Of Them Who Have Rewritten My Story

(November 29, 1918 – September 6, 2007)

    It was through her that I first discovered it was possible to tesseract to other worlds.
    Her book, A Wrinkle in Time, was the book I was assigned to do a book review of way back in seventh grade. I remember being immensely fascinated by it back then that every time I'm asked to do a book review of my own choosing, I would immediately grab a L'Engle book from my school's library.
    For that matter, I'm thankful for the teacher who assigned me the book (if I could just remember who it was).
    To this day, I still have the very copy of Wrinkle I reviewed all those years ago. I even re-read it and reviewed for a quick, minor literature class requirement in college. I remember enjoying it again.
    Thank you, Ms. L'Engle. From the 12-year old me.

David Eddings
(July 7, 1931 – June 2, 2009)

    Canada. I was 17 and slightly crazy. I went with my grandmother to the local library for her weekly supply of books to read. I asked if I could also borrow one and, me being me, the book would have to be of the fantasy genre. His weren't the only ones I got but his were the ones that stuck.
    I remember a road trip to Seattle and a camping trip the family took where I brought with me one of the Malloreon books I borrowed from the library. I remember being more entranced by the traveling we took and the wide open landscape because, at the same time, the characters in the book were taking a similar journey.
    It was ultimately that road trip and Eddings' books, among things, that gave my confused teenage self the focus I needed back then. The outcome of that inspiration has been an ongoing project for more than ten years now.
    Thank you, Mr. Eddings.

Robert Jordan
(October 17, 1948 – September 16, 2007)

    In December of 2002, post-9/11 era, I was a college sophomore on Christmas break and The Two Towers was about to come out on local theaters. I decided then to reinvigorate my interest in fantasy books. Flashback to a few years earlier, I had considered to endeavor the same while I was still in Canada and came across one of the Sword of Truth books. The random stranger beside me saw me checking them out and told me that they were good.
    Back to 2002. I thought then that I would walk away from National Bookstore Megamall with Wizard's First Rule. That is, until I came across a series of black books with a nice, almost embossed logo on the cover. The cover alone is interesting but when I flipped through the pages, there were chapter headers, icons, three maps and a glossary at the back! Compared to that, Wizards was just plain boring.
    What I had discovered that day, of course, was The Eye of the World, the first book in The Wheel of Time series. Since then, the stress of college life had been balanced with Jordan's fantastic saga about an epic struggle between good and evil.
    Salutes to you, Mr. Jordan. Thanks for letting me believe in magic at an age where I could have just as easily let go of them. I look forward to finishing the cycle with Brandon Sanderson.

    Of course, some might say that any other fantasy author could have fulfilled the role these three writers played in my life.
    That misses the point.
    If anything, fantasy has taught me that a man's destiny is as much a matter of fate as it is of choice. Maybe something just resonates well with me and their works.

    Even if all three creators have already departed the mortal plane, I don't believe their story has already closed. After all, mine is still ongoing and they remain very much a part of who I am now as much as who I was when I first discovered them.

(Originally posted on my Multiply account June 8, 2009)