Thank You, Mr. Lucas and Serena Williams


 “Thank you, Mr. Lucas, and Serena Williams”


On August 20, 2022, I climbed out of my comfort zone, took a huge chance, and wrote to filmmaking luminary, George Lucas, asking what he thought of “The Force of Life” as a new genre in literature and film. He has not responded to my letter.



I’m hoping he will eventually write back. Yes, I’m an eternal optimist.


In my letter, I asked the following questions: “Do you believe in:

1.  Reincarnation?


2.  Life-Altering Love? (When encountering someone you’ve known/loved before in a past life.)

3.  The interconnectivity of everyone/everything in the Universe?”



In my letter, I said that if he answered "YES" to any of the above questions, then perhaps he would be interested in starting a new genre of storytelling, which focuses on these elements. I let him know that I’ve tentatively named this new genre, "Force of Life" storytelling. I arrived at this idea after decades of receiving feedback and rejections from editors, contest judges, or potential literary agents. I’ve summarized their most consistent comments below:


1.      Your writing has a unique and intricately developed emotional core. It’s fast paced, easy to follow, with an engaging literary style, well-developed characters, but an overall lack of conflict.


2.      Your writing demonstrates refined talent, imagination, and thought-provoking nuances such as the possibility of reincarnation as a viable, scientific reality. But your story does not follow the typical paradigm where the protagonist has a goal, want, need, or desire. This goal should force the hero to go on a literal, figurative, or symbolic journey where they overcome obstacles to achieve their goal— ultimately helping them grow, arc, or learn a valuable lesson.



In response, I must reject the notion that successful storytelling requires the formulaic paradigm described above. That’s not the only way to tell a story.

I find immense value in writing stories that show a "slice" of life, a moment in time, or a series of related events where my characters experience intense emotions, which elicit growth.

These AH-HA moments, or epiphanies are enough of a Goal, Need, Want or Desire for anyone to strive to attain, in my humble opinion— far more valid, poignant, and necessary as elements of storytelling than is “conflict”— they are literally the "point" of writing stories or making films. They allow people to connect with universal truths, then in turn to grow and evolve both individually and as a society.

This type of societal growth may well be what our American Founding Fathers envisioned when writing the Declaration of Independence. If these Founding Fathers had not been driven to seek drastic societal change, they would never have rebelled against the monarchy, and declared their independence, stating, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights… Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”


Monumental societal change is also what I imagine Lincoln envisioned when choosing to devote his presidency to preserving the union and ending slavery. He could no longer accept the “rules” that allowed one human being to own another human being. He believed in a better way of life for all people, regardless of their skin color. Today, this belief seems obvious. But just 157 years ago, this type of thinking was groundbreaking. Revolutionary. Certainly “way outside the box” for millions of Americans.

Our society is still evolving from the end of slavery and the push for racial equality for


all people everywhere. In fact, over the past few decades, the American public has evolved to the point of becoming more socially conscious, diversity driven, and LGBTQ+ accepting, by legalizing same-sex marriages among other milestones. Likewise, our society has become more open to women's rights as a direct result of the Suffragettes in the early 19th and 20th centuries.

The feminist movement starting in the 1960's has evolved into the recent #MeTooMovement, giving credence to women’s rights with a louder roar than ever before, notwithstanding the occasional setback like overturning Roe v. Wade. Incidentally, I believe this will not be allowed to stand, as the majority of Americans do not support this decision.

This makes me believe modern day storytelling is on the verge of evolving as well. This is my main point—which evolved while considering the following quotes:

1.              "People who don't know anything tend to make up fake rules, the real rules being considerably more difficult to learn."  ~~ Aaron Sorkin


2.              "The rules are all in a 64-page pamphlet by Aristotle called "Poetics." It was written about 3,000 years ago, but I promise you, if something is wrong with what you're writing, you've probably broken one of Aristotle's rules." ~~Aaron Sorkin



As you may have guessed, I disagree with Mr. Sorkin.



I've often wondered why some writers today blindly follow 3,000-year-old rules. I’m not saying Aristotle was wrong. I’m saying that people evolve. Societies evolve. Words and ideas evolve. When faced with a choice of following rules that have stopped evolving— or following my instincts in a manner more relevant to our times— I'd choose to write my own rules and my own truth. That is the height of authenticity. Therefore, I reject Mr. Sorkin's quotes about "fake rules" or “Aristotle’s rules.”

In fact, the second part of my thesis is this: I posit a new genre, which does not require CONFLICT, created by OBSTACLES, leading to a journey, an arc, and a life lesson. Instead, I propose a character driven genre which includes the elements of Reincarnation, Life-altering Love (induced by meeting souls you've known and loved in past lives), and the connectivity of everyone and everything in the Universe, all of which can cause ah-ha moments of profound "knowing" and "evolving" as humans. These elements are far more relevant in today's world, than CONFLICT.

The US political turmoil found in the 2016 and 2020 elections, the January 6th insurrection, and all the Black Lives Matter protests of recent years are proof that conflict is broiling in our society. Conflict has infiltrated every aspect of modern life. It’s too much, and it is NOT healthy. I believe conflict is outdated as the optimal mode of storytelling. It is also outdated as way of living life. It’s no longer the be all, end all, ultimate point of storytelling, or more importantly, it’s not the point of "life in general."

What would life look like if conflict could be replaced by love and peace? I’m certainly not the first thinker to voice this opinion. Consider this:

“Love and peace of mind do protect us. They allow us to overcome the problems that life hands us. They teach us to survive…to live now…to have the courage to confront each day.”     ~ Bernie Sanders


What would it take to replace our conflict-driven, strife-oriented, warlike mindset with the timeless wisdom of treating everyone (including nature, animals, and the environment) only the way you’d wish to be treated yourself? Can you imagine a world like this? If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it. This is not a new concept.

Consider John Lennon’s IMAGINE: “Imagine all the people

Livin' life in peace


Imagine no possessions I wonder if you can

No need for greed or hunger A brotherhood of man


Imagine all the people Sharing all the world…”




I asked George Lucas these questions in my letter to him:



“Is the kind of love and peace John Lennon described in “Imagine” even possible?


Don’t we need this genre now more than ever?”


The jury is still out on whether Mr. Lucas will respond.


So, while waiting for his response, I wrote another letter to a different superstar whom I’ve also never met. This time, it was a “Thank You” note to Serena Williams, whose recent article in VOGUE magazine hit home for me. It is titled “Serena Williams Says Farewell to Tennis On Her Own Terms—And In Her Own Words.” Her writing resonated so strongly with

me because she gives herself permission to break the rules and do something unexpected. She says in so many words,

“I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me.”


She goes on to say in VOGUE, that she didn’t reach her goals, but she’s okay with that:


“There are people who say I’m not the GOAT because I didn’t pass Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam titles… I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want that record. Obviously, I do. The way I see it, I should have had 30-plus grand slams. I had my chances after coming back from giving birth. But I didn’t get there.

Shoulda, woulda, coulda. I didn’t show up the way I should have or could have. But I showed up 23 times, and that’s fine. Actually, it’s extraordinary. But these days, if I have to choose between building my tennis résumé and building my family, I choose the latter.”



Because I’m nearing retirement age myself, I take comfort in her thoughtful writing about her retirement from tennis. I’m also reminded that I have failed to reach my goal of earning my living as a writer. I’ve also failed to realize my dream of becoming a parent, which is something

I wrestled with when younger but gave up in favor of pursuing my writing goals. But at what cost? I’m too old to start a family now. Maybe I’ll never be a Pulitzer winning author. However, my writing is evolving. Improving. What I have to say is valid. It has merit. It may even be valuable to others. Especially if successfully starting this new genre. I don’t need accolades.

Waking up early and putting my thoughts down on paper gives my life meaning and purpose. And that is enough.

It’s enough because someone as phenomenally successful as Serena Williams has done the very same thing. Learn. Grow. Evolve. Accept her limits. And live by her own rules. But what I love most about her is that she kept on. She persevered against many challenges, and she triumphed.


The quote below from her VOGUE article contains some of her most poignant reflections:

“I want to be great. I want to be perfect. I know perfect doesn’t exist, but whatever my perfect was, I never wanted to stop until I got it right.

To me that’s kind of the essence of being Serena: expecting the best from myself and proving people wrong. There were so many matches I won because something made me angry, or someone counted me out. That drove me. I’ve built a career on channeling anger and negativity and turning it into something good.

My sister Venus once said that when someone out there says you can’t do something, it is because they can’t do it. But I did do it. And so can you.”



Then she goes on to say:


“I’d like to think that thanks to me, women athletes can be themselves. They can play with aggression and pump their fists. They can wear what they want and say what they want and kick butt and be proud of it all.”



In essence, she realized that through her “rule-breaking,” she could emerge as a leader— not only in tennis and fashion, but also in her investment firm which champions women of color as entrepreneurs.

In response, I can only say: “Thank you, Serena Williams…for making it okay— even admirable— to dream big, accept your limits, but above all, recognize and embrace your own value. And if someone says it can’t be done, do it anyway.”

So, I took her advice about doing it anyway if someone says it can’t be done, and on November 16, 2022, I wrote yet another letter to Mr. Lucas, saying the following:

…the reason I’m writing you again today, is to re-iterate my questions listed above, and to ask you to join my invitation to create a new genre of literature and film called: “Life Force” storytelling, based on the core tenants of reincarnation, life-altering love, and the interconnectedness of everyone and everything in the Universe. It seems you share these storytelling tenants, based on “Star Wars” alone. However, perhaps the one tenant this new genre would not include is the focus on conflict-driven action.

Our culture is overloaded with conflict. The media, television,

movies, the nightly news, and especially social media, are all flooded with conflict, hate-speak, bullying and the like. It is so pervasive and destructive, and it has become the norm instead of the aberration. Our society is plagued with everything from school shootings to opioid addiction to homelessness, to name a few crises which directly result from being bombarded with conflict in the airwaves.

It is up to us, as writers and critical thinkers, to stop this madness, and offer instead an alternative to centuries of conflict-driven, war- centered, strife-oriented content. As storytellers, we must lead the way in turning our collective unconscious toward a hopeful, peaceful, and light- oriented future reality that we help to bring about.

You are the pinnacle of Hollywood content creators. With more accolades, honors, and success than most ordinary people will ever understand. But I remember this quote, from years ago at the Oscars with your Thalberg Award acceptance speech where you said: “All of us who make motion pictures are teachers, teachers with very loud voices.”

That quote touched my soul in ways I’m just now beginning to comprehend. I do not have a voice as loud as yours. But I can whisper in your ear and spark an inspiration to ignite the genre of “Force of Life” storytelling. You and I can create content that focuses on The Force. That spreads hope, love, and light. Without so much darkness being glorified in all matters of stories and media content.

In conclusion, I offer my humblest thanks and gratitude for what your ideas and stories have inspired in me. Because of the ideas in your movies, I’m able to relate to the Universe in a Force of Life mindset, which allows me to visualize a future where people are elevated to a higher plane of existence. Where the concepts of reincarnation, life- altering love brought on by recognizing souls you have known and loved in past lives, and the interconnectedness of everyone and everything in the Universe are foremost in the minds and hearts of the global population. We can lead the way to a future that was dreamed of long ago and far away.



Melissa L. White


Melissa published a short fiction collection in 2012 titled, “On the Green Earth Contemplating the Moon,” available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. In addition to writing novels and short fiction, Melissa is also a produced screenwriter. Her latest film, Catch the Light, premiered in Mumbai, India in June 2019. Most recently, her biopic screenplay about the life and work of female artist, Georgia O’Keeffe, was a Finalist in the ScreenCraft True Stories Screenplay Competition 2020, and a Finalist in the Chicago Screenplay Awards Contest 2021, and a Finalist in the NYC International Screenplay Contest 2021. Her LGBTQ+ Rom Com screenplay, Modern Marriage, won 4th Place in the Writer’s Digest Screenwriting Contest in 2021.

Some of Melissa’s recent publications are listed below:


Oyster River Pages - Special Issue 5.2, Jan. 4, 2022 "Breaking Bread."

See my story, “Small Victories,” here: 

 Litbreak Magazine – Summer 2021, August 22, 2021 – “The Road Back” (Novel Excerpt)

  Litbreak Magazine – Summer 2021, August 22, 2021 – “To See a Huge World Outside Us” (Essay)    

 October Hill Magazine - FALL 2017 - Volume 1, Issue 2, pg. 56 – “Streets of Gold in the City of Angels”

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