“Jacqueline’s first novel The Vast Landscape is an amazing tribute to who she is. It is insightful and explosive all in one breath. It draws the reader in and inflicts an addiction of enormous proportions. I can only hope there is a follow up to this work. Sometimes we find our dharma and it engulfs us body and soul, congrats!”
There is no 31 days Mental Health Awareness month for me. I live with Manic Depression 365 days a year. There are no fancy, frou frou vacations, hefty bonus’, no benefits that come at the end of the year. Your family members do not get a staycation while in your company, they get who they get. Which part of me will take the lead, manic, mean, irritable, physically ill, depressed, anxiety ridden I can’t say. As much as I would like to spare them the uncomfortable that is my rapid cycling. So many friends have been lost, disappeared, dissolved, abandoned, unable to grasp the incessant, cruel velocity I live. It stings only a little now, I don’t have the luxury of wasted energy. I do wonder if I had cancer of the brain, instead of the mouth would I be treated different? If I was a betting man, I’d bet against me. The very real odds are I might not make it. Most days, every day if I’m 100% honest, I plan my exit strategy (verbal diarrhea is one of the ‘perks’ of my job). I never act on it, the comfort in knowing I have control over this one thing helps. It helps me get through the hard, challenging, excruciating days I am living. My brain does not stop, the top spinner that slows only enough so I get a glimpse of the who I was. She and I, at forever odds searching for a middle ground. The compromise we both can live with. When I set out to write a book, I did not believe I would finish. I am no GIRLBOSS, 10% Happier, John Greene author (although I wouldn’t mind). I may never make a bestseller list. But this book, my book, The Vast Landscape kept me alive. Hell yeah, I’d say that’s better than any Goddamn bestseller list, and yes I am wicked proud. My accomplishments are bigger, harder and higher than most. Every single day that I wake up, and choose LIFE is a day I beat the odds. Every damn day I wake, I’ve won.
Anything written from your truest truths takes time, care and thoughtful consideration. I love The Vast Landscape. I freely gave away my deep, scariest, bravest secrets and biggest wishes. GEORGIA PINE. is the familiar extension, because that’s what humans do, move on, stick to our clan. Reflect on the memories, get comfortable, get uncomfortable, look back, only to be thrust forward. Ligaments wear down in invisible microscopic fragments, day by day.
‘Today was not a day of firsts. There had been so many life firsts, Addie stopped to look up. She did not want to miss one, with four babies there had been multitudes. The daughter responsible for making Addie a mother when she was barely an adult, Georgia showed her how. When she wasn’t doing it right, testing her to be better, stronger, more patient. She made life easier on her sisters, by default. Addie made mistakes with her firstborn, she could not fix. This was a different kind of firsts. Leave it to Georgia to hurt her heart, without meaning to. Addie needed the extra days at the Cove, to do nothing. Feel the sun; remember how much her mother loved it. When Addie asked, did she miss Hollywood, fame? Harrison laughed, shaking her head. “God, no. I got all this,” twirling round and round, stretching her arms towards the beach, house, sky, running her fingers through Adelaide’s gold mane. She knew with her whole heart, Harry meant it. Addie sighed. She was leaving, her quasi adult-child behind, her precocious, ginger. This was not a first. This was an unfirst, experiences they would share separately, living apart. Georgia would have to hold her mother’s hand, ever so gently letting go.’