About Me

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Mike Mehalek writes fast-paced lyrical books that can be enjoyed with one reading but have enough substance for re-reading. He brings stories to life that demand to be told, regardless of the hopes/dreams/fears/desires of his characters--the Story first--always the Story.

In 2008 Mike earned his masters degree in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University

Visit Mike on twitter @mikemehalek

Saturday, January 14, 2012

An Apology

I am a MASTER OF THE ARTS, a MASTER OF THE ARTS in WRITING POPULAR FICTION no less.  I have the signed document behind a Plexiglas shield to prove it.

But I am no master.

Sure, I’ve been published and recognized and have had put together a few stories over the years that while not technically dazzling, hold their own in my humble opinion.

But I am no master.

Those same stories that once seemed to glimmer as if gold, now only shine enough for me to see a spark of . . . of anything in them. Some might say it takes a master to recognize and make such an honest statement.

But I am no master.

I am an apprentice, a novice at best--and even that is often debated in the cavernous hollow where my words, ideas, stories are generated between thick bone walls. I am not a novelist, and have so few stories written that I am haunted by one thought, one idea that has taken root in the folds in my mind, a dark, little nugget that is both so absurd and so precise.  The lonely, gnarled bonsai tree, clinging to my brain, sapping all that feel I know of myself--nourishing itself with my essence, all that makes me, me.  And as it flourishes, I wither and wonder if I can be called a writer at all.  I could on my best days be called a storyteller--barely--a MASTER OF THE ARTS.

But I am no master.

I have talent.  I do not know if it is inborn, if it was bred into my blood. I have a talent.  Perhaps it resulted from my education, my knowledge of literary terms, and by the luck being associated with many, many great writers.

But I am no master.

I know that I am using repetition, alliteration, word choice, symbolism, cadence, tone to create a mood--a mood that reveals my style as a writer (scratch that), a writing novice, and these tools serve me well in this trade.

But I am no master.

The masters are the ones who have sacrificed so much for what on the surface seems to be so little.  They are the ones who have given up time, friendships, and other pursuits for Understanding.  The ones who write from the heart, who make it look so easy that I am often ashamed to compare even a sentence of mine to theirs.

The masters are the ones who humble me, who remind me how arrogant and clumsily I brandish my craft. It is with the same ridiculousness that a child wielding a broomstick imagines is a level skilled swordsmanship, one that would allow him to slay the dragon and save the kingdom.

The masters are the ones whose face I spit in whenever I can’t be serious enough to sit down to write any amount of words on a regular basis or whenever I carelessly craft and pass-off a story well before it’s done, before its been revised or rewritten--what’s that “rewritten”--before it’s even taught me anything about the world around me or the world within myself.

I am no master.

But I’m trying.