The Masks We Wear (And The Ones We Merely Imagine)
Readers and Friends,
This issue of the Freewilds Gazette is going to address something that has had a direct and tremendous impact upon me, lately. This topic happens to coincide with one of the ongoing themes of the Saga of the Freewilds, too, so it seems appropriate to discuss it with you, here.
Over the past few years, pretty much every human being on the planet has had cause to wear a mask just to be able to participate in their own lives. However, I have begun to suspect that this is nothing new, and that for any of us to survive, much less thrive, in the modern world we have developed a habit of donning masks of a less obvious variety.
The Id, the Ego, and the Superego described by Freud have been joined by the online identity: the face we present to the larger, ethereal world through the Internet and social media.
People have been using creative liberties with their resumes and C.V.'s for a long time, trying to put their best foot forward and give themselves the best chance they can to seize new employment opportunities. We present ourselves in our online identities in much the same way. We don't share everything... just those elements of our lives that we want out there in the ether.
We wear a mask to show the world a version of us we would prefer them to see.
Omission isn't really a lie, so there isn't any reason we should feel guilt or shame about this. It makes a lot of sense to employ a measure of strategy when deciding what life events to share, what aspects of our lives to highlight, and which to keep to ourselves. It is actually healthy to compartmentalize ourselves a bit, to choose our audience and decide which elements of ourselves we would prefer that audience to perceive. Only a select few people will ever see the whole picture, peer behind that mask and see the real, unabashed 'us.'
It is like using cosmetics to hide blemishes or make us seem like younger, healthier, sexier versions of ourselves when we know we are going somewhere fancy, or might have our picture taken. We don't always necessarily wear designer suits or fancy dresses, but for that group of people, in that moment, we dress to give a lasting impression.
The only real problem is when people begin to place so much emphasis on these masks we wear that they lose sight of all those important things that lie beneath. Within. Some folks become a bit superficial, focusing on projecting an image over their own, genuine character. They try too hard to foster a persona, and in the process forget to just be a person.
On the flip side of that coin is a phenomenon called Impostor Syndrome.
Impostor Syndrome is a phenomenon in which a person fosters the belief that they are on the cusp of being revealed to be a fraud. They attribute their successes and achievements to outside sources or dumb luck, fail to recognize their own strengths, and see themselves as unworthy of the good things in their lives.
A lot of creative people struggle with depression and anxiety. When I began to take writing seriously, to pursue it with passion and effort, I did so in part because I found the pursuit itself therapeutic. Cathartic. After finishing my first novel and moving on to the second, I felt a bit of guilt publishing my work for people to read. I convinced myself that my books would be ignored, but that was okay because success was never the 'point.'
Then, some people read it. And they loved it, and expressed that love to me. I gained a following of sorts. I met some incredible people, a few of which have been overwhelmingly helpful to me in providing guidance in this whole independent novelist venture I have undertaken. Success may not have been the point (though in truth, I am so very proud of my books and I long for them to succeed), However, the more 'out there' I got, the more people knew my name and my face, the more my fears began to mount that it was all a fluke.
I began to fear that my mask was going to fall away, revealing the author, Michael Paul Scott, to be a secret failure only pretending, temporarily yet convincingly, to be talented.
It is a lie. I know this.
But just as depression and anxiety feed off of each other in their quest to drain all the color from a person's life, a phenomenon like Impostor Syndrome can threaten to snuff out one of the few, wonderfully bright aspects of that person's life.
The fact is, I am not wearing a mask as I write this to you, dear readers and friends. This isn't a manicured persona or selectively omissive version of me. This the real McCoy. I write books that I am proud of, and there is no shame in taking pride in that. Nor in myself.
I promise, not every newsletter will be so dense and personal... but this was a topic I felt a strong need to confront as I continue on this journey I started. For whatever it is worth, and I hope it is a lot, I am so glad to know you all and hope you will continue to show me your support and encouragement.
Official Book Trailer for STORMSEND
This is part of a series of newsletters that I will be providing both as an e-mail to readers who subscribe and as posts to the blog on my website: freewilds.net
Have you had a chance to read STORMSEND - Saga of the Freewilds, Book One, yet? If not, please consider picking up a copy for yourself! It is available now on Amazon.com in Paperback, Hardcover, and Kindle eBook formats!
VAGABOND is the continuation of the adventures of disgraced former Detective Constable Lukarde Alfans as he makes his way south to the beleaguered coastal city of Westport in the forbidden region of the world known as the Freewilds. It is available to Preorder NOW in Kindle eBook format, with a scheduled official release date of June 30, 2022!
If you are interested in a free Special Preview Edition of VAGABOND, you are in luck! You can download it now in PDF, ePub, & MOBI formats. This exclusive free offer includes the Prologue, as well as Chapters One and Two.
...and if you like what you've read and decide you'd like to read the rest, and wouldn't mind giving me an honest (and fingers crossed, positive) review between now and the official launch date of June 30th, 2022, you can sign up to be an Advanced Review Copy reader and get the whole book for free, just for your promise to provide me an honest review before the deadline!
The Special Preview Edition of VAGABOND is also available through the following giveaway events:
FLIGHTS OF FANTASY: a Collection. Get these books fast! This promotion ends June 2nd!
ETERNAL WORLDS: a Collection. Get these books fast! This promotion ends May 31st!
Middle-aged and starting over is the last thing I ever wanted on my bucket list.
But since my husband announced he was gay and my daughter left for college, I don’t really have a choice.
If I’m going to get my "Happily Ever After" I have to start making new choices, starting with picking guys who like women rather than women’s makeup would be a good start. Next! I’m way past the point of caring what other people think. I’m 49, about to turn 50 and I’m pretty sure I’m entering the prime years of my life. It’s time to make my mark and do things the way I want to do them. Like move. I am sooooooo leaving the city that has sucked me dry with the commute and the executive position. There’s no way I’m doing that anymore. I have enough money from the divorce to buy a house, almost any house, outside of California. I take one suitcase and my jeep, and I leave town, not stopping until I get to Cougar Creek, which is so small I think it’s barely a town, but I’m all about it. This is where I will get my fresh start. I inherited my Aunt’s home here years ago and never even visited, but the renters just moved out and I might as well make it my home. For now. But Cougar Creek has a lot more in store for me than I ever imagined. There is a load of eligible young men from the local ranches, a couple of new BFFs in similar situations, and a strange invitation to a local secret society who think I’m the new high priestess of their local coven. I didn’t stop laughing until I realized they wouldn't take “no” for an answer. They have a massive problem in the cemetery and they expect me to solve it. But I didn’t trade in one life of rules for another one, so if they want me to be high priestess, they’re going to have to accept that I make the rules.
Amidst the glitz and glamor of Los Angeles hides a dark secret.
A man accused of murdering his wife goes free. Angelina Lagarde, a young detective fresh out of the academy, is put on his protection squad. But something isn't adding up, and when he gets off scot-free, her instincts flare. Unfortunately, Angelina’s senior-level partner, Detective Lance Slate, likes to play things safe for an unknown reason. She can see that he’s a good detective, and even though he doesn’t trust the acquitted man either, he tells Angelina over and over to let it slide. Angelina’s positive outlook combined with a stubborn determination ends with her re-investigating a case that had just been closed. With many obstacles before her in the form of nasty superiors, a fearful partner and her own inexperience, Angelina pushes through to find the truth, even if it is at the cost of her newly appointed badge - and even her life.
Covering up a murder can be Hell!
When Aideen Darker realizes she stands before a recently murdered man with wads of cash on him, she has two options. Call the police, or pocket the money and dispose of the body- she chose the wrong option! Guilt and sleepless nights begin to take their toll on her sanity. What she see's at night, while her husband sleeps soundly can't be real- can it? Her bruises, aches, and pains the next day say otherwise. And what of the thin cracks forming in the living room wall, starting to look like the frame of a door? What indeed.
Buy now to enter a world of horror through the Dark Door
Seven letters. One word.
A name for which she could no longer remember the rhythms.
Once, in a land turned around and back again, a queen rose up with skin like flower petals and words like silk. When she dismissed a council comprised of shifter, halfbreed, and human in order to reopen the deadly Grey Mines, the shifters are forced to flee to concrete camps or the dangerous woods. But even evil queens get lonely. And even goodly councilmen get angry. And often innocent children get caught in between.
When father falls can daughter rise?
Michael Paul Scott - Author