I’m Cari, and by some miracle I’ve survived into my late twenties with minimal damage. (My mother keeps a running tally of ER trips, and while I’m still in second place, I’m quickly closing in on my older brother’s record.) Born and raised in the Midwest, I’m still here while pretending attempting to be a successful adult: holding down a full-time job, paying my bills, pursuing my interests, and maintaining one of those ‘social life’ things that are all the rage these days. I’m truly lucky to have a circle of amazing friends and a family that, for the most part, I’m willing to be seen with in public.
Whether or not they are willing to be seen with me in public, however, is a coin toss.
But those are just the stats for ‘age/location/job/hey, look, I have friends!’ And they’re not really important, just bragging, the equivalent of shouting, “I’m alive and doing a fairly decent job of it!”
What’s important is passion, the thing that gives a purpose and a heat to existence.
My passion is words.
I read a lot. I write a lot. And I talk—a lot.
I love words. I love what words can do, and I love how words operate on multiple levels. I’m fascinated by how words can say one thing while even more is conveyed by the words that aren’t said. I’m awed by how speaking or writing about a subject can heal wounds or weaken demons, how words create stories that can entertain, touch, and change, and how the right word at the right time (or the wrong word at the wrong time) can shift the world on its axis. Words are important.
I’m a reader.
I have always been a reader. I cannot remember a time when I was not a reader—before I could read, I was read to. Books are entertainment, they’re an escape, and they’re a learning tool, not just for facts but for how the world and the people in it work. My mother is a reader, so it was natural for me to pick up a book, too. Want your kids to be readers? Then read to them, and let them see you read, too.
I’m a writer.
I’ve been scribbling for twenty years or so, little lines here and there, but I remember the very first time I thought, ‘I’m going to write a story’ and then sat down to do so. I remember this with both fondness and horror. Characters were names without substance, plot was non-existent, and the writing itself was terrible; I couldn’t have been more than ten or eleven. I wrote it by hand with calligraphy pens on loose leaf paper. I poured hours into the story, I was so excited. I fell in love with the words, the way my brain fired with ideas, with the whole process. I never finished that story—although unlike a lot of my later attempts that were abandoned, this one met the unfortunate end of being thrown away by my aforementioned mother. (I seem to recall pitching quite a hissy fit over that, too.)
I never stopped writing after that, simply started a new one, moved on to the next idea and the next set of words, and over the course of years, throughout middle school and high school and beyond, something happened: I became a better writer. Characters became real on the page, plots began to surface and evolve, and the actual writing showed skill, not just word vomit. And my love affair with writing grew more intense.
I write flash fiction, short stories, novellas, and novels, both stand-alone and series. I’m a genre-hopper: fantasy, mainstream, literary, and the occasional password-protected memoir piece. Writing is relaxing, writing is therapeutic, and most importantly, writing is enjoyable. Have I been published? No. Would I like to be? Sure. Will I keep writing even if no one else ever sees my creations? Absolutely.
I write because I enjoy it. I write because I love it. I write because not writing is not an option.
Note: I made no mention of poetry. I haven’t written poetry since high school for one very good reason: my poetry sucked. But if you ever want to peruse a tome of teenage angst, look no further.
So that’s it. I’m Cari, and my passion is words.