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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Banshee: It is not good for man to be alone.

Mission accomplished. Thank you for all who prayed that this past weekend in Scranton would be everything it needed to be…for it surely was. Prior to going, I hoped it would be: relaxing, inspiring, productive, fun, faith-building, silly, and memorable. It was all of the above, and I couldn't be more thrilled with the results.

There's something about hitting the road, the adventure, maybe--something that just absolutely stokes my creative fires. The whole way there I cranked up the prog. metal CDs: Dream Theater "Images and Words" first and then a new Nightwish offering called Dark Passion Play. There's me cruising through the mountains with crunchy guitars blasting. Ah, the memories are so fun.

Pulling into Scranton, I pumped my fists and basically hooted like an idiot. I could hardly get to our room fast enough. In the end, I wrote about 2,000 words (about a chapter and a half), but also outlined ideas for tons of others to come.


Christopher Hopper (shown below) who writes A LOT faster than I do, probably polished off somewhere around 40,000. JK. Still, he was writing like a crazy man. There were so many times when one of us got stuck and the other came through with something righteously cool. And just a word or two about Christopher Hopper: he is a hero of the faith (not to be put up on a pedestal--his balance isn't very good.) But seriously, whenever I'm around him, my faith strengthens. Jesus just billows out of the guy. I've known him for two years now, and it feels like we have a twenty year history. It's a God thing.

In the late part of the evenings, when we put out the light, the strangest thing happened. I'm in my bed on one side of the room. CH in his bed on the other side. And the two of us are cracking jokes and laughing our cumulative rears off. I mean, little kids on a sleep over kind of laughter. Guffawing! Belly laughs that make you feel like you've had an ab workout. We were literally crying from laughing so hard. I can't tell you everything we laughed about, but let's just say much of the hilarity came from a certain gnome who happens to be a barrister and could use a case of Beano. Nuff said.



Between writing sprints, Sir Christopher and I frequented our favorite home away from home, the magnificent Banshee Pub. As you can see from the pictures, the place is just awesome: dark wood, black wrought iron, brick, gilded ceilings--what an inspiring place to hang. Christopher made a photo-plaque for us to sign and dedicate to the Banshee. Little did we know that the kind folks there would hang it on the wall. And there it will be for years to come. COOLNESS.



While at the Banshee, we were blessed to again be joined by the pub owners, family, and friends. See pic below (me, Chuck, Melody, Kathleen, CH). I had the blessing of being able to talk for quite a while with Chuck. He is one amazing guy. He's the distinguished older gent in the pic. But the guy runs the Ironman! I could barely run out of the pub without being out of breath, but seriously, a triathalon???

The more Chuck and I spoke, the more I was overwhelmed with the notion of how precious people are. Everyone has a story to tell if we'll listen. Chuck told me he thought sometimes of being a writer. He told me he'd worked on some short memoir kind of writings. I hope he pursues it. It's never too late.

Chuck and his family are people who value a good conversation. And I think, rightly so. You know what "pub" stands for? It stands for public house. It's a place where people can go to be around other people. Remember Cheers? Sometimes you want to go, where everybody knows your name..."

God said, "It is not good for man to be alone." Now I know He fixed that by giving Adam his beloved Eve. But it seems to me, take away all the distractions, all the noise, and what really matters? I think it's relationships. First with God, but then with people. Let this sink into your mind for a moment: what would all your accomplishments, dreams, thoughts, hopes, work, play matter if you had no one to share them with?

Relationships matter. The people in your life matter. More and more, I'm convinced and convicted that I need to cultivate all the relationships God has blessed me with. And what does it take? Time. A listening ear. A willingness to share. Is there someone you need to "hang" with a little more? Is there someone who might need to talk? Is there an old friend you've neglected for too long?

I used to be a pretty independent person. I used to do all kinds of things all by myself. It was not uncommon for me to consume 6 hours golfing all alone. Now, I wouldn't even dream of doing that. Not that we all don't need some alone time. Not at all. But still, we can sometimes get into ruts of fading out of people's lives. We become like ringwraiths, shadows not in this world fully.

We need to know others and be known. I think that's why the adolescent exclusion and teasing is such a painful thing for so many. If you're not on the inside crowd, nothing feels right with the world. If you're reading this, and you're kind of an outcast, I want you to know that Jesus LOVES you. He spent much of His time on earth "hanging" with those the "in" crowd had pushed aside or branded as "lesser." You are a treasure to God. With Him, you are truly never alone.

And something more for those who long for relationships but seem on the outside looking in: what if God allowed you to experience this so that you could reach out to others who are going through the same thing? It is not good for man to be alone. Go change that for someone else. Don't let anyone be alone. Introduce the One who can be with you forever.


To close: go ring someone's doorbell, call someone, chat, IM, email, open a door--find someone and, to quote the Banshee's wonderful sage Chuck Rogers, say, "Let's go have us a conversation."

14 comments:

everlastingscribe said...

*Yay* All right! I'm glad beyond words the two of you are strengthened, encouraged and recharged!

dCF said...

thats really awesome....that pub is the coolest...reminds me of this coffee shop down here...well congrats on the 2,000 words..dont think i could do that in 240 days...i completely agree with you, as the son of marriage ministers i completely believe that Relationships are the whole purpose of our life, with god and with others...right on Sir Wayne!!

and welcome back ;-)

S. J. Deal said...

Awesome post Sir. Wayne.

Most nights my sister and I will just sit and talk, or do something together. There have been (many) times when it went on all night long.

I love relationships. I tend to go absolutely crazy when they hit a snag though, as can happen from time to time. I literally can't rest until it's resolved.

Shelby Marie said...

I completely agree with you. Relationships are everything, and it hurts to be without the ones you love. You are also correct in saying that it takes time to build these good, lasting relationships. Time and patience. Time and patience and love.
Great Post!
Write On!!!
Shelby Marie

***Flinn-fan-of-the-Twins*** said...

Cool post, Mr. Batson. I often feel alone, I no that I'm not, because the Creator of all the universe is with me always. And that helps a lot. As for your trip, I'm glad you had fun! I look forward to reading those 2,000 words someday!

Galactic Overlord-In-Chief said...

Loved reading the post. Great to hear you had a good time, Wayne!

- Jason

Nick said...

Wow. . . that's really inspiring.
The banshee must be really cool. . I'll have to go there someday. . . when I can drive. . . or maybe my parents can take me. . .
I love sleepovers like that but most of the time I'm so pumped at night I can't sleep and I'm the last one up. . .so bored. . Until I finally fall asleep.
Wow, I say wow a lot. :D

Araken said...

Awesomeness! 2,000 words? Sweet!

missunderstood.princess said...

lol you guys sound like you had fun! i have a friend like that too her names sambo ( my own personal nick amen for her ) and we love getting together and writing before we know it the whole days gone!!!

Justin B. said...

I have seen the pub.. so awesome that two Inkiling esque writers occupied such an awesome place in Scranton. I've only passed by the place a few times since I have multitudes of relatives who live in the Scranton area and have passed it while taking a stroll through Scranton.

What you had to say about relationships, well.. it was definitely a great things you said. I have friends.. but not close friends. I seem to never really be myself. Intellectually, I feel lonely, and with everyone I hang out with whether they be Christians or not, I never seem to be myself. I really am not comfortable with myself and the times I have exploded with my love for Tim Burton movies, Sweeney Todd, vampire novels, fantasy novels, anime; I seem to get weird looks from fellow christians. One of the reasons I quit going to many Christian fellowships was because I felt lonely there and never connected with anyone there. Online, I am one social person; but in real life I rather be in my room reading, playing video games, and writing. So yeah.. why did I just type up that huge mass of text. Hmm.. well just saying what you typed was very true and something I really needed at a moment in my life where I continue to feel teen angst/ teen loneliness. Your books and blog posts always lift my spirits. Also, your books helped me to have one great friend, my friend Jess!! She is the one person who truly connects with me and I swear if you met her, you would think immediately that she was Antionette. Anyways continue writing, God Bless,
Justin B.

WayneThomasBatson said...

Thanks for the kind words, all.

And Justin, I feel for you, my friend. The high school/teen corridor is a tough time. Getting through the layers of put-on personality to make friends with real people is hard at your age for a myriad of reasons. A couple of thoughts come to mind for what they're worth:

This your world right now, but remember the world is much MUCH bigger than it seems now. The same people who poke jabs at you now will clamor to be your friend when you both attend some large college. One thing that really helps bridge the gap sometimes is to get people away from their audience. Get people one on one where they don't feel the need to perform. You're more likely to get an accurate bead on the person that way.

And also, if you've been stung by prejudging or misunderstanding, be careful not to preload your barrels. That's when we start to assume the worst about people and project attitudes on them. Then, at the first sign of negativity, we immediately go to Defcon 6: "Ah, ha! See you are the judgmental jerk that I thought you were!" lol, that kind of thing.

Never alone.

Ardian said...

Hello, Mr. Batson,

I was wondering if you could give me some names of good publishers. I have a book ready to be published but I don't know where to start.

WayneThomasBatson said...

Ardian, you wrote:
I was wondering if you could give me some names of good publishers. I have a book ready to be published but I don't know where to start.

Actually, the place to start is with your manuscript: are you sure it's the very best it can be? Are you happy with it? Have you had it read by several others with some literary insight?

If not, do that. If so, begin by finding an agent. Publishers won't give you the time of day without one.

Then, get yourself a copy of the Writer's Publishing Guide. You can research every publisher and see what their needs are.

Ardian said...

Thanks a lot.