Life as of Late // March Playlist

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Spring is finally here out in the country and I'm totally ready. 2016 has already been an amazing year and I can't wait to see what the rest of the year has in store. Lately I've been....

Studying like crazy for Anatomy and Physiology and getting things around for summer classes. This semester is flying by -- how is it going to be over in just a month and a few weeks??

Preparing for my voice recital. The song I'm singing is I Enjoy Being a Girl, which I absolutely love to sing, but it's kind of a flirty song and I... am not the most flirty person. It's definitely going to be a step outside my comfort zone, but hey -- if I don't go outside my comfort zone, it won't get bigger.

Excited for baseball season to start. My brother is playing for the high school team again after taking a year off. I cannot begin to describe how much I've missed watching him play. And let me tell you, he is a.mazing. No, I'm not saying that just because he's my brother -- he really is good. Just trust me.

Listening to Les Mis. Because why not? Anytime is a good time to listen to it. Oh and feast your eyes on this video.

This will totally be my kids.

Finishing Finished my new favorite tv show, Lost. Let's just say.... I haven't cried over a show like that in a while. But you need to watch. Really.

Reading The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. This play is hilarious, people. Seriously, I laughed out loud multiple times. And if you've never seen the movie, I highly recommend it -- definitely one of my favorites!

Trying to get back in the habit of working out. Ehh it's getting there.

Suffering from allergies. As wonderful as springtime is, pollen is my enemy. What would I ever do without Claritin-D?

Anndd, the playlist for this month. Yes, most of these are Les Mis songs. No, I am not sorry.

What have you been up to lately?


The Scars We Choose

Monday, March 7, 2016

One of the many ideas on my To-Write list was a novel about a PTSD patient. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has always fascinated me, but I didn't study it too much until psychology class last semester. If you'r'e unfamiliar with PTSD, it used to be known as shell-shock and was linked to soldiers in combat. It develops after a traumatic experience and is characterized by flashbacks, nightmares and continuous fear. We know now that anyone can get PTSD: car accident survivors, abuse victims, and nurses. You could even develop PTSD from watching something traumatic, like coverage of a natural disaster on TV.

Causes, symptoms and statistics on PTSD, not here, about half of all children who have been abused.:

I was disappointed when we only skimmed over PTSD in psychology. I started to research like a madman (I'm good at that) and discovered that there isn't much awareness for PTSD. Sure, there are some movies and TV shows where a character might have the disease. But the stories don't even begin to touch on what PTSD really is.

I decided that I wanted to write this novel more than ever. Characters and the beginning of a plot began to take shape. As I continue my research, it's amazing to see how much PTSD affects not only the patient, but everyone around them. There seems to be an idea that people with PTSD are dangerous -- and they can be -- but that isn't always the cause. I want that to come through in my novel.

And so was born The Scars We Choose. A nurse with a lot of baggage tells the story of Alex, a soldier with PTSD. The nurse, Ellie, dreads having to work with a PTSD patient, but the two end up bonding over their love of classic books (even though he hates her favorite book and she hates his), the Beatles, and their love of creating artsy things (he writes, she draws). Both of their worlds are falling apart in some way, so they take comfort in knowing that they're broken together.

I love both of these characters so much. Ellie deals with anxiety because of an accident with her older brother, and Alex acts tough and unapproachable, but he's really just a ginormous teddy bear. Since this novel is about PTSD and depression, it will have more of a dark undertone, which is something I'm nervous about. But my goal is to leave readers feeling hopeful not only about PTSD, but also about other mental health issues.

What are your latest writing projects? Have you ever written a novel about mental health? Do you have any tips?