I am Brandi Easterling Collins. Welcome to my portfolio. Can I scare you with some truth, some fiction, and a little in between? While I don’t write horror, I do write about big scary emotions like jealousy, anger, and grief. I write about scary truths like depression and anxiety. And when it all gets to be too much, I try to write something fun like a list of favorite songs that help get me through all the scary stuff that is life.
I am a writer. I have always been a writer. Words are my muse. Writing is my therapy and my true passion in life. I’m not the best writer in the world, but I’m working to become the best I can be. I fear putting my work out there because I never feel like it is truly finished or good enough. I am sharing my work now because it’s time. Life is short, and I can no longer stand to put off my dreams. I am finished with the decade-long break I took to start my family.
I’ve been writing stories and poetry since I was 11 years old. I wrote seven book-length stories between the ages of 13-18. The last one I wrote is the first one I rewrote and independently published, Caroline’s Lighthouse. While the other stories need a lot of work, I am so grateful I captured the angst of being a teenager when I was one. I published Jordan’s Sister in 2018, my third novel, What I Learned That Summer, in 2019, and my latest novel, One Shot, was published independently through my own imprint, Luminesce Publishing, in 2021. When Does Life Begin? was published in 2023.
I entered a creative writing scholarship contest at Arkansas Tech University in the spring of 1999 and placed 4th. I thought I was going to school to be a psychologist, but I gave up on that and pursued my passions of creative writing and visual art, obtaining my BFA in Creative Writing. After taking a decade-long break in the real world to pursue an MS in College Student Personnel, work, and be a wife/mother, I started writing again. To be honest, I had to start writing again, or I would have gone insane.
As my children grow, I hope the heartache I captured in my poetry, stories, and journal entries can help them get through the pain that comes with being a teenager and young adult. I can teach my son to be kind if he has to break someone’s heart. And when my daughter’s heart is broken someday, I can hand her my journals and let her read how I survived it. If their roles are reversed, and my son has the broken heart, and my daughter is the heartbreaker, the same sentiment applies. I wish I could shield both of them from any pain.
I love my family with everything that I am, but they’re not getting the best of me if I’m not happy. My husband is wonderful. He is always supportive of my dreams. My son and daughter inspire me. They are the reason I want to leave a legacy with my writing.
My day job is SEO content writing for a large company. I love it and am dedicated to it, but it’s not enough to sustain me. I wrote the most during high school and college. Writing gave me a way to escape the pain of heartache and life in general. It saved my life.
This blog will contain general ramblings, old work, and new work.
Disclaimer: Be prepared for a roller-coaster of emotions if you read the older work. I am fairly certain I was out of my mind when I did most of that writing.
-Brandi Easterling Collins