Exciting things are happening around cyberspace this week. The Story Empire authors, Staci Troilo, Mae Clair, C. S. Boyack, Harmony Kent, P. H. Soloman, and myself are having the Story Empire Roadshow. All of us are discounting one or two of our books and offering prizes to lucky winners. Each author is hosting another author all week. For links to all the posts, click here.
Today it is my privilege to host Harmony Kent. And now Harmony is going to take this show on the road.
Hello, everyone, Harmony Kent here. Welcome to my tour stop on the Story Empire Roadshow. First of all, I would like to give Joan a huge thank you for hosting me today. I thought I’d open the tour with why I write, and tomorrow, we’ll take a look at what I write. And, remember, throughout this week, I shall be offering Kindle deals on some of my books, so keep checking in for details of which books and when the discounts are happening. The most prolific commenter at the end of the tour will get to choose ONE copy of any TWO of my ebooks!
Why I write
The question pulled me up short.
When I lay in the hospital bed, when I endured the weeks of rehab that morphed into months, when it all changed, I couldn’t have conceived I would find myself asking that question. Surviving, and then recovering, took up all my time, my energy, and my focus. And still, after all that, I found myself at forty, stuck.
My old life dead.
A new life beckoning.
Days yawned ahead endlessly, empty. The injury changed everything, and in ways I wouldn’t have imagined. Where to go from here? What now?
Pregnant with potential.
My life had strengthened me. Prepared me. Enabled me. I could do this. I could remake myself. Shape my life and mould it to how I wanted it. Finally, I could grab my dreams from the clouds, bring them down to Earth, and make them material and manifest. Forget reaching for the stars; I let them fall all around me in all their shining glory. After all, it is such stardust we are made of.
In the beginning, I sat down and wrote just for the sheer joy of it. I had no intention to publish. But then something else happened. An inner transformation blossomed after spending all those years in hibernation, just waiting for the right time. Even in those dark times in the deepest pits, when I felt buried alive, I’d been digging for gold.
I could have chosen differently. I could have given in. I could have died. Instead, I lived. I gave up, in the sense of offering up. Instead of wallowing in the mess, I found the jewel in the mud. Life is a choice. As old Red said in Shawshank Redemption: Get busy living, or get busy dying.
All the things I’d never been brave enough to do in my early twenties, I set about doing in my forties. It’s never too late until it’s too late. When you’re alive, you’re alive. And when you’re dead, you’re dead. I’ve learned that it’s best to go along with what you have and what you are: so, if you’re alive, then live. Wait until you die before you die. The worst thing I could’ve done was to become the undead, and only pretend to be alive.
Just going through the motions holds no interest for me, not anymore. If it’s worth doing, then it’s worth doing fully, completely, and whole-heartedly. It’s not a case of not ever being afraid. More pertinently, it’s about feeling the fear and doing it anyway.
Little did I realise, the day I sat down and typed the first word of my first novel, that I was saving my life. Not just saving it, but building it from the ground up. Such a joy to just make it up as I went along. Until then, I’d never realised such a thing was possible—that any one of us can change the way things are at any time. Just because it has a long history, it doesn’t have to be a life sentence.
That’s not to say that the years before that were empty, or pointless. No, they were the years I spent digging away the dead earth. The years I spent laying the foundations. The years I spent killing my inadequate self to find my true self.
If I have one regret, it is letting people put me into a box for so many years. Who would have thought that losing my leg, and becoming ‘un-whole’ would lead to me becoming the most whole I’ve ever been? Yes, physical limitations exist. Financial limitations exist. Even with these, anything is possible.
I have broken out of the box, and no way will I go back. Not until I die. And then I intend to burn … brightly. Our greatest power is our imagination. With it, we have control of our whole world. We can enter any dimension and manipulate any environment. Anything is possible. We can use it to entrap ourselves, or we can use it to find freedom. It all comes down to what stories we choose to fill our heads with.
I have a beautiful home.
I have enough money to get by.
Friends surround me.
I have a job I love.
Disabled (in body if not in mind).
Pregnant with potential.
The last two on my list will never change. The rest of it is simply the scenery. And, whatever happens from here, I can’t see myself never writing again. It saved my sanity. It shaped who I am today. It continues to give me sustenance and vital force.
Why do I write? Because I can (and we all can, you can, even if no one but you ever sees it). Because it’s who I am. Because it gives me a life I couldn’t have otherwise.
If writing isn’t your thing, there is something in the world that is. I pray that you find it and find joy from it. Each of my books shows a little of the jewel I pulled out of the mud, hidden within the enjoyable fiction. It’s not something I did intentionally, but then how could it be different? My creativity, my stories, are my jewel, and so the diamond is bound to shine through them.
If I can make a difference to only one other person through my writing, then I have achieved all that I want to. For many souls, a good book is the only respite from days yawning without end.
Writing gave me a reason. Writing gave me a passion. Writing won’t bring my leg back, but it gives me wings. And it invites my readers to fly with me. I don’t know of much that gets better than that.
The above piece opens my latest book, Moments (available on pre-order on Amazon), and is entitled The Jewel in the Mud. Pre-order HERE (US) and HERE (UK). This is a collection of short stories and poetry that touches upon death, grieving, war, fresh starts, hope, courage, change, choices, and encouragement. Take a moment to delve into tales from the dark side, have fun with fantasy, dabble in dystopia, and court danger in a little science fiction.
I’d love to hear what inspires you in your life. Thanks so much for stopping by!
My website/blog: http://harmonykent.co.uk
My twitter handle: @harmony_kent
My Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/HarmonyKentOnline
Harmony, I enjoyed hosting you today. Your post is an inspiration to anyone who feels like giving up. Readers, be sure to leave Harmony a comment and be entered in her drawing. Also, check out the other authors on the roadshow by clicking the links below: