Birth of a Storyslinger
A Sketch of the Artist
Puckish indie writer Teague de La Plaine wandered up to the Crossroads, dusty boots leaving inch-deep prints in the soft sand.
A voice called out, “What now?”
The choices were simple. Straight ahead lie more of the same: after more than twenty years in the Marines, the straight path was one of continued government service, a thirty- or forty-year retirement, a few years’ worth of leisure, and death.
Death also lay along both the right and left paths. But the in-between, the time from this choice to death, was far different.
The left-hand way, labeled with a tired sign hanging askew that read, “Vagabond,” led to the abandonment of everything hard (obligations, aspirations, purpose) and a life of dawdling leisure.
The right-hand way was the most challenging. That way lay hard work, failure, and uncertainty. But it promised at least the chance, however slight, of brilliant achievement and even wealth. But it also beckoned with the idea that a creative life was a productive life and that the act of creating in and of itself was a gift of personal wealth and achievement.
The sign read, “Artist.”
Kicking his boots against one another in a futile attempt to knock away some of the evidence of the hard road he had already traveled, the writer smiled, turned right, and starting walking, never once looking back.
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