The most important element in a writer's determination to write, or so said author Bryce Courtenay.
I just learned today that he died way back on November 22, 2012 at his home in Canberra, Australia. Though born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Australia was his adopted country and he set his novels in one place or the other. His first novel The Power of One is still one of Australia's best-selling books by any author.
I first met him at the Maui Writers Conference in 1999, ten years after publication of The Power of One, a wonderful novel. Check it out if you get the chance. I intend to read it again soon.
Bryce was the keynote speaker at the conference, and won over a throng of nearly a thousand writers and writer wannabes with his passion, his enthusiasm, and the glow of love he radiated for every single writer he met.
To this day, I've never met any writer as vibrant, as charismatic, as enthusiastic. I wonder to this day whether those qualities came about because he was fifty-six years old when The Power of One came out, and, because of that, appreciated his success all the more and needed to give what he had learned.
I am fifty-six years old. This second day of 2014 finds me sad that he is not with us, but happy that I saw him speak several times and have two books that he signed to me. He always emphasized that being a writer required ". . . bum glue. You have to glue your bum to the chair and write."
When he signed my copy of The Power of One I mentioned how inspiring his talk was. He looked up, flashed a huge smile, his eyes twinkling, and said, "Bum glue, Rocky. Bum glue."
The address for my writing house during 2014 will be 56 Bum Glue Lane.