Before the Beginning

Hannah Emerson | August 10, 2016

My Aunt Alysia has been a key part of my life and a great source of inspiration and encouragement for me. Our wonderful connection and understanding of each other began at a very young age. From the time I was born and on, she has been a doting aunt and has always been there for me, wanting only the best for me. Her adoration for me has shown itself in many ways.

During her travels as a consultant, she would always buy me the prettiest of dresses everywhere she went, even when she was almost out of money! When I was two months old, she took me to my first ballet performance, which instilled a lifelong love of music and theater within me. She truly cared for and loved me. This strong bond and trust went both ways. When I was just eight months old and she was preparing for a treacherous climb up the Grand Teton, I called out to her with one of my first words, not “Mom” or “Dad” but rather “Pa,” my special name for my Aunt Alysia since then.

Our strong relationship continued throughout the years and was a very important part of my youth. As the dark times of my childhood started to take place and I started to lose hope and belief in myself, my aunt helped to pull me out of it and was always there for me…I visited her many times in California. During these visits, we would have long talks about my future and the potential it and I had. She has been the catalyst for so many important growing experiences and opportunities in my life.

When I didn’t believe in myself and felt hopeless, she was one of my greatest supporters and always encouraged me to be my best and to believe in myself. She believed that I had potential and inspired me to think big, discover the world, and to follow my dreams. She is the one that inspired me to start Tae Kwon Do, which I now have a black belt in and draw unsurmountable joy from, to this day. She also inspired me to do well in school, which is paying off really well now in the midst of my college search. Most important of all, she inspired me to write…

From a very young age, I was fascinated by stories and fiction. I always loved how the twists and turns of a good story could take me to another place and put me in someone else’s shoes for a while. Because of this, I could never get enough of books and stories, since I had the ability to read. Books were and are still like my oxygen. My favorite past time became the action of tearing through a good plot, getting to know new characters and other worlds, and learning new words every day. I loved to write and to make up stories in my head, but had trouble transferring all of my thoughts down to paper until the sixth grade. This was the case until I discovered Greek mythology.

I was fascinated by the depth of drama and endless stories and connections between the different gods and mystical creatures. I read books of all different types about Greek Mythology and made it a goal for myself to become an expert on the subject. As I learned more and more, it started happening again…I started taking my own twists on the many different stories and found myself focusing on one goddess in particular, whom I related the most with and found to be the most fascinating.

As I learned more about this goddess, I found there was more to her story, which ignited my creative gears, which started spinning rapidly to the point where I had unknowingly created an entire new story about this goddess…The story was filled with a winding plot, drama, adventure, and excitement. I was so intrigued by and felt so connected to this story that unlike the stories I had thought out before, I started to write it down…

This was when the first ideas came to me for my story. I couldn’t have known it then, but these ideas would one day serve to spur my Aunt to create the Protogenesis™ story. This was truly ‘before the beginning’…

I wrote the “Prologue” of my story down, but of course, I was only in the eighth grade…and, to put it kindly, my writing skills, while good for my age, were not top-notch; and my life experiences, although they were quite extraordinary and plenty, did not go far enough to write a whole book.

During the Winter of 2013, I was on vacation bundled up at my grandparents’ cozy cabin in the mountains with my Aunt Alysia. As I knew that she had attended UCLA in screenwriting and had written a screenplay and a TV pilot, I asked for her help to tell me her thoughts about my story, not sure what she would think. I was pleasantly surprised by her reaction. She told me that the story had great potential. She even offered to help me with the development and editing of future chapters, knowing that it was my dream to write a book. I was absolutely ecstatic at her response and wanted to get started right away…

The stage was set for me to write my story. For the next six months before I started high school, my Aunt and I met sporadically to jot down and organize my ideas for character descriptions and high level story, and I even tried to write the first few chapters. My aunt edited my work, looking for holes in the story and grammatically editing it as well.

As time went on, it became clear to me that I did not have enough experience and would need more help to make the book successful. So, I started collaborating with my Aunt Alysia, and we would bounce ideas off of each other and divide the work for certain research or story development among us. During this time, while my story was mostly developed, we were both a bit frustrated because after all of our effort, it still had holes.

Our lives took different turns with her company taking off and the start of high school for me, both of which came with a huge workload. Sadly, this caused both of us to put the book on the backburner for a while, hoping to return to it when we had could devote the time to it. By the Spring of 2015, my life was crazy as I was overloaded with AP classes, executive positions in clubs at school, and preparation for my exchange year in Germany. Although I wanted to work on the book, I did not have time for it.

As my Aunt’s company found success and she was able to retire, she suddenly had the time so started thinking about our book project again, focused on how to fill the holes in our story. One day, somewhat out of the blue, she sent me a completely new, detailed story outline that she claimed fixed the issues we were grappling with. I was anxious to find out what she had done given the length of time since we had last really collaborated.

I had no idea what to expect…



Share the Story



Comments

Leave a Reply