Sheala Dawn Henke has been telling herself stories with a full cast of imaginary characters running amuck in her head since her early childhood days growing up in her mother’s home daycare. Since then, she has discovered that the laughter and whimsy of childhood make great fodder for story. The movie reels and running dialogue that played through her head since childhood never seemed to accept a final encore, so she decided to start writing them down. Today she surrounds herself with a fountain of youthful energy as a full time elementary teacher. She and her husband, both native Coloradoans, tag team to raise their two adventurous boys in the town of their alma mater, where they attended university at Colorado State in Fort Collins, Colorado. Sheala has spent the last seven years working to complete her debut YA Cli-Fi trilogy, IDEA33-A Regeneration, IDEA33-A Revolution, and the third and final installment, IDEA33-A Resolution due out on Earth Day 2018. She also loves to write poetry, Young Adult Fiction and Middle Grade Fantasy as she continues to commit to the craft each day delighting in sharing her stories with the world.
There are times when moments in our life can transform us as writers, and honestly, for me to pinpoint on the map where this journey began would do the experience little justice. Primarily because along the journey, I’ve discovered that there is no certain call to any one destination when it came to my story as a writer.
I tend to be drawn to things of a symbolic nature, and I recently spent some time in the Outer Banks of North Carolina on a family vacation. We stayed right smack-dab in the heartland of history, near where The Wright Brothers took to the air on their first flight from the site on Kill Devil Hills.
Out there the wind blows like a passive resistance to the staging calm, and it was there that the light finally shined on what kind of writer I am and what kind of writer I could be. Between early morning runs on the boardwalk, dolphin watching ala kayak, and dining on the sweet succulence of tangy barbecue, one of the greatest take-always from my trip came to me while I watched my children fly a kite on our first night on the beach.
For me, writing is like flying a kite...
What I’ve realized over the last seven years is that like kite flying, writing is something of a chance endeavor. Each time I take to the air, there's some level of anticipation for what might be possible, or how high I can go depending on the risks I’m willing to take. The best part is that no matter what happens, I know I still hold the strings.
I love the feeling of control and the slack I might need to get the story up, to send it soaring. I find myself asking, will the conditions be just right? Will the wind cooperate? But more importantly, will this kite fly?
Much in the way the kite flyer learns to read these conditions, we as writers mark our path, and in those moments the words seem to spill out directly from our souls onto the page. These are paths often charted for the very first time. It follows a trajectory we can’t always repeat.
In the same way, I see this flight of words akin to the flight of a kite, with its lofty approach, I see my words as fingerprints on a skyline flightpath that no one else can recreate, and I believe, as writers, we each have a kite of our own. The question is, when are we ready to fly it?
If so, here are a few tips to help you keep to the air:
#1 Go with the Flow:
Much like the variables in which we aim to design our writing routines, a kite bound in flight by certain principles of physics. Flight itself is controlled by three main forces: lift, gravity, and drag, and although our writing process can most certainly, and often does seem to defy gravity, it begins with a common structure that can help us understand and learn to navigate. We don’t always get to control the winds that come, but we do get to decide what goes on the page.
#2 Pick your kite with care:
A larger part of flying a kite is choosing the right one to fly. This can apply to our writing endeavors as well. The genius begins in the choosing. Is it the right voice for me? Does the genre fit my storytelling lens and level of experience? Is the work an authentic part of myself that I’m able and willing to share with the world? And just like kites, as writers, we often fall flat on our noses too!
#3 Pay mind to the Lift Off- I like to think big picture on a grand scale. We plan, we plot, we dodge, we weave. With some projects, we might be more inclined to map out entire wind-scapes, and scout out the jet stream. Other times we enjoy the sharper edges, the cuts, the unexpected twists and turns in a spectacle of flying at our own risk, being drawn to the challenge? As an early stage writer, I often started with a short lead, a line within my comfort zone. A place to set my stride. Then, as I watched more seasoned flyers, streamers out, as they fielded the air in a more instinctual dance, I began to note the difference in their flight patterns. I aimed to fly side by side with them, taking notes from these wordsmith masters.
In any case, over the course of these past seven years, any way I flew it, I’ve learned to work through the snags and pay mind to the knots that might bar my flight. I’ll stay committed to learning, evolving as a writer. And as the shape of my design changes, I can be assured that each time I take to the page, I’ll fly higher than I ever imagined was possible.
“Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it.” ~Winston Churchill
Here you can read an explanation of the Bernoulli Principle by Tal Streeter. For the “path of least resistance” taken by a kite in flight, see the excerpt from Measuring the Sky, Streeter’s work in progress.
IDEA33- A Regeneration
Heli Clame doesn't know it yet, but he stands in the wake of a critical change. Coming of age himself during a time of enhanced technology and decades lost to ecological devastation, he arrives on the grounds of IDEA33 to join two others, Terra Sial and Dous Cistern. Unaware that they all have special and undeveloped powers to offset a prophecy fortelling the end of time, they soon learn their unique origins and the purpose for why they were created. The balance of all life on earth rests on the strength of their unity. Only then will they have the power to initiate a Regeneration.
Her books are available on Amazon & on her website www.sdhenke.weebly.com & you can find Sheala Henke on; twitter (@HenkeSheala, facebook (AuthorSDHenke) & email firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to Buy IDEA33- A Regeneration
I'm generally pulled in a million different directions and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Here's a glimpse of my life - hope you enjoy it! And if there's a big lapse between posts, well, that's the way life goes in Amy's world.