Four years ago, Praveen and I decided to see if we could write a novel. Both in our early thirties, with burgeoning professional careers, we found our lives lacking the excitement we had experienced playing in punk rock bands together throughout our teens and twenties. Getting together with friends and creating something that didn't exist before brings a sense of fulfillment that allows one to get through the doldrums of the 9-5 work week. We had a shared love of science fiction and fantasy and thought, "What the hell," why can't we do something like that.
Having no experience in such matters other than a few scientific publications, we agreed to meet weekly and see what we could come up with if we both committed ourselves fully and didn't become discouraged. Many bourbons later, we have finished "The Girl from Avignon", a work of which we are both proud, regardless of how it is perceived. The point was the journey, to see just how far we could push this and what we could create. We have been ridiculed by all of our friends but wouldn't trade the fun we have had throughout this process for anything. There were so many ordinary Saturday nights transformed by the excitement of discovering new things about our characters and twists in the plot. The joy of that would carry us through the following week as we stoked the fire of our dreams, imagining that two friends in Louisville, Kentucky could be the next Hemingway. While this prospect is unlikely, the point is that we tried, and in doing so, in our own small way, became better writers and grew as people.
Art to us is the process of creation and it can be anything, from a sixteen-year-old kid dreaming of rock stardom stringing together a few power chords to a Picasso painting "The Girls of Avignon." The point is that you try. By shrugging off fear of failure and doing something for yourself, you become brave and open up new pathways in your life, however small. Four years ago, I would have never believed we could have a completed novel and now, I can't wait to write the next one. Success or failure, we have discovered a passion that will create a lifetime of joy.