My Review of “The Car” and how the Action Comics#1000 Story Appealed to Me

Almost any comic book junkie or Superman fan would know about the famous cover to the 1938 Action Comics #1. The cover shows Superman holding a green car over his shoulders and crashing it into a boulder while three guys are looking on and freaking out. And one of those guys is the center of the short story, “The Car.”

“The Car” was written by Geoff Johns and Richard Donner and illustrated by Oliver Coipel. Johns is known for his run on the Green Lantern series as well as Blackest Night and Brightest Day. Richard Donner is known for directing the Christopher Reeve Superman movies. When I purchased the comic, I had read several cool stories but this particular story had a profound effect on me.

The short comic book story takes place at a 1930’s era auto body shop right after the events of the Action Comics #1 cover. The green car is a total wreck from the front and the first page shows two mechanics examining it. One of them asks what happened to the car and the other mechanic replies that he would have to ask the owner.

It is in this scene where we are introduced to the main character of the story and one of the guys on the cover of Action Comics #1. The man’s name is Butch. The mechanic asks Butch if an elephant hit his car and there is a flashback scene of Butch and his cronies in the car with a kidnapped Lois Lane running into Superman. Butch replies:

“A man wearing red underwear.”

He then also tells the mechanic that the man in the red underwear hung him on a telephone pole. With its art, the story does a great job at showing how he mechanic is in disbelief at Butch’s claim. The mechanic smirks and implies that Butch has had too much to drink and advises him that he will have the repairs to his car quoted. He also advised that if it were up to him and given the state that the car is in, he would junk the car. Butch asks for a ride home but the mechanic rhetorically asks him if his place looks like a taxi service.

In the next scene, the comic panel shows Butch walking alone in the middle the junkyard outside the shop. This scene is a homage to the quote: “look up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Superman!” When Butch looks up, at first thinks he sees a bird and then a plane only to see Superman ascending above him.

“It’s you,” he responds.

Superman calls the man by his name and chastises that he is a criminal who “gets away with just about everything” and “pushes the little guy around” and “dancing with whichever girl he picks out in a crowd.” Superman also notes to Butch that some people would that he “deserved to be back on that telephone pole. Or something higher.”

But Superman also informs Butch that he did some research on him and tells him that he knows that his father had died in World War I and that he had to look after his ailing mother. Superman also informs Butch that he knows that he became an orphan after his mother passed away. It is this scene that makes this story get interesting.

It is her that we see that Superman, being an orphan himself after his parents died on the doomed planet of Krypton, could relate to Butch.

Butch tells Superman that he was 13-years old when his mother died and whenever it got hot, he and the orphans had always wanted to go swimming but couldn’t due to having no pool.

The Man of Steel advises Butch to be a better person and advises that despite having “had your fair share of knocks” and “knocking the world back like you’ve done” he could make a decision. Superman encourages Butch to “be that person who wasn’t there for you for someone else.” And in poetic fashion, Superman gives Butch one piece of sage advise:

“It’s your life Butch, you can fix it…or you can junk it.”

Superman flies away from Butch and tells him that he would see him around.  After Superman flies away, we see Butch letting Superman’s wisdom marinate in his head. In the very last panel, we see a smiling and peaceful Butch, next to the newly repaired green car, opening up a fire hydrant for children who want to go swimming but can’t due to having no pool.

To me, Butch’s life was just like the green car that Superman crashed onto the boulder after rescuing Lois from the criminal and his cronies. The car was heavily damaged to the point where the mechanic advised to junk it since repairs on it would be expensive.

I talked to my sister about this scene and the year it took place and she noted that Butch must have had it tough getting by especially since he was living around the time of the Great Depression which had affected the lives of many Americans, especially those living in the Midwest.

Superman could have let Butch hang on the telephone pole but the Man of Steel knew Butch had a choice to change his life for the better or…like the car, he could just junk it since the cost would be too heavy. But the former criminal turned his life around and it can be assumed that after his encounter with Superman, he devoted his life to helping orphaned children and maybe even adopted one himself.  After all, Superman did advise Butch to “be that person who wasn’t there for you”, presumably a father or father-like figure, “for someone else.” Mind you, this probably didn’t happen overnight.

This story really appealed to me because Johns and Donner do an awesome job at writing how we are all like Butch. We feel that to get by in life, our adversity gives us the permission to act, or not act, and we ultimately pay the price. We have a Superman who would grab our cars and crash them into boulders and we are left with the choice to make our lives for the better or for the worse. I would be lying to you if I said that I did not have moments where I was Butch.

One notable Butch moment came when I was going through one of the hardest years at the University of California, Riverside. It was in a Journalism classes during the winter and spring quarters and I was struggling.  I felt that the 2008-09 school year  was plagued  with personal issues and with criticism of my writing when people were actually trying to help me. The not-so-sweet cherry on top was when a girl I had a crush on was dating another guy and even worse, she invited me to hang out with him, his cousin and her at the 2009 UCR Heat Block Party.

During Spring Semester, I was at my lowest and I spoke to my journalism professor who put me on blast for not doing my readings and that I often raised my hand too much instead of just listening to the lecture. My heart sank when she implied that she knew I was slacking off because she commented earlier that I was a smart guy and my writing had been improving the previous quarter. Like Superman, she grabbed my green car and rammed it into a boulder. And like Butch, I had a choice to either do better or continue to do worse.

I told my professor what I had been going through and she sat across from me and listened. I told her about my personal issues that were gnawing at me and about the girl I had a crush on. My professor smiled and advised me that to let the girl go and that she was not worth my time. She also advised me to listen more and to seek counselling. I think she also implied that she wanted me to be the writer I wanted to be instead of being the dude trying to prove to the world that he was a smart guy by raising his hand all the time. As a result, I rebounded and did good in the class which in turn helped me with my writing and adopt a more descriptive writing style.

That  day with my professor is one of the days that I cherish because, it taught me how to be more committed to my goals and less prideful and it also garnered an admiration for my professor. And when it came to the girl I had a crush on, I had finally accepted the fact that she was not interested in me and let her go after trying to work it out.

I know that the day is going to come where I run into a Butch who is only trying to get by in this world. And like my journalism professor and Superman, I am going to have grab that Butch’s green car and smash it into a boulder and advise him or her that he or she had a choice to make life for better or for worse. We all experience those moments whether from the point-of-view of a Butch or a Superman.

If there is anything that “The Car” taught me, it is that when it comes to our lives, we always have a choice to “fix it…or you can junk it.”

Life Is Like the Kessel Run

solo-chewbacca-lando-beckett-qira-han-falcon-cockpit
Photo Credit: Disney & Lucasfilm Ltd.

As I sit down and write this, I began looking back at the good times and the bad times in my almost 32-years of existence. I have come to realize that I am not perfect nor invincible. I am neither almighty or immortal. I’m an proud idiot who loves comic books and science fiction, and pro-wrestling. I enjoy writing, blogging or podcasting about those genres. And you know what? I’m damn proud of it. You read that right. And it if wasn’t for my admiration for those things, I don’t think I would piece together how the the world works.

When it comes to my life and all of what I just mentioned above, I think of the Kessel Run. I write this because when I saw Solo: A Star Wars Story, I was once again that 10-year old boy who wanted to be Han Solo. I didn’t want to be Luke Skywalker. I wanted to be Han Solo. I wanted to have the Millennium Falcon as my own ship. I wanted Princess Leia to be my girlfriend. I wanted to be a general of the Rebel Alliance. Hell, I wanted to be frozen in carbonite. I wanted to tell people at the right damn moment to ‘never to me the odds.’ Say what you want but, that movie brought those desires back.

When I saw that scene of Han flying the Falcon right into the an uncharted path in the Kessel Run with TIE Fighters chasing him. There was debris that could have gotten Han and his friends killed. Or even worse. The Falcon could have been blown up in a giant ball of Coaxium. But with faith in himself and his pilot abilities, Solo beat the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs. It wasn’t like the Corellian woke up one morning with a huge smile on his face and walked up to Chewbacca and said: “Ya know Chewie, I’m going to beat the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs.” No, this was just the icing on the cake. Han wanted he and his friends to survive and live.

The point I’m making is that in my life, I have had to go in sometimes through an uncharted path even if I had a guide (Han had Lando’s droid L3 , albeit, she hated his guts). My Kessel Run like the one in Solo has been full of debris. One of them finding out about my diagnosis of Aspergers at age 17 and Von Hippel Lindau Syndrome nine years later at age 25. Such debris had bruise and battered me just like the debris in the Kessel Run nearly wrecked the Falcon. And yes, such debris probably would have killed me.

But even though I was terrified, I got through it. I knew Han was terrified despite knowing he was an amazing and phenomenal pilot. He didn’t want to die but he knew that he didn’t get out, the Imperial were going to blow him and his friends sky high.

I feel that we all have to run our own Kessel Run. I do it everyday when I go to work. The debris could come in the form of a customer yelling at me or a write up from a supervisor. I go through the Kessel Run when it comes doing my podcasts. The debris could come from a trolling listener who always has something to say. I go through the Kessel Run when I am dealing with VHL. A debris could come in the form of a surgery (granted my surgeon at Mayo Clinic sometimes reminds me of Wedge Antilles). I go through the Kessel Run when freelance writing. The debris could be in the form of a reader pointing out that I misquoted someone or said an unsubstantiated fact. The Kessel Run is everyday. It is in all of us.

Now as I write this, I think of WWE Superstar Joe “Roman Reigns” Anoa’i. He definitely had to fly through his Kessel Run and a debris came in the form of Leukemia. When I heard the news that his Leukemia had returned…I felt shocked and sadness. How could this bigger than life wrestler go through such a thing? Well…I don’t know the answer to that question. All I do know is that he is human. And this guy has been through so much debris in his Kessel Run. The fans booed him out of the building despite him being the good guy and going out to the WWE ring with a smile on his face. And he prevailed. But he is not finished with his run yet.

I even think of Alden Ehrenreich when many of the fans trashed him for being in Solo. He had to go through his Kessel Run when he ran into debris in the form of the many fans giving him flak and the rumors said that he needed an acting coach. For what it was worth, he did a damn good job as Han Solo and was his very own Han Solo. Even Harrison Ford said that he should be his own Han Solo. And he did it with a smile on his face and Solo actually was liked by some fans. It was a true Star Wars movie and most certainly better than The Last Jedi.

I could name a couple more examples of many people (real and fictional) who went/are going through the Kessel Runs of their lives: My grandparents, my parents, my siblings, my aunts and uncles, my cousins, my nephews, Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, AJ Styles, Becky Lynch, Rick Grimes, George Washington, Dave Ramsey, Rachel Cruz, Daryl Dixon, Maggie Rhee, Glenn Rhee, Michonne, Joseph Pulitzer, Chris Jericho, Harriet Tubman, John F. Kennedy, Jackie Robinson, Clark “Superman” Kent, Steve “Captain America” Rogers, Bruce “Batman” Wayne, Barbara “Batgirl” Gordon, Barry “The Flash” Allen, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson…I can name many. We all are going through a Kessel Run. Rich or poor. Man or woman. Republican or Democrat. Black, white, yellow, brown, green, red, blue. The Kessel Run does not discriminate. You will go through it just like Han did, I promise you but, it will be fun and worth it as long as you have faith in yourself. And it would be scary but it would be fun.

In conclusion…I just wanted to thank Han Solo (Harrison Ford and Alden Ehrenreich) for helping me make sense of my life. If it wasn’t for Han Solo, I feel like I wouldn’t get some part of my life. In some sense…I feel like Han Solo an influence on my life much like Zorro was to Batman.

Superman made me believe that a man could fly. Batman made me believe that a man could fight through tragedy. Han Solo made me believe that a man can overcome the odds as long as he told the doubters to: “Never tell me the odds!”

My final message to you people: never let anyone tell you the odds, no matter the debris in your life called the Kessel Run.

 

 

 

 

In Defense of Nora West-Allen

Photo credit: CW Network and DC Comics

“Time Bomb,” the 16th Episode of the fifth season of the Flash was indeed an episode that dropped a bomb on Team Flash. With much prodding from Sherloque Wells, Nora West-Allen, aka XS, and the Fastest Daughter Alive was revealed to have been working with the Flash’s nemesis the Eobard “Reverse-Flash” Thawne in the year 2049. With the truth out, this caused Barry Allen to jail his own daughter in the meta cell. Nora apologized to her father for lying to him for which Papa-Flash responded “So am I.” Talk about grounding your child for hanging out with a bad influence.

I did a poll on Twitter for the Flashcast which is a podcast segment that I do for the Podcast on Earth-2 regarding Barry’s decision to jail Nora. In the poll, I asked if Barry was right to jail his daughter after the revelation. By a landslide vote, most people have sided with Barry on this one. As for me, I am mixed on the issue.

The reason behind my ambivalence is that as a long-time viewer of the Flash (and someone who has started to like Nora’s character), I can see both motivations of father and daughter.

In Barry’s point-of-view, his beloved daughter was in cahoots with the very man that killed his mother when Barry was only 11-years old. What’s ironic is that Nora is the name of Barry’s mother. So, for his daughter to be working for his mother’s killer must have got him  feeling (rightfully so) some kind of way (an obviously not-so-good feeling). Let’s not forget the hurt Thawne has done to others. Barry’s father, Henry Allen, was framed for a crime he did not commit, several people were affected by the particle accelerate explosion and woken up with powers they did not ask for, and many others were killed.

Now, in Nora’s point-of-view, we see a young naïve woman who had just learned that she has these extraordinary powers she did not ask to inherit from her father. In addition to that, she had to grow up without a father and with a mother who was overprotective of her. When Nora found out that she had powers, it became her mission to travel back in time to meet her heroic father in person who disappeared before she was born. But to do that, she was going to need to get help from more than the archives or exhibits from the Flash Museum could provide her. She wasn’t going to need something…she was going to need someone to help teach her about her abilities.

Enter Eobard Thawne, the greatest nemesis of the Flash and the murderer of her grandmother.

Uncle Eobard had all the knowledge of all things Speed Force. And even more, he could give Nora what she wanted: the chance to meet and possibly save her father. As a result, Nora learned to run back in time. And with that, she met her father Barry at his wedding to Iris West before it was crashed by Nazis (God, I hate Nazis).

What I am writing is that I understand how Barry felt and why he did what he had to. After all, his daughter was taking direction from the man that killed his mother (her grandmother) and hurt others. But I also understand Nora’s point-of-view. This was a young woman who had never seen her father and who was overprotected by her mother. After watching every episode from this season and seeing more of Nora’s relationship with Thawne, there is no doubt in my mind that Future Iris dampened Nora’s powers because she feared that Nora would seek the Reverse-Flash for answers. I also have no doubt in my mind that somehow, Thawne took out the dampener from Nora and taught her about the Speed Force while he fed her lies about Iris. In other words, Nora was manipulated in the guise of a promise that with her abilities, she would be able to see and save her father.

Think about how you would feel if given the opportunity to see a loved one. What would you do? What hoops would you jump to do so? Or what about when it came to just saving the world? What would you do? Who do you know would have the best expertise to give you what you need when it came to your abilities? Barry of all people should know the answers to those questions.

Like Nora, he sought the help of Reverse Flash and with the knowledge that the bastard killed his mother. First time was when he learned that he could run back in time to see his mother and change history. First time around, he realized that doing so would jack up the timeline. The second time Barry had to sought Thawne’s wisdom was when he needed to have the Tachyon device fixed to improve his speed.  The third time around was after Zoom murdered Barry and thus Barry did run back in time and save his mother. This resulted in Flashpoint where everything was nearly out of whack. And guess who Barry sought to restore the time line? You guessed it, it was Uncle Eobard who advised the Scarlet Speedster that his mother had to be killed for everything to be almost normal or at least close to it. And the fourth time was to prepare a device that would take down Cicada. And let’s not forget, Barry himself acknowledged that he too thought keeping secrets protected his loved one. Maybe this would be a teachable moment for both father and daughter.

Barry and Nora have a lot in common when it comes to being the hopeful and trustworthy heroes they are. I feel that Barry is going to realize this is later episodes as the fifth seasons comes to an end. Nora is a reflection of the curious and confused speedster Barry once was. Both had Thawne as a father figure who mentored them and taught them everything about themselves and the speedforce. Both longed to see their fathers. And both had to realize that their powers are a reminder that they are not gods. They are people given a gift and a special purpose. Sooner or later, Barry and the rest of Team Flash will forgive Nora for lying because they knew that given the situation, they would have listened to Thawne because of the impact that he had on their lives. That is my defense of Nora West-Allen.

My Review of Batman: White Knight

After reading Sean Gordon Murphy’s Batman: White Knight, I realized that the line between “good” and “evil” or “hero” and “villain” could often be blurred. The graphic novel, written under DC Comics Black Label, showed a different take on the dynamic between Batman and the Joker that we have never seen before. After being beaten almost to death, the Joker pleads to Batman that he could change. Dark Knight shoves down a couple pills, meant to medicate insanity, down the the throat of the Clown Prince of Crime. When the Joker is taken to custody, he starts to become more sane and starts referring himself to his given name: Jack Napier.

Many of Gotham City’s citizens are skeptical of the newly redeemed Jack Napier but he cleverly gets out of prison but this time, he does not escape like he usually did as the Joker. Jack Napier appeals to the people that his joker persona was a lie.

The redeemed Joker vows to start a new life in order to restore Gotham City to a safe city without corruption and without the Batman. Obviously, Batman does not believe Napier and keeps an eye on him while the former villain uses Backport, a community of minorities, low income earners, and high levels of crime to gain support in his crusade to become councilman. And he has none other than Harley Quinn at his side, as always, to do his bidding. It seems that Gordon Murphy wrote Backport to represent the current divide going on in the United States of America; the division between two political party’s, the division between the patriarchy and feminism, the division between all races, the division between rich and poor, and so forth.

As Napier becomes popular, Batman and the Gotham City Police Department become less popular due to Napier continuing to expose the corruption and the apparent hypocrisy of Gotham’s elite. This leads even Nightwing, Batgirl, Commissioner Gordon, and many others to slowly distance themselves from the Batman and question his methods. The story ends with a really poignant twist that I don’t want to spoil but it is a twist that I felt would make people understand why Jack Napier was actually the hero Gotham needed while Batman was the hero that Gotham deserves, in reference to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight.

Another Nolan reference that came to mind while reading this novel was the quote that Harvey Dent (Two-Face) said: “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”

I feel that Muphy Gordon’s writing used that quote as the theme of White Knight. Murphy’s Batman, started out as a myth and then an ally to the GCPD, eventually became to be viewed as a villain when the Joker, under his Napier persona, exposed the danger Batman presented to the people of Gotham by only protecting Gotham’s wealthy elite and enacting his war on crime in the low class areas like Backport. In addition, Batman’s seemingly unwillingness to share his technology with the Gotham Police was also brought to question by Napier.

Overall, I enjoyed this comic and it wasn’t just because I am a Batman fan. Gordon Murphy’s writing really showed me how Batman and Joker are almost one in the same. As a result, Murphy Gordon has become one of my Batman writers next to Grant Morrison and Frank Miller.

Murphy used his writing to show how Batman and Joker are like two sides of the same coin or a yin and yang. Harley Quinn pointed out that the Jack was so much like Batman and that they actually both wanted the same thing: to protect Gotham and make it safe. I also loved the art done by Murphy and the coloring by Matt Hollingsworth.

Not to digress, but I felt that other mediums have used the same brilliant dynamic that Murphy used between his Batman and Joker to tell their stories. In WWE, Becky Lynch seemingly a “villain” had the fans turn on Charlotte Flair who was a “hero” by reminding them that the latter had everything handed down to her because she was the daughter of Ric Flair. As a result, just like the people of Backport rallying behind Napier and turning on Batman, the WWE Universe rallied behind Lynch and turned on Charlotte Flair. In a sense, it can be argued that Becky Lynch and Charlotte, like Batman and Joker, are two sides of the same coin; both are competitive want the same prize: the WWE Women’s Championship. Could Becky Lynch aka the Irish Lasskicker, and now the self proclaimed “Man” be WWE’s Jack Napier or White Knight? Perhaps, Jack Napier and Harley Quinn would agree and maybe that is what the higher ups at the WWE are cleverly leveraging.

I read an article where Sean Gordon Murphy plans on writing a sequel to the White Knight that centers around how Napier became the Joker and what actually happened to Jason Todd in that reality. The book is set to come out in Sept. 2019 and I am looking forward to reading it. Overall, Batman: White Knight has become one of my favorite Batman stories since Batman: Year One, Batman: Dark Victory, and Batman and Son and it is a must read even if you are not a Batman fan.

 

My First Time Back In Journalism: A Journey Towards Getting Back on Track

It has been four years since I wrote an article for a publication but, as of September of this year, I finally decided to return to my long-lost love: journalism.

When I attended college a decade ago, I decided to pursue journalism and writing. I’ll admit, it was Clark Kent who inspired me to become a journalist and a steward of the truth. I believed in the freedom of the press and its power to hold governments and others accountable for their actions. I was writing for the school newspaper and getting constant feedback from peers. However, when 2008 came, the economy took a dump and that was when things started to change.

After graduating in June 2011, I could not land a journalism job.  I tried to knock on doors to get employment at the local newspaper near my university. Nothing happened.

Like so many millennials, I had to settle for a job that was unrelated to what I studied for. I will admit that back then, I should have thought outside the box and started a blog or kept in touch with my professors and friends from my creative writing classes. But I was too caught up with the crap economy that I ended up taking a job as an substitute instructional assistant for a school district.

It was here when my love for journalism, or writing in general, began to fade. I accepted the jaded fact that I wasn’t going to become a journalist or write ever again due to the dwindling opportunities.  The jadedness (obviously, not a real word) got more worse when someone who I considered close told me that I would suffer if I decided to pursue journalism further. I gave up.

However, there was a little sliver of my inner writer left inside of me.

That small part of me still championed writing clear, crisp, and shorted sentences. That part of me still motivated me to consult Strunk and White’s Elements of Style whenever I was on the verge of writing a long and wordy sentence like this: I was always in a bind, never thinking before doing something that could possibly be beneficial to one person yet potentially detrimental to my state of being. See what I did there? Yeah, I guess I tried to hard. Anyway, that part of me still loved reading books and the news. As I write this, I believe that my inner writer had to be dormant for a while. And with that, I had the opportunity explore other avenues.

For awhile, I tried to medical field but long story short, I flunked a community college physics class. This was not my first go at the medical field. During my first year in college, I tried so damn hard to pass chemistry but I got a “F” for my efforts. As for that position as an instructional assistant? I decided to quit since it was not for me and moved back home to my family to continue my journey. Next, I tried to go for computer programming; it got boring staring at a computer screen and putting my fingers through hell trying to compose code when I should have been composing an article. However, I did some short internship stints at two local community newspapers where my inner writer was reignited but burned out after they ended. Then I gave accounting a shot and thought that I would become a CPA. I confess that I failed my first accounting class but unlike my failed medical endeavor or my quest to become a journalist, I was not going to give up. I took the class again and passed and then passed the second class as well. I felt like I was on a roll and even got a job as an accounting clerk at a local state office but, a year after getting that job, I was let go.

After three months of questioning why I got let go from my job, some people in my family reminded me of what my true purpose was. When my older brother came by to visit me and my family, we just started talking about the news again. My interest slowly evoked. But I had to ask myself: Is this what I really wanted to do?

That was when I decided to go to a journalism networking event and after that event, I am happy to say that I am once again, back to doing journalism. Right now, I am a freelance writing and I am doing my first assignment in four years. I know in my heart that this is something I want to do and no matter what anyone says, I know that I will do it.

The current assignment is a fun one and it involves a lot of investigation and research. I am not going to go through too much detail about it but let’s just say that I am looking forward to talking to people from different walks of life. I am looking forward to telling their stories and sharing them with the audience like I did back in my creative writing classes in college.

My internships back in Los Angeles were also helpful in giving me the experience I needed to continue pursuing journalism; this was something I should have done as soon as my internship stints ended. This reminded me of what Walter Mosley, the author of the book Devil in the Blue Dress, said: “If you want to be a writer, you have to write every day. The consistency, the monotomy, the certainty, all vagaries and passions are covered by this daily reoccurrence.”

I have to water the plant of writing everyday or it would whither and die. I have to be committed and I have to stay committed. I have to eat, breath, and sleep writing.

A non-fiction creative writing profossor ingrained this into my head when he wrote candidly about my writing performance. I would forever value his advice because it was true.

As I start on my first assignment in four years, I am going to expect a lot of challenges. I am going to see some victories and some losses. There will be no gains without any pains. I know that I can succeed and I will.

I want everyone reading this to realize that there is no shame in following your goals. Whether it is in a good or bad economy, whether a close friend, loved one, or whoever encourages you or discourages you, or…whatever. You are in control of your future. Not the outside influences. What matters is that a bad economy, fears, someone, or whatever someone says cannot dictate how we live our dreams and how we pursue them.

Clark Kent the journalist and the superhero known as Superman can attest to that.

 

 

 

 

The Story of How I Chose to Become A Writer

When I was little, I always enjoyed writing. I can remember creating a newspaper that centered around the crayfishes in my fourth-grade classroom. Obviously, there was only one paper in syndication because only I wrote it and only I read it. A couple years later, my love for essay writing is developed well into the closing days of my eighth grade year in middle school. However, this craze was later suppressed due my focus on pursuing the sciences in high school and aspiring (not really because I only wanted to to do it for the money) to work in the medical field. This suppression would only last for almost my entire high school career until I became fixated on improving on my writing in my 12th-grade AP British literature class. It was there that my love of writing underwent a resurgence. My love of writing even became more obvious when I took an college English course at University and wrote several essays including one related to Kafka’s work the Metamorphosis (A book I highly recommend to anyone). And it was the year after that I decided to pursue writing.

Now many people have supported me on my mission to become a writer while I have also had my share of detractors or doubters. But I guess that is the beauty of pursuing your dreams isn’t it?

In his book, “No Is a Four Letter Word,” pro-wrestler Chris Jericho narrates that as a kid growing up in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada, he wanted to be a pro-wrestler and a rock star. Like anyone else pursuing a goal, he had his supporters and he had his detractors. And for this detractors, he had this brilliant quote that I am now trying to live by:

“You see, I NEVER thought I was too small or not talented enough to do what I wanted to do, and I didn’t appreciate anybody who felt differently. The way I saw it, you were either with me or against me in my quest for fire, and if you were against me, well, you were a muttonhead and I really didn’t have any use for you anyway.”

-Chris Jericho

Jericho mentions that many people doubted that he would be successful as a pro-wrestler due to his short height and average stature. However, about two decades later, the man becomes the first ever undisputed WWE World Heavyweight champion and from there on, has a stellar career in pro-wrestling. In addition, he also cultivated a stellar career as a rock n’ roll musician. How many people could say that? Apparently, Chris Jericho can and it was because he believed in himself. The dude followed his goals.

I feel that is where I am at in the beginning of the third decade in my life. My twenties were a decade of exploring the different avenues I could go into but would very likely have some to no success. Although deep down, I knew that I wanted to be a writer, I have tried my hand at several careers at the urging of others.

Medical field? As I have mentioned before, I have heard that the money was good but, due to my somewhat lack of patience…the poor patient would have a sense of bad bedside manner and report me to the medical board. Goodbye medical license; it was nice knowing ya. School teacher? Going back to the lack of patience…the kids in my class would be so thrilled to have a substitute teacher. I like kids but…not in the classroom.  Accountancy? Well…I’m okay with crunching some numbers but who wants to be counting money all day? Besides, I did have a civil service finance job that only lasted a year when I thought it could have lasted me more than two. Yeaaaaaah. Let’s just leave it at that, shall we? Computer program? Boring. Though coding seems to be integrating in most fields. So, I guess it could be useful. But as a career? I couldn’t handle spending hours on end staring at a computer screen doing nothing but endlessly putting in code after code. ‘(No shade on computer programmers of course.)

I want to go into writing because I feel that it is what I can do. It is a gift. It is a hobby. It is a way of escape. It is my superpower.

After going through several careers (or learning about them) during my twenties, I ultimately decided to settle on being a writer. If I did not have a desire for those things  have mentioned then, there was no way I was going to have a desire for those things now.

Now, if you were to ask me the billion dollar question , “why become a writer?” I would tell you: “that’s a good question…”

Well along with the things I have mentioned in the first paragraph, I was inspired to become a writer after watching the Christopher Reeve Superman movies as a kid. Sure I wanted to be Superman but, I also wanted to be Clark Kent. As a kid, I desired a pair of glasses and wore some toy red rimmed glasses emulating the mild mannered reporter. I pictured having my name on a byline and in the second year at college, it eventually it happened at my college newspaper. It was a huge accomplishment. However, I had hit some rough patches during the year 2008 which I would prefer not to mention. All I can say is that it affected my aspirations as a writer and that was when more detractors came. As I heard their voices, the seeds of doubt grew into my nogin and that was when I began to go aimlessly from career to career after college graduation. It wasn’t until post civil service finance job that I really did want to pursue writing. Why else was I not thriving in those other careers?

I need to believe in myself that I can pursue this ancient yet awesome and adventurous field. I may not be in the ranks of Hunter S. Thompson, Mark Twain, Erest Hemingway, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin or F. Scott Fitzgerald, but I know that if I at least dream about my goals as a writer and pursuing them, I know that I will succeed. And I know that I can go to sleep knowing that I made the decision to pursue my dream as a writer.