At any rate, I started writing in a journal for myself on the day the first Gulf War started. I did it so that my children would have a record of what their mother thought during the war (I'd been reading a novel set in WWI). I continued it because I found it interesting. My entries were sporadic at first, but by the 8th grade, I was writing about myself and my life regularly.
This set the stage for my epiphany at CTY in the summer of 1994, just before the 9th grade: everyone had a purpose in life, I knew. Not everyone was aware of what theirs was. I knew mine, and I wondered why everyone else had such a hard time finding theirs. I was comedy. My life was a comedy.
I kept seeing, in my path, the banana peels, the little things that would inevitably trip me up. And I wondered how I should take it. They'd be there anyway. Should I take them straightfaced and painful, falling with stiff dignity and bruising myself every time? Or perhaps, should I roll with it, take my fall gently, with more show than pain, and bounce right back up giggling?
I was fourteen.
I knew the benefit to me, and was aware of the shadowy benefit to others, but not exactly what it was. At fourteen, "I should do this because it will be better for me because I'll be happier, and besides it will be good for others," is a sufficient reason.
I keep coming back to that every time I do a self-examination. (Okay, maybe not every time I do a breast self-examination, which incidentally every woman should be doing to make sure that all the lumps in there are supposed to be in there, but you know what I mean.) I live a comedy, and I derive benefit from seeing the funny bits, and others derive benefit by watching my antics. (Makes me sound like Miles on crack.)
I started writing my novel because my love life was doing some really screwed-up, hilarious things, and I wanted to keep a record of what the hell was going on. I figured that it would beat most of the YA novels I'd been reading, and be funnier than Peter David. I think I was right, in retrospect. It became fiction when I moved away from what was actually happening, and began filling in all the "it would have been funnier if" bits. To this day, my mind still confuses itself about which was the cause and which was the effect in the relationship between my novel and the real thing.
Who am I? I'm still not entirely sure, but this journal outlines a great deal of the possibilities, and hints at more.
But I know what I'm Meant to do, and that's been a good thing to help me. I'm surprised more people don't know, still.