The Hero’s Journey: A Measure of Success

Tonight’s workshop at Barnes & Noble, Summerlin was a measure of success. By the looks of our workshop attendees, I believe I can safely assume that it was by far, a great measure of success.

Writers Workshop 020618 BN

Yes…you are correct. I am the dumpy-looking one in the background, next to Bill Guthrie. If you don’t know Bill by now, here is a photo of him.


I either need to get a new shirt or spend more time on the run. Guess I’m getting a new pair of tennis shoes.


That is me, with my daughter.

I am DEFINITELY spending more time walking.

The Hero’s Journey: Storytelling 101, the Big Day

The day is here. Our first night of a packed venue, our second Meetup at Barnes & Noble, Summerlin. We may not be on the schedule, but after tonight, I hope that our store managers will place us on the map as a regular occurrence at the store.


We will be discussing the “Hero’s Journey“, as penned by Joseph Campbell. If you don’t know anything about the “Hero’s Journey“, don’t feel left out. I was surprised at the number of writers, authors and scholars here in Las Vegas who have never heard of it. Use Google to search for Hero’s Journey however, and you will find at least 250,000 results. The sheer number of rich, informative websites that have been created to dutifully explain or simplify the findings from Campbell’s “The Power of Myth“, “The Hero’s Journey” and “The Hero With a Thousand Faces” is staggering (to say the least).


Joseph Campbell (1904 – 1987) was a researcher, scholar and teacher who grew up loving mythology. He ate, slept and breathed mythology, to his dying breath. Like Campbell, I studied mythology as a child. I could not read enough fairy tales, fables or myths. I found a hunger I could not sate, bound by an incredible urge to learn more. I started my lessons in mythology, books written by Edith Hamilton. Those first stories were short and palatable. There was something about her use of the English language that felt simple…fast reads that would entertain me for hours. It was Hamilton, who would eventually lead me to “Bulfinch’s Mythology” as a teen, ending with Joseph Campbell’s “Myths to Live By” as an adult.


Looking back, my need seemed more like a quest to answer questions, rather than to fill a need of my hunger for myth. My scholarly jaunt was a stair-stepping route that brought me forward to a discovery of Homer’s “The Iliad and the Odyssey“, Plato’s “Timaeus and Critias” and Ovid’s “Metamorphoses“. My discovery of their dramatic prose and profound discourses led to stories by more contemporary authors. I began a list of heroes taken from pages written by Isaac Asimov, “The Foundation“, Ray Bradbury, “Martian Chronicles” or Gordon R. Dickson‘s more scholarly “Dorsai!“. My thirst to find good stories have spanned more than 50 years so far, and show no signs of waning.


Tonight’s meeting will be a challenge and discovery. I will be sitting next to a new hero, Bill Guthrie. Ever since I have met Bill, I discovered a wealth of knowledge and wisdom, cultivated by years of hard, unrelenting work as a writer, journalist and editor. I have an opportunity to share what I have found with others, hungry as I am to complete our Hero’s Journey as a writer and an author. Tonight is the opportunity for all of us to talk to a true writing professional, one who has lived by the written word for over 60 years. Tonight I can introduce new writers to Bill Guthrie as we all share our voices and opinions regarding one of the oldest of professions…storytelling.

Writer’s Workshops: A Way for Writers to Meet…IN PERSON

I checked how long it has been since I made my last post and was appalled.

My last post was made on June 25th of last year. I stopped because the advice I was given was that my writing was not ready. When is your writing…”ready”? I can agonize over punctuation, grammar or content until the moon turns blue (I believe the last time we had a “blue moon” took place sometime in the 1860’s). Wait a moment! We just had one, didn’t we? Well then, I suppose it is time for me to get my ducks in a row.


I am re-opening my blog on the advent of what I hope will be a successful “Meetup“, due to take place on Tuesday, the 6th of February. We titled our monthly meeting “The Writer’s Workshops at Barnes and Noble, Summerlin“. This Meetup is our second public workshop of 2018 and our 5th workshop since we started in September of 2017. As of this writing, we have 163 members in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our workshops are hosted and opened by Bill Guthrie, an author, award-winning writer, sportswriter and columnist for over 40 years. I manage setup, posting and marketing of the workshops.


This meetup will be a challenge for us since we will attempt to host 25 or more people in a very small space. I am hoping that we have enough chairs to handle all the people who have RSVP’d. In today’s climate, you would think that we would have other ways to reach a wider audience. Well, we do…but then there are issues that can arise, such as copyright, privacy, etc. We have taken so much for granted in this day and age of live streaming, Facebook, Instagram and other social media.


Yes, there are all kinds of options available to us, but about 90 percent of those options involve money (which we don’t have). Besides, there is something to say about meeting people face-to-face, and the opportunity for other writers to talk to someone with as much experience and knowledge as Bill Guthrie is often a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Facebook live streaming is one thing, but exchanging questions with him in the same room evokes a different feeling than one would have with an exchange of text.

2So what can we do? We work with what we have. I’ve got our 5Artz meetings to also consider since we don’t have a venue for this Meetup right now. (The store will not sanction a meetup for 5Artz, because it involves photography, music, performing arts and art, rather than writing). I wish we could hold our 5Artz Meetups in the bookstore as well. Until that day arrives, I will continue my search for a venue that is not too loud (we tried a restaurant – too noisy), too expensive or too far away for everyone to meet.

Wish me luck.