Children always like to talk about what they want to be when they grow up. Some want to be a fireman, a police officer, or an astronaut. Honestly I never understood the fascination with running into a burning building or chasing a criminal down an alley only to get shot at. The astronaut thing I get a bit because it does seem cool, but I hated roller coasters so I couldn’t imagine how much I would hate being strapped to a rocket. Not to mention those suits look uncomfortable as hell.
So no, I never wanted to fight crime, fire, or the feeling my man land changed its address to the back of my throat. I wanted to be a writer. I am sure there is some child psychologist out there waiting to get a hold of that one, it can’t be normal.
Here is the thing, I loved books. Growing up in the redneck capital of the world I needed an escape. Books offered that. Now I was never the whole “books take me away to a magical place” type of reader. Fantasy books were for someone else. My books allowed me to embrace normalcy or know there was a better world somewhere outside of central Arkansas.
Mostly though I had an appreciation for how a good author could kidnap you inside of a good story and make you forget that life existed outside the margin of a page. That is the type of writer I wanted to be. So I frequently as a kid would attempt to write a book which was never very good, especially at an early age when vocabulary but most importantly experience had not become fully developed.
So I settled for just reading. A lot. I kept that small seed of writing tucked away in the back of my mind. I always hoped some day it would grow. As the years moved on I never saw any growth. Eventually the current of life and a real job sweep you away and your childhood dreams become distant memories.
Recently I’ve been fortunate enough to know a couple of people who published (or are in the process of) books. Like, real ones that they sell in the store and on Amazon. About a year ago I ran across Kyran Pittman, and have had the opportunity to cross paths a handful of times again. She recently released a memoir book called Planting Dandelions that I immediately pre-ordered. Due to the mass onslaught of graduate papers that occupies the end of semesters I have not got past the first chapter. But if it is any indication the rest of it should be quite good.
More so than Kyran however is a friend John Jacobs (or Hornor, whichever is correct this week). John and I worked together at Aristotle for just a brief time, and I occasionally run into him in town. He managed however to have a profound impact on me that I never could completely describe. He is quite possibly the most creative person I have ever met, though I doubt he would own up the honor. John is also releasing a book this fall which (again) I immediately preordered.
I have found myself fascinated with local authors, even Kelli who has started writing enough books to fill a library (now if she would just finish one). It began making me believe that if people I know can do it, maybe there is some small chance that does not require being strapped to a rocket that I can as well. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, most likely too much.
The other day I went along with baby momma to a birthday party for someone she works with. I typically avoid these because I usually only know a handful of people. I’ve been stuck in the house a lot lately due to this pneumonia that will not go away, so I wanted to get out.
While there a coworker of Brandie’s that I had not seen in at least 4 years said to me “I love your blog”. It was a profound moment for me. I don’t dig too much into my site analytics, only glimpse at what type of post people read most (this is not that type for the record). I assumed it was always mostly my wife, mom, and a handful of friends that take turns subjecting themselves to my nonsense just to be nice. What I found was that there are people that I cannot account for who actually read nearly every post I write.
This whole blog idea for me was just a creative release from the stresses of grad school, jobs, and everyday life. I picked a topic that I didn’t think at the time would go away (it did for the record) and started writing. It took me through joy, to pain, to joy again and finally to whatever it is today. Somehow in all that mix up I’ve come to realize that my seed grew a little. I am no published author, may never be. But a few people read what I write and they actually come back with no obligation to do so. That is more than I ever expected. Thank you all.
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