On Sacred Idleness...
I know I've been quiet for a while online.
If you haven't already heard, we moved from our little home in Hannibal, Missouri to Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Yes, it's a part of the United States. No, you don't need a passport to visit. Yes, people speak English - among other languages - here.)
People keep asking me why. Why move? Why start over someplace a thousand miles away (literally). While the answers vary, the real heart of it comes down to, Why not?
People can live their entire lives with these little inklings of thoughts and hopes and dreams inside. They watch the sunrise and wonder, What if? Then we put our heads down, sigh, and get ready to go back into the grinding job.
What is home?
- is it a place? Family? A feeling?
The truth of things, I think, is that it has more to do with heart and movement. For so long we tell ourselves no. We box ourselves in to what we actually can do if we really set our minds to it. Honestly, we haven't a clue what our own true values are. It takes trauma to actually figure out what we care about. What we want to do. What we love.
I know that's what it took for me.
Now that we've more or less finished with our move, I still find myself torn between two worlds. One of quiet Hannibal streets... of local bars where locals stare at you... of bonfires and farms and small town pride... to Albuquerque. Of culture and flavor and life... of film industries and tech giants... of low riders with flickering spinner rims alight in Route 66 neon splendor.
At the time that I'm writing this, it was only five years ago when I first met David Alan Lucas and Brad R Cook, the St Louis Writers Guild's dynamic duo, at Hannibal's Big River Steampunk Festival. This is the first year I'll miss the spectacle. It was only five years ago that I was flung into the amazing, bitter, challenging world that is the writing industry. Only five years ago that I was shown what it really takes to be what so many of us idly day dream about: being an author.
Now, when people ask me that unavoidable question, So, what do you do? I can reply I'm a writer, a freelance marketer (that also came from being around the writing industry). I'm a podcaster (What's Up ABQ), traveler, creative. This journey has taught me what I'm not. I'm not a gas station attendant. I'm not a photojournalist. I'm not real estate agent. I'm not a sales rep. I'm not manual labor. I'm not a factory worker. I'm not a baker, a bricklayer, nor even a candlestick maker (as noble as those professions may or may not be).
What I am is me.
Too often in our western society, we equate what we do for money on a regular basis with who we are. While we have done and will do many things, those things do not become us. We are so much more. When heart and mind and soul align with will, there's no telling where we might be swept off to.
I don't know about you, but I wouldn't have it any other way. So write a book. Write three! Take a drive. Keep driving north till you hit Canada. And when they ask you what's the purpose of your visit tell those kindly northern men the truth: you just felt like driving north. Start a podcast. Get sidetracked. Go ride your bike. Get sidetracked again. Buy premium gasoline. Ask questions. Ask better questions. Get more sleep. Live deeply. Love well. Know it in ways and places which refuse to be quantified or set to a dollar value.
Be okay with change and failure and success. Practice sacred idleness. Go call your old college roommate. Get your wife flowers just because. Treasure the lines on her face.
Be you as only you can truly be. Live your life because it has been given to you to live.
Now that you've gotten your warm fuzzies, here's a brief writing update:
I have two full-length fantasies, The Last Circle and Nameless, with my capable agent, Patty Carothers of Metamorphosis Literary Agency still looking for a good home with the right publisher. I'm still dutifully working on Rienspel's sequel, That Dark Battle, as well as two other full-length fantasies called The Class of '46 and If I Could Go Anywhere. I'm revising a sci-fi called Dark Around the Stars. Also, my much-loved blog series on how to write and publish, Virgin Author, will be releasing this Fall. I'm also in preliminary talks with Evolved Publishing to republish Rienspel as well. Finally, I just finished the initial draft for a daily quote book called 365 Quotes From a Better World.
My books are now also available at Organic Books and Downtown Books in Albuquerque. I am scheduled for another signing at Main Street Books in St Louis this Fall, and have a remote speaking appearance at Evil Expo in New Jersey (Yes, New Jersey. Where else did you expect it to be?)