12/21/2006 02:53 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Eragon Knows Fear

I saw the movie Eragon over the weekend with my children. We have been reading the book as a family for the last few weeks, and have been mesmerized by the story. For those of you who may not know the author's story, Christopher Paolini was home schooled for his entire life, he graduated high school at the age of 15 through an accredited correspondence course at American School, Chicago, IL. Following graduation, he started work on what would become the novel Eragon and its sequel Eldest, all set in Alagaësia.

In 2002, Eragon was published privately Chris' parents through Paolini International, LLC. To promote the book, Paolini toured over 135 schools and libraries, discussing reading and writing, all the while dressed in "a medieval costume of red shirt, billowy black pants, lace-up boots, and a jaunty black cap." Paolini actually created the cover art for the first edition of Eragon, which featured Saphira's eye. He also drew the maps on the inside covers of his books. [5]

During one of his promotional tours, he gave a speech at the school of the stepson of Carl Hiaasen; Hiaasen enjoyed the book so much, he told his publisher, Knopf about it. . An offer was made by Knopf for Eragon and the rest of the Inheritance trilogy. The second edition of Eragon was published in August 2003. At the age of nineteen, he became a New York Times bestselling author..

I found the movie to be less-engaging then the book. The book had many more sub-plots and details that I missed when I saw the movie. Great books are hard to duplicate for the motion picture screen. In the middle of the movie, I was struck by a particular scene and the wisdom of this young writer. At this point in the movie, Eragon had made it to the stronghold of the rebels. He was overlooking the battle as it was about to begin, when Saphira his mind-reading dragon approached him. He was struggling with why he had been chosen as the leader of the rebels. As she explained the choice, he said to her, "I am not without fear." She said in her wisdom, "without fear, you would not know courage."

Think about it. How poignant her words of wisdom. Remember your own moments with fear. The feelings that comes over a person experiencing fear can be all-encompassing. You can choose to stay in the fear or you could choose to act on it. Move past it. Yet how could you know courage without the taste of a dry mouth and sweaty hands, a beating heart or a quiver in your voice? When you face that fear or deal with the situation at hand, you can experience a surge of pride or accomplishment that you have had the courage to speak out. WOW!

When I think of fearlessness now, I am glad that I have know fear. There is no such thing as cowardice in feeling your fear, it is the only way to appreciate and know courage when you act on it.

Happy Holidays!