Thursday, August 21

Who am I... The Author

I've got a few titles I like to go by, Author, Friend, Daughter, Screw up [don't actually like that one, but its accurate], Artist, Designer, Weirdo, Geek...

And each one interacts with at least one other at any given time.  But I wanted to break it down a bit and focus on just one element to introduce to you first.

Author, or Writer.

When I was 12 my family went to a convention in Orlando, FL and being who my mother was, given a choice of putting me with the 10-13 year olds or the 14-18 year olds, she put me in the older age group.  I never minded, as I've often found people my own age are idiots.  Could just be the ones I met however.

Anywho, they were doing some career assessment or something by Larry Burkette and I found it thrilling.  As the youngest person in the room, I knew exactly what I wanted to do when I grew up.

I wanted to own a bookstore.

Years later, this translated a bit into being a writer and the love I feel at asking questions and being able to suggest a book to someone.  The idea that I might have helped pick out a book you'll adore, not much else comes close to the happiness that brings me.

Once again, years passed and I saw the decline of the bookstore and it broke my heart.  I still dream a bit of perhaps owning one, just to own it, but its more dream than anything else now.

3-4 years ago, I'm honestly not sure which.. The time bleeds together as it was either just before or just after my mother passed away, I was talking with my best friend about a realization I'd had.  It wasn't bad, just hurt a little to admit.

I hope you're ready, because I want to explain the wholeness of where my mind was coming from at the time AND how I explained what I felt.

At this time, I was trying to work through getting my degree online through Kaplan [Got it, graduate of 2013 with a BS in Business].  I'd already put together a little faux business plan for a cafe I'd dreamed up, that would sit next to my bookstore.

But more and more I was seeing that the bookstore wasn't something realistic.  Dreams don't have to be realistic, but for them to happen... You have to face the reality of the dream  That was this moment.

Not everyone understands how I decided this change was good.  After all, at this point I'd been dreaming of the bookstore for about 25 years.

So, I used a book to show how dreams or ambitions can help shape our realities.  The Cross and The Switchblade.

In the store, the MC is a pastor of a small church.  He comes from a line of pastors, but hasn't felt he's found his place as one just yet.  One day, he sees a report about 4 gang members in New York and feels a calling on his heart to go and see them, to witness to them and reach out.

After prayer and talks with his wife, they raise the money and he goes to NY.  He is unable to see the 4 gang members, but ends up meeting others and after some time starts a small group and after years of hard work, starts a small program called Teen Challenge.

His life is altered, but he's found his calling in faith.  To reach out to the youths in cities and help them clean up to a better life.  At the end of the story, he comments that he NEVER got to see those 4 young men that inspired him.

What does this have to do with me?  I dreamed of owning a bookstore.  There are two main parts to that dream.  Books and the Store.

One day, I realized I just had to split it into two dreams.  Writer and Store owner.  It hurt a bit, but it also made sense.  I'd been writing more and found jewelry design.

But without that dream, that goal, I may not have been prepared for either of the others when the time came.  The dream had to alter to become reality. Doesn't mean I didn't fulfill my dream.


Like many out there, I started my writing in Fan Fiction.  Don't look, you can't find the clean or the dirty pieces any more.  I actually tried recently to find the dirty ones.  Gods, did I have big eyes back then.  I took 4 of my favorite Anime's, melded them into one world and introduced counterparts for almost all of them.  By the end of my 'planning' stage, I had building lay outs, room assignments, over 70 characters and micro bio's for nearly every one of my characters.  Even those I hadn't created.

I wrote a story that took place 2 years into the whole thing, at a turning point.  At the time, I thought it was epic.  Looking back, I try to remember why.  I also had a start to it all, but got so bogged down with the details I felt I NEEDED, that I lost the story and now have a huge STACK of folders and notebooks with information on them, sitting uselessly on a shelf.

Star Wars also saw my hand, but it didn't get that far as new books kept coming out and ruining my continuation stories.  Final Fantasy 8 caught me, and those ones were NSFW.  :D

For a while, I also had [and hope to someday plot out a bit more] a kinda epic fantasy I'd created, with races and quests and all that jazz.

Then, I just stopped.  I didn't bother writing and didn't care to continue and I was OK with that.  Well, I thought I was.  I'd try starting things, but couldn't get into it.  Yes, much of that was during the 7 year battle with cancer my mom had, but I still made a choice somewhere to stop, even when I tried.

In the end, 2010 was a sorta big year for me.  It started changes that wouldn't be able to fully manifest until 2012ish.

November, 2010... I wrote a novel.

No, you can't find it out any place, as its been sitting in files, still in first draft mode.  But I did it.  I wrote something that's considered a novel.  It is my baby.

Which is why, its not around for you to see yet.  Before I touch it, I want to understand myself as an editor. I compare it to Walt Disney and Sleeping Beauty.  He loved the story and wanted badly to animate it.  But he waited until they understood animation more, because he wanted to do it justice.

That's how I feel.

But, I spent some time writing and I spit out YA Romance in pieces on DeviantArt. I wrote a story about a prebreed of Werewolves, who were cooled and NOT called Werewolves. I dallied and didn't do much, but I was writing.

In 2011 I started another NaNo Novel, The Seer.  I did research, planning, all that.  Even created a front AND back cover for it.

For all the work I put into it, I have about 5000 words of story and no real goal in mind for it, except I travel through time and everything is centered on a single place.

I ended up being inspired by Once Upon a Time [before I gave up on the show.  Midway through season one.].  I rewrote fairy tales.  Personally, I loved how it started out.

Once upon a time... Words synonymous with fairy tales and happy endings.  You've heard all the stories, of prince's that sweep in at the last minute and rescue the princess from certain death, while managing to look dashing the whole time.
Let me tell you, they tend to take a very different when you're standing on the inside looking out at one.  Very, very different.
It was different than what I normally do.  I got to insult the reader and tell a story how I dreamed it could have happened. The narrator explained why the changes happened, shares the truth and even why fairy tales aren't believable.

The story is still there, and I have worked on it some.  But I got distracted by school, work and life and it sits, waiting for my return.  And the Seer also waits for me to one day know the story a little better and make it happen.

2012 was the start of my 'demise' in writing.  I started a story, Key to the Fae, based off a necklace series I'd created. I know where its going and elements of the story, but it sits alone with the others.  That year I ended up using schoolwork and odd shorts to pad my NaNo numbers.

By 2013, I wasn't working on much.  I'd started a story calle A Clockwork World, and its about 1/3-1/2 finished.  At the very least, part one of the story is finished AND is halfway edited.  I like that story and hope to work on it next.

At some point during the year, I did a challenge called 'The 7 Day Story'.  It was fun and I did just that, writing a short story in 7 days.  The Wandering Wizard.

In October of 2013 my car, which at the time had all of my jewelry, was stolen.  Exactly two months and two days later, they found the car.  Elements had been broken, but it was in tact.  What had been inside, was gone.  And after two months, lost forever.  Because of the whole event, I had to make a choice as November rolled up.  Struggle to rebuild while splitting my muse in two, or put aside writing to focus only on the jewelry... Because it was actually making me some money.

My 2013 Resolution was to be published, or have my story in the hands of a publishing editor, by the end of 2014.  At the start of the year, I edited it, left it alone, worked on it, left it alone and at the beginning of the year, sent it out into the world to a few places for possible publication.

In July I'd received another rejection and said 'Screw it.' and self published my short story.

Currently, I'm working on a superhero like story called 'I've Always Known When I Died.'  It had only been an idea from last year, until I found DIY MFA, who had also done the 7 Day Story Challenge, nee challenge, Conquer the Craft.  29 days in August where each day you receive a prompt and are encouraged to write for 29 minutes on that prompt.

It opened doors in my head and even though we're only on day 20, I've already written tons for my next story.  Right now, it's all in pieces and I'll have to put together the puzzle, but damn does it feel good.

For the first time in years, I've felt like a writer.  Sure I've only got a 25 page story out there on the market, and only sold 3 copies of it... But, it is out there.

And at this same time, I've felt like I stand a chance to make it as a jewelry designer, which I'll chat about more on another day.

Not sure if I actually answered my own question of Who am I, the author... But I enjoyed getting all this written out.

Kristy C