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Kirk Comet's Heart for You

I see people hurting, sometimes because they love those who have tossed them out. I see kids with no families due to differences in belief, or because they do not measure up, or because they have failed in some way. I see in-crowds and want-to-be-in-crowds (usually called out-crowds. Nobody really wants to be out.) And my heart breaks for the dog left out on the porch. I relate with them, more than they know. I want to fix it, but I can’t. I can, however, tell a story like the ones that have been a friend to me. I can pour out my heart for them. I can remind them that in the end, all of the highest and most refined hopes a human can have, are actually true. I can encourage my readers to enjoy senses that are often left sitting on the sidelines.

    I’m writing to people just like me, with stories just like the stories that kept me going when things were bad.

Now, I’ve always loved fantasy. I’ve always connected with certain family members through it. Halloween is even my favorite family holiday. So, I took to writing as an escape. But in the writing I found the realities of our world which I was in danger of forgetting. I found heroism, valor, grace, and sacrifice. I found the deepest magic in our world, put on display in other realms. It gave me hope. It challenged my convictions. It strengthened my resolve. Fantasy stories changed me. Fantasy authors, such as Tolkien and Lewis, loved me. And I want to keep the stories going for the next person in line.

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Letter to My Readers

Why has the fantasy genre always drawn in outcasts? Why do bold mythical tales hold such a grip on the quietest, most reserved, and most unincluded people? The simple and often repeated answer is that the unloved and unwanted escape to another world, because this world does not want them. I think that assertion is true. But I think the truth is actually bigger than the statement lets on. The outcast and the unwanted travel to fantasy, because it reveals to them what others can either more readily see, or do not want to see at all. Fantasy stories show us that the world is beautiful. They remind us that forests, hills, valleys, and seas are meant to be gazed at with wonder. These tales teach us that right and wrong are more than personal preferences, but moral absolutes. Fantasy stories cause us to hope that there are people, even if few and far in between, who do care. They help us to uncover a sense of awe in the midst of broken and dark worlds.These narratives teach us that evil has an expiration date. These stories change us and challenge us because they remind us of senses that we are in danger of forgetting we have. Grand fiction brings back to us our sense of wonder, justice, beauty, awe, valor, courage, sacrifice, and love; and It strengthens them. 

In a sense, fantasy isn’t escapism at all. It is simply allowing a narrator to redescribe to you the world you live in, in a way that remembers the good we have here; in a way that challenges us to fight for it, cling to it, and believe in it, even when we’re hurting more than we can speak. Fantasy is not compelling because it is a lie. After all, it admits to being a lie. No lie, that acknowledges itself to be a lie, grips anyone. Fantasy is compelling because it’s actually true. It's more true than most of the things we hear from others, we see in the world, and we think about ourselves.

The world needs another good fantasy story. It will always need one, so long as we are in danger of forgetting certain realities. In our culture, where people see each other as political opponents, npcs, and candidates for cancellation, the canceled, the outcasts, the different, and the ignored need to hear that knights are as real as the dragons they face. Goodness is still stronger than badness, light still breaks the dark, and there are still people who see you, know you, and love you; even if not by name.

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