Recently I let my dear friend Hannah read a piece of fiction I wrote back when I was fourteen. Honestly, I felt mortified to imagine that my fellow literature student would be exposed to my early attempts to follow in Jane Austen’s footsteps. That story is rife with huge words and pretentious dialogue, and I could moan about it some more…but it is a treasure, if we’re going to be positive about this. It is an example of my fledgling attempts at pursuing my passion in writing. The following setup for this post–a chronological record of what happened from 1996 to 2016–was inspired by Sky.
So, let’s start from the very beginning. Where do I get my ideas, and what began this lifelong passion for books and creating stories?
Since I was a baby, my older sister and mom and grandmother instilled in me a love for stories. They read me book after book and I couldn’t get enough. This led to my mom recording herself reading one of my favorites, Thomas the Tank Engine. I’m pretty sure Thomas was my first fictional obsession. o.O
In 2003 my life changed when I experienced a severe injury to my right arm. Thankfully it wasn’t my dominant one. But after that my mind began to shift from being content to merely listen to stories to the desire to create ones of my own. I began to draw since I was restricted to little to no activity at this time. Boredom and restlessness drove me to get out all that energy via filling up one sketchbook after another. These drawings were basically comics about myself (then 6 years old) in college with my sister and best friends. I especially enjoyed drawing our adventures with my dog, Oliver, who accompanied me into the dorm. I also fell in love with historical figures. I remember one of my earliest books was about George Washington, Paul Revere, and Benjamin Franklin. My love for animated movies (especially Mulan and The Prince of Egypt) expanded drastically and I was daily inspired to draw and “write” visual stories about my favorite characters and I (I had a crush on Moses…)
Around this time I was entering my middle school years. Middle school came with all the awkwardness and angst I didn’t desire whatsoever. But in retrospect I am pretty sure I escaped it and dove into the worlds of my favorite books, which were Little Women, Detectives and Togas, and Why Not Lafayette. History and fiction enchanted me. I continued to play with my dollhouses and plastic horses but gradually Microsoft Word on my parents’ computer became the medium of choice. My best friend and I spent long periods of time together writing stories. I wrote about Kaya, the Nez Perce American Girl Doll™. So I suppose you could call this an early forage into fan-fiction. My best friend wrote about her own character, another Native American girl named Rayla.
Fourteen and up I was on fire. I wrote non-stop, constantly. I wrote a 300 page (still unfinished) story about a group of friend time-traveling to Ancient Rome. It was my classified project and I enjoyed the secret adventure of writing it. Most everything else I shared with my family and friends and on my early blog. And I finished a novella called Intertwined Destinies. I gave it to my older sister and her husband to read, so proud of my first finished work. They ended up editing it and binding it, as shown above. To have a piece of my juvenilia bound together so beautifully is a blessing. Intertwined Destinies is a historical romance, featuring my American historical hero, Meriwether Lewis.
Since then I’ve lapsed into what seems like an eternal writing block. But sooner or later I’ll sit down and feel that delightful rush, that craving to write, to create, to tell stories again. And who knows? Maybe my storytelling dreams won’t come to be through writing novels. It could be in storyboarding for an animation company, or writing screenplays.
What do I enjoy writing the most?
It’s probably clear by now but I love integrating history into any and all contemporary genres. I love mulling over the concept of time-travel and I hope to explore that in future stories.
3rd person POV//historical fiction + contemporary + short stories//favorite setting-America//
Artists I listen to while writing:
Fall Out Boy, Halsey, John Williams, Sia, Maroon5