It is important for me to write daily. Yet, burn out is a thing I spent last month recovering from along with some intense personal struggles. I could wax poetic on the struggles but let’s talk about one in particular- not writing. I have not written with any regularity for several weeks. I was not able to and for a person that has struggled to keep writing in any capacity, this bothered me.

For years, I have wanted to write. Yet my own insecurities on the art stopped me. Not one particular person in my family, although the journal violation early in my life made me reluctant to start, I would look at the finished products given in libraries and the myriad of books tossed in the bin or casts off shelves and get reluctant to want to put my own work in the ring.

So let’s talk about writing.

Or writers that impress me. I think it was the monthly paperback romance mill that gifted me access to Beverly Jenkins and Nora Roberts. I know finding Beverly Jenkins was a coo in the realm of bodice-ripping works. Her collection included knowledge of incidents in the past of America as members of Black America attempted to make their way in certain parts of the country. I will always value her adding a voice of color into that arena.

But then I shifted into science fiction/fantasy and fell into the worlds of Anne Mc Caffrey. I adored more her smaller worlds than the time she spent on Pern. But I also enjoyed the time in Mercedes Lackey’s imagination. Her works were more influential as I left my teens. Not to say these are the only writers that touched me. I took a turn into Christopher Pike and R. L. Stine’s Fear Street for a few seasons. Horror could not keep its hooks in me the way science fiction did.

Then there is the infamous GRR Martin and JK Rowling of century fame and Stephanie Meyers that pulled at me to a degree. But they had not chance on Robert Jordan’s epic series in the early 2000s. I was saddened by his passing. And felt it a keenly as the loss of David and Leigh Eddings. Although their work was more an homage to male/female dynamics. I love their in-book nose tweaks. When you read their two-part series, you see the jokes and are warmed that they left a trail for you to see their curious intimacies.

And then there is Neil Gaiman and Jacqueline Carey, two artists that readers should approach with care. Their bodies of work remind me that magic is in the air. And that I am not as far away from Octavia Butler as I think some days. But let’s see if I can channel more James Badwin into this year of essays.

Taking my words out to ‘lunch’.