…or, my plans to take over the world.
Wait…forget I said that. I can’t tell you my plans. That’s completely negating everything between now and my monologuing end (I hope it’s a good death).
*sigh* Fine. I’ll tell you a story. Sort of.
I write because of the need to escape the reality I’ve lived most of my life, to be someone else, somewhere else in the world or universe, to be something other.
I write to illicit emotion because I want you to feel every single emotion I feel when viewing this world or another and its tragedies and triumphs, and then maybe–just maybe–it’ll give me a glimmer of hope that it’s all worth the pain and effort.
It’s like when I play a video game; I’m in that world, living that life (we’re talking Assassin’s Creed here, hence the image), and it’s so rich and full of action and adventure and history and being the hero nobody ever knows about because everything you do is secretive. When I write, I live those lives….because I couldn’t decide what I wanted to be as a grown-up when I was a kid. I wanted to be it ALL, everything, from teacher to fireman to spy to vampire to werewolf to alien. Maybe a vampiric wolf from space who’s spying on humans while pretending to be a teacher that’s also a volunteer fireman/woman. Probably the best teacher you ever had and a pillar of the community. I was bound to be either a writer or an actress. I grew up watching classic horror and comedy, James Bond and John Wayne! I’ve fallen in love with the paranormal and sci-fi horror (Alien!), and the anti-hero (Riddick). Oh, the anti-hero! I want to be the hero and the villain. In high school, I fell in love with Shakespeare and Poe, and Indiana Jones. When I studied for my B.A. in English, I also studied Anthropology and Psychology on the side. The human mind fascinates me and I want to know how it works and why people do the things they do (I also realize I will never understand this). Greek and Roman mythology were a hobby in elementary school and that has only expanded to other cultures in adulthood. I took a class titled Magic, Witchcraft & Healing in college; it was basically an anthropology class on comparative religion, though quite fun. I wrote my final paper on Sufism, which is essentially the Wicca of Islam. You didn’t now that existed, did you? I mean, you probably heard the term Sufi, most likely from watching the movie Jewel of the Nile, but Wicca of Islam? Nah. My thesis was on the Battle of Thermopylae because I love ancient history and graphic novels and holy fucking hell, THIS IS SPARTA! *kicks Peter Mensah into well*
*blinks* Shit, sorry Peter.
I need a T.A.R.D.I.S., and if the Doctor appeared in front of me, grabbed my hand, and told me to run, I’d jump right out of my flip-flops and run like the dickens to join him in an adventure or five. And I’d pray to never, ever run into the weeping angels because…Fuck. That.
With words, I can paint the images I see within my mind that I am unable to do with acrylics or oils. I can share the movie I’m watching…and throw popcorn at you if you’re being too rowdy, but hey, whatever, I tend to talk during movies so you might not want to watch one with me.
As a female growing up in the 70s and 80s, role models were few and far between. All I really had to look up to were fictional characters. There weren’t a whole lot of real world women to look up to other than Mother Theresa and I sure as hell didn’t want to be a nun. I should probably point out here that my mother is an avid reader and always had her nose in a book at night, that my uncle is a collector of comic books (you should have seen his stash before the fire that took out the Uncanny X-Men #1-10), and that my reading scores in elementary school surpassed high school levels even though I hated to read. Really, I just hated reading what teachers assigned to me. It was boring. Wonder Woman, the Bionic Woman, and Lt. Uhura (the actress is my namesake, after all) were my role models, though I do recall Dorothy Hamill in 5th grade having an impact on me (hairstyle…I’m not kidding). Gymnastics weren’t a possibility, however (and this is why I need a proofreader, because Dorothy Hamill was a goddamn ice skater, but I also wanted to do gymnastics and God knows what else at that age). In the 80s, I discovered punk rock Storm (X-Men), and I wanted to be the Dark Phoenix, but this world wouldn’t survive that.
I wrote the typical emo poetry in high school (before emo was cool) and didn’t write my first real adult novel that will never see the light of day until I was 28. I’ve stashed it deep in the files of my hard drive in a sector none should enter lest they have no will to live because Leviathan is in there and they’re pretty hungry. Really, I wrote my first book when I was eight. It was about horses (I had a serious fascination with them and wanted one, but city kids with single parents can’t have those things), and I typed it (yes, typed, as I had my own typewriter from my grandmother who taught me how), made the illustrations, and bound it all together with staples before handing it over to my mother. I’m not certain what’s happened to it since then, but I was damn proud of that creation. And those horses still live in my mind. I had an extremely active imagination as a child, and it really never stopped. Where the Wild Things Are was my favorite book because it played on that imagination. In other words, I’m always writing.
I write because life is a mishmash of boring as fuck or real fucking bad or fan-fucking-tastic (for a brief period), and we all need something to look forward to. Really, reality bites. I write to shut the voices up because those fuckers are damn noisy.
And I write because, well, I figure if I want or think all of these things, then maybe you do too, so I write to transport you to these worlds so you can forget about the here and now and jump forward or backward or dimensions. Or, you know, whatever. Shiny.
Where in The Verse do you want to go?
And never once have I ever allowed someone to dissuade me from writing, whether editor, friend, family, or asshole reviewer. What someone else thinks doesn’t matter to me because I write for me, and if you enjoy what I write, well then that’s just fantastic and I welcome you to my worlds!
Why do you write? Or read?