Becoming a Writer
As much as I devoured books from a young age, I never thought I’d have the courage to even admit I’d like to try and tell a story. I was 28 and had just completed degrees in history and education, yet the most important course I had taken was about opening imagination, dreaming, and union by Jacque Nelson and the Mary Group. Stories had always supported me through the best of times and the worst of times. There was a period in my life where they really were a lifeline, a source of light, beauty, magic, and hope when I couldn’t see any of these in the outer world and especially the world within. I struggled to a certain degree growing up with Tourette’s and anxiety; however, after surviving a trauma in college, panic disorder and agoraphobia took control of my life. These sweet glimpses of beauty and light in stories gave me just enough hope to seek help, begin a journey of inner healing, discover a passion for nature, and pursue my dreams. So after graduation, I wondered if somewhere within me might be the ability to create something beautiful to share with others.
And so I dreamed to tell a story. I had a few main ingredients that I hoped it would have such as a medieval setting, a female heroine, and magic. An adventure. Friendship. Nature. A unicorn =) Herlot’s story arrived almost right away. Writing her story was absolute magic—staying up late cuddled up with my unicorn (my big hearted playful goldendoodle) typing and wondering what would happen next—and quiet frankly a bit strange when new characters showed up and scenes unfolded mid conversation with a friend. “Could you hold on a minute? I need to speak to Seum, the Iptan Warrior who just discovered a wall of cave art.”
However, it wasn’t until writing the last page that I realized how much Herlot’s journey of sword fights and tree leaves with hidden worlds inside of them was also about anxiety and trauma. There were heavy, dark elements to the story, some of which I wanted to cut, but they felt real, they felt true. I was struck by the fact that as much as I loved Herlot’s playful and kind spirit, I loved who she was during her struggles and outright ugly moments just as much. It is my hope that anyone who feels drawn to join Herlot on a journey will feel a special place in their heart for her and the other characters of the story too.