Long-term residents of Philadelphia have a problem with the notion that our city can be in any way, shape, or form, cool. There are cool people here, sure. But they exist in hiding, essentially, within a vast urban matrix of dowdy.
Which makes it ironic that Philadelphia's community of hackers, makers, and suchlike technological savvy people have made the city world-famous as "Geekadelphia." Ironic, but unexpectedly pleasant. And here in Philadelphia, the highest honor that can be bestowed upon one of the tribe is to be named Geek of the Week.
This week, it's local legend Tom Purdom, the dean of Philadelphia science fiction. Tom has been writing and selling science fiction since the 1950s and he's still going strong. His collection Lovers & Fighters, Starships & Dragons, is fresh out this year and highly recommended.
The honor takes the form of quite a nice article about Tom by Chris Urie, which you can read here. It includes an interview with him which includes the following not at all geeky advice to young writers:
Resist the social pressure to consume and rack up debt. Be content to live on a lower middle class income. A writing career is an adventurous, unconventional, financially insecure enterprise. Learn to save and invest—but remember you are trying to maximize your financial independence, not amass wealth for its own sake. Your satisfaction with your life will be based on achievement and personal independence, not the size of your house or the labels on your possessions.
This is, I am here to tell you, the single most helpful thing you could hear if you're planning to devote your life to the pursuit of the word.
Above: Photograph by Kyle Cassidy. Damn, but that guy is good.