Essay Non-Fiction posted July 8, 2011

This work has reached the exceptional level
a tribute to heroic writers

The Blank Page

by Spiritual Echo

Herein is the blank page, the untold story.

On this site, there may not be a single writer, not a soul, who fulfilled their writing dreams in youth, when passion made everything seem possible. There is an occasional pioneer, a potential author, a university student, poised for greatness, who has discovered the site, a rich reserve of editors. Good for them. I'm in. Who among of us has not corrected or edited our kids' essays deciding their ideas were brilliant, but lacking form, needy of grammatical correctness and making minor revisions to ensure the elusive A on the report card?

Kids leave, diplomas in hand, and we start to miss the validation of our children's potential within a grading system that somehow allowed us to reinforce our parenting abilities and our own skill set.

Late in life we revert to our former glory, become hippies once again, and let it all hang out, believing our unique perspective on life, our reflective emotional angst, sets us apart, but I'm not sure that is true.

What inspires me on this site, what moved me and draws tears and regrets and laughter is the writer who transports me into my vulnerable past, lets me feel something I thought I'd forgotten; a truth I won't face, but I can read readily and award my highest compliment, a six star rating.

When I joined FS and took my place at the bottom of the line, I wasn't sure I'd ever measure up to the brilliance of top authors. I took courses; on line, in colleges, but I never believed anyone I was paying to give me an honest opinion and even more revealing was my ambivalence towards spending money on myself. It wasn't a dress that would impress; a pair of shoes that bespoke of my dubious taste, writing was personal and the money I spent defining myself was private. And, perhaps, I didn't want anyone to tell me the truth. Within my characters and my postings I was truthful, brutally honest. How hard is it, really, to spit reality on a blank page, read by strangers?

I'm sixty-one years old, reasonably hip, character wise, somewhere between Betty White and Sophia Loren with a splash of Don Rickles thrown in as garnish. My relationship with computers and social media is pretty shallow. But, my membership in Fan Story has changed my opinion, opened my heart and at the same time allowed me to categorize relationships, even intimate ones into three groups. One, flesh and blood, in your face people. Two, accessories, bystanders, the cheerleaders and critics of life.  Finally, the third group, people I have never, may never meet, who have willingly walked into my head space and allowed me to linger between their words.

I pause here, thinking about my correspondence with Smurphgirl yesterday. I read her heartfelt, winning essay, entitled "Am I a Survivor?" I suggested she change her profile picture. The picture was a beautiful blond little girl, Sasha, age three, still an un-violated blank page to a picture of the beautiful woman I have glimpsed through random photos and touching moments she has shared. And by golly, she did!

Perhaps my most stunning victory on site was my post entitled "Psoriasis."

It was an essay about my lifelong struggle with a skin disease that has both humiliated me and forced me to develop other avenues of self worth, vanity be damned. As a result of that posting, I received hundreds of responses, some public replies and some tragic personal stories. In my personal expose' of the kindly tolerance, some informed and some terrified of their own body's betrayal, I helped people all the way from the UK to Australia and all points in between, to seek the help and find the questions to take control of their own lives. That was my Pulitzer Prize. I made a difference, through simple truth and random words.

I posted this contest because two of my favourite authors wrapped up their books and I reflected on the experience of walking beside them through the process. Yes, they are heroes in my life, but not because of the obvious, not because they wrote a book, a tortured process at best, but rather their ability to capture my imagination.

It went beyond the words, the fiction and truth of their stories. I was not a passive reader, an airline passenger who flipped out some cash to avoid the boredom of a long flight, no, I was there beside these two very real people who mined their souls for words, nuggets.

"Miracle on Snowbird Lake" and "Incarnations" will likely wind up on HBO and I will sit mindfully, quietly, in my living room, hoping the director understood, translated the mist on the lake, the sadness in Cheryl's eyes into a cinematic treasure.

They are not my only heroes. Every time a writer pens something that moves me, I realize that out there, somewhere is a person, breathing, that had geography and circumstance been altered, might have been my friend. Fan Story has allowed me to connect, not only to the story. but also the author.  I came to the conclusion that although I may spend the money to buy a given author's book, depending on my notion of entertainment on that day, I gravitated towards the output. I never once wondered about the author. I'm a little bit wiser today.

Fan Story Heroes writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
We have all been inspired by authors and poets on FS. Tell us about how someone affected you, the good, the bad or ugly in prose.


My hero list includes Mastery, Judian James, Forestport12, Adewpearl,Whitteron,Captain Jack,Stranger and Livingwords and Lee, but they are the ones who have found their voice. Others will surpass their accomplishments and will become heroic.

Fitzgerald stated that behind every hero there is a tragedy. Who can argue that point?
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Save to Bookcase Promote This Share or Bookmark
Print It View Reviews

You need to login or register to write reviews. It's quick! We only ask four questions to new members.

© Copyright 2018. Spiritual Echo All rights reserved.
Spiritual Echo has granted, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.