Why Write? What Does It All Mean?

By E.G. Kardos | May 21st, 2024

From ‘Cutting of Harp Strings: A Novel’

‘Cutting of Harp Strings: A Novel’ book cover

From the author’s Notes” in his YA novel, “Cutting of Harp Strings,” E.G. Kardos presents a look at the meaning of writing – and perhaps the meaning of reading as well.

My solitary path that I journeyed to reach “Cutting of Harp Strings” (2021) began in late 1994. One word led to another and after many rewrites over many years, the story became real. I could touch it, see it, hear it, smell it, and feel it.

This story celebrates life and its many paradoxical but inseparable forces in our universe – some may call it the yin and yang. We all experience such forces both outwardly and inwardly. It’s unimaginable to think of life without this duality, but life as we now know it would cease to exist.

With such duality, we learn about ourselves and attempt to find meaning. I’m not the first to say this, but we are perhaps more interested in the meaning of our life than the meaning of life. I must agree with Socrates as he said, “The unexamined life is not worth living”. We are reflective by nature but we, many times, overlook or are unwilling to find meaning from our introspection. Just look at history and how we, humankind, seldom heed its message.

Also attributed to Socrates is the phrase, “Know thyself.” If we are willing to peel back the layers that humanity has heaped upon each of us, we may actually like—and love—who we are. It is up to us, one by one, to dig deep within our core to find a beauty we all possess. The core is always where answers live as they are seldom floating like a flower petal upon the surface of a pond. It takes reaching our hand below the murky surface to find what is truly there.

“Cutting of Harp Strings” celebrates, most of all, our relationships with those who matter most to us. We yearn for acceptance, affirmation, and intimacy. There is no one right path to find this in our lives. There are, however, inevitable detours along the path that impede our progress. Such detours, like denial, trick us and point us in different directions. We may have little or no clue of how we managed to be deceived—but it happens. Sometimes we are misled, urged to fit in, or discouraged from asking questions for any number of reasons. Some of us find the answers but continue down a misguided path. Could it be because we’re humans? Just a thought.

Our existence is about the many extraordinary connections we all experience. Those connections sometimes come in the form of shared moments. Like words, moments when collected and strung together, tell the tale of our lives. Our reality is made up of more than the big moments but made up of those intimate, fun, quiet, scary, insightful, quirky, bizarre, and mystical moments as well. If you are like most, you have experienced such moments.

When I wrote the first sentence of this story, I had no idea what kind of journey I was on, but once in motion, there was no turning back. Eli, Aiden, and others told me who they were and where they were headed even though they were not sure themselves—such is life. I learned so much from their adventure as they invited me in. Writers don’t know the answers, but they do ask the questions.

When I wrote the first pages, I was someone else. I concentrated on the “rules of the road” and what was “supposed to be” in every novel. Life isn’t like that, and neither is this story. What I came to realize was that this journey is far more important to tell today than when I typed the first letter many years ago… no “spoilers” here as you will have to read it to find out.

As I wrote this story, what I learned most of all is that humanity is all about belief systems and ideologies, and because of this, humanity creates its own reality. If you will, our world is all imagined even though the sun shines, the waves of the oceans slap the shore, and the lightning strikes at will. However, life as far as I can tell is all about what goes on in our hearts. It’s how we feel about and engage with each other, our world, and our creator. More importantly, we shape our life as it springs from how we feel about the one person for whom we should love first, no matter what—ourselves.

E. G. Kardos is a literary and fantasy fiction writer and is a longtime employee of Virginia Commonwealth University, a graduate of James Madison University and Benedictine College Preparatory. He draws inspiration from a lifelong passion for storytelling and artistic expression. With five published works to his name, Kardos, a native of Richmond, Virginia, finds inspiration from his exploration of spirituality, friendship, and the beauty within us and the universe that surrounds us.

E.G. Kardos, author of "Cutting of Harp Strings" and other books“Cutting of Harp Strings: A Novel” was published in 2021. His latest book is “The Elixir: Journey On,” the third installment of the series, The Elias Chronicles. The epic fantasy embarks on a classic hero’s journey, captivating both young readers and those young at heart and reflects on universal themes and delves into the essence of human experience, exploring the timeless values that define us as individuals.

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