The other night, I read a ten minute version of my life at a reunion meeting for a retreat I did in February. As I reflected on growing up, I realized I have a deep sense of gratitude of all those writers who allowed me to escape into the worlds they created. There are many reasons for stories, but escape is not necessarily a bad one.
My childhood friends describe the house I grew up in as a sub-zero refrigerator. Thank you Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Victor Hugo, Ray Bradbury, Frank Herbert, John Steinbeck, and all the rest for taking me away when I needed to be transported. Even Joseph Conrad. I did not like Heart of Darkness (the horror, the horror!), but it has influenced so many other works that I’m glad I read it.
Until I thought about my old author friends in this way, I hadn’t really thought about the possibility of my writing providing refuge for someone else going through a hard time. I don’t know if it changes anything, but my next step is to write out my own story in more detail as Jen Grisanti recommends in her book, Story Line.