Over time, as I’ve watched society slowly try to cave in on itself, I’ve thought more and more about “Parable Of The Sower”. The gripping apocalyptic novel by Octavia Butler follows life in a futuristic, codeless hellscape through the eyes of a 16 year old black girl named Lauren. The book follows her day to day life in a world of ever increasing uncertainty; where none are sure whether today will be their last, and whatever innocence remains in the lives of her and the other children are slowly being shredded away. What really makes Sower worthwhile is how it handles the major themes of life that we grapple with daily: survival, strength, love, sex, family and, at the forefront, religion. Butler’s ruminations through the eyes of a young girl are engrossing, chilling and poetic–and the book itself is a magnetic deconstruction of the “comfortable” society built for us. Personally, I’ve thought about this book a lot as I’ve watched the world slowly eat itself, bit by bit, each day; finding the story it lays out even scarier. If you’re interested in finding a new book to read, this is definitely one to add to the list.
More than any other medium, books are a gateway to the ultimate fantasy world. More than TV, movies or even music. They require the imagination to to work overtime, even with comic books there to paint a picture for you. For those of you who haven’t caught on yet, I like to entertain the idea that I’m a real writer-you know, a guy who writes (or at least wants to write) professionally… for a career… to live off of. Foolish I know, but everyone has a dream. I’ve been reading books, mainly comics and graphic novels, since I learned to read. From Calvin & Hobbes to the batman detective comics to when I first discovered the dark knight returns and Watchmen, these were the books that shaped my world. Sure I took cues from fiction books and pop culture essays, I mean they’re the reason I write the way I do, but those comics formed the prisms of my imagination.
I’m in love with creating worlds in my mind; because why not? Real life is full of shit and daydreaming and fantasizing are the only things around to keep you sane. Disappearing into books and comics, or even films, assist with the process. Years have been spent hiding in secret forts, spaces in closets or within the confines of textbooks that you’re supposed to be reading. (And oh how you dreaded being called to read a chapter in class as a result.)
All of this hullabaloo is my way of talking myself into believing I can join this industry of people I’ve admired. It’s a tough world; you’re young and still full of hope, still believing you can write for that magazine you love or making that film that you’ve wracked your brain over day in, day out or even coming up with that graphic novel you’ve been thinking about for a long time. It’s definitely a weird time, life hasn’t made you completely bitter yet. (Yet.) That’s what keeps me moving I guess; not fame, money or glory but the undying hope that I can be an industry guy. The type of writer that all my favorite writers enjoy reading stuff from, that would be better than anything.