I find myself orbiting the universe of science fiction, a realm where imagination is boundless, and the only limits are those set by my mind. As an aspiring author, I'd like to begin my blog by telling you why I started writing in midlife. So, here goes...
The following may sound depressing, and while some of it is, I do NOT want sympathy. I have a very fulfilling life, in part due to writing, but more so because of the people around me. Despite all the horrible things that plague humanity, the world offers great beauty if you just look for it.
As the tendrils of chronic illness began to tighten their grip on my life, I found myself desperately seeking an escape, a way to elude the confines of a body and mind that were betraying me more with each passing month. Sci-fi became my vessel, a starship that could carry me elsewhere. Writing is untethered by the limitations of weakened limbs and fatigued synapses. Those early years were dark times for me. The written words helped guide me away from depression and apathy.
For me, writing is a form of therapy. When my legs refuse to carry the weight of my body, my mind embarks on journeys to distant galaxies, where the laws of known physics bend. The act of crafting new worlds and characters becomes a soothing medicine for the crapitude inflicted by chronic pain. Pounding letters into words, words into sentences, and sentences into stories gives me a respite from the relentless assault on my physical and mental abilities.
The pain I endure on a daily basis (worse than pulling my wisdom teeth) becomes bearable when I torment my characters. The more I subject my protagonists to pain that mirrors my own struggles, the better I feel. One aspect of this is that they constantly commiserate with me, even if it's just in my mind. The other is that focusing on their pain distracts me from mine.
HUMOR AS A PANACEA
Amidst my characters' torment, humor weaves its own thread through the fabric of my stories. Laughter, whether because of a twisted suicide joke or wholesome, is my lifeline to a positive mindset. Writing humor into my novels is a way of injecting levity into what would be shadows. Through an internal loop of jokes, of which only a few make it to the page, I keep a positive attitude.
RITUAL AND HEALING
The tactile dance of my fingers across the keyboard becomes a ritual of healing. In those moments of connection, the world outside fades away, and the universe within takes center stage. The rhythmic clatter of keys becomes a symphony of escape, a harmonious departure from the discordant notes of chronic illness. The world is a better place in those moments of communion between writer and machine.
The act of storytelling is a reflection of the creative gene that has afflicted me since childhood. In the days of make-believe and the twilight hours spent as a tween with my nose buried in books, I discovered the magic of narrative. I was an off-the-cuff dungeon master, weaving impromptu tales for my friends, a precursor to the outpouring of worlds and characters I bring into the world today. When my mind was fully functioning, I shunted my creativity into advancing earthquake seismology as a professor and inventing tech as a startup founder. With my mind foggy for most of the day and my once brilliant mind diminished in comparison, I needed a new outlet for the chaos that runs the winding track in my mind. Writing is the release valve.
As I stated before, I am not looking for sympathy. I am one of the luckiest men in the world. I have a happy healthy family, plentiful food, and a roof over my head. Life is joyous.
As always, I appreciate your support of self-publishing and indie authors. In the name of putting myself out there, here are a few of my works.