I’m in New York City right now, sitting on my brother and sister-in-law’s couch, drinking a cup of coffee, and waiting to head out into the dreary, rainy weather. For someone from a desert climate, this is paradise.
And needed, for my dry, crackly, lizard skin that I’m sure most of the country believes all Arizonans have.
It’s true. We do.
I love creating.
When I was 10 or 11, and just really getting into professional wrestling, I started my own professional wrestling league.
With my superhero action figures.
There’s nothing sweeter than having Green Lantern and The Flash turn on their former best-friend Superman, only to join a faction led by the X-Men villain Sabertooth to become the undisputed champions, leading to Superman’s return weeks later with longer hair and a badder attitude, for the sole purpose of getting revenge on his former friends.
And that all happened in one afternoon.
That might have been the first bit of long-form storytelling I ever did, but it wasn’t the last. Or the longest, for that matter.
Delilah S. Dawson (Star Wars: Phasma, Wake of Vultures) wrote on Twitter a while ago about the realization she had about what kind of storyteller she wanted to be, stating:
This made me think about my own storytelling journey.
Drawing comic books, I thought, was my designated path. My school career was filled with long form, dreamscape stories. Pokemon trainer versions of me and my friends, a Marvel superhero that paralleled Batman Beyond that’s lasted over 15 years, and the teenage future fantasy (which would attempt to be the subject of my first novel.) So I spent afternoons upon mornings drawing out character designs and comic covers, somehow knowing these would become fantastic collectors items once I made my way to the world of comics.
What I know now to be important is each of these stories were critical to me for one reason.
I always had to know what happened next.
And for a while, I thought that’s what was meant to be. A visual artist. So, for years, I had this idea that going to art college and becoming a comic book artist was the way to go. To express that I didn’t have the talent, nor skills, is a statement that’s taken me years to get used to saying.
I failed at becoming a comic book artist, but that didn’t stop me from plotting more stories which I would TOTALLY get around to drawing at some point I promise don’t judge me…
Filling college and high school notebooks are scraps of paper with plot outlines and character sketches, all while I should have been listening in Geology 101.
I graduated college, so it didn’t impact me too much…
To get to this point in my life I had to first learn why I was wrong.
It wasn’t the drawing, or the action figures, or the escape from mundane 9-to-5 jobs that kept me engrossed and living one foot in these fragmentary planes in my mind.
It was the stories.
Part II, Monday, May 21