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What Maturity (as in age) Brings

Mel posted this fairy on Instagram, so I decided to post it here and talk a little bit about the inspiration behind the novella I’m writing. My plan is to self-publish this book as a way to practice formatting, working with book cover designers, editors, etc.

I’ve just completed the first draft and edited chapter one of nine chapters (so far). I’ll tackle chapter two later today. Here’s the gist of the story:

It’s called No Longer Alone

Five years ago, sixteen-year-old Lola gave up trying to fit in after her best-friend, Chase, told the world she talked to an imaginary friend. She tried to explain the fairy was real, but no one believed her. Now, Chase wants to be her friend again.

But forgiving isn’t easy, and no way does she trust him. Even if he has changed.

When her Mom suffers complications giving birth and the fairy disappears, Lola desperately needs to confide in someone, but can she open up and risk possible humiliation? Can she risk losing Chase a second time? 

(Thank you to the Armorers at the Forge who helped with the blurb, thus far). It’s not complete. I needed this much for our newsletter, but now I need to work on fleshing out this sentence: Even if he has changed. As they’re written, those words are a little too vague. What specifically did Chase do and how did it change Lola? I know the answer, but I’m having trouble putting it in a single sentence without revealing too much.

I first wrote this story (minus the fairy) when I was sixteen. It placed third in a county-wide contest and was published in a local journal called Imprints and Impressions—my first publication. I was over the moon. The story was about sixteen-year-old Lola (her name wasn’t Lola back then. It was something like Cathy or Susie–shows my age <smile>) whose mom gave birth to a baby with disabilities. Lola’s expectations had been crushed until she obtained a new perspective [through observation] that life’s most precious gifts often come packaged differently.

You can see where the story was lacking—the resolution came too easily. In the innocence of my youth, I had limited life experience (in the area of disabilities). Lola’s character growth happened through observation and epiphany. This is why I wanted to rewrite the story. To show how Lola’s growth happens, to give her the depth she deserves.

After spending a lot of my adult life working with others who have physical and cognitive disabilities, I’ve learned firsthand what I only perceived at age sixteen—that our human, outward appearance and intelligence is only a shell that houses a very lively and functional soul, designed to connect with one another on a deeper level.

When we learn to look beyond the outward appearance to the heart (soul), then we see the unique significance of all people. Now, after so many years, I’m able to approach Lola’s (Susie/Cathy’s) story with greater understanding and give her character the depth it deserves.

Can you think of a time when you came into the full understanding of something confusing that happened when you were a child?

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