Friday, March 19, 2010

The one talent

I recently was reading a poem by Steven Erikson (see post below) that had a simple yet provocative theme:

The painter must be mute
The sculptor deaf
Talents are passed out
As everyone knows
Oh let them dabble
We smile our indulgence
No end to our talent
For allowances
But talents are passed out
We permit you one
Worth lauding
The rest may do service
In servicable fashion
But greatness?
That is a title passed out
Don't be greedy
Over trying our indulgence
Belongs to us
Behind the makeshift wall --
The bricks of our
Reasonable scepticism.

This poem spoke to me. Each and every one of us is born with one talent that supercedes all of our other talents.

That's not to say that there aren't people out there who are multitalented. We see that all the time. Tiger Woods is multitalented. Cough.

Sorry, couldn't pass that up.

Anyway, when I really explored deeply into this concept, I found it to be fascinating. My guess is that some of us never truly uncover this superlative skill. It could be the woman who sounds so great singing in the shower could have bested Mariah Carey, had the cards fallen right for her. Or the dad who blew by all the neighbor kids in the race from the garbage can to the mailbox might have been able to blow by Usain Bolt.

For me, this is very clear. By far my best talent is writing epic fantasy. Nothing else comes close. I'm an average singer at best. I can't dance a lick (though I wish I could). There are third-graders who can outdraw me. And my best athletic endeavor ever has been bowling, though gawd knows I wish I could have been better at golf.

But I can do the epic fantasy thing. And you know what? I'd prefer to be a best-selling writer of epic fantasy than an actor, rock star, politician, sports great or anything else. Heck, I'd rather be a best-selling writer of epic fantasy than a pro golfer, and that's saying something.

I have the one talent.

But I also have enough talent left to dream.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Here comes the s-p+a*m

After a couple of years with no spam at all, I'm starting to get a lot of it in my comments. So I've had to turn on comment moderation, which I normally find annoying in other blogs.

Is there anything that can be done about blog spam besides comment moderation?


The Death Wizard Chronicles is a sexy, action-packed six-book epic fantasy series: Book One (Forged by Death), Book Two (Chained by Fear), Book Three (Eve of War), Book Four (World on Fire), Book Five (Sun God), Book Six (Death-Know).

The DW Chronicles is not for children and teenagers -- or the faint of heart. But if you like graphic fantasy that is bursting with excitement yet still has a lot going on between the lines, I think you'll love my series.

In a groundbreaking paradox, the Death Wizard, a champion of good, derives his power from a source traditionally seen as negative -- death. His nemesis, an evil sorcerer, derives his power from the sun, the benevolent source of all life. Their struggle to control the fate of the planet Triken will take your breath away.

In an original twist never before seen in this genre, the Death Wizard is able to enter the realm of death during a "temporary suicide." Through intense concentration, he stops his heartbeat and feeds on death energy, which provides him with an array of magical powers.

The series also is a love triangle involving two desperate characters attempting to come together despite the machinations of an all-powerful psychopath with incestuous cravings.

Graphic and action-packed, spanning a millennium of turmoil, The DW Chronicles carries readers on a journey they will never forget.

Do you fear death? The Death Wizard does not. Find out why.

-- Please go to for more details.

About Me

My photo
Clemson, SC, United States
I was born in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., but grew up in St. Petersburg, Fla. I graduated from the University of South Florida (Tampa) in 1979 with a B.A. in Journalism. I now live in South Carolina near the Blue Ridge Mountains, a pleasant setting for writing, to say the least. I was an award-winning journalist at the St. Petersburg Times for twenty-five years and I currently work at the Charlotte Observer. I am married with five daughters.

The author

The author
Jim Melvin, a veteran journalist, debuts as novelist.