Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Author Guest Post: Lois D. Brown

Lois received her bachelor’s degree in journalism and worked as a news correspondent in Washington D.C. She later completed a master’s degree in communications and moved into the corporate world, creating her own freelance business.
Recently she has turned her interest to writing fiction after realizing the bedtime stories she tells her four kids never put them to sleep.
Make Lemonade by Writing About Life’s Lemons 
Bumps in the road. Who doesn’t have them? And for some people, they’re more like large boulders.

A few years ago, one such bump appeared in my path. In 2008 I was diagnosed with having Simple Partial Seizures. These kinds of seizures typically don’t affect motor skills, but they can affect all of your five senses (hence their other name: sensory seizures.) Mine created an odd mesh of symptoms, the most disconcerting of which was MASSIVE déjà vu where time slowed to a crawl and everything around me faded in and out. It was like I had lived that moment a thousand times before in a different life.

The diagnosis left me feeling pretty low. It meant I had to be on some pretty serious medication. It also meant the memory loss I had been experiencing probably wouldn’t come back. And it meant if I had another seizure I could lose my driver’s license. What is a mother with four kids supposed to do without a driver’s license?

Needless to say, I was stressed. I went to bed one night thinking about my recent trip to the neurologist. In my sleep, I had a vivid dream where there was a girl who had frightening feelings of having already experienced things before but in another lifetime. It wasn’t like reincarnation—the same soul come back to earth to live as someone or something else. Instead, it was like her life just kept repeating itself and she had moments where these “other-life” memories were intensely strong.

I woke up and knew I was going to write a book. A novel. Fiction! For me, that was something I never thought I could do. You see, I had been a freelance writer for twenty years, ever since graduating in journalism from college, but I had always told myself that fiction was way out of my league.  
Writing the book CYCLES was therapy for me. Sure, the story is fake. Sure, things that happen in the book aren’t real, but in a weird way it helped me come to terms with my own “bump” and move on. Better yet, I learned I LOVED writing fiction. Twenty years of being afraid of writing a novel were gone.

I’m not alone in using fiction writing to work through hard things. A friend of mine lost her husband at the age of 26 in a flying accident. Simply tragic. It took her a year, but she finally wrote a short story about . . . you guessed it: someone losing their spouse and having to get over their fear of losing someone else. The story is called The Second Storm. It was hard for her to do, but it made a dent in the grief she was working through,

So, give it a try. Go ahead and make some lemonade with your writing. It’s certainly better than sucking on a sour lemon! 
She remembers things that never happened.
She's a stranger in her own home.
She always knew she was different.
She just didn't know why.
Until now.

Renee Beaumont is about to die . . . again.   
CYCLES is the first book in a series. SPACES, its sequel, will be released in 2012.

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