I recognize now that sharing my experiences is not a bad thing. Our lives are made up of experiences each day we live. Some are bad experiences we don’t wish to repeat or go through again and some are great experiences we wish to relive over and over. Both, when shared have the ability to help, encourage, teach, train, bring together or simply enjoy with others.As the author of my books, I am not writing them just…because. There is a purpose and plan for every book and character. Each scenario is strategically written to set up a scene, make a specific point, project a certain feeling or teach a specific lesson. So for me, my experiences help shape my message. This, I believe adds depth and makes me a better storyteller.
What do I want to accomplish from the shared bits and pieces of me? Some; I am anxious to purely be enjoyed and others; have life lessons I hope the reader will take away
After feeling good about the outline of book two; curious, I went back to Liberty Layne and the One-Girl Rebelution to see if I had shared myself on the page. Indeed, I sprinkled a dash of, yours truly here and there.
Mostly, I cut/pasted my ideas with an experience. Here is one such example, for fun. This is an excerpt from my first book, Liberty Layne and the One-Girl Rebelution:
To set up the scene, Liberty Layne is in the green room “primping.” She is about to go out onstage where the heat of the spotlight will beat down upon her. This is her moment to shine, to show the world who she is. Her plan, play her guitar and rock the mic, hopefully…
“Come in,” I hollered, spritzing myself with the last of my Happy perfume. It’s like wearing a splash of sunshine, perfect for the cloud of doom and gloom that hovered above me. One last check in the mirror. This was it. The moment had arrived. I slipped my feet into my vintage goat hide cowboy boots and twirled in my mom’s 1993 prom dress. Her strapless, red satin mini swooshed in several layers of Latin ruffles and glimmered with just a hint of red carpet flair.
When I was deciding what Liberty should wear for her performance, I knew she wouldn’t wear anything right off the rack, that is not who she is. Then I thought maybe she could find something at a vintage shop. That is more her style. Knowing I am vintage to my kids, I immediately went to my prom dress. Liberty would totally wear her mom’s prom dress, but it would have to become “Liberty-fied.” I took my dress, changed a few things like making it a mini and adding layers of Latin ruffles, put it with her cowboy boots and ta-da!
No one forgets their prom. I am glad I was able to relive mine in such a fun way. An experience from the life of Shaylene shared to become a new experience for my readers.
Truly, a life well lived is a life that is shared. And I do believe we make a life by what we give. I know I will continue to give parts of who I am because…well, that IS just who I am.
Me and my high school boyfriend at our Junior Prom. The year, 1989. (And no laughing at my hair, the spiral perm and poofy bangs was the “in” hairstyle in the late ’80’s!!)
Jennifer Lynn Alvarez says
Great post, Shaylene! I love it!! And thanks for including the photo. You are so right in everything you say, so wise!