I tried my best to think of a good joke today, but my mind kept returning to Krennducki 2011 and the aftermath. Nothing could really top it this year without seeming a little obvious or just plain crazy. We’ll have to see what 2013 brings. Any fun April Fools stories to share?
This morning, two wonderful things happened that inspired me to write a post on why I write. There are a lot of answers to this question, but rather than tell you, I figured I should follow the advice of many authors and show you, instead.
It started when I finished re-reading the third book in a very popular series. Any of you who have read my posts this week can likely guess which book that is, but it was my reaction to the ending that truly caught me off guard: I sobbed.
Not your average cry-at-sad-or-happy-endings sob. This was a can’t catch my breath, I-need-a-tissue-and-I-need-it-now kind of sob. And it lasted a good five minutes.
Bobby, who is probably used to these types of reactions from me by now, immediately asked what was wrong. The funny thing is, I wasn’t crying because I was happy or because I was sad. I wasn’t even crying about the plot of the book, really, although the fact that it is one of my favorite book series certainly moved me in a more emotional way than would a book I didn’t care as much about.
After I calmed myself down enough to think clearly, I tried my best to explain what was at the heart of my hysteria. Maybe I’m a rare breed or just an oddball, but what I came up with was that it was more about the way the book (the series) grabbed me from page one. I never wanted it to let go. I didn’t want the books to be over even though I ate the pages up like candy and stayed up many late nights this week, unable to tear myself away.
When the book ended, I felt fulfilled…but empty. Empty because of the simple fact that it was over.
By this time, Bobby must have thought I was insane, but he comforted me like he always does and suggested I clear my head. So I laced up my tennis shoes and headed out for my 9-mile training run, hoping the fresh air would help me sort out what I was trying to say. Like many writers, I’m not half as good at expressing myself out loud as I am on paper.
So I went out on my run. It was MISERABLE.
It started out fine. A little cooler than when I normally run outside (I tend to head for the treadmill if it dips below 50), but manageable. It wasn’t until I started around the bend of my first “loop” that I realized the reason it was easy was because I was running with an extremely powerful wind. As soon as I turned that corner, I was being blasted backward by a 20-30 mph lake force gale.
Then the side aches came. I eventually had to alternate walking and running for about a mile until they went away. I was pretty much ready to give up at this point and head back to our apartment gym, but I also had a funny feeling that if I made it back there after completing only four miles, I would lose the momentum and never be able to complete five more miles on a treadmill.
So I kept going. And I’m not going to lie, it was awful. One of the worst runs I’ve ever been on. But when I completed my fourth loop and could finally make the turn to head home, I was feeling proud of myself for sticking with it. My arms and legs were red and chapped – not sure what possessed me to stick to shorts and a t-shirt on this blustery day – but I was still keeping pace. I had just gotten back on the lakefront trail when something caught my eye and brought me to a halt.
Some of you may not know the significance of this image, but it’s peppered throughout that very same book series I finished this morning in a beautiful and touching way, including one of the last lines of the book. (I won’t quote it but if you have read the series, it’s the sixth one down here.)
Maybe it was because the ending was so fresh in my mind, but I felt the tears coming again. I know. You
might be are thinking I have some pretty crazy hormones. But these were happy tears. I realized what it was that had me sobbing after I finished the books (again).
It was a beautifully written ending, yes, but more than that, it was the realization that Suzanne Collins was somehow able to reach inside my mind and impact me so deeply that her words are still ringing in my head. The themes, the imagery, the symbolism, the big picture points she made with her plot…all while still telling a compelling story. These are the things that make me fall in love with books, with certain writers and with the idea of writing.
So why do I write?
I write for myself. It’s an expression of who I am, even when the story is not about me at all.
But I also write for others, with the hope that my words will resonate with them. Let them know they are not alone. Give them a story, a time, a character, a place, a dream they can relate to. And, if I’m lucky, challenge their own imagination.
I’ve been told that I can write, and write well. This still remains to be seen, in my opinion. My manuscript isn’t finished, and there are many manuscripts that I hope will come after this one that have yet to prove themselves.
But armed with this knowledge of what writing can do, the way it impacts me – makes me an overjoyed, sobbing mess – and the way I hope to someday be able to do that for others (red-rimmed eyes and nose blowing optional), I think the real question is:
How could I not?
Have you ever had a book, a movie, a piece of art, etc. move you in such a way? Not to tears necessarily (perhaps those are just reserved for me), but in a way that stuck with you long after you’d read or seen it?
I have a feeling I’m not alone.
I love that feeling.
P.S. #MarchPhotoADay recap tomorrow. Inspiration struck today.