How Cauliflower Heart Began Beating
It is possible for me to be able to exponentially give affection to my memories without being overcome with the sense of loss by writing about them?
I have a lot of emotional issues. I know that at times I have suffered from severe clinical depression. I believe this is hereditary. I still feel this condition is largely underdiagnosed and not taken too seriously. I found writing and physical training ways to help me deal with my depression. Writing was something my mom was extremely passionate about, as well as being a gifted storyteller. My father was extremely passionate about his training, his wrestling and both were so creative and original that I was and still am inspired to be like them, beyond what I have been given through their DNA.
When I moved back to Florida in 2008, it was when a couple years after my son Harry got his WWE contract; I thought it was going to be a fresh start. Instead, it was some of the loneliest times I experienced. The fact that I was in another climate (Calgary to Florida), and not around anyone who knew me for what my family created isolated me. I felt like an alien; I guess in a way I was. I didn’t fit in.
When my son left the WWE in 2011 to work catch-as-catch-can (submission/shoot) wrestling style in Japan, sadly and at last I was no longer tied with any wrestling in North America. The emptiness and longing for all that I was once attached too could not be filled by anything. I think I had years of emotions began to erupt. That fall of 2011 is what actually put me into such a sad state that I began, almost obsessively working out; I believed that is what my father and Davey would have wanted. I also went for hour long runs early in the morning and late at night when I couldn’t sleep.
I was getting healthier and the endorphins starting flowing enough that I began writing. Well, that writing (and working out, at my own speed) took me through 4 years of great therapy and I created the Cauliflower Heart Trilogy.
I felt a loyalty to my writing after a while, as though it stuck by me like a dear friend through sad times, and helped me to feel like I was in “good company” again. That “good company” was being constantly being around the characters I was creating in Cauliflower Heart. I felt for these characters, as though they were alive; in a way, they were. There were all made up of different people, even animals, who I knew or knew of in my unique life. I became emotionally attached to some of them, and when sad or bad things happened, in order to create sympathy for the characters from the readers (I hope that is the case), I cried because I felt for them.
When I finally finished my manuscript, I re-wrote it another dozen times, and each time, even to this day, I can find things I might tweak, but then the whole story can start to go off in a different direction. It is like building a house, and when you decide, after it’s all finished, to change a wall to a window, or even just the colour of the paint in one room, the whole house is susceptible to modifications. I couldn’t let that keep happening to Cauliflower Heart. It was so important to me to finally get it published and released.
I had made social media posts about Cauliflower Heart on different occasions, saying it would be ready for “public consumption” at this wrestling event or by this date, and then it would go under the knife…more editing and changes.
I finally saved enough money to take an entire six months off from everything, and made a deal with myself: I promised that I would get Cauliflower Heart finished by the end of that year (2014), and my son and daughter, having proof that it was ready for publishing, would help me find a publisher; and that’s what happened. I also found a terrific editor, Elaina Robbins who helped me get the chapters organized and made sense of the rabbit holes in my head that lead to the last page of Cauliflower Heart; and at finally, it made sense to a publisher too!
Voila, Cauliflower Heart: A Romantic Wrestler, Book 1; Wrestling With Life, Book 2; and She Who Laughs Last, Book 3 have been proudly decorated collectively with numerous awards and honourable mentions, (the runner up in the Hollywood Book Festival, the Miami Readers Favourite Silver 5 Star Award, and honourable mention at the Southern California Book Festival).
I realize I don’t have all the time in the world, only what's left of my lifetime, so I write a lot and with more reflection than ever about wrestling world. It is still so fascinating to me! For those of you who enjoy the intrigue as much as I do, I hope you will continue to read my novels, and remember, though they are fictional, they are written from the unique vantage point of my heart.