“The trodden path of an Artist is paved by passion and commitment. It is a journey which eventually leads to the joy of bringing forth creativity in others.” — Patrice Donnelly
Everyone must start somewhere. I’ve decided that I am going to start here. This blog will chronicle a journey—the travelers’ tales of one man who made a decision a while back to pursue a calling, and abandon the safety of a conventional life. In the great scheme of things, this documentary may seem trivial or vain. But my desire is that by posting my experiences in this way I will (at the very least) entertain the reader, and just perhaps will inspire a few to stretch beyond what is comfortable and routine, just as I am stretching. I also hope to make some new friends, and discover a new guide or two along the way. They say that when the pupil is ready the teacher will come. This pupil is chomping at the bit.
For many years I had worked as a technician/engineer in the very left-brain field of electronics. This was how I paid my bills. My interests outside of my job, however, have been diverse, and not at all what most men my age might find interesting. I enjoy playing the piano and other instruments, and have composed a few original works that I’ve been told are not painful to listen to. I build furniture, build and repair computers, practice meditation and yoga, grow organic vegetables and occasionally, when no one is looking, hug trees.
First and foremost on my list of passions, however, is writing. I’ve written stories and poems for as long as I can remember. There was a period of time during which I let the external responsibilities of life drag me away from writing (and many other interests), and I paid a price for allowing that to happen. Luckily, a muse entered my life at just the right time, and brought back into focus that which I had abandoned. Soon, I will celebrate my eighth wedding anniversary—my muse decided that I needed long-term care.
Nearly two years ago I resigned from my job, and my wife and I decided to pursue our mutual interests full-time. She had taken the same step about a year earlier, and seldom looked back. Since that time, we have been writing together, and also working on independent projects. While she prefers non-fiction, spiritually uplifting stories, I elected to work primarily within the genres of speculative fiction. As a boy, I spent countless hours in the local library, until I had completely exhausted their supply of sci-fi, fantasy, and related materials. The world of today does not interest me nearly as much as that of one thousand years ago, or one thousand years from now. These are the stories I wish to tell.
I am currently preparing to submit a novel of some 100,000 words for publication through a conventional publishing house, and have also made it available through Lulu.com. I will be posting excerpts within this blog for others to view and, hopefully, critique. The story might best fit into the genre of ‘alternate history’, as it is set in thirteenth century Sicily. I am striving to be historically accurate, without strangling the story in the process.
The plot revolves around a sixteen year old peasant boy and his family as they struggle to survive during times of famine and disease. While outwardly the boy is normal in every respect, he is plagued by dreams and visions of some future time when he will be a great and powerful leader of men. No one believes his fantastic claims, until something he’d prophesied comes to pass. He will in the end achieve notoriety, but not in the way he expects!
I wrote this story without an outline, allowing the characters to guide their own destinies. It’s an interesting phenomenon, almost being told what to write, with plot twists, characters, and landscapes emerging from the paper unbidden and yet fully formed. It is also true bliss—one of the most enjoyable activities I’ve ever engaged in. Whether or not my writing is ultimately judged to be acceptable or even popular, the process itself is wonderful.
So, this is where I will leave it for tonight. I thank you for walking beside me, and look forward to our conversations. The material here will grow as I learn the ins and outs of the ‘blog’, but for now it’s been a pleasure sharing your company.