“The air was thick with sweat and beer.” (page 1)

Welcome to the -Cock Fight- Dailies, a 13 day blogging event to celebrate the release of my 11th novel, Cock Fight!

For you old hands at this, you’ll notice that I’m trying something a little different this go around. The title of each day’s blog will be one of the chapter titles from the novel. Immediately following is an excerpt from that chapter, a tease as to what you can expect when you pick up Cock Fight. The accompanying blog will somehow incorporate either the excerpt or the title into its daily theme.

I’d love to hear feedback, so please don’t hesitate to comment. I will gladly respond to each one, hopefully honing my response skills to razor sharpness (a skill, I’m sure, will come in handy in case of petulance, plague or other Biblical-sized disasters that might come calling).

Now, let’s get this party started!

Cages have always interested me. I think they interest us all in some manner. I, however, will not attempt to speak for everyone. This is all me, a woman heavily medicated for chronic panic attacks the last 20 years, a woman crazy in love with life in spite of being stuck in the quicksand of mental illness. So, please feel free to color your opinion of me and my thoughts in this light. I don’t mind.

The concept of cages is intriguing. They are meant to keep a person from moving from a spot but not to stop them from moving. Struggle and crawl and claw all you like. There’s no way in hell you’re making it to that door you can see across the room that means freedom. It’s a particular kind of cruel.

I’m sure a lot of my “regulars” know where I’m going with this. Mental illness is a cage. It’s bars of steel around your brain. Worse yet, they’re invisible bars; no one can see them and only you can feel them. Unfortunately, half the time people won’t believe in what they can’t see. Imagine half of the world standing outside your jail cell constantly taunting you to come on outside and play. Some even throw little trinkets of affection at you, promising you more if you’d just slip between those bars.

Yeah, color me bitter. But color me so lightly.

There are so many other crayons, brighter more beautiful crayons coloring my life. Look behind the bars and you’ll see them. Periwinkle, cornflower, copper, magenta, meadow, marigold… they’re all there. Sometimes, you just have to look deep within the cage’s shadows to find them.

I will leave you here for today wishing you cornflower blue skies out your window or between your bars, whichever the case may be.

Until tomorrow…

Chloe Stowe