SST: Guest Post from Danielle Ellison!

Guest Post by Danielle Ellison, Author of Days Like This!

This is a guest post that I have been DYING to post! Unfortunately, life got in the way and personal problems interfered with my schedule yesterday. However, today is a new and better day, and I’m so thankful that Danielle and Nori have been gracious enough to understand my emotional turmoil yesterday. So, let’s jump to this post!

When I was asked about a blog topic, I was trying to keep in mind that this blog is not only about reading and writing, but about life and learning to live it! I know that Danielle’s Days Like This involves a main character who runs from her troubles, so I asked her if she could talk to all of you about running from fears/problems and how her book reflects that. Danielle, being the amazing writer, author, and person that she is, responded with the most amazing post I’ve ever read.

I give you Danielle Ellison…

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“I am a runner.

No, not an actual laced-up shoes at sunrise, I love exercise and “ isn’t this fun to sweat?” runner.

The other kind: one who flees away from things.

From a young age my mom demonstrated that the best way to handle tough situations, situations that had no hope of ever improving or changing, was to run from them and start over. I wasn’t a quitter–I’m still not–and I will fight tooth and nail for something I want…but conflict? crushing disappointment? areas where I feel like I don’t belong or fit? I run from them and start over somewhere else. It’s the way I was taught.

Sometimes pushing the reset button on life is a good thing. Leaving, being somewhere new, gives you perspective…and sometimes (most times, at least for me) I realize that the thing I was running from wasn’t that big of a deal. And maybe, if I’d stayed, it would have resolved itself. Things mend.  People forget. You move on.

But when you run from something, that thing still haunts you, no matter how far you go, and it makes moving on, mending, forgetting, hard.

When I met Cassie, the MC in my book Days Like This, she was running. She was running from some pretty massive stuff actually: a boy she loved, a thing she was terrified of, her mother, bi-polar disorder, herself. She had no idea where she was going, just that she couldn’t stay where she was. Throughout the book you learn that Cassie, even nearly a year after she left, still hadn’t found whatever she was chasing after–and she certainly hadn’t forgotten what she’d been running from. If anything the distance made it harder to ignore, especially when her new present is forced to intersect with her past.

That’s the thing about running: you don’t always know where you’re going, you just know you don’t want to be where you are. As one of my favorite quotes insists…

“Alice: Which way should I go?

Cat: That depends on where you are going.

Alice: I don’t know.

Cat: Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

…if you don’t know where you’re going or what you’re looking for, then you may never find it. you always need to know why you’re running and where you’re running to, otherwise you could end up going in circles only to have it all come crashing back together.

It’s often my instinct to run, even when I don’t know where I’m going.

This relationship on the rocks? Let it go.

This job sucks? Quit it.

Hate this apartment/city? Go to a new one.

Too much going on and I feel like I can’t handle it because OMG make it stop?! Hide. Ignore it.

Writing not going well? Just quit trying.

It’s that last one, writing, that makes me pause because do I really want to quit writing because I’m having a bad day/week/month? No. So, I don’t. I step back, talk it out, re-evaluate and then I realize that I don’t really want to run away from this dream or quit, and instead I have to press on and face it. That lesson, that reality, has taught me to change my perspective on running away. It’s taught me to fight that initial instinct and determine if, maybe, there’s something worth staying, worth fixing, worth fighting for. Usually, there is.

You can’t run from, ignore, hide or quit your problems. They’re always going to be there. I’ve learned that. My mom has learned that. And in Days Like This Cassie learns that. When I start writing this book, I had no idea that this would be a lesson I’d learn. But it was. Watching Cassie go through all of this, watching her struggle with the reality of a situation that she created, made me see the negatives in running. (Isn’t it funny how writing can do that?)

We all have something that we run from–fears, failures, challenges, circumstances, defeat, doubt, trust, love, the future–and in the end it matters not if we run from those things or how far, but whether or not we return to face them. In that, in the facing and acceptance of whatever we are fleeing, we grow. We find something out about ourselves, the people around us, or the world we live in.

And maybe, just maybe, we stay.”

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Synopsis (GR):

Sometimes the only thing standing between fear and hope is you.

Almost a year ago, nineteen-year-old Cassie Harlen had a lot to deal with. A stack of college acceptance letters waiting for answers, a proposal from the boy next door, and a mother whose most recent bipolar episode left Cassie hurt and confused. Tired of cleaning up the messes caused by her mother’s disorder, of resenting her mother for not being there, and scared of being trapped by an inevitable future—which included marrying Graham Tucker—Cassie did the only thing she could think of to keep from ending up like her mother: she left.

Graham never knew why Cassie walked away. He woke up one morning and she was gone—along with the life that he’d created around her. After eleven months, Graham has a new plan for his future. One that doesn’t involve Cassie Harlen.

When Cassie’s mom nearly burns down her house, Cassie’s forced to return home. Back to a mother she’s tried to ignore and the guy she’s been unable to forget. Graham doesn’t know how he’s going to spend the whole summer living next door to the person who broke his heart without letting those old feelings push through to the surface.

Neither does Cassie.

More info on Goodreads, click here!

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About the Author:

Danielle Ellison spent most of her childhood reading instead of learning math. It’s probably the reason she can’t divide without a calculator and has spent her life seeking the next adventure. It’s also probably the reason she’s had so many different zip codes and jobs.

Danielle is the author of the YA books, Salt, Storm, and Follow Me Through Darkness. Days Like This is her first NA.

When she’s not writing, Danielle is probably  eating cookies, fighting her nomadic urges, watching too much TV, or dreaming of the day when she can be British. She has settled in Northern Virginia, for now, but you can always find her on twitter @DanielleEWrites.

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Rafflecopter Giveaway!

Danielle is gracious enough to be giving away a copy of her book! Enter the giveaway by clicking here!

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So, what do you all think? Is Danielle’s post amazing or what?!?! I absolutely adore her, her writing, and her advice on life. =) Feel free to leave your thoughts below in the comments section!

Thanks for joining in for another Sunday Street Team post! =)

❤ Kelly

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