Sometimes I wonder if I like reading too much to be a writer. There’s always another book to devour, characters to meet, and worlds to explore with them. There are words to learn and taste, roll over my tongue and get to know their meanings the way another man learns the bouquet of a wine. They are distracting, these stories and words. I get lost in them and in the moment I finish one, I find myself craving another. My own stories lay chewing a bone on the floor, waiting til I am finally ready to take them out to play. They are patient and loyal, but I feel I do them a disservice when I pass them by to sate the insatiable lust I have to consume novels. Yet like an addict, I reach again for the spilling river of symbols that pool against the dam of their covers and I swim, diving deep, anything for another taste of that high, and those lost hours spent in dimensions I had yet to imagine.
What of the lovers waiting their long years to meet and wed, and their daughter, an empath and weapon. What of her grandfather, the general of Earth’s combined forces who keeps the military from abusing the child’s powers? What of his death and its aftermath, with the father lost in battle and the mother but a civilian?
What of Peter and the revolution he joins in order to bring equality and light to all regions of the strange clockwork world he finds himself stranded on, with no memory of who or what he is? What of his friends, the Martha and Frederick Beaver, and Joseph the inventor? What of the well-intended cataclysm that destroys their world?
I can help but wonder what Magnus’ story is, the last descendant of fallen angels and their human lovers. How does he get from his university campus to Europe and what depths does he delve in the search for the holy relics that lock the gates of Hell? What of his companions? What goes on in the mind of Gabrielle, his guardian angel, who gave up her wings to protect him in the flesh?
They whine, the three of them and more, from time to time. One will stand, stretch out its long body across the carpet and sit with its muzzle on my knee looking at me with those eyes only a dog can claim. The eyes that say, “Pet me. Love me. Feed me. Write me.” And I will absently fondle between the story’s ears, and say to them, and myself, “just one more page. The end of this chapter. After I’m done with this book, I’m almost finished.”
My stories will never starve for love, but they may starve for effort. I tell myself that I feed them with all the reading I do. It helps me forge my voice, gives me new words, bits and pieces of tales to break of and add to the mosaic of my own. It could be true, when I finally give my art the attention it deserves.
In the meantime, there’s this book I just started reading. Just one more page.