"A writer? What do you have to write about? You're not oppressed. You're not gay."
That's what Shaun Brumder's dad says to him when he announces his desire to be a writer in the movie Orange County. Luckily for me, I am oppressed and I am gay. Not that I necessarily want to write about my gay oppression, but I have decided recently (or has it been always?) that I would like to be a writer. Words seem to have become more beautiful and expressive to me. I'm still an artist... but letters are my paint and blank pages are my canvas.
I'm currently working on a novel, A Tent in Summer, which seems to be evolving into something quite different than the original premise. "Books write themselves," Brian always says to me. In a way they do. My life seems to do the same. It blossoms, it unfurls, it unravels, it metamorphizes, it transcends beyond me and through me and with me and without me and sometimes I just hang on for the ride not knowing where it might lead me.
I decide things on a whim oftentimes. And sometimes my whims are fruitful and sometimes they are as barren as a desert. But regardless the outcome, my whims are my own. And I don't regret a single turn, for better or worse, that my life has taken. Every detour and off-ramp and roundabout and sideshow attraction has entertained me, scared me, uplifted me, shaped me, molded me into who I am.
Small dusty towns, Temple Square, farmland, tall buildings and seedy motel rooms in Los Angeles. The Book of Mormon, The Bible, Harry Potter, Lewis Carroll, Charles Dickens and Ray Bradbury. Proselytizing on Chilean soil, performing in community theater, Spanish lessons, art classes, animation, drama club, choir and Intro to Film. Otero Junior College, Brigham Young University, elementary, high school, Seminary, diplomas and awards. Soaps and lotions, suit coats and mannequins, hot dogs and popcorn. Paycheck to paycheck. Trips to San Francisco or Disney World or The Grand Ole Opry. Girlfriends, boyfriends, crushes, friends, enemies, family, love and divorce. Nights under the stars and days under the sun. Indoors and outdoors. Laughing and crying. Breathing in and breathing out. Stepping forward and stepping back. Falling down then getting up.
Today I applied to Utah Valley University here in Orem, Utah. Thirty-five dollars for the application fee; fifteen minutes of my time. Major? English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. Perhaps I'll be a successful author. Or perhaps I'll become an English teacher. Or perhaps I'll change my mind later. I guess I'll never know. I just trust that my life is heading somewhere, if not anywhere I've expected.