My favorite definition of “history” is actually the French l’histoire, which can mean “the past” (as almost all of us understand history) or it can also mean “a story.” There have been many moments in my past that culminated in my pursuit of history during my collegiate career; but I think this simple definition was certainly the purest.
I spent all of my young life firmly believing that I would be an author–writing grand books of fantastical literature, dueling with knights, verbally fencing with dragons. I still believe that that is my future; however, for a time, I took a bit of a detour into the world of history. Rather than see this as a derailment, I see it as a necessary part of my evolution as an author, and here’s why.
History is a story–and not only that! but it is the greatest story ever written! Where do we get ideas for fantasy? For SciFi? Hell, even for modern lit? If it was not for our shared (oft diverse) history, there would be no fuel for stories. For the human imagination. For creativity as a whole.
This was the epiphany that led me away from English into the loving, brutal arms of history. Most important, however, is the blending of the two that I strive for gladly.
This is herstory. My l’histoire.