“You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension – a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into…the Twilight Zone.” ~ Rod Serling
From a young age, I was a fan. After bedtime, I’d sneak onto the top of the night stairs and sit in silence as older family members watched the program below on our black and white TV. Down the hall in our shared bedroom, my younger sister slept. But in the darkness of that stairwell I sat entranced by Rod Serling’s hypnotic voice as he introduced the latest episode.
There was magic in the stories. In later years I’d grow to appreciate the scripts with their social commentary. But at age 8 or 9 there was only the wonder of ordinary people being thrown into extraordinary circumstances. Along with the fairy tales Mom once read aloud, The Twilight Zone best revealed to my young mind the miraculous art of storytelling.
For years now, I’ve struggled with invisible demons. What has kept me from publishing? I want my stories to be bound into books, to be read and enjoyed. I believe I have it in me to succeed. Yet, like an actor who fears the stage, just when I’m close I step away. Is it fear? Fear of the bogeymen that hide in the forest of publishing? Am I afraid of the doorway I must enter?
Last month I flew home to visit family, and to attend a conference. While there I talked in depth with my little sister, the one who once slept through The Twilight Zone. (Just as well; she was only 3 or 4 at the time. :wink:) I also talked with a dear friend, a fellow writer who has gone forward, even as I’ve held back. Both of them chewed me out and both, like others before them, encouraged.
Soon after my flight home, I saw that for a long while I’ve been unhappy with what I’ve been trying to write. To publish I must change, wholeheartedly and without reservation. To rediscover the excitement I once knew, I must cross into another dimension, one that calls to me.
My new work-in-progress is more than a new plot, new characters. Though still technically a romance, it represents a genre change, one I read but have never attempted to write. Revitalized, I am writing. And, if my courage holds, if I maintain the perseverance a published author needs, then my journey into this new dimension may mean success. ∞