The other day I was working on a piece -- okay, okay, it was my Lost fanfic Grace Period -- and one of my characters -- okay, okay, it was Sawyer -- was having a childhood flashback that involved Snoopy and it came back to me in my own flashback just how much I LOVED Snoopy when I was a kid.
When I was an elementary school child, I won a plastic Snoopy wallhanging by selling magazines or something in school. That piece of modern art hung on my wall until I left home whereupon it went missing in my mother's storage building. But writing that piece made me remember my Snoopy and how much I loved that thing. So I went on a search for it.
Snoopy was my childhood hero. I didn't just think he was cute or funny. I wanted to be Snoopy -- not the whole sleeping on top of a doghouse thing -- I wanted to be that incredibly inventive individual who was writing the Great American Novel, It Was a Dark and Stormy Night. I wanted to have the kind of imagination that enabled him to be the World War I flying ace shot down behind enemy lines one moment and a vulture in a tree the next.
Snoopy was whoever and whatever he wanted to be whenever he wanted to be it. He wasn't just a dog on a house. He was Joe Cool. He was on a quest to find his brother Spike in the desert Southwest. He was unstoppable. But he was also Charlie Brown's loyal beagle.
I never found my Snoopy wallhanging. That bummed me out because I had a sudden vision of it hanging on my wall in the nursing home somewhere around 2042. I figured I'd hang it in my closet safe until then.
So I got on ebay and found a new one -- well, actually two, so I have a backup.
When it arrives in a few days, I'm going to open it and hold it in my hands and remember. I fully expect to burst into hysterical tears. I wanted to be Snoopy, a writer, an inventor of outlandish tales. Man, I still do! I still want to be that! Maybe The Blacksmith's Daughter isn't the Great American Novel, but it is longer than It Was a Dark and Stormy Night and contains all kinds of wild creatures and magic. And a real publisher has published it so you can buy it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and Smashwords and such. So that makes me a writer too.
And you know, just like Snoopy, I'm still rocking my day job. Maybe I don't sleep on a house all day, but I too have my mundane life. Snoopy didn't resent his job as Charlie Brown's beagle and I shouldn't resent mine either even thought it cuts dramatically into my creative writing time.
So, Snoopy, when you get here, I'm going to pull you out of your packing, cry hysterically, and probably hang you on my bedroom wall. You won't match, but I won't care. As long as I remember my hero, I'll be able to keep the creative fires burning.
Finally, here's a big "Curse you, Red Baron!" from me to all you other Snoopy lovers out there. Keep the fires burning!