Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sparkfest III- The Power of the Written Word

Alyssa and Ryan enjoying their books together.
Thanks to Christine Tyler I've been thinking a lot about what has sparked my writing and what books have had an impact on me.  I enjoyed reminiscing about all the great stories I have read and reading what others have posted.  I wondered how my life would have been different if I had never been exposed to Dr. Seuss or even Disney fairy tales.  I'm sure I would have turned out fine and not known I had missed anything, but I can't help but think that reading those stories opened my mind to a whole realm of creative possibilities which has enriched my life.  I now see the power that we, as authors hold over young minds.  We can create a story and a world which can influence the way a person thinks for the rest of their lives.  That's quite a responsibility!

This is where I come to George Lucas.  I don't think any other creative mind has affected me as much.  I was 5 when Star Wars first appeared on the big screen.  I was lucky that my Dad was a big sci-fi guy so we went 5 times to see it in the theaters.  When it finally came out on video, my brothers and I watched it over and over, memorizing all the lines. I decided that we would shoot our own version.  So I wrote down all the lines on note cards and began to assemble props and costumes.  I got a little discouraged when I realized we didn't have enough people in our family to play all the parts.  I thought about my tall grandpa playing both Chewie and Darth Vader.  But I kept writing the lines. We never did film anything.

Then in 1980,  The Empire Strikes Back came out.  I cried when Han Solo was frozen in carbonite.  But I knew that Luke would become a Jedi and make everything right again.  In the meantime, I worked on my own Jedi Knight skills.  (Ok, I realize that this makes me look like a huge nerd, but it's true).  My brothers and I dressed in black and sneaked around the house, we focused on objects to make them move (well maybe I was the only one that tried that, but I was sure that if I just concentrated hard enough it would work....I still haven't gotten it.), and we practiced our fighting skills on each other.  But I believed in Yoda's teachings like he was my Master as well.  "Try or do not."  His ancient words echoed in my mind and they gave me the extra incentive to  accomplish things.

By the time Return of the Jedi came out, I was totally immersed in the galaxy Lucas had created.  I can't say that I ever became a Jedi Knight, but I would like to believe that I still live by their ancient philosophy to "use their powers for the good of the galaxy" and "always seek self-improvement through knowledge and training".

I only hope that I can live up to Yoda's standards.



  1. An awesome spark! I definitely can see how Star Wars would spark imaginations and create new writers.

  2. Interesting spark! I've never managed ti get into Star Wars, although I have tried...

  3. One day, when you least expect it, you'll look at an object and it will move. Nobody will believe you, but you'll know :)

  4. Star Wars was incredible. My favorite was Empire Strikes Back. My sister was in tears over Han. lol

  5. isnt star wars the BEST!
    no bad language, no inappropriate scenes, comedy, adventure, excitement, good defeats evil, and characters that will live forever!
    and people are still adding to the saga...
    and i bet you paid your kids to sit like that- its just not natural (i'm jealous)

  6. Ahhh, I loved that post - and this is somebody who couldn't, and can't stand Star Wars (sorry, sorry, I know I'm wrong and I know I'm in the minority!!) but I do love Startrek if that helps?
    Great post!

  7. I think I was around the same age as you when Star Wars was released, and I remember being amazed at everything on screen!

  8. Awesome spark story! Star Wars is definitely spark-worthy. I love to hear kids replaying stories. It reminds me of all the fun I had doing the same things with my brothers.

  9. Another Jedi! I had no idea how popular Star Wars would be in this fest. I love your post on it. It's very unique and touching :)