2017: The Year The Story Was Told 

‚ÄčI have been a storyteller longer than I can remember. One of my favorite stories my mom tells about when I was a young child, only about two, earlier than I can remember it, is me telling the entire Noah’s ark story vividly, with motions, animal sounds, the works, to my aunt and cousins, after only hearing it once in Sunday School before. I have long latched onto stories, especially Bible stories. Stories of people, of our journeys, of how we got to where we are, have always been one of the most compelling things about life to me. 

I have been a writer almost as long as that. In second grade–and this story I actually do remember–I wrote my first “novel,” if you can call it that. It was written in giant, sprawling pencil handwriting in several college ruled notebooks my mother had gotten for five cents each at back to school sales. It was about Bookomon, characters of my very creative imagining that fought Pokemon and taught children to love reading instead of video games (isn’t it ironic that years later I would marry one of the earliest fans of those games I held such vitriol for). I have no idea what ever happened to that novel, though I do vividly remember both its existence and completion, and that I even started a sequel, though I do not believe that ever was finished. 

I have also long been afraid to share my writing. In third grade, we had journals that we had to write in daily, but we had to turn them in weekly or so for our teacher. We had to write on them what pages we wanted her to read. There was a minimum number of pages we had to choose for her to read. I’m sure for most kids, it was like pulling teeth to get them to choose enough pages, but for me, it was torture selecting only the ones I wanted her to read. I wanted her to read them all! 

I had written some particularly complex story that, as a nine year old, I was really proud of, and I’m sure it exceeded the page limit, but I adored my teacher, and I wanted her to read all of it. So I put “Go On” with a little arrow after every page in the story. Well, we got our journals back, and after the second or third page, after my “Go on,” my teacher had written “No thanks” with a smiley face. She hadn’t read anything after that.

Now, this isn’t a dig at that particular teacher at. all. I still very much admire her as a teacher and person. I have taught preschool for a short time, and teaching at that level alone was insanely difficult, and I can’t imagine how much more difficult teaching elementary schoolers long term is. I also acknowledge I was a very sensitive child, and that this was such a little, silly thing to be upset by. But what it mistakenly taught me is that people don’t want to read my writing, and for years I believed that, and though I wrote a lot, I held my writing, especially my creative writing, very close to my heart. 

In October 2016, I finished the first draft of my novel, Panic Cat. Panic Cat is a work of fiction about a twenty two year old seminary student, Cayla, or Cat, who begins experiencing visions of rich, powerful people dying in the middle of her anxiety attacks. It is the origin story of an unlikely superhero, and I know Cat has many more stories to follow, and I look forward to writing the future books in the series after the editing and publication steps of Panic Cat. 

Towards the end of 2016, I have felt a strong pull to self-publish my novel, and have decided to take the steps to make that dream a reality by the end of 2017. But one of the biggest things I believe is that God did not call us to each of our roads alone: we are called to community, which is why I felt called to start this blog and share the process of bringing this book–and any future books–to life. 

 My goal is to be able to share my writing–both fiction and more personal and devotional pieces–especially as the launch of Panic Cat draws near. I will be sharing snippets and surprises from the book and the self-publishing process as I go along, so I would love for you to all follow along and to share with your friends as well. 

Along with the writing, editing, and publishing process, this blog will also feature writings on many other things that are important to me, which may take many forms. Maybe I’ll write about religion, or ministry, or parenting, or marriage, or friendship, or chronic illness, or self care, or mental health, or hobbies, or many many different things in between. 

Welcome to the journey! Thank you for coming along. And hey, it won’t even break my heart if after the second or third post you say “no thanks” and decide not to read on ūüėČ 

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