Category Writing

Character Profile: Collin

July 7, 2016 Writing  One comment

Collin Joseph WhiteMale protagonistPOV character

22 years oldDOB: April 19, 1989

Short blonde hair, blue eyes, light skin, athletic/lean body build, broad shoulders and trim, tapered waist, rounded shoulders5’10”Straight white teeth, soft skin, high cheekbones but soft facial features, full lips, sometimes has some facial scruff but usually clean shaven, no tattoosStraight, but relaxed and confident stance   

Average, casual clothing, mostly from Kohl's or Old Navy or Meijer, wears black work boots, and ball caps. Likes to wear long-sleeved thermals under his work shirt, relaxed, easy fit faded jeans.

Born in Warren, MIGrew up/currently lives in Roseville, MIMiddle class

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Character Profile: Jamie

June 30, 2016 Writing  One comment

*Character Profiles are just a snapshot of the characters in Running to Stand Still. Like the Extra's on a DVD, this is just some bonus background information, and I posted it entirely for my own amusement. Read only if interested.

 

Jamie Michelle BensonFemale protagonistPOV character

23 years oldDOB: October 26, 1988 (should note that the story takes place in 2012, simultaneously with The Charm Necklace--where (Easter Egg!) Jamie and Collin make a cameo.)

Medium, straight length brown hair with reddish tint in it (especially in sun)Dark brown eyes, light skin5’5”130 lbs. slim, with curvesStraightforward walk

Dresses casual punk, jeans, and t-shirts with black

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Drawing on my own love story

June 23, 2016 LifeWriting  No comments

The funny thing is, I do not consider myself to be a romantic person.

I remember being grossed out by Disney movie kisses—Pocahontas and John smith beneath the willow tree (ick!), Aladdin and Jasmine (good grief people, get a room already), Simba and Nala, Belle and the Beast. It was all just a little too much for me.

Except, of course, Lady and Tramp. Because they were eating spaghetti and it was just too cute.

So, like I said, I don’t consider myself an overly romantic person. I think Valentine’s Day is a capitalist scam. I almost forgot my wedding anniversary one year. The idea of intentionally romantic dinners makes my lip curl.

But the irony of that is that my love story has pretty much been textbook

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The world as I see it

June 16, 2016 LifeWriting  No comments

Some rough-cut pictures I took of places that inspired me before and during the Running to Stand Still writing process.

 

Lake St. Clair. On a chilly November afternoon.Not frozen over here, but beautiful, none the less. 

 

Downtown Detroit bar. Before the Twenty One Pilots concert at the Fox. The bartender who served us that night inspired the character of Jacob in the book.

 

Wayne State University.My alma mater. View of downtown from top of parking garage. 

 

Harper Woods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kind of how I picture

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the most heartbreaking, emotional, autobiographical book I will ever write pt. III

June 9, 2016 Writing  One comment

Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in the deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.Rainer Maria Rilke

 

It was only through writing Jamie’s story, exploring and grappling with her demons, that I was able to unveil and wrestle with my own.

Because in every way, Jamie’s scripts, those lies she believes, are mine. Verbatim.The only difference is the circumstances under which they were formed.  

Those lies look a lot like:

The earth can open up and swallow you whole. The ground can fall out from beneath your feet at any moment.

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the most heartbreaking, emotional, autobiographical book I will ever write pt. II

June 2, 2016 Writing  One comment

In so many ways, I am Jamie.

We look alike, for one. Both have brown hair, brown eyes. But she is not me. I never picture myself as her. She’s taller than me, for one.

For two, that would just be weird.

But, that being said, she is very much me. From the way she dresses to the way she carries herself to the way she interacts with the world.

Her desire to run, to leave, to start a new life in Chicago? Me.(Except, despite my best laid plans to attend Columbia College Chicago for journalism after high school, I never made it there.)

Her need to be someone new, separate from the her she’s been in the past? Guilty again.

The way she hits a brick wall anytime she tries to apply

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the most heartbreaking, emotional, autobiographical book I will ever write

May 26, 2016 Writing  One comment

“If this is the last thing that I was writing, what would I write about?”

This question came up in a podcast I was listening to a few weeks ago.

It got me thinking: 

What is the the one thing I need to get out of me, and put out into the world before I’m gone?

What is the one piece of work that I would choose to represent who I am, who I was, for the rest of time?

It just happened to be a fortunate turn of luck that my current project, Running to Stand Still, is that piece of work.

Knowing the next few books I have on my docket (that’s what I call my agenda—because doesn’t it just sound so much more legit + fancy that way?), I can honestly say that Running to Stand Still

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The Why: Running to Stand Still

May 19, 2016 Writing  No comments

Synopsis:

Collin was who he was: simple and easy.Me? I was jagged and complex. I wanted everything.And despite how he made me feel—safe. It was clear to me that we’d never work out in the end.That divide between us would always be there.Because I’d never ask him to give up on the things he wanted.And, while I sometimes wished I could be that person, I wasn’t.

Just seven more months. Then Jamie Benson can leave this goodbye town behind her and start her new life in Chicago. She can leave this place of broken glass and cracked sidewalks and rusted fences. This place where nothing good ever comes from. She can

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Song Inspiration: Running to Stand Still

May 12, 2016 Writing  No comments

I’ve created a whole playlist to go along with the book — songs that helped me create + capture the mood of certain scenes and of the story as a whole.

But there are a few that stand out from the rest.

 

As stated before, Paradise by Coldplay.

It has this haunted, ethereal, chilling quality that really captures the overall setting + tone of the story.

The yearning for more, beyond your reality, towards something that feels unreachable.

The weaving together of heartbreak and hope. 

 

Fire and Rain by James Taylor.

Without giving too much away, this song very much captures the relationship between

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Inspiration: Running to Stand Still

May 5, 2016 Writing  2 comments

After a tumultuous, two year process, I am so freaking excited to announce that my next book, Running to Stand Still, a New Adult Romance, will be out August 2016!

Running to Stand Still is the story of a girl desperate to leave her hometown behind her in the rearview mirror, and a boy worth staying for.

This story started to form in my mind during the winter of 2012.

I was settling in after a year of epic change + rapid decision making (moving, buying a house, getting married - all at the age of 19) and was starting to feel very, very trapped.

I was driving to class at Wayne State University, winter semester of my Junior year.

Paradise by Coldplay was playing

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