When I was three, my mother gave me one of the best gifts anyone has ever given me. That gift was the ability to learn to read. This gift opened up the world of stories and books, allowing me to enter it on my own, without needing someone to take me there.
And in the world of books, I met some of my best friends. Anne of Green Gables. Nancy Drew. The children who went to Narnia.
I went on their adventures, admired them, learned from them. I wanted to be like some of them, fearless and resourceful, kind and loved. My book friends never let me down or hurt my feelings like my real ones did. They were always available, never too busy.
As I grew older, I made new friends. The hobbits and the elves, Elizabeth Bennet and Lord Peter Wimsey. Each of them entertained me as I got lost it in their worlds and shared their adventures.
Reading of their exploits challenged me. In some ways, sharing their stories was like looking in a mirror. How would I act in the same situation? Could I ever be that brave or clever?
My love of stories and books sparked me to create my own worlds. In these worlds, I can create adventures that can entertain other lovers of a good story. And my characters can explore ideas and challenges that show how they find meaning in their lives and discover things about themselves.
In doing so, it helps me find my own way. And if my stories have entertained, taught, or inspired someone else, then my writing has been worth all the work.
I’m reflecting on why I write partly in response to a prompt from my writing group. But there’s another reason.
My first novel, Raising Fear, is inching its way toward publication. (As I write this, I get an image of a book sliding along a road with no help from anyone, let alone me.)
But it’s true. I’ve finished another editing pass. I plan to make one more, then send the manuscript to an editor. If all goes well, I’ll be able to launch in the fall. My hope is that you will be as entertained reading about the world of Tlefas as I have been writing about it!