Just a Smidge About Me

It’s Writer Wednesday.  Since everyone has been nice enough to read the first couple of posts where I have shared some embarrassing facts about myself, I thought I’d share a little more about me.  So, who is SH Burgess?  Well, read on.

Imagine your favorite coffee shop, breathe in the smells of the freshly brewed coffee and the music being piped over the speakers on some unique-to-the-coffee-shop station.  There is the typical amount of chatter in the room as people take conference calls, squirm in the faux leather chair or squeak their metal chair across the floor to peer closer into their phone or laptop.  You observe from your corner of the room an average-height female, yoga toned and blonde hair piled in a messy but perfectly coiffed bun.  You strain to hear her order a cup of coffee and find she’s ordered a tea, her accent a surprising but pleasing Irish lilt.  A foreigner in the States, maybe on “holiday” as she’s most likely to call it.  You try and hide behind your cup of coffee so she doesn’t notice you continue to watch her as she collects her tea, adds loads of milk and sugar to it and then sits at the bar in the front window.  She pulls a laptop from her bag and you notice she’s busy writing what appears to be a manuscript.  An author, you think.  She must write wonderfully magical tales about rolling green hillsides and music filled nights of sitting around a pub.  Satisfied with the career choice you’ve given her, you sit back in your chair and continue to drink your coffee.

The Irish woman, that’s not me.  I’m short and non-athletic and would most likely be the person screeching their chair across the floor and spilling my coffee while trying to observe everyone else in the room.  So, why the quick visual?  Well, because everything on inside of me screams, “aye, you’re Irish” while the genetic makeup on the outside would say “have you checked yourself in the mirror?”  Friends who read this will laugh and most likely shake their head as I’ve told everyone for well over half my life now, I’m Irish.  I’m sure a therapist would have a field day with this and I can tackle all the fun I’ve had with being Irish in a future post, but for now, we’ll just leave it at, it took a while for me to find an identity when I was young.  The Irish, they danced and sang their way into my heart, not to mention their food is just incredible.  Oh, and they have Guinness.

What is true?  I’m a thirty-something writer who lives in the great state of Virginia.  I’ve lived here almost my entire life and I love it.  I’ve just completed my first novel, see my first post, and now I’m working on feeding the muses and picking out my next project.  I’ve been a writer for the majority of my life.  I’m always escaping somewhere, whether it’s through my own quick creation or through movies or books.  I’m an avid reader and shameless book hoarder.  I have worked a variety of jobs through the corporate world as well as had some of the best summer jobs possible.  I love music and I constantly have it playing in my house.  I have to write with music, right now I’m listening to Gregory Alan Isakov’s “The Stable Song”, love it.  Once I find a song I love, it’s put in my collection and played to death.  And that’s about it, just a normal, everyday person who loves to write and can’t wait to see her book sitting on a shelf somewhere.  Yes, I know.  I actually want a printed book, not an e-book.  Maybe I am weird?  I am definitely Irish.

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Finished!

I’m done.  I’m finished. I can’t quite believe it. After several years of writing, editing, re-writing and toiling over my first novel, it’s completed.  I know there will be room for more edits, I feel as though I find one every time I review it. But, I have to put the pen down or rather fingers off the keys and allow others to toil and fret over it while I nervously chew my fingernails and wait for feedback.  I figure I’ll take a moment to breathe before embarking on the next story path, so why not fill the time and start an author blog, because yes, that’s what I feel like I am officially now.

I’ve dreamt since I was a little girl of being a writer. No, of being more than just a writer, I’ve dreamt of being an author.  Perhaps for many there is no difference between the two, they’re synonymous, but not to me. A writer is someone I’ve always been; the creative spirit has needed a channel to flow forth from within and writing was an escape for that river.  I loved writing stories in elementary school and creating new worlds with talking animals.  In my angsty pre-teen and teenage years I found how cathartic journaling could be, and I had my first visits from characters who wanted to tell me their secrets.  I also fell in love with brooding, tortured, leading male characters, but that’s certainly a post for another time.

Towards the middle of high school, I found poetry. The non-rhyming, passionate and storytelling kind.  I was so shocked at the way it broke all rules and was so powerful in a modern way.  I became obsessed with conveying character points of view through pages and pages of poetry.  Most of it is in the bin, never to be recovered. And then in college, full blown characters would come and sit and distract me in the margins of my college ruled notebooks. They’d whisper a simple phrase or show me a certain look and my imagination stuck to it like glue, clearly not interested in urban planning or constitutional law.

I entered the corporate world, ready to tackle anything and do my best and to succeed like all of my friends in their careers.  Only, the characters in my brain kept multiplying and spinning new worlds.  They raised a ruckus and it started to get a little crowded.   So, I gave my most cherished characters life on paper.  And thus began the book.  I’d write a snippet here and a passage there, mostly after midnight when I had free writing time. I wrote when the mood stuck and when each character wanted to talk.  Their timetable was never convenient, nor were the muses very kind some days and months, gifting me with dry spells and writers block.  But the call of the author still urged me on.  I read other books and just knew I could do it too; I could join the coveted author ranking.  I was able to quit my job and in between focusing on domestic goddess status and wasting time on social media, I wrote a book.  And even if this is my only book, which I doubt, I can still say I’m now an author.  SH Burgess, Author. I’m not going to lie; it feels pretty damn good.