As I Ponder and Query: Inspiration, Jordan’s Sister Update

I have been furiously editing Jordan’s Sister over the summer while my test readers enjoyed the story. Each of them found different things that I hadn’t. Editing my own work is the most difficult task, but it is also the most rewarding. Finding a better, smoother way to say what I need to in order to convey the right meaning is satisfying. I’m proud of my work. Each day, I am a better writer than I was the day before.

It was different writing Jordan’s Sister than Caroline’s Lighthouse because I wasn’t pulling heavily from previous material. Caroline’s Lighthouse was a rewrite of a story I wrote at 15—the most polished of my teenage works. Jordan’s Sister was originally part one of a two-book series I wrote at 14 about the events leading up to a teen’s suicide in the first book and the events after in the second book.

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Echoes

“Echoes” Free-Verse, July-August 2017

Your ghost follows me around,
haunting and taunting me.
I don’t know if I miss you,
or the me I was before you.

Through the window,
I catch a glimpse of you behind the trees—
a shadow of who you once were to me,
still frozen in time.

Trapped inside these walls
are lies I’ve tried to ignore,
bubbling up in the peeling paint,
all these years later.

Echoes of past conversations
bleed in my ears
while I scream over the noise
of what is now silent.

Living in parallels,
I guide the me I once was to escape
the darkness into safety and light,
though I once let you take it all.

-Brandi Easterling Collins

What does depression (and anxiety) look like?

Most commercials for antidepressants show people in despair, lying on a couch crying or dressed in baggy clothing with unkempt hair.

Is that what depression looks like? Yes. Sometimes.

But often, depression can look like a person who has their shit together. A career woman who gets things done. A soccer mom with perfect hair and perfect kids. A lawyer. A doctor. A musician. An artist. A movie star. A writer. Me.

Anxiety medication ads often depict a person having a panic attack, complete with hyperventilating, rapid heartbeat and sweating.

So that’s what anxiety looks like, right? Sure. Sometimes.

It also can look like standoffishness. Indifference. Disengagement. Irritability. Forgetfulness. Me.

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