Once upon a time, when I was young and still figuring out my life, I knew a man named Frank, who would often ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up.
"A physical therapist?" He strangely assumed.
"No, Frank. I think I want to be a writer."
"Well, you know all writers are suicidal and wear black," was his mantra.
So here's the problem:
I look horrible in black.
Why I Write
I never aspired to be a writer. I wanted to perpetually read. When I was young, I thought I might want to be an editor so I could read books all day. Later, I thought I might want to be a marine biologist. But writing was never on my radar. That is, until life happened (see "Saturdays at McDonald's" for a brief glimpse), and I discovered that writing was the only way to deal with that life.
Unfortunately, I had professors who encouraged me so that thirty years after I stepped into that first creative writing classroom, I still write. I can't stop writing. My life only feels balanced if I am writing. What we can do with words is astounding. We can grab readers and punch them in the face. We can transport them so that they are able to see and understand another person's world, another person's point of view.
Words are such strange tools.