I’ve always been a super outgoing person. You can ask the majority of the people close to me and they’ll tell you that I love spending time with people who make me happy.
However, there are some things that even friends and family can’t cure.
I suffer from anxiety. It comes on whenever I least expect it and normally just when I think everything is ongoing okay. However, the happiest and most stress free I feel is when I’m sitting in front of my Word Document and writing. I have nothing around me bothering me. No bill collectors asking for this, no worries about health issues or if my family is doing okay.
When I sit in front of this computer, carefully placing words together to tell a story about someone I made up, it creates an opportunity for me to forget those worries and to focus on my creation. I develop relationships with these people that I describe. I hurt when they hurt, I cry when they cry and sure if that’s one step closer to going to the nut house, then so be it. I’m ready and waiting for that straight jacket.
I think that making that sort of connection with your books is the best way to feel a sense of pride and love when it’s done. I cried yesterday when I finished “Peach River.” It was a story dear to me. I started it right before my wedding.
I’ll never forget the moment that the idea came to me. It was late February of 2011 and we were driving to Oak Island, NC to look at a beach house and the exact place we wanted to get married. As we drove down Hwy. 74 outside of Monroe, North Carolina early in the morning, the fog began to lift. I remember looking up from my iPod and noticed a farm off to my right with a bright red barn in the back. The fog was light enough to make out the details and I instantly transported myself back to the farm that I grew up on.
It was a modest farm, nothing big about it. The majority of the land was leased to a bunch of local farmers and my family’s goal was to keep those who didn’t belong off the property. For many years, my sister and I spent picking blackberries off the side of the barn and avoiding tomato worms in the garden. I remember getting so sick from eating so many blackberries right before dinner and making my mom so angry with me that she sent me to my room with no dinner.
My sister and I still think to this day that we should be immune to any diseases because of all the times we spent in pesticide coated mud that we waddled around in as kids. I’m shocked we never blew ourselves up after playing with fireworks and that I still don’t have paint in my hair from paintball wars.
My life was full of fun and excitement on this farm and I wanted to show in Peach River Acres that money didn’t mean anything. The time that I spent on the farm was the best times of my life. We didn’t have much money growing up but we found ways to make our lives that much more fun. I wouldn’t have traded my childhood for anything in the world. I wanted to create that kind of memory in Peach River and when I finished the book, I literally cried. It was the happily ever after that Lizzy and Dean deserved, just like I got mine.
I’m hoping in the next week or two that I’ll hear that someone wants to publish this story. I cannot wait to share it with the rest of you and I hope you enjoy it all.
Thank you again.
And we’ll see you soon, good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.