Why I Didn't Write [insert title here] by Sydney Salter

I do kind of wish I'd written Twilight. Even though I've never read it, I have a sneaking suspicion that Stephenie Meyers worries less about money than I do. I bet she could take all the vacations of her dreams. Or--if I'd written Rick Steves' travel guides, going places would be my job!

I'll also admit to some wistful moments about wanting readers to love my books as much as the Harry Potter series (I'm also pretty sure JK Rawlings could book a nice long trip anywhere in the world…). Last summer, my daughter dedicated a few days of summer break to rereading all of Harry Potter for the seventh, eighth time? Why not me? I'd wonder while watching this re-reading process.

Until I had my Harry Potter epiphany.

On a hot July afternoon, my family emerged from an over-airconditioned movie theater, having just watched Harry Potter fight dementors, and I felt that jealous pang, why didn't I think of that?

But then I looked up--and saw this:

My professional writing life developed under Utah's blue skies--five minutes from a waterfall hike. The oldest buildings in my town date from the 1850s. Previous inhabitants are often revered as hard-working pioneer ancestors--and many people still live on the land farmed by their very own great-great grandparents. Cows, horses, sheep, and goats live in my otherwise suburban strip-malled neighborhood. 

The supernatural darkness that lurks in narrow alleys and old buildings with secret passages or hides in attics does not often spring to my mind. Oh, there's plenty of drama here. And the kind of evil that ordinary people do to one another (and themselves). I'm fascinated by those stories. 

So I've let go of wishing I'd written this book, or that book. I'm happy writing the stuff that springs from my own mind, the stuff I want to know more about. 

Yet I would like to travel more…. Rick Steves, if you need help sipping all that wine in sidewalk cafes, please let me know! 


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