When I was young, I would write stories that were wrought with political intrigue and the threat of nuclear war in a spiral-bound notebook. Hello, Cold War. I was clearly a child of the '80s. This is one of my first memories of storytelling and was accompanied by hours spent on the phone with my friend Michelle talking about how we were going to be authors when we got older. Since then, my writing has taken many different forms, ranging from technical to quasi-philosophical to just plain fun.

More than anything, I want to write stories that transport you to other worlds, allow you to get lost in the fantastical lives of intriguing characters, and that maybe provide you with the tools or perspective to better deal with the realities in your own life. And, while it has taken me a couple of extra decades to start writing fiction again, I finally have a complete first draft of my first novel, Thistledown.

Spinner @ Rhodes Mfg Company, Library of Congress

Spinner @ Rhodes Mfg Company, Library of Congress

At its heart, Thistledown is about getting past all of the prickly barbs we erect to protect ourselves and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable with those we care about. Cassie is a 30-something Baltimore native struggling to fully connect with the people and things around her. Born into a tight-knit family with a propensity for secretiveness, she learned to value a certain emotional distance from an early age. All of that begins to change when an afternoon spent exploring ruins by a local river leads Cassie to discover one of her grandmother's old cameras can capture images from the past. Suddenly, she finds herself thrust into a 120-year old mystery at an abandoned mill. Past and present blend as Cassie uncovers long-buried family secrets in an attempt to learn more about the fate of the girls who worked the textile mill.

I've been blown away by the entire process of actually finishing a first draft and the struggle to make it better. I'm currently in hypercritical mode, hard at work editing and rewriting the story in an effort to get it in front of a few beta readers eventually.

If you're interested in my personal essays, cultural criticism, and journaling, I suggest digging into the a girl named sue blog archives. I've been writing on that blog since 2005, so there is plenty of embarrassing early material to keep you busy! I can also be found guest posting on other sites from time to time.

Books That Ignite Your Passion on My Life as a Teacup

5 Favorite Books for the Young Nerd in Your Life on The Nerd Nest

Fluvial Geomorphology I Spread the Nerd on The Nerd Nest

Throughout my professional career, I've authored a variety of reports, grant proposals,  press releases, blog posts, and other materials. To see my complete curriculum vitae, follow me on LinkedIn.

If you're looking for someone to write a guest post or need someone to take on a freelance assignment, don't hesitate to contact me via email at notmiranda@gmail.com.

At the end of the day, no matter what I write, I want to be brave, unafraid of leaving all of myself on the page.