Society of American Travel Writers gold medal for me today

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seeahill
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Society of American Travel Writers gold medal for me today

Post by seeahill » Wed Sep 26, 2018 12:37 am

Category 109: Adventure Travel
Gold: Tim Cahill, “My Drowning (and Other Inconveniences),” Outside
Beyond the facts of this brilliant piece — a 71-year-old man gets trapped underwater during a rafting trip, is rescued only to experience sudden cardiac arrest — this is a story about story by one of the original founders of Outside magazine. What makes this narrative so beautiful is that it has everything: adventure, humor, scene setting, evocative prose, a driving emotional arc and, above all, meaning. A reflection of Tim Cahill’s 40 years as an adventurer, here he lays out what he’s learned. “I had begun to realize adventure was about story, not brute survival,” he writes. “…story became my obsession …a story well told, I thought, provided a brief glance at the meaning of life...” A masterwork not to be missed by anyone who aspires to the calling.
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Re: Society of American Travel Writers gold medal for me today

Post by Fat Cat » Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:01 am

It's only drowning if you die. You know what you need to do.
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Re: Society of American Travel Writers gold medal for me today

Post by seeahill » Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:07 am

Yeah, you know me, Fatty. I don't die until I produce a "masterwork.
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Re: Society of American Travel Writers gold medal for me today

Post by Fat Cat » Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:28 am

Keep trying!
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Re: Society of American Travel Writers gold medal for me today

Post by seeahill » Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:58 am

The way I understand it, success is mine.
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Re: Society of American Travel Writers gold medal for me today

Post by nafod » Wed Sep 26, 2018 12:55 pm

If I could stay logged in I would congratulate you
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Re: Society of American Travel Writers gold medal for me today

Post by Shapecharge » Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:24 pm

I recommend you use this opportunity to finally announce to the world your 40+ years of deception...how your career as an "adventure" writer and inadvertent success is a sham and that you only involved yourself in this business so you could sleep outside amongst other men in hopes of possibly fellating them.

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Re: Society of American Travel Writers gold medal for me today

Post by johno » Wed Sep 26, 2018 2:50 pm

Let me be the first on IGx to congratulate you, Tim.
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Are full of passionate intensity.

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Re: Society of American Travel Writers gold medal for me today

Post by Grandpa's Spells » Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:38 pm

Congrats, Tim!
One of the downsides of the Internet is that it allows like-minded people to form communities, and sometimes those communities are stupid.

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Re: Society of American Travel Writers gold medal for me today

Post by seeahill » Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:25 pm

Shapecharge wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:24 pm
I recommend you use this opportunity to finally announce to the world your 40+ years of deception...how your career as an "adventure" writer and inadvertent success is a sham and that you only involved yourself in this business so you could sleep outside amongst other men in hopes of possibly fellating them.
What happens outdoors stays outdoors.
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Re: Society of American Travel Writers gold medal for me today

Post by seeahill » Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:27 pm

johno wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 2:50 pm
Let me be the first on IGx to congratulate you, Tim.
Thanks Johno, Spells, Nafod. And even Fatty and Shape.

I guess I'm pretty much done with this career and it's nice to end on a high note.
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Re: Society of American Travel Writers gold medal for me today

Post by Fat Cat » Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:36 pm

Time to get a real job.
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Re: Society of American Travel Writers gold medal for me today

Post by seeahill » Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:31 pm

Fat Cat wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 10:36 pm
Time to get a real job.
I'm 74. Retired. But I have a special set of skills.

Hire me, I'll get it done. But it will cost you.
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Re: Society of American Travel Writers gold medal for me today

Post by Fat Cat » Thu Sep 27, 2018 12:30 am

Walmart needs greeters. Play to your need for constant validation.
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Re: Society of American Travel Writers gold medal for me today

Post by seeahill » Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:42 am

Constant validation? What, you took a Psych course?
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Re: Society of American Travel Writers gold medal for me today

Post by nafod » Thu Sep 27, 2018 1:35 pm

The IGx-God has momentarily allowed me to log in...
a story well told, I thought, provided a brief glance at the meaning of life
Does it give you a glance at the meaning of life? Or does it create a meaning where there is none?

Chew on that one...wise old owl.
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Re: Society of American Travel Writers gold medal for me today

Post by Shapecharge » Thu Sep 27, 2018 1:38 pm

Timmah I'm just fucking with you...congrats. Recognition for life-long accomplishment is a very positive thing. You were a founding member of two magazines still in circulation, right...Outside and Rolling Stone? Awesome.

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Re: Society of American Travel Writers gold medal for me today

Post by Fat Cat » Thu Sep 27, 2018 7:33 pm

seeahill wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:42 am
Constant validation? What, you took a Psych course?
Don't get all defensive and start lashing out. I'm just pointing out the obvious.
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Re: Society of American Travel Writers gold medal for me today

Post by syaigh » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:13 pm

Was it real gold? Like can you finally afford a non-flammable house?

Congratulations, some of these motherfuckers shared it on fb and I read it again. Nice job. :)
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Re: Society of American Travel Writers gold medal for me today

Post by seeahill » Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:52 am

I doubt it's real gold. I didn't go to the ceremony (didn't even know I was nominated), but an email from them just asked for my address so they could send "my award." Probably a "suitable for framing" piece of paper or, more likely, a simple diamond encrusted desk ornament.
Last edited by seeahill on Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Society of American Travel Writers gold medal for me today

Post by seeahill » Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:09 am

Shape,
Not quite. I published my first piece in RS back in 1969 (a year and some after it was founded) and continued on with the magazine through what I like to think were its glory years.

On the other hand, I was one of three people who founded Outside Magazine in 1976
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Re: Society of American Travel Writers gold medal for me today

Post by seeahill » Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:21 am

Nafod,
Actually, I worked out some "the meaning" part of that story here, in answer to Sangoma's question, "do you think you have a soul." Here's what I said:

Yeah, I do. I think we all have something near to whatever your definition of a soul is.

And this is about as mystical as you'll ever hear me get.

Because I tell stories for a living, I've spent a lot of time thinking about the concept of story. On those occasions where I'm paid to teach writing, I teach story. A story is a lens through which we apprehend our world, our circumstance. Everyplace I go --- and I've gone to well over 100 countries --- I ask about the local creation myth. It is always, of course, a story.

We Homo sapiens told stories --- I'm assuming --- from our earliest days on earth. We told stories around the campfires, Homer spoke his epic poems, Guttenberg allowed us to widely disseminate stories and we read stories on the internet.

Telling stories is what humans do to make sense of our world. Your ancestors were good hunters and gatherers, otherwise, you wouldn't be here. And if we listen to the stories of hunter-gatherers --- those of the Australian Aboriginals, for instance --- we hear explanations of why we exist, why certain trees bloom in certain parts of the year, and how a geological formation came to be.

Stories are baked into our DNA.

In my mind, I have always envisioned a blinding curve of energy, a great story arc in the sky.

When I write, the first 20 minutes or so is generally throw away stuff. But as my friend Richard Wheeler (author of 60 novels) says, "it is like a rusty old outdoor water pump. You work the handle and all you get at first is rusty muddy water. But if you keep pumping, the water runs clear and clean."

So it is with writing. If you are working well, sometime in that first 20 minutes you forget yourself. The prose becomes cleaner, the story sharper, elements you hadn't even considered in your outline enter the flow and those annoying loose ends begin the tie themselves up into neat little knots.

Meanwhile, you may have been sitting there for 3 hours, but it seems like you've only been working for 30 minutes. You went somewhere for a while and there you consulted the Great Story Arc and it was there that the stories of our history on earth lit you up and informed the best of your writing.

I know you've all had roughly similar experiences writing, even for some essay project in school. Couldn't get the damn thing started and now it's four in the morning and, damn, this isn't bad.

I think the act of losing yourself in the work is much akin to Eastern Meditative states.

I am not alone in this thought. In 1990, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the Hungarian psychologist, and (at the time) University of Chicago Psych professor wrote a book entitled Flow, the Psychology of Optimal Experience. He found that painters, for instance, experienced flow states while working. A musician writing a passage on paper may not hear the doorbell ring. A neurosurgeon may experience a complex five hour operation as 15 minutes of work. A ballerina, on the other hand, may sense that two seconds of movement have slowed down to two minutes. An athlete in the flow is said to be "in the zone."

Csikszentmihalyi described the flow as "being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost."

Some folks use meditation to get to that state of ego-less flow and what I think of as "creatural" thinking (rather than thinking in the ordinary brooding mode). Without self critical thought or ego, these folks may feel they've begun the perceive the meaning of life.

I think a basketball player in the zone shares some of that comprehension. I mean, I guess you can get there doing a Buddist "stare at the wall for a day" exercise. Some of us just need a little harder bump.

Which brings us back to the soul.

When I'm writing and in the flow, I often have no idea where that element of the story just came from and why the piece wants to finish the way it demands to finish. I just pulled that stuff down out of that blinding curve of energy, the Great Story Arc.

And what that has to do with the soul is this: you are part of it. I am part of it. Every human being is part of it. As soon as you are born, your parents start telling your story. And as a child, you will skin your knee or walk naked into your parent's dinner party, you'll suffer a broken heart, hit the zone in your chosen sport, have children of your own. And that all becomes part of the human story. It folds into the Great Story Arc and alters it if only very slightly. And there it is --- in that blinding curve of energy that lasts forever --- that is where your soul resides.

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Re: Society of American Travel Writers gold medal for me today

Post by Fat Cat » Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:26 am

You should really take a writing class sometime.
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Re: Society of American Travel Writers gold medal for me today

Post by seeahill » Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:33 am

Fat Cat wrote:
Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:26 am
You should really take a writing class sometime.
Ah, old dog, new tricks Fatty.
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Re: Society of American Travel Writers gold medal for me today

Post by nafod » Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:41 am

I remember that post of yours, which has stewed in my mind along with other thoughts, none of which are images of you, fatcat, and shape having a Lemon Party. You wrote
Telling stories is what humans do to make sense of our world
My bold there. We create a sense of the world that is in fact...senseless? See patterns where there are none? Like seeing bunnies in clouds. All of those creation myths can’t be true.

I do stuff on decision making, and have people work on software to help deciders make decisions. I’ve learned that we ultimately use the software to tell a story, to ourselves or others. No story, no decision. We call it “rationale”, but it’s ultimately a story.

Thanks for the post.
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