We are all story tellers, wrapped up in the narrative of our lives. When you call your friend and talk about some crazy event that happened to you, or when you catch up with your partner after a long day at work, you are telling stories.

The only real difference is how writers do what people do every day.

I have lots of things in various stages of completion, or remembering that Leonardo DaVinci said “Art is never finished, only abandoned,” I should say I have a lot of writing in various stages of abandonment.

I’ve just finished working on a novel, a love story set in Hell. More specifically, in a magic cabaret named Hell. It’s set in 1920s New Orleans, and is about a vocalist who takes down the devil using a lullaby from her childhood.

Carnaval1911
New Orleans during Carnival, 1911

I’m researching, drafting, and plotting for another speculative/fantasy novel set in the Mexican Revolution. This time, however, it’s not just the federales vs. the various rebellious forces, the Maya gods of the underground have decided they want a part of the action too since they’ve lost their importance in modern society. This work is a reimagining of the Maya hero twins.

I’m also chewing on a contemporary Southern Gothic retelling of the ancient Greek story of Medea as told by Euripedes, set in the world of weight lifting as well as the heavy metal scene of the deep south during the 1980s. I’m currently calling it White Trash Medea.

Writing…or How I Learned to Type

I have clear memories of being eight, when I used to spend hours with my mom’s old cassette recorder, making up stories. I started journaling at the age of 9 in a Hello Kitty diary, writing  about how stupid I thought my siblings were and taping my parakeets’ feathers and seeds to the page. As a high schooler when my only escape from a school that spent more time policing kids than getting them excited about learning, I escaped my boredom by joining the drama club, and writing every nuance about the characters I played on stage.

My real headlong fall into writing did not happen until I moved to New York to start school and study acting at NYU. Having come from a town of about 100,000 in dry Southern Colorado, my brain did something of a backflip when I had to call Manhattan home, and has never recovered. I was 18 and suddenly the only way I knew how to manage the stimulation of the city, its inspiring arts scene, growing up, the endless boy crushes, and figuring out what my passions really were, was to write pages upon pages of poetry. Most of it sucks. I mean, what can you expect from an 18 year-old?

The thing was, my relationship with writing started then, and though we have spent some years apart from each other, it has still always been something I’ve always done for reasons I just can never explain if someone asks why I write.

My file cabinet is overflowing with stories in various stages of completion, from ideas frantically scrabbled on a napkin to polished drafts that are taking some time off from my brain. There are files of the poetry I mentioned, short stories, plenty of unfinished ideas, and plays and screenplays.

While I’ve always had an active interest in every sort of art form, save maybe dance, writing has always been the one that has just been the most engaging, and a better fit for my personality.