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creativity

In the pause: Writing in the middle of Times Square

Emerson’s second book begins in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, the night before her 14th birthday. On Wednesday, I walked a few blocks from my office on my lunch break and took a spin around the exact area where I imagine her to be. Like my own internal augmented reality, I could see her, the other characters, and the action of the scene unfolding in my mind, superimposed on the real-world setting where I stood. It was like having an out-of-body experience.

There is something powerful about writing in place, standing in the place where your imagination runs wild and getting it all down as best you can. I wrote the first draft of this opening scene in my apartment, 50 blocks north of Times Square. When I edit it, refine it, fill it with the juicy detail and vivid imagery that bring Emerson and her journey to life, I’m going to be there, in Times Square. You’ll find me on the top step of the red staircase in Duffy Square, just above the TKTS booth. I’ll be pounding away on my laptop in the cold night air because I want you to feel what Emerson feels. I want the sense of urgency and alarm she experiences on that night to be what you feel when you read those words. I’m blessed to live in the city where my stories are set, and that’s a privilege I’ll use to its full advantage.

About Christa Avampato

The short of it: Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day. The long of it: My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events. While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, PBS.org, Boston.com, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series. A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist. My company: I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media: • I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference; • I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable; • I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me. Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.

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