All this ‘coming soon’ nonsense from you, M. K.!
First your blog, now the site… what’s going on with you?
Yep. Well, to address that I’m better off explaining the answer to a question you have not known to even ask:
Who is Archmage Cromen?
Archmage Cromen, the wizard from whom Anisthe of Vrsar and Nagarath of Parentino learned their craft — he is so named due to my eternal regard and respect for a professor I had at the University of Wisconsin-Madison over a decade ago. Some folks are aware that I began writing The Bookminder in 2004 while recovering from a rather major surgery. (That’s its own story– I might expound upon it in print at a later date. Folks do ask from time to time.)
This strange surge in writing as my creative outlet happened at a pivotal point in, what I thought would be, my development of a budding career in animation. The Fall of 2004 saw not only the abandonment of my Pixar dreams (cold practicality won the day–one does not move to California with a pre-existing heart condition and no health insurance) but the passing of the recently-retired Professor George Cramer. A part of me still wonders if the two were connected. It was a very dead autumn for me even though I’d recently been given my new lease on life.
Time moved on, as it tends. I eventually found my way into authorship by luck, happenstance, and with a pinch of persistence. Storytelling, it would seem, ran hot in my veins. I have embraced the words, the concept of the rhythm of print on a page transferring into echoes within one’s head and heart. I like it, I do.
But to this day, the art of animation haunts me. It calls me, draws me in like a campfire on a cold night. It was a different sort of creation and I’m not even sure I know what it is I miss. But I miss it all the same.
And so I’ve come back around, goofing off by making little blinky coffee cup gifs for my blog, imagining the places of my stories made real through pixels and Blender animation software. A homecoming of sorts. The last thing–the last thing–Professor Cramer ever said to me on the final day of animation class, the last course he’d teach, was this:
“You’ve got It.”
Just that. “It” it. To me. To me.
I scoffed, the words too big for me. He persisted, insisting (in words I don’t fully recall, sadly) that he was serious and such was not a pronouncement made lightly or even all that often.
Now, granted, Archmage Cromen is not Professor Cramer by a long shot. The names are a stretch, the personalities not even close. But I would say that all art contains a sort of magick. Which makes Professor Cramer a wizard in his own right. And makes my foray into writing books not untrue to the heart of where I started even if I do miss long hours scrubbing forward and back over a sequence of frames, finding eighty ways to break a program before finding the solution I seek. (There. I’ve contradicted myself having already claimed I didn’t know what it was I miss.)
I find I haven’t the right words to close this post. And so I’ll say this. Dear reader, if you ever find yourself in Madison Wisconsin on the University campus. Go say ‘Hi’ to the Professor for me.