Subscribe  Subscribe to Comments  Follow me on Twitter  Circle me on Google Plus  Friend me on Facebook  Follow me on StumbleUpon

≡ Menu

A Writer's Paradox

    Wherein the author shares something that’s left him standing at a crossroad for a really long time.

Did you ever have to finally decide
Say yes to one and let the other one ride
There’s so many changes and tears you must hide
Did you ever have to finally decide

    “Did You Ever Have to Make up Your Mind”
    — John Sebastion (with The Loving Spoonful)

Start: There’s a sort of dynamic tension that’s been part of my life for a very long time, and the lyrics from the very old song above seem to sum it up pretty well. Writing is not an easy thing, though some have innate talent, and I feel I’ve been blessed with a little of that. (And, frankly, it’s all I’ve ever really wanted to do.) But, on the other hand, the majority of my life has been a spiritual journey, and I can’t help but look at my existence in what I feel is the broadest context there is.

For quite I while I’ve wrestled with what fiction is. And really, think about it: what is fiction? It can be a lot of things, but to develop a consistent audience (and make a living at it) it has to be, at some level, entertainment.

What is entertainment? To one degree or another, it’s an escape.

Escape from what? Well, that would be reality.

And what is spirituality? I feel deeply that, in practice, it is the seeking and finding of reality.

There, then, is the rub.
[click to continue…]

In which the author shares the inspiration, the original story, and final “working script” of his winning contest speech, and some thoughts on how this made him a better writer.

Ordeal of the FishStart: I‘ve been writing about a prize-winning Toastmaster contest speech of mine for nearly two weeks now, but I haven’t really told you anything about the speech.

If you’ve viewed the video file provided to me by Jackpot Speakers founder Narayanan Doraswamy, you’ve seen the finished product. I posted the embedded Google Video on my last post, and if you missed it there (you deprived creature) here’s another chance:

And now … you are about to learn more about this speech than you probably ever would want to know.

The Story of the Story

“The Ordeal of the Fish” is a whimsical, slightly jaded idyll of a story about a talking fish that was caught in a flash drought (Arizona and Nevada are prone to those) and was forced to come into my neighborhood — on fin — to find water.

[click to continue…]