As I sit here with two children asleep, a laptop raring to go, and writing ideas spilling out of my head, I can't help but reflect on the thing that has most recently inspired me to write harder. Not a poetic, solitary stroll through the woods. Not the deliciously eccentric grandmother draped in maroon wool in 90 degree weather I met on my afternoon walk through downtown. It wasn't even curling up in bed with my latest obsession, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, while battling a sinus infection with hallucination-inducing meds.
Visiting the Wizarding World at Universal did it. Yup, a theme park.
Maybe it's the butterbeer and pumpkin juice talking, but to physically walk through the intricate world Rowling created was absolutely spiritual. It moved past the book to film experience. The fact that an author created something so utterly alive that it willed itself into physical form just rocks. My family and I stepped into her world and prowled the dark corners of Hogwarts and sat inside the Three Broomsticks. It solidified in my mind that writing is a hefty, important venture. Through sheer force of mind and imagination, an author brings into existence possibilities, experiences, and places that might never have existed otherwise. I think all writers at one moment or another need to be reminded of frankly how cool it is to write, whether the writing is published and read by millions or tucked into a pocketbook (or man purse, gentlemen) and toted around. I think back to navigating the Wizarding World, and my fingers are itching to work.
By no means am I comparing my writing to Rowling's works. Nor do I think anyone will take my short stories and morph them into amusement parks. Or if they did I don't know how the rides would work. (I personally am in favor of the Sarah-coaster.) I still find myself inspired by the love people have for the HP world and the inviting, intimate details that live inside those books. We've all felt that absolute yearning to step inside a character's life. To touch the light post in Narnia. To sit and braid Anne's red hair and tell her secrets. And most likely we've felt that yearning because our own lives momentarily exhausted or disappointed or bored us. It may be disgustingly cliched, but books are a natural high unlike others. We can do absolutely anything through them, and when we shut the pages we have enriched our lives by extending beyond the scope of our own experiences.
I love hearing people talk about those beautiful moments. I wanted to share a few of my own, but time's slipping by and I need to write. I'd like to think I'm building the foundation to create a few of those magical moments for a reader to get lost inside. It's a nice hope for the evening.