What do I most want?
To educate and entertain, challenge and affirm.
Fantasy books have been my adventure of choice since I started reading on my own. As a 6-year-old, I kept a locked Lisa Frank notebook as my daily poem journal. Throughout public school, I wrote silly song lyrics, fairy tales, and short creative nonfiction.
Soon, prompted by early experiences with mental illness and neurodiversity, I began using fantasy to explore ideas about humanity, relationships, and fears of difference.
Through writing those stories, I learned about myself and what mattered most to me. I want to educate and entertain while challenging damaging beliefs and affirming personal worth. I set these goals into action in the dojo and in classrooms.
After graduating from college, I realized writing fantasy was another way to achieve my goals. I began an unofficial, self-directed course of study. But I was trying to learn alone.
Then my county library offered a month-long series of writing workshops, hosted by a local writing group. They welcomed me into their monthly meetings and became magnificent teachers in professionalism, fellowship, and craft. Although I am no longer part of that group, they are an important part of my journey.
I learned that by not standing alone, by opening ourselves to others, we can learn and grow more quickly.
Since connecting to writers — locally and globally — I have seen my writing change for the better. I believe I have changed for the better. And I hope someday to educate and entertain, challenge and affirm.
About This Site
This site is my way of giving to you.
One lesson I learned from that first writing group is that people can give back regardless of where we are in our writing careers. I already knew giving back was fun, but I had convinced myself that because I lacked a publishing contract, I also lacked the right to share what I was learning and had learned.
To prove myself wrong, I started a blog and later ran small writing contests on that blog. It was very fun. I even dared to share a few purchase links to recent releases and to interview an author.
That blog was a seed for the site you now visit.
Through my new blog-to-be, I want to share what I learn about different parts of the writing process, hoping you can make fewer wrong turns. I hope to one day interview authors with recent releases and promote their works.
After the blog stabilizes, I will add contests to create chances for you to enjoy and practice several areas of writing.
About My Writing
Writing is more than my hobby. Not writing makes my emotions stagnate, lets my thoughts tangle. I become irritable and erratic. I need writing every bit as much as I need daily physical therapy, meditation, reading, and sleep.
So I write.
But why fantasy?
I am enthralled by how fiction can educate and entertain at the same time — subtly challenging damaging beliefs while encouraging bravery, perseverance, and personal growth outside the pages of the story. Stories in any genre can help readers through real life. I am most excited about fantasy’s potential.
I believe fantasy can be more than an escape — it can also provide an entertaining bridge to personal growth. Sidestepping the real world can help people set aside prejudices and preconceptions. Fantasy allows readers to explore ideas in ways that might be difficult or impossible in a real world setting.
Then there’s magic — and real magic.
In fantasy, we can read about miracles and disasters. People fight, befriend, and bargain with dragons, demons, and spirits. All that action is basically takes inner struggles and abstract ideas and puts them in physical form. Which is magical.
But in my mind, real magic happens when people change themselves for the better. Real magic is when a reader puts the book down to be brave one more time, stands one more time, maybe even speaks up for the first time. I’ve been that reader. And I want to find chances — create chances — for other readers.
That’s why I write fantasy.
For my sanity.
For that hope.
For real magic.
What’s this about sandboxes?
From the outside, a sandbox appears to be a wonderful place for learning and play. A person can create without major consequences. There, it is easy to build, destroy, and change your work.
On the inside, a sandbox is filled with sands. Not sand. Sands. Many individual particles that we can combine or divide in nearly infinite ways. Place a grain of sand under a microscope to see an entire world. Suddenly, the sandbox is full of worlds that have been there all along, waiting to be discovered.
Which brings me to writers.
A sandbox writer is someone who plays with ideas as though they were sands. We can build and destroy castles and angels without shame or fear of retribution. At the same time, a sandbox writer dares to examine a single idea and discover a world within.
I’m talking about sandboxes because aspire to be a sandbox writer.
I want my site to become your writing sandbox.
A place to experiment, play, and learn.
Sometimes, I hope to challenge your assumptions. One day, I hope to applaud your achievements. At all times, I believe that you and your work have worth.
If you let me, I’d would enjoy promoting your work as you publish and walking with you as we stumble and stride towards the possible.