Wednesday, February 09, 2005

M.K. Bayne

As I've mentioned on a few occasions, for the past four years I've been a member of an international on line writing group 65,000 members strong. I've met incredible people from all over the world and have had the pleasure of meeting many in the real world as well.

A few days ago, in a private office I'm in on the site which is limited to discussions about agents and publishers, I met a man named Martin Bayne. Here's his biography:

Martin Bayne took a leave of absence as a 19-year-old journalist and began training as a novitiate in a Soto Zen Buddhist monastery. Within five years, he received the Dharma Transmission from his teacher, the Very Reverend Jiyu-Kennet, Roshi and returned to the secular world.

There, he would begin his "traditional" studies, including completion of post-graduate work in at MIT, under the guidance of, among others, Nobel Laureates David Baltimore and Philip Sharp.

In the late 1980's, he brought the crisis of eldercare into the light of day by publishing what would become the Internet's largest web site on long-term care, 10 years running. His interviews included President Jimmy Carter, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Clint Eastwood, Ram Dass, Dr. Andrew Weil and baseball legend Harmon Kilibrew.

He was also co- founder (with Kevin J Johnson) and CEO of New York Long-Term Care Brokers, the state's premiere long-term care insurance firm.

Today, at 54, courtesy of Young Onset Parkinson's Disease, he is confined to his bed in an assisted living facility in Albany, NY, where he continues to induldge in his greatest love - writing short stories.

"You have what so few writers do: real passion. When you write, the keyboard is on fire." - Mike Vitez, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Philadelphia Inquirer

"I want to thank Martin for his commitment to improving long-term care and to educating the public about the great need for affordable quality care in this country." - Hillary Rodham Clinton

Dear Martin, I have tears streaming down my face. Your story did for me exactly what a short story is supposed to do - it hit me down deep where I really want to live and so rarely get to. It’s why I read them. It gave me entertainment, hope, joy, sadness, and pleasure. In a few minutes, in a few hundred words, my life has improved, my day made, just because you decided to tell me a story. - Mark Whalen
"Everything we write brings us closer to drafting the first chapter of that most precious of all books, our autobiography." -Martin K. Bayne.


Anyway, Martin posted a request in said private office that because he is unable to do so himself, he was wondering if there were any services who would submit his wonderful stories to publishers/magazines for him. Some authors on the site responded by saying that there were a few companies that might provide these services, but basically, I thought the hell with Martin having to pay someone, I could easily submit his stuff for him so I dropped him an email accordingly.

He responded today by sending me this link to a new story he'd written, and to say I'm teary eyed at the moment is putting it mildly. Please click on the link, and while you're there, stay for a while and savor his other amazing work.

Zen For Tough Guys