Thursday, January 15, 2009

Long Ago and Far Away

So, digging around in some old paper files, I came across a copy of this check. Dated 20 March 1974, and it marks what was for me an auspicious day.

One Saturday, a buddy of mind asked me if I wanted to go with him to a meeting of the Society for Creative Anachronism. What-the-hell, I said, why not? I went, took my camera, and shot some pictures -- before they threw me out for not wearing a costume. (At the time, I figured I could have taken any of the fighters I saw, if they'd let me come as a samurai and use a spear or a sword. That was a long time ago and their skills were less than impressive.)

Um. Anyway, I went home, ran off a proof sheet, whipped out some prose, and sent it off to the Sunday Advocate. They liked it, I sent in the film, they ran the article a couple weeks later in the magazine section, and bam! just like that, I was a professional writer, at the advanced age of twenty-four.

I had written a column and done cartoons for the local underground hippie press before then, but I didn't get paid for that.

It was another four years before I sold any fiction, though I did manage a few more articles for the newspaper and a couple of medical and knife magazines along the way.


Dave Huss said...

When you came across that club in 1974, they had only been doing there thing since 1968. If you are interested, this is your local group in Beaverton.
Might be fun to look at them 35 years later. A lot less touchy these days.

Steve Perry said...

I've run into the local SCA folk at Orycon several times. Nice bunch of people.