My parents are downsizing and selling the house I lived in from ages ~12-20 (although I was mostly at college for the last 3 years of it). So, Terry was all, “MEH YOU NEED TO CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSET!”

And I was all, “Gull Mah, just get rid of it, yo.”

And she was all, “MEH!”

And we’re going to be living together.

In any case, I set out to pulling down the plastic bins in my closet and rummaging through them. Predictably, I found a bunch of American Girl dolls and Beanie Babies, some of whom I hope are going to be worth just a little bit of money. I also found some of these bad boys:

Besides all of that and some teddy bears, I also found reams and reams and reams of spiral notebooks and literally EVERY PIECE OF HOMEWORK I EVER COMPLETED (thanx mom).

But within the pages, the very beginnings of all of my novels. Scenes, thoughts, backstory, all of that that will eventually be turned into the novels you’ll see over the next five years, and some that you’ll see in different forms (such as Empath). Flipping through the pages and pages of my high school  handwriting, seeing my familiar characters splayed all over the pages….

I found an entire notebook – complete with dual-color pens for each person talking, where Suni and Whitney are having conversations.

Metallic pens FTW #Imissthe00s

(In case you were wondering, I still journal in this way. But I’m not going to share that with you, cause that’s personal!)

From what I can tell, I spent most of my high school writing career oscillating between Anime fanfiction, a YA Contemporary Fantasy titled
“Spells and Sorcery” (to be renamed and probably published in 2017 or 2018) and also a little bit of Razia.

Even my homework was littered with writing notes, such as the below:

(This was from my advanced vocabulary notebook)

I can’t believe I was so focused on writing and then just…GAVE IT UP. What the hell was wrong with me? I also can’t believe how much I have reverted to the person I was in high school. This realization couldn’t have come at a better time, either.

Yesterday, I had a mini-existential-crisis on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. I couldn’t help but feel like a bit of an imposter and perhaps I was making a mistake by returning here, by being this creative artsy fartsy author.

But when I started reading all of these books and notes and thoughts and I realized that I am exactly the person I’ve always been.

I mean, I found this symbol all over my notebooks:


Which now comes out as…

Not only that, but I put aside my dreams for so long. I mean, look what I wrote sometime in 2002 or 2003:

Ten years late is better than never (Double Life was published June 12, 2014)

While I was rummaging through the stuff, I happened across the scrapbook my Grandaddy Usher (the reason why my pseudonym is S. Usher Evans). I’ve known about this for years, but I’m feeling rather nostalgic for him lately, and it was nice to see his handwriting from almost 30 years ago:


October 15, 1985 
My Dear Little Grandperson,
Your grandfather takes great pride in writing this letter to you. You see, little person, the world and I don’t know who you are. You won’t be born for another seven (7) months. So far, you have gotten a lot of attention, so you must be worthy of a letter from your Granddad Usher.

Your mother, Terry Jo Usher Evans, has about climbed the walls with happiness (S – Accurate). Your dad, “Mike” Evans is elated to say the least. You have a little brother (S – he’s older) whose name is Christopher and has just turned one year old. Your Grandmother and I think he is very handsome, as are all our grandchildren.It will be a long – long seven months waiting for you – young person. When you are born, you will already make a place in our hearts. The Evans family and the Ushers are close knit families. You will be welcome by them also.

This folder will be given to you when your grandfather passes on. This is my way of giving you some wisdom… (continues).

My granddaddy Usher was an interesting individual, and some of the stuff in the book is a bit eyebrow raising (such as the article that the happiest women are married with children. Thanks for the pressure, Granddaddy). I really do treasure this scrapbook he made for me, as he did pass on some eight years ago. But I know he’s proud of me for all that I’ve accomplished this year.

And to close, the coup de grâce, I found this gem from (I think) 3rd grade. I obviously have my priorities in line:

And what eight-year-old knows what inflation is? This one: