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Words To Remember…

Friday, March 14, 2008
Posted in: Sherrilyn Kenyon

Reposted from the WordPress Blog

I was just over at Sherrilyn Kenyon’s My Space Blog, reading her latest post. It made me cry.

I know she’s a writer, but it’s one of those posts that really makes you look at your life, and gives you greater appreciation for the things that we tend to take for granted.

Her post begins:

I received an email earlier today that struck me vividly. It was a question from a fan asking me what it was like to live my life. To have good family and everything I have ever wanted and it made me want to cry on so many levels that it drove me here to the keyboard. She asked me how I was able to see my characters so vividly and the answer is simple. I’ve been there.

She continues:

I know what it’s like to live and love with fear, to be mocked with cruelty and to have to try and find shelter through the most vicious of storms. If there is one scene in all the books I relate to most, it’s the one of Zarek walking barefoot through the blizzard, seeking comfort. Of him standing outside, looking inside the cheerful house and wishing with all his heart that he was one of the happy, warm people inside.

At this point, I know I have to read on:

I know what it’s like to live in fear of being hit for nothing more than daring to meet someone’s gaze. There was a time in my life when I was too scared to even ask for a ketchup packet at McDonald’s because I didn’t want to be hit or insulted for the audacity. I know the courage it takes to put your life back together after it’s been shattered into pieces. To boldly stand up in front of the world, raise my fist at it and shout, “I am here and I will not be your victim! I am a human being and I may not matter to you, but I do matter to me and I will not let you hurt me anymore!”

Finding that self worth, that strength inside to stand and fight when all you want to do is curl up and die is the hardest thing. But as my mother so often said, I came into this world backwards and I’ve been that way ever since. Because nothing I ever did as a child was good enough to please those around me, I learned to not care what other people thought of me. If I’m to be judged, it will be for who I am not for who I’m trying to be to make someone else happy.

I will not let my children know the hurtful words that echo inside me from my childhood. They won’t grow up in fear and hurt. They won’t flinch when someone raises a hand near them and they won’t sit with their back to the wall because they’re afraid of being hurt if they let their guard down for even a heartbeat. My greatest gift to them is normality.

That last line really struck a cord with me. So often we think that normality is just a synonym for boring, when really, it probably means that you are loved and cherished by those around you, or/and that you have people around you who make sure that no harm befalls you.

Worst of all, I know what it’s like to be homeless. To live in fear of being found out that I don’t have shelter for my baby. No human being should ever know the degradation of not having enough money to eat and being mocked by others because of it. I have been that person you passed on the road, walking to work in her brown uniform and a light windbreaker in the winter time so that she could work a ten hour shift and then walk home– grateful that I had a job where they’d allow me to buy my dinner at half the price so that I could at least eat one meal that day.

I think that as a reader, I sometimes forget that authors have lives outside their writing. We forget that they have histories and have probably experienced hardships that we know nothing about. We forget that their lives aren’t always the moonlight and roses that we imagine them to be. It’s good to be reminded that after the Happy Ever After, the sometimes harsh realities of real life continues for the creators of the books that we most hold dear.

I wont post any more excerpts on here, but you should really go and read her post, it’s truly heart-breaking, yet at the same time, life-affirming.

Via Lauren Dane’s blog


  • Nora Roberts
    March 14
    9:50 am

    Such a strong story, and yes, affirming.

    It took a lot of courage to live it, and to tell it.


  • December Quinn/Stacia Kane
    March 14
    11:48 am

    Just lovely.

    I met her once, at Dragon Con several years ago (she was part of a panel that I was stunned to see was sparsely attended.) I made a total dork of myself but she was incredibly nice and kind.


  • Helena
    March 14
    1:04 pm

    I have just the opposite – and quite visceral – reaction. What happened to me as a human being, the trauma, the personal horrors, are part of the reason I write. They are, if you will, the fuel. It would never be my choice to verbalize my experiences. I never want to stand above my work, be singled out for anything other than being a great writer.


  • azteclady
    March 14
    1:36 pm

    For those of you who might be interested, Ms Kenyon (and many other authors) are at OmegaCon this weekend.


  • Thank you.


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