What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* Seth Mullins draws upon the great sweep of human soul-journeying to weave his tales. He's inspired by music, shamanism, dreams and the mysteries and miracles of our inner life. His greatest love as a writer is for fiction that depicts a journey towards self-awareness in the deepest sense.
* "Probably the most valuable thing that I learned throughout my spiritual journey in this life is the importance of trusting in one's self. Many of our cultural lessons encourage us to ignore or even fear our inner reality. And yet it is this realm that really does hold the answers to all of our questions, and can point the way towards the most fulfilling life experiences possible for us."
* Mr. Mullins has lived in Maine, Connecticut, New Mexico, Oregon and Vermont.
What are you going to tell us about today?
Writing on the Move
* My ideal writing space isn’t any particular space at all: It’s a state of motion. Nothing lubricates the flow of creative ideas like movement, I’ve found. I discovered this by accident, years ago. Walking to work one afternoon, I suddenly envisioned a scene from my novel-in-progress with a kind of pristine clarity that had eluded me while I’d been staring at my computer screen only an hour before. What’s more, I could ‘hear’ the organic way with which the words had to fall in order to paint that scene and perfectly capture its mood. I prayed I’d remember by the time I returned home after the end of my shift; but of course, that never happened. Inspiration is like dreams in that respect: Even when it’s recalled it’s seldom as vivid as the original visitation.
* This experience repeated itself many times. At first I cursed my inspiration’s ill sense of timing. I even remarked about the irony and absurdity of the whole thing to a few people who were in my writer’s group at the time. It didn’t occur to me until a bit later that maybe the phenomenon wasn’t accidental at all. It was as if my thoughts mimicked my body: Stationary when I sat before the screen and tumbling one after the other as I moved. After all, we don’t have to make any conscious effort to summon our thought process. There’s nothing we can do to stop it in the first place. It streams forth endlessly, even when we’re not paying much attention.
* Writing becomes more a matter, then, of just nudging the stream of consciousness along certain avenues – and then leaving it alone to do its work. If I’m sitting at a desk with pencil in hand then that monologue may not iterate much more than I can’t think of what to write over and over. But if I’m out hiking a trail, hemmed by trees with sun overhead, my thought stream will likely flow more like this:
* In my afterlife, I want to be nearly weightless so I can just bounce down these grassy hills just as if I was a beach ball. Wow, the monarchs are out in droves today. Brandon’s not interested in money; he just wants to set his vision down for posterity. That’s the essence of a musical legacy, to him. It’s a living myth, a great bubbling cauldron, with every mad artist who ever danced beyond society’s proscribed lines coming by to taste what’s in the pot and then throw something of his or her own into it...
* For this reason, I’ve learned that it’s best that I carry some paper – even just folded in my pocket - and a writing utensil with me any time I leave the house. As soon as I get moving, the insights and visions churn up from the deep recesses like froth. I’ll stop wherever I can sit – on a log, bus stop bench, picnic table, etc. – and set it down.
* It’d get physically exhausting real quick, of course, if the only way I could get words to flow was to take a hike. But I’ve found that any activity has similar loosening powers. I don’t know how many times I’ve been in the midst of washing dishes and had to run and towel my hands off so I could jot or type a paragraph down real quick. The Law of Attraction gurus advise us to state our intention to the Universe and then let it go. Writing seems to manifest in a similar way for me. It flows most strongly when I’m only paying partial attention to what my own consciousness is doing – because then it’s free to play, and to cook up something tasty, when I’m not standing too strict a guard over it.
A look into the story
* When an altercation outside of a performance venue nearly proves fatal, Brandon Chane begins to realize how far his life is spinning out of control. His efforts to channel his pain, frustration and thwarted loves into his music may not suffice to save him. Then he meets Saul, a crisis counselor with the soul of an ancient medicine man, and a far-reaching journey of healing - one that may teach him how to steer away from the very edge of the abyss - begins.
* Saul’s office was arranged much like others I’d seen: A dark cherry desk, glossy clean; plaques, proclaiming his education and other achievements, hanging on the wall behind. All the prominent names in the field of psychology cluttered his bookcase. Most of the titles that Tommy had found for me at the library made an appearance there. Saul invited me to sit in a brown leather recliner. I didn’t want to tilt it back; but I kept feeling like I was about to fall out of that chair when it was in the upright position.
* Saul leaned forward and smiled like he harbored a secret. “I’d like to start, Brandon, by assuring you that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you. You have no ‘problems’ per se. You aren’t evil, because there is no such thing. And if you’re ignorant, then you are no more so than every other human to ever walk the Earth. Now, is any of that reassuring?”
* It almost sounded like he was trying to provoke an argument. Yet his manner and tone implied that he meant every word he said in the most literal sense.
* “Of course,” he went on, “that’s all true only from a perspective that you may have to work hard to arrive at. When you’re suffering, it definitely feels like something is wrong with you; and the seeming causes of that suffering are problems. They are the embodiment of evil. And every smiling person you see must be privy to answers that have totally eluded you.”
Buy What Casts a Shadow? here...
Find Seth Mullins here...
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Thank you for joining us here today, Seth Mullins! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your story.
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