“Writing is literally transformative. When we read, we are changed. When we write, we are changed. Its neurological. To me, this is a kind of magic.” — Francesca Lia
Some people find it hard to write. It’s called “writer’s block” for a good reason. I seem to have a different problem. I have multiple storylines running in my head, like a Broadway play on steroids.
These storylines are for two different books I’m currently working on. I see them in my sleep, when I’m walking my dog, waiting in the elevator, or riding on the metro. It’s a constant barrage of ideas and they won’t stop.
At times, it can be maddening. Paul Goldman said, “Closing my eyes, the scene within unfolds as it has for thousands upon thousands of years.” That’s what it feels like inside my head at times. Even when I’m doing the simplest of things, like eating dinner or watching TV, I still find my mind wandering into my stories.
I think that’s the curse of being a writer. Maybe ‘curse’ is too strong of a word, but it’s accurate. I am a storyteller. My job is to tell people the wild and wierd stories, flights of fantasy, that stirs the imagination of my readers. It’s what drives me to be a writer. I love it, no matter how much it bugs me, I absolutely love it.
This kind of inspiration is what drives me to be a writer. It fills my pasion, forges my imagination, and makes my life worth doing. I need to be driven to write even better. Whenever I speak to groups about writing, there’s a story I tell about where the Forver Avalon series comes from. I’d like to share that with you.
I joined the U.S. Navy in 1983. Back then, we didn’t have the internet, video games, or satellite TV. Many Sailors spent their off duty time playing board or card games. Me… I played Dungeons & Dragons. My friends and I would seal ourselves away in the #4 aircraft elevator mechanical room late at night and spend our off duty time playing D&D. It helped pass the time when you’re deployed for more than six months from your wife and kids.
For me, these late night D&D sessions fueled an already active imagination. Combine that with missing your wife and newborn baby daughter and it can lead to some rather strange dreams. During my first deployment, I started having a recurring dream of being with my wife and daughter on an island of fantasy and magic, lost in time and space. That dream evolved and grew with each of my deployments and subsequent birth of my other children.
In 2001, I was deployed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (yes, lucky me to have served on my favorite starship’s namesake!). Although I wasn’t playing D&D at this time, the dream stuck with me. However, it was more detailed and elaborate than ever before, so I decided to start writing it down. I spent my off-duty time writing my story, putting it together in a cohesive story. By the time my deployment was done, Forever Avalon was born. My story was complete.
The funny thing is, after I finished writing the book, I stopped having the dream. It disappeared completely. It served its purpose, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. D&D helped me develop my imagination and writing has given me an avenue to use it. Its who I am, in my heart and in my soul. I am a writer. So let the band play on. It just fuels my passion.
Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon from Austin Macauley Publishing.