My first Edgar Allan Poe book was given to me by my uncle when I was 14 years old. It was a Ladder Edition for students of English as a foreign language. The Ladder Series books are specially prepared editions of well-known American books, which made it easier for me to read back then.
According to the definition of A Ladder Edition, “the Series is built on a ‘˜ladder’ of five steps ‘” from 1,000 to 5,000 different English words. Although the books have been shortened, they keep the ideas and facts found in the originals.”
I was 10 when I started writing. But they say that in order to become a successful writer, you must be a wide reader of various books of different genres to gain ideas and knowledge on what to write.
Since I’m not really a fan of horror, suspense or scary movies or stories, I ended up becoming a Public Relations writer and struggling ‘˜romance’ story writer because of my fondness of romance-comedy and feel-good type of stories that always have predictable happy endings.
But you see, I love Edgar Allan Poe. He is one of the best writers I’ve ever known and he’s one of my very first inspirations in writing. What I like about his stories is not about the horror or crime as his themes, but the fact that I was able to use his stories whenever I go about my storytelling sessions with my little cousins.
You see, my sisters and I used to spend our summer vacations in our grandparents’ house in the province and storytelling session is one of the highlights of our stay. I don’t know for some reasons it almost always puts us to sleep afterwards because we tend to scare each other with the lights off, hide inside our blankets, and after few screaming and laughing, we would all be asleep.
I remember telling them ‘˜The Cask of Amontillado’ and ‘˜The Mask of the Red Death’. It delighted me how I can scare them in my stories because that only means I’m an effective storyteller. Of course, I do insert some twists and edit some parts of the stories so it would fit in to my purpose of reminding them to be good boys and girls, and stuffs like that, which probably where I started honing my storytelling skills.
As we all know, Edgar Allan Poe was an American author, poet, editor and literary critic. He was best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of detective fiction. Furthermore, he was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.
It may be sad that his death’s was variously attributed to alcohol, brain congestion, cholera, drugs, heart disease, rabies, suicide, tuberculosis, and other agents, but Poe and his works has greatly influenced literature in the United States and around the world. They appeared throughout popular culture in literature, music, films, and television. And accordingly, a number of his homes are dedicated museums today.
In reality, we don’t really earn much money from doing things that we love the most sometimes. My college professors often tell us that there’s no money in Journalism or in writing but we still insisted in pursuing it. For me, it’s more on the happiness that I get out of doing what I love the most and the legacy that I will leave behind, just like Poe. As they say, the best things in life are free and those are the ones we put on our real treasures, time, and talent.