Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Me, an inspiration?

The very thought is mind-boggling sometimes. I guess part of it comes from a damaged self-esteem. Ya see, when someone stalks you, wrongly accuses you, and makes you feel insignificant and small it is hard to think any better of yourself. It is easier to believe lies than to think there is anything good you can contribute. I believed the wrong people. I trusted the wrong people. I have been hiding in fear from destructive people full of hatred and judgment.  Has anyone out there felt like this? Have you been made to feel small and evil and unnecessary? Have you been told your life is worthless, your dreams are worthless? I was. I have given in to that assertion for years.

What makes the tide change? What turns that self-hatred born out of ridicule into a positive force bent on changing the world one reader at a time? IDK. I think there are several factors at work in my life that have tried to balance the upset that started in 2010. Finding people who understand me was a huge one. But finding those people without looking was even more meaningful. Personally, I attribute that to God. I believe in God. I believe in His healing and power and grace and mercy and, overall, I believe in God’s sovereignty. That does NOT mean that I fully understand God or how He works. I’m often confused. I go through pain like most people, but pain and trials haven’t deterred me from the faith I have.

When everyone seemed like they were against me, I pushed on. I knew I had a purpose. I found it in writing. I found freedom in the words that fall from my mind. My therapist asked me where I thought I got my inspiration. I answered truthfully: From God. I never found writing easy or freeing until I let go and wrote whatever came to mind no matter the content or the plot or the controversy surrounding it. I felt driven to make people think. There are waaaay too many stigmas out there. Waaay to many people assuming things about others. I want to speak to the oddities and inexplicable conundrums of life. I want to talk about real the struggles and the real questions people have because I have those same questions. Most people want to know WHY? So do I. Half the time I don’t know “why” about anything. So I explore the deep thoughts I have. … lol, they are not always “deep” as evidenced by JOCK. 

But I want to make a difference. I want to feel like I have meaning in my life.

That does not conversely suggest that I do not find meaning in anything else in my life. I DO. My children hold tremendous amounts of meaning for me! But I think that using a talent, which was bestowed by God, holds meaning too. (Derived from my belief we are made by God, and that we ALL have talents in SOMETHING.) I may not have my talent honed like Stephan King, but we all have to start somewhere. Some people, like maybe Beethoven, come out of the womb creating magic. Others need time to cultivate it. Art can be learned, but I think raw materials lie dormant in the “artful” mind that rise to the surface at some point. When the raw materials are seen and grasped, then they can be transformed into something more powerful. <Insert chemistry lesson here. Perhaps something on bleach and ammonia but I’m not that clever, really> LOL!

So, why did I start this blog today? To talk about an e-mail (FB message) I received recently. I often get random e-mails from people. I AM an author and sometimes people are motivated enough to mention that they liked something I wrote. (Do NOT hear this as a blasé attitude toward compliments because I live for them!) I get emails that thank me for writing my stories and I cherish those messages. However, this was the first time someone said… well, what he said.

At around 4pm yesterday I get this message: “Hello, my name is Justin. … I just wanted to say that I love your book ‘My Roommates a Jock? Well Crap!’ I'm not done reading it yet, but I'm loving every page I read. The biggest reason why I'm saying this is because I never liked reading until I started reading your book this year. So thank you very much. I can't wait to read other books you've written.

My response to that was, “Wait… What? You didn’t like reading?”

We conversed for a bit (love FB IM) and it sounded to me like he was a young writer newly discovering his talents and exploring the concept of actually being good at poetry. (Haven’t all writers been there. Can you empathize? Can you encourage? Can you shout out, “You go, Justin!”?) I WAS THERE. Before 2006 I never completed anything I ever started. Until 2006 I didn’t know I had it in me. Of course it was rough and raw and in need of major edits but it was the moment of epiphany when I could say I wrote an entire story. ME!!!

When Justin sent me that comment, it also brought back the precise memory of THAT BOOK. Not the one I finished writing in 2006 that proved I had finishing power, but that one book from years prior that showed me I liked to read. That ONE BOOK that showed me not everything in school was like Hiroshima, The Red Badge of Courage, or Animal Farm. Not that those books are bad, they aren’t, they are classics, right? But to me I never knew anything else existed until I found The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander on the bookshelf of the school library. I never read fantasy until that book! True, it was a children’s fantasy novel far below my grade reading-level, AND it was the second book in a series (I hadn’t read the first), but it struck me. So  I read it and loved it! It was THE BOOK! From there I learned that I liked reading. Because of The Black Cauldron I soon found David Eddings, Raymond Feist, R.A. Salvatore, Grant Naylor, and Tad Williams. I found that reading wasn’t boring, it was merely the topics I found boring in the novels I was “supposed to” read. The Black Cauldron opened up Science Fiction and Fantasy to me and THAT was AWESOMNICITY!

Who knows? Without discovering reading and the realms of possibility that lurked in fiction, I may have never found Joss Whedon! (What a tragedy that would have been!) *note: Had to throw in Buffy reference because I'm an addict*

So when Justin said he learned he liked reading because he is loving MY BOOK, I felt that tingle of accomplishment. I gave a person that same feeling that Lloyd Alexander gave me. What writer doesn’t feel satisfaction in that? So thank you, Justin. You put a smile on my face and in turn I hope to put more words to pages. I will continue to write the things that mean something to me because someone out there will find meaning in them, I am sure of it! I don't write just for the sake of writing, but for the sake of purpose and fulfillment. And to one day make a difference and impact the world for good. One reader at a time.

Thank you all for dropping by!


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