Happy March. I am honored that today my story Swirling Sky had been published by Page & Spine online Magazine. It is very fitting to have it released this month because I wrote this particular piece the day of the 2016 Brussels bombing.
Anytime any kind of terrorist/group harms innocent people in a public place, I find it difficult to control my emotions. I was raised with a fighter’s instinct so the first thing I always wish to do when I see people suffering at the hands of others is take up arms and go seek vengeance. Then reason hits me and I realize that this is why I became a writer.
After a series of ridiculous fights in school I learned at a young age that physical force may scare some people, but it’s a never ending cycle of retaliation. I still believe that sometimes force necessary, but in this instance my pen became my greatest weapon.
I was struck with a story idea unlike any other I’ve written. Instead of conveying anger, or taking pop-shots I could not stop my imagination from seeking the worst case scenario. What if things had been worse?
People often express their terror at the fact that not even schools and places of worship are safe from attacks. But to me the safest most universally welcoming place is simpler. Libraries and book stores are the only real safe haven in this world.
Lucky enough to be born in the States I recognize that despite mall, theater, and highway shootings, kindergarten classes being violently bloodied, libraries are not often a center of violence.
Books are both weapon AND refuge. It’s quite beautiful how that works out.
This story refused to be quiet. The image of a young girl being kept from her favorite bookstore due to a bomb poured out of me on my lunch break as numerous people had to recover from a real bomb. From real horror.
I never feel worthy of having a voice, but this story has more meaning than anything I’ve ever written.
The ending was a passion of mixed anger and hopelessness. Since then, of course, I have seen much good in the aftermath.
It is the aftermath that redeems us. It is the love that combats the hate.