Since making the spontaneous decision to start a brand new project for National Novel Writing Month, I've been thinking a lot about constellations. And relationships. And family. And how they all connect.
It's a project I've been mentally preparing for months, but didn't think I was anywhere close to actually drafting. See, I'm the type of gal who likes to have her ducks in a row before the cursor hits the Google Doc—and I mean all in a row. I usually wait for months before I even consider a draft, because I know how frustrating it can be to start something I'll inevitably decide to scrap.
But with this project, it's different. It isn't a complex epic fantasy with a thousand moving parts and subplots and character arcs. It's a simple story of lost connections, of relationships built on love but fracturing beneath the weight of emotional self-isolation. My characters all love each other like family, but they each carry burdens they keep locked away from the others, and it's been interesting to flesh out the many ways in which that lack of vulnerability disconnects them. Little miscommunications becoming full-fledged fights. Little fences becoming walls. Little silences being packed words that were never said and ideas that were never thought.
It's about family, the relationship that God designed to give us a place of safety, a place of home and welcome. Like so many beautiful things He crafted for our pleasure, sin has broken the family in our world. Marriages fall to pieces, often discarded rather than repaired; siblings become enemies, parents become strangers, and the intimate bonds of the family unit reach snapping points too soon, sending daughters and sons and siblings and fathers and mothers spinning off into different galaxies.
Families don't always break in pieces. Sometimes they just . . . drift apart. Like a constellation where every star is part of one whole but exists lightyears away from the others, alone in the vastness of space. I'm thankful to say that I don't know what it's like to feel so divided from the people I love most; this year has filled me with a new appreciation for the bonds I have with my brothers and parents, the strong connections we share. It's humbling to me—that blessing—but it's also tuned my heart to the reality of family brokenness that exists around every corner.
I'm looking forward to diving deeper into this project and exploring the different nuances it shows me. I'm looking forward to gaining a better understanding of the things people go through alone, without needing to. Writing, for me, has always been about pointing those who are lost in the dark to the freedom in Jesus' light; this November, I'm praying for wisdom and inspiration to do just that through a new, unfamiliar, but deeply meaningful story.
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