The Lord of the Rings is a book about hope, among other things like good conquering evil. Aragorn’s elvish name is Estel, which means…hope. In the movie, the blossom on the White Tree of Gondor is a symbol of hope that help is on the way. The Horns of the Rohirrim sound at the moment of dawn, in the darkest hour, giving hope to the beleaguered city. There are a number of stories that include that same universal theme, like Star Wars, which was even re-titled A New Hope, after the prequel came out. Of course, the two happen to be a pair of my absolute favorite stories.
It shouldn’t come as a big surprise, considering the extent of my LOTR and STAR WARS geekdom, that hope, holding onto it through adversity, is one of the main themes of the Guardians of the Word epic fantasy series. For without hope, all the courage, skill and wit in the world won’t help you if you don’t have it within to ‘get back on your feet.’
I’m not sure the human species can do without hope. Where would we be if we couldn’t hope for a better future in these rough times? Push the button and annihilate the entire planet, but for some reason we don’t and hang on. Hope for better days is the thing that gets me through the rough patches of life. I’ve been through a few of them. I think, I ‘hope’ I’m coming out the other side of a pretty dark and difficult time and that brighter days are ahead. It’s been rough these last few years. Like so many other people in the world, I was unemployed, unable to find meaningful work that stuck. Oh I’ve had jobs all along. I’m a substitute teacher still, but that’s not a career and it doesn’t pay the bills. I’ve had jobs that were more than a chore to get up and go to, they were spirit-breaking nightmares I wouldn’t wish on anyone. You know the kind of job I mean, whether it’s a minimum wage slog or a salaried position with a company that doesn’t care whether you exist or not.
It might be too early to say that I’m done with that sort of employment. I take nothing for granted at this stage of the game. But 2 years ago, I decided that a life of despising the jobs I was stuck with, was no longer for me. I took a gamble. I worked hard, way harder than I have at any other endeavor I’ve taken on (with the exception of raising two children), I stopped looking for other work after I was told point blank by a company I got a phone interview with, “we are looking for someone younger” and decided that I could no longer put myself at their mercy. And so, I published my first book.
And I hoped it would work out the way I wanted it to, followed by working even harder to make it so. You can hope for something all you want, but if you aren’t willing to bust your behind to make it happen, it will not. Dreams are lovely and all, but there’s no magic wand, wizard or higher being that’s going to do the job for you. That is all on you.
Make it so…Captain Piccard, USS Enterprise
Now, almost 2 years later, I’m living off my royalty checks. I’m not buying diamond rings and/or new cars, but I am paying my bills. I’m doing what I love to do. I’m writing something new almost every single day. I devote my energies to making this career choice work and as of this moment, I could not be happier. I have accomplished something that is amazing and fulfilling in a way that’s hard to describe. A million words later, I am an author. I am a writer. I shout it now from the rooftops without doubt. No looking back. No regrets.
Because of hope. I keep that spark alive within, working always toward a better day and a brighter future. It isn’t something we can give up on, because you never know when that dream will come true. I think I might be halfway there.
Never give up. Never surrender —Galaxy Quest
Happy King Release Day. It would also be the 66th birthday of my sister, Lindy, but for her untimely death in 2006. I’m pretty sure if she was here right now, she’d tell me to shut up about how old she was, and go write another book. And so I shall.
You can purchase King, on sale for a limited time, (but only if you’ve read the whole series, cuz otherwise, it would be confusing and impossible to follow!). The beginning is Chosen, which is free on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iTunes. The links are in the sidebars. The entire series is on sale for a little less than $21 for all 8 books on Amazon only, ending 4/2/2013.