A Strange Anniversary

Greetings,

On October 14th, 2009 . . . I had an epiphany.

You will need some back story to make sense of this, please play along at home.

Earlier that summer a friend, Dave Wolverton came to dinner at my house while he was in Austin.  Dave and I  met while I was in College at Texas A&M. I met him through Aggiecon and later kept up with him through the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest.  I had harbored aspirations to write professionally at that point in my life.

It had been many years since Dave and I had seen each other in person.  The inevitable question came up, “Have you been writing?” and my answer was sadly,  “Only a little.”  I had garnered a few publishing credits for work in Role Playing games, but nothing of substance. Dave commiserated with the ease a decade can pass and lamented my lack of productivity.

I agreed, it was a pitiable state and said I still had intentions of writing. Dave suggested I attend his Write That Novel two-day workshop he was hosting in Dallas in a few months. I decided that was an excellent idea as it would be a fun way to spend a weekend with the wife in Dallas.

The workshop weekend came and the wife and I attended.  It was an intense and interesting two-day look into how they make sausage in writing craft and the publishing business.  Dave has a practiced hand at breaking down artistic hand waving into the core activities, skills and behaviors which characterize the successful practitioner of this dark art, writing.

On the drive home I was deep in thought about writing.  This is perhaps when the epiphany came.  I had crossed a mental threshold at which the decision to write was still an option.  Subconsciously that liminal event was working out the details, the depth of my commitment.  It was both exhilarating and terrifying. The first step was of course to discuss it with my wife, whom was cautiously but fully supportive of my wish.  I am thankful now, as I was then for her willingness to buy into my dream.

After that it became whirlwind of thought and activity, for which I have spent the last year at the center.  I come here having received a great deal of help from my friends and I am deeply indebted.  This is hardly to say that this last year is in any way an end state.  It is only a milestone on a path I fully suspect I will be metering out the rest of my life.

That being said I do wish to acknowledge the journey.  At this time last year, to the day,  I awoke to my writer life, my Booklife as Jeff Vandermeer might say.  My Mythlife… that life which exists solely in the cosmology of my mind.  In the last year thanks to the help of my friends, my hard work and luck I sit here a graduate of Viable Paradise XIV with over 200k words written in 365 days.  A manuscript in revision, moving towards submission.  A handful of short stories I am proud of and comfort in saying that I am a writer.  A Neophyte, an apprentice, but a writer, none the less.  It is hard to put into words how much they mean to me.  Just to type it and not feel like a fraud is astounding. I have not allowed myself to say them before today, and I must continue to earn that title every day.

In this blog I am going to document the events of the past year. My process of growing into my booklife, my Mythlife and the slow burning fuse that is my experience getting my work published.

For those of who you are Pro’s I welcome suggestions and comments.

For those who share this path with me, walk with me brother and sisters and tell me your stories, your tales, those long yarns and sad fables of your own mythology, as we walk together into the dawn.

Cheers,

Seamus

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7 Responses to A Strange Anniversary

  1. John Murphy says:

    Welcome to the blogosphere, fellow VPer and writer!

    As a side note, I’ve never quite understood why people think sausage-making is so distasteful or offputting. Now, the construction of a chicken nugget? That’s nasty.

    • seamusbayne says:

      John,

      Mr. Coffee! I am glad to find you online my friend. You know, having made sausage I understand why most people find the process disturbing. The ingredients are often the last bits left from the butchering process. I don’t mind, it make something delicious in most cases. I will say watching the filling pipe into the casing is, ah, rather visceral. Thank you for the making me feel welcome.

      – Seamus

  2. Congratulations!

    This is a cool thing to acknowledge and celebrate. I feel a little bit that way on the anniversary of VP, tho’ for me it’s more the time of realizing that people of the industry could take me seriously, even if they thought I was younger than I was, even if my manuscript was a bit immature.

    ~ Bethany, VPXI

  3. billblais says:

    I’m a bit late to the game here (as usual), but I had to offer my congratulations on giving in to the terror and the thrill, Sean, from a fellow path-walker. There are few things so rewarding and so frustrating, but what good is a life without these?

  4. Michelle says:

    Welcome to the dark road, my friend. You need some thick skin to keep going down this path, but I think you’ll be just fine. Best of luck with it.

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