Swoon Author Jessika Fleck: Words Heal
Hey Swoon Readers! As I’m writing this I’m two—TWO—days away from Beware the Night publishing! Suffice it to say, I’m equal parts this…
Powered by Giphy
Powered by Giphy
Words and stories are beautiful, magical things. I truly believe this.
I wrote Beware the Night in 2011, the same year I accidentally hit my head on the corner of a jagged window frame which resulted in traumatic brain injury (TBI). I’d only written the opening chapters of the book that would publish eight years later. And, at that point, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to look at my computer screen long enough to write a full sentence much less finish Beware the Night.
TBI is one of those injuries that usually isn’t obvious to the outside world. And, I’ll tell ya, it can be extremely disheartening and challenging to go through day-to-day life appearing completely healthy on the outside when, on the inside, you’re in total turmoil and on the constant verge of fight or flight.
I started writing again. In short stints. I got special glasses that helped me stare at my laptop screen for longer periods of time and, along with other therapy and treatment, one small step at a time, I regained normal life. It was a new normal, but I was writing, which meant I was healing. And thank goodness for this book. Being able to escape into Veda and Nico and Dorian’s world not only became easier as I healed but wholly therapeutic. I needed to write this story just as much as my characters needed me to tell it.
Two years after my initial head injury I was invited to participate in The Boulder Tattoo Project: A living art project that combined poetry, tattoos, photography, story-telling, and pride of place into an artwork that celebrated Boulder, CO and its people. The tattoos were words and phrases of a poem that was, in essence, a love letter to the city of Boulder written by poet Anne Waldman.
You’ll see that my piece of the poem was the perfect way to come full circle with my brain injury and the healing power of words and storytelling.
Your mind stays.
I mean, who even knows if Beware the Night would have been the same book had I not hit my head on that stupid window frame so many years ago? So, one could say, in a bizarre, twisty sort of way, that my brain injury brought me here:
And thank you for all of your support, Swoon Readers! I wouldn’t be holding this book in my hands if it wasn’t for you all as well!
I’d love to hear your stories—if and when you’ve experienced the power of words in any form. Big or small. It’s all inspiring.