About the Octopus

My first memory is of being brought to school by my older brother as his show and tell.  I believe I was only about three or four years old at the time.  I had invented my own version of Snow White and in it the wicked queen took Snow White down into the dungeon and she, “TAPED her to the wall!”  I delivered the story with sweeping gestures and I shouted the most important lines for effect.  It must have been quite a sight.  I’ve been writing stories and having wild adventures ever since.

Stories have great power to impart hope and happiness, even stories about struggle and suffering.  This is what writers are called to do.  To help all of mankind and to improve them through the loving act of sharing a wonderful story.  You may remember a character from a book from when you were growing up that taught you something about life, loyalty, forgiveness, or perseverance.  There are many other lessons that are worthy to learn from stories.  An author must have a depth of skill developed from practice, a depth of talent given from God, and a depth of experience gained from life.

So why am I an Octopus?  Simple.  The octopus is the ideal symbol of writers everywhere and not just because they squirt ink.  The octopus’ tentacles symbolize the many tasks a writer must master to succeed.  Writers must be able to research like scholars, invent believable imaginary people, craft interesting plots, show mastery of words and expression, communicate excitement about their work to sell it, endure countless rejections without giving up and perform every other task that may become necessary throughout the process in order to create their work and get it to people.

Versatility is the prime requirement of any author who hopes to succeed both in their craft and in their business.  The octopus can change its color, even the texture of its skin in order to hide or stalk its prey.  Its body is practically formless as it can fit through any gap big enough for its beak.  As a writer, this is what you must do.  If you can get your beak in the door, then you can always find a way through the gap.


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