“Its two a.m. and I can can’t sleep again, so I decided to sit down in this computer chair and just start writing again, not really knowing where I’ll end, but the voices of the past are telling me where I should begin and trying to fall back asleep has lost its appeal, so I sit back and wondering if any of this is even real.” J Cooper.

I’ve had this passion for story telling since I was boy, I started off hating to read, but the words were quiet and persistent, inviting me into these whole new worlds, filled with both magic and wonder, offering me an escape from the place I didn’t want to be and making me wish I could always be as I was, free and carefree as any kid. I wanted to live forever as a child, to always find myself on one adventure or another, to explore the world with wonder and imagination. I saw castles, fortresses, crept past enemy lines, discovered lost and hidden abilities that I never knew I had and I never wanted to let any of it again.

In books I would lose myself completely in their pages, becoming momentarily lost in the books I’ve read, imagining what it would be like to discover a den of thieves and to don that invisible cape, to right wrongs, to save princesses, to become the hero I always wanted to be and to live in those moments, even if they lasted for just a moment. But I would carry those stories with me, with the characters often becoming my friends and would often occupy my thoughts as I drifted off to sleep. Habitually dreaming of meeting those characters who I loved, respected and admired, befriending or falling in love with them as we shared an epic journey, which would make me cling to sleep and those memories of dreaming long after my waking hours. Growing up I was found to be a quiet and introspective, spending long car rides just staring out the window letting my imagination run rampant, my thoughts wonder.

It’s these experiences and the memories that carry me through the long and lonely days. It wasn’t long after I fell in love with reading that I stated writing my own stories, creating my own characters, some of which I still carry with me today and write about. I was eight years old by the time I started crafting my own stories, with their twist and turns, sharing them excitedly with family, friends and the teachers who marveled over my creativity and originality, which motivated me to only write more.

I fell in love with words and the art that comes with writing your very own story, in your very own voice, putting yourself and working aspects of those closest to you and the ones you admired into the stories you craft. Of course, every story I wrote had characters born from different parts of me. Some were how I saw myself, while some were everything I wished I could be and who were still perfectly flawed, while others were mirror opposites of me and everything I believed in. They represented me as I imagined if I were to lose or forget myself, making the villains I would write all the more interesting and complex and born from the advice a young film maker gave me on a chance meeting when I was at Kings Island with my father, which is that even the most villainous of characters are never truly evil, most of the time they believe they’re doing the right thing.

My magic RingEven as a kid I believed that very few people ever thought of themselves as evil, less still ever wanted to be the villain. In their journey and in their eyes, they often saw themselves as heroes themselves. But every character has a journey, one that makes them who they are and often when I would sit in the car staring out the window I would imagine how my life would be with these different scenarios that often played on inside my head. Often wondering how I would have turned out if my father won custody instead of my mother, or if I stopped believing in God and fell in with a bad crowd, how would I turn out.

Then one day I sat at the dinner table, working on an outline to a story I was writing for my friends, when my mother asked me what I wanted to do after high school. And do you know what she said to me when I told her I wanted to be a writer? She laughed and said “You shouldn’t, your chances are one in a million of you being successful,” And I said “Maybe, I’m that one,” And she said “But you’re not, instead you should consider going in the military or getting into politics, because you have a better shot at being the President then you ever will being a writer.” She tried telling me I should give up on my dreams and to pursue a career where the financial success was more guanteed, she tried telling me to give up on the one thing that I loved, what made me feel alive and to simply give it up.

She didn’t care how much I loved to write, or that I felt like it was the one true thing that I could offer the world and how I dreamed of being able to change it. I know it may seem silly to you, but even back then I believed in words and if you could string together the perfect combination of words, you could save the world from itself. I was seventeen years old and I knew this to be true, because I’ve already seen the change my words had created in the people around me. I’ve turned enemies into close friends and my friends became my best friends, my brothers and all because of writing, which was the catalyst for everything. There were people who never liked me, who saw me as geek, a nerd, a loser, a fag, but I found my way with my words, sparking the sense of wonder of those around me, watching as they clung to every word I spoke and read to them the first page of my story, with my voice trembling and my hands shaking, until I looked up and saw all their eyes were upon me and leaning forward in their seats, with all of them listening to me, clinging to my every word. In the span of a few heartbeats and for the first time in my life, I had won over an entire room, I was thirteen then.

            Giving up on writing would never be an option and something that I always felt would cost me my very soul, because I had all these stories in me and these characters who wanted, needed to their tale to be told. And you know what I discovered by chasing my own dreams? My mother was wrong. And whatever she thought she saw in me was also wrong…Because I am that one in a million and so are you. We all have that something special inside of us, we’re born with storms, tidal waves, comets and forest fires raging on within us, we’re all born and gifted with magic and I for one was born in a magic time, in a magic world and no, not everyone could see what I saw then and what still see now. You see, we’re all born into this world of magic and wonder, connected my silver filaments of both chance and circumstance, and when I was child, I could talk to animals, sing to birds, read stories in the clouds and see my destiny in tiny grains of sand, the world was my magic ring and by its soft warm glow I protected, saved and changed the world countless times. Sometimes I was alone and sometimes I accomplished even greater feats with my brothers or the friends I made along the way, my world was in constant flux, growing and shrinking whenever friends came or went away, but no matter what, we were always connected by this web that connects and binds us all together. Friends, brothers, family and all the people we meet along the way on this journey called life, joining us, becoming connected, with some friendships lasting for only day while others forever. Learning slowly and over time that people will always come and go in our lives, no one leaves this world alive and those who leave us, leave behind permanent impressions and their fingerprints of who they were and what they meant to us on our very soul, for they may not always be with us, but their words will last forever in our hearts, the memory of those random strangers who came into our lives offering us their hand in friendship when we needed it, bonding in that single moment forever frozen in that one moment in time. The friends I made on vacation back when I was a kid, or more recently when I went to Fandom Fest in Louisville, Kentucky, making friendships I wouldn’t soon forget and all the like minded people I met, with the memories of who they were and the friendship we forged during my two day stay was and still is baffling to me, leaving me still wondering how and where they are now and if they ever got their flask signed by those two movie stars who we all loved and admired. Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Flannery.