So, I’ve taken a break from writing the rough draft of my second novel The Iron-Jawed Boy and the Hand of the Moon, to…write some more! *slams head to desk* It’s never-ending, really it is.
I thought I’d dedicate my first blog post to the first time I met Ionikus Reaves, the main character in my fantasy series The Sky Guardian Chronicles–a moment I refer to as “The Spark” (because it’s cool to give it a name, that’s why).
I started writing at around 7 years old in order to escape the utterly mundane reality I was living in…but mostly because bullies were the worst, and the only place bullies weren’t the worst was in my fantasy world–where they had a tendency to either be badly squished, shocked, thrown through walls, or sucked into hurricanes. What? I had to do it! Do you have any idea how nervous and miserable I was being bullied for just being me? It was only natural that I walked around constantly wanting to do this to someone’s face:
Anyways, it was a cool October day back in 1999, and Mrs. Rodenberg’s was starting her daily reading session to the class. We’d just gotten back from a sweaty recess and this was what she did to calm us in the hopes that we’d be down for some edumacational material afterward (It never worked). Mrs. Rodenberg was reading the first Harry Potter book to us, though I don’t remember her ever reading any other books, and of course, instead of listening as I should have been, I was writing and drawing. Now, I’d been writing about me and my classmates for quite some time before Ion came to me; our stories were a mix of Power Rangers meets Sailor Moon. And yes, I know what you’re thinking…they were amazing stories, haha. All those times I’d been writing though, I was the central character, and suddenly, in the middle of class, I had the idea to start writing about someone who wasn’t me–someone who could’ve been my twin, yes, but someone who wasn’t me. It gave me power, that moment, realizing I didn’t have to be the main character, that this kid could do all of my inner thinking and actions without the consequences of if I was saying or doing it. I loved it, and from that Harry Potter reading session onward, Ion (whose name was initially Thunder; you can laugh) was my life.
Strangely enough, I learned so much from him growing up. He taught me how to take life a bit less seriously, how to appreciate the time you have with others–however short or long that time may be–and he taught me how to accept my difference for what it really was: a strength.
And I hope one day I’ll receive a letter or email or, preferably, a hologram from someone saying that he did the same for them.