About Me, or More Importantly, Why Do I Write?
My mother once told me, “I figured out where your creativity came from.” My mother (mostly joking) thought that my artistic tendencies had to have some kind of genetic origin. That is, that the seed of my creative talent had to have been passed down from a relative. As she saw it, neither she nor my dad were creative, nor were their parents. However, then she thought of my great grandfather, who was a bit of a tinkerer and inventor. At the time I found that idea intriguing, since I found the man who I only met once to be fascinating. And who doesn’t want to be related to an inventor, even if, I’m ashamed to admit, I can’t remember what he had invented?
Only later did I think through the issue enough to be properly offended. Not for myself, mind you, but for my parents at least. I would argue that both my parents and even my brothers, who would most likely disagree with the notion, were very creative, which in turn encouraged the creativity in me.
From my earliest memories, I have been surrounded by stories. My dad has always enjoyed reading and it showed: from giving lively performances of The Monster at the End of This Book when we were young, to recording himself reading books for us to listen to while he was at work, to reading serious stories such as Through Gates of Splendor as a family. He introduced us to characters such as Winnie the Pooh, Sherlock Holmes, and Aslan. He would also throw a bit of adventure into special occasions or even a random Sunday afternoon with a scavenger hunt or mystery drive. He taught me to love stories, especially stories of adventure.
My mom was very creative, and she encouraged me to be the same. She always had craft ideas for rainy afternoons, and I still have vivid memories of raiding the craft drawer with its myriad colors of construction paper. (Why did those pads always include so many sheets of black? There was always a pile of them in the drawer because there was so little you could do with that color.) She and I did countless baking projects in the kitchen, which itself was a magical place where she made the most incredible birthday cakes for all of her boys. And she always enjoyed finding “excuses” to add a bit of whimsy or adventure to our lives, such as coloring everything green for St. Patrick’s Day (including a failed attempt to color orange juice), or birthday pancakes made in the shape of our age and initial. Even our three-day drives down to Florida were adventures where simple nights of KFC in the hotel room were almost as fun as our days at Disney World.
In short, I would argue that I grew up in a very creative environment. And over the years I have tried my hand at many things to try and express my creativity: painting, sculpture, illustration, animation, board games, video games, writing, and more. One common thread that I’ve found through all of my artistic outlets was the driving need to tell a story. I love to hear stories and I love to tell stories. I have realized that I’ve been trying to be a storyteller all along, but I’ve been frustrated with the tools. And, man, is my head full of stories that are trying to get out.
So, that’s the answer. I want to write simply because I have stories to tell which I’ve come to realize are best expressed—surprise, surprise—as stories. Some of my stories may be simple and even frivolous, but I truly hope that others will come to express meaning—meaning that I cannot express in any other form, and which flows as naturally as one’s beliefs shine through their actions. I hope to write stories like those of C.S. Lewis, whose stories and truths seem to intermingle as natural extensions of each other. In the end I will do my best to entertain, encourage, and maybe even enlighten. What better motivation could I hope for?