Erin Rae Miller, CA

Senior Writer

Erin Rae Miller co-wrote a musical that toured nationally for eighteen months, and has had five plays produced in Los Angeles to sold-out audiences. She wrote a weekly relationship advice column for several years for both the Chicago and Los Angeles Examiner, and many of her articles trended number one on the paper’s website. She also has a screenplay that was a finalist in the prestigious Academy Nicholl Fellowship, and her first book was a finalist in the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund.

As a Story Terrace writer, Erin interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know her better by reading her autobiographical anecdote below.

Making A Splash

When I was a kid, the movie Splash used to be on television all the time. I watched it over and over from my landlocked couch in Missouri, a place that never felt like home. Uncomfortable in my own skin, I became convinced I was a mermaid stolen from the sea as a baby, and if I could only get back to the ocean, my tail would regrow and I could finally return to the underwater realm where I belonged.

On August 11th, 1990, I met the Atlantic Ocean for the first time. Submerging myself up to my knees, I sat down in the muddy sand with a satisfied grin on my face, convinced I could feel the transformation beginning.

The undertow tugged at me mercilessly and my smile faded. Nothing was happening. I swam further out, up to my neck, but my legs never magically changed into a mermaid’s tail. In a matter of minutes, all hope was lost. It seemed like I didn’t belong in the sea after all.

I trudged back up to my beach blanket and comforted myself with a bag of Funyuns. A bird I couldn’t identify landed nearby and cocked his head at me. I threw him an “onion” ring and he flew away.

Watching him go, jealous of his flight, I shoved fistfuls of processed corn into my mouth. Reaching into the bag for another handful, I spied my fowl friend flying back over with a bunch of his buddies. They got closer, and closer–so close that I got up, still clutching the bag, and ran screaming down the beach.

Escape was futile. That frenzied flock of seagulls easily caught up with nine-year-old me as I attempted evasion. One ripped the entire bag of chips from my innocent little fingers, then, the entire gang turned and flew away with my comfort food.

As a mere land mammal, I was unequipped to follow them.

Standing there, left with nothing, I realized, all of the magic on this Earth couldn’t possibly be limited to the deep sea or the open air or any other place unreachable by mere mortals. It’s true that I didn’t swim away from my past that day. Instead, I stood on my own two feet and basked in the warm summer air.

We all have beauty and wonder inside of us, waiting to be unburied and explored. Sometimes, all it takes to discover them is a vulnerable moment in the sun.


Get in touch today to work with Erin!