The book in the photograph you see is the eleventh in a fantasy series known as the Wheel of Time. Comprised of 14 novels, not one of which less than 650 pages long, the series is epic on the most grand of scales, and one that pulled me in from the moment I picked up the first novel in middle school: The Eye of the World. Also pictured is the coffee mug that travels with me on most of my reading adventures. :)
Anyway, back to the topic. I started reading the series in middle school and followed it through high school as the books were still being released. Some time after I graduated high school I somehow became busy with other things and set the series aside after reading the ninth entry. Between the release of the eleventh and twelfth novels, in September of 2007, Robert Jordan sadly passed away. One of the most brilliant minds in contemporary fantasy literature was lost, his series seemingly unfinished. His wife, however, contacted another author, Brandon Sanderson, to continue the works based on the notes left behind by her late husband.
Recently my brother, who is also an avid reader and fan of the series, picked it up again at the eighth novel and started getting me re-interested in it. He is about to finish the final novel as I am writing this.
Having graduated from college and finding myself with more free time on my hands, I decided to act on that impulse and finish the series published posthumously by one of my favorite authors. In the last two weeks I’ve read the tenth novel and progressed 550 pages into the eleventh. The writing is as good as I remember and I’m extremely excited to finish the series in the coming weeks. That is not the only benefit I’ve gained from diving back into the Wheel of Time, however.
What this has also accomplished in me personally is a reawakening of my desire to write. In my first year of middle school I started reading fantasy novels. Immediately I fell in love with the idea of creating a fantasy world. I wondered what the potential of creativity was for the human mind, and I started exploring many other fantasy authors to see what sorts of worlds they had created. Soon after I started exploring Science Fiction works as well. I realized that there was practically no end to the vast array of worlds and stories created by authors over the years. My love for writing and reading extended so far that one of my degrees is actually in Creative Writing.
In the last year of college, to my own regret, I found myself distracted by a number of other things and fell away from my passion for writing and reading both. The past few weeks have reignited this longing to create, and coupled with my new found love and passion for photography, have opened up a previously unexplored range of creative possibilities. Where I go from here, only God knows, but I am along for the ride, and ready for whatever that may entail.