creative process tagged posts

The Longest Way Down: the process

November 24, 2016 Writing  One comment

Anthony's story had been percolating in the back of my mind ever since The Charm Necklace. 

I had some ideas. I knew that he would find a girl standing on the ledge of a building about to jump. That he would try to save her by taking her on a road trip. That he would try to save himself by saving her. I knew that he had issues. That she had issues. That they would go to the Grand Canyon. 

I totally had this plan where I was going to follow this writing process called The Snowflake Method. There's like twelve steps where you completely flesh everything out prior to writing a word. You know what's going to happen where, why, in detail. 

So I started by doing a month of research prior to writing. I wanted to do both character's mental states justice, aside from drawing

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The Longest Way Down: the inspiration

November 17, 2016 Writing  No comments

May 2013    I saw The Place Beyond the Pines. It's a mediocre indie film where Ryan Gosling plays this stunt motorcycle rider covered in tattoos (no, I didn't really buy it either). In the film, he has a teenage son. I don't remember the particulars, but I just remember being so struck by how lost this boy was. He looked so sad and broken, like he was just trying to find his way.

Would he find his way? What would that look like? Could another person, a girl, save him?

The spark was lit. 

December 2013    Started listening to Twenty One Pilots album Vessel. Fell in love with their song The Run and Go. I loved the lyrics, the tension, the angst. 

I can't take them on my own, my ownPa, I'm not the one you know, you knowI have

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Scenes: favorite & hardest to write

September 15, 2016 Writing  No comments

My favorite scene to write was in Chapter 26 when Jamie shows up at Collin’s house on poker night. My heart was racing the entire time I wrote and rewrote it. I liked how Jamie was the one taking action toward Collin, even though she’d just dropped the “I’m leaving in six months” bomb on him the day before. I also had a lot of fun writing this scene from Collin’s point of view because he’s not afraid to confront her. The scene is rewarding because they’re taking a big step forward after faltering back a few steps.

“I can’t seem to stay away from you,” she said in a way that suggested how painful it was for her to admit that she could actually need somebody. “Even though I know you’re bad for me.”           “Actually, I think

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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. 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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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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Equilibrium

April 7, 2016 Writing  No comments

I currently find myself at the beginning of the 2nd revision of my current WIP. The 3rd draft.

It’s become clear to me throughout the writing process of this book and the last, that I have periods of intense work followed by periods of needing to be anywhere but at my computer.

I seesaw between one extreme and the other.

Literally, I go from being this book reading-writer-nerd who is more than content to live in my apartment and surround myself with worlds that are entirely fictional, to being convinced I need to go buy a farm out on 50 acres of land and be a homesteader.

Only to work that out of my system in a months time and return back towards equilibrium.

Regression towards the

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