Reconciliation – Sarah Doughty

 

“My love, all I want and need is you.

It’s always been you.”

 

Maybe that’s what I can’t reconcile. What I want and what I need. You. You see, I want you to be by my side. I want you to love me, unequivocally, just as I love you. I want you to grow old with me, and fall more in love with me every day as I do for you. I want you with me, happy, content, and fulfilled. What I want is you. All of you. For always.

 

But at the same time, I need every one of those things. I need to know that true love exists. I need to know that lasting love is possible. I need to believe in soulmates — and that life isn’t always going to be so tough. I need to know that everything I endured to survive wasn’t in vain. That what I’ve done in my life has mattered. That what I’ve accomplished — that living my dreams, not spending my time chasing them — are worth remembering. That we are going to last. That we will be happy.

 

Maybe, my wants and needs are the same after all.

I suppose, that makes me a dreamer.

And I’m okay with that.

 

Sarah Doughty is the tingling wonder-voice behind Heartstring Eulogies. She’s also the author of The Silence Between Moonbeams, her poetry chapbook, and the acclaimed novels and novellas of the Earthen Witch Universe. Good news, they’re all offered for free, right here! To learn more about how awesome Sarah is, check out her website, stalk her on Goodreads, or both.

 

 

 

Only One of Us Gets to be a Martyr Part II-Sarah Doughty and Nicholas Gagnier

It was the defiance in your gaze that caught my eye at first. The way you did the opposite of what anyone told you, for the sake of proving them wrong. Sometimes you succeeded, and sometimes you didn’t. But it never stopped you from being you. Down to the core. Making your own way, on your own terms. Maybe that was what fascinated me for so long. What left me in awe. Maybe it was some of the things you said. What left me speechless.

(But I’m restless, 
full of 
condescension, 
ruling my own city without mandate or 
consensus, putting up 
fences, making 
contestants of 
first 
impressions,
taking something so breakable as penance
and helping it
be bent
in pieces.)

Being alive is not a competition, but death calls to my indecision.

I didn’t know how to respond to such a comment. Indecision was never a part of who you were. And I knew, in that very moment, that I would happily die in your place, just to rekindle those fires that burned inside you. Because a world without your fiery passion is not a world I want to live in.

(And yet, I’m obsessive 
with my tenses, past & future,
as ghosts of
the present 
debate
the 
metronomes that 
menace every last
paragraph
and 
sentence, 
trying to mention 
events without
saying
your
fucking name,
and I’m reckless, shaking
rowboats and the
dust from
sarcophagus
serenades) 

So, darling, let
me be
the martyr.

You deserve to rise and become so much more.


Sarah Doughty is the tingling wonder-voice behind Heartstring Eulogies. She’s also the author of The Silence Between Moonbeams, her poetry chapbook, and the acclaimed novels and novellas of the Earthen Witch Universe. Good news, they’re all offered for free, right here! To learn more about how awesome Sarah is, check out her website, stalk her on Goodreads, or both.

Nicholas Gagnier is a Canadian writer and poet, and the creator of  Free Verse Revolution. He has published several poetry books, as well as a novella releasing this July. Nicholas supports and engages in conversations around mental health and social welfare, preferring strong literary voices and self-expression to traditional narrative and poetry. He lives in Ottawa with his young daughter, where he runs FVR Publishing and works on a million projects at once.

Two Parts- Erich Michaels and Sarah Doughty

She was a breath of fresh air
He grew up in the tenements
She was a mountain range
He was that sweet something
After too much saltiness
She grew up listening to country
He was her first taste of jazz

She was his first night under the stars. His first taste of the wild. She was the reprieve he needed from the concrete and smog. He brought her excitement and city lights, but still danced with her under the moonlight. He showed her that there was more to her world, just as she did for him. At last, they felt like two parts made whole.

Unfortunately, time has a way of making even mountain ranges nothing more than a tattered backdrop at a rundown portrait studio. Even jazz can become background noise—Muzak in a department store. Two completely different suits in the deck can become just cards, just as he and she, spring and fall, became seasons that never seemed to touch.

But that was what made them work. That was what kept them together all those years. All those things became the backdrop of their lives, and the glue that held them together.

Stanzas 1&3 © Erich Michaels

Stanzas 2&4 © Sarah Doughty


Erich Michaels describes himself as  “just trying to share the human experience.”  He has a bachelor’s degree in creative writing, but find himself writing SOPs (lather, rinse, repeat) in order to make a living, which can be detrimental to the creative process.  You can find him on the road to recovery at Erich Michaels.  Every journey begins with a single step, right?

Sarah Doughty is the tingling wonder-voice behind Heartstring Eulogies. She’s also the author of The Silence Between Moonbeams, her poetry chapbook, and the acclaimed novels and novellas of the Earthen Witch Universe. Good news, they’re all offered for free, right here! To learn more about how awesome Sarah is, check out her website, stalk her on Goodreads, or both.

Penance- Kindra M. Austin and Sarah Doughty

I said I’d be your wings,
so you hired a flat-felled seamstress
who
topstitched me to your back.

Save me, you say
when jumping off bridges.

And this is my penance,
or hoping you would thrive —
not take risks with your life.

But yet, there you are,
jumping with blind faith
that I will keep you from
landing at Death’s door.
Literally.

I’m sorry, I say
when I realize I have failed you.
Stanzas 1&2 © Kindra M. Austin

Stanzas 3-5 © Sarah Doughty


Kindra M. Austin is an indie author (her books can be found here, a founding member of Indie Blu(e), and a writer/managing editor at Sudden Denouement, Blood Into Ink, and Whisper and the Roar. A Sagittarius Valkyrie from the state of Michigan, she likes craft beer, and classic big block muscle cars. You can find her filing through the souls of the slain at poems and paragraphs.

Sarah Doughty is the tingling wonder-voice behind Heartstring Eulogies. She’s also the author of The Silence Between Moonbeams, her poetry chapbook, and the acclaimed novels and novellas of the Earthen Witch Universe. Good news, they’re all offered for free, right here! To learn more about how awesome Sarah is, check out her website, stalk her on Goodreads, or both.

 

Bereft- 1WiseWoman and Sarah Doughty

I’m parched
A pariah
Desolate
Dehydrated by lack
Of human touch

No matter how surrounded I am by all the warm bodies, I’m bereft. Longing to be held. To be seen. To be touched. By you. But, here I stand, desperate for a drink of contact with no drop in sight. 

Drowning in dry desert sand
Tethered by rope
Stretched taught with hope
That it may snap
Sending me into your orbit
A melancholy mirage

Coughing through every grain that falls into my mouth, I gasp for air, hoping against hope that I’ll find you in the dark. This rope — my hope is all that’s left of me, I hold on as hard as I can. With my life. 

Not meant to be marooned
Amongst the masses
A single star pulsates
Through callused hands
Resonating with echoes
Of my name

With the beacon as my guide, I pull my way through the din, searching for its source. I keep telling myself over and over again that I’ll make it. I have to. My life depends on it. And as I gain some ground, seeing that light growing larger by the second, I know I will make it.

Stanzas 1, 3, & 5 © Laurie Wise
Stanzas 2, 4, & 6 © Sarah Doughty


1Wise-Woman: I am living, fighting, and thriving with mental illness and chronic disease and a need to express myself. Writing eases some of the weight I carry.” When she isn’t yanking shadowy strands of leathery clumps of unconscious, and tenderly placing them into word documents, she is creating at A Lion Sleeps in the Heart of the Brave

Sarah Doughty is the tingling wonder-voice behind Heartstring Eulogies. She’s also the author of The Silence Between Moonbeams, her poetry chapbook, and the acclaimed novels and novellas of the Earthen Witch Universe. Good news, they’re all offered for free,  right here.  To learn more about how awesome Sarah is, check out her website, stalk her on  Goodreads, or both.


 

I Knew My Faults-Sarah Doughty

“I knew my faults.
And they always stared
back at me in the mirror.”

As long as I can remember, I knew my faults. They were engraved in my flesh, repeated so often that even I saw nothing else. I knew every one. Believed every one. I was every one.
I knew my faults when I was toddling around, learning how to speak, how to walk, how to cower.
I knew my faults when I began school. How I wasn’t smart enough, not social enough. How I was a target in school. And at night.
I knew my faults in the dark. I learned my best to do what was required of me, but I was never quite good enough. I knew what my hands needed to do, how my lips should stay soft, or how my hips were supposed to move with the right timing. After awhile, I knew those moves just enough to get by.
I knew my faults. And they always stared back at me in the mirror.


Sarah Doughty is the tingling wonder-voice behind Heartstring Eulogies. She’s also the author of The Silence Between Moonbeams, her poetry chapbook, and the acclaimed novels and novellas of the Earthen Witch Universe. Good news, they’re all offered for free, right here! To learn more about how awesome Sarah is, check out her website, stalk her on Goodreads, or both.

Meet Sudden Denouement Collective Member Sarah Doughty

The editors of Sudden Denouement Literary Collective know that our strength is our writers. We hope that you enjoy getting to know them through our new Writer Interview Series.

What name do you write under?

My name is Sarah Doughty and it is not a pseudonym. I wanted my real attached to my words, not just because it’s nice to see my name, but also as a means of showing I’m fully capable as a writer – which is something I was told I would never be able to do as a child. I very much wanted to prove that theory wrong. And I believe I have succeeded in that endeavor.

In what part of the world do you live?  

I live in Indiana USA, in a suburb just outside Indianapolis. It’s an interesting place to live, I’ll leave it at that.

Tell us about yourself. 

Writing has always been a passion of mine. Even as a child I dreamed up stories to tell and even used crayons to attempt to tell those stories. But my childhood wasn’t one of light and happiness. It was dark, cold, and full of horrors most people wouldn’t dream of. Not only was I a victim of abuse, I was a victim of daily abuse. In every way imaginable. For my entire childhood. In addition to all the physical things that happened to me, I was reminded on a daily basis how worthless I was to my abuser. How little I mattered, except for getting what he wanted out of me. I was told that any dreams I might have – like growing up, finding love, happiness, and being successful at anything, including writing – would never come to pass, because I simply wasn’t good enough to do those things. My entire childhood was marred by these daily occurrences. So much, that I suffer from complex PTSD, debilitating anxiety, and depression. It’s a battle I fight every day.

Where do you publish your writing?

My website is called Heartstring Eulogies – a place where I can share my soul in words. It can be found at www.sarahdoughty.com. I can also be found at @thesarahdoughty on Instagram at www.instagram.com/thesarahdoughty.

When did you begin your blog and what motivated you start it?

A little over three years ago, I hit a wall. I was slowly remembering the worst of my abuse. The things that happened late at night after the world was asleep. The things that took place after I was beaten. At first I thought I was having some rather disturbing visions, dreams, and thoughts, but then I realized they were flashbacks. My worst fears were real. I wasn’t beaten unconscious when I was a child. My mind repressed the memories of being sexually abused. When I hit that wall, I found myself in a job that I loved, but crumbling under the pressure. I needed to do something for myself. I needed to finally turn to writing, one of the few things I can do that actually makes me feel better. Helps me to center myself and to calm down. I wanted a means of keeping myself accountable for my goals. Not only did I want to prove my abuser wrong – to prove to myself that I was capable of writing, and maybe, if I was lucky, find others that enjoyed reading my words as well. So I began to write. Every day. Even on holidays. I was writing. And it helped me feel better. It became a habit, a need. And I flourished doing it. It made me genuinely happy. I have been writing ever since. I accomplished my goal, and I have no intention of stopping.

What inspires/motivates you to keep blogging on your site?

Initially I wanted my website/Instagram to be a part of my daily accountability – to force myself to keep posting, to keep writing. But along the way, I found much more than that. I’ve met some incredible souls along this journey that I wouldn’t trade for anything. They are my sisters, my brothers, my support system. The ones I can turn to when I need some encouraging words. What I found was a family – a virtual one, but still very near and dear to my heart. They are what keep me going. Not just through their continued support, but for their love of what I share. And the souls I’ve touched – the readers I’ve been so fortunate to find – they are a daily reminder that I do have a gift and that I should continue sharing it.

 When did you join the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective?

I joined Sudden Denouement about a year ago. It’s strange to think that I’ve been a part of this amazing group for so long. It’s been a pleasure and an honor to have my name included with some amazing writers.

How did you find your way to Sudden Denouement?

I suppose it was a lucky twist of fate. At least I’d like to think so. I met some incredible writers, and as Sudden Denouement began to make a name for itself, it was like a piece of a puzzle that fit just right. When I expressed my interest to join, I was honored to have been accepted into the fold.

What does “Divergent Literature” mean to you?

I believe that writing should push boundaries. That it should hit deep into memories, emotions, and tackle tricky situations and global topics. When I see “Divergent Literature,” this is exactly what comes to mind. Every piece I have read that has crossed Sudden Denouement’s doors, has hit on something important – but not in the same fashion as most other collectives. Writers at Sudden Denouement dare to go deeper. They dare to do more. And that’s what I love about it.

Sudden Denouement Founder Jasper Kerkau frequently talks about Sudden Denouement writers using the ‘secret language’. What is it?

I think for many of us, this “secret language” is what we make of it. It’s how we share our souls with the world. How we can see, even between the lines, into the core of what these writers are saying. How we can relate on such a deep level and come out the other side feeling like we’ve met someone that knows exactly how we feel, or have felt in the past. I think we are all fluent in this secret language, and it brings us closer together.

Tell us about your literary influences?

Growing up, when I wasn’t writing, I was reading. Anything to escape my life and become someone else. I’ve always been drawn to the darker side of tales. The horrors, the paranormal. As long as the characters are worth believing in, or are worth caring about, it doesn’t matter to me how fantastical the story is. I want to see how they come out the other side. In a way, that makes the characters more real to me. That’s why I’ve always loved Poe and Dante Alighieri, and those dark epic poetries. That’s why I’ve always been fascinated with Stephen King. That’s also why I decided to never shy away from the dark or even the fantastical – as long as the characters are real and flawed – the story is worth telling and reading.

Has any of your work been published in print?  How did that happen?

I’ve been published in many different publications through the years. School and university publications, online publications. Even a few anthologies and special collaborations that are now in print. I’ve always been humbled and honored when editors read my words and feel that they should be shared with their readers.

My books are like my babies. I wrote the stories because they nagged at the back of my head for years. They needed to be told. And I love my characters. I’m rooting for them all the way. I’ve laughed with them, cried with them, lived with them. Telling their stories has been incredibly fun – and incredibly healing at the same time. That was why I made the decision to self-publish them for free. As long as my stories help me to feel better about my dark past and my current issues, I don’t want cost to prevent someone from being able to read them.

What are your writing goals?  

This last year has been especially hard on me, because I have migraines. They’ve been so severe that my books have been put on hold. I want to continue, and finish that initial story – wherever it leads me. It’s amazing how one scene in a dream has spawned an entire series of books – one big story. Beyond that, I want to continue writing the same kinds of stories that resonate with me – not just the stories, but the characters. So many more stories to tell, and I want to be able to tell them all.

Which pieces of your own writing are your favorites?  

I have so many favorites, it’s difficult to choose. These are a few that I hope you will enjoy as much as I do.

Stillness

Travels

The Essence of Regret

Set on Fire

 What else would like to share about your writing, Sudden Denouement, or yourself?

No matter where my story takes me, I am honored to be able to write these words and share them with the world. I am honored to have a voice when I had none growing up. I am honored to be alive, when there were so many times I could have died. I am honored to be among friends, writers, and family. I am so very honored to be a part of Sudden Denouement and to have this family on this journey with me. I hope that the future holds only good things for all of us.