‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There is one of my favorite stories of all time. The idea that one could travel through a mirror and find another world that was slightly off from our own fascinated me. As a child I wanted to be Alice. I wanted to discover the impossible and try to understand nonsense in a way no one had before. I never grew out of those feelings.
My life has been a series of discoveries. Did you know that if you touch the seed pods on these flowers they explode? Did you know you can use a pan of fresh snow to cool off homemade fudge or frosting faster? Did you know that the way you tell if something in the sky is a star or a planet is that planets don’t twinkle?
Did you know you can make a boat out of tin foil and float it down the streams of water that form on the streets during a rainstorm? Did you know if you do that as an adult, the neighbors give you weird looks for weeks afterwards? Yeah, that last one is still an issue somedays…
Aside from finding wonder in the world around me, in the people I meet, and the art and science that ties them all together, Alice and her curious world also influenced my life and my writing in a big way.
My dreams tend to be epic adventures and the one I had in October of 2010 was no exception. I dreamed a girl found herself in a strange world, where magic powered advanced technology. I told it to my husband and he suggested I write it down, maybe even turn it into a story. NaNoWriMo was only a month away and he had friends who’d done it in the past, maybe I should try it myself.
At first I thought it was a silly idea, but the story kept following me around, poking at my brain and tickling my imagination. Who was she? Where was she? How had she gotten there? It was that last question that got me excited. Why she got there through a magic portal of course! With the support of my unsuspecting husband I began my journey. In one month I wrote 80,000 words. I wrote so much I had to get wrist braces, which luckily I don’t need anymore.
When NaNo finished, my cousin and I went to an after party event. I got people’s names and we started our own forum so we could continue our writing. It worked for a while, but I needed more help and feedback. I started following writers on Twitter. I started a writing blog. I started a writing group with my cousin, my brothers, and later my friend Erica, who I met through the group, which still meets every other week. I joined a proper forum, on some weird site called Fantasy-Faction.
Now here I am almost six years later, polishing my story, Mark of the Essence, while, and at the same time, working as the editor at Fantasy-Faction. We have been nominated and even won some amazing awards. We even published an anthology!
All the friends I have online and even some in the real world, all writing tricks I’ve learned, all the authors I’ve read and discovered, all of it is thanks to my love of Alice and her portal adventure in the realms of make-believe. As Alice said, “It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” And I couldn’t be happier.