We meet again, and it seems as though I’ll be hanging around with you good folk for a while.
A couple of weeks ago, my longtime friend and fellow word pusher Kevin Killiany asked me to join the fun here on a regular basis. I’d already provided a couple of guest blogs over the past year or so and I was actually contemplating a third such invitation from Liane. That’s when I received Kevin’s call to add my particular flavor of madness to an already groovy rotation of fine writers. “Sounds like fun,” I thought to myself, and so here we are.
Some people might view that last sentence as a warning. Go with your gut.
So, what’s my story? I’ve been writing professionally since I sold my first short fiction piece to Pocket Books’ first-ever Star Trek: Strange New Worlds contest way back in 1997. Since then, I’ve managed to cobble together something resembling a writing career while holding down a full-time “regular” job. I’ve written or co-written more than a dozen novels along with a bunch of short fiction, magazine articles, web content, and a few other odd things along the way. I’ve had a very nice run of good fortune. I keep expecting UPS or FedEx to airdrop the other shoe any day now. Until that happens, I do my best to “pay it forward” when and where I can, which is why I agreed to become a Novel Spacer.
“Oh, come on, Dayton!” I can hear someone shouting from the cheap seats. “Give us some juicy details!” Well, I guess it seems only fair, before I begin my
- I don’t have an “online persona” and a “real world” persona. I’m the same person in both realms. For better or worse, what you see or read is what you get.
- There were only three Star Wars movies. I’ve heard rumors about other films bearing the Star Wars moniker, but I refuse to heed such unsubstantiated tripe.
- What? Something writing-related? Okay, here’s a big one: I don’t believe in “writer’s block” or “finding my muse.” What I do believe is that those are euphemisms for “I don’t feel like writing today.” Other variations on this condition are, “Hey! A Deadliest Catch marathon!” or, “Wow, my DVD collection could sure use organizing...by genre, title, director, and gaffer.” I can sympathize with the feeling, as I have to juggle writing in and around the day job, my wife, two young daughters along with all the activities which come with said offspring, and other demands on my time. I don’t have the luxury of waiting for a muse to show up. A deadline is my muse, as is the paycheck that’s often attached to it. Writing and expecting to get paid for it carries the same demands as any other job. I know there are people who will take issue with my stance on this, but chances are they’re not paying for my mortgage or my kids’ tuitions.
(It’s quite possible this topic will be subjected to further examination in a future column. Stay tuned.)
- I like Mountain Dew. Okay, “like” is too soft a word. I’m of the unwavering belief that Mountain Dew is created from the tears of the goddess Aphrodite herself. Oral ingestion is my preferred method of intake, but in an emergency where I’m unable to make such decisions for myself, let this blog entry serve as my advance directive authorizing the intravenous administering of this vital fluid.
- While I certainly don’t want you to feel that you’re wasting your time reading anything I bring to the table, I don’t and won't claim to be an expert in any subject, much less writing. Any advice I offer will usually carry some variation of that disclaimer, even though it almost always will come to you by way of my personal and professional experiences in this business...the good, the bad, the funny, and the infuriating. Your mileage can and will vary. Heck, my mileage varies from project to project.
As you’ve hopefully surmised, I lean toward keeping things light and casual. I aim for the same basic tone on my own blog, even if I’m attempting to present thoughts on a serious topic or if I’m just pissed off about something. Ultimately, I want to have fun here, even if and when we might be talking “serious writerly business,” and I want you to have fun reading and commenting on whatever words I sling into this space.
Okay, enough goofing off for one column. Now that my “introduction” is out of the way, we’ll be sure to cover an actual...you know...topic of some sort next time. Until then? Write On, fellow scribes.