Book Release and other musings.

well it has been almost two years (but really a lifetime) in the making and i’m excited that next month i will finally be releasing my first novel.  i remember for a long time knowing that i wanted to create things.  i knew i loved film, i loved the way good films made me feel and i wanted to be involved in that process.  for some reason i never really saw myself as a writer.  which is confusing to me still, because all i did was write.  for those who knew me way back when (okay, so maybe it wasn’t really way back when…but still) they could confirm i always had a composition notebook in hand.  i would buy bulk packs of composition books and decorate them in magazine photos and random words, and that is where i wrote my thoughts, my observations, my teenage angst, stuff like that.  i still have most of those notebooks and i skim through them from time to time and laugh at myself a little.  i think it’s important to be able to laugh at yourself, sometimes we take ourself way to seriously.  anyway, even though all i did was write i never really thought, “hey, i should write!”  i knew i wanted to go to film school, but i didn’t envision it would be with a focus on writing.  i used to think, “one day i want to write a book.” but about what i didn’t know it was just some dream that seemed pretty distant because again i didn’t think i was a writer.

so i went to film school and after the persuasion of some professors i turned my focus to screenwriting.  after i graduated i worked on some script ideas, but i still had this idea of writing a book almost haunting me.  well i finally gave in and started writing Silence & Noise: one girl’s journey into insanity a couple novembers ago.  and it’s a pretty good feeling having accomplished that dream.  even if no one else reads it, i did it, i chased down a dream.  i still have a hard time considering myself a writer because i do so many other things i love. i have always had a hard time feeling like i was putting myself in a box.  i love music, i love words, i love lyrics, i love working with creative people, i love helping people reach their dreams, i love creating, i love film.  i thought if i called myself a writer, or if i wrote a book does that mean i can’t do all those other things i love?  does that mean this is what i am now and i can’t be anything else?  i finally got to the point where i realized i can do all the things i love, it’s more about prioritizing and balancing my time than it is about limiting the things i am involved in.

so, i wrote my book, and i will be releasing it October 20th.  i’m having a release party that night in Nashville and the book will be available on Amazon and through this blog and you’ll be able to get it in stores soon too.  i hope those that are able to will come and celebrate with me, it should be a fun night.  i’m looking forward to holding my book in my hand and sharing it with others. a big thank you to Anthony Scarlati for shooting all the promo photos for the book, like the one used in the flyer below.

Saying What I Feel & Being More Like My Dog

my dog isn’t much of a barker.  he is 7 months old and up until about two months ago i think i could count the times i heard him bark on one hand.  it’s easily one of my favorite qualities about him.   he has been more on guard lately, i think he is at that growing and processing age and i am noticing more of his fears and curiosities.  he has discovered his bark and uses it more.  he doesn’t bark non-stop.  he doesn’t bark at random things.  he doesn’t bark when being barked at.  he barks when something is not right.  when something unknown is approaching.  he barks when he is scared and needs to send a warning to his pack.  he barks to ward off danger.  he sees something that doesn’t appear right to him and the tufts of hair on his back will spike up, it’s his way of appearing tough.  really he is scared.  just a pup, but his bark would tell you a different story.  a few short, deep warning calls he sounds out concerning the situation at hand.  when my dog barks i listen and i look.  something is not right and he is letting me know.

dogs are instinctive.  they don’t get caught up in their head space.  they don’t worry about what people may think.  and they certainly don’t hold back when they feel something isn’t right.  they don’t internalize emotions.  they don’t stuff feelings.  they live in the moment.  they don’t hold grudges.  they don’t think, “my owner didn’t take me for a long enough walk today so i’m going to withhold my love to teach them a lesson.”  they don’t think, “something isn’t right but i’m not sure if i should say anything because i don’t want to step on anyone’s toes.” or “i will just keep it to myself.”  no, you come home, your dog is excited to see you, he licks your face, wags his tail, gives affection.  something is wrong and he lets you know, he doesn’t hold onto the information to decide how he should use it and if he could get some leverage from it.  we as people have the ability to process our emotions, to understand the way things make us feel and to analyze those thoughts.  it is a unique ability, a true gift, but often it gets us into trouble.  we can get so caught up in our heads, in our emotions, in our racing thoughts, our anxieties, our worries our concerns.  we forget to live in the moment.  we forget to speak up and say what we think.  our friend is about to make a bad decision but we don’t want to butt in, it isn’t our place.  if i was walking right into danger i am certain my dog would try to stop me.  he would sound his bark, run up and protect me.  what is it about us that prevents us from following our instincts.  why can’t we turn off the racing thoughts and just live, a little.  every now and then?

we are just as instinctive as dogs.  it’s just that we spend so much time thinking and feeling that we waste our reaction time.  i think that is a lot of the difficulty with mental illness, even more so than the average person you get stuck in that head space.  reliving things.  holding onto things.  i wish i said what i felt more, what i thought more.  i wish i didn’t hold onto things.  instead of saying, “nothing is wrong, i’m fine.”  i wish i said, “i’m amazed i got out of bed today, i wish i could go back there now.”  or “you hurt me today and i just can’t get over it.”  life is so fleeting, we don’t have much control over the length of time we have here on earth, but i hope we remember to enjoy what we do have every now and then.  i want to live in the moment like my dog.  i want to let go of things.  i want to say what i feel.  i want to be carefree.

The Waiting.

so draft 3 is complete. it’s now in the process of being read and formatted. it’s a pretty great feeling being so close to the completion of silence & noise and i’m ready to get it out there. i have decided to self-publish which makes me very excited. it allows me so much freedom with the work and control over my writing which is very appealing. my husband who just so happens to be my manager has started the process of getting the book published and has already gotten a few book stores to agree to carry it, which it’s pretty cool. it’s all a learning experience and i’m really enjoying being 100% involved in the process. now that draft 3 is complete and it has been passed off to be formatted and reviewed by some folks i’m sort of sitting here waiting. curious about how the changes i made to the story will go over. wondering if lily’s story will impact other’s as much as it has me. i guess all i can do it wait and see.
we are shooting for an October release of the book, which i think is the best month of the year, so i’m pretty excited about that. Keep reading and i will post some new excerpts soon!

The Next Step.

As i sit here, editing the third draft of Silence & Noise i stop to think about the journey.  the things that got me to this place and the unknown that will follow.  the closer i get to the end of the draft the more excited i find myself getting.   the idea that all the hours and months poured into this story, all the years in my own life that have come alive thru Lily’s story, all of it will soon be finished.  i can’t wait for other people to read it, people who have been so important in my life and people i don’t even know.  i can’t help but think there might be something in Lily’s story for everyone.  a piece we can cling on to and hold tight to.  there are so many moments as i write, i want to wrap my arms around Lily, comfort her and tell her there is a better place than where she is.  then i remind myself she is strong, and determined and no matter what she will survive herself.  i think everyone has that fight in them, i think sometimes we just forget it when things get hard.  we forget about our tenacity, our fire, our spirit.  even in our timidness, in our fear, we all have strength within us.  i’m thankful i will forever have Lily’s story to remind me of that.

this post was inspired by this excerpt from Silence & Noise: one girl’s journey into insanity 
I found peace in my misery.  Some twisted peace.  The kind that doesn’t really exist.”

Goodbyes.

I just finished editing a chapter in the novel about a goodbye.  It made me reflect on the goodbyes in my life.  The moments that i re-live in my mind.  The moments i have almost forgotten about.  Goodbyes can vary so much in emotion, from bitter-sweet, to complete sadness, and everything else in between.  There are the goodbye for now’s and the final goodbye’s.  And sometimes i know for myself, i don’t even realize at the time when i am in those moments of finality.  Maybe it’s not wanting to admit it to yourself at the time.  Not wanting to see the end of an era, the end of a relationship.  What is a goodbye that sticks out in your memory?  Do you wish you could go back in time and experience it again?

Memories.

Memories are complicated.  What really happened in contrast with the stories our minds create.  Silence and Noise: one girl’s journey into insanity, touches on the path of a memory and what that instills in us.  I naturally focus on the negative.  My mind always goes back to the mistakes, to the slip-ups, to the moments i would do over if i could. And i wonder as i look back if those moments i have frozen in time, if they are as bad as i remember or if instead it’s the re-living, obsessing, trying to fix and change that has made them into bigger disasters than they ever were.  What are your thoughts on memories?  What is your greatest memory, worst memory, most haunting memory?  Do we have the ability to unbiasedly remember our lives?  Do we create our own versions of the truth?

The Beginning.

I started writing Silence & Noise in November of 2009. It has been both a tiring and exciting process. It has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember to write a novel. I completed the first draft in just under a month.  Lily’s story spoke so strongly in me I couldn’t keep up with how fast the words were coming out.  I am currently reaching the end of the 3rd draft.  My goal is to release the novel this fall and I am working hard to get it to the right place.  I feel a real connection to Lily’s story, as I wrote it I reflected on my own life and journey as well as stories and experiences I have come to know.  This is not a memoir, but a fiction novel that deals with real things, real emotions, real fears.

Mental illness is still such a taboo topic.  This story follows Lily as she deals with feelings and emotions she doesn’t understand.  There are so many people out there today who struggle with a mental illness, many go undiagnosed, many feel alone, like they have nowhere to turn.  Many simply become over-medicated and never actually deal with the root of the problem.  I hope Lily’s story can help people find a home, help them to see they are not alone.  I hope her story can impact you as much as it has me.  Please check out excepts from the novel and stay tuned for more info on the release!