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You Inspire Me!

August 19, 2011

The following is an email I wrote to author Lois Lowry, when I decided to fashion the screen name, blog , and persona “th3g1vr“. Although this was written a while ago and is more part of th3g1vr than here, It’s also a crucial piece of who I am, so I’ll also post it here:

Since It’s important to me that my screen name is self descriptive, I’ve spent the last couple days pondering what name I would choose to better feel this need. After the internet having been made public all these years, it’s very difficult to find a screen name that hasn’t been used already, but finally I thought of your book and- with the creative use of Leetspeak, I manage to find the perfect one not yet in any search results. After thinking about it, I realized that my life, especially the past couple years, parallels with the life of “The Giver”- or should I say “The Receiver Of Memory” in several subtle but profound ways. Not too long ago I valued that same type of utopia, but fairly recently I realized that it was actually a dystopia, and for the same reasons you expressed in the book- that is- emotions are irreplaceable necessities to make life meaningful, and pain and suffering are vital components for ensuring love, joy, and all the true pleasures of life. I recognized this after considering that we cannot truly appreciate anything until we have lived without it, and/or after having experienced its opposite. If we lived in perpetual “Sameness” we would never get any joy out of life- after all, what’s so exciting about “normal”?

Until recently I have also lived life on the basis that truth can only be found in that which is logical. Although I have gained insights that I probably could not have acquired otherwise, it has become clear to me that “logic” is just one of many different types of truths. To truly understand the nature of things, the other types of truth much be taken into account- including emotions. Due to a lean towards emphasizing an exclusively logical approach to life, I have little emotion left- but I look forward to using this newfound knowledge for ensuring a balance between the variables of logic and emotion, and instilling those virtues I have attained in the lives of others.

I myself have been doing a lot of writing, and- given the overall focus of my content (journalistic, autobiographical, inspirational, controversial, and saturated with opinions loosely written in essay format) I have had much difficulty organizing what I have written (and am writing) into a book. I’d say if I included that which I have written and what I plan to write, it would be surplus of 350 pages (in book format, size 10)- but, despite it clearly falling under the same general plot (which I believe there to be- it would best fall under the category of a Nonfiction Novel) I still am having difficulty getting around to editing it.

The problem is that, any time I tell myself to wrap up all the loose ends so that I can finally get to the editing, I think of several new ideas to incorporate, and end up working out these new details that add 10 or so new pages to it. I get so excited at the new ideas that I cannot bear to ignore them- I just have to write them down and add them to the already overwhelming mass. Although perhaps it would be easier for you (since most of your [published] works are fiction, and thus organized around a relatively predefined plot) Could you relate to this dilemma (?) as well?

Due to a series of extraordinary events (which some might consider traumatic, although I beg to differ) I have failed to enjoy the luxury of engrossing myself in your literature in a few years, having only gotten a glimpse of it reading “The Giver” while in school. You may flatter yourself, however, with the fact that despite having only read your novel in the form of installments, and collectively only once for a brief time- and some years ago, the book has engraved itself in my heart as one of my favorites. You have indeed succeeded in having a clear influence in my life, even if only indirectly.

Her response:

Dear Justin, It sounds as if you are one of those people for whom writing is a very important tool of self-discovery.  It will serve you well throughout your life.  My very best wishes to you.

Lois Lowry
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