Blog Archives

Tears in the writer

September 22, 2016 Writing  No comments

I’ve said before that this book will probably be the most emotional, autobiographical book I will ever write.

These are the scenes I cried through as I wrote them:


What are you running away from?Chapter 32

She looked down at me, and I asked the question that’d been burning a hole in me since I met her, “Why does staying here scare you so much?”        She closed her eyes, her face pulling together toward the center. Then she turned her head away from me.        I held on to her arm, moving my grasp from her elbow to her hand.        “What are you running away from?”        I felt a shudder work through her body.        “Everything,”

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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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Let’s get meta: on the revision process

September 8, 2016 Writing  No comments

“When you’re writing a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.” - John Gould according to Stephen King in On Writing

Just as the themes changed as the story developed, so too did the scenes and characters.

There is the story the readers get, and the story the writer knows.

In the first draft, Charlie was this brick wall hard-ass. He was immovable. Impenetrable. To the point that you were left wondering why Jamie even cared at all. He was, as the lingo goes, unsympathetic. Maybe he still is, but at least in the final version, he has some redeeming qualities.

And so, I guess what I’m trying to get at is, that while he is now more fully

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The story I thought I was writing, and the story I actually wrote

September 1, 2016 Writing  No comments

“The true subject of your story emerges as your characters encounter obstacles and make choices. The subject is often a surprise.” - The Story Within, Laura Oliver

When I first started writing this story, I thought it was going to be a story about how you don’t have to be where you came from. That you can rise above your circumstances and create the life you want to have.

But then, as I worked through the layers of the story, new themes emerged. The story wasn’t about ambition, it was about how shadows get twisted up inside your head. It was a story about rewriting lies into truths. How the behaviors and beliefs that once enabled you to survive become maladaptive once you’re out of danger. About trauma, both singular and prolonged. How parents actions

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Why I write romance

August 25, 2016 Writing  One comment

It came to me in a dream. 

"I write romantic dramas," I said to my now forgotten dream companion. 

I bolted upright in bed. 

I do write romantic dramas, I realized. Startled by the simplicity of that statement. A piece I'd been missing since I started writing seriously three years ago. 

Romantic drama. That is it exactly. That is my work. 

Romance being defined as a story that has "a central love story and an emotionally satisfying ending." 

And drama being defined as "serious presentations or stories with settings or life situations that portray realistic characters in conflict with either themselves, others, or forces of nature. A dramatic film shows us human beings at

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Character Profile: Jacob

August 18, 2016 Writing  One comment

JacobJamie and Nate's defacto uncleBartender at Charlie's Place

Last name: UnknownDOB: Unknown

Jacob is still an enigma to me.

He was inspired by a bartender I encountered while out for my husband’s 25th birthday in downtown Detroit before a 21 Pilots concert at the Fox Theatre.

The second I saw him behind the bar, I knew he was going to be a character in my book.

The description Collin gives in the book is the exact narration I had in my head as I watched the bartender that night:

“I knew Jamie thought Jacob was a sweetheart—they even had nicknames for each other—but he was intimidating as hell. He must’ve been a hockey player in a former life with his

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The things she leaves behind

August 11, 2016 Writing  One comment

The night that Amy leaves, she leaves behind a token for each member of her family.*They all play a symbolic role in the story.


For Charlie, she leaves behind her wedding bandShe knows he will hold on to hope of her coming home if she doesn’t give it back.

For Nathan, she leaves her St. Christopher’s medal.To protect travelers across turbulent waters. 


For Jamie, she leaves her amber ring.


Amber is Amy’s astrological stone.

Amber helps draw out negative energy from the body then allows the body to heal itself by taking that negative energy and transmuting it into a positive

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Character Profile: Amy

August 4, 2016 Writing  One comment

Amy Michelle BensonJamie’s mom

41 years oldDOB: November 30, 1970

Round, welcoming face with rosy cheeksBrown hair with soft brown eyesLeans toward the thicker and curvier side5’4”

Dresses artistically bohemian with brown leather cowboy boots with a red and green rose pattern up the side, favors jeans, flowy blouses, color, likes eccentric jewelry

Vibrant, kind, gregarious, affectionate, alluring, resourceful


Musically inclined. Likes to sing, play guitar, and write songs. That’s what brought her and Charlie together. They used to play and perform together.

Musical stylings of Marie Wilson's “Free”

Had Jamie and got

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Character Profile: Charlie’s musical influences

July 28, 2016 Writing  One comment


Something Inside by Jonathan Rhys Meyers (August Rush -  I heart that movie so hard)click pictures to hear music 


This Time by Jonathan Rhys Meyers (August Rush)


I Saw by Matt Nathanson 


Fall Apart by Garrett Hedlund (Lullaby)


If you want more music - Running to Stand Still playlist


Up next: Jamie and Nate's mom, Amy


Until next time, farewell & may your life never cease to be filled with wonder and curiosity. 

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Character Profile: Charlie

July 21, 2016 Writing  2 comments

Charlie BensonJamie’s Dad

46 years oldDOB: September 12, 1965

Lean angular faceBlack hair with some gray, dark brown, gray eyesLean, tall body with compact muscles – boxes at gym with Jacob6’0”Scruffy goatee most of the timeBoth ears pierced, small silver hoops

Wears big chunky, silver rings & black leather cuff Brantley Gilbert style Wears his and Amy’s wedding bands on silver chain around his neckGenerally wears blue or black jeans with black boots, simple t-shirts, sometimes plaid, sometimes jean jacket 



1.) Take care of his family

longs deeply for his kids to be better than him – wants them to get more out of life than he has, wants to

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