I have thirty-seven unpublished blog posts from the past three years.
I wanted to share my stories while I held them close.
I wanted to be a full-time travel blogger, and then I didn’t.
I wanted to focus on my YA fantasy novels.
I wanted to focus on my master’s degree.
I wanted to be more private about my life.
Trying to remain on top of blogging trends exhausted me.
There are a million reasons, but I think at the center of it all, in 2016, something within me shifted, and I unlearned how to be open.
I began blogging to process my emotions living in Paris. For years, Bon Voyage, Mon Chéri was a place where I’d record my thoughts and travels as I marveled at how my life changed.
As I describe in my brand new about me page, I came to a point recently where I realized this blog was never just about me. Somewhere along the way, I actually started meeting people who felt connected to my writing, which mattered to me. It mattered more than the rest of it and is why I considered travel blogging professionally for a while. I miss that.
I find the concept of opening my life back up incredibly uncomfortable. But I find solace in writing and I know others find solace in reading, so if reading about my experiences helps people, I’d like to do so. It could be as simple as knowing where to stop for lunch in Paris, as overwhelming as navigating publishing, or as complex as reconciling with yourself when your dreams change. No matter the subject, I hope that in sharing, I help others feel less alone.
Since I quit blogging, I’ve also begun to miss the tapestry of memory I knitted together. Most details flake away with time, but when written down, I can remember the small moments beyond pretty cities and smiles. I can remember why I smiled, why I found the graffiti beautiful, why a trip drowning in winter rains warmed me. I can remember the little boy wielding a rainbow umbrella like a lance while splashing in puddles, wonderfully oblivious to the scowling faces around the Doge’s Palace. And as I move from this place to that, I quite like remembering. It’s what keeps me knitted together. It helps me make sense of how I got to this chair, listening to a night wind blow in from the Pacific Ocean.
Besides, blogging again means sharing photos like this. The expression. The details. I want to take him home and make him a throne worthy of His Majesty.
What I’ve Been Up To
Writing, writing, and more writing.
I wrote a middle grade fantasy novel. (The Secrets in Merlin’s Journal)
I wrote a young adult fantasy novel. (Of Serpents and Stars)
I wrote a non-fiction book on the romantic mythology of Paris for my master’s degree. (The Romantic Mythology of Paris)
Then, I decided my cramped fingers hadn’t worked hard enough, so I wrote another YA fantasy novel. (Dancing with Death)
After that, I slowed down for a while to adjust to life in Los Angeles. In the year since moving here, I signed with a literary agent, Katelyn Uplinger at D4EO Agency, wrote a screenplay, wrote a TV pilot, wrote and acted in a short film, and began writing a new YA fantasy novel. I also just started writing a new TV series.
Throughout all that writing, I was fortunate enough to travel here and there, and someday, I might chronicle those adventures, even just through photo essays (Rome! Be still my beating heart). Since moving to California, I’ve also had the wonderful opportunity to see my family more than I have in previous years, which has been one of the best parts about moving home.
And, being in LA, I’ve been able to check out a few premieres!
Those, of course, are just the highlights. It all sounds so pretty and productive and perfect when written out in a succinct list.
But it neglects the days sitting at my desk, staring at clouds, wondering if I’ll ever publish anything. (Probably not if I only ever stare at clouds, right?). It omits those difficult months of leaving my life in Scotland behind when my boyfriend hadn’t yet found a job in the US, and wondering when we’d live on the same continent again.
It glosses over what I struggle with now, today.
It’s all normal and it’s all okay. I’m generally a happy, grateful person, and each challenge ultimately closes in one way or another. But I know how difficult it is to feel as though everyone around you is accelerating while you’re still dreaming, so for the sake of keeping this perception balanced, know my life isn’t all traveling and premieres and productive creative time.
Where I am Now
Sunny Los Angeles! I’ll be honest: it took me a while to like this new home of mine. I might write about it more later, but after a year, I’ve grown surprisingly fond of a city that still feels very much unlike me, yet curiously exactly where I need to be.
Regardless of where I am now though, a lot of you followed my writing for many years and I felt I owed you an explanation as to why I disappeared. Thank you for reading then and now.