Stream of Consciousness

The Secret to Stories

If I give it claws, we’ll talk about the monster in us.

If I give it fangs, we won’t look away from what society tells us is too uncomfortable to linger on.

If I make it a world we don’t live in, we can look at the things we don’t want to talk about. Perhaps we can find the strength to do something about it the next time we see it.

If I make its eyes glow, we’ll think about the pain we want to hide. Maybe we will find a way to deal with it too.

If we have to suspend disbelief, we can poke at our childhood programming, our insecurities, our secrets.

 

Stories don’t judge us. They open us up to the possibility of change, connection, hope, and purpose. They give us new perspectives on things society labels for us (as if we don’t have brains or hearts to decide for ourselves). Stories give us the option to define our own life, our own self, and realize we’re not that different after all.

A black grandpa can read the same story as a white single mom. They can both recognize love when it’s being denied, the pain of a child dying, the need for someone in this world to see us for who we truly are.

 

Stories show us what’s broken and what’s beautiful. They give us a safe place to peel back the layers of this life without anyone mocking us or telling us we’re wrong or bad.

Stories give us heroes with fantastic abilities, somehow making it easier for us to love them when they mess up, hurt, and prove they aren’t perfect. It gives us a little more leeway to be imperfect ourselves.

 

There’s a certain magic to a story, whether there’s anything fantastical or whimsical in it or not.

If we read a story about a monster with a heart, it doesn’t hurt so much to look at the monster within ourselves. Only then can we do something about it.

Stream of Consciousness

Keep Going

If there is something you know you need to do – there is a way.

People might laugh, might mock, but the fact of the matter is this… If you know this is the right thing for you, this is your purpose, this is your path? Then you are 100% correct.

There might not be a clear step by step guide as to how to accomplish it. The odds may very well be against you. There might not be a single person on planet earth that believes in you.

That doesn’t matter.

What matters is that you do it. You work toward it, you keep picking yourself up after each mistake and road block and unseen complication – and you keep striving.

Keep going.

If it’s right, it’s right. That doesn’t mean easy or predictable. It means you’re meant for it. Go get it.

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.”

Stream of Consciousness

Wish Me Luck

I have begun working on ANOTHER work in progress story. I really enjoy this one so far and I feel like it can blossom into a story I will continue to enjoy.

This is the 5th WIP I have begun since I realized I wasn’t writing for me or the stories I wanted to write. Since then I have decided that I am going to simply keep beginning stories until I find one that is truly MY STORY to tell, instead of something I know will be “acceptable”.

I don’t think the purpose of a writer is to tell the safe stories. I think we are meant to poke at what people don’t want to but know they need. To make a safe place to deal with emotions, fears, questions, doubts. To hold a mirror up to the reader, to community, to society as a whole. To create a home where we want to live with characters who treat us with respect, kindness, and dignity while being honest and candid. A story is an escape from all the ugliness this world can throw at us. It’s a way to recharge, reconnect with ourselves, our dreams, and with others.

A story can not be any of these things if I am playing it safe. If I am afraid to be who I am as a writer.

No, I won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. But no one is EVERYONES cup of tea and that’s kind of the point.

So wish me safe travels, will you?

I’m packing my bags, putting on sturdy shoes, and jumping off the cliff, into the unknown.

(A novel is 80,000 to 100,000 words.)

Stream of Consciousness

Soul Under Construction

I understood myself only after I destroyed myself. And only in the process of fixing myself, did I know who I really was.

– Sade Andria Zabala

I used to think I understood this quote. On some level my soul recognized its truth, and I knew it meant something for me. A blurry old friend I never remembered making but KNEW I was intimate with even if I didn’t recognize their face.

I get it now.

Stream of Consciousness

RePaint Your Lips

Why do we hedge ourselves in? Trapping ourselves in teeny little boxes until we cannot even lift our heads to grow toward the sun, see the sky, or feel our own soul?

Why do we believe the lies swarming in our faces, plugging our ears until we cannot hear our own voices?

The way to know life is to love many things. – Vincent Van Gogh

We are more than one thing, one emotion, one desire, one purpose, one joy.

We don’t need to wonder why we are hollow. Why we are suffocating.

Pick up your own paintbrush, pen, instrument, keyboard, whatever – and repaint, rewrite your own vision.

Stand up. Throw your box in the recycling bin. Live.

Stream of Consciousness

Open Up

Some people will tell you, you’re not enough, not worthy.

They are wrong.

You are beautiful. You are good enough.

Open up. Be vulnerable, even if you get hurt. Don’t sign yourself up for getting hurt. But don’t close yourself off from everything real because it risks the sting of a broken heart.

You have an undeniable boatload of potential.

You are eons of life stuffed into a small carry on that people want to stuff in a box and ignore. They’re afraid you’re brilliant.

Be brilliant. Be you.