I was born in Kentucky, but then we moved to the island of Cyprus when I was one year old. When I was four, we moved back to the states, where we took up residence in the little artist town of Taos, New Mexico. With the exception of long trips to Hawaii and Costa Rica, and trips to visit relatives in Kentucky, Wisconsin, Chicago and Florida, I spent my childhood among the creative people and the sprawling deserts of Taos. It was there that my mother read me my first novels, Juniper and Wise Child by Monica Furlong, sparking a flame that would only grow into a raging forest fire when I got older. But I didn’t know it yet.
Sitting in a little cafe when I was six, I wrote my first poem on a napkin. I think it was about the snow falling outside. I would later write many more poems, including a poem about my cat that would be published when I was ten, and more. At the age of nine, some friends in Hawaii introduced me to ElfQuest, a sprawling Fantasy comic series by Wendy and Richard Pini, and I quickly became obsessed, not only with joining my friends in role playing the characters, but with creating my own characters. At the age of eleven, we were living in Boulder, Colorado, and I had begun designing ElfQuest inspired characters, drawing pictures of them to go with their descriptions. This was something I would end up doing much more of when I got older. But I didn’t know it yet.
I wrote my first story when I was eleven. It was a fantasy novel, and it may have won an award, but I’m not sure now. I do know that I will be turning it into an actual novel soon though. I also wrote my first song when I was eleven. My mother had been teaching me piano and guitar, and she soon began doing everything she could to help make my dreams of creative stardom come true. By the age of twelve, we were part of a talent agency in Boulder. We did a couple photo shoots and were extras in the movie Asteroid, but I just didn’t have the enthusiasm to go along with whatever talent I had. Once, at a meet and greet, a producer shook my hand and instructed me to say “The sun will come out tomorrow” and I said it so dryly that he looked as if he had seen a ghost. (I would later earn the nickname of Wednesday, after the Addams Family character, not only for my similarities in appearance to the actress Christina Ricci at the time, but for my complete and utter lack of enthusiasm – Believe it or not, I was perfectly fine with this). Needless to say, we were soon moving on to other ventures. I continued to pursue the things I loved, but in a more behind-the-scenes way. Someday I would literally be doing most of my work behind-the-scenes, and loving it just as much as being in the spotlight. But I didn’t know it yet.
At the age of twelve, I started writing out vocal parts to sing with my friends, and we recorded them onto cassette tapes (if you’re under the age of 25 you probably have no idea what those are, LOL), and when we moved back to Kentucky at thirteen, we started putting on little shows for our families. I had started writing scripts back in Boulder, and I continued doing so in Kentucky, even enlisting some friends and teachers to help remake a movie I loved, called Now and Then. (Of course I was to play Ricci’s character, LOL). It didn’t work out because my mother and I were soon moving again, but I would continue writing stories and scripts and songs and poetry, and I would continue covering my favorite music, recording old-school multi-track harmonies with myself when I had no one to sing them with me. Years later, the invention of YouTube and programs like Soundbooth would make all of this a lot easier and more frequent for me. But I didn’t know it yet.
When I was sixteen, we moved to Lexington, a large college town in Kentucky, and we stayed there throughout my high school years. After moving around frequently for most of my life, it was nice to have a place to settle in. I quickly began making friends, and of course, began trying to start a band with some of them. I think I started at least 3 bands between the ages of 16 and 20, and most of the time we didn’t even practice, much less perform or record an album. Years later I would discover that I didn’t really even need a band. All I needed was a partner and a computer. But I didn’t know it yet.
When I was sixteen, a family friend introduced me to video editing. My first project was a music video of Final Fantasy VIII, my first ever RPG, to the song “Somewhere Out There” by Our Lady Peace. Falling head over heels for video editing, I soon continued with a music video of Final Fantasy X to the song “The Reason” by Hoobastank, and then moved on to some of my favorite movies like Spider-Man, X-Men, and Batman Begins. I had also recently discovered how much I loved the films of M. Night Shyamalan, and made a music video of his film The Village. I began dreaming of one day editing movie trailers for big companies, and even made a couple mock-up trailers for practice. One day I would be making book trailers for authors, which would be just as fulfilling as movie trailers, if not more. But I didn’t know it yet.
I continued writing throughout high school, frequently letting my friends read and critique my work, and quickly becoming the star pupil of my English class, as I had always seemed to do without trying. Writing was just in my blood, and unlike most students, I would spend my free time in class writing stories and poems, which caught their attention. I also enrolled in the school choir, where I learned more vocal technique. At the age of eighteen I began going to church, taking my passion for music and writing with me. I began performing songs at this church, and even started the production process with some friends on a script I wrote. But, once again, we never made it very far, because soon, I was moving again. My world had suddenly been turned upside down by a monster posing as a Christian and as my friend, when he raped me and then told people it was my fault. So, I left not only the church, but the city, moving back to Eastern Kentucky to live with my grandmother. There I began the long journey to healing, and soon founded a support group called R.I.S.E. (Rape Incest & Suicide Education) to help people like myself RISE above the past. One day I would be whole again, and although scarred, I would be stronger than ever before. But I didn’t know it yet.
At the age of 24, I met the man I would end up marrying. On Myspace, of all places. We connected instantly on an intellectual and spiritual level. Our online conversations would probably fill a whole book if printed out. Being an introvert, I have a hard time opening up verbally to people, and through the internet, we were able to bypass this firewall of social awkwardness and get to the important stuff. When we finally met face to face, we already knew each other so well that we clicked right away, as if we had always known each other. We even entertained the idea that maybe, just maybe, we had. We quickly began writing music together, which would later turn into making music videos and creating Frozen Creek Studios together, and we would each become an essential part of the other’s world in both a spiritual and creative way. But we didn’t know it yet.
Now I’m 30 years old, but I still feel 20. I think I feel this way because I know deep down that the best is still yet to come. I now have so many novels in the works that sometimes it’s hard to keep up with them; I have clients coming at me left and right for book trailers, soundtracks, and cover illustrations; I have some music I’m really proud of under my belt; I’ve literally helped save lives through RISE, and I have the best husband and creative partner anyone could ask for. When I was young I was told I could do anything I put my mind to. Apparently I took that to mean I could do EVERYTHING I put my mind to. But, sure enough, here I am doing just that. Everything I want to. It’s not easy, but it makes me happy. It’s been a hard road so far, but the path ahead is clear. I know this is just the beginning, and the best is truly just around the corner. I can’t wait to continue down this busy but beautiful path that is my life, and I hope you’ll join me for the ride. 🙂
Be The Lightning,
Below are National & International maps of places I’ve been
(places I’ve lived are outlined or circled in black)