Monday, February 7, 2011

A Good Mentor Indeed

But who was I to stand out among professional writers?

There was a time in my life when I believed that those who can get their works published are those who only deserved to write. But growing up, I found writing as a healthy habit that can make someone share his thoughts when his mouth gone dry. And even when my grammar often gone absurd, I wrote and read, for this is quite a way I can let things out of my little system.


That was what I have been for the past three years in a ladies’ dormitory beside my school – a girl whose mouth could not speak. Looking back, that college life of mine has been rotating inside the four walls of my room like an animal fenced in a zoo. Everyone saw me smiling in school; but when classes ended, I always found myself growing in desperation for I was back in my little cage room. I barely talked to my former and present roommates for they have their own busy businesses to do. In fact, I barely saw them because they always have their 'duty' and I don’t have such. I seemed so different in that place. And so I just cried every now and then to comfort and convinced myself. No one has ever knew the whole story of this chapter in my life even my family. But I knew I wasn't weak. I knew I what have to do to break the spell that has been pushing me to depression. I needed to do something that would keep the bad thoughts away without wasting my time.
No, I could not afford to have a television or a personal computer in my place and I was simply lazy to go to malls to hang out. It was not just me. But then, looking back, I vividly remembered an old friend chatting about a touching love story movie adapted from a book. He noted I must check the novel first before watching. And this is what I was looking for – a new hobby to color my lonesome hours – and even if I have never been a reader of lengthy English stories that could make my nose and brain bleed, I did. And with that, I found The Notebook of Nicholas Sparks in my hands, stealing away a three-day allowance in my poor pocket. I held it in my hands so tenderly as if it was a diamond. And as I turned the pages and witnessed the lives of the people in that sweet, love story, I found myself reaching for my handkerchief while letting the final pages of the novel drowned my heart with love.

Simply, it moved me. It was very certain that the novel made me cry. The satisfaction I was feeling right then was overwhelming. It gave me a good cry of comfort. I closed the book and then my eyes, the images of the story still lingering in my head. I breathed with a sigh of relief and opened my eyes again. It felt like the characters were somewhere else in this planet and real. I saw their faces and heard their voices in my head as if I just met them a while ago. And the following day after that, I excitedly told my classmates right away how wonderful that story is and in return, they told me how amazed I was with it and how wide my smile was.

It was alright if they did not understand how I cherished the story. I found a new handy friend which I can have wherever I wanted. I read it again and again until I started highlighting the lines that seemed like quotes. I began to look at the unfamiliar words that I never seemed to notice before and search the dictionary for their meanings. I used the words in other sentences and recorded everything in a notebook. I realized that I gained more vocabularies and I could use it. I read it again, that time I have spoken the words aloud and trying my best to pronounce it right and clear. I retold the story to myself like a voice actress on radio, giving feelings to the dialogues and changing voices for each character. It felt like I was under a great but good spell and I loved it.

The next purchase began a month after. I wept for Dear John as I cried for the first story of Sir Sparks. This story proved me that tragedy is inevitable. In spite the fact that the story did not ended happily, it ended right. It showed how rare and painful an unconditional love could bring to a person and I believe that this kind of love still exists somewhere.

With the memories of the two stories that had taken a part of me, the next novel came into my hands without me knowing that I was becoming a fan, that I have been spending too much, that I was not so lonesome in my place anymore and that I was in a process of both learning and having fun.

Message in a Bottle, The Rescue, The Wedding and At First Sight came to me one by one as well. It shared a culture that wasn’t really familiar with me and I have loved exploring the world and meeting the people through the stories. Like the previous novels, they have become a part of me, sharing their lives as I shared mine with them.

Above every lesson that Sir Sparks taught me through his books, what made me so attached to his stories is the presence of a “father.” He always made it a point to see how loving a father could be and it just felt so heartbreaking that my father has never been one. Every story brought back the memories of my father when I was kid, when he left us for another family. I could have wished to have another father, but I simply couldn’t. And I felt so envious of the “father” characters and desired that my father could have been like them. I longed for a “daddy’s love,” a kind of love that only a father could give. There was a time in my life that I swore I would never forgive him, but Sir Sparks told me that forgiveness is the key to acceptance and peace. He gave me a new look to the image of a father and I was so thankful that I realized that it’s not too late to forgive and move on. Today, even without my father’s support, I was living in pursuit of good life, the life that my father did not give us. Without him, I would never be so persevering like this.

And every other lesson would pop up in my mind whenever I need it and I was so blessed that I have them with me. Nevertheless, I finally realized that as I count the novels that I have in my mini-bookshelf, I have been collecting them so preciously. It was like attending and keeping every course that Sir Sparks was teaching.

It had become a part of me. He had been teaching me the English language and inspiring me with my vision to create my own stories someday. I have loved his style and it brought me fun and excitement every time I purchase a book with his name. When I read, I learn words. When I learn words, I can write more. Looking back, writing have become my way of expressing my feelings and like the vision of every writer, I wanted to share it to others, too.

I knew I was not a professional writer, but Sir Nicholas Sparks made me realized that I can write, too. And the best way to communicate in words is to read and read and read. Writers like him have prepared books that will feed the minds of those who longed to learn. They scribbled different worlds in their papers so that we can explore ever side of the world and discover ourselves. It is up to us to make it happen.

As I sit here with my pen in hand and about to put is aside, I wished that I could express my gratitude to a good mentor that had brought great things in my life without him knowing. And looking back, I believed that those things have always been right.

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