Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Guest Blogger: Mary Elizabeth Briscoe, Author of The First Signs of April

Wounds fester and spread in the darkness of silence. The swirling reds, oranges, and yellows of fall’s foliage dance alongside Mary-Elizabeth Briscoe like flames as she tears through the winding back roads of the Northeast Kingdom, Vermont. Desperate to outrun memories that flood her mind, no matter how hard she rolls her motorcycle’s throttle, she cannot escape them.

Shut down and disconnected, Briscoe has lived her life in silence in order to stay alive. Her grief is buried, and shame is the skin that wraps around her bones—but then, following the brutal murder of a local teacher, she is forced as a grief counselor to face her lifetime of unresolved sorrow. Will she finally be able to crack the hard edges of her heart and allow in the light of truth so real healing can occur?

What Happens in This Space of Mine

One of the things I like most about writing is its solitary nature. So, to ask me to discuss my writing habits and process is a bit like peeking into my sacred writing world. But, okay, I am willing expose the truth of what happens in this space of mine and what doesn’t.

My habits are less than disciplined I’m afraid. Sometimes days pass without a single word written. I often talk about how I need to be writing, but there are times it takes a good deal of shutting out the rest of the world enough to settle into my writing space-both literally and figuratively. In fact, just in the short time I’ve been writing this I’ve taken the dog out, graded assignments for a course I’m teaching-you see where I’m going. I’m often easily distracted. I do carry a journal and a pen everywhere I go because great ideas seem to hit at the oddest of times and places. So, my writing space can be anywhere, though I’m partial to a window seat and of course my office and desk. Once I get into my own groove, which includes setting the intention for my writing, some quiet instrumental music in the background, and occasionally staring out a window, I am able to find inspiration either through force of will or opening to it from within and I begin.

Unlike most people, I still prefer to write long hand. As a therapist who has used therapeutic writing in my work with clients, I know the benefits of writing in this manner. Besides, I’m a “technophobe” so I dread using the computer. Once I begin to put pen to paper, my words flow almost effortlessly and can carry me along for hours. There’s an adrenaline rush that comes and lifts my spirits and excites me with the passion that I have for this work. These are the moments that keep me coming back. I crave it and once I can settle myself into the rhythm its like nothing else I have ever known and I can’t wait to spend time with my characters, my stories my ideas.

So, my habits are less than ideal I suppose, but I manage to make it all work for myself, and produce and that’s all that matters in the end.

Mary-Elizabeth Briscoe is a licensed mental health counselor currently on sabbatical from her private psychotherapy practice in northeastern Vermont. She currently spends her time between Cape Cod, Vermont, and Ireland. She has a masters degree in clinical mental health counseling from Lesley University and is a licensed clinical mental health counselor and a Certified Trauma Professional. She has been a lecturer for Springfield College School of Professional and Continuing Studies St. Johnsbury, Vermont campus. She has contributed to Cape Woman Online and Sweatpants and Coffee magazine. This is her first book.  Visit her website, her Facebook, and on Twitter.

Link to book on Amazon:

1 comment:

Serena said...

Thanks for sharing this writing space and her habits. I know what it is like to be an undisciplined writer and writing long-hand. I prefer it.