Living with Ulcerative Colitis

Designed by Freepik

Today, May 19, is World IBD Day. For the first 20 years of my life, I lived blissfully unaware of the inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), ulcerative colitis (UC). Sure, I’d heard of stomach upset, suffered through childhood digestive woes and stomach viruses, but I didn’t know there was anything more than the ever-fleeting “nervous stomach” term I’d been assigned as a kid. Those first days of school tummy jitters, the clamminess before big tests or speaking in front of the class, the waves of nausea after making an ass of myself in front of my crush, etc.

I took an acid-reducing medicine while in 11th grade and the occasional half-tablet of Imodium-AD to settle my digestive system, but it wasn’t until college that I started having severe problems.

The changes were subtle at first, so subtle that I only recognize them now as I reflect on that time in my life. Continue Reading “Living with Ulcerative Colitis”

Music in Jordan’s Sister

While music is an important element in each of my novels, this is especially true for Jordan’s Sister. Taylor and Layne are singer-songwriters. Their entire lives are filled with music. I’m a writer who can barely carry a tune, and music is such an integral part of my life that I’d be lost without it.

To me, music is a doorway straight to the soul, and lyrics are poetry expressed with more feeling than what can be conveyed by words merely spoken.

There are 23 songs referenced in the novel. Four songs are featured in their entirety (because I wrote them) and the others are referenced by title only with or without the artist’s name (because doing so does not violate any copyright laws). I’d never written a song before when I wrote the songs for Jordan’s Sister. There are two each that Taylor and Layne write during the story. I’ve shared their two main songs on this blog, and the others are in the novel. Those songs won’t be shared here because one contains a major spoiler and the other is extremely cheesy (as I intended), so you’ll need the context in the book to get it.

Unfortunately, I lack the musical talents of my parents. I don’t sing well or play any instruments. I recorded myself singing both of the main songs so I won’t forget the melodies I had in mind for each. Only my husband has heard the tune of two of the songs, and it was excruciating to share that with him. I can speak to a crowd of hundreds of people but don’t ask me to sing to anyone but one of my children. I don’t know why it is that singing to others feels the same as the thought of running naked through a crowd.

I had a Spotify playlist of songs while I rewrote Caroline’s Lighthouse and have one now as I write What I Learned That Summer. Both contain songs popular during the years the stories took place. Hearing music from when I was a teenager takes me back in time to the emotions I felt then so I can better relate to those characters since their stories took place in the mid-90s when I was a teen.

The playlist for Jordan’s Sister contains the 19 songs written and performed by others which are mentioned in the book.

These songs:

Each song has some significance in the novel. I’ll share brief thoughts on each. Warning: There may be mild spoilers. Continue Reading “Music in Jordan’s Sister”

Best laid plans: Jordan’s Sister Update


As of  April 26, Jordan’s Sister is available in paperback format on Amazon.

From April 24, 2018:

Today was supposed to be the launch day for Jordan’s Sister, the first novel to be published under Luminesce Publishing. The launch date was a deadline I set myself, so not meeting it isn’t the end of the world. For now, I will have to settle for a partially-met goal.

The eBook launched early, on April 21. You can purchase a copy on or read for free with your Kindle Unlimited subscription. There is a “Look inside” feature that allows you to read just past the opening of Chapter 4, which will allow readers to check out my style and story opening to make sure they wish to purchase to continue reading.

I hope to have the paperback out before Saturday, April 28, 2018. I will update more as soon as I can.

-Brandi Easterling Collins