Depression Leads to New Worlds

So I’ve been having fun with depression lately. It’s one of those things that a lot of writers seem to struggle with, and I think there’s a reason.

When you have depression, you start recognizing that here is not a good place to be. It doesn’t matter if your perceptions are off or entirely accurate. It doesn’t matter if here is your own skin or your own century. As soon as here isn’t good, you start longing for there.

And that longing seeps out in words and phrases and paragraphs and… stories.

There’s this yearning for something different. And it doesn’t matter if what ink leaks onto the page paints a picture of despair or joy; it reveals that the writer wants to escape here for someplace else. It’s not that depression creates writers; it’s that depression creates this desire to be elsewhere, and that desire must flower in some way. Continue reading “Depression Leads to New Worlds”

World Creation and Other Therapies

The slide probably started Sunday, but I didn’t notice it then. Monday I canceled an appointment. Just didn’t feel like going out. Tuesday it hit hard.

I have depression, by the way.

I suspect a lot of writers do. Many of us struggle with melancholy in various ways. We cope through creation. We take our pain, our loneliness, our fears, our struggles, and splatter them on the page in ink and syllables and screams.

I forgot. Continue reading “World Creation and Other Therapies”

Introducing Kids to New Worlds

This week I took a bunch of kids to another world.

As I entered the classroom, the teacher introduced me. She said I was going to read to the class.

Little did she know.

Step one: Get the kids on your side. Easy to do if you’re willing to be silly with them. And so I was. “Before I read anything, I need to warm up. And I need your help. Just because I feel a little silly when I warm up all by myself. So, can you repeat after me, please? Say, ‘Red leather.’”

The class of fourth-graders repeats the simple phrase back at me, perplexed. Continue reading “Introducing Kids to New Worlds”