Full Circle


My latest interview on Author with YA author Mary Cronk Farrell was a nice full-circle moment for me. Mary was the first person to hire me speak to a writing organization (the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators of Eastern Washington), back when she was its president and I had begun to tepidly offer my speaking services on this blog. That first opportunity opened a new career path for me for which I remain quite grateful.

Her interview was not the first such moment. About a year ago I sat down with the fantasy author Terry Brooks. I came to writing and passionate reading as a boy when I discovered The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Brooks’ debut novel, The Sword of Shannara, was the first book I read after I finished Tolkien’s trilogy. I was thirteen. Forty years later, Brooks and I were talking about characters and stories and what makes magic real.

There have been other moments like these since I started Author, and I always enjoy them, but the experience of past and present touching is always fleeting. I feel as though it should be a bigger deal, so I share the story with my wife as soon as I see her. “Oh, that’s cool,” she says. Very disappointing. It’s as if I’m waiting for the orchestra to kick in and the cymbals to crash. Instead, there’s the clatter of dishes in the sink and the background murmur of MSNBC.

All-in-all I think this is for the better. The great generosity of life is that meeting a childhood hero is not necessarily more meaningful than setting the dinner table. As a writer, I can make as much or as little of either. If an orchestra followed me around, telling me what mattered and what didn’t, what was life-changing and what was banal, I know I’d spend my days waiting for the music, and terrified of silence. The meaning is absolutely everywhere all the time, life a circle that is only ever complete.

If you like the ideas and perspectives expressed here, feel free to contact me about individual coaching and group workshops.