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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,

Beautiful People: iWrite

Today, my friends, is a glorious day, because it's all about me. Sorry. I had to channel my inner Tony Stark for a moment.

All kidding aside, this month, Beautiful People is doing something a little differently: we're focusing on the writers behind the characters! I mean, we're all beautiful people too, right? You can enter by skadaddling over to the post here.

I'm here with my humble contributions to this awesome meme. (Ahem. Humility is not my strong suit today.)


1. How many years have you been writing? When did you officially consider yourself a ‘writer’?
I've been writing since I was about four or five, which I feel kind of embarrassed to admit. I started reading when I was three, and I remember opening a WordPad document on our old, old desktop computer. It was pretty intense, people. It was a downhill spiral from there, and I've been writing ever since.

I started to take my writing seriously when I was 12, and I started my fantasy novel Talryn's Tale. I never finished it, but it was the springboard into many more books and stories. I'm grateful for that book.

2. How/why did you start writing?
I was reading since I was born (or being read to), and I think that honestly had a lot to do with it. One of my earliest stories was a fanfic of Narnia. (And I had a fanfic of the Boxcar Children, called the Kaboose Kids. Don't laugh.) I think I read good books and I wanted to write stories like that. Since an early age, story has been incredibly powerful for me. How could I not want to join in writing my own?

3. What’s your favorite part of writing?
When you have that spark of a new idea, just waiting to be written. I also like finishing stuff.

4. What’s your biggest writing struggle?
... Finishing stuff.

I've finished four novels (what?!) and every single one was a hard struggle to the finish line. I struggle with keeping to projects--inspiration is a fickle beast, and so is my attention span.

5. Do you write best at night or day?
I've written during either, but I swear, I'm pretty sure my writing juices are made to only kick in at night.

6. What does your writing space look like? (Feel free to show us pictures!)
My laptop is currently broken, but when it's working, I sit on a couch in our living room.

However, the more inspiring spot in my house to write is our desktop, which has a window overlooking our backyard. Even though we're in the middle of the city, I still thrive on that view.

while drafting Because We Can

7. How long does it typically take you to write a complete draft?
It varies. Reese's Pieces, my first novel, was started (approximately) in October 2010 and finished March 2011, so about five months. Because I'm Irish took from December 2011 to July 2012, so about a year and a half (longer if you count the time it took me to get around to writing the ending, sigh.) Because We Can took a little less than a year, from July 2013 to June 2014. Lost Girls took 32 days, because that was a NaNo novel.
So apparently I average six months to a year, which kind of sucks and I'm working on getting better on finishing things, no matter how first-draftish they are. I'm aiming to finish at least two novel first drafts this year, so we'll see how that goes.

8. How many projects do you work on at once? 
I can really only work on one actively, but I often switch when I become bored with one project. (Terrible habit, I know.) And just because I'm drafting one project doesn't mean I'm not thinking, or pinning about, the others. So while I can only draft one at a time, I have countless stories tumbling around in my head.

9. Do you prefer writing happy endings, sad ones, or somewhere in between? 
Depends. If the story is part of a trilogy or a series, I have no problem writing bittersweet or cliffhanger-y endings. I like to mostly tie up some of the problems, but Lost Girls ended with more problems looming, as did Because I'm Irish. Reese's Pieces ended saccharinely sweet. and Because We Can ended bittersweet, as well. I guess I'd have to say I like somewhere in between. At the end of a series, though, I'd prefer to end the story as happily as possible. My characters deserve that much.

10. List a few authors who’ve influenced your writing journey. 
C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Donita K. Paul inspired me to write fantasy.
Erynn Mangum, Jenny B. Jones, and Lisa Samson inspired me to write contemporary/romance.
Stan Lee, with his origin stories and superheroes, inspired me to write awesome tales of valor.
Maggie Stiefvater currently is inspiring me to tighten up my writing and make it even better.
F. Scott Fitzgerald inspired me to write a great story, no matter how sad it is.
And all my friend writers that I've known have inspired me, whether they know it or not.

11. Do you let people read your writing? Why or why not?
Kind of, kind of not. I'm largely skittish about people reading my work. However, a few people have been able to read, especially if they latch onto a project in particular.

12. What’s your ultimate writing goal or dream? 
Publication, but more than that, to touch someone through my writing. Stories have come to me in dark places, reached down, and pulled me out. If mine could do that for someone someday, it would mean the world. I'm tearing up just thinking about it.

13. If you didn’t write, what would you want to do? 
Work in the criminal justice system, or do something to help make the world a better place. Actually, that may still happen. Watch out, world.

14. Do you have a book you'd like to write one day but don’t feel you’re ready to attempt it yet?
Every single one. (No, not really.)

One fantasy story, By a Thread, has been around since before 2011 and it won't leave me alone, but every time I try to start it, it falls flat. I also have held off on writing my soul-novel, Souvenirs of a Life Untold, because I've felt I wasn't ready. (And I'm a perfectionist and should probably just write the dang thing already.)

15. Which story has your heart and won't let go?
Honestly, all of them have me wrapped around their little finger in some way. But my number one baby is the Because I'm Irish series. What started out as a stupid little fanfic has turned into a major trilogy that snatched me and won't let go. The runner-ups are The Angel Novel and Souvenirs. 


While I should be working on draft 2 of Because I'm Irish (which is at 36k), my inspiration fizzled out. So instead I'm rewriting another novel important to me: The Angel Novel. 13k in and this draft is working better than any of the others so far; I think I finally know how to make this work. Fingers crossed. 

How's your writing life, blogger friends? What are you working on right now? How long does it usually take you to finish a draft?

link up with Beautiful People by going here!


  1. All your covers are so pretty!
    I haven't actually finished a novel yet but I estimating it'll take me a year or so.

  2. Working on criminal justice sounds like an interesting alternate career—definitely something to enjoy. I also know what you mean about not finishing projects and getting bored. I think it's something everyone struggles with sometimes, but some of us more than others. XD

  3. The Chronicles of Narnia was definitely a big influence at an early age for me. I love finishing novels, too, but unfortunately, it's also the most difficult part of writing. Usually it takes me 3-6 months to finish the first draft of a novel, though more often leaning towards 3 months. Right now I'm working on editing my first novel, which is slow work, but fun.


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