When I was a kid, I opened a fortune cookie that had the most uplifting message for me: “You are a lover of words and will someday write a book.” I wish I wrote the date on it, but that little scrap of paper is pinned to my bulletin board to this day. A mantra in tiny red letters.
My ideal careers shifted so many times growing up, with the big goals being cartoonist, director, and author. These were careers that allowed me to be creative, but most importantly, they promised control. I wanted control – not the kind that made cartoon villains power-hungry for world domination. I’m talking about the control that makes a person feel at ease, a sense of stability, a lack of helplessness. Life falls apart around you. There’s illness, death, and those moments when you come home from work and cry.
But in your story – whether it’s a cartoon, film, or printed words on a page – you have control. You create characters you wish you can meet. You write a plot that can be resolved. No one has to die. You can fashion your own happy ending to share with others while your life collapses around you.
That is why I write. I write because I hope. I write because I want others to hope too.
I wrote a children’s book around this idea. For hours I would sit in my grandmother’s house and work on this story while my grandmother watched me with quiet interest. She would ask me what I was doing, and what my story was about. She would tell me she wanted to read it, though in my heart I knew that would never happen. Unfortunately, I was right. I lost her a month ago and the pain is never going away.
Still I write because writing gives me control. I have the chance to create people who can never die. I create worlds I can only wish to visit in my dreams.
I am a lover of words. I wrote a book for her.