This piece lived in my head for several years while my children grew up and were introduced to the works of famed Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki. I was so thrilled it found a home with Uncanny Magazine. In addition to contributing to my eligibility for “Best Fan Writer,” this essay is itself eligible for “Best Related Work.”
Here’s an excerpt:
One of life’s great joys is watching your children play. Through a kitchen window overlooking your backyard, at the beach, exploring a park. There’s great pleasure in observing the unobserved. You see their joy, watch them solve problems, navigate complex social situations, work together, fight, hug, laugh, run. Be free. You become lost in their imagination and for a fleeting moment recapture the wonder of a long-ago childhood. Watching your children play is an opportunity to see the world through excited eyes.
It’s this warm, emotive sense of simplicity and well-being—as though, somewhere deep within your heart, life’s purpose becomes something you can finally grasp. It’s fleeting—like a soot sprite captured between clapped hands, gone the moment you try to examine it, smudged palms the only trace of its existence.
As I struggle to articulate these feelings in a way that doesn’t feel contrived or artificial, the cinematic works of famed Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki call from the back of my mind. Particularly loud are his triumvirate examining these themes with ageless, crystalline clarity: My Neighbour Totoro, Spirited Away, and Ponyo.
Additionally, I wrote several high profile pieces for professional publications. While they may not count toward my eligibility for “Best Fan Writer,” they’re also all individually eligible for “Best Related Work.”
Here are some highlights: