At this moment, I’m sighing in relief as I settle in to my new home as an aspiring author. I feel like I’ve taken the long journey around, much like the Fellowship on the path up Caradhras in the Misty Mountains. (If you’re not familiar with J.R.R. Tolkien, let me introduce you!)

Anyway, as I was saying…my journey has felt long, but I can see pieces of why it was the correct path: Invaluable skills I have obtained as a result of unexpected job opportunities, a deeper understanding of who I am and what I have to share with the world and inspirational life experiences. These three gifts shaped and molded me.

The Dream

You see, I knew by age six or so…probably earlier…that I wanted to be an author. So, I dove into books as soon as I could join letters together—reading all I could get my hands on.

Books mark milestones in my life. They’ve served as guides along my path. They’ve taken me to worlds I never would have experienced, given me friends I never would have found and developed within me an empathy a life with a third person limited point of view couldn’t offer.

With books came words; and words are the fuel that burns forever the fires of my passion.

So, I wrote.

To this day, I cannot go anywhere without a notebook and pens—multiple pens, multiple colors of pens. In any bag—purse, backpack, camera bag, etc.—you will find a handful of pens. No fear of running out of ink here!

So, I wrote. I wrote stories; I wrote thoughts; I wrote poems; I wrote sermon notes and class notes. I wrote papers and essays. I wrote and wrote and wrote.

Back to Reality

Being a practical child, I quickly learned that life requires money. Authors don’t have the luxury of a promised abundance of that; so practicality won out, and I followed my passion only as far as was safe…journalism. I wrote for newspapers and magazines, drifted over to the “dark side” of public relations (my fellow scholars in mass comm will get that one), followed the portrait photography rabbit trail and ended up freelancing with all of the above, plus opportunities I would never have dreamed.

Inner Demons

All along the way, my inner six-year-old kept reminding me of my dream. She wouldn’t let me forget.

There was another voice, though. It was rough and harsh like a bully planning to beat up Mini Me and shake down her dreams for lunch money. His name? Fear. Cowardice. Think of him as the Balrog in my tale. I have battled him in mortal combat in our own Battle of the Peak; but this—what you’re reading now—this is my victory, my shining rebirth to continue, like Gandalf, “until [my] task [is] finished.”

Victory Ahead

This blog is my pen pounding a figurative bridge while shouting, “You shall not pass!” and living to see that carried out.

I do not know what lies ahead on this new leg of the author journey—what battles with doubt, flights from mockers or fires of failure await. I do know, though, that I will continue on this path because, to borrow words from the aptly-named Samwise Gamgee, “…there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo…and it’s worth fighting for.” And, I believe books and marvelous, wonderful words are my way to share that goodness and beauty and light with the world.

My desire is that you will stick with me to the end. Of course, I hope we don’t reach the figurative fires of Mount Doom together; but I’m not naïve enough to promise the wanderings will be simple or the journey short. I don’t know when…or even if…I will be a published author; but that is the goal and I look forward to sharing that accomplishment with you. I hope to inspire you in some ways as we trek along; and I have no doubt you will do the same for me.

Thank you for joining me on this “mission…quest…thing.”

“The Road goes ever on and on

Down from the door where it began.

Now far ahead the Road has gone,

And I must follow, if I can,

Pursuing it with eager feet,

Until it joins some larger way

Where many paths and errands meet.

And whither then? I cannot say.”

J.R.R. Tolkien,

through the character of Bilbo Baggins

in The Fellowship of the Ring

 

I want to hear from you! Leave a comment below or email me. What’s your dream? What keeps you trekking on toward it?

The Fellowship of the Road - www.joyerancatore.com

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