Just popping in to tell the world about what I have been up too.
Just this year I published my first novel, Seeing the Elephant, by Leah Banicki (me), but this journey has been an interesting one.
My life in a nut shell...
Leah the singer - doing commercials and voice overs since the age of ten, performing on every stage imaginable. Lead singer of a Christian Rock back that traveled around Michigan with some amazing people. (I got pictures of me in leather pants to prove it.)
I love music, I truly do, it's in the blood.
Writing has been another passion for me but was always in the background. It worked well for me while in a rock band, songwriting fulfilled that urge I had to fill up notebooks. But even in between times I have at least 30 stories started with ideas and characters floating around in spiral notebooks since I was a little kid.
Just found one the other day from when I was a teen, two teenagers got stranded when a plane crashed on a desert island. Not very original, I laughed my way through my pages.
Four years ago, everything changed. My hectic lifestyle of singing every other weekend in our local big church, working full time, and recording my own cd in my home studio came to a screeching halt.
I got a parasite somehow, (still don't know how) called campylbacter, it nearly killed me. Food has not been the same since, neither has my health. Once the doctors figured it out and got rid of it, my body was broken. I spent an entire summer in bed. Three years later, still trying to learn how to eat and not be sick, not singing, not writing, barely living. My family has been so supportive, loving me through the hard days. Sickness isn't pretty and chronic illness takes it's toll on everyone. Not just me.
I read a book by a friend, Patricia Strefling, and was so inspired that I picked up my old beat up laptop hand me down and began writing again. A story that had been in my heart for more than a decade. battling my ever sick stomach and broken intestines, I took my ten years of research I had done and the story bloomed from the few chapters I had doodled over the last decade and fleshed it out to the adventure of my lifetime.
The economy has hit my home in a big way in the last few years and my husband and I struggled along pinching pennies as I was sick at home the last three years, somehow feeling guilty for having found something I enjoy doing from my place on the couch or sickbed. In a few years my life had done a complete turn around. It was very difficult to face for me some days, missing the stage, my health and livelihood, but having writing was a new direction for me to look for hope.
Before I even finished the new stories started flowing in my head, sequels and other stories. Some hitting close to home, characters that have to face some hard situations before finding their happy ending.
My struggle to find my health is still an active one. I feel lucky to have a few days in a row that I feel good enough to go out and about. I take it day by day. I am learning about the publishing industry from my perch here at home. I read everything I can afford and write and write and write.
The thing I have learned that is most valuable this year that no matter where you are at you can do something. I showed my daughter that even from a sickbed you can reach people. Holding my first book in my hand was a profound experience for all of my family. Even on the worst sick days I have hope. I have a story to tell, nothing can stop me.
Be blessed, Leah Banicki