I’m currently savoring my way through Jeff Vandermeer’s Wonderbook and came across a section that made me question why I write.
Telling stories seems to have always been a fact of life. Somewhere, I still have notebooks filled with a toddler’s illiterate scrawl in crayon rainbows. My grandmother still tells me I can stop breathing easier than I can stop writing.
How I came to declare writing as my passion and life is a story I’ve told perhaps too many time. The why is something else entirely and, after some thought, I believe I’ve figured it out.
Jeff Vandermeer suggests that are born out of negative experience, whether a terrible tragedy or a minor disappointment. For him, it was his parents’ divorce. Mine was a small child’s constantly disappointed search for magic.
I wanted fairies, and unicorns, and talking cats. When I couldn’t find them, I made up my own adventures.
Even better: I found that magic, after all. It’s a conscious choice in how I experience the world, but that makes it no less the magic I searched for as a kid.
So here is a different sort of love for Valentine’s Day. Whatever your love, I hope you take time today to celebrate it.