Live with a Warrior’s Heart

This post has taken on many forms in the past month I’ve been writing it. It usually only takes me a day, maybe two, to write a post once I sit down to write, but this past month hasn’t been an easy one, physically and emotionally, and I’ve needed more time to process things.

I don’t know if I have, though. It’s hard to process the loss of someone who was gone too soon, far before her time, hard to try and comprehend that there’s so much she won’t get to do.

One of my favorite creators, Julia Albain, wrote a book a few years ago (A Glamorously Unglamorous Life, it’s a wonderful introspective read). I ordered a copy, and received with it, a small gorgeous piece of watercolor art, with the words LIVE WITH A WARRIOR’S HEART printed on it. Now, more than ever, do I need that. For myself, and all the things that my dear friend won’t get to do.

The first time we met in person was at a convention for a TV show we used to watch (nerds to the end). I was struck by how quiet she was, but when she spoke, you listened. She was intelligent, and almost cuttingly funny, with a razor sharp wit. By the end of the weekend, we all had nicknames. She was 00Q, because she was quiet, but like a secret agent, she was not to be underestimated.

It’s not fair.

I miss her. I miss her deeply.  I miss her thoughts on the Oscar Nominations (would she reuse her picture reply from last year a box of “Assorted Entertainment Crackers” or something new?), and pop culture and activism and racism and sexism and body positivity.

I miss her.

But I have to believe that my heart is a warriors heart. That for her, I will never ever stop trying to achieve what I want.

So this year, every thing I do, every thing I write, every adventure I take,  I’ll do for me.

But I’m also doing it for Chelle.

albainbookmark

Bookmark created by Julia Albain

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First loves.

My first love was reading and writing.

I’d sneak books under the covers long after lights out. I remember not liking endings to stories I was read at bedtime, so I’d stay up and come up with new ones to tell all my stuffed animals.

I don’t really remember when I wanted to be a writer. Does anyone? I remember my first short story: Strawberry Shortcake and her cat, Custard, fought and won against the evil Jafar (it was 1992, Aladdin had just come out, okay?) leaving everyone in a mix of Agrabah and Strawberryland living their happily ever afters (or HEA’s as you’ll see me call them, I do write romances).

Since then I’ve moved on to writing other things. More short stories (less Strawberry Shortcake and Custard and more angst and brooding, but always the HEA), pilots, a few plays, two screenplays….

My first novel though, well I haven’t finished it. I have about seven novels anywhere between just started and 3/4’s of the way completed, but managed to write myself into corners with most of them. Sometimes it’s like I’m all ideas and no follow through.

What I’m writing now, though. This, has potential. It deals with first loves, the ones that stick with you, the ones all loves from there on out are compared to.

In an ideal world, they’d all be our last loves, but that’s why we have fiction, isn’t it?

Reading about first loves, brings back all the memories, the nostalgia, the feelings that were happening for the first time. It reminds us that you never really get over those feelings, that a part, no matter how small, will always brighten at the sight of your first love (even if the rest of you cringes).

So no, you never really get over first loves. I’ll never be over writing, or striving for the best story to tell.