Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mari edits ... and sometimes writes

I have always wanted to be a writer.

An editor? Well, not so much.

But I became an editor in the course of events of my life, as such things will happen, and it's been a good fit.

But I never gave up on writing.

Because writing is something you can never give up on.

I have countless piles of unpublished poems, songs, stories, unfinished novels, fragments.

Every time I clear out a drawer or a purse or a closet or a random stack of paper, I can guarantee that I will find something that I've written and stashed away for safekeeping. Writing I can do.


That's another story.

So, I've amassed all of these anonymous bits of creativity. Unread except for when I've foisted them on a friend or family member, begging for a scrap of positive reinforcement, assurance that I'm on the right path. And that's what makes a writer, isn't it? The act of writing.

But it's so much more complicated than that.

Because who among us writes only for ourselves?

We all want to be read. Release these characters and craft these worlds for others to read, pick apart, and, if all goes well, enjoy.

Then finally? It happened. More opportunities for writing were presented. Articles, essays and then story submissions.

And one of those stories finally hit the mark, called Midnight Troll.

So now I've got a short story published in an anthology, Something Wicked, published by Buzz Books and also edited by me ... so the story is written under a pen name.

My maiden name. The name that was mine back when I began my dream of seeing it written on a book that someone would pick up and read.

It's nothing that I ever dreamed I would write--nowhere in my pile of random bits of creativity does there exist a supernatural young adult tale of trolls.

But, for whatever reason, one day, Rainey came to me. She brought me part of her story. She showed me where she was, who was with her, what secrets they kept. And then she didn't have to show me any more, pretty soon I was running ahead of Rainey, showing her where to go and realizing how it all tied together. And together, we made this world that you can read about.

I've been tapped on the shoulder a few times since finishing this story, not by Rainey but by some of the other characters in the book. They want me to tell more of their stories, to explore more of this world that was brought to me by Rainey.

And I can't wait.

You can find more information about the anthology, my story and the stories by the other talented writers at the Buzz Books Something Wicked page, where you will also find a link to download a fun and free collection of Halloween-themed recipes that you can serve at your Halloween party or your book club's meeting this month (where, you know, hopefully you'll be discussing Something Wicked).

Your bonus Halloween Treat: How to Make an Art Journal

In the story, one of the main characters expresses himself through an art journal, a sketchbook that contains drawings and sometimes words that capture his thoughts and ideas. Art journals are a great way to journal if you prefer to express yourself through images, and can provide a great outlet to relieve stress.
  1. Pick a notebook. Anything from an unlined bound book to an 89-cent notebook can be used for drawing or painting in. Recycle an old textbook you find at a yard sale, or re-purpose an old school spiral notebook if you would prefer to collage.
  2. Gather your materials. Pens, colored pencils, markers, colored paper, old magazines or newspapers to use for collage, crayons, scissors, paint, stickers, found objects, glue, tape ... really whatever you want to use can fit into your art journal! Of course, it's better to select items that will lay flat on the page so you will be able to close the covers of your journal.
  3. Get started. You might find it easier to cut out everything ahead of time, spacing and placing before you glue it down. Or you might prefer to unleash yourself on the page and plan it as you go. Whatever you decide, there is no wrong way to tackle an art journal. 


  1. Nothing says Halloween like murderous trolls. Thanks for editing, too, Mari!

  2. So excited to get this in my hands! WOO!

  3. You deserve this and are an awesome editor too.

    LOVE your art-journal-ing character. A long time ago, a friend gave me such a journal with pastels to help me through some hard times. What a gift!