The last four days have passed in a pleasant haze of writing. Once I got started again, I couldn't stop. I'm very lucky to have a supportive family - and that winter weather canceled most of my other responsibilities.
Yesterday morning, I finished the first draft. It's novella length, which is what I expected, and I really love the story. I can't wait to start editing.
But, I will wait for a bit. I always take a break between completing a draft and editing. I need to step away from that world for a bit before diving back in. I also have a bunch of other things going on, so a break is necessary. I'm entering the last two weeks of a show, and I have a couple audiobooks to record.
Always busy - good thing I love all my jobs!
I haven't looked at this blog in a long time.
In March 2018 my life was completely turned on its head when my dad passed away from cancer. It was, by far, the most difficult thing I have ever had to experience, and I am still dealing with it now. We all got to be there for his last days, and we spent a lot of time together. He was the strongest person I've known, and he remained so up until the end. I miss him so much, and every day since his passing has been a struggle.
How does this relate to writing? Well, after he passed, I found myself unable to write. I was completely shattered for the first couple months and barely did anything, but in the months after that, as I slowly began rebuilding my life and trying to heal, I tried numerous times to turn to writing. Writing has always been my way of dealing with everything in my life. It's solace and meditation to put words down. Even if they do not seem tied to things in my life, the act of writing soothes me.
But, now writing was impossible. I tried, but I just couldn't do it. No words would come. I've never struggled with writing. There have been times in my life when I didn't write as much, but I always at least kept a journal. I've never had complete writer's block until this past year.
I thought I was done writing. It made me depressed, but everything was changing, and I started to accept that this might be part of the change. Maybe I wasn't meant to be a writer. Maybe I had nothing else to share. My whole life I believed I was meant to write, but most of my beliefs had been shattered. Maybe this was just part of it.
It hurt, but I decided to move on and find other ways to keep writing in my life. I began narrating audiobooks, which I absolutely love, and I figured I was at least helping out other authors. I also started reading voraciously again, and I started a blog where I review books (mostly by indie authors). I could write about other people's work, and I wanted to help authors in any way I could.
Slowly, as I began to heal (and I am definitely still working on that), I began to have little snippets of ideas. I wrote them down, but that was it. Every time I sat down to write, the words would not come. I did begin keeping a journal again, but I did not feel that creative spark anymore.
I tried to be calm about it. I told myself that for all of 2018 I did not have to do anything. I didn't need creative projects. I didn't need to be busy. I just needed to be. Some days that was hard enough, so I approached my rebuilding with patience and kindness. Something I have never really given myself before.
With the start of 2019, something shifted. I felt drawn to writing again, and I started a few projects. Nothing took off, but it was more words than I had put down in a year. I was buoyed by this and started thinking more and more about writing. One day, an idea presented itself, and it stuck. I couldn't stop thinking about it. Then one day, I had to write it. It felt like an external force was driving my urge to write. It felt like it used to. I wrote out an outline - full story, even the ending, and then I started writing.
I'm still working on it weeks later. I know the whole story and just need to get it down. I love it and can't stop thinking about it. I'm finally feeling like myself - only wiser and with maybe a little more to say now. I think the story will end up being a novella, and I will keep this blog updated on my progress. Cannot wait to share it with the world, but for now, I am just happy to be writing again.
I was the kind of kid that would read anything. I had my favorite authors and genres, of course - I'm looking at you, Babysitters Club. Still, I wasn't picky, and I read whatever I could get my hands on. I've always been a fast reader, so I went through most of my parents' bookshelves pretty quickly.
Even now, I cannot tell you my favorite book, author, or genre. I could never choose just one. I might be able to give you my top ten, but even that would be a struggle. Different works resonate in different ways.
This love of all styles has posed a bit of a problem in my writing life.
I like to write in different styles and genres, too. I primarily write horror novels, but there is always a smattering of sci-fi or fantasy or magical realism. These genres are close enough that I can promote them in a similar way.
Here's my problem.
The other side of my writer's coin involves writing plays for middle and high school students. Very different style. Very different audience. Usually, I keep them separate. This site focuses mainly on my darker, more adult work.
Today, I am going to make an exception, and if you happen to be a director of middle and/or high school theatre, this is for you.
I have been directing middle and high school theatre productions for eleven years. My program is part of an after-school program, so funds are tight. My challenge is always to create a production for as close to $0 as possible.
This led me to begin writing plays for my students. Scripts and performance costs can add up fast, and this seemed like a logical response to my situation. It's a lot of fun, and I have amassed quite a few plays. When I realized how many I had, I decided to put them all in one place and make them available to other directors and schools. There is a minimal fee for performances and the scripts, but it is still pretty affordable. I'm thrilled to have them all in one place for the world to see!
So, if you're a director or just like reading quirky (somewhat strange) plays, check out www.schoolplayscripts.com
I'm so excited, I just had to share!
Em is a writer, theatre director, and hiker. She likes mixing horror with magical realism and adding sci-fi twist.