I would love to say that I had some great epiphany or that I was destined to write, but it wasn’t that glamorous.

 

I have always enjoyed writing and have tried my hand at several incomplete short stories of varying genres. The first was when I was 12 and visiting relatives. That first short story was thrown out because I was caught writing in my room well past midnight and the topic was “too mature”. Forget that I was twelve and working on my own aspiring masterpiece, nope… talent stifled and story thrown away. This did not stop my love of the written word.

I find real enjoyment in visiting worlds constructed of vivid imagery by authors, this is to say, I like to read. And for me creating my own world never seemed that far-fetched, it was all about timing.

And the timing was right on December 17th 2009. I had been thinking for days about writing again, but what? I didn’t want another failed short story to add to my collection, so I found myself daydreaming about Acacia and really hot guys… more on that later… but there she was and she was quite insistent that I tell her story. 

So insistent, that I found myself walking from the shower hair soaking wet and a robe in place (not a toga by the way) to my favorite rocking chair and ottoman.

I grabbed the legal pad I had been using to make the week’s grocery list on and began writing. I wrote for four hours without stopping. For those of you that have heard of hypergraphia, will understand that I was a little afraid of what the unceasing movement of my pen meant. I know now. It meant I had a story to tell. Not the best story in the world, certainly not the world’s brightest or intellectually plotted story, but a story nonetheless.

Strangely, that opening sequence that was so, so important for me to get down did appear in the book. Just not on Chapter 1. Readers will find a version of that first glimpse of Acacia and crew in a Chapter titled Idiots Make The Best Snacks.

Funny, how things work out that way.

Not long after I began my endeavor, I had the pleasure of conversing with an actual real author, Lauren Groff. When a New York Times Best Selling Author tells you something… listen. The single most valuable piece of advice I received I got from her.

“Write every day. Do something, anything with your work every day.” I did and it kept me close and tuned into my characters, no matter where I went they stayed with me. I wrote something new, edited something old, thesaurused things I’m not smart enough to know synonyms for, but I stuck with my story and I never let my characters or myself down.

As a mother of two, and an over volunteer, I should put achiever… or “can’t say no’er” , there were a lot of nights I wanted to slide under the sheets, pull them up over my head and tuck them in enough that no one would notice I was there. I didn’t fool anybody with that trick and so… instead of hiding under the covers I hid behind my notebook and… I wrote. 

My husband has been extremely supportive of my writing, but I don’t think he took me seriously until after I told him I had over a 100,000 words in my document. He peeked over my shoulder several times after that, I think mostly to be sure I wasn’t writing, “I love donuts. I love wine. I love cheese. I love chocolate” over and over.  Ask him to name my four main characters… I dare you.

If you’re reading this it’s because I want you as a fan or you already are one. So it’s probably just you and my four closest friends.

I hope you enjoy Acacia and crew as much as I do.

-C 

P.S Amal wants to know if you have anything to eat. Specifically a taco.