I'm a firefighter and paramedic in Columbus, Ohio. I've been in the fire service for twenty years and have seen about everything anyone could imagine. Over time what I see affects me as it would anyone else. Seeing a young man die from gunshot wounds, or an older woman waking up to her husband of fifty years lying dead beside her, or a baby who has been shaken to death would weigh on anyone and I'm no different.
For me, I'm lucky to have a strong support system in family and friends who are there for me if I ever need to talk (which I've relied on often). But seven or eight years ago I discovered something else to help me work through what I routinely see. That something else was writing.
While some people write in journals and diaries, I turned to story-telling which was something I've always felt I had talent for. After a horrible call in which a young boy was
in a serious auto accident, I struggled with how to deal with his death and what I saw that day. After a few months of dwelling on that call and having a tough time moving on, I decided to write about it. For the next 8 months I wrote the story of my fire career, culminating with that terrible day. I called my story Slow Burn. After months and months of further tweaking, I had a printed manuscript in my hands and couldn't have been prouder.
Though writing Slow Burn was therapeutic in a way, it was also very difficult to relive all of the bad calls I had taken. Because of that, in hindsight, writing was a net negative in helping me get better. But this is a blog about writing as a way to deal with life.
Slow Burn was difficult, but it reminded me of how much I enjoyed telling stories. Maybe writing about the call two Christmas's ago when we couldn't get to two young children in an apartment fire wasn't the kind of writing I needed to do after all. So, I decided to try something different. I combined my love of story-telling with my love of the fantasy genre to start my The Light of Epertase trilogy.
With the August 1st release of The Rise of Cridon, book three of The Light of Epertase, I have finished something that has transported me to another place, which was just what I needed at the time. Closing the door to my world of Epertase, however, doesn't erase what writing does for me. It has become a passion, a creative outlet, and an escape. Epertase helped me heal and as I move on to different stories, I'll never forget why I started writing.
As I celebrate the end of Epertase, and approach the anniversary of that little boy's death, I think about the young boy who I met for only a moment on that Fall day, and how my life has changed because of that unfortunate meeting. I think about his family and hope that somehow they have found at least a little peace in the years since their tragedy. My heart still bleeds for them. Though Epertase is now over for me, I'll carry the memory of that awful day as I move on to build new worlds with words in the future. I hope you all will join me in my next adventure.
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