Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Warrior Wednesday: Tales from the Unpubbed Welcomes Anastasia V. Pergakis

Hello friends. Welcome to another Warrior Wednesday. I love having guests on my blog and reading their trials and tribulations as they relate to the fickle world of writing. I hope you are enjoying them too. Please give a warm welcome to Anastasia...

Thanks Melinda for asking me to be here today. I feel honored! It’s great that you have the unpubbed warriors on your blog!

Well, my love for stories was there since the day I learned what a story was. I fell in love with Disney movies and read as many books as I could. It didn’t matter what genre (granted I didn’t know what a genre was at the time). I just read for the adventure and the characters.

While I read all the time, the first book I actually remember that has stuck with me my whole life was Call of the Wild by Jack London. I read that book over and over again! In fact I read it so much, one day the book literally disintegrated in my hands! I cried for a long time after the book fell apart because I couldn’t find another copy of it at my school library and at the time, I had no idea there was such a thing as a public library!

I started writing poetry and fell in love with words. I think I was one of the few kids – the only kid at my school – that loved English class. Words and their meanings and how to use them fascinated me! No, to this day I still can’t tell you the difference between a transitive verb and an intransitive verb without really thinking about it. I was more interested in the meaning of words. Especially words that meant one thing but people used it in another way, or words that mean different things depending on the context of the conversation. I loved word riddles (well riddles of any kind really).

I daydreamed a lot as a kid about knights in shining armor, wizards, faeries, elves and damsels in distress. Evil princes, mean step-mothers, and true love. I got in trouble in school A LOT for daydreaming!

While I did write some stories of my own in Junior and High School, they were mostly prompted by an assignment. In high school I wrote lots of poetry but not much else on my own. It wasn’t until I got my first car at the age of 17 that I decided to write my own stories. I don’t know why the car was the catalyst for me to write down the daydreams I’d had for years. Maybe the freedom the car gave me also gave me the courage to share the stories in my head – to get out there in every sense of the way.

The problem was my drinking addiction. I never noticed at the time of course and would continue to drink for a few years after, but the harshness of my life had caused me to see the world in a different way. There wasn’t a day that didn’t go by that I wasn’t drinking or thinking about drinking. Words, life, everything had lost that magical appeal to me. I’d been to the puppet show and I’d seen the strings. There was no magic. This spiral into the dark began many years before in actual truthness, but for the sake of this blog post, I won’t tell you all the gory details!

This is where some of my darker poetry comes from and my twisted short stories. Life had lost all its magic and so I wrote these twisted stories – with a happy ending – in order to escape the harsh reality of life. Because let’s face it, at the time, there was no such thing as a happy ending except on paper.

My writing was put on hold after that for a few years as my personal life took over. Okay, truthfully, my first husband was a horrible person and didn’t ALLOW me to write, and even after we split up, I just didn’t write. Love had been magical to me once and after that relationship ended, it wasn’t anymore.

It wasn’t until I began to recover – through AA – a little over 4 years ago that the writing and story bug came back to me. I met my second husband then and he has always been supportive of my writing – and he is often the catalyst to much of my imaginings.

I started attending workshops, meeting other authors, meeting other authors in AA even! And I realized that while life wasn’t the happy, rosy place, I thought it was as a kid, there was still a happy ending – even for me!

I’ve been writing ever since and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. Writing is my new addiction and I love everything related to it. It’s my life. It’s hard sometimes and sure I cry about it, but it’s SO worth it.

I submitted my first novel last year – twice. Both times asked for partials but in the end both rejected the story. But I wasn’t as torn up about as I thought I would be. In fact, I was happy in a way. It wasn’t the end of the world – I mean come on, I’ve lived through worse right? It was a rejection of me personally or my stories or anything like that. I just wasn’t ready for publication. Nothing wrong with that.

I believe in the power of positive thinking and forward motion. So as long as I keep learning and trying and moving, everything will be okay.

And I’ll live happily ever after.

Thanks so much for stopping by Anastasia! To continue to follow Anastasia on her journey to publication, click here.


  1. That's how you know you're meant to do something...when you keep coming back to it. Good luck on your journey! I hope to see your book on shelves in the near future!

  2. Great post, Anastasia! Postive thinking is huge for all of's hard to stay positive something but definitely worth the extra energy. Good luck!!

  3. Hi Anastasia, Hello Melinda,

    Great story and also very inspiring. Anastasia, you've been down but the only place now is up, right? I hope to see your books on shelves in the near future.

    Thanks Melinda, for bringing her to us! What an awesome story.

  4. Thanks for sharing your story, Anastasia. Good luck on your writing journey!

  5. Christine: That is true! Thanks. I hope something will be out this year!

    Kristina: Yes, positive thinking is a big thing and really the only thing that keeps me going sometimes. It does take a lot of energy but it's not nearly as draining as thinking negatively is.

    Nas: I'm glad my story is inspiring! For me it's just my life and I don't see it as anything inspirational, so it's surprising that some think so! :) And yes, when you're at the bottom, the only place to go is up.

    Ciara: Thanks for the luck!

  6. Ana, you're doing great, babes. You'll make it soon, I can feel it! Just keep trying like you say. :)

  7. You'll get there Ana. We're behind you all the way! :D

  8. J.D. & Charlene: Thanks guys! You two are some of my biggest fans and the best support team ever! I love you guys!

  9. Anastasia, two rejections is just a drop in the bucket. Madeleine L'engle received at least 26 rejections before A Wind in the Door was accepted for publication. Keep at it.


  10. Good luck with your journey. I enjoyed hearing your story.

  11. Hi everyone! Thanks for popping in and cheering Anastasia on :o)

  12. Peggy: Oh yes. Stephen King's Carrie I think was rejected over a dozen times before it was published. So, I'm still pushing forward.

    Kari: Thanks so much!

    Melinda: Thanks for having me! It was fun!

  13. Hi all! Amazing story Anastasia! You remind me of a friend of mine from high school who has had some of the same struggles. She still works daily at making her life work but is still sober and it's so good to see her like that. We hadn't been good friends since we were in grade school (she moved away) but I still remember those good times and I'm happy to see her working at it. You're statement at the end ("I believe in the power of positive thinking and forward motion. ") resonated with me because that is my philosophy. Life is too short to dwell on the little things. Might as well enjoy the ride. Thank you for sharing - and stop licking the swords, woman, those things are sharp!

  14. What a wonderful story Anastasia. Congrats on the four years! I know with that kind of determination you'll make it with anything you set your mind to. Good luck!

  15. And I forgot to promo Anastasia's website design biz:

    Need an author website? Check out Anastasia Creatives!

  16. Your personal story is so inspirational. To come out of your dark period, regardless of how long it was, took a lot of courage. There are quite a few people, my ex-husband included, who never come out. It's truly wonderful. Keep up with the positive thinking and I wish you the best of luck.