Here's a secret: stories are born out of experience. Writers transmute the storms of their days and do the hard work of turning those sorry experiences into something of meaning. Somehow they take the spark of life and place it on the page. My hope is the emotions that I've felt when the storms that have swirled around me will inform my stories and help put my heart on the page. I believe this deeply, that these things that we suffer together will ultimately make us more.
One example that comes to mind is J. R. R. Tolkien, the author of Frodo's journey. Tolkien served in World War I and by the time he was 28, every close friend he had except one had died in the war. When we read of Frodo's wish that the ring had never come to him, when he wishes that none of the troubles in the world had happened, I feel my heart syncing with this book. Gandalf's reply beats inside me. "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." But I know at the heart of this is a man with a wild imagination who suffered deeply and strove for meaning in that suffering.
We have no control over the events of this life: we are fragile and limited. I am sure we will all face "raging waters that could sweep up away" in our personal lives, in our communities, in our countries and in our world. My heart beats to the lasting commitment to do something meaningful with my life, to be generous, and to love as much as I can. I am also committed to write stories that are useful and make a difference. I hope that I place my heart on the page. I hope you do too.
Here is the doodle: The Light of a Single Candle
My quote for your pocket:
True glory consists in doing what deserves to be written; in writing what deserves to be read; and in so living as to make the world happier for our living in it. Pliny the Elder