This was originally posted on my previous blog on: 1/27/16
THE ART IN CUTTER BOY – TAKE 1
As the publication date nears for my first novel in the Lorimer Sidestreets series, I thought it would be a good time to share some of the art that inspired this book. When I decided to write about the sensitive issue of self-harm, I knew that the story required me to be real. That meant going to difficult places as a writer, and it meant asking readers to go to those same dark places with me. Something light had to balance the story.
For so long, I didn’t write what was originally called, ‘Edge of Grey’ because I couldn’t find the ‘light’. I knew Chyvonne would be the friend Travis needs but I also knew the story required more. As a Faculty Advisor for a few years with UBC, I was introduced to the amazing world of TEDtalks.
One day my Facebook feed presented me with a talk by artist Béatrice Coron. It was about stories cut from paper. In that moment, I saw her work not as Cristy the writer, but as Travis, the character. I instantly knew this incredible art would speak to him, and I knew I now had a story. Thank you to Béatrice Coron for her fabulous paper-cut art and for introducing Travis to a whole new world. Her art, and the TEDtalk, can be viewed on her website: http://www.beatricecoron.com
While I know there are many things that need to come together for a person struggling with self-harm to move forward, including the support of a caring friend, teachers, parents and counsellors, I also know the power of healing, when an individual discovers a passion within them; be it art, music, dance, writing, or sports. Travis found art and that, combined with a good friend, was the first step on his journey forward.
I hope this story opens the conversation and allows us to talk about tough issues, particularly those affecting young males. I also hope it offers some light to those suffering in silence. Please reach out to supports in your community. Today is Bell’s National Let’s Talk Day, so let’s talk and let’s listen! Check out their web page here and youth supports on our Canadian Mental Health page. Next time I post I will share more supports within our local community and more of the art that inspires Travis.