Let Me Tell You A Story.

A story is a lot like a room.

You start with nothing. An empty space.

Maybe it’s nice when you start. A clean slate. Or maybe it’s messy. Ideas can be messy. Most of mine are.

Then your idea begins to form into something more solid. A foundation, a framework.

But your story is only just beginning.

You begin to flesh it out. Give it walls, boundaries. Fashion a world with defined endings…but infinite possibilities.

It starts out a little rough. The future seems uncertain.

And sometimes it might seem like the story is heading in the wrong direction.

You make hard choices. Do you trust your first instinct? Do you change directions? Let a character fade out of existence or power through to see how they develop?

Fitting together different aspects, completely disjointed, might seem like a daunting task.

But it all works out in the end.

And as you add in the tiny details that make the story come alive, it will become something awesome. Something worth sharing.

This little space might not seem like much, but it’s mine. A cozy nook to go and write stories, create worlds, and talk to imaginary characters. I so look forward to adding the details to it as time goes on. But for now, it’s time to write!

The Things I Do for Coffee.

This morning, I headed to the kitchen, where my MoccaMaster was waiting for me, calling out.  I went through the motions almost subconsciously.  Fill the reservoir, grind the Death Wish (that’s a coffee, by the way.  More precisely, THE Coffee.), and grab the box of environmentally-friendly bamboo coffee filters…

Only there were no filters.  My children, bless their tiny, chaos-loving souls, had made a pot of coffee yesterday afternoon…and not only neglected to share that they’d used the last filter, but also went ahead and put the empty box back on the shelf.

You see, I’m past all that denial nonsense.  I know I have a problem.  Coffee doesn’t give me the jitters, or have any noticeable effect on my energy levels.  It isn’t something I do in the morning because it’s a nice, relaxing ritual.  Most mornings, I am fighting off tiny beings with varying levels of actual need, just to take a few delicious sips.  But if there is no coffee, I get a little anxious.  Okay, a lot anxious.  I spend entirely too much time, when we are going somewhere, wondering how and where I will get my next fix.  I believe water was created as a vehicle for coffee.  So now what?

Coffee does not enhance my writing process–it is my writing process.  And, more notably, perhaps, it is my favorite non-sentient thing in all the world.  If there is a coffee in my hands, iced, hot, espresso, doesn’t matter…I can just tell that everything will be all right.

I had to think quick.  I remembered our emergency box of dried goods in the basement, which had sat untouched for, oh, a decade or so.  I remembered that, of course, coffee was a vital component of any good emergency kit.  I pulled it out, rummaging through until at last I found it:  A ten pack of vital, life-giving instant hazelnut coffee packets.

“Oh, cute!  Can I try?” my daughter squealed in delight.

“Um, no, you most certainly may not,” I responded, with a wild glint in my eye and a cold, heartless tone in my voice.

Was it delicious?  Not really.  Did it sooth my psychological needs long enough for me to get dressed and head to the store for filters?  Yep.

I’m so glad that no one is writing a book about me.  Remember when I talked about the importance of a character’s drive?  I think the amount of coffee drinking scenes in that book would make for a boring read.  Some things just don’t translate, you know?

How It All Started

It was raining, that first day at the library. Sheets of water poured down the panes of glass, obscuring my view of the swollen river just beyond the parking lot. The chair was comfortable, and a warm coffee kept me company as I absent-mindedly chewed on the end of my (very expensive!) Apple Pencil. The first scene was so simple to write. It had been written for a long time, but had never been put to paper. I knew exactly how it would end, too. But would everything in between be up to snuff?

What began as a short story quickly outgrew the mold into which I had hoped to place it. As the story progressed, the world became larger. The background, lore, and plot lines blossomed into an impressive array of colorful sticky notes that adorned my bedroom wall. The more I wrote, the more the characters came alive. In the end, the dialogue practically wrote itself. I wrote it in two parts to begin. It is the first in a series, and while I slog through the tedious stages of editing, arguing with my husband over the necessity of commas after conjunctive adverbs, I have already begun crafting the next novel. I cannot wait to share my work with you!