As I reached my teenage years, my taste for books changed. Even though I continued to read fantasy and SF stories, my real passion proved to be in occult books. Real world, as we know it, became boring, but the things that were theoretical or even mystical became to fascinate me. I was reading two or three books each week about aliens, the powers of the mind, ancient and mystical history, theories about the energy, ghosts, the human mind and so on. My favorite writer back then was Emil Strainu, an ex Romanian general that wrote over one hundred books about his life experiences. He told stories about visiting the Area 51, secret documents that he managed to read and so on. I don’t know how much of it is true, but even if 1% is, it is still amazing.
With this new passion in literature, I started to wonder how the mind really works, what it can do, what are its real limits. So I started to conduct real-life experiments. I was keeping dream journals, to try to find a correlation between the real world and the dreams. The only thing I managed was to learn how to control them. It was fun, but not the real purpose. At that time I started to learn how to meditate, how to work better with my mind, how to get in touch with my inner self. I became really good at it, to the point that I started to develop my own techniques (some of them almost got me killed a couple of times). My favorite technique is even written in the second book of the Afaris series.
One day, when I was 16, I decided to try a new way to meditate. I put on my bathing suit, went outside and entered my parents’ pool. Took a deep breath and went down underwater. I took my meditation position and began using my technique (the one from the second book of Afaris). Using this technique, in an advanced form, I could slow down my bodies. My heart beats could go as down to 20-30 beats per minute (I tested that) and the body did not require too much oxygen. My body moved slower than the time, but my mind faster. I did not know what to expect from that experiment, I just wanted to try it, if not for something else, to see how much I can stay underwater.
In that state, a perfect calm, where nothing was moving beside my thoughts, out of nowhere the answer to an old question popped into my mind, just like an arrow hitting the target. I was not even thinking about it, I did not intend to find out that answer, but somehow I did. I opened my eyes and I swam to surface. Took a deep breath of air, got out of the pool and looked at the timer. It counted to 2:24, so probably I stayed underwater for about one minute and a half. I could have stayed two if I did not have that idea that got me out. Hell, in that state, I could have died without noticing it.
I ran into the house, straight to my computer and opened a word document. The title was “The Prophet” (Afaris was the Prophet). The first thing I wrote was the answer to the question. How to start narrating a story so complex? With the beginning, the first moment. And that moment was the creation of the universe. That was my second attempt at writing Afaris and it started with the birth of Pandora, followed by the creation of the universe and then the birth of the first life forms, Saraf and Calis. The story remained unchanged in the current Afaris series.
One year later, I finished writing my first book. The Prophet was my first accomplishment as a writer. When I finished writing it, I remember sitting on the balcony, at night, looking at the stars and smiling. I made it, I finally made it. My first book that will become a huge success, read all over the world by all ages and all nations, played in all theaters. I was very happy and proud of myself. But what did I had to do with it next? That was not a hard question. Since it was a big pile of turd, the best thing I could do with it stores it someplace and never look at it again. I knew it was poor. My writing was not that good, even with all the books I read in my life. Out of curiosity, I sent it to a local publisher that rejected it after three days confirming my thoughts: the writing is terrible. So The Prophet remained on the USB stick that I had back then. The same USB stick stored my favorite music and I would carry it with me all the time, listening to it in the car. Today, Everything about Afaris is stored on the same USB, the manuscript for Afaris 1, the manuscript for Afaris 2 that I am still working on, all the data about the website, the blog, the facebook page, pictures with the cover of the book, some fan arts made by some friends and the same old music. Also, The Prophet is still on that USB stick. I never opened it again, mostly because I am embarrassed by it.
Coming back, on the day that I finished writing The Prophet, my dream of becoming a writer faded once again, but the idea remained, stronger than ever. I told myself that day that I will read more, develop my writing and when the time is right, I will start writing Afaris once again.
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