VIC

by

David Fuller

 

Vic Miller has carved out a niche for himself among Southern writers, and his passion for storytelling is evidenced in his poems, magazine articles and short stories.

Miller, who grew up in South Georgia, draws on his southern roots and the region's rich heritage as setting for much of his writing. He uses words like a painter uses a brush; to create a scene that comes to life in the reader's mind. And assistant professor of literature and composition at Darton College, Miller inspires his students to embrace language with the same enthusiasm he displays. "Show, don't tell," he exhorts his students.

Since his first literary work for which he was paid, a children's poem/riddle "What Am I?", Miller has published seven other poems, numerous non-fiction articles and nine works of fiction.

The South Georgia native has not, however, forgotten the road he traveled to achieve his modicum of literary notoriety. Miller said the wall of his home office is covered with "hundreds of rejection slips," reminders of the obstacles he has overcome.

Miller credits his wife, Claire, with being the driving force in his laborious ascent of the literary ladder, He admits he was less than motivated to submit his s until Claire took on that task. Her diligence has paid dividends.

His secret to successful writing: "It's like making love to a woman. You might not be in the mood at first, but if you mess around with it a while, you'll get inspired enough to get the job done, if you aren't too drunk or too hung over." Miller's explanation is certainly and oversimplification of the creative process. He characterizes writing as both lonely and painful. Lonely because it is a solitary process, and painful because the exercise demands a great deal of introspection. Miller admits he would not shun fame if he penned a best-seller, but the artistic nature of writing is more to his liking. Instead of commercial success, he much prefers the admiration of his literary peers. "It is important to be respected by the artists," he said. It is therefore understandable that many of Miller's short stories and poems have been published in the smaller literary journals. He has a collection of short stories, "The Lost Cause and Other Stories," awaiting publication by Snake Nation Press. The book is expected to be available by next fall. In 1988 Miller released "The Tenderest Touch and Other Stories," which was published by Darton College and funded by the Georgia Council for the Arts. An avid outdoorsman, Miller is a regular contributor to "Georgia Sportsman" magazine and a member of the Georgia Outdoor Writers Association. Reviewer William J. White, writing for small Magazine Review, said Miller's short story, "Cockfight at Red Gulch," which appeared in the January issue of Story Quarterly, was the "best of the seven selections published in that issue."

Miller's love of the outdoors has led him into more than one adventure. In the winter of 1991, Miller and a friend were fishing in the Flint River below the Lake Worth dam when another boat was swamped by water pouring from one of the gates. The two fishermen were able to swim to the base of the dam and hold on until Miller maneuvered his boat in close and rescued them. Afterwards authorities and others "made a bigger deal it than they really should have," Miller said. "I really just gave them (the stranded anglers) a ride." His act of heroics, however, was noticed by Albany businessman O. D. Carlton who contributed a $1,200 scholarship to Darton College in the form of the O. Victor Miller Special Recognition Award. Miller's awards and honors include first place for fiction from Snake Nation Press in the summer of 1992, first place for magazine writing, excellence in craft competition from the Georgia Outdoor Writers Association in 1992, an honorable mention for fiction by the Greensboro Review in 1992 and the Writer's Mentor Award presented by the Albany Writers Guild in 1991.

He has been nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize three times, received the Snake Nation Press Editors' Choice Award in 1990, earned the Distinguished Poet Award at the Sparrowgrass Poetry Forum in 1991 and was a first place winner in BILINE Magazine's Free Verse Poetry Contest in 1990. He was the recipient of the Georgia Council for the Arts $3,000 artist initiated grant for 1989-1990.

Beginning in 1988, Miller has earned first place awards for fiction, non-fiction and poetry from the South Georgia Writers' Guild, and in 1991 he was the recipient of first place awards for fiction and non-fiction from the Albany writer's Guild.

 

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