Words & worlds
Salut. I am Leo Skála.
I've been roaming through books since I first learned how to make sense of symbols, alphabets, and hieroglyphs.
I was once known to spend my food budget on literature. Inevitably, I started writing.
I wrote only by hand or manual typewriter.
I refused to publish any of it.
I sensed I hadn't found my voice yet.
Then, ten years worth of writing was incinerated in a house fire. Ye olde deep spring cleaning via forest lightning strike on a mountain. Writing is a craft which goes through an evolution and honing process. Some of it is difficult, and includes setbacks. I knew somewhere in my honeycombed bones, to quote Thoreau, "How vain it is to sit down and write when you have not stood up to live."
So, I stood up and took off for Europe with a backpack.
I began roaming through the world.
I hitchhiked down to Africa.
I spent two years there, though I initially thought it would be for a single day... and then I sat down and wrote a fiction novel named Gravity According to Birds. It details an experiment I performed on that continent: What happens if you strand yourself in a foreign country with no money, no intention of return, in search of tangible confirmation of living magic? It details a few of the extraordinary people I met, the incredible and challenging experiences I had while taking my first steps along this Road of Awe on the edge of Africa, in Morocco.
I have been remarkably moved and humbled by this journey.
More recently I've explored the elements of fine craftsmanship through a bookbinding apprenticeship.
Yet, I remain fascinated with finding, living and telling adventuresome, transformative stories. Stories which illuminate the wonder of being, the heights and depths of experience, skill, daring and passion. The scars, the doubts, the courage, the love, and tears and laughter of life.
Myths, legends, and the miraculous never left our world.