“I am participating in the Writing Contest: You Are Enough, hosted by Positive Writer.”
In 2010, my wife and I had been married for 29 years. In that same year, a popular Time Travel movie came out on DVD. Many of my friends recommended it, so we rented it and I hated it. The more I watched, the more upset I got. (I was screaming at the TV.)
My wife asked what was wrong.
“There was no rhyme or reason. They didn’t explain why. There was no resolution. He told her about the future and the past. Changing time has consequences, there HAVE to be rules!” I sputtered in a frenzy.
She smiled and said, “So why don’t you write about what Time Travelers’ CAN do?”
Thus, my first series, “Time Travel University” was born.
In the process of planning my story-line, I created several detailed characters sketches. One of these character sketches included a person returning to school after her spouse of 30 years died of cancer.
The day after my wife and I reached our 30-year anniversary, we discovered she had cancer. She was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer, but it had already spread to several major organs. In her case, if you looked at the x-ray of her liver there were so many spots they could not be counted. She died four and a half months later. To make matters worse, I was working on this story at the very moment she took her last breath.
I was devastated and blamed myself for writing rather than holding her hand. It took several months before I allowed myself to write again. It could have destroyed me but from my perspective… Heavenly Father was trying to prepare me for what was going to come.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized how many people shut down or give up on their dreams when they face tragedy. I started the series based on her input, now my motivation was totally different. If Heavenly Father could help me to overcome, then I could help others.
I expanded my characters based on a new premise. One character fell off a 50-foot waterfall and is terrified of water. Another character was abused as a child and when she fought back the entire family fell apart. There is also a character who got drunk at a party and accidentally killed his own sister. This wasn’t to depress my reader, this was to show EVERYBODY has something to overcome. These are my students, and part of the training is based on the idea you can’t help others until you help yourself.
If someone were to ask me about my style of writing, I would call it “Self-Help / Sci-Fi”. In my life, I could have been killed a dozen times over by now. Currently, I’m fighting cancer myself (for the second time), but writing gives me the strength to fight that battle. It’s not about me anymore, it’s about being able to help others. If you can share the pain and encourage, motivate or inspire others, I guarantee it will make you stronger too.
Obviously, not all trials are life and death. Writer’s Block, for example, is not usually something people become suicidal over; but it is very personal. We all have choices. A rock can drag you down or be a stepping stone to help you reach the next level.