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note to self: i’ll be there for you, always

written june 6, 2021. Photo by Kristine Cinate on Unsplash I have always looked for myself in other people. I think the idea was that they would somehow hold the pieces of me that I felt were missing. That maybe, if I wrapped my identity up in theirs enough, we would somehow make a whole person. It's not healthy to live like this, but I did it anyway — burning through relationships and searching for something I couldn't quite name. It was never enough, not to be myself, but it was never enough to latch my identity to other people, either. I got close, several times — I thought I had reached the pinnacle of self discovery. I thought I had completed myself. But in the end, relying on other people to help build yourself is never a viable way to do things. It's only recently that I've started to become comfortable with the idea of being enough, as I am, on my own. Several years ago, in this same position, I would have searched for another person to attach my identity onto,

ablaze with wondrous things

I saw the autumn leaves
Peel up off the street
Take wing on the balmy breeze
And sweep you off your feet
And you blushed as they scooped you up
On sugar maple wings
And gazed down on the city below
Ablaze with wondrous things
Downy feathers kiss your face
And flutter everywhere
Reality is a lovely place
But I wouldn't want to live there. 

- The Real World, Owl City

Writing is the only way Ive been able to make sense of anything.

As you've probably been able to tell by some of my previous blog posts, I have been struggling; with circumstances, emotions, and life in general. But this struggling also extends to my writing life. I couldn't write. I couldn't come up with anything to write. I simply couldn't get any words out. 

Writing is what I use to process through the world around me, through what I'm going through. It helps me understand things in a way that I otherwise can't. It helps me view the world through a different lens, and it helps me remain cheerful in a world that can otherwise be so bleak.

However, I've been severely writer's blocked, so this outlet wasn't available to me. I didn't know what to write, and my internal editor was screaming at the top of its lungs. This isn't any good, it said. You shouldn't start a new story, it said. You should write your other ones first, the half-finished ones, but even if you do, those will stink too. Bwahahahaha. Aha. Aha.

Then, a spark struck.

On Sunday, I had the idea to do a Snow White retelling. Those who know me might think this is a little out of character. I'm not a huge fan of fairytales. I enjoy them, but I'm not in love with them like some people are. (Except for Tangled, but that's a different story.) Besides, I haven't even seen Snow White and have a minimal knowledge of what it's about.

But nonetheless, I wanted to do a Snow White retelling. This baffles even me.

This idea was turning over and over in my head. I knew I wanted to do sort of a modern twist, like what Once Upon a Time seems to be about, and yet not really. I wanted it to be my own, and I would forsake the legend and just write like my life depended on it. I'd already decided that Snow White's last name would be.... well, Snow. The search ensued for a name that meant White. I found a handful of names: Anwen, Gwendolen, and, um, Tarzan, of all names. But in the end, Gwendolen stood out the most. So it was that Gwendolen Snow was born.

As if this wasn't weird enough, yesterday, while I was showering, another plot twist occurred. The Eleventh Doctor popped into my head with pomp and ceremony and the first lines of my Snow White retelling. He showed up and basically said, "This is my story."

And that's how my Snow White retelling became a Doctor Who / Snow White crossover.

...Yeah. I know. I'm still extremely weirded out.

However, I wrote 1,400 words on Tuesday and I've got more ideas spinning in my head, waiting to be written. So apparently, this is the Doctor's story after all, and apparently, I'm meant to write it. I always do this, though, don't I? I start something completely ridiculous, which ends up being a story I love. It also manages to grow from an intended snippet into a comparatively mammoth-sized novels. (Yeah, this has happened twice.) My attempts at more "serious, publishable" stories are quite valiant and haven't failed me yet, but when it comes to finishing novels, I always end up writing the ridiculous ones first.

So I'm writing again, which is something I didn't expect, but something I'm extremely grateful for. My mood has improved significantly, all because I have inkstains on my fingers again. It's wonderful.

Last October was filled with cool breezes and walks outside and loads of plotting while my head was in the clouds. I was hoping this feeling would return, and yesterday it did. The NaNoWriMo site relaunched and when I logged on I had a burst of excitement and nostalgia. Last year's NaNo was one of my best writing experiences. It was loaded with inspiration and giddy highs and wonderful words. Words, words, words. I want to repeat that experience again this year. I'm not totally sure whether I will do NaNo this year, due to not knowing what my life will hold at that time, but I really, really want to. That said, whether I do NaNo or not, I will be writing. Because it's fall, and you know what that means.

It’s writing time.

P.S. - Also on the subject of fall and writing, the dynamic writing duo, sisters Jennifer Freitag and Abigail Hartman, would like to cordially invite you to join their upcoming blog event. This blog event will celebrate the two-year anniversary of their respective novels getting published. Click the invites below to read more, and don't forget to visit their blogs: The Penslayer and Scribbles and Ink Stains.


  1. Huzzah! I'm glad you're feeling better and are back at writing. Also, that crossover . . . it sound so utterly awesome that I'm almost desperate to read it, hee hee!

    Don't worry about shoving "serious publishable" material aside. Sometimes you need to write silly things. And sometimes those silly things give rise to other silly things that become publishable, but avoid serious. Just ask Douglas Adams, Terry Prattchett, and Dr Seuss.

    Much love and hugs from me - and if you do decide to do NaNo, feel free to buddy me! It's always more fun when you have friends to join in with :)

  2. Yay for writing again! Yay for fairy tale retellings! And YAY for The Doctor! Oh, and yay for NaNo too....;)

  3. Awesome. Glad you found reason to write. That's always a great thing. And the crossover... I want to read it. :D Sounds interesting. And NANO! woot! I can't wait. I'm actually writing a story for Nano that involves references to Doctor Who (not a whole lot and not really taking anything specific things, but the title is part of a quote... and there's a certain character that is going to resemble one of the doctors). But yeah! Awesome!

    And the song the Real World... love it. Definitely one of my favorites!


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