There’s nothing like the feeling of being completely seen by a story. When I was growing up, I loved tales with magic and mystery, self-discovery and danger. My family had a collection of science fiction and fantasy that I gobbled up. Mercedes Lackey and Frank Herbert were some of my first loves. I read anything supernatural I could at my local libraries and was front row for the Harry Potter craze. But still I wondered, “What would happen if a girl like me woke up with amazing powers?” I very rarely found brown skinned characters described as the protagonist, as the one discovering she was more than she could ever imagine. But that’s the story I craved to read. The one I most wanted to live in, for even just a moment.
Years later, I found myself living a life that felt prescribed to numb me from a deeper truth. I began to dream about a girl, two girls actually in fitting with my dual nature, and how they would react to gaining my favorite supernatural powers, telekinesis and telepathy. I would think about how one would respond to my boss, or how another would handle the tension with my mother. But it was just daydream because I thought, only I would want to read about these types of characters.
My creative tipping point happened in 2014. It was my first year attending the Burning Man festival, and as a black woman, I had a lot of doubts that I would even enjoy myself and survive the week. But what I actually found there has shifted me into a creative self I never even envisioned. The unfolding adventure of the event, especially the neon wonder of night playa gave me the feeling of living in a magical realm. The wildly interactive art constantly challenged me. Like, when you see a bus turned into a fire breathing dragon that has a DJ booth inside that a bunch of friends got together to build just for the fun of it, I realized I couldn’t discount my ideas, my creativity as useless.
“Look at how people are doing it so hard out here, literally bringing their wildest dreams to life, and they are connecting with so many people who have the same dream! I can’t get myself to write the story in my heart?!” Burning Man was a portal and through it I saw that I was a storyteller and I needed to create.
I started writing, seriously writing, the following year. And taking writing workshops so my writing could improve and attending conferences to discover how one takes a story in their head out to others. Through it all, I felt inspired to write the story that I most wanted to read as a child and I am thrilled that this creation allows others to see themselves, too. I leaned into the magic and mystery, self-discovery and danger, with characters and dialogue that truly display my fantasy and reality. I am so excited to share my completed novel, The Goddess Twins, with you all next year. This is truly a dream come true.
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