Thursday, March 28, 2019

Why I Murdered my highschool sweetheart by Juliana Aragon Fatula

Dear Reader,

I'm writing my first murder mystery. Mystery is my favorite genre for reading. I've always been in awe of great mystery writers, thrillers, who dun nits. So naturally my first novel had to be about someone getting killed and someone solving the mystery. What I didn't plan in my brainstorming was to write a comedy. But for some crazy reason, I began trying to make homicide funny. I opened my big mouth and let everyone know how I planned to write a great story about a great murder.

In my naivete, I didn't realize how much hard work goes into writing a great story. I made the mistake of getting caught up in the politics of the nation during the 2018 election and fell into a depression that turned into an anger, that turned into a revenge. I wanted to make a point with my story about greed, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, all the phobias.

My anger swirled and twirled into a cyclone of hate and I set out to destroy anyone I felt a strong hatred for, like the lessons I'd learned in my 60 plus years had just gone out the window because of my strong political beliefs. I doomed my writing by getting too caught up in history making and not adhering to the writing rules. Just tell the story. So after much deliberation  and reflection, I've decided to let go of my anger and hatred for the vile men and women of our nation who take pleasure in destroying what is great about our country, our diversity.

I found a couple of friends on Facebook from high school and demonized them. I took my revenge on their nasty behavior and killed them in my novel. Ha. I thought. That will teach you to mess with me. But now I realize my emotions took over and I made it personal.

So after writing my draft and submitting it to a couple of trusted comadres to critique, I waited patiently for feedback. One of my readers asked me not to kill my high school sweetheart and to write a love story instead. One critique took me another direction and wanted my murder mystery to be about empowering women and telling the story of the women from the safe house.

I did some soul searching and realized where I went wrong. I let my desire to tell a political story interfere with my original plan to write a murder mystery. So now I'm back at it. I took some time away from my  novel to think about the story and what I truly want to convey to my readers. It's not about hate, revenge, bitterness. It's about love, redemption, salvation, survival, and setting an example for young women to never give up on having a happy life.

Even though I've been close to death, incarcerated, addicted, abused, selfish, neglectful, vindictive, jealous, I am a survivor and that's what I need to write about. Not the ugly side of life. The beautiful journey of one woman who rode down the wrong path and headed for destruction but found a true love, a love for herself, and changed the path of her trajectory toward helping other survivors. My story is not a love story. It is a story of survival. A story of tragedy turned into a miracle. A story of a woman falling in love with a couple of Border Collies and finding happiness in saving women from tragedy.

My eyes have been opened and now I'm prepared to write the story I alone can tell. The story I've been creating all of my life. The story of a strong, proud, flawed woman who wants to help others. This is the story I'm writing. I've learned so much in my 60 plus years. I want to share that wisdom and knowledge with the next generation of women who struggle everyday in the world we've created. Women are the answer to survival. If I can write a great story about a woman who overcame her flaws and made a difference in other women's lives, I can tell the true story, not the facts, but the truth.


  1. Best blog post EVER! Sounds like you've learned from your mistakes that's what strive for keep on truckin' - love you prima!

  2. After a similar tweaking of my PTSD by the election and continuing aftermath, I too have recommitted myself to my art. You are an inspiration.