My Why

I sit in the hard chair and fidget. Glance at the clock. Daft! Ten minutes till the bell and I have two questions to go on the quiz. Ok, question number 9, I know it says number 9. What I don’t know is what it asks.

Focus, Jen!

First word’s what.

What…does..eht..oops that’s the. What does the…teacher? Yes, that’s teacher. Okay. What does the teacher…say..ot…no to. What does the teacher say to Mr. Smith?

Oh, I know that one!

I write out the answer, hoping it’s readable, and glance at the clock again. Crap! Two minutes left. Question 10. Multiple choice. Question’s something about the a.n.t.a.g.o.n.i.s.t…Answer’s most likely C. I circle C and the bell rings. I hate 7th grade!


Next day rolls around and my English teacher passes out our quizes. A “C” written in red at the top right corner. Thank God! I passed.

Next comes the humiliating part. We go over the quiz. Yep, if I’d read numbers 3, 4, and 7 right, I could have aced the quiz. I know the answers but, go figure, 30 minutes wasn’t long enough for me to correctly read the 10 questions. I’m not dyslexic. Oh no, they’ve tested for that. They’ve tested for all sorts of learning disorders. They’ve no idea what’s wrong with me. Doesn’t change anything. I’ve still a third grade reading level, in seventh grade…again, go figure.


Then my sister’s boyfriend hands me a book. He’s cool, just like her. I’m too ashamed to tell him I can’t read it.

Author’s David Eddings.

Genre’s Fantasy.

Hasn’t interested me much before but Nick’s gonna ask me if I’m reading it, so I sit down to agonize over each word.

Something clicks. To this day, I can’t say what. I’d agonized over stories before. It wasn’t like I didn’t want to read. In fact, I’d wanted to read since my sister started reading. I wanted to be like her and she was a book worm extraordinaire! She was so smart and cool.

But something about that book finally did it. I no longer saw the words. I was riding through the story beside Sparhawk and companions…

It took me a few months to get through The Elenium and The Tamuli. Six books! I’d never read so much and liked it.

I asked Nick for more to read. He handed me Robert Jordan’s Eye of the World. Nothing like jumping in with both feet, right? We’re talking about a series where each book is in the 800-1000 page range. The 14th and final book finally came out this year.

But I loved the reading! I struggled, skipped words I didn’t know, went back to figure them out, struggled some more and was transported to another world. I went from a third grade reading level to post grad in a matter of a year.

There’s a quote, I can’t find it now but it says something like “there must be magic, otherwise how could paper and ink transport you to anther world?”

I know this magic. I want to create this magic. And because Fantasy was what first showed me this magic, it forever stole my heart.


Photo courtesy of Sebring's Snapshots.
Photo courtesy of Sebring’s Snapshots.

This is why I write. I love that magic that can take a dusty old tomb of paper and ink and create vibrant worlds. I love it all the more because of the struggle to be able to enjoy it. And I know I’m not the only one who faced that struggle.

Even my oldest sister struggled but you hand her the Twilight books and she’s engrossed.

To this day I second guess my spelling, tumble over words I’ve no idea about and occasionally flip ‘the’, ‘to’, ‘it’… any short word possible. (It’s never the long words for some reason). But who cares? There’s worlds to create and magic to perform.



10 thoughts on “My Why”

  1. Ah crap Jennifer- you’re my frickin hero.
    Did you know your post just produced some serious magic? Your dialogue hit me like a power Hermione Granger spell. I felt like you were talking about me.

    The Ugly Series and The Night Angel Trilogy did it for me.

      1. Yeah I saw your twitter conversation with Brent.I finished The Black Prism and I’m moving on to the Blinding knife, but I know I will forever be a Night Angel Trilogy groupy. I went through it three times already (once via text and twice via graphic audio). I just bought the perfect shadow too. I love it, I love it, I love it. OMG, N.A.T. has so many layers.

      2. Haven’t read The Perfect Shadow yet. Definitely going to check it out though. Oh so many good books to read with too little time. Let me know if you come across any others, I love finding new authors to read!

  2. I had no idea. I remember you always with a book in hand. I heard once that the greatest weaknesses are also the greatest strengths. I can see that in your story.

    Keep going, your writing is getting to good. Watch out, David Eddings!

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