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Tuesday, December 27, 2011


This post has been inspired by a post from a fellow blogger by the name of Ben Ditty, Nice old spice is his blog and I have had a lot of fun reading his work, and seeing his responses to comments. Although he does have a strange fetish with small cone shaped hats....

Fantasy comes closer to reality.
                The other day in class we were discussing an essay and the instructor( Crumrine, 4/15/2011) made a statement (I’m paraphrasing, and possibly completely butchering) that people give fiction altogether  too much power; that they believe fiction will influence people to act in a way they normally would not.  While I agree with him for this particular situation, I don’t believe fiction is given enough power. 
                 When I say fiction, I’m speaking of fantasy, and science fiction, but I would like to think that my beliefs hold true in all realms of fiction.  One small story can have the power to change your life. I started reading fiction in about the sixth grade. At the time I didn’t realize it, but I think it saved my life.
                The Smallest Dragon Boy (McCaffery, Get off the unicorn, 1973, Del Rey) was my first venture into the world of fiction; I was in the sixth grade, and the year was 1989. For the past six years I had been in anger management, because of fighting, and outbursts in school. My life was a living hell. My mother and stepfather beat me on a regular basis. My teachers treated me like I was slightly retarded. The other students verbally and physically abused me. I had suffered sexual abuse from a family member.
                I still remember that day. I was sitting in class after being called into the principal’s office; the principal had spent fifteen minutes or so telling me what a horrible child I was, and that my life wasn’t going to amount to anything. I felt hopeless, and small, and to top it all off my teacher wanted me to read. I didn’t have the will power to get into trouble again so I opened my book up.
 A picture of a boy and a small dragon were what piqued my interest.  I started to read. In the time it took the rest of the class to read I had read it three times. The story spoke to me. No, the story shouted to me!  You may be small, you may be a dork, and the world may use you as a punching bag, but in the end you will end up with a bronze dragon. I started actually reading that afternoon, and I haven’t stopped since.
I’ve read thousands of books, tens of thousands of stories over the last twenty years, and that one short story has had the most impact. I think in fiction the authors can be more honest. I think they can tell the uncomfortable, the ugly, the sad, the scary, and the beautiful truths that they couldn’t tell any other way. 
Chris McQueeney 4/2011


christopher said...

Amen, brother. I have had those experiences too. I would say they are rare, though. But it is more than that. I often sense when a writer is telling the truth as best he knows it, or is sharing through his art some real facts of the world, such as Martin Cruz Smith wrote such cool stuff about Russia as seen through the eyes of a Russian cop. I have not only had my life changed emotionally and spiritually, I have learned a great many trustworthy lessons.

Ben Ditty said...

A very touching, profound piece. Very happy to have inspired you.

Wine and Words said...

I smile as I read this. WORDS are so powerful, written or spoken, kind or unkind. POWERFUL. Fiction or fantasy. I can't remember the first book I read. I was an avid reader from the word "go" because fiction was such an escape from reality.

The Poetry Palace said...

if you love writing short stories,

check out short story slam here;

submit your entry, in story or poetic form, have fun sharing.