Finding the Story

Finding my next novel to sink my mind into has been a long journey. Since finishing Polarity, I have had been through countless ideas, but none of them hooked me enough to get them off the ground floor. Polarity was a suspense novel but a bit of whimsy in the world, and I was desperate to be capture by another idea in the same way.

I thought that maybe I should write what I enjoy reading the most: domestic thrillers. I had several very intriguing ideas, but none of them found focus, and I struggled to flesh them out beyond the initial “what if” question. I invested a lot of time into these ideas, exploring location and characters and plots, and one day, maybe I’ll be fortunate enough to repurpose the best pieces for another story.

Then, I thought that maybe I should watch what I enjoy watching: spooky ghost stories. I am obsessed with Harpers Ferry, WV, having tried to write several stories in this location in the past. My husband took me on a mini vacation to finally see and explore Harpers Ferry in person at the end of 2019, and I was even more obsessed afterwards. I set my mind on a ghost story, hoping to get sucked in completely to the idea.

Discipline and determination can only get you so far.

Just in the same way that a good book can hook you on the first page and then you can’t stop reading until it’s finished, I have to get hooked by my story. It has to pull me in and make me believe that there are endless possibilities and a strong throughline. And none of the ideas I had were capturing me.

On the side, of course, I am writing musicals with my husband, and there was one idea that we kept discussing but Jeremy (by hubster) was firm that the story was overdone, even if done in an inauthentic way every time we had seen it turned into a movie, play, or musical. Plus, he argued, we had so many other great, unique ideas that were fresh.

But that story idea kept coming back to me with a passion, because it was a story that I wanted to have told without the whitewashing and rose-colored glasses. When you strip away the beauty montages, the love story, the perfect faith, there is a much more relatable and inspiring story. That was the story I wanted to be told by someone but every time I felt let down.

So, after years of casually studying the story, the history, the context, I knew I wanted to tell this story. That was over a year ago. And I kept putting it off for one reason: I didn’t want to write a Bible story. And I didn’t want people to be shook because all the things they imposed on the story had disappeared, or at least shifted in a darker direction. This story wasn’t VeggieTales, after all, so I set out to figure out a way to take away those reconceptions and present this story as something fresh. Something people would find themselves sinking into and forgetting, even for a moment, the story they grew up hearing.

And then the pieces began to fall into place this past summer. I had that burst of inspiration that helped me to finally find the lens through which I wanted to tell this story.

It has been so refreshing to be hooked, to be pulled in, to sink deeper and deeper in understanding of the world, the characters, and the story. My hope is that this story will refresh you as it has refreshed me; that these simple words would be a call to courage, to faith, to righteousness for you as they have become for me:

“Perhaps you have been chosen for such a time as this.”

A Season of Struggle

This has been a long spring. And I know it’s summer now, but it feels like life hasn’t stopped since spring began. It has been a very busy show season, rushing from one production to the next, with a lot of traveling in between. While I wish I could say it has all been good things, honesty is the best policy, right?

It’s been tough, especially earlier. I won’t go into details, but I have had a definite lack of motivation to do anything. If you know me, you know my superpower is ultimate self-motivation, but it appears I’ve found my kryptonite.

And it’s right where I need to be to write.

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Pushing Through

This first week of 2017 has come with it’s own handful of challenges. After quite a crazy, travel-intensive December, I’ve been looking forward to getting back to my usual routine, but the transition has been awkward at best. Along with trying to adjust to normal life again, I’ve had this cold that just won’t quit, and it often tries to tempt me to just watch Project Runway re-runs all day instead of doing any work. I will say, I felt quite accomplished just getting the laundry done (not put away necessarily, just done).

Still, I have pushed throuh it all, not allowing this little stuffy nose and tired throat to slow me down. Even on my worst day, I’ve forced myself to suck it up, down the DayQuil, and meet my goals for the day. Including writing (but maybe not cleaning…)

This picture is a good illustration of what I’m talking about:Read More »