S. Elle Cameron

All love is a tragedy...

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When Is Cheating A Good Idea?: Theme From RED

"Just remember that secrets are the foundation of a long relationship."-Alex Kinsley (RED)

Possibly the last theme I want to talk about from RED is the factor of cheating. Now, this theme doesn't tie into the others, it's more of a standalone but it's a MAJOR theme in the novel. There's cheating in every possible form all over the place from beginning to end (basically). Everyone has secrets and unacknowledged feelings that they have to deal with; just like real life it begins to affect their relationships with the people around them.

In some cases, cheating may seem like a good idea or the only option in order to be happy with someone (A Tragic Heart has a perfect example of this) but in reality it should never be an option. We think we find the one for us and then suddenly things take an ugly turn and we find ourselves in the arms of another. The worst part is that we tend to try and justify it. To tell you the truth, our justifications make sense a lot of the times but the truth is, cheating is always wrong. You're better off getting out of the relationship completely if you feel the need to go that far. Peyton experiences this a lot in RED.

"Alex is the debris that fills your lungs without you noticing until it's too late; he's the cancer in cigarettes, the side effects to painkillers. Ronan is crystal clear, he's the warmth you feel after coming inside from being in twenty degree weather, he's the answer to every riddle, he's the one...but for some reason I like to mix clarity with confusion. I like to mix my Ronan with a little bit of Alex."-Peyton Hayley Giordano (RED)

The quote above is the perfect example of what we think to ourselves when we know we're making a bad decision with someone while we're committed to another. We start to make charts and Vinn diagrams of pros and cons only to go ahead with our bad idea anyway. When you're stuck in a position like this it's easy to feel like you need both. Both give you something that you want and something that you feel like you need. You sometimes feel like you love both equally which makes you greedy and selfish. We tend to forget that we are hurting someone while we're indulging in another. In fact, we're probably hurting three people: the one your committed to, your lover on the side, and yourself. 

Cheating isn't always cheating on someone else, it's cheating on yourself. The characters in RED quickly learn that when they suffer for their actions and pay the consequences. Another thing they learn is that a person doesn't have to be physically there in order to have an affair. Mason has a hard time grasping that concept throughout the novel. Sometimes we aren't in physical relationships with another person but mentally and emotionally we are completely spoken for. 

"You can deny it all you want but the truth is the truth and it has an ugly way of coming out."-Alex Kinsley (RED)

When we engage ourselves with someone other than our significant other we tend to place ourselves in somewhere denial lives. What we're doing isn't that bad, the other person doesn't do things the way they used to, I'm not in love with this new person so it doesn't mean that much...the denial is never ending unless we confront it. One thing we can be certain of is that the truth will always come out somehow. It may take a while but it will reveal itself and it's usually in the most unattractive way possible. That's when the old saying, "you made your bed now lie in" comes into play.  This is one position you don't want to be in.

Hopefully after reading RED, you all will be able to make decisions with a clearer head. Hopefully cheating is a decision you decide not to make at all. If you're thinking about it, just wait until RED comes out and see how it works out for them...

Cheating isn't as upbeat and enjoyable as this song but you should take a listen anyway...



Love Who You Are: Theme From RED

"I guess in the end if you have to try that hard, it's no longer natural."-Mason Taylor (RED)

For the last lesson/theme from RED, I'll talk about loving who you are. After traveling along the hard and frustrating journey to get to this point, the only option you really have is to love who you are. Once you made your mistakes and learned from them, dropped your ego, learned to forgive, started over, found yourself, been judged and learned to stop judging, now it's time to love the person you worked so hard to become. 

After a while being who you once were no longer feels like a natural thing. You'll find yourself trying to fit in with others but something will always feel a little off about it. That's because you are someone new and it's time for you to embrace that someone. In RED, it takes a while for my characters to learn this but this is also a factor that doesn't happen overnight in reality. We're all a work in progress. When they came up with that overused and cliche of a quote, "the best/easiest person to be is yourself" they weren't lying. It's the only way to know who your true friends are and where you really belong in life. There comes a time when faking it just won't cut it anymore. You have to be real/true to yourself before you can be true to anyone else. 

"Acceptance is all it takes to be free."-Peyton Hayley Giordano (RED)

Fully accepting yourself is what loving who you are is all about. It doesn't mean that you'll always agree with the choices you make and you'll never regret a thing again, it just means that you are comfortable with who you are and you don't mind allowing people to get to know you just as you are. We're all imperfect but what Peyton says is true, "we are worthy". Imperfections does not equal being worthless. No one will ever be perfect but we can sure as hell love ourselves the way no one else will. We at least owe ourselves that after all that we've been through on that long, cold journey we had to take alone. If you don't love yourself by then, you probably never will. 

So, after battling through the storm and climbing mountains no one ever knew was even in your way, embrace yourself. Love who you've become because you worked hard enough to get there. No one deserves your love more than you! Just ask Peyton, Ronan, Adalyn, Mason, and Jackson after RED comes out this Winter! We're almost there... 

In the meantime here's a song about loving who you are:


Judgment:Theme From RED

"We can't be judged. We can't be told we're not good enough because of our past. After all, we're all red on the inside..."-Peyton Hayley Giordano (RED)

The theme I chose from last week was finding yourself and this week I'll take off from there. While finding yourself you're going to come across a lot of people who will have their own opinions about you and most of the time these opinions will come off as judgmental. For some reason, when we're in the process of changing people like to point out your past and the things/mistakes you used to do. It's like a constant reminder of who you used to be but the thing to remember is that, that's not important anymore. What's important is that you're moving on and trying to become the person you deserve to be.

In RED, Peyton does a lot of things that every one of you will judge her for. You will yell at her in your heads and call her various names throughout the book...and I can't say that I blame you because Peyton is a very frustrating character to deal with. The thing to remember is that she's supposed to be human and a little troubled. If there is anyone to tell a story about where the main character must find herself and start over, it's Peyton. 

In life, we're going to do a lot of questionable things and make tons of less than desirable decisions but in the end no one has the real right to judge us. Our past is the past and that is where it should stay. Whenever someone tries to comment on your "new" behavior and try and classify it as being "fake" just ignore them and focus on the new you. Guarantee, there will always be someone out there questioning your motives and trying to pull you back into who you used to be. Cut them off. They're no good for you or your process to grow and find who you are. 

While you're growing, you must also remember to not knock anyone else down if they're still stuck where you once were. Everyone has a different process and some people take longer to come around (if they ever do!). This still doesn't give you a right to judge. One of the hardest things is trying to change. It seems like it's almost impossible so kicking someone when they're already down won't do any good either. We're all just human so don't judge.

During RED, you will notice that almost every character has something about them that's easy to judge them on. They all have their vices just like we do. Some are drug related, some are lust related, and others may seem difficult to even categorize but that's not the point. We all have a weakness or two and none of us like to be judged for it. In fact, we spend most of our time hiding it from people. 

So while you're moving on and trying to find yourself remember to not listen to those trying to judge you and don't judge anyone else during your process. They're no better than you are and you're no better than them. So, go ahead, make your mistakes, drop your ego, start over, forgive yourself and others, find yourself, and don't worry about judgment. The whole point of this journey is to love who you are...hey, that sounds like an awesome topic for next week! 

Until next week, let's listen to a song all about judging...

Finding Yourself:Theme From RED

"I somehow managed to play the protagonist and the antagonist in this story"-Peyton Hayley Giordano (RED)

Last week I wrote about starting over after you already made those messy mistakes, dropped your ego and learned to forgive yourself and others. This week I want to talk about another major theme from RED: finding yourself. 

When you focus on starting over you have to also focus on finding yourself. After being dragged through the mud and experiencing disappointment after disappointment, you have to hit the restart button. Restarting also means that things are going to have to change. In the process of us being dragged by our hair while our face scraps against the cement we become someone different. We just have to find out who this person is. 

Finding yourself is critical in the process of starting over. If we don't gain a clear vision of who we are we'll just falter into another mess (and who wants that?). Not knowing who you are usually results in you falling for anything. Knowing who you are (and who you used to be) will help you stand firm in your beliefs, values, and follow the path ahead of you will little slip ups. 

In RED, Peyton is on a journey to find out who she is after never getting the chance to truly know her parents. All she has is her mother's journals and writings she kept on a flash drive to refer to. Her dad never got the chance to even know she was going to exist and her mom ended it all before she could even develop a memory. Most of us get the chance to learn who we are by reflecting back on how our parents were/are. Peyton never got that chance which makes her journey both difficult and interesting. She finds herself making many of her parents' mistakes but it's harder for her to deal with them because she has no idea her parents already went through it all. 

Peyton begins to find herself when she sees herself where she is. The quote above is her reflecting on her past behavior and mistakes after it all blows up in her face. This should sound familiar to most of us. We tend to find ourselves while we're attempting to start over after something blew up in our faces. It's almost like the wreck and disaster is what we needed to see clearly. While we're under water we finally make the decision to breathe. Peyton is no different. 

If you're currently in a situation that seems impossible, almost like you're drowning, I dare you to breathe. Open your lungs and learn something new; how to start over and find yourself in the process. Figure out what you learned and become the person you always wanted to be. Live like you're the person you want to be and soon you won't be acting anymore. We all make mistakes, we all have to learn when to drop our egos, we have to forgive ourselves along with others, we have to start over, and we have to find ourselves all over again. While you're becoming someone new you're going to get a lot of hate and judgment thrown at you but who cares? Well...judgment...that sounds like something I could talk about next week, doesn't it? Until then, keep on looking....

In the meantime listen to a song about finding yourself:



Starting Over:Theme From RED

"That's your only way out...wrecking who you once were and rebuilding yourself from scratch."-Mason Taylor (RED)

Starting over is hard but sometimes it's the only option we have. The only thing harder than starting over is staying where we are because it eventually will tear us to shreds. Last week I spoke about forgiveness and how important it is to forgive others and yourself. Well, after you forgive you need to learn to move on because that doesn't happen on its own. Starting over is another major theme from my upcoming novel, RED and it's a topic that needs to be discussed almost everyday. Each moment that goes by consists of someone trying to hit the reset button. 

The characters in RED are both beautiful and flawed. This is what makes them so realistic. The main character, Peyton is on a journey to find herself and make a better life. She hits tons of bumps in the road (some she caused, others not so much) and there comes a time in the book where she needs help with becoming someone new. When asking Mason what should she do, he gives her the quote above. This is one of my favorite quotes from the book because it's some of the greatest advice anyone can give. We can't get out of our situations if we're not willing o wreck a few things.

Wrecking things may mean killing your bad habits, letting some people go, or moving to a different zip code. At some point we all have to wreck ourselves or the things around us in order to truly let go. There's no such thing as truly starting over unless you wreck something. You can't build a new home without tearing something down.

It may seem counterintuitive to talk about destroying something if you want to start fresh with a clean slate but sometimes you have to get messy before you can clean up. This is something Peyton, Adalyn, and Mason have to learn for themselves. All three characters are caught in very different situations but they all must learn the same lesson. It's a lot like life. we all have different journeys and issues but most of the time we're all learning the same lessons. Life has a funny way of teaching that way. 

After you're completely wrecked the only other option you have is to start over and rebuild. It's almost like hitting rock bottom; the only place you have left to go is up. This is why the wrecking phase is so important. You can't build over a cracked foundation...life is no different. 

Take Mason's advice and call the construction crew; tell them to bring the wrecking ball because you need to start over. Once the walls are down and the debris is clear, start cleaning up and rebuilding. Once you begin to start over you'll learn to find yourself. You can't truly find out who you are with years old mess surrounding you. You know what? Finding yourself sounds like a great topic for next week! 

In the meantime, here's a song all about feeling stuck and trying to start over:

typography life startingover Quotes

To Forgive Or Not To Forgive?: Theme From RED

"I closed the bedroom door behind me. I could feel her crying herself to sleep but I had no time for feeling sorry. She betrayed me and that wasn’t something I could easily forgive her for. I needed time to myself."-Mason (RED)

Forgiveness is a touchy subject but it's the topic I said I would talk about this week. Last week I talked about dropping your ego to become someone new and make a better life for yourself, and the week before that I talked about making mistakes and learning from them. These are all major themes in RED but forgiveness is probably one of the biggest.

As I mentioned before, my characters are far from perfect and they make tons of mistakes (maybe even more than the average person) which causes for a lot of forgiveness to take place. From the moment the novel starts, Peyton struggles with forgiving her mother for leaving her the way she did (readers of A Tragic Heart knows exactly what I mean). Mason and Adalyn has some obstacles to overcome within their marriage which means they both have to learn to forgive if they want to move on with their lives for themselves and for their family. Jackson (Peyton's uncle and Mason's ex-brother in law) also finds himself in the middle of a situation that requires forgiveness in order to move on. The same goes for Ronan.  

Forgiveness is something we all have  to learn. The truth is I'm not sure if forgiving is part of human nature. Our first instinct is never to forgive the person who wronged us or show grace towards them. When we feel betrayed our first instinct is to express anger and plot revenge. We have to train ourselves to forgive and love that person in spite of whatever it is they've done. The characters in RED struggle with the same issue.  Some of the issues seem unforgivable while others are a bit lighter to digest. 

“That’s not stupid, it’s called being young! You and Marcus had a hurtful history and it’s normal to want to find comfort in a person who caused you so much pain. Alex was a complete mistake and you have to forgive yourself for it. That’s the hardest part…forgiving yourself. Once you learn how to do that, you’ll be happy.”-Adalyn (RED)

Forgiving isn't always an action you have to show someone else. Sometimes we have to learn to forgive ourselves just as much as we have to learn to forgive another.  Forgiving ourselves sometimes mean we have to forget whatever it is that we've done and move on. It's not easy but we can't spend our entire lives dwelling on something that's in the past. After a while you're going to have to learn to pick yourself up and say "I forgive you" and keep it moving. Even if the person you wronged hasn't forgiven you yet, still, forgive yourself. You deserve it. This is something Peyton, Adalyn, and Mason must learn. As humans, we can do some pretty horrible things but that doesn't mean we have to punish ourselves forever. Forever is a long time and you deserve to be happy and guilt free for whatever remaining time you have left here. 

"She didn’t only humiliate me. She publicly humiliated me. How am I supposed to get past this? How am I supposed to forgive her? But mostly, how am I supposed to forget this?"-Ronan (RED

Some acts of betrayal are so terrible that we convince ourselves that there's no way we can ever forgive that person for doing what they did to us but the honest truth is that it isn't true at all. No matter how horrible the act or how much that person humiliated you, you can get over it and learn to forgive them. It doesn't  mean you have to be best friends again, it just means that you're no longer letting what they did consume your life or thoughts. You have better things to think about. Sometimes it feels impossible to forgive if you can't forget what happened but it gets easier with every day that goes by. It all takes time. We can't expect to be forgiven when we do something wrong if we can't forgive others when they wrong us. 

So today, I hope that you learn that whatever happened to you (or what you did to yourself) isn't the end of the world. Get up, forgive yourself or whoever turned their back on you, and move on. It's not the end of the world and life goes on whether you like or not, so why not make it a little more peaceful? Learn from your mistakes, drop your ego, and forgive so that you can start over. Start over...that sounds like a great topic for next week, eh?  

Here's a song that teaches us all about forgiveness...and love!

Our Favorite Mistakes:Theme From RED

"I kissed him intensely and at the moment I didn’t care if I was making a mistake."-Peyton Hayley Giordano (RED)

Starting today, I'm going to write blog posts based on the many themes of my upcoming novel, RED. I think sometimes people get so caught up in a story that they forget to take lessons out of them. I'm going to make it easier for you all to pick out the lessons and themes from the book. You'll understand more once you read it. 


As most of you all know (hopefully all of you), no one is perfect...not one of us. Therefore, it only makes sense for characters in books to not be perfect. They need flaws like everyone else. RED is full of characters with flaws (some major, some minor). The topic of today's post is mistakes. We all make them and we're all guilty of them. 


The problem with mistakes is that we usually know beforehand when we're making one. In fact, a lot of mistakes are premeditated but something inside of us pushes us to do it or "give it a try" anyway. We tend to count these things as mistakes but are they really? I like to believe that we all have our favorite mistakes...the ones we keep making over and over again. Eventually we learn but it takes times, even years!


What is it about us that we have to keep doing the same things over and over before we learn? Are we just wired that way? Is it human nature? Are we all just a little "crazy"? I think in a way we're all martyrs because that need for drama or hurt is what feeds us (all of the writers/artists out there know what I'm talking about). In my opinion, characters should be no different. 


There are plenty of moments in the novel where readers may hate the main character or call her "stupid" or even just get plain tired of her but again, that's the point. It's realistic. Have you ever met a teenager who didn't continuously make the same mistakes while trying to find who they are? Again, we're all guilty of it. The act of making mistakes is a vicious cycle and it sometimes takes more than once for us to get it and change our ways. 


Another funny thing about mistakes is that we tend to make the same mistakes our parents or siblings made. Sometimes we learn from their mishaps but other times we find ourselves in the same place they once were. How frustrating is that?! 


That's another concept you'll see a lot in RED; Peyton making  a lot of the same mistakes her mother and father already made...except most of the time she doesn't even know she's making them. Some are bothersome to read and others are a little easier to digest (but they're all frustrating). 


At the end of the day it's important to remember that we're all just human and making mistakes is part of being just that. We don't always learn the first time and sometimes even the second or third, but it's okay as long as we do learn eventually. There's no time span on how long it takes. Some mistakes are bigger than others but that doesn't mean that they can't be made right. Whether your favorite mistake is cheating, pushing people away, rebellion, or finding yourself in some less than desirable situation...it's okay. It all can turn around if you just drop your ego, let go, and learn. Ego...that sounds like a good topic/theme to talk about next. 


Here's a song all about making the same mistakes over and over: