I did it originally because Elon Musk. Need I say more? But I stayed because Twitter is so much more interesting than it used to be. Or maybe I’m just more interested.
It’s kind of like people-watching now. People post about something that interests them and somehow it ends up in my feed. Maybe they’re a fellow writer or Stray Kids fan or posting about magic or movies or something I’ve indicated in some way to the Twitter world that I’m interested in.
At any rate, the other day a fellow writer posted about The Princess Bride and how she’d just watched it for the first time. It reminded me of the time when as a seventeen or eighteen year old (don’t remember which), I rented the movie from Blockbuster, took it home and watched it on a VCR I’d borrowed from somewhere on my little black and white television. I probably watched that movie five or six times in that one weekend. I didn’t have a color television. Just black and white. And it was small. As in, they don’t make tvs that small anymore.
And somehow that didn’t matter.
Watching that amazing movie made me happy in a very content way because the power of the story transcended the medium. It didn’t matter that it was on a tiny screen instead of a big silver one. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t see that Buttercup’s dress was red. The story was still told and I still loved it.
I’ve been trying to remember to be happy in the space I occupy. I’m glad I was on Twitter and was reminded of that experience. Watching The Princess Bride on a small black and white television alone in my bedroom might not sound like perfect happiness. But it was. In that moment, I was happy in the space I had.
It seems I just can’t NOT share my excitement about this ongoing project. I’m up to about eighty pictures now, and I’m still going strong. I’ve been experimenting more with drawing people as well as places and things. I think it’s working out…
Of course, my strength remains in the words, but I have had fun experimenting with drawing things like fire, too.
I know, of course, that my pictures will not be the works of art I see in other graphic novels. I am not truly an artist. Most of what I’m doing is photographic manipulation. My strength is really in the five poems that are in this book. And the story I’ve woven around the poems and pictures. I am hopeful that they will find a place in the hearts of readers.
Special Note: I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of teachers in my life. Some of these people probably don’t even realize I was their pupil at one point or another. I’d like to dedicate this blog post to a friend who greeted me in the hallowed halls of the Zoetrope writers workshop at the true beginning of my writing career. Her example and kind words of encouragement have helped many a writer over the years, whether it was as an editor or reviewer or friend. Happy birthday, Beverly!
Mahatma Gandhi said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” I think writers have another obligation. Write the change. It’s the charge given to each of us with this calling to write our feelings and dreams down and send them out on paper airplanes into the world.
Don’t like the world with less opportunity for lower classes? Imagine it different. Write the change.
Don’t like racism? Write a world with more tolerance.
Don’t like partisan politics? Erase them with a few strokes of the keyboard—in your writing, anyway.
Horrified by the attitudes that resulted in the #metoo movement? Write a world where consent is actually romanticized. For instance:
She loved and trusted this man. Nothing they chose to do together could be wrong or destructive. —Dickens Magic, coming October 31, 2018
I’m not saying you’ll change the world with your stories. I’m saying it’s up to the writers and dreamers to reach out to others and show them what the world could be. Imagine a world where the rights of every human being are respected. Imagine a world where technology aids instead of replaces human interaction. Imagine a world where everyone is valued for what they bring to the world, no matter what their skill is.