I write stories that come from personal truths through authentic life experiences to voice the realities of the human condition to shed light in areas of our darkness.
My perception of our world has been shaped and forged by a plethora of experiences; some filled with all the beauty and peacefulness the world has to offer only to have it shattered by hatred and ugliness. This is humanity’s conflict.
When I was around ten years old, my parents divorced, which was constantly fueled with tension and drama, before and after the divorces. My younger sister was a very unhappy child and pouted all the time and was always in trouble. Her and my mother LOVED drama, they thrived on it.
I, however, was the exact opposite; drama was my Achilles’s Heel. I always called my house, “The Yelling House.” I actually have a script in my mind with this title. My escape was reading and writing. Whenever my sister and mother would resume battle in their never ending `Mother/Daughter War,’ I would escape with a book, pen, and paper.
In our backyard, we had a huge Weeping Willow tree. I sought refuge under the long weeping branches as they danced in the wind. I would rest my back against the trunk. This became my own world that I could journey into my imagination. I wrote my first short story when I was 12 years old.
I started journaling and writing poetry in 1991 and still do to this day. Little did I know that all of the writing was actually a tool in cognitive behavior therapy.
A few years ago, when I realized I had stopped journaling, I asked myself why. I had taken a break from journaling because I was happy. I ponder this and read through my old journals. As I was reading them, I discovered that all of them were all dated during times of my biggest upheavals. That was when I learned that my writings had been my coping mechanism. My biggest joy saved me from my darkest days.
My journal entries were always about some moment in my life that I was seeking answers. My thoughts were too loud and fast. Many times I would write so fast my hand ached, forcing my mind to slow down so my hand could take a breath. This was my therapy. Me, Myself, and a pen!
During my life, I too fell in love with movies. I became obsessed with them. It was almost like my mind fully absorbed every aspect of film. Most of them I watched until the VHS tape wore out, literally. It was medicine for my subconscious as well as my present life. It allowed me to escape. It made my soul feel at home, like I finally found worlds I belonged in. I could not watch scary movies. My anxiety and depression was too bad for scary and disturbing movies. The fun and light-hearted movies that sang my soul to life would only be tormented by the others.
I look back and see that writing and movies came together to save my life. Writing was the biggest tool for coping with childhood traumas. As I grew up, movies took precedence through my adolescence and into my 20s. As a screenwriter today, I realize that my tone and subject matter are manifestations of the situations and lessons I lived through. My goal as a screenwriter is to write films that speak to the audience the way that so many films did for me. If I can bring solace to others through my characters, then I am not only living my truth but my soul’s purpose on this planet.
In my films, the purpose for my audience is to know and feel deep within themselves that you are NEVER alone instead you are love, hope, and courage. I invite them to tap from within their hearts and carry it with them to share with others. Because, we are not alone in this world but how do we know we are not alone without people speaking up for those who can’t. We all deserve to have the freedom to be our true selves without fear and worry.
~ Jessica N. Brunelle
As I grew-up, writing and reading became a refuge. It was my escape. I always dreamed of writing and directing movies but film school was not in the cards, so I earned my degree in English literature and became a teacher. After COVID, I made the courageous decision to use my lockdown time to focus on screenwriting full-time and less than two years I finished my first script.