How a bear made me a writer?

Updated: Nov 27, 2020

My love for writing started with a bear. A transgressive one. But before I tell you that story, let me tell you that reading was a passion that for me started as soon as age five. It was my mom that planted such love in my heart by buying me books as a reward. Well, thank you mom for all the pain I have to go through writing my books!

Oh well, the bear… I remember clearly when I first started dreaming to become an author. I was 8 and I had to have some antibiotic injection as a result of an ear infection. I hated it but I knew, after that, I could get a new book because there was a small bookstall in the doctor’s office for children. That day, I picked up a book named “The Bear Who Wanted to Be a Bear” by Jörg Steiner. The book, I can say, was overly realistic and dark to be a children's book but well, that’s how I started loving dark depressing realistic stories under the cover of fantasy and fiction. As the first blog post on my website, I decided to write about the 5 books that inspired me to become a writer as a way to push myself blogging again.

So, here we go:

1) The Bear Who Wanted to Be a Bear by Swedish author Jörg Steiner

This book is about a bear who wakes up from hibernation finding himself in a big change right over his den: A big ugly dirty modern factory. His confusion only grows when a factory guard thinks he is an unshaven human (factory worker) and forces him to get back to work. Failing to prove his identity, the bear is forced to become a factory worker. This book is simple with an amazing illustration by Jörg Müller that highlights “issues of environmental protection, human identity, and the pursuit of self, this remarkable modern fable brings philosophical subjects to the forefront through humor and imagination.” Tashlin creates his children's book Der Bär, der ein Bär bleiben wollte as an adaptation of this book. I know, too much for a 8-year-old.

2) The Bear Went Over the Mountain by American William Kotzwinkle

Here’s another bear that inspired me to read. This can be the transgressive one. I guess I had a thing about bears. Who knows? Well, this book was the main reason that made me imagine myself as a writer. The name of this bear is Hal Jam. He is a big black bear, looking for food in the Maine woods, and finds a suitcase instead under a tree. Hoping that it’s food inside he dragged it into the woods, only to find that all it has inside is the manuscript of a novel. As he couldn't eat it he decided to read it. Yeah! Why not? Well, at that moment I imagined myself being him, sitting under the tree reading a strange manuscript. He thought wasn't bad, so he borrowed some clothes from a local store, and gave himself the name Hal Jam from the labels of his favorite food and then he headed to New York to find his way as a writer. This is a rebellious, magical thriller that shows “Hal Jam leaves the quiet, nurturing world of nature for the glittering, moneyed world of man.” The perfect humor and an eye for social satire, William Kotzwinkle explains Hal's hysterical journey to New York and Los Angeles where money-hungry executives see not a hairy beast with a stolen novel, but “a rough-hewn, soulful, media-perfect nature guy who just might be the next Hemingway.”

3) The Little Prince by French author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Well, this one is not a bear and it’s quite well-known translated to several languages. This book is simply written through the eyes of the narrator who begins with a discussion on “the nature of grown-ups and their inability to perceive especially important things.” The narrator becomes a pilot, and, one day, his plane crashes in the Sahara, far from civilization. He has 8 days of water supply and must fix his airplane to be saved. In the middle of the desert, he is unexpectedly greeted by a young boy with golden hair, an adorable laugh, and will repeat questions until they are answered. He nicknamed him “The Little Prince”. Over the course of eight days stranded in the desert, while the narrator attempts to repair his plane, the little prince recounts the story of his life. The story has a somber measured tone in memory of his small friend. According to one anal