I have always been really normal. Don’t get me wrong, normal is great… if you want to be an accountant.
But, for a naturally dramatic woman like myself, being normal was oh, so frustrating. I was born to an interracial couple, which would have been exciting, except it happened during the generation where having a caramel-colored baby with a halo of golden-brown corkscrew curls was “in”. I had never been dangerously sick, or in fear for my life. I had never been in the heart-stopping kind of love that made you want to tear your hair out, and I had never felt the kind of fury that made you want to really hurt somebody. I was normal, and I was bored.
I didn’t start writing because I had a special story to tell. I didn’t start writing because I was lonely or oppressed. I started writing because I realized that movies were always going to be better than real life, and I wanted to be a part of them. After spending my life imagining the dramatic version of everything, it seemed the natural transition.
You might be stopped at a red light, watching a man run across the street in front of you, briefcase over his head to shield himself from the rain, and then just continue on your day. I sit at that light, watching that man, and I see that he spent the night in the city with his mistress instead of going home like he should have, and now, he’s ill-prepared for the turbulent weather and late to work. He arrives at the office to find that everyone inside has been frozen in an apparent time warp. Frightened, he returns outside, only to find that this, too, has been eerily frozen.
At this point, I realize that all of the cars behind me are honking because I just sat through the green light, and all I can think is “damn, I wish I had a pen.”
I have always watched people, studying their interactions, and learning about their emotional triggers, solely for the purpose of creating realistic characters for every imaginable scenario. My writing exists in varying stages of dramatized realism and I willingly drown in the worlds I create, abruptly surfacing after hours to frown at the real world, rendered hopelessly pale in comparison. Only a select few can actually live lives that are truly better than the movies; for the rest of us, movies help to shape our lives. When done correctly, visual media can choose not only what you see, but also what you hear, feel, taste, and even smell. It has the power to delight, to enrage, to frighten, and there is no greater feeling in the world than knowing that you have had a hand in channeling that.
I grew up with an ordinary existence, my only escape being the exciting moments spent immersed in visual media. Now, using a thoroughly developed imagination, generational savvy, and an innate storytelling ability, it’s my turn to create those moments.