When I was young I didn’t know right away I wanted to be a writer, (I know, not what you usually hear!) but I loved being creative. I was a kid passionate about the arts: singing, dancing and drawing. When I was really young, my dream was to be an actress or singer. But my parents didn’t think it was a good idea…for them, the arts were an impractical kind of path. What I realized, though, was there was one kind of art they couldn’t limit, that I didn’t need their approval for: writing. And suddenly that moved to the forefront.
That was my start with writing, but one more thing changed the way I’d view writing forever. This, I’m sure, will sound quite familiar: I read Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone and fell in love. And then I read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and fell in love again and soon I was bordering on obsession with Harry Potter and his world. To say my viewpoint on writing transformed would be an understatement. I was so invested in J.K. Rowling’s characters, it was as if they were walking right beside me. I’d never realized someone could create something so intricate and wonderful with just their imagination and a sheet of paper. I wanted to do that. More than anything I wanted to create a world so vivid it wouldn’t leave; develop characters so real they’d walk beside my reader for life. And so at around fourteen year’s old, writing became more than a hobby. It became a goal—a dream. It not only allowed me to escape from the bullying I was experiencing at the time, but it was also my never-ending challenge: I would become a great writer. I’d learn and practise and write until I had something I’d be proud to share with the world.
Well that passion hasn’t faded. I’ve had ups and downs and too many moments of doubt to count, but that passion for words always keeps me coming back. My current WIP A Wolf Named Lucas got stuck in my head when I went down to the drive-in safari Omega Park with my little sister and mom. It was a sunny, cool day: perfect for all the animals to be out. Near the end of the trip we stopped to see the Arctic wolves, enclosed behind a long wire fence. And that’s when I saw him (or her, I’m not actually sure).
I’d never seen this wolf before or since although I’ve been to the park many times. Off to the side of the main Arctic wolf habitat was the most beautiful white wolf with opaque blue eyes. I didn’t realize at first why he’d been set apart. Then we threw a carrot in to feed him (if you’ve gone there you know you’re not supposed to do that, so I’m sorry!) and the wolf padded down the mountain, stumbled a bit and sniffed through the grass until he found the carrot before moving gracefully and carefully back up the hill.
He was blind.
I cried. My grandmother’s blind. She has been ever since my mom was young and in that wolf I saw the same strength, the same perseverance and gracefulness that I see in her. I forced my mom and sister to stay watching the wolf for at least half and hour and even when we went home the image wouldn’t leave me. And somewhere on the drive back a story formed in my head of a strong young lady working at Omega, forming a bond with that lone blind wolf as she dealt with her own struggles. Working alongside her was an impatient, hardworking boy who didn’t quite understand her at first, but fell in love with her anyway.
I won’t get into much more because I love that story so much and I hope one day people will get it in their hands and be able to read the story and be touched by the impact that wolf left on me. A wolf who will forever be remembered in my novel as Lucas. I’m glad I got to witness that strength. He was a beautiful creature. And he inspired a story that’s taken firm hold of my heart.