Literary club visited by local author

Hope Martin, Design and Layout Editor

Ananda is Bellefonte High’s literary magazine. They publish student written poems, short stories, and other forms of writing, as well as art and photography. All students are encouraged to submit to Ananda to be published in the magazine’s yearly release. 

Recently, the creative writing class, which produces Ananda, was visited by local author, Trisha McKee. Trisha has been writing for as long as she can remember and has published nine books in the past three years. 

“Writing was my escape. It was my kind of therapy. I began to realize as I grew older it became less of an escape and became more of a love and a passion,” Trisha said. 

Trisha’s daughter is a more artistically-inclined individual. In order to give her daughter confidence to pursue her passion, Trisha sent out a few of her short stories to get published, not expecting anything to come from it. She now has at least 150 short stories published. 

Trisha gave lots of advice to the students. One of the topics she discussed was working on multiple books at once.

“I like to think writing is something you love to do. If you want to multitask and work on multiple books at once, you should,”  Trisha said.

Trisha discussed with the students how she personally sets up her plans for writing. She starts by laying out the information for her story on a whiteboard. She writes down character names, traits about them, and their family trees. This helps her keep hold of the information about characters.  

Trisha also talked about how some of her writer friends set up their plans for writing. 

“A lot of my friends are plotters. They plan out everything for each chapter and know what they expect to happen in their story. I admire that, but it’s just not how I write,”  Trisha said.

When discussing her process of publishing her stories, Trisha gave students important advice on what to do before writers go to get their stories published.

“You have to have an editor after you edit. Editors have fresh eyes. Where we read our own work, we know what is going to happen and will skip over mistakes,” Trisha said.

Figuring out things to write about can be a difficult thing. Trisha talked about ways to hold onto ideas that students may come up with. 

“Even silly ideas that you come up with while you’re driving down the road, write them down because you never know if that idea will come back or not,” she said. 

Right now, Trisha is currently working on the last book in her josie series and the first of her sisters trilogy. She discussed some of the things that inspired her to write them.

“My Josie books, the flashbacks were taken from my childhood. That emotion definitely contributed to my writing,” she said.

Trisha’s conference with the students had an impact on their writing and their ideas. Junior Elizabeth (Lizz) Cogan was especially impacted by this.

“It was a super surreal experience because it showed us that dreams can actually come true. It was nice to know that my dreams weren’t just dreams but actually goals and possible achievements.” Lizz said.

Trisha’s writing story is one of many. Joining ananda would be a great way to gain more information and knowledge on writing to help kick-start a possible career.