I do this thing when I’m writing. I create heroes that I can fall in love with for 50K words or so. Of course, there are things about the fictional heroes that would make them impossible real life lovers or boyfriends. But for a little while I get to fall in love and be in love just like my heroine. I hope that doesn’t sound silly. I know it does but still, I hope I don’t seem silly.
Do you remember that thing I said about learning the lesson that people will let you down, that they inevitably disappoint? I make heroes that may have disappointed at one point but the work ceaselessly to right their mistakes. And certainly the heroine is always much more forgiving than I in these cases.
Forgiveness is hard for me. I know it’s important because if you don’t forgive stuff eats you up inside. It leaves you raw, angry, and bitter. I should know, I’ve felt all of those things. Forgiveness is hard because it feels like you’re giving your transgressor a free pass. But here’s the thing, on the good days I know that’s kind of bullshit. Forgiveness is for you and your own peace of mind.
So today is a good day, I can forgive everyone who’s ever hurt me. I don’t necessarily have to break bread with them. Which is a good thing because many of the people I forgive or seek to forgive are guilty of some pretty heinous shit.
Let me say my mom and stepdad are no angels but they are not the devil by ANY stretch of the imagination. They do a lot for those in their lives. I needed to move back in with them in order to be able to travel to these different Cons and book signings (financially) and have not asked me to pay rent. Now, I have to clean up after myself and do my own laundry and stuff like that but that’s relatively simple. And that walking thing I was talking about? Dad(stepdad) introduced me to walking when I was 12 years old, and in order to encourage me to workout now he takes me walking. Of course they’re also batshit crazy with issues of their own which often drives me to my room to hide, but I know they love me without question, and that makes their transgressions easier to forgive than any of the others who have hurt me.
That being said there are others whom I have a more difficult time forgiving, such as my biological father. His crimes are different and I find my therapy is often focused on characters and villains I write that feature him prominently, at least his characteristics. And in Gemini’s War I think I get my revenge in a very dark way. I certainly don’t sit around thinking about it but when I write antagonists they rarely have any redeeming qualities. Forgiving Jerry is hardest of all.
But forgiveness is a process and when I think about all that the Universe has given me in recent years it’s easy to let things go for the most part. I’m happy with my life. I get to do what I love for a living full time. I’m more confident in myself than I’ve ever been. I wish I could say I got there all by myself. But I got here on the shoulders of other people.
My friends, my heroes, (yes, I have others, you are just the biggest one ;) such as Kurt Vonnegut, Ray Bradbury, Jane Austen, Sue Grafton, Scott Frank, William Goldman, Kevin Smith, Katherine Patterson, Judy Blume, and Douglas Adams to name a few. (Oh and Quentin Tarantino). You all made me believe there was hope and light at the very end of a long a dark tunnel. And even when it was just a pinpoint there you all were inspiring me, coaxing me, whispering to me that I could survive the darkness, that it would all get better if I just hung in there and didn’t give up.
As I settle in to work on my self-publishing venture I hope one day you’ll see this and now just how much I appreciate you and how you’ve inspired me.