Why

I once heard a story while I was in college. I ‘m sure that this is an urban legend that went around every institution of higher learning at one time or another. It goes like this; a student goes to his philosophy final and the only question on the test is “Why.” Everyone else in the class starts writing and writing in an attempt to come up with something profound and interesting. You know, something to make themselves look smart enough to get that elusive A. After watching what was happening around him, the student simply writes down “why not” and turns in his blue book. The story goes that he got a passing grade for “why not.”

I’ve head that story, and told it, more than once. The question still remains however, Why? Why do we do the things we do and more importantly, at least for me anyway, why do I write? Is it for fame? Is it for fortune? Perhaps it’s simply just to get the stories in my head out and onto the written page or in the 21st century, onto the kindle screen. Every writer has their reason or their purpose, as for me, perhaps it’s immortality. (It sure isn’t for fame or fortune as of yet. Although that would be nice.) It is immortality, but not so that my name can go on forever or that people may see my books on shelves across the world after I’m gone. (Again, would be nice but let’s be realistic.) I’m talking about the immortality found in the lessons I teach my kids and hopefully others that may read my books.

You see, the books I write although scary always have some kind of a message. All books should have a message no matter what their subject. If they had no message why would we read them? A much more famous writer, one who’s sold infinite more books than I, Stephen King, once said, all books should have a message. He said there should be a reason for your writing and it can’t be money. If we’re lucky the money will come, but at the end of the day we should all feel fulfilled in the fact that our message is getting out and more importantly, our message will transcend our own lives. The message I always put into my stories is plain and simple; never give up!

In my first two books, The Beckoning and The Daguerreotypist, my characters face great challenges both supernaturally and to their abilities. No matter what may come, and much always comes to them, they never give up. They are brought to the pinnacle of the impossible, to the very point when most would pack it in before they are able to over come. We’ve all seen this in TV shows and in the movies before. We’ve also witnessed it in the Civil Rights movement and countless other times in history. The most important place we need to witness the lesson of never giving up, at least I believe, is in our daily lives. Let’s face it, our daily lives can and many times are scarier than anything I could ever write. That’s why people read scary books isn’t it. No matter how scary or daunting the plot may be, human life can be that much more.

When the day is done and my family is tucked away in their beds is when I finally push the keyboard away from myself. This is when I realize why I‘ve written. Seeing my kids asleep all snuggled in their beds knowing full well they will face things I can’t fully prepare them for, I hope they will listen to my writing some day and never give up. I hope when they face unbelievable odds in life, and they will, they take the messages I put in my writing and apply them to their situation.

On a side note, I missed last week because of some unforeseen medical issues having to do with my family. That is what got me thinking so philosophically today and during the past few weeks. We all have our demons or vampires to fight during our lives and unfortunately sometimes those monsters win. There is nothing we can do about it, it just happens. This week the one wish I have is that my mother should never give up and she keeps fighting those vampires that have come knocking on her door.

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