Reading a good book is very much like going on an adventure.
Sure, it's safer and takes place in your mind, but does that make the experience any less significant? You're travelling with compelling people to places that may never exist in the real world. As the protagonist struggles, you struggle with them. We become attached to people who never even existed. Ending a good book leaves a deep sense of longing as we dwell on events that didn't actually occur. Does this mean that reading and writing stories is insanity? Or magic?
Personally, I think it's a bit of both. Especially if you're dappling in speculative fiction. Taking an audience on an adventure is as old as humanity itself. It's one of those special traits that makes us human.
Oh...how rude of me to ramble without introducing myself. For those who don't know me, I'm Stephen. I live in Colorado, and I'm an educator, an environmentalist, and a total nerd. But if you're on this website, its' probably because, along with those other things, I'm a writer.
I've loved writing ever since fourth grade. I didn't realize it at the time, but fourth grade was a big year for me because 1. I learned I could write, 2. I began to read books for fun, and 3. I discovered haiku. The seeds of my future had sprouted and were beginning to grow.
I was (still am!) utterly obsessed with all things nerdy, and I had many fantastic adventures through books. I went across time and space with Jack and Annie in The Magic Treehouse books. I journeyed with dinosaurs many times in the Dinotopia books. I walked the great halls of Hogwarts in Harry Potter and flew with dragons in Eragon. There were many others, of course. So many others...
So, naturally, I knew early on that I wanted to (mostly) write in the realm of speculative fiction.
All through middle and high school I came up with dozens of ideas, a few of which have stuck with me. One of them, inspired by Eragon and A Wizard of Earthsea, eventually became a middle grade fantasy novel that's all prepped and in need of an agent! (More on that later).
In addition to fiction. I also fell in love with poetry, especially haiku. That love became a real passion when I learned in college that haiku doesn't have to stick to the 5-7-5 syllable rule in English. Writing haiku became a compulsion when I learned that it was all right to write those bite-sized poems in science fiction or fantasy genres.
You may wonder, "So writing is all fun and games for you, Stephen?". Well, largely yes. To write is to dream and share dreams with others! But I'm not just here to play with dragons. The written word is powerful. It conveys things that have to be said. Now more than ever, our natural environment needs a voice. People in poverty need a voice. Marginalized groups need a voice. I'm an educator and an environmentalist, and I cannot stand by as our world spins off its axis. It is my hope that through my work, I can help make this world better, if only a little. Many of my fictional stories carry a message (some subtle, others more obvious), and I'm starting to craft more non-fiction pieces as well. I've worked to expand awareness by writing animal fact profiles with Taproot Gulru, and I've written or am working on other informative articles.
Of course, if you're here just for the dragons and starships, that's perfectly fine, too. I'm a speculative writer, after all. There are days when I'm writing to save the world, and there are days when I just want to go questing on other planets. Nothing wrong with a balanced approach, right?
And so, here I am, standing at the threshold of the next phase of my life. To date I've published multiple haiku, a couple of larger poems, two articles and few short stories, with more on the way. My first finished novel is ready for an agent to advocate for it. What will this chapter bring? Where will I go from here?
I don't know for sure, but I intend to find out, and I hope you'll join me.
This blog will serve two purposes. First, it will be where I release new information about upcoming projects (hence the title "Newsflash"). Second, it will from time to time serve as a space where I'll elaborate on a topic I want to share with you, usually (but not always) related to writing. I might also post something fans want to know, or on rare occasions an issue that I feel needs to be addressed.
Whichever of my works you read, be they my books, poems, articles or something else, I hope they help you dream. I hope they help you think and reflect. I hope they give you hope. Or at the very least, I hope they help you to take a break from this crazy world so you can have a little fun and go on an adventure.
It's only human, after all.