What am I thankful for?
When I began to think about the things I’m thankful for, my friends immediately came to mind. I have a close-knit group of friends that I “run with”, both literally and figuratively (we’re working up to a 5k). We’re an alliance, seven-people strong and most of us have known each other since high school. If any one of us has a problem or a crisis, the other six have their back, unquestionably. We are so close that we’re pretty much family, really. So this is one of the huge blessings in my life and something that I am truly thankful for.
What have I been thinking about?
Well, I’ve been thinking about writing a sequel to my fantasy novel Fallenwood. I’ve been thinking a lot about the theme of this new novel. The ultimate theme of Fallenwood is death and how it’s handled. With the sequel, I want to tackle a new theme – the idea of losing yourself and the implications of that. Stephen King says that writing is a kind of therapy for him, and that’s how I see it as well. Writing is a way for me to explore some of the difficult things I’ve gone through in life, so that’s why I’ve chosen that particular theme for the sequel. I also want to be able to handle a more adult subject matter, but keep the story YA, which is something that YA novels traditionally do not handle very well if they even attempt to handle it at all. The idea that I want to send is that literature impacts how we live and view the world. I want to put something out there that’s different than the messages that people typically get from media sources. I realize that’s a lofty goal, but I have high aspirations for my novels.
What am I thirsty for?
I am thirsty for something good and pure and kind. The other day, in meditation, I came to a realization about myself. I was angry about an event that happened in my past and I’d been reading a lot of self-help books (it’s become an addiction I think) and this one in particular explained emotions with the analogy of an iceberg. What you see on the surface is only a very small part of things. So I delved deeper and began free-writing about the “connected emotions” that the book listed and surprised myself with the revelation that my anger stemmed from a very curious place. I wrote the following sentence and have been repeating it back to myself like a mantra: I am deathly afraid of a heartless world. So anyway, connecting that to literature, what I’m thirsty for is a story that’s not cheesy or full of fluff, but something with some heart to it.