I scarcely know where to begin. Somehow, I just crossed the threshhold of my sixty-first birthday. Inside I've felt like twenty-one, mosly. I've been writing seriously--and playfully--since a pair of powerful spiritual awakenings in my twenties showed me that material Creation and artistic creativity are really external and internal aspects of the same, divine process.
The experience of being "a center of creation" often left me feeling drunk, and one with the Creator, at least temporarily. There were times when I'd ride a wave of intoxication for days, weeks, months. J.R.R. Tolkien has written an essay referring to Art as "subcreation" within the One Creation. Another literary role model of mine, Australian poet Francis Brabazon, wrote that "Representation does not mean in the likeness of an object, but in the likeness of the creativeness of the Creator."
Well--if you're not mystically inclned, you won't have gotten this far. This is the part where I say "what I've done". Much of my life has been spindrift wandering in fields of color and form, mad with the desire to "capture" in words, and sometimes in paint or song, the miracle of it all. These days, I'm called a "preschool teacher" in the SF bay area, and in fact am working on a major project of a book of anecdotes about using Imagination as a wonderful bridge with the children, joining them in their magical world, while of course serving at the same time in my "grown-up" role model and supervisory capacity (you can't entirely "go native" and keep your job, and children do need supervision.)
I also write a lot of poetry and children's picture book and early reader stories, and have done a great deal of memoir and "autobiographical fiction" writing. Then there are the essays, movie and drama and book reviews, and other "sober" prose.
My biggest publication credit so far was a short story in MAGICAL BLEND Magazine. My name was on the Contents page in big letters, right next to Carlos Castaneda and Yoko Ono. I don't know whether they, like me, got "paid" with a free copy of the magazine, but I was glad for the exposure. I've also had reviews in the TENDERLOIN TIMES and ALTERNATIVES (of Myrtle Beach, SC), where I was once the regular film reviewer. My poetry and prose have also appeared in TENDER LEAVES magazine, GLOW INTERNATIONAL, the LOVESTREET LAMPPOST, SOUND TIMES: A Magazine You Listen To; and a number of online poetry journals. I could go on.
I would frankly, at this point, like to earn more money via writing beautful and true articles, stories and poems, the way a fine baker earns livelihood in exchange for delicious bread. (Maybe the metaphor should be something more nutritious than the "staff of life", like soup.) I want the world to see me as the author and writer I have felt myself to be for quite awhile. I don't feel it's a matter of "inoculating everyone with my fantasy", but providing the service I can provide. Still, this whole business of "perceived identity" really is the stuff of dreams, in a sense, whether one is baker, candlestick-maker, or author. You have to commit yourself and make it happen, regardless of what it is.
I'm writing this fresh from a weekend at the San Francisco Writer's Conference at the Mark Hopkins Hotel, which I resoundingly recommend for next year to any serious writer who needs some motivational re-fueling. The conference leaves me feeling it will be work, but I have a sense of the path to my goal, and that I can do it!
hmmm. Literature and poetry; painting; music (singing, playing guitar--accompaniment to my voice, mostly--and harmonica, and a little Indian dholak drum); spiritual pursuits.
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