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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,

A Novel Idea: All About the Writing Process #3

Today I'm participating in A Novel Idea, a weekly blog meme for writers by Ashley @ Ashley Aspires. Every week, she posts questions to answer about you, your writing, and yourself. It's awesome, and you can check out this week's edition here.

This week, we're focusing on writing styles and ourselves as writers. I'm excited!

1. What was your first story plot? Do you ever consider rewriting it? 
My first story plot was technically when I was five, a picture book called Dogs and Cats Castle. Then there's what you would consider my first finished book, a mystery for kids that was based off of my cousins and I. I don't know how long it was, but I pounded away on it with my dad's old computer that was so old that the screen was black and white and I had to use keyboard shortcuts instead of a mouse. Nonetheless, in 10pt Consolas, I typed what would be my first book (but the one I always forget about).

The first novel plot I dedicated myself to was a fantasy novel called Talryn's Tale. That one I do consider rewriting, if I can get a plot good enough. And enough time.

And then the first novel I ever finished, Reese's Pieces, is one that I do think of returning to from time to time. Again, though, I'd have to come up with a more fleshed-out plot than the one that's there.

2. Where do you get most of your ideas? 
Dreams and music, mostly? I actually don't know, honestly. Sometimes my novel ideas just come to me, sometimes almost-fully-formed (those are the best kinds). Then there's times where I have to wrack my brain for inspiration. I will say that Pinterest has been an invaluable tool for a.) figuring out my novels, b.) continuing to be inspired, and c.) coming up with ideas. I honestly wouldn't have some of my novels without Pinterest, and even before then, I was finding character pictures all over the place. So, pictures, definitely, would be my answer to this one.

3. How old were you when you decided that you couldn’t stand it anymore – and you started writing?
...Five? No, maybe that's not quite true. I wrote my picture book then, so I do consider that the beginning, but for a while I had a bunch of unfinished WordPad documents and didn't take writing seriously. I was about 12 when I decided to try to find a novel plot and stick to it (That was Talryn's Tale.) And now, even at 18, I'm discovering that I can always commit more to my writing (this year is when I decided, again, to pick a novel and stick to it). But for purposes of this question, I'll say 12.

4. Do you have a favorite character from one of your books? Describe them. 
Am I allowed to have favorites? Won't this cause a mutiny?

Eh, okay. I have lots, honestly. I love all of mine in different ways. But first and foremost, my heart is always dedicated to my girl main characters. Fiona and Cobie in particular are my favorites. Fiona is my soul character, and Cobie has taught me so much. They're both made of fire, one that echoes the kind of passion and hope I have in my own soul. Their resilience in the face of life's hardships is one I completely admire. The ensemble casts in each of Fiona's and Cobie's respective novels are my favorites too, and help enhance the best sides of them. I just love all my characters, so much. This is weird to say, but they really have become some of my best friends.

(For those curious, and because I often talk about my characters with no explanation, Fiona is from my novel Because I'm Irish and its sequels; two out of the three's first drafts are finished. Cobie is from Petrichor, a book I've been working on feverishly for the past few months that I'm almost done with (woot!). These novels have bits of my soul left in them that I'm not sure I'll get back, so it's no wonder these girls are so important to me. Gah. Okay. I'll stop fangirling now.)

5. Do you act out your scenes, or just write them?
Ha! This is one of my favorite A Novel Idea questions so far. While I've not made a huge habit of getting up to act something out, it has been known to happen. I asked my dad to help talk through a bullet wound once, and he demonstrated using my own shoulder. 

More often, though, I honestly do act out a lot of things, just not while away from my computer. I'll be writing away, completely unaware that I'm making the face of the character that I'm writing about. Sometimes I'll whisper pieces of dialogue out loud to myself, too.

photo credits to Georgie Penn, taken two years ago as of this month.

A Novel Idea

If you want to answer these questions about yourself, be sure to check out A Novel Idea! I would absolutely love to hear your answers.

current Petrichor wordcount: 94,310 / 100,000.
it's so close that I can taste it!!!


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