This past November I participated in NaNoWriMo and wrote my very first book! (Side note, if you don't know what NaNoWriMo is then I highly recommend checking their organization out, and even participating yourself later this year.)
In my previous post, I wrote about the different stages of grief that I personally experienced after my father passed away. There I spoke on my "dark days" I went through last fall, the days where my anxiety and depression were at an all time high. That was a stage of my grief where writing was one of the only tools I had for expressing my anger, loss, pain, whatever I was feeling at the time. So, when NaNoWriMo came around in November I had this longing to write my entire story in hopes that it'd help me find peace again.
So, I wrote the book.
I created Marielle Santos and her special story that is completely fiction but very much inspired by all of my experiences I had last year. I revisited the person I was before that led to the person I now am and poured every painful detail into Marielle's story. At the time I wrote the rough draft, I was only writing this story for both myself and my father. As I went back to edit and clean it up, well it became so much more than I ever imagined it would be.
I never realized how much of an impact the people in my life were having on this story at the time I wrote it. Expressing how much I care about the people in my life can sometimes be hard for me outside of telling them I love you. Through my words, I saw how much they changed my life.
I think the heart of telling any story are your reasons for wanting to tell it. It's different for everyone, but for me, it became clear what mine were. This story is for everyone that was there for me when I was at my worst.
I wrote it for my children, so they could go back and understand why mommy had some tough days that year. The love story was inspired by my boyfriend who understood me without me having to explain why I was always so sad. Both of my brothers helped inspire this story in so many ways. All of my family members who checked in on me on a weekly basis are dashed throughout the story. I wrote it for the friends who weren't afraid to tell me the truth when I needed it the most. This story is for everyone I care about who never gave up on me. I guess you could call it a long love letter to all of those special people in my life.
Since this story was written for them, my original plan was to only share it with my family and friends. As I've posted more about it, I've had a lot of people ask me about the book and have come to a decision to self-publish it. I'm really scared about this and I actually have NO idea what I am doing. I just know how much I would love if my story fell into the hands of someone who feels completely alone because I like to think that my words will help them feel less lonely.
Worlds in Collision is a young adult contemporary because I'm an old soul with a teenage heart deep within, and capturing that voice of a character is easiest for me. I had a lot of fun revisiting my high school days through Marielle and her friends.
Of course, this story is centered around Marielle who has everything in her future planned out until the day it all crumbles to pieces. The heart of the story is about falling out of love with yourself and finding your way back home. Family and friends are the most important aspects of the story, but what would a YA novel be without some romance? Marielle and Nathan are my love birds and were SO fun to write about! If you've known me for awhile then you know how much I love a good hate-love romance, and theirs is pretty fantastic (if I do say so myself).
My favorite relationship to write about had to be between Marielle and Jasper, her older brother. My own brothers inspired this relationship in a lot of ways.. But you all know how big of a fan I am of The 100 !!! - Well, if I were to describe these siblings in any way then I would automatically say think Bellamy and Octavia Blake. It's just really something special.
Every friendship is just as important as her relationships with her family.
As you can tell, this story is very special to me. Everyone in my life seems to be dashed throughout the characters without me even realizing I wrote it that way. I feel as if I have to say that this story IS completely fiction and only inspired by own experiences. I don't want to freak out my family or friends by making them believe they are actually these characters when in fact they are not. At all. Only inspired by their lovely faces! ;)
I'm looking forward to sharing this book with anyone who wants to read it!
My heart was poured all throughout the pages. Writing helped me heal and find peace after my father's passing, and there were so many tears during the process.
When I realized how real this dream was becoming the fear of failing ate me alive. I got really scared, actually, there are times I still do. I keep writing though because you know what? You have to push past that fear and fight for the peace and clarity you'll find at the end.
You have to keep writing even if you fail because if it's important to you.. then are you really failing?
If you have a story burning up in your heart, and writing is all you know then write that story. I promise you that it might be painful getting the words just right to express whatever it is you need to say, but it will be so damn worth it.
Write the story you NEED.
Write the story you wish was in bookstores with characters who represent YOU.
Just write the book.
Read a special excerpt from Worlds in Collision!
"You want everyone around you to constantly be happy. You've always been so worried people are suddenly going to stop loving you if you put yourself first once in awhile."
It surprisingly hurts how fast his words find a place in my heart. It makes me feel angrier that he believes he knows me so well when he hasn't known me for the past 3 years! Turning around, without replying, I say goodbye to Mason before walking towards the exit.
"Marielle, stop," Nathan tells me.
"You don't even know me anymore, Nathan! So don't try to pretend like you do."
Walking out of the stables, the cool night air instantly hits me making me shiver. Of course, Nathan is right beside me before I can get even halfway back to the house. He gently grabs my arm, turning me back around to face him. "I'm sorry," he says before releasing me.
"Ugh," I scoff, crossing my arms over my chest. Tilting my head up to clearly see him, I continue, "don't apologize. That's not how this works."
"How what works?"
"Us!" I exclaim, gesturing between the two of us.
Sighing, he pulls his tie all the way off while taking a few paces back. "I didn't mean to upset you more, but I thought that's what you could use right now. I mean, do you really want me treating you like everyone else? Like you can't handle the truth?"
"I can handle the truth."
"Good," he sternly replies, looking back at me. "Because the truth is that you look like shit, Marielle. You're trying so hard to keep all these feelings in so you don't make everyone uncomfortable. Why don't you just let Julia hear how you really feel? Because you aren't fine," pausing, he lowers his voice, "I don't have to know you to see how not fine you are right now."
"But I want to be okay!" I yell back at him. "Why can't I pretend that everything is fine even if I feel like a mess? Is that a crime?"
"You're allowed to be a mess, Lee."
"And what about you?" I ask, quickly wiping the tears off my face. Sniffing, "You don't think I noticed you accidentally slipping in your hospital visit earlier?"
Turning away from me, he crosses his arms, "I don't know what you're talking about."
Shaking my head, I turn and start walking towards the house. I hate Nathan and having my emotions so thrown lately made me forget how easy it is for the two of us to fall into arguments. This was always our problem. I don't miss his friendship in any way. "Wait," I hear Nathan call, interrupting my thoughts.
It doesn't take him long to catch up with me, so I stop to look back at him. I wish Nathan hadn't become this caring person he seems to be these days. Staring into his deep, thoughtful eyes I feel another sense of loss.
"Why are you trying to go through all of this alone, Lee?"
"Don't call me that."
Dragging a hand down his face, he says, "you shouldn't be afraid to open up to Julia or Corbin. They seem like the type of friends to love you no matter what is all I'm saying." He locks eyes with me one final time before walking away without me. I stare at his back, feeling worse than I did before I came to this awful party.
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