Second Act - Sierra Grayson


Serena is overcome with anxiety about her financial insecurity and worry about what comes next.

  • Anxiety on the way home from being fired
  • Lists off in her head what things could go wrong by not having a job right now - bills not being paid, losing the apartment, etc.



Serena’s mother-in-law contributes more to her worry while Serena is trying to justify not writing her own book by throwing herself into volunteer work at the library (working with young writers) in the hopes that it becomes a new paying job.

  • Announces being fired to in-laws
  • Small spat with mother-in-law about financial security and savings
  • Fight with husband about the in-laws
  • Anxiety attack(s) - may be in multiple scenes throughout the struggle as Serena starts to develop stress-induced anxiety/depression
  • Trip(s) to a therapist who suggests that she get involved in something
  • Researches local volunteer opportunities
  • Visits a homeless shelter which only gives her more anxiety
  • Visits a nursing home which makes her happy but doesn’t feel like something she’ll want to do often
  • Sees a “volunteer wanted” sign at the local library and decides to go to the interviews
  • Is picked as a “volunteer expert” - because of her English degree - to work with young writers (pre-teens and teens) at the library
  • Really likes the kids she works with her first trip to the library as volunteer
  • Doesn’t do such a great job with one of the less fortunate teens at the library
  • Fights with husband about money (a lot - multiple scenes)
    • He doesn’t think they need to worry about anything
  • Fights with mother-in-law about not loaning them money
  • Loses her car to the bank
  • More anxiety attacks
  • More subsequent trips to the therapist
  • Can’t get to the library for her volunteer work so misses one of her sessions
  • Learns how to use public transportation for the first time
  • Meets with that same less fortunate teen and learns that her parents are both drug addicts
  • Does better in working with the young writers
  • Worries about her own novel being left alone on her computer for a few months now
  • Continues to apply to jobs in local publishing groups
  • Talks more with one of the head librarians about the library’s needs and whether or not this volunteer thing could become a full program they do (and perhaps a new job opportunity for someone)
  • Is comforted by her husband as he encourages her to put her all into the volunteering
  • Bus isn’t running one day so she misses another day of volunteering
  • Mother-in-law offers to buy her a car on the condition that she gets a new job in MIL’s doctor’s office
  • Fights with husband about not taking the job in MIL’s office
  • Gets back to the library but the less fortunate teen isn’t there one day
  • Head librarian says it isn’t looking promising that the volunteer program will become a full program/job opportunity
  • Goes to an interview at MIL’s office
  • Makes up with husband who asks about her novel and reminds her that it hasn’t been touched since before they got married
  • Is offered the job at MIL’s office
  • Sees less fortunate teen at library again and tells her about job offer from MIL’s office; teen gets upset that she might be leaving the library
  • MIL demands answer about office job and says she’ll never amount to anything volunteering/working at a library
  • Accepts MIL’s job offer



Serena realizes that she is overcome with insecurity about creative living and decides to change her fear of non-monetary creativity into a love for writing just because.

  • Hates working at MIL’s office
  • Feels a lot of remorse about leaving library
  • Realizes she is suffering from extreme anxiety and insecurity about living creatively without being paid for it