort of thing. So she doesn't have one. I really wish she did, because I want to visit her, especially on a day like Mother's Day. Although, that's the whole reason she didn't want a gravesite: she wouldn't be there, so why would we waste our time going there to see her?

Why? Because there's nowhere else to go...

I watched this TV show called Seatbelt Psychic, where a ride share driver who is also a medium does readings while he's driving people places. One thing he said was that our dead loved ones are always around us. It really upset me to hear that, because all I could think was: if they're around me, why can't I feel them?

I can never feel them. All I feel is alone.

Perhaps I shouldn't feel alone. I do have family. I have my mother and my siblings. That's who I'll be spending Mother's Day with. And I do feel fortunate, especially as a queer person, to have a solid relationship with my family. I know I'm lucky to have more siblings than a lot of people do, these days. A big family is nice. That's why I want to spend special occasions with my many, many aunts and uncles and cousins and their children.

After the death of my cousin this summer, I found out that he looked forward to our family gatherings as much as I did. They were a high point on his calendar. You make so many assumptions about other people's lives, you know? You assume they've got all this cool stuff going on. I'm sure people think that about me, too, that I've got this cool queer life doing cool queer stuff. The truth is that I look forward to returning library materials. I look forward to chatting with friendly cashiers. I don't have much going on, and depression steals your will to seek out new things to do.

My cousin was depressed. That's something else I didn't know about him. I didn't know that until after he died.

Sweet asked why I don't organize a big family event for Mother's Day, if I want one so badly. It's a nice idea, but it would have required more energy than I currently have available. Took me two weeks just to pin down my siblings. Maybe next year I'll be more emotionally stable. Maybe then I'll be able to take initiative. Then again, part of me just wants to be a kid (a 40-year-old kid...) who shows up at the party and doesn't have to do any of the organizing.

I love my family. I don't want us to fall apart. But, my mental health being what it is, I don't know how to keep us together.

Friday, May 3, 2019

In Shadow: The #Audiobook

Is it psychological or paranormal? You be the judge.

My novel IN SHADOW centres around a young woman who really needs to process her emotions. She's buried a lot of really painful stuff so deep down she actively denies its existence. How does her pain manifest itself? In her shadow--a shadow with a mind of its own... one that can detach from her entirely to fuck her up the ass!

Or is it something else entirely? Is it the ghost of someone who hurt her deeply? Is it a force even greater than one individual? How can we ever know for sure?

In Shadow
An Audiobook written and narrated by Giselle Renarde

As far as Clover’s concerned, she’s got two choices: remain an outcast in the small town where she’s lived her whole life, or move clear across the country like her prodigal stepbrother Mason. Clover is forever paying for her father’s sins at home, but the idea of leaving is too daunting to imagine. When Mason comes home for their sister’s wedding, his presence reignites Clover’s past. A dark force follows her everywhere she goes. Even in dreams, there’s no escaping a hungry shadow...


...and many other audiobook retailers and streaming systems! Check for In Shadow wherever you listen to audiobooks. Check your local library, too!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

When the Student is Ready...

The other day I was listening to a tarot podcast, when the podcaster mentioned she's the type of person who is often accused of reading too much into things. She said she analyzes everyday events as though they were meaningful, because, in her mind, they are meaningful.

I tend to do the same thing. If you were writing a paper about some literary novel, you would read significant insights into the most mundane details. You'd assume the author inserted those details intentionally, to represent a character's state of mind, or to foreshadow upcoming events, or something.

(As an author--at least, as the kind of author I am--I can attest that a huge amount of symbolism makes its way into the text via the subconscious. I'm not generally thinking about what every little thing represents when I'm working on a first draft. In fact, I make an effort not to think too much about what it means while I'm creating.)

The aforementioned podcaster went on to mention that when we hear a saying like "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear," we assume that "teacher" is going to be an actual human being, someone who will flutter into our lives and take on a guru role.

More likely, the teacher will appear in many forms simultaneously. It won't be a person. It'll be many people. It'll be a situation and a book and a TV show. It'll be an interaction with a cashier, with a co-worker, with someone you meet by chance. You don't have to wait for the Wise Woman to show up and guide you.  You are constantly being guided.  You just have to pay attention.

Last night I attended an event where a young man read a short piece of writing composed by his late grandfather.  This piece was beautifully written. I couldn't possibly do it justice here, but I want you to know we're talking about some fine-ass prose.

He wrote about a train journey. When it begins, you're entertained enough by the views, by the people around you, by the simple fact of being on a train. After a time, you start pacing the aisles, wondering how far you are from the station. When you get to the station, that's when the good times really begin. That's when you'll have arrived.

The truth, he writes, is that there is no station. It is an illusion.

This message has been coming at me, lately, from multiple sources. It just so happens that I LOVE trains (my maternal grandfather worked on the railroad), so this incarnation of the message struck me hardest.

I've been living a life without goals for a long time, now, and it's felt very empty. Now that I finally have a goal in sight--and a big one, at that--I'm super-focused on achieving that one thing that'll bring me happiness at long last. Meanwhile, as I wait for that goal, I find myself feeling antsy, wanting to get there faster, wanting to be there NOW.

One thing I've learned is that I need the goal in sight. I know what my life looked like when I had nothing to look forward to: empty, desolate, almost uninhabitable.

But the more I get lost in dreams of what life will be like when I reach the station, the less attention I pay to the little wonders along the way.

Without my goal, I'd be lost. Even if it is an illusion, it's a necessary illusion.  Now I need to learn to enjoy the journey. There's no sense feeling miserable along the way.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Giselle's Big Box of #BDSM #Erotica #Audiobook
Giselle's Big Box of BDSM
15 Erotic Stories
by Giselle Renarde
Narrated by Giselle Renarde

Fifteen erotic tales of discipline, domination, spanking, submission, Alphas, Femdom, bondage and more by award-winning author Giselle Renarde. Giselle’s erotic fiction has appeared in over 100 anthologies, including prestigious collections like Best Bondage Erotica, Under Her Thumb, Serving Him & The Big Book of Bondage. Enjoy some of Giselle’s best BDSM erotica together in one collection!

Find your copy of the audiobook at iTunes:
Google Play:
Audible US:
Audible UK:
If you can't get enough audio erotica, become my patron for erotic stories every Friday, written and narrated by me!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

How To Get Out of Bed in the Morning

As you're probably aware, I am a very depressed person.

Last year, during all those Black Friday sales, I bought myself a tablet. I'm reluctantly dragging myself into the technology of today, I suppose.  Anyway, the only app I've installed so far is a mood tracker. It's been very useful in helping me check in with my emotions, but the reason I mention it is that after the first 14 days it was like "Hey, so... you're experiencing a severe depressive episode and you should contact a doctor and psychotherapist as soon as possible."

Funny, because my reaction was kind of like... you call THIS a severe depressive episode? Hang on to your hat, mood tracker!

Don't be too concerned about me--my mood has lifted significantly since then. And I'm going to tell you about one thing that's helped tremendously.

When I'm super-depressed, getting out of bed is a challenge. Big-time.  I wake up thinking "What's the point?"  And I often can't bring one to mind.

I recently read a book called UNCERTAINTY: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance. There were a few useful insights in there, most notably a description of something called Process Visualization.

With Process Visualization, instead of picturing yourself getting the thing you want (winning a race, landing that promotion, getting a million-dollar windfall), you envision yourself going through the steps it'll take get there toward a goal.

For me, the goal of every day is to get out of bed and do some work (writing during the day, recording audio at night, the business of being an author in between), so I visualize myself starting my day as follows:

I get out of bed, I brew a pot of tea, sit down with a cup and read for a while. After that, I go to my computer and work on my current book. When I've written a chapter, I reward myself by washing dishes (a bubble bath for your hands, as my old Girl Guides leader used to say).

You know what? The simple act of visualizing myself doing those tasks is enough to encourage me out of bed. Once I've pictured myself doing it, I have direction. I can get up because I know what I'm going to do.

If you have trouble getting out of bed, give Process Visualization a try. I hope it works for you as well as it has for me.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

#Swinging and #Swapping #Erotica #Audiobook
7 Explicit Sex Stories
by Giselle Renarde
Narrated by Giselle Renarde

When one sex partner isn’t enough, it’s time to get swinging and swapping. In these seven stories, husbands share their wives with other men—and other women! Parties liven up when couples get wild. Bisexual roommates try a threesome. Anything can happen, and you’ll be amazed what does in Swinging and Swapping Erotica.

Included in this audiobook are the following short stories written and read by Giselle Renarde: The Couple with the Dragon Tattoo, Rainbow Night, Bisexual Roommate Butt Munch, One Wild Christmas Party, Separation Anxieties, Skyggen, and Wife Sandwich.

Mature Audiences Only.

Get the Swinging and Swapping Erotica audiobook from many online retailers, including iTunes:

Google Play:


This isn't an exhaustive list of links. The audiobook is also available from many other retailers and subscription services!
If you can't get enough audio erotica, become my patron for erotic stories every Friday, written and narrated by me!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Smashwords Read an Ebook Week Sale! March 3, 2019 - March 9, 2019

It's that time of year! Stock up on all those books you've been coveting during the Smashwords Read an Ebook Week Sale, March 3, 2019 - March 9, 2019!

The vast majority of my books are 50% off this week, including classic works and newer ones such as:

Find more books from me and my little Lexi at Smashwords: