SITTING DOWN TO WRITE
Sitting down to write. That's all you have to do and it will come. Don't force it they say, just do it and the angels of the muse will come to help you. They recognize your need and your desire, your willingness to put in the necessary work required and they reward you as the vessel of its creation. This is their pleasure. So that is why I am here. I am here to write what flows through me from wherever these energies are sourced.
The preceding paragraph was inspired by my recent reading of Steven Pressfield’s ‘The War of Art’, a copy I acquired some time ago via an email from a good friend who resides in Spain. As it is an electronic version, I filed it away and kept telling myself to remind myself to read it as soon as I finish the book I was reading at present. Needless to say, a good deal of time passed before I actually got around to reading it, two years to be exact, and you know a lot can happen in two years. As usual for me, there has been a bit movement in my life since receiving that book.
For starters, I was knee deep writing my first book, ‘Baking Bread for the Genius’. In the middle of writing that book I took a few weeks to help some friends sail their boat ‘Free Spirit’ from Tortola, BVI in the Caribbean to Hampton, Virginia. After I returned, I went to visit my sister Jacquie and her family in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for a week and then I flew back to Maryland to finish the initial manuscript. As I was scheduled to move to the beautiful island of Samui, Thailand in July of 2014 I was on a deadline and needed to complete it before the end of June.
I buckled down and managed to complete all my recipe testings, measurement conversions, story writing, picture taking, and societal ranting on time, bid my family and friends farewell (again) whilst packing the least amount of clothing and equipment required for a minimalist chef to move and survive on a tropical island literally half a world away. I was ready, my tickets purchased, and so I set out on the road one more time.
After getting settled in I began working with a friend and chef I met while living in Beijing, China. He and his Chinese wife operate a small catering company specializing in boutique wedding receptions, private villa celebrations, and other special events requiring culinary finesse and delicacy. Like most jobs in the hospitality industry, the hours are long and demanding, but the climate and the island lifestyle make it all the more rewarding. As worked passed so did the months, and as I got more comfortable and adjusted I began thinking of ways to carve out my own niche.
In time I have been able to establish my own small venture specializing in meat and seafood barbecues, drop-off catering packages, and ready made meal service for training athletes as well as those looking for healthy, prepared, convince meals. I also offer my services as a private chef in holiday villas and for private yacht charters. For the times I am not working, I have found a small, but personable gym and training facility where I can keep fit and continue practicing the martial arts I love, Muay Thai and Jiujitsu.
It has been two years since I began writing my book and eighteen months since I submitted the first manuscript. After months of countless messages and emails, rewrites and edits, we were able to combine all the text, recipes, and pictures into an agreeable layout design allowing ‘Baking Bread for the Genius’ to finally see publication in December, 2015.
After years of scribbling notes, one-liners, and verse for my own predilection (and a few select others) it is gratifying to see the fruits of my labors come to print for everyone to read. Im relieved, but not satisfied, proud but not content. It is an accomplishment I am worthy of but was not a card I saw in my hand. Who knew? How did this happen to me?
Reinvention is constant and rife throughout nature and I find myself consistently seeking out new ideas, philosophies, concepts, and knowledge. If one asked me 'what do you do', or ‘who are you’, my response has grown in twenty-odd years from ‘Im a cook’ to ‘I am a cook who loves to play drums and percussion while writing about my travels as I sail the waters of the world and train jiujitsu’. Am I an artist? Am I a musician? Am I a chef? Whose to determine? Some say you shouldn't have to ask that question of yourself. Either you know or you don’t. Either you are or you aren’t. But who are they to challenge your point of view, your stance, and what do they know of the path which has brought you to this particular point on your particular journey, on this very present day?
I’ve never been one to sit around idle and I suggest you motivate yourself to find that which makes you happiest in life. Stop asking questions and just do. Take the time to discover who you are and be that person, no matter how far away it takes you. ‘It’ must be allowed to come out and breathe its own life because there is so much to be said and we have to get everyone to listen, but first they must listen to themselves.
There are books which are game changers. Authors like Hemingway, Gibran, Robbins, and Pressfield changed my game. Who will change yours?
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