When I Knew I Wanted to be a Writer

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img_4913I always knew that I wanted to be a writer, but I wasn’t able to pinpoint the exact moment or thing that ignited this desire until recently. My favorite book is Swan Song by Robert McCammon. It’s been one of my favorites since I was twelve, and that’s saying a lot because I am and always have been an avid reader. In fact, in middle school I was notorious for having a new book to read nearly every day. We had daily Sustained Silent Reading in English class, and I would be in the library a couple of times a week looking for a new book to read.

My parents were not big readers, but they did encourage my passion for it. When I was twelve, they both had just finished reading Swan Song and were raving about it. Although it was an adult book (it’s postapocalyptic with traces of horror, supernatural, and fantasy as well as a whole lot of adult content), they still encouraged me to read it, so I did. I remember struggling with the first 60 pages or so, as they are very political and not the least bit interesting to a preteen, but I powered through. Then I was hooked.

After that, I read Swan Song annually. That is until college, when classes and part-time work took precedence over leisurely reading. Then adulthood happened, and I was in the real world, which boasted a lot of 9-5 parameters and even less time for reading for fun. Still, I spoke of the book often, and it was my go to reading recommendation to any and everyone.

Last year around New Year’s, I decided that one of my resolutions would be to read more in 2016, and I wanted to start off with a reread of Swan Song. So that’s how I spent my spare time the first couple of weeks in January. Any moment I had to myself, I was reading McCammon’s book. I spent the last 50 pages of the book silently crying as I read, because I was so overwhelmed by McCammon’s brilliance. His story is a masterpiece, a beautiful masterpiece. But more so than that, it made me remember. And realize.

This was the book that turned me from reader to aspiring writer.

This is the story that swept me away so ardently, that I knew I needed to try my hand at creating my own story and characters. I wanted to do what McCammon did. I wanted to write something that would impact others the way his writing impacted me. Swan Song reminded me of who I was, who I am now, and who I want to become. An aspiring writer, a determined writer, a successful writer.

When I finally put down the book, still overwhelmed with emotions and this realization, I looked up Robert McCammon on Twitter and tweeted to him about my love and awe for the book. And, do you know what happened moments later? He retweeted my message.

I don’t believe in coincidences, so I took this as a sign (albeit silly to some) and a weighty validation. This was the universe’s way of telling me that my realization and the passion and new-found drive to succeed that it inspired is not only real but encouraged. Writing really is my path, and I would be foolish not to pursue it.

So, here we are. Pursuing 🙂

Fangirl Fav: The Lord of the Rings

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img_2693I was sick over New Year’s and sadly missed my scheduled NYE plans, but instead of moping and feeling sorry for myself, I decided to start a 3-night rewatch of The Lord of the Rings movies. The extended editions, of course, because I do not mess around with my fangirl favs.

I fell in love with The Lord of the Rings (LotR) by accident. I’d heard of the books of course, but had always kind of rebelled against them because long, and my mean 8th grade Algebra teacher had dogs named Bilbo and Frodo. I could not possibly like something that he enjoyed. And yet, years later when FotR was released and my dad picked up the VHS (yes, you read that right) at Acme on a whim…well, the rest, as they say, is history.

LotR was probably my first completely-obsessed-with-fangirl fav movie (the TV show equivalent is Buffy the Vampire Slayer). I’ve had other books, movies, and TV shows that I’ve adored over the years, but LoTR hit around the time the internet started to get big, and I remember actually having countdowns until the trailers were released online. Not even the movie release date, first was the trailer release. And then I would watch it over and over again and make everyone I knew (who wouldn’t judge me too harshly) watch it too. Then came the movie releases. I saw both TTT and RotK in the theater three times each, and still, to this day, I mourn the fact that I never viewed FotR in theaters 😦

The movies, as anyone (and I hope that means everyone) who has seen them knows, are epic. In fact, I wish I could think of a more impressive and celebratory word than “epic” to describe them. They are insanely well cast (thank god for that whole Viggo Mortensen was a last minute replacement stroke of luck), visually stunning, obviously made with love and reverence, and everything good movies should be (albeit a little long – come on, I’m not delusional). They also brought about a new self-discovery: how much I love the shooting and production side of movies. The DVDs/blurays are filled with hours upon hours of interviews with director Peter Jackson, the producers, the cast, special effects geniuses, composer Howard Shore, and everyone else who was involved in the creation of the films. I spent so many hours watching that footage, being completely immersed and in awe of the love and work that went into the LotR trilogy.

Which is why it’s both funny and duh-inducing that I’m now an aspiring screenwriter. As if I really had a choice 😉

So falling sick recently was a blessing in disguise, as it reintroduced my once loved annual tradition of rewatching the LotR movies. In closing, I’ll just list, in chronological order, some of my favorite moments in the LotR trilogy (sidenote, my original list was 34082340 items long, so I’ve sadly cut it):

  • The formation of the Fellowship at the end of the Council of Elrond. Sigh. I just ::flails:: Such an epic moment!
  • Boromir redeeming himself at the end of the first movie. His parting line to Aragorn still gets me every single time: “I would have followed you, my brother, my captain, my king.”
  • The reveal of Gandalf the Sparkly White.
  • Gandalf, Eomer, and the Rohirrim arriving at the end of the battle to kick orc/urukhai ass!
  • Gandalf and Pippin arriving to Minas Tirith and riding Shadowfax up to the top of the city while Howard Shore’s epic “Minas Tirith” plays in the background.
  • Gandalf using his sparkly white staff of light and magic to ride out and save the soldiers fleeing the Nazgul. And Faramir! My Gondorian bae!
  • Theoden and the Rohirrim arriving at Pelennor Fields to join the battle. Makes me cry every time!
  • Aragorn going all badass king-to-be on the King of the Dead: “You will suffer me!”
  • Aragorn leading the army to the Black Gates. His speech. His head chopping. I can’t.
  • Everyone’s reaction to the fall of Sauron. Ugh. Perfection.
  • At the end of Aragorn’s coronation, when the hobbits bow to him, and he replies: “My friends, you bow to no one.” Then he and the ENTIRE country, plus some, bow to those furry-footed princes. Staaaahp.
  • And, finally, Gandalf’s goodbye to the hobbits, “I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.”

P.S. I love The Lord of the Rings books as well. In fact, I did a 3-credit independent study on them my senior year of college, ‘cause nerd 😉