There’s no easy way to define or explain why or how I came into the art of writing. I just did. I didn’t just slip in the bathroom, hit my head on the sink, and design the flux capacitor like Doc Brown, but somehow writing just happened for me. Some sleepless nights I’ll lie in my spidey-ridden bed and ideas will splash themselves upon my brain. They’ll tickle the base of my skull, crawl all over my brain, and chill down my spine. As I am one for action, I immediately have to shoot across the bed, disturbing Igor as she sleeps, and jot down the idea on some form of something. Be it a slab and chisel or a pen and a rogue homework assignment, I have to capture that singular thought before I go into vegetable status, my brain turns into chicken soup, or the Sandman and I meet for our nightly game involving sheep and marshmallows. Only the roasted marshmallows will do though, because no others can top the charts like those that scald your entire mouth, making you lose your taste buds for about a week, and taste like a rainbow at the same time. There is no other, simple. Maybe soup can but that’s a-whole-nother time and a-whole-nother inspiration. Anyways, no one word or person has ever made an impact on me that caused me to create the symphony that literature geeks so vehemently enjoy. No event signified my writing-starship’s landing. While I’m standing at the pearly gates, about to reckon with my past, and St. Peter asks how I came to love writing so deeply I’d say to him this: my writing came from seeing the magic unfold throughout a book, from seeing Jim Hawkins kill Israel Hands and feel no remorse, from seeing Mrs. Frisby crusade for Timothy’s health, or from seeing Jem and Scout grapple with the Radley rumors and the skin divide. It stems from seeing Ralph S. Mouse ride his small, completely blasphemous, motorcycle around, causing Ryan all sorts of trouble, or from the countless times Gatsby’s blind love annoyed me. I could never stop the characters in the books I read from creating a mess or pining after the false hope of a lost love, shattered by time and greed. Those evenings I sat at home reading a Dean Koontz novel unfold into pure bliss or an Ernest J. Gaines novel make my brain bleed from the sincere dislike and undivided distaste, I drew a deeper love for the literary arts. So, as I sit here now pondering on the origins of my writing inspiration, I think how easy the answer came to me. I didn’t need a knock on the head to realize that the characters and their hardships I read about shaped who I am as a writer today. All cheesy thanks are to those men and women who made characters worth reading about and crying about. One day, like the many authors I enjoy, I want to share with the world my own Jim Hawkins, my own Red Badge, my own Island of the Dolphins, and, mostly, my own story. Completely my story formed from the ingenious design of my brain, no one else’s.