August 10th, 2018
I asked Silas where he would like to interview:
We are in what appears to be a dark wood Japanese Estate from the Heian era, but what is on the inside is a pleasant home to an eccentric scholar and self-professed Hobbit. The walls are made of the same color and style wood as the exterior, the halls are decorated with objects and art from the Eastern world, yet leave space to breathe. It is cool and later on in the afternoon, around 3, we are in a room on the second level which makes itself out to be a simple bar for the company to lounge at when the night has drawn on into the morning and the subject of conversation has turned far too silly.
The exterior sliding windows look out onto the grounds that have trails leading deeper up into the mountain and forest which surround us and the inside balcony looks down into an open-air courtyard filled with plants and a small running stream
I am dressed in a simple collared shirt, cardigan and jeans, drinking a cosmopolitan martini and smoking mullen with a bit of lavender and tobacco from a Gandalf pipe.
The bar is warm and stocked mostly with vodka, whiskey, and red wine, coals burn in small fireplace to keep us comfortable.
A statue to the Buddha Manjushri rests near far wall.
A fine night to be interviewed by friends and acquaintances alike.
Laura Mae: What does a typical day of writing look like for you?
Silas Day: It typically involves 5-8 hours of writing where I try to write anywhere between 2-8k words. Before I write though, if I want to be productive, I have to exercise, Yoga, and meditate. I need to feel I have covered all aspects of balance and effort before I try and will my mind consistently to create. I would say that the most important bit of it all thought is exercise, inside I am a lazy person that really just wants to eat pizza and play video games all day and what I do by working out is beat the crap out of that lazy person inside me, if I do that than I can maintain a quality of focus I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. (That’s incredibly inspiring! I am that lazy person, and admire that you still do what you do, despite that!)
L: Any songs or type of music you need to listen to when you write?
S: Generally, no. I try to write in silence. Whenever I do listen to music though it is generally the works of the great and late artist Ben Leinbach. (Very nice. 🙂 )
L: In a brief statement, have you self-published or traditionally published? What was your experience?
S: Self published. Formatting is second in difficulty only to actually selling the book. One can write a masterpiece (which I haven’t believe me) but it may never be seen if you don’t know how to traverse the marketplace that is promotion and building an audience. (Writing is only half the battle. Totally agree.)
L: Are there any regrets you have or anything you wish you knew sooner?
S: I wish I had gotten started sooner, but I think that 19 is a fine age to get started. (That is still very young!)
L: Describe how your WIP is going with a meme or gif.
L: Where would you say you get most of your inspiration?
S: My own practice and working with the Buddhadharma. It is such a vast sea of commentary, knowledge and practice that I hold but a cup of water to the ocean before me, but I am very happen to toss it in the mix! (Interesting!)
L: What’s a word or phrase that people say that always irritates you?
S: “Mindfulness” or “Zen” or “Meditation”… Because they are ideas that, albeit are versatile and wide reaching, are grossly misunderstood. People say lots of things without ever investigating what they are saying and that saddens me. (I’ll admit, I’m probably one of those people, but I will be more mindful now. 🙂 )
L: Who is your favorite literary character and why?
S: Bilbo Baggins… “Good morning!” said Bilbo, and he meant it. The sun was shining, and the grass was very green. But Gandalf looked at him from under long bushy eyebrows that stuck out farther than the brim of his shady hat.
“What do you mean?” he said. “Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?”
“All of them at once,” said Bilbo. (This is amazing and I think you’re my new best friend!)
L: What would you say is your favorite book or series of all time? Why?
S: LOTR. Because I am a Hobbit, of Bag End, clearly. Also because it filled me with childhood joy and memories of adventures and places with wild stories and interesting people. (This makes sense from the last question! lol)
L: Besides writing, what is it you like to do?
S: Meditation, Yoga, Study, Read, listen to informative podcasts, dance, and try to be as silly yet sensible as possible. (A one man show, I love it!)
L: For aspiring writers out there, what would be the best advice you want them to know?
S: It is an endurance race. Work with it every single day. If you don’t it will go to the wayside. Write every single day even if it is just ten words. Keep pushing, keep going, and don’t focus too much on what you are writing the first time around. Create a finished first draft and then start to worry about the fine details. (Great advice! Thank you so much Silas!)
Silas Day is an American Buddhist Layman, an author, a poet, and a scholar. He is the author of several books on the different aspects of Eastern ways of liberation and the creator of an at home self-transformation program for those wanting to start a real practice and become the best version of themselves they can.
An expression of that great unnamed mystery of the universe, the Tao Te Ching comes tous from a long history of trying to grasp the ungraspable. Originally penned by a man named Lao-Tzu, sometime in the fourth-century B.C.E, the book is now known and read worldwide in a variety of languages, styles, and formats. Here is Silas Day’s interpretation of the Tao Te Ching, through the eyes of a 21st-century follower of The Way. Influenced by Zen, Taoism, Buddhism, and modern Western Culture, he provides a unique perspective on what at times is too caught up in words and description. Simplicity is key. The Tao offers a way of life which the individual can live rather than explaining the humans place in the universe. The morality and structure it encourages are based on modesty and self-restraint, and the rewards reaped for such a life are harmony and flow with that original source of the universe.
“Nothing whatever is hidden; From of old, all is clear as daylight.” -The Zenrin Curious about who you are? This book might help or it might not. Buddhist teachings are just one way of going about it. In the West, the basics sometimes get lost not only in translation but also in endless commentary and continuous dialogue on the more complex teachings. The basic teachings of the Buddha can help you grow and discover who you really are, beyond all the things that drag you down. This is an attempt at a more readable interpretation of the basic teachings to help thrust you into spiritual thoughts beyond theology and bring you into the present moment. “When walking just walk. When sitting just sit. Above all, don’t wobble” -Zen Master Lin Chi
These are just a few samples of Silas Day’s works. Go to his Amazon Author Page to view all of his books!
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