I write because I read, and I read because I write. Intertwined inside of the balance of the two I find meaning. This meaning isn’t internal, its a very real external reality that I can feel. The written word has weight, smell and a temperature that is as real to me as a touched flame.
While I write, words flow without my being a part of the process. Only after the words are on the page do I play a role as I read and edit. Almost alien to me where the ideas come from I cut and splice and plot and rewrite until it makes sense until it is mine.
Reading is a very personal thing, almost intimate. Scripture creates hope, allowing me to ignore the noise of daily life. Then during the day, tombs of fiction remove me from my current location and take me to an imaginary world. A world very much alive with details from novels consumed over the decades. Characters draw water from the kitchen of Dean Koontz the Watchers. Another stops for gas at the gas station from the Stand by Stephen King. The characters in what I’m reading move in and out of other storylines without apology.
Audiobooks are my popcorn, listened too as a snack between meals of reading. They float in the background as I buy groceries, drive or walk on the treadmill. I’m often forced to listen several times because I missed a part. Normally while studying how many carbs these chips have or the calories in that juice. They work as a shield against the others. Earbuds in nobody bothers me, my popcorn armor against the mass of humanity that doesn’t add value to my life.
These types of books give me hope that I can write. My crafted worlds come from the towns and locations partially created by these creative thinkers. Then at night, the lights go out and my demons come. In the darkness before sleep I clutch my iPad and read in suffering silence. Shakespeare, Jules Vern, Jane Austen, Harper Lee, Orwell, Steinbeck, and the other masters pummel me with artfully crafted words that leave me both ecstatic with awe and in complete depression at their talent. These writing Gods unparalleled in their ability to craft words, leaving me emotionally drained and broken.
Then sleep, and the morning. To do it over again… my writing, my fiction, my popcorn and my demons.