blog, blogger, blogging, writer, writing

Silver Dagger Book Tours: Guest Post

Hey guys, how’s it going? Yesterday kicked off a second blog tour for Dear You and I thought I’d share a guest post I did over on Silver Dagger’s site.

http://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/dear-you-book-tour-and-giveaway

What’s Good World!?

Hey guys, how’s life treating you?

My intensions for this quick blog post is to introduce myself, give you the 411 with what’s what.

So to start, my name is Derra or as my friends call me D. I was born in Covina California, I have moved around a few times, but have remained a Cali chica livin’ that SoCal life of summer days spent at the beach and 50% of my diet being a mix of mexican food (carnitas tacos) and In-N-Out burgers, lol. Growing up I wanted to be a fashion designer as well as a drummer in a punk rock band. I was and still am a big fan of bands like Blink 182, Green Day, Pink, Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, Twenty One Pilots and Artists like Beyonce, Lady GaGa and Eminem.

How writing came into play is crazy. I had always enjoyed writing since a youngster, just jotting down the random thoughts that spun in my imaginitive mind, yet as I got older writing became more of an escape.

An escape from living life with a rare disorder, an escape from the surgeries, the bullies, my anxiety and an escape from my suicidal thoughts. I am not the most open person, emotions such as sadness, anger, grief, stress…these emotions place my mouth in lock down mode while my mind is racing DK style. Writing started as an innocent hobby, then morphed into an escape, then transformed into a career choice. More than that though, writing has helped me to heal many mental wounds, it has allowed my voice to speak, it has allowed me to take my broken story and share it with those who are going through their own storms. When life knocks us down, when we live in the darkness, we feel as though we are alone, but we’re not. I know first hand just how difficult and nerve wracking it is to speak up, to ask for help. I never understood why I survived as long as I have, especially with a disorder that was destined to kill me years ago and even though I still struggle with the reasoning as to why I am still resideing on this planet, I am certain of one aspect…I am here to to show the world that broken doesn’t mean damaged.

My name is Derra Nicole Sabo. I am a daughter, a sister, a best friend, a foodie, a coffee addict, a bookworm, a beach baby, a music lover and movie buff. I am a writer, a blogger and a survivor.

I am an underdog with a story to tell and I hope that you’ll take a few moments to listen.

blog, blogging, life, writer, writing

Four Years Ago

Four years ago…

Sitting here on the cooling sands, watching the sun kiss the moon goodnight, a fleet of memories and realities slam my mind. As the breeze calls for my hoodie to cover my chilled bones, these tears begin to trickle down my freckled cheeks. The thought of my demise never bothered me, this type of life that was cursed upon me includes death as a forefront thought that never takes a break. Yet here I am, shivering at the thought that death has finally kissed my forehead.

My past flashing by, the memories of birthdays and holidays spiral by. Watergun fights, family Bbq’s, endless beach trips, graduations, family game nights, concerts and hockey games.

Past scars temporarily unstitching themselves causing flashes of surgeries, bullies and dark times that tried to break me and damn near did.

I survived. Everything the world hurled at me and here I am still dancing.

Then my mind shifted to all the future beautiful moments I’m never going to witness.

Sharing my story with others, being their jumpsuits. Turning up the volume in ending the stigma that continues to stifle the suicidal hearts. I had plans…

Is the toxicity of my last relationship going to be what I have to try and consider love?

I’m never going to find true love, to have that day of saying “I do” to my “Jack” in front of our family and close friends…I’ll never have kids, to see them grow up, smile as they wake Christmas morning, to make pancakes with them on weekends, to watch them fall in love with the beach while enjoying an gooey s’more and bonfires. I’ll never get to cheer them on at their sports games, school plays, graduations. I’ll never get to spoil them on their birthdays or hand over those keys when they get their license.

The thought of watching my kids find their soulmates, having families of their own and being the Grandma who gets to spoil her grandkids is fading with every tear. The wish of sitting on the front porch with my partner when we’re 80 years old, sipping tea and remenicsing down memory lane was vastly slipping into the land of the forgotten.

These dreams of mine hung in the balance right beside these decisions I need to sign, seal and deliver.

Do I pull myself back into the world I swore I’d never reenter?

Do I do morph, fight and conquer once again? Do I have enough energy, enough will to do so?

What if this battle isn’t victorious…all the research I’ve done (from dietary changes to vitamins, supplements) what if it fails. Do I cave to professionals or do I punch out (PAS) while I’m still myself?

Every memory played in my mind like the most beautifully intense movie I’ve ever seen.

Every broken dream flickered in my eyes.

……………..

Four years later…turns out this world and I aren’t finished with one another yet…

Perhaps that kiss from death was for good luck in the future…

Everytime I think I’m done, something pulls me back in…

I just wish I knew what that something is because I’d like to say thank you…

I’ll be right there, but you’ll have to grab my throat and lift me in the air…if you need anyone… -Twenty One Pilots

blog, blogger, blogging, culture, life, relationships, writer, writing

Rebel

It’s crazy… I feel like more of an outcast in a community that I’m supposed to feel belonged in than I do as a human residing in the rest of the world.

Judgement is felt more amongst “my people” than it is from those who see me purchasing my Starbucks and shopping at Target.

I find myself more and more curious as to why that is…

Maybe it’s because I am a rebel.

The one who chooses to defy the statistics…the one who chooses to share my story in hopes of helping others rather than play the “victim” to gain free advancements.

Maybe it is because I live my life according to my own views rather than remain trapped inside ORs as the surgeon’s guinea pig because he knows what’s best.

Or, maybe it is mainly because I choose to find the silver lining at the end of a shitty day, knowing that tomorrow is a fresh start, rather than pull everyone into my shit storm so they’ll feel sorry for me.

So, if I don’t fit into “your world” then where do I fit in…where do I belong…

I fit into the smiles and laughter of my family and friends. I fit into the star studded universe where my Guardian Angel resides, watching over me. I fit into these bones of mine that are made up of molecules from my ancestors. I fit into the empty space inside of my future love’s heart.

I belong right here, amongst the sand, the ocean and this cotton candy sunset.

I am a rebel.

Jumpsuit, Jumpsuit cover me… -Twenty One Pilots

blog, blogger, life, love, relationships, writer, writing

2 in the Morning

They say that if you pay close attention to the universe it actually sends you signs, whether towards your professional path or personal path.

As of lately I have been meditating for 10 minutes a day, mainly as an aid in helping with my anxiety and I’ve taken up Yoga for fitness plus it’s a great stress reliever. See, I’ve been off my personal game and I hate feeling so off.

Career wise I’m moving along at a balanced pace. Recently I did a week long blog tour for Dear You, will be doing a second blog tour in a couple of weeks, but this time it is a month long, I have pretty much finished my latest manuscript and am researching publishers to submit it to. I’ve started dabbling my hand at a fictional novel along with a couple other new opportunities that have come my way. Slowly, but surely the writing gig is growing strong.

My personal game, well I’ll be honest, I’m struggling. I have no queries with myself persay, I know who I am and what I want in life. I’ve rebuilt my confidence and have finally gotten to that beautiful place of inner contentment. It’s been one hell of a journey taken to get to this point, a few storms nearly wiped me out, but I’m still here standing strong and grateful for the whole experience thus far.

And yet, when that infamous 2am hour hits my fears seem to invade my mind and feed off of my deep insecurities.

The other night while sitting on the patio, sippin’ on a cup of “life juice” and soaking in the lyrics to Let You Down by NF, I rolled up the sleeves of my hoodie as I was getting a bit warm and my attention was drawn to the ink on my right arm. Embedded under my skin is every defining moment of my life, it breaks my heart to know that every one of those defined moments was a storm. However, every storm brings a rainbow. This ink represents both how the world tried to end me and how I survived. This somehow shrinks down when that clock strikes 2.

You want to know where my mind goes at that hour, what that warrior ink temporarily morphs into?

At 2am that ink becomes my demise, I run my left hand across that tatt and wonder if this is actually the reason why I haven’t found love yet. Is this actually my label signifying that I am “damaged” rather than a “warrior”? Will certain traits such as my personality, intelligence, my heart ever count for anything? Or are physical features the only aspect that is priority? If so then I am truly fucked, all because of these scars from those surgeries and a life cursed by a rare disorder. All of which I have zero control over. A life that I never asked for, but took and made it my own.

I’m beginning to wonder if my fate will ever mirror the image of Jack & Sally that’s embedded on my back.

Honestly, real talk here…I’m losing this tight grip I have on my faith in ever finding my missing piece.

See, I’ve been searchin’ for somethin’ out there, when is it comin’? Tell me what to tell myself… -Machine Gun Kelly

blog, blogger, blogging, life, love, relationships, writer, writing

Lone Wolf

Do you do well being alone…?

I do better being alone, or so I thought. See, after my last relationship I convinced myself that I was meant to be single, that I was better off being alone. I’ll admit that being alone hurts like hell, but I brainwashed myself into believing that this pain in my heart was worth feeling over the pain of another breaking my heart. And honestly, in a twisted way, I was okay with that.

However, a few months ago a friend made a comment that shook my clouded outlook.

“I love you girl, but you need to be told this…you don’t do well alone. I know you’ve convinced yourself that you’re okay solo, but you’re not. You’re someone who is meant to find your better half, to have that cheesy happily ever after love. This whole “lone wolf” road you’re going down is internally killing you.”

Her comment hit kinda hard, but in a positive way. If nothing else I know when I’m wrong, it doesn’t happen too often, but I have no problem admitting it. The fear of taking that vulnerable leap again is what has allowed me to continually trick my mind into believing I was meant to be alone. The self inflicted pain in my heart, well that wasn’t and isn’t as easy to ignore.

Finding that “someone” is scary enough, but to find someone who will love and protect all of you, including the broken pieces, is down right terrifying. Especially if you’ve been twice burned.

All of me believes that my friend is right, but I can’t help but wonder if I missed out on my chance at love due to being that lone wolf.

Better off alone…foolish thinking.

And when I fall to rise with stardust in my eyes
In the backbone of night, I’m combustible
Dust in the fire when I can’t sleep a wink, I’m too tired…-P!ATD

blog, blogger, blogging, family, life, love, writer, writing

Betty and Herm

Current time…12:04 am. Sitting in bed as the cool breeze sneaks through the window’s screen, I find myself scrolling through the many photos that were snapped during this last holiday season. Frozen memories with friends and family safely tucked away in the cloud of my phone. Two pictures catch my attention in a “mind blown” kind of way causing a curious smirk to announce itself. One photo is of me with my Great Uncle Herm and the other with my Great Aunt Betty. These are two amazingly kind and wise souls, true salt of the earth humans. They are both getting up there in age, rockin’ the 90’s.

Anytime I talk to my Aunt Betty she tells me that getting old is for the birds.
My Uncle Herm, that man doesn’t age..I swear he looks the same as he did when he was in his 60’s. He’ll tell you that it’s due to coffee, the man loves a good cup of coffee (guess the coffee bean doesn’t fall to far from the tree).

This past New Year’s Eve I was able to visit my Great Aunt and Uncle, which was the best part of my holiday. My family and I spent the week of Christmas in VA and after I spent New Year’s week with my cousins in Maryland. My cuzzbuzz Julie, her oldest son Berk and I hit D.C. for a day of museums and art galleries. On New Year’s eve, we all went to PA to visit my Aunt and Uncle. They are both pretty sick, so visiting them while I was on the east coast was extremely important to me. Food and great conversation, it was the best day. As my cousins and I gathered our coats, as hugs, kisses and goodbyes were exchanged my Aunt looks at me and nearly made me cry with what she said. “With everything you’ve been through, you have become quite a lovely young woman.”Out of every compliment I’ve been given and any future compliment, that one tops them all because she is one of very few people who knows everything that I’ve been through, she is one of the very few that actually knows the unguarded me.

What my Aunt Betty said to me means everything, I am truly honored to be one of her Hunnybunches. My Uncle Herm also gave his wise advice…”Keep causing trouble and stay away from guys, they’re no good.”

life goals

Oh yeah, back to that mind blowing thought, those two amazing humans have been married for 71 years! Holy shit! Talk about an actual life goal. For 71 years those two have created an untouchable life goal filled with family, love and endless memories. You don’t hear of any couple being married for that long these days, heck, these days you’re lucky if your marriage lasts past the first year and why? Honestly, I think that no one wants to ride out storms anymore. You love each other during the golden sunsets, but anytime a storm enters your relationship y’all are way too eager to bail. Part of being in a real, solid relationship is not only holding onto one another during the good times, it’s also about holding onto one another when fighting the storms. With every after calmness of any storm is where you two become stronger.

Falling in love with your partner means falling in love with all of who they are, from the spark in their eyes to the scars hidden underneath the mud. Exchanging those infamous vows, aka promises, means that you’ll always be by their side, within the light…during the darkness and every shade in between.

If there’s one lesson I’ve learned from Betty and Herm Gundrum, it’s that true love means that you never give up on each other. They never gave up and here they are 71 years strong.

I know that we joke about life goals…a concealer that makes you look like you got 8 hours of sleep and had four cups of coffee.. #lifefoal. But, the real life goal is that mind blown kinda love people…71 frickin years, that’s a #lifegoal. I strive to have that kinda love. That’s my life goal.

Both my Great Aunt Betty and Great Uncle Herm have recently passed away. Herm passed April 27th and Betty passed May 6th. As broken as my heart is, the knowledge knowing that they are no longer in pain and are together once again is extremely comforting.

“That ultra kinda love you never walk away from, you’re just the last of the real ones…”

author, blog, blogger, blogging, book review, tuesdaybookblog, Uncategorized, writer, writing

Dear You | Storyteller Alley

http://www.storytelleralley.com/content/dear-you

Dear You is a collection of letters written to the people and events that have made the most impactful influences in my life. This book started out as a personal series of letters to the people I love. Letters filled with memories and life lessons. I began writing these letters after finding out that I was very sick. As each letter was written, certain events and memories began popping into my mind which inspired more letters. Dear You is my way of sharing an underdog story about a girl who was never meant to live, but did. I’ve survived surgeries, bullies, depression and being suicidal. I’ve seen this world at its brightest and at its darkest. Living with a rare disorder has allowed me to see this crazy thing we call life in a whole different perspective. The main message embedded within Dear You is my message to those out there who feel like giving up, who feel alone or forgotten, those who feel lost…you are worth everything this life has to offer, never ever give up. The book opens and closes with a letter i have addressed to the reader…hence, Dear You.

Author Bio

My name is Derra Sabo, I am a Cali native who stumbled into writing as a way to escape the daily life as the freak born with a rare disorder. That disorder being Epidermolysis Bullosa, or EB for a non tongue twisted pronunciation. I was the kid who was never meant to live past the age of 14 and here I am 33 years young. The best way to describe my life is nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. My family and friends are my everything. My scars and past demons are my inspiration to never give up. While most of my insomnia nights are filled with writing and tunes vibrating through my beats headphones, my days are my time to spend with my squad, cooking, movies, reading, blogging and spending as much time as possible at the beach. I’m the extroverted introvert who loves a good sunset and a caramel macchiato.

Connect with Derra on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon

  • Critic Score:92/100

    Our Review Ranking:

    A Great Read

Our Review

Our Review

Cover:

This cover design does not do this great story the justice it deserves.

Cover design problems:

The background is blurry and is actually a problem for the eye to view easily.

The objects super-imposed in the foreground: a laptop, a tablet and pen, a vase with feathers in it, and a cup of coffee, all look like they were drag and dropped onto the cover from a collection of emojis or computer icons. The size ratio and distance between any and all of them in relation to each other is badly out of proportion. The computer itself actually looks like it’s floating instead of sitting on the desk, that’s made worse by the shadows on the edges of all the items not matching one another.

None of the cover elements reflect any part of the story or the struggle within the pages of this book.

Cover typography is not bad. Size of font for the book title as well as name of author are fine.

Book Blurb:

The blurb for this book is a good introduction to the story inside. It draws interest by speaking of particular events included in the book as well as the promise of helpful advice gained through the experiences of the author.

There is a typo in the last sentence of the book blurb. The “I” should be capitalized.

Formatting :

There are some problems with formatting.

Most of the front matter is in correct order , but the introduction is the first thing the reader sees in the book and it’s not labeled as an ‘Introduction‘.

The “Dear Beach” letter is written as though it is one of the Chapters or “letters” and it is placed before the title page of the book.

There is no Table of Contents included . Since the Chapters or “letters” are each very distinctly labeled sections of the book, it would be good to list them in a table of contents.

Pages are numbered well, beginning with page 11 where chapter one(the first letter entitled “Dear You”) begins.

Some paragraphs are indented, some are not.

Paragraphs and sentences all run together in block form, making the book difficult to read.

There are paragraphs with double space between them when they should be touching.

Grammar & Spelling:

Grammar and spelling in this book runs just passably fair. I found a several errors for grammar and spelling as well as quite a few problems regarding sentence structure, missing words, and missing and/or incorrect puntuation.

Character Development:

To say that character development is a big part of this book would be an understatement! In fact, I would say that this book is predominantly aboutcharacter development.
All of the ‘letters’ in this book from the author to each individual list in great detail the ups and downs of the things they’ve gone through together which have developed their characters in one way or another over time.
It outlines this development of each character including that of the author in a very clear, and detailed way. As the story develops so do it’s characters.

The underlying theme that threads it’s way through this book is one of the main characters’ caring and unswerving devotion to others as well as to herself. It demonstrates a continued growth and change of inner self.

Plot & Structure:

The structure of the book is decent. Throughout most of the book the author is narrating each letter to family members and friends and you read them as an outsider looking in. Further into the book the letters change and actually feel as though they’re written in the presence of the reader, as though this was the final point of the work as a whole.

The plot of the book ,one of struggle and recovery , moves well all the way through without becoming monotonous or repetitive.

Pacing:

Story is paced well all the way through . Each letter shows a new aspect of the family and friends that surround the author. The more you read ,the better understanding you have of where the author is coming from with different comments and outlooks over time. The reasons why certain things are said or done become clear as it progresses.

Use of Language:

The use of language is fair. The book uses the language of the day and is easy to understand . Even the brief and infrequent use of the word “ain’t” is acceptable given the conceptual layout of this book. It speaks the lanugauge of the common man in today’s times.

Originality:

I find no problems with the originality of this book. It reads as a story unique to it’s author while reaching out to those in similar circumstances.
This book provides an interesting look into the mind of a children growing up in the digital age. Conversations between siblings via digital means such as I-pods and music shared via digital devices etc, all reveal an inside look of how kids see the world in the time they’ve been born into.
It also provides a look at someone dealing with many troubles at a very young age and overcoming them to live a good life.

Overall Readability:

Overall , I can say I enjoyed reading this book. In spite of the writing problems it had, my interest in the storyline kept me turning pages to see what was next.

A Note From the Critic:

I enjoyed reading this book and I wasn’t sure I would when I started it. It turned out to be a well written story related in a very personable way that is friendly to the reader. I believe it will do what the author intended and be a help to others that are going through similar difficulties in life and I can recommend it as good in that regard.
Toward the end of the book, in the letter entitled “Dear World” the authors remembrance of Nine-Eleven is a touching tribute to the strength of our nation and it’s people on a very dark day that forever changed the way we see the world.
There are quite a few problems inside as far as errors in grammar and formatting, as well as the occasional typo,bad sentence structure or spelling mistake . This surprises me as I see on the title page that it has been published with a traditional publishing house and I expected they would have a round of proofreading for each book they put out. It could use just a little polishing, but it is overall a great read and I am happy to have read it!