My writing process involves making my surroundings as quiet as possible, no music or distractions from the hubby or kiddos, which is not an easy feat! I prefer being alone with my thoughts and characters so I can better hear what they have to tell me.
Most of my inspirations come from everyday life. I’m not really into fantasy, it’s hard for me to wrap my brain around magical story lines and plots. It’s sad, I know! I’m more into ideas and characters I can relate to on some level. Things that feel realistic.
Ever since I was a child, I’ve wanted to work in entertainment, even if it were strictly behind the scenes. Ironically, I had never considered writing as a career until recently. But that doesn’t mean I never dreamed of writing a book! Now that I am writing, I have found it’s exactly what I’ve wanted to do all along, I just didn’t realize it. I wanted to somehow contribute to the entertainment of others and creating stories people might enjoy is the perfect fit for me. Right now, I really can’t think of anything I’d like to do more! But if I can’t choose writing as a dream job, I’ve always thought being an archaeologist would be really interesting. Getting to travel to different locations around the world and being the first person to see something that hasn’t been seen in possibly thousands of years sounds like a nice way to spend my days.
If I had the opportunity to speak with young authors about their writing journey, I would tell them to write what they love. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of writing what others want to read, but it can be difficult to connect with those stories if you haven’t fallen in love with them yourself. And then writing can become a chore. I would also tell them to read a ton and to try and live life to the fullest because that’s where they will find their inspiration.
Only one book shelf??? Hmm, good question. I love a twisted mystery, something I can really get lost in. And romance is always good, too! Be it sweet or complicated, I’m all about watching two people fall in love and all of those mixed feelings that go along with it. I tend to read a lot of young adult because that’s the time in my life when I first discovered how amazing books can be. That’s also the age range I’d like to publish in next. But there are too many titles and authors to name and if I tried, I’d be afraid I’d leave someone out! I will say I love to find new authors, so it might be fun to have a shelf stocked with books I’ve never seen before and all the time in the world to fall in love with them.
For the twelfth morning in a row, I awake to the sound of a window shattering. It’s just as unnerving as the first time I heard it, jarring my insides like I’m nothing more than a bag of fragmented bones crashing into one another as someone violently shakes the sack.
Already, the name bounces around my skull like a ghost.
I don’t have to open my eyes to know the noise was caused by my sister and a sliver from the past that’s been stabbing at the present for nearly two weeks. Their favorite time to visit is just before I wake up, when my drug-sodden brain fights to breach consciousness.
I open my eyes anyway. The monitor above my bed is beep beep beeping, continuously announcing my heartbeats as they flash in a series of lines and jagged angles across the screen.
No matter how pleasant they’ve tried to make my surroundings, the abstract paintings and pastel curtains, the depressing pieces of furniture and polished floor, it doesn’t put me at ease. It’s the grabby hands and intrusive noises; the lingering smell of various chemicals; the annoying fluorescent lights that leak in day and night via the ever-open doorway and observation window dominating one of four faded gray walls, hijacking what’s left of my privacy, that make me uncomfortable.
But something’s different this time. I’m not alone.
There’s a man sitting next to me, the arm of his chair butting up to the pale blue blanket draped across my bed. In the blur of faces that have rotated through my room over the past several days, this one is new. Like many of the others, he’s wearing a lab coat, the white material starched and perfectly tailored to fit his portly physique. But his face is kind. Round and slightly ruddy. Thinning black hair carefully combed to one side, making it painfully obvious he has something to hide. He’s leaning back, arms folded across his middle, waiting for me to wake up.
He shifts his ample bottom in the seat. It creaks in return. “Good morning, Miss DeRosa. How are you feeling today?”
I stare but say nothing.
“I’m Doctor Haris Aman, a clinical psychologist. I’ve recently been assigned to your case.”
My case. I’ve been reduced to the example of something occurring. The circumstance of a situation beyond my control. I continue to watch him.
“I’d like to talk about your sister. Would that be alright?”
“Or we could just sit here in silence and enjoy each other’s company?” he suggests, his eyes crinkling at the corners. “But I think talking might be a more therapeutic approach. Don’t you? I understand very well the bond between identical twins. I’m an identical twin myself.”
He says this like it’s his accomplishment.
“And we have something else in common. My twin passed away, too. We lost him to colon cancer when he was just twenty-four. I think that’s why the medical staff asked me to speak with you. Because I know what you’re going through and can sympathise with the special relationship between two people who, at one time, shared the same womb. But I’ve been told you’re hesitant to open up, and that you may be experiencing lapses in short term memory. Is this true?” He pauses, waiting for a response that doesn’t come. “Would you like to talk to me about your sister?”
Would I like to talk about my sister? Not really. The wound is too fresh. But if I humor him perhaps I won’t have to talk to anyone else — including my parents, who have a tendency to scrutinize me with tear-filled eyes as they plead for answers I’ll never give. If I speak with him, maybe I’ll be able to bury the events that brought me here, mangled and despondent, and forget they ever existed. Isn’t that what psychologists are for? To fix all the hurts from the past?
Looking for new ways to read stories? Check out my short text message stories on Tap!
Recently, I had the opportunity to work with Wattpad and Paramount Pictures to create a 500-word piece loosely inspired by A Quiet Place, which will be in theaters April 6th. With the prompt I was given, I created a paranormal story called The Hunted. #AQuietPlace #StayQuiet It appears on my profile as well as in a collection on the @Fright profile titled Stay Silent: A Horror Anthology. Working with brands through Wattpad not only helps me grow as a writer, but has also had a huge impact on my writing resume. I’m very grateful for the opportunities!