I am so thankful for the gift of writing. It’s really magickal, and I have no way of explaining how it works.
There is this scene in the movie Shakespeare in Love…actually several. But the first one goes something like this…
FENNYMAN: So what do we do?
HENSLOWE: Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.
HENSLOWE: I don’t know. It’s a mystery.
Writing is like that. Or at least it is for me. I don’t outline. I know the beginning of the story. I pretty much know they end. I know one or three things that happens in-between. And that’s it.
And somehow, it all happens. I start writing and it all comes together. I realize when I get to the climax of the story that I had been working there all alone and even put foreshadowing in the tale and didn’t even know I was doing it.
I love watching the people in my head come to life. It’s like giving birth in a way. I say “in a way” because I have not, of course, given birth. And I hear that is like taking your lower lip and stretching it over the entire top of your head.
When I get this image of a guy…. Maybe he’s gotten in trouble with the law. I know he’s innocent but ht is in the wrong place and the wrong time and gets embroiled in all kinds of crap. And I know he’s a sweet innocent kid who won’t even use swear words. And then I start writing and he gets more and more and more real, and soon I am in love with him and now to long after that, so is the romantic love interest he meets.
It’s powerful. It’s exciting. It gives my life so much joy and meaning.
And then…! OMGosh, and then…!
Sometimes that story finds a place in someone’s heart and they write you a letter and says the story changed their life. Or maybe, it just made them laugh.
I can’t run with a crap. I am not very coordinated. I don’t look anything like Channing Tatum or Ryan Reynolds or Jake Gyllenhaal. I do not have a six-pack, I’ve never had one, I never will. I’m overweight. I’m not strong. I am no good at sports. I’m not young. I have lived over half my life. I have a pretty horrible job.
But I can write and God I love it! I am so thankful for who I am what I am and what I can do.
And I am thankful that I can touch lives.
I haven’t won a Pulitzer Prize or a Pushcart Prize or a Hugo or Nebula or a Rainbow Award or a RITA Award or a Lambda.
But I have been translated into German, French, Italian and Korean. Korean?
When I was a fifth-grader making up Outer Limits stories I never thought I would have a story translated into Korean. I never thought I would have my stories translated into anything.
What does that mean? It means I am not the only one who thinks I can write.
Do I need acknowledgement?
But do I love it?
I’m gay. Of course I do.
But most of all because of connection.
Connection with readers. And connection with story tellers stretching all the way back to cavemen sitting around a fire and telling tales of Mammoth gods.
Gosh. I am almost high writing these words. Cloud Nine.
Thank you thank you thank you Universe. That my gift is writing. Spinning tales. Creating worlds and the people who live in them. And thank you for the connection to people who like my stories.
There isn’t much better than that!
BG “Ben” Thomas