Friday, May 31, 2013

Dear Stephen King

Dear Stephen King,


 Most of my life I have known your work. I have read books that I shouldn't have been reading at my age and most of them were yours. When I read your work, it makes me want to write.

It seems so simple, you make telling a story seem so simple.

I followed this thought (I can't really call it a passion because I honestly don't have a passion for writing despite the fact that I spent an unbelievable amount of time doing it - no it's the story telling that is so intriguing) to the point of writing two novels and even publishing them. But I cheated, I used iUniverse to publish them. One of them even won an editor's choice award from the publisher but what does that even mean?

What I really found out is that I may have some story telling potential but I am no business/salesperson and even though I saw some copies of both books in a few libraries and even a bookstore (remember I used an "on demand" publisher) I simply couldn't muster up any thing close to enthusiasm for selling them or even promoting myself. The whole two processes taught me alot about myself. I am not a team player and it takes a team to write and publish a successful book.

 I ended up focusing more on my animal rescue and care work for the next seven years as my true passion for protecting animals really took center stage. I abandoned my books and I abandoned the idea that it was worth my effort to tell a story.

I write a journal or a diary but the truth is it is neither of those things because I am never really mulling through my own real life, I am reaching out to find 'the story'. I can't really seem to let it go as much as I want to.

Writing pisses me off, it makes me angry and sometimes just depresses me because I always find some sort of darkness in there. It doesn't scare me, it never makes me feel as though I am dark in there, it's just humanity so of course there's going to be darkness in there. And then sometimes I blame you Stephen King because I started reading your books to early.

I have a really strong inner flashlight so it really isn't scary at all just a little bit curious. They are stories that seem to want to be told and I keep telling myself no, no, no, writing is just so godamned hard and even draining and I'm not rich, I can't just sit around writing stories for nothing. Writing stories that I throw in a trunk and leave until my body makes me leave this place and some future ancestor finds in some attic somewhere, reads it and says hey that was neat and puts it back until it crumbles away to dust just like my body.

 So really, just lately, reading your stories is just making me feel angry too. It's not because they are dark because I'm used to that and I've found that you really are lightening up quite a bit. It's because your characters are so typical. Typical north american men, typical north american women, typically white or typically middle class, just typical and God how I hate typical. It's boring and it's false because typical isn't real. Typical is a sham. Before it was more just that your characters were normal and they knew it. They knew they were normal and they liked it. They choose normal and for whatever sacrifices they made to be normal, it made them happy enough to keep being normal anyway. But as much as they wanted to be normal, some god awful thing would happen to them and normal just became a long lost fantasy. The lost fantasy of normal.

But now I am just seeing a lot of typical and not necessarily normal and those are just not the same thing. Normal is healthy, typical just plain sucks. Typical means two dimensional and soulless. Normal is just the choice to be happy with just being an average being in a world where everything is temporary and no matter how happy you are in any given moment, you are aware that some awful shit is going to happen some time or other. If your normal, you just roll with it. It's a choice. If you're typical, you don't even feel it, good or bad because typical isn't a choice, it's a condition.

 So, I love your work Mr. Stephen King but lately I'm just a bit pissed off with the switch from normal to typical that is popping up in your characters. I'm not getting a feel for them anymore. They aren't really human to me anymore, they are just typical men and typical women being typical and reacting to complete insanity in fairly typical ways. You were a master at normal and grieving for normal as the darkness moved in a robbed the beautiful flawed normals from their hopeful chosen normal lives. I am admitting here that I have been living my storytelling urges vicariously through you but things have changed and I'm missing the connection with your work that used to fulfill a need in me. The thought that you knew that normal and typical were not the same thing.


Anyway, my net-book battery is about to die so . . .

 Sincerely,

 Jennifer