It’s been a while, but when I heard the synopsis of this book I knew that I had to take part in the tour!
Before I get to Jason’s tour post, let’s check out the book!
Secrets have been formed in the dark corners of the kingdom. Change is in the air and whispers of new ideas and technologies have swept the land. Unfortunately, the King is old and simple and his daughter is concerned only with worldly possessions. A man by the name of Buul, a man long forgotten, has returned to pay a visit to the King on the King’s birthday. He has not come empty handed and will be the King’s undoing.
The King, in moments of panic and war, can trust no one with the protection of his daughter. He quickly decides to entrust her life with a creature most vile and uncommon and chains her to a Vork. He does not leave her empty handed though. His last gift to the Princess is an amulet with powers even he does not comprehend. The land’s only chance, the only one loyal to the King’s memory, is the daughter that cares nothing of the Kingdom of Vosh.
Why do we do this?
Why do writers write, or artists draw or paint? Why do craftsmen sit at a spinning wheel and slap wet clay together day after day? Or, why does a glass blower risk severe burns just to make a trinket that could shatter to bits on the way home? Very few, and let me write that again so you understand, very few get the recognition, the accolades, and even the stable income that would seemingly make it worthwhile. So why do we bother?
I can’t tell you the amount of hours I’ve spent over the course of my life, either drawing or writing something for it to only end up in the trash. Was it a complete waste of time and effort? No, because I used it as a learning experience for that next piece. I got better, and being my own worst critic was the best thing I could do for myself. When others would look at something I had created and speak about how good it was, I would only sit back and stare at that one flaw that ruined the whole piece for me. Most of my artwork even to this day I can’t stand to look at because I only see the mistakes. I dream of going back to hour number thirty seven of a fifty hour project, where I made that one error, at least in my eyes, and stopping my hand right then and there. It pains me to look at most of my old projects because I see how little I knew, how juvenile a thought that was or how I lacked in technique. It’s the same with most of my writing. It pains me to read my own story because I look at the run on sentence that I missed or how I should’ve done this or that with the plot. That character should’ve behaved differently or what if I had added this to the ending. Being creative is a painful process of birthing new life into a world that has little room to value or comprehend its importance at the time. The heart of an artist is delicately removed and displayed for those to either appreciate or trample unremorsefully.
So if even the process of creation is painful for an artist, then are we just insane for even attempting to make something out of nothing? That piece of gnarled, weathered wood, or that hunk of tough clay or that crimpled up piece of paper, to most people it gets passed over. It’s rubbish. But to artists it sets our imaginations ablaze! We see the potential. We are able to imagine the final piece, which parts we would chip away or how we would shape it into something worth owning and displaying in a place of honor. The challenge invites us. It’s not your nod of approval that I am looking for when I set out to tackle a project. I would still be just as satisfied if the work sat in a cold, dark drawer in a closet when it was completed. I do it because there is something inside of me that is not found in any other person on the planet. My views, my environment, the countless hours of practice, mistakes, more practice and that judgmental eye of mine have shaped my ability into something unlike the artist down the street from me. And he is exactly the same in that regard. He’s just as different from me as I am from him and equally as needed.
But is that enough? Having an inherent ability to create is different than acting on it or having that sizzling, insatiable desire to create. You cannot keep me from being an artist. I won’t be denied. Audience or not, I will create something new and completely my own for the rest of my life. We do it not only because we can but because we need to. Not to immolate something or to trade it for a few greenbacks. We do it because for some unconscionable reason there is a burning desire within us to create rather than tear down. I want to make something, something new, something my very own, that carries my voice, my touch, my perspective into the future. It is our voice, no matter how varied, how nuanced or seemingly insignificant it might appear, that is our driving force. It is our tether to the forever. We are marking our little plot in time and space with the declaration of our existence. We were here and we mattered, if even for a millisecond.
Because without artists of every variety your life and the world we live in would be a very pale, somber place to call home. Go thank an artist for inspiring people around them. Go encourage someone that’s creative who might not be there yet but who has that spark behind those eyes and sees something no one else on this planet does. Buy them a journal or some oil paints this Christmas and be ready to be amazed one of these years by what they create.
In 1999, Jason Conley drew a picture of a young woman’s face. It eventually became the cover of the book you now hold. When not consumed by writing or art, Jason canoes, fishes, and hikes the rolling hills of Tennessee with his family.
There are secrets to this world we live in. Some faintly whispered, others hidden in plain view. Some of those secrets have been carefully placed throughout this book. Truth and fiction, it is what we try to discern between every day, though I wonder is it even recognizable anymore?
Do we know the truth or are we simply told what to believe in and what is real? It is a journey we are all on. It will be up to you to decide which parts are which.
Break loose of those chains and look around you, because the truth… will set you free.
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