One night, at the tender age of 5, I had trouble falling asleep. The thought occurred to me that I should tell myself a story.
I’ve had insomnia ever since.

Which is to say that this was a much better idea than riding the big wooden roller coaster at Circus World the year before. I picked up the plot thread each night and even on road trips. Characters became friends, new worlds became my playground and life exploded in brilliant color.

Then a certain music group caught my attention.

Prior to this, my knowledge of the music industry was limited to my babysitter.
Sitter: “Who’s your favorite music group?”
Me: “Uh…music group?”
Sitter: “Yeah, you know, like the Beatles.”
Me: Really? There’s a group named after bugs?
She liked Air Supply; I just liked the hot air balloon on the album cover.

But suddenly there was music that rocked my world, and a fandom that cemented friendships during my awkward phase a wonderful time in my humble existence. I wrote and wrote and wrote, giving my friends and I many fantastic adventures with these people. I discovered the joy of leaving cliff hangers that prompted readers to throw my notebooks back and demand I continue the story. Ah me, it was a grand old time.

These eventually became the stuff of blackmail legend. And though that joy languished for many years after, NaNoWriMo brought it all back in spades. It even helped me find my own soul mate – a writer, of course, with the college degree to prove it.

Nano gave me an evil villain who’d set up shop in the African jungle only to watch his castle be taken down by a monk, wielding a fried chicken drumstick. In another dimension four warriors helped a young writer realize her destiny and save their own existence – with the help of that same monk, now wielding a Molotov cocktail. Mayhem ensued, things got unplugged, and the Quechop came into being. (Though, do not bring this up to the Immortals. They despise prophesy.)

Oh, here’s the obligatory “J M Gallagher resides in the US with said soul mate and 2 cats, spending hours under headphones, plotting. Or reading. Or playing Spider Solitaire.”

Amazing worlds await…shall we?


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