It feels fitting to start this blog in November, which is National Writing Month. I debated joining NaNoWriMo as motivation to get the bones of my story down for this idea ( temporarily titled E.V.D.) that’s been spinning around in my mind. However, I’m focused on completing Sarah Blue (a story that falls into the mystery genre), and I was hesitant to split the positive spout of inspiration I’ve had. I think most writers have several stories and ideas that they work on over time but when your mind is deeply immersed in one world, it can be hard to fall into another one, even one of your own making.
My world right now is on everything Boston. I lived just outside Harvard Square for three years and while I could not handle living in the ice-chest of a city, I often dream of it. It’s easy to lose yourself in the cobble-stoned streets, brick homes, and steady hum of busy people living their lives. Despite that, I like the freedom of being in my own world. I pull a lot from the narrowly-roaded Boston neighborhoods for Sarah Blue; but you are, ultimately, in my own version of Bean Town.
In between writing Sarah Blue, researching information for E.V.D., and now running this blog, I use story prompts to keep my mind primed. I do have a day job that I am grateful for, but it involves pushing around a lot of non-fiction papers and I’ll leave those lost hours out of this online world.
I’ve been on a huge Dennis Lehane kick lately, and I am currently devouring Sacred. I grew up reading John Grisham, Stephen King, and Anne Rice. Outside of those authors, some of my favorite books include: Ishamel, The Art of Happiness, and A Light in the Attic (I read Shel Silverstein every chance I got as a kid).
I’m here due to a series of inspiring moments over the last two years. In 2012, I was at my favorite place: Barnes and Noble. Hands loaded with books, I spotted a scrapbook-style journal for sale and it’s shiny cover brought me to a stop. I remember lifting the book, almost reverently, and getting sucked into it immediately. The more time I spent looking at the book, the more I thought: I could have done this.
And I had, in my own way.
My version is sitting next to me now, my own book of inspiration: quotes, pictures, words, some mine, some not. Its pages are sparkled and scrawled, typed and taped. They are random, thought-provoking snippets that I have put together over time to help move me towards one mood or another as I write.
I got a little mad at myself that day in Barnes and Noble.
I returned my books, bought a journal and went home. And I began to write. I wrote about how mad I was at myself, I wrote down a list of the things I had written before – articles for content sites, poems I had submitted to contests, ideas I had let roam around but never put to paper. I wrote and I wrote.
The next day, during The Lost Hours, I met Curtis. He’s an animated individual with spiked hair and a friendly smile. He told me about the book he had written and about his journey to get it published. It had nothing to do with our meeting that day and everything to do with how I was feeling. I remember sitting across from him in awe. I had not shared my story with him and yet here he was, a complete stranger, telling me about a journey that I wanted to experience first hand.
I went home that night and wrote some more. The journal I bought the night before that meeting, with just a few tentative lines sketched out, now holds the first hand-written draft of Sarah Blue.
I’ve had several more of those moments since then, randomly bumping into strangers who want to write, who want to connect with others, and it motivates me a little more each time. A few months ago, in my sister’s room, I spotted a quote:
Life isn’t about finding yourself. It’s about creating yourself. (George Bernard Shaw).
I’m here to learn, share, grow, and create. I’m compiling lists of contests to enter, conferences to attend, and resources to check regularly, all of which I will post here. I attended the South Carolina Writers Workshop Conference for the first time this year and I really enjoyed myself. I even experienced another one of those moments that got me here, but I’ll share that another day.
I will post to this blog each week. If you have any questions email me at (firstname.lastname@example.org) or leave a comment below.