Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Indie Life: How I keep from going crazy. Uh, crazier.

The Indelibles

I'm not gonna lie, the last six months of my life have sucked. 

My dad had a massive heart attack and an emergency quadruple bypass. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and went through a couple of surgeries and radiation. I'm getting divorced. I owe more taxes than I used to make in a year. My dog Chief, my last pet, is on the verge of dying.

Yeah, I qualify for country song status for sure.

So, why haven't I taken to my bed with a gallon of ice cream and all twenty-seven seasons of Grey's Anatomy?

Four reasons:

1. I have two kids - a six-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl. They need me to do my mom thing. They need me to feed them, and force them to bathe and brush their teeth. They require hugs and kisses, and dance parties, and for me to know what Minecraft and Dog with a Blog are. My kids keep me dependable.

2. My friends, both IRL and on the interwebs, and my family. They've watched my kids, taken me out to the movies, spent hours chatting about nothing on Facebook, helped me do yard work, and above all else, listened to me. My friends and family take my burdens away.

3. Exercise. Author Angela Carlie somehow managed to get me to sign up for a relay team even though I've never run a mile in my life. This summer, I'll run three, six mile legs in a race from Seattle to Whidbey Island. Another friend of mine talked me into joining her CrossFit gym last August just before my life imploded. I cannot tell you the value of lifting heavy things and doing burpees until your mind is blank. Exercise keeps me physically and mentally relaxed.

4. Work. Writing is therapy that I don't have to pay for. FOUND (Penny Black #1) distracted me with the intricacies of building a future world and creating a main character that is very different from myself. The two pen name short stories I wrote were pure fun - decadent writing just to write. CROSSING, the novel I'm working on now, has been an altogether deeper experience. It's semi-autobiographical and it is helping me repair my self-esteem. I've been able to cry and laugh and remember...and move on. Writing gives me whatever I need. 

My wish is that your life is a little less hectic, but if it's right up there with my vida loca, I hope you have some good ways of dealing too. If not, I highly recommend weight lifting and writing romance. :)


Stacey Wallace Benefiel is the author of the Zellie Wells trilogy, FOUND,  the Day of Sacrifice series, the Toilet Business - a collection of humorous essays, the upcoming CROSSING, and multiple short stories. She sometimes goes by S.W. Benefiel or Reina Stowe, but knows she's not foolin' anybody. Stacey lives in an orange house in Beaverton, OR with her kids and her dog and a lot of clean laundry that always needs to be folded and put away.



  1. Actually I think I've got you beat for all of last year. Writing, friends and family keep me sane or at least as sane as I'm gonna be. Although not romance, but suspense.

  2. Writing is definitely therapeutic as we work through our emotions. At times, those make the best novels b/c we're there and need that. I hope and pray this coming year is easier on you!

  3. Writing definitely helps. My hubby has been going through chemo that last 6 weeks and has 6 more to go. Friday, he goes into surgery for his port.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  4. Sorry to hear you're going thru all that. One day at a time, right? It's all we can do. Exercise and writing will def be cathartic. All the best to you! ((hugs))

  5. Ugh! So sorry for the tough times, Stacey! ((hugs)) Hang in there. And for me it's jogging and writing romance... LOL! :D <3

  6. That's some definite suckage (which isn't actually a word, according to spell check. but it should be.). On the positive side, with qualifying for country song status, you could write the song then sell it! Easy money! (Assuming you know how to sell a song. Which I do not.)

    I may have to steal some of your coping mechanisms. My current method is 'read romance novels.' Especially the ones with adorable puppies and witty banter. Can't go wrong with witty banter.

  7. I had a friend in college from Beaverton.
    That's a lot to go through all at once. I'm glad you have some tools to help you through.

  8. Thanks guys! What is up with that Linky action? I don't know what I did. Lol. Least of my worries, eh?
    I'm feeling the writer love.:-)

  9. I'm sorry you're going through all of this and hope things get better for you and your family soon. Kids definitely require you to keep on going, don't they?

  10. You are an inspiration to me, Stacey!

    Know that I am cheering you on in life, writing... and the races!

    Much love, Nikki