I Ain’t No Mainstream Writer

Hey, I’m Chas aka Dakota Soulshine.

My purpose keeps poking me to explore my heart and share my ideas, but the demon of vulnerability always interrupts. The voices don’t let me sleep. So here I am, my attempt to make sense of what festers in my head with no release but words on a page. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy sleeping when I let the characters run free. How you choose to interpret my journey is then your responsibility. I hope you choose to be kind, to yourself and to others. I do not intend to disgrace myself nor anyone else. I am simply using this platform to explore my crazy.

I grew up in rural South Dakota, in towns of less than 100 people with no street signs or concrete. Gravel roads guided me to a high school that graduated 16 people my senior year, including a foreign exchange student and myself, a large class. I shot lay-ups for warm-up at our home basketball games then jumped on stage in my uniform to play the Star-Spangled Banner with the rest of the band, maybe 15 total. My life was simple, and seemingly perfect.

I didn’t even think about college until the school counselor pushed me to apply my senior year. I graduated with a degree in English, Secondary Education then completed coursework for a master’s in Rhetoric but I never did complete my thesis, much to my grandmother’s dismay. But my comfortable rural radius grew small as I was exposed to circumstances that led me east to New Jersey and New York, where I made a new life for eight years. That chapter closed when I became a mother, wanting to raise my children in nature’s beauty vs urban sprawl. But the rat race of New York City taught me more in eight years than I would have ever learned from books. I worked at a small New York socialite magazine, a family-owned restaurant, a recruitment agency and a fashion conglomerate. I met people I carry with me today, whether they know or not. Those years fed my hunger to experience a world unknown, yet one that had served as the setting of my dreams as a young child.

I still crave knowledge and experience. It’s the reason I am typing right now. I want to keep learning, exploring, feeding my curiosities, discovering nooks in my soul that even I do not know exist until I look for them, pull them into the light for a better view. See how I might shine in ways only I can. That is my responsibility to me. Hope you enjoy the journey of Dakota Soulshine, a mix of mindfulness and fiction, two roads I am eager to explore.

And I need to stop editing myself. I ain’t no mainstream writer. Let the shit spill out is what I’ve been told, so here goes . . .


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