I was in high school when I stumbled over the single object which would change everything for me.
When I was in high school, I wasn’t interested in Lord of the Rings or Star Wars. I didn’t know what they were. I didn’t like elves, I didn’t day dream about pretty men wearing 100 pounds of shiny steel armor and still managing to look good. I didn’t imagine what the scales of a dragon looked like sparkling in the sun. I was just another over weight out-of-place fat girl who couldn’t find anywhere to fit in.
One afternoon while in the Library and bored out of my mind, I meandered through the rows of books looking for something to do that wasn’t actual home work. I didn’t find a single book that marginally interested me and I stopped by the Librarian’s little section near the door. I remember leaning on the make shift counter, which consisted of several very short shelves turned about so they appeared solid to the rest of the room, while the Librarian could use the shelves for storage and what not on her end.
It was in mid pithy conversation that I looked behind her to the tiny, teeny, itty bitty collection of books behind her. The shelf itself must have been no longer than two feet and perhaps no taller than six. In the middle, spreading across three of the central shelves were books I had never noticed they were there; I had been walking past them in the Library for two years at the very least.
This was our library’s Science Fiction and Fantasy section.
I asked if I could look at them and the Librarian, a middle aged woman with hair so curly it formed a helmet on her head, stepped graciously aside and allowed me behind the counter to look.
I wish I could say that the heavens opened up, a chorus of elves strumming lutes and something magical happened when I randomly plucked a book from those shelves–because it seems now such an event deserves such accolades. No, instead, all I had in my hand was just a dog eared worn paper back in the middle of a hick-town tiny library. The cover pictured a woman with dark black hair protectively holding the shoulders of a young, sandy haired boy. The woman had a single streak of gray within her hair and was facing opposite a menacing dark figure on a horse. Behind them, a faded yellow map of some sort served as backdrop. It was a pretty unassuming book cover now that I think about nearly fifteen years later.
The book was called: Pawn of Prophecy, and it was written by David Eddings. That book changed me. I had no idea at that moment when I picked it up and idly read the blurb on the back that this book would change everything for me.
It was the single book and perusal of everything else he wrote which started on my long journey of imagination. David Eddings was my gateway drug to my sweet crack habit of Sci-fi and Fantasy I have now. Without David’s book I would never have bothered with books at all. I’d never have the voracious appetite which allows me to finish one of George R. R. Martin’s books in a single night, I would have never sat in my bedroom at sixteen and filled three binders filled with painstakingly bic-pen written pages of loose leaf with asinine teenage angst fantasy writing.
I wouldn’t have ever realized the magic that was awaiting me.
On June 2nd, 2009, David Eddings passed away. The man responsible for my geekery today has left this world to perhaps, settle down in Aunt Pol’s cottage with her twins and sneaking an ale or two with Belgarath behind her back.
I always wanted to thank him for that book.
Thank you, sir, for opening these doors to me. Thank you, sir, for carrying me through the awkward awful times of high school.
Thank you for the dreams.