by JENNIFER FRAKES | photos by Soul of Photography

An Aspiring Writer Who Finds Inspiration in 92024

For Brandon Parks, aspiring writer and senior at La Costa Canyon High School, inspiration can strike at many local venues. He frequents the Starbucks in Encinitas Town Center to people-watch and brainstorm, often writing quick stories about people he sees that spark his interest. He can also be found at the Pannikin in Leucadia, soaking up the light and friendly atmosphere. “Whenever I’m at Pannikin, I feel like a young Hemingway, twirling my pen and sipping coffee as if I were in at a café in Paris in the early 1920s,” revealed Brandon. In addition to coffee shops, Brandon also finds inspiration in “secret gems” throughout north coastal county, such as patches of wooded areas and alleyways that look out toward the ocean.

Although going to these special places definitely helps Brandon get in the writing zone, people are his true source of inspiration. Reading the works of famous authors like Ernest Hemingway, Jack London and John Steinbeck give Brandon the motivation to write when a case of writer’s block has him stumped. Brandon’s biggest source of inspiration and encouragement, however, is a local unpublished playwright who has become a great friend. “David Cardenas is an 82-year-old man of Spanish descent who grew up in San Francisco during the Great Depression. When I first met him at the Barnes and Noble in the Encinitas Town Center, he helped me with my Spanish homework. We then got to talking about books and our common passion for writing. Now, every Thursday we meet and help each other out,” related Brandon.

According to Brandon, his favorite genre to write is fiction, with an emphasis on nature, adventure and the companionship of humans and animals. He has just finished his first novel entitled, The One with Amber Eyes. He is currently editing it and is planning on sending it to several publishing houses. While he has formed a vague outline of his next novel, he is still in the brainstorming stage.

When Brandon is not writing works of fiction, he enjoys participating in the chess club at La Costa Canyon, spending time with friends, neighbors and family. “I also love taking my dogs for walks in the woods in Rancho Santa Fe and to the local fields,” said Brandon. When looking to the future, Brandon hopes to attend San Francisco State and major in journalism with a minor in literature or English education.

Meet Brandon

Name: Brandon Parks (17)
Community: Encinitas
School: La Costa Canyon High School
Grade: 12
Parents: Janet and Joel Parks