In the wilds of suburbia I got excited about writing again. I was itchy to create something, but I didn’t know what it should be initially. I felt myself pulled in certain directions but it all felt very ambiguous.

So, I got a notebook and I started making a list. Not so much a list maybe but a…word splash? I’d call it a graphic organizer but there really wasn’t anything organized about it. For our purposes I’ll call it a Get Psyched Document (GPD). Some of the things on the GPD were book related — plot points, character names, etc. But some weren’t.

For example, I know two amazing ladies who own an adorable shop in Portsmouth, NH. I love that one day they decided that they are passionate about design, printing, Portsmouth and running a small business — so they went for it. They went for it and they succeeded! So, I added Gus & Ruby to the GPD.

A snapshot of the original Get Psyched Doc:

Also, a coworker was describing an odd former roommate and said, “She’d listen to Pink Floyd…and then start giving her stuff away.” Awesome description. Added it to the GPD.

I traveled to a school for students with special learning needs in Maine for work. There, they have a gigantic Newfoundland dog (Humungous. Like a couch.) with only one eye. She plays with the kids at recess. This dog was truly amazing — I added, “one-eyed dog” to the GPD.

Salem, folklore, the idea of gardening…the list got bigger and bigger until it spilled over onto another page and then another. Soon the ideas began to blend and morph and soon they became the world in which I was writing.

Now, I don’t know if my little middle grade novel is any good, but I know that I love it. And I love it because it’s made up entirely of elements that I am absolutely 100% psyched about. It’s comprised of things I wanted to research, characters I wanted to live with, and places I wish I could visit. In short, it was really really fun.


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