Author Interview and Promo with Lynette Davis: Even Rain Is Just Water

I have known Lynette for about two years now. Though it’s hard to pinpoint any exact moments in the blogosphere, I believe we met when she commented on my blog post, Why Memoirs are Special. From there we have gone on to follow each other’s blogs, email lists, social media, and she even bought one of my paperbacks.

Today, I am honored to help to promote her memoir, Even Rain is Just Water. Eck!

OK. I am calm. But, you all know that I would like to write a memoir one day. It is my honor to witness how it is done from those who’ve been where I am trying to go. Lynette’s book released in ebook on May 30, 2017. Today, she is releasing the paperback!

I love paperbacks!

AND I’ve  already read the book. Yup. I beat you.

Before getting into the book, let’s learn more about Ms. Davis. I had a chance to “sit down” with her for a special edition interview. (Yup, beat you again. Ya’ll better hurry up.)

Lynette Davis. Photo used with permission.

Lynette, what inspired you to write a memoir?

I was inspired to write my memoir to facilitate my healing. I know that “all things work for the good of those that love the Lord and are called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28). I was driven to continue writing when I realized I was not alone that my experience was more common than I ever could have imagined. I decided to develop my story and make it available to the public to raise awareness about emotional abuse.

Even Rain is Just Water is a powerful title. Can you give us some background on why you chose it and what it means?

I went through a dozen titles before God dropped rain is just water in my spirit on a clear, sunny Southern California day. Months later, the word “even” was added to the beginning. It means at the end of the day, the storms in our lives are just that–storms. And storms are temporary. I particularly liked rain is just water because it made me think of Psalm 1:3. The storms of our lives may come in like a flood. But, at the end of the day, it’s just water because, ultimately, God is in control of our lives. And after the storm has come and gone, we’ll still be here like trees planted along the riverbank.

Beautiful. Let’s get into the book. You have been through some stuff! What do you think some of the major differences are between Emotional and Physical abuse?

The major differences between emotional abuse and physical abuse are one is visible, and the other is not. Emotional abuse is an invisible abuse. There are no tell-tale scars, no broken bones, no black eyes, which is what makes this type of abuse so insidious. Emotional abuse, just like physical abuse diminishes the person’s sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth. If our scars were visible, there would be lots of scar tissue from scars that never fully healed before we got another scar.

How important is the role of mother in the life of daughters?

The role of mothers in the lives of daughters is of utmost importance. It’s the first relationship the daughters has. And it’s the one that provides a mirror, for the daughter, as to how she sees herself and the world around her. If you can’t trust your mother, who can you trust?

Man. I feel you. OK. Let’s switch it up a bit.  I hear you work in education? Tell us about that.

I work in education as a substitute teacher. I work in one school district, however, with many schools, generally with elementary school children, and occasionally, with junior high and high students. Substitute teaching hasn’t changed much since you were a student. When a teacher is out, I take the teacher’s class for the day.

You was jamming in this book! Tell us about the kind of music you like.

I love R&B oldies from the seventies, eighties, and nineties, and some from the sixties such as Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, The Four Tops and The Temptations, especially when I’m cleaning the house. And I love contemporary gospel music. I also like jazz, although I haven’t bought any jazz CDs in a while.

What takes up most of your time?

Writing, my blog and Twitter, in that order.

Lol. In your own words, what is humility?

To me, humility is when you treat everyone the same, not some people different because they have more, or some people different because they can’t do anything for you, or some people different because no one is looking. Humility is not being stuck on yourself, and being able to understand how someone else may feel, having empathy for someone else, trying to imagine how they feel. Humility is knowing who you are, no matter how other people treat you. Humility is not being arrogant, walking around saying, “Look at me.” It’s being comfortable wearing a tee shirt, your favorite pair of jeans and a pair of flip flops because you know who you are, and don’t have to impress anyone.

I.Love.That.Definition. What is the most thought-provoking book you’ve ever read?

Anne Moody’s Coming of Age in Mississippi. Reading that book was like I was there, right along with Anne during the early days of the Civil Rights Movement. Being from Florida, I related to a lot of the things she wrote about in Coming of Age in Mississippi.

Oh my goodness, yess! I so love how you incorporated history into your life story. It was brilliant and made me wish I was there to experience many of those historical moments.

Lyn, who is your favorite historical figure?

I would have to say Martin Luther King Jr. (Although Muhammad Ali runs a close second.) The way he initiated the Civil Rights Movement, through the jail visits, hate, and imminent threat of death. And how so many people did lose their lives, like the four little girls at the church in Birmingham, Alabama, and the three civil rights workers. He was clearly operating in his purpose.

Indeed. He went hard toward the end of his life for sure. Lyn, faith plays a big part in your story, would you define yourself as being a religious person?

No, and yes. If you mean, do I go to church every Sunday and follow a set of traditional rules and regulations? No. But if you mean, do I believe in God—that is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? However yes, in that I’m more spiritual than religious.

In your own words, what is truth?

Truth, especially as it pertains to memoir, is all about perspective. In a memoir, when we tell our truths, it’s from our own perspective. No two people will have the same perspective about everything, not even siblings who were raised in the same household. Or husband and wives, for that matter. Truth usually goes along with facts, although not necessarily. Truth can be verified. Truth goes along with humility – being true to who you are, being authentic.

Why is writing important to you?

Writing is important to me for three reasons. First, it helps me to express my feelings. I’m an introvert. And as such, I’m naturally quiet and don’t express my feelings often. Have you heard the saying, “I write to know what I’m feeling?” Well, that’s me for sure.

Secondly, when I write, I’m able to express my truths, not just facts. Maya Angelou has a quote that expresses what I mean here. “There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth.” And thirdly, writing brings new revelations. I learn a lot about myself when I write.

Powerful. What skill would you like to master?

I would like to master graphic design—book cover design, in particular. That was the one aspect of my book that I wouldn’t—that is, couldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole.

Who is your favorite author?

My favorite author is Maya Angelou. And I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is my favorite memoir. Angelou is my favorite writer because not only does she write so descriptively, but she was a survivor of sexual child abuse and wrote about that experience in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. That memoir encouraged me to bring my story out of the dark and into the light. Another reason she’s one of my favorite authors is that she rose from a sexually abused child to an empowered woman that empowered others.

Speaking of memoirs, let’s get back to your book, how can victims of emotional abuse recognize the signs?

A person can recognize that they’re being emotionally abused by the way they feel. Here are a few subtle, but not so subtle, signs. Generally speaking, if a person makes you feel bad or makes you feel bad about yourself, on a regular basis, there’s a good chance, you are experiencing emotional abuse. Here are a few signs.

Emotional Abuse As to children–

Constant belittling, shaming and humiliating a child. Calling names and making negative comparisons to others. Telling a child he or she is “no good,” “worthless,” “bad,” or “a mistake.” Frequently yelling, threatening or bullying. Ignoring or rejecting a child as punishment–giving him or her the silent treatment. Limiting physical contact wit the child–no hugs, kisses, or other signs of affection. Exposing the child to violence or abuse of others, whether it be a mate, parent, sibling, or even a pet.

Emotional Abuse as to adults–

​You are blamed for their problems, life, difficulties or unhappiness. Your behavior is constantly being corrected. You are put down in front of others. Your ideas and beliefs are regularly disregarded. Your hopes, dreams, and achievements are minimized or ignored altogether. ​You are constantly reminded of your flaws or shortcomings. Your boundaries are repeatedly crossed. You are accused of being too sensitive. You feel as though you need their permission before you can make decisions. Or you are not allowed to make any decisions. They invalidate or deny their emotionally abusive behavior when you try to talk to them. You are constantly being threatened with abandonment or neglect. They don’t seem to notice or care about your feelings.

Even Rain is Just Water is your first book. What was it like publishing for the first time?

I published my first book, Even Rain Is Just Water on May 30th. Writing the book was a journey. And getting it ready for publication was another journey, in and of itself, a learn-as-you-go experience, for me. Since it was my personal story, I decided to go the self-publishing route so that I could have control over every aspect of the book. It took me four years to write and develop my book. Two things I learned from the process. One, know what you want and how you want it.  There are a lot of people out there willing to take your money and give you little to nothing in return. And two, plan for everything to take ten times as long as you initially thought it would.

And now…drum rolll…Even Rain Is Just Water by Lynette Davis

About.

When Lyn finds herself homeless with three children in tow, she is forced to deal with the demons of her childhood—being unwanted, unloved and rejected. As she embarks on a search for a place to call home, her sole desire is to give her children what she lacked growing up—a sense of belonging and security. But she is not so sure she can make that happen. Will Lyn conquer the demons of her past and save her children from a generational fate?

Alternating between a lonely little girl’s coming-of-age in Florida during the Civil Rights Era and her adult years, Even Rain Is Just Water, traces a daughter’s quest for love and acceptance that transcends into adulthood—illuminating between how childhood emotional trauma shapes our adult identity.


There’s a lot to take from this book. What I absolutely loved was how Lynette gave us a glimpse of the time by the many historical events that happened and what she was doing when it happened. Everything from the death of MLK, the Rodney King beating and even the shooting and eventual death of Tupac. As Lynette lived her life, all these things were happening around her and we get to witness them in real time. She even did this with the music. It was brilliant. My full review is coming soon.

PRAISE for Even Rain Is Just Water

“Like rain in the desert of a parched soul, Lynette Davis’ poignant narrative of rejection, revelation and redemption, offers hope to those of us who have felt displaced, disconnected and alone.”

BETTY TUCKER, author of Don’t Worry About the Mule Going Blind: Hazel’s Daughter

“A remarkable and heart-wrenching accounting of Davis’… undeniable courage and tolerance for suffering a lifetime of conflict, adversity, and emotional abuse…”

D.G. KAYE, author of P.S. I Forgive You: A Broken Legacy

“A courageous voyage of one daughter’s remarkable journey in finding love, security and a place to call home against the demons of her past.”

MARY A. PEREZ, author of Running in Heels:
   A Memoir of Grit and Grace

Sneak Peek

Prologue

Riverside, California, 1996

I imagine I look like mother goose walking with her baby ducklings as my three children trail me, one behind the other. The convenience store is a good ten blocks away. It seems more like twenty. Although it’s only a few minutes before seven o’clock, we’ve been up since day break. And the morning sun is beaming down on us like it’s the middle of August, instead of the first week of June. My children must understand the gravity of our situation because they’re as quiet as three mice as we trek to the convenience store. This is not our normal routine. Twenty-four hours ago, I couldn’t have imagined the events of last night, or that I would be walking down the main boulevard with my three children this morning. For the umpteenth time in the last fifteen minutes, I check my beeper. No pages.

Although I’m dressed for walking—a pair of just-above-the-knee gray biker shorts and a tee-shirt which is what I slept in last night, and a pair of tennis shoes with no socks, I feel weird like I’m half naked. I didn’t even bother to comb my hair this morning. Luckily, I’m sporting a short Halle Berry look, and the slightly disheveled look is in. I wonder what my children think about all the drama of last night as I marvel at their resilience. Despite everything our family has been through these last couple of months, they’ve never complained. My daughter, the youngest of the trio, is doing a good job keeping up with her brothers and me. I thank God, they’re such good troopers. We’re used to walking from time to time when my Jeep Cherokee acts up. Right now, it’s parked in front of mom’s house where it’s been all week. As we walk down the boulevard, I contemplate my situation. I’ve run out of options. What am I going to do?

We get to the convenience store. And I dial my grandmother’s telephone number from the phone booth, just outside. It’s almost seven thirty now, so it’s close to ten-thirty in Florida where she lives. I hear the phone ringing loudly through the phone lines and envision my grandmother, a pert seventy-nine-year-old who still drives herself wherever she wants to go, making her way to the phone. I let the phone ring awhile, to give Mother—that’s what her children and grandchildren call her, time to get to the phone—and me time to get my emotions in check. I’m still reeling from the events of last night. I need to tell someone what happened, to help me process it.

After six or seven rings, my grandmother picks up the telephone.

“Hello,” she says, in a sweet southern drawl.

“Hey, Mother. How you doing?”

“I’m doing fine. How you?” she asks, raising her voice higher when she says you.

“Mother, you’re not going to believe this.”

“What? What happened?”


You can keep reading. Click on the cover below (or the linked title) to support this author with your very own copy of Even Rain Is Just Water, available now on Amazon.com.

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Bio.

Lynette Davis is an educator, author, editor, and survivor. Her memoir Even Rain Is Just Water draws attention to emotional child abuse and narcissism’s mounting prevalence, as she joins the growing number of people speaking out about the ill effects of such relationships. Her short narrative, “The Fatal Blow,” is featured in the anthology I am Subject: Women Awakening: Discovering Our Personal Truths Fall 2014, a collection of stories featuring women re-claiming their lives in life-altering moments. To other survivors, she recommends “The Invisible Scar,” a blog that supports adults who were emotionally abused as children. Davis received her B.A. in English from California Baptist University, studied Composition and Rhetoric at California State University, San Bernardino, and facilitates writing workshops in the Inland Empire, California.

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3 False Teachings and Misconceptions of the Housewife

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Image Credit: Submission ADs, 1950s

Loss of Identity

–    A woman who chooses to stay home either to raise children or not is not suffering from an identity crisis. She has not lost sight of who she is as a person and what she wants just because she chooses not to break the glass ceiling. Staying home does not mean watching TV all day and spending eight hours in the kitchen. Instead, it gives women a chance to be creative and to pursue dreams they probably never thought possible. With time on their hands and the financial support of their men, these women go out into the community to volunteer and get involved in all sorts of creativity. They are proud to spend all day with their children or their husband if they have no children and to prepare healthy meals for their families. These are the women who do not stuff small mouths with junk food and candy. They take their time purchasing only the choicest goods, they cook and they clean. These undervalued skills contribute largely to the physical, spiritual, and psychological development of the youth. Children who are fed well and loved well can better focus at school among other things. In short, these women are not bored just because they choose the one career underappreciated the most in this society: Family.

Submission = Abuse

  • The image at the start of this post is very disturbing to me. Even more disturbing is that we believe this is what submission is because the Ads, TV commercials, and Hollywood movies told us so. A woman who submits to her man is not being abused by him. Abuse can happen in any relationship at any time, it has nothing to do with submission itself. Because abuse can happen to anyone at anytime it is critical that women understand their value and their worth before trying to find it in a man. You are what you attract and no one, man or woman, who has not learned to love themselves first has any business trying to love anyone else. That said, a wife who submits to a husband simply respects him and his decisions within the family structure as head of her household. It does not mean that the woman is weak or is in any way less capable of leading. Submission simply means to be in agreement because no family can thrive if the house is divided. All parties must be on one accord and as a man’s natural position is to lead, he handles this role well. By nature women are attracted to men in who they see strength. While it is natural for women to get caught up in the everyday life of children and work her love and attention to the man should not cease. I like to call this “Keeping the Spark”. A man who gets this kind of attention from his woman gives it right back (that is if he is a man) and is less likely to seek it elsewhere. Otherwise, it will be difficult for that man to thrive in a home in which his own woman doubts him. The contented face of a happy man has no equal. By happy I am not referring to sex. Though important, sex is not marriage but a part of it. A man provides more than sex and money but leadership, guidance, and discipline for our children. In the 1960s Black marriages were at its best. Black men accepted their roles as natural leaders and black women followed. We stood by them, we supported them, and our homes thrived.

She is Unhappy

  • The problem here is that we have devalued the role of the wife and mother; as if there is a position higher than this. Being a stay-at-home wife or mother is a prestigious position, one that no Hollywood job or high-class position will ever be able to fulfill. Not all women are made to fit this role nor do all women want to and that’s their business. But for those who do, they are not unhappy and depressed just because they choose to treat their men like Kings and make leaders of their children. More wives would keep their husbands if they understood one simple truth: treat him as if he is the most important man in all the world. As far as you are concerned, this man can rule the world with you by his side. There is no man like your man. Is this not how you want to feel? Like you’re the one woman who can rule the world? That you are queen? Why would he want anything different than to be lavished by the woman he loves? When a man feels like he can conquer the world, he will.

 

The Honor of the Mother Goddesses #MayChallengeDay7-8

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For many people, today is a time of reflection on childhood upbringing, celebration, and honor of mothers, grandmothers, and mother guardians in their lives. It’s a day of BBQs, gatherings, and festivities. However, what is the truth concerning the origin of this day? Is it the honor of mothers or Goddesses?

The worship of women go back centuries, decades, worlds…. you get the point. In fact, the first form of the worship of women began with the worship of the Gods. When The Watchers fell, a class of angels in which some came down to have sex with human women and produced therefore on the earth a race of Giants, it was because they became obsessed with human women and mankind’s ability to reproduce. They wanted to come down, get themselves wives, and have them children. In short, these Watcher angels began to worship the woman’s womb. In fact, in ancient cultures, women were worshiped as a way into heaven and thus are the beginnings of the sacred feminine.

mother

Fast forward some and we can trace Mother’s Day back to the ancient cultures of Greece and Rome. However, it can actually be traced back further than this. Greece and Rome got their worship of the Gods from Egypt after plundering Egypt and taking the worship to Europe. The worship can also be traced back to ancient Babylon and ultimately from the direct worship of the Gods themselves. The honoring of the mother goddess can be traced, not only back to the Greek Goddess Rhea, but also back to Nimrod’s Mother-Wife Semiramis, and the Mother Goddess Isis of ancient Egypt. In fact, The Mother Goddesses, also known as The Queen of Heaven, have been worshiped in all cultures. For Greek and Rome specifically, mother goddesses were worshiped during the springtime with religious festivals. The ancient Greeks paid tribute to the Goddess Rhea, the wife of Cronus, known as the Mother of the Gods (Queen of Heaven) and the Romans held a three-day Roman festival in Mid-March called Hilaria, to honor the Roman Goddess Magna Mater, or Great Mother.

As Christianity spread throughout Europe, the honoring of the Mother Goddesses became disguised and the worship of the Mother Goddesses conformed to the honor of the “Mother Church”. In fact, the worship of the Gods and Goddesses, which in ancient times was simply called Paganism, became part of Christianity by the Council of Nicaea — the group of people who decided what doctrines should make up Christianity. By Christianity, I do not mean the original biblical practice of the saints, brothers, and prophets who did not call themselves Christians but were referred to as Kristianos meaning smeared ones – a derogatory term placed on them because they said they were smeared with the blood of the messiah. We’re talking about the Christianity that sprang from the Roman Emperor Constantine and the Council after they decided to take pagan beliefs with biblical ones. To do this successfully meant to take what the pagans were already worshiping and change the names of the pagan gods to those that would appear to correlate with scripture, and to change the worship of the Gods and Goddesses to that which appeared in some way, biblical.

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They disguised the worship of the Gods by conforming them to the worship of something that would appear more innocent. The ancient pagan festival of Ceres, Goddess of Agriculture (from which we get the word Cereal) became Thanksgiving; the ancient pagan festival of Saturnalia, celebration of the Winter Solstice, became Christmas; the ancient pagan festival of Ostara (or Eostre) representing the Spring Equinox became Easter, and The fourth Sunday in Lent, a 40-day fasting period before Easter (also pagan) became known as Mothering Sunday. To show appreciation for their mothers, the people often brought gifts or a “mothering cake” and over time, it began to coincide with the celebration of the Mother Church. Mothering Sunday and Mother Church eventually merged into a single holiday called Mother’s Day. On this day, the worship of the Goddesses continued in the form of honoring mothers. The day always falls on the second Sun-day of May, and like so many other holidays rooted in pagan sun-worship including Father’s Day which always falls on the third Sun-day of June, it was important that the day fell on a day in honor of the pagans most powerful god — The Sun.

She’s Not Human

monster_paintingI saw this episode once on Tales From The Hood. This little boy came to school with bruises on his body and he said a monster did it. This perplexed his teachers because surely this couldn’t be an actual monster. But the little boy proceeded to insist it was a monster. He drew pictures of this giant green entity with razor sharp teeth and big hands. In the end, we discovered the monster was really his mother’s boyfriend who beat him from time to time. But the little boy never drew him as a person, just as a monster; interesting the perspective of children, the innocence and fragility of their minds. I imagine this is how they see her, a monster. Even though her face looks gentle, her blonde hair pushed back into a pony tail and her petite figure causing no stirs among the neighbors. Then again, I don’t know what it’s like to wake up to a growl like they do. Even if I did, it’s different when you’re a kid and just the slightest increase in tempo rattles your entire body. At best all you need is a look and you are frozen in mother’s authority and your mind is prepared to listen. But a growl? I don’t want to wonder what that’s like. That’s what I wake up to most mornings. At first, I didn’t think the woman had any children. I thought maybe she was cursing out her man. A slew of profanity escaped her mouth like I hadn’t heard since I banished it from my very own vocabulary. I envisioned her entire presence overtook the house. I’d be willing to bet she grows claws and turns green in her spare time. Only to shapeshift back into the harmless little lady we see walking to the bus stop. I don’t understand people who abuse children; it is a most cowardly act. When I discovered my neighbor was ripping the heads off her own children it disgusts me. But it did not disgust me more than actually seeing the babies. I wanted to just cry. They did not have little bruise marks on their bodies like the little boy in the movie. It’s just that they are small children. I would not have guessed someone was speaking this way to children all under ten years old. And then one day, I saw that one of them is in a wheelchair. So you have two very small children and one is disabled. I don’t understand the logic that goes into this kind of behavior. This is why self-love is so important. How can you mistreat what came from your own body, except you have no love for yourself. Without self-love, nothing can be accomplished. We cannot love ourselves, we cannot love our neighbors, and we cannot love those around us. More frightening than our inability to love, we cannot be loved. Self-hatred illuminates. It surrounds you like a plague and can be smelled from a distance. It causes you to act out of character and abuse anyone who tries their hand at loving you. Because you have not given it to yourself, you are unwilling to accept it from anyone else nor are you willing to give it. Be careful the way that you treat your children, they are a reflection of you and they have no shame in keeping it real. If their mouth does not reveal who you are their actions will. It’s funny, I can always tell the true intentions of a person just by looking at the behavior of their children and interestingly enough, the parents never seem to notice. Be careful how you treat your children, whether you notice it or not, their actions reveal who you truly are.