Because I Knew You – Guest Post by Mary Katherine

Please join me in welcoming the beautiful and talented Mary Katherine.  Mary Katherine is one of my friends I’ve known from birth.  She was in my wedding and I was in hers.

Throughout our teens her, her sister and I were known to write dramatic fantasy stories, as well as tape-record our renditions of such strange things as an interviews with all nine main characters of the Fellowship of the Ring as well as with Gollum (the latter ended when raspy-voiced guest ate the radio show host).  We were also known to laugh and talk so fast when we were together, my father swore he couldn’t understand what we were saying.

Mary Katherine is a woman who knows how to have fun, to love deeply, and to dream big.  This is a beautiful post about someone who kept creativity alive when things got tough.

***********************************************************************************************************************************************BECAUSE I KNEW (KNOW?) YOU by Mary Katherine

I have had writer’s block since I graduated college. I have pleaded all the normal excuses: too much work at my day job, not enough inspiration, too tired, not enough time, too hungry. I’m like an equestrian who fell off a horse two years ago and has yet to get back on. But through all this frustration, there is one person who still believes in me as a writer.

I first met Andrew when I was 18. It was at a mutual friend’s party, and we didn’t talk at all. When we ran into each other at a coffee shop nearly a year later, we talked music. The next time, movies. I didn’t know this at the time, but he started camping out at my favorite table whenever he wasn’t in class, in the hopes of seeing me.

Before long, we talked about books. After liking all the same movies, we were surprised to find we despised each other’s taste. He liked fantasy: urban and high. Favorite books? The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. I liked poetry and the character-driven works my professors introduced me to. Favorite? Peace Like a River by Leif Enger, a novel that simultaneously reminds of me To Kill a Mockingbird, an old western, and the Gospel of Mark. When I asked Andrew to read it, he only made it halfway through before stopping from boredom. When I started to read his favorite series, I struggled with the material – a private-investigator-wizard in modern day Chicago. I did, however, make it through the first two books in the (then) 12-book series.

I grew up in a family that loved stories, and Andrew shared this love. When he asked me to collaborate on the screenplay for a feature film project, I couldn’t say no. We fell in love arguing about a character’s motivation and trying to pin down the perfect ending for the story.

With the film company we built, we started to produce advertisements, short films, and music videos. On a Friday in February 2010, he picked me up from my day job and drove us to the set. We were shooting some test footage before the real actress showed up, so I stood in. As I traded lines with the other stand-in, one of our camera men, Andrew stepped in, pushed him out of the way, got down on one knee, and asked the best question I have ever heard: “Will you be my wife?” It was all caught on camera.

During our first few months of marriage, I was trying to get through my last semester of classes and simultaneously keep food on the table and our home livable. I started to forget the dream I had of writing. But Andrew kept bugging me to try, even just an occasional poem.

There’s no one more sympathetic to writer’s block than another writer. Watching him work through his own writer’s block, and then flourish, is what kept me trying. Last year, he was in the middle of finishing his degree, working 30 hours a week, and still found time to write 1,000 words of his novel every day.

It is because of this discipline that he is in the revision process of a 100,000-word novel. And it is good. Everyone should be so lucky as to have someone in their life whom they believe in this much. His talent and discipline inspires me to keep trying. Every day.

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Mary Katherine works in administrative health care during the day and battles writer’s block at night. She lives in Moscow, Idaho, with her husband Andrew and kittens Hobbes and Houdini. If you want to know more, you can find her at flavors.me/marykatherine

About Elise

Elise Stephens began her career in writing at age six, illustrating her own story books and concocting wild adventures. Stephens counts authors Neil Gaiman, C.S. Lewis, and Margaret Atwood among her literary mentors, and has studied under Orson Scott Card. She dreams often of finding new ways to weave timeless truths into her stories. Her novels include Moonlight and Oranges (2011), Forecast (2013), and Guardian of the Gold Breathers (2015), a finalist for the INDIEFAB Book of the Year. She lives in Seattle with her family. Follow her on Twitter @elisestephens and Author Elise Stephens on Facebook.

Comments

Because I Knew You – Guest Post by Mary Katherine — 7 Comments

  1. Elise, get your friend to start a timed writing group. Give her a dozen start lines and let’er rip. See you at the tables.

  2. Pingback: Mimi Breaks the Block | One Thankful Mom | Lisa Qualls

  3. Mimi,
    I loved your post. Keep the writing rolling; I know you can do great things…I still have “The Snowman” posted on my filing cabinet in my office.
    Love, Dad
    (P.S. Peace Like a River is one of my favorite books, too).

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