When I speak at schools and libraries, one of the most common questions I get asked is why I chose to be a writer. At that point, I usually lie to them. Not with any evil intent, of course, we just don't have the time for the real answer. However, if you will stick with me through this, I think I can explain it...
I write because I'm insane.
Picture, if you will, a man who believes with all his heart that if you spin an orange just right, it will fall upwards. As he goes to show people, however, the stupid orange keeps falling down!
Still he doesn't doubt. He tries over and over again. With each failure, his mind stretches a little farther to explain why it isn't working. It's the wrong time of day. This orange is defective. It only works over wooden floors. This might actually be a small grapefruit.
No matter how many excuses or attempts he makes, the orange falls to the ground every single time.
That's when he starts to doubt himself. Maybe he did it wrong. Maybe he was spinning it the wrong way. Soon waves of frustration roll out in all directions and the man finds himself yelling at an orange like a crazy person. Though for all his doubts and anger, he still believes fully that an orange can fall up.
Now we bring the metaphor full circle. I believe with all my heart that I live in a world where men are noble, women are pure, and love lasts forever. I have never been able to make myself believe any different.
Every bloody morning I am assaulted by fresh avalanches of evidence that I am wrong. Even a single look at any newspaper should be more than enough to convince me that I am a fool.
And yet, like the madman with his orange, my mind pushes limits farther and farther to come up with explanations, reasons why it only seems like men are devious, women are fickle, and love is a bargaining chip.
Returning to our poor chap with his orange, let us further imagine that if he eats pizza right before bed, he dreams of oranges spinning up into the air. How refreshing would that be for that poor, tortured mind? Even knowing it wasn't real, he still got to see those oranges doing what he knew they should.
Writing is like that for me.
Even though I know it's not real, I get to spend time in worlds of my own creation. In these hand-crafted universes, I spend my time in great adventures where I know good will prevail over evil. I struggle along with great heroes and heroines who are willing to sacrifice everything for greater truths.
It is the warmth of these memories that helps me live in a world that seems to have forgotten how it's supposed to act.
That is why I write.