Way back in the mists of time, when I was too young to know anything about the meaning of the word ‘impossible,’ I wrote down a list of things I wanted to accomplish in my lifetime. It’s long since gone disappeared , but I do remember a few things from it.
One item had to do with learning how to ski. Well, I did that. Another item was swimming with dolphins, and I have done that. Twice. [If you EVER have a chance to do this, grab it. It’s… beyond awesome. It’s meeting an alien species, right here on Earth, and communicating through nothing more than looks and gestures. There is something transcendental about meeting those eyes which look into yours and say, ‘I know you. I recognize you. I know what you are.’ ]
I don’t remember much more of that list in detail, except for one thing.
I wanted to write a book.
This, too, I have accomplished. This, which has been a dream from childhood, has been given to me, and I am grateful for it beyond belief. I have people writing to me today to tell me that they have read my books and that they loved them, and asking me what my next book is going to be in a gesture of such beautiful and humbling trust and faith that I feel the tears prickling at the back of my eyes.
I am a writer. I have written books which people have read and liked, I’ve created a character whose literary demises have caused friends to phone me up at three in the morning to shriek into my ear, “You KILLED her! How could you have killed her?!” That I am trusted to tell a story, that I am able to engage thought and emotion in friends and in strangers, is a source of pride and gratitude.
I had a little list, when I was a litle girl and such things meant something – when life was still something huge and mysterious and full of concealing mists and I could write fantasy lists which might never come true because I had yet to learn what was possible and what was dream. But some part of me knew, even back then, even way back then, that there was one dream that transcended lists and wishes.
I am a writer. That came true. That changed everything.