Why I Decided to Become a Writer

I can pinpoint the moment I decided that I wanted to become a writer.
I was watching the movie Romancing the Stone on VHS… Yea – I'm that old.
Anyway, so this movie starts, and it's the weirdest western story being narrated by a lady. I was actually annoyed at first because you couldn't really see the faces of the main characters. But then, Kathleen Turner came onto the screen typing away at her typewriter wearing headphones. She was crying and proud as she typed “The End” and I remember thinking… That must be so cool.
Then, of course, she celebrated with her cat and a glass of wine, her agent or publisher or someone picked up the manuscript and showered her with compliments. All this before the real plot of the movie was revealed. My mother was a writer, but I never saw her exhibit that level of pride in her work.

How amazing that must feel!

And then in the movie every thing goes wrong and this novelist finds herself in the middle of an adventure in Columbia. Interesting twist that kept me wildly entertained. And when she saved them simply by telling the villagers her name was Joan Wilder, I cheered. All because the guy read her books out loud to the gunmen. That's when I really knew that, yep, I want to be a writer!
But, I am not a fan of romance novels. Not that I dislike them by any means. I really don't hate them or anything. I just always seem to reach for the epic fantasies first. But that's nothing really surprising to me; I also don't really care for romantic comedies or romantic movies at all.
So, I knew from a fairly young age that I wanted to become a writer. The real question was, what did I want to write?
Like so many other people, if you ask me what my favorite book is, my answer varies depending on a multitude of things:

  • My mood
  • Did they just make it into a movie?
  • Did the movie stink?
  • Did something else happen that reminded me of that particular book?
  • What am I reading at the moment

However, despite all of these variables, there are a few books that are always at the very top of my list of favorites:

  • The Once and Future King
  • Lonesome Dove
  • Diary of Anne Frank
  • Lord of the Rings
Because of these books, I fell in love with both fantasy and history. And I love a good, epic story in which every thing is connected. The type of story wherein on page three a butterfly hatched and on page 369 of book three that same butterfly came back to somehow inspire the hero only to the find out on page 425 of book five that the antagonist had been farming that butterfly twenty years before the hero was born.

I'm big on symbolism and connections. Love them.

And personally, my favorite part of any story is when I make a connection and have to think to myself… Did the author do that on purpose? Or was it a coincidence and I'm making a connection out of it? I love that because then I feel like I'm taking part in creating the world that the author is describing.
We're all inspired by different things: stories, experiences, desires, movies… But thanks to a short afternoon back in the 80s and a VHS tape, the writer in me was born.

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