"Earth to Steven"

The Real Steven Macdonald…

by Nancy Mabile (2000)


I was happy to accept the opportunity to write this bio on Steve. No, I was ecstatic. Actually, if the truth be known, when Steve asked me if I was interested, I told him "yes," but I really wanted to jump up and down, hoot and holler, throw the confetti and toot the horns. Here I have been given the opportunity of a lifetime to tell you the real scoop. You see- I am Steve's sister. No, I am Steve's snotty older sister. And, we are pretty much direct opposites. We don't look alike in any fashion (thank God!). Frankly, I don't care much for science fiction, and I hate to read. He loves being on stage; I won't have anything to do with it. He can sing; I can't.

So first, let's set the record straight and get the boring stuff over with. Steve was born (yawn) in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1961. The youngest of three (yawn) , he was raised in Vicksburg (that would be in Michigan). I consider the three of us (yawn) a unique lot, being that dad was the high school principal and mom the home economics teacher in the same school …(yawn) … small school …(yawn) … sometimes too small of a school. (zzzzzzz) My senior year Steve was a freshman (YUCK).

Hey, time to wake up!!! The boring part's over!

Where's Steve? Now, go back and re-read that first sentence, put some minor irritation in your voice, and say it with punch. Where's Steve?! Seriously, where is Steve? Well, Steve is not here, and I don't know where he is. But, you say, "he's sitting right over there." Ok, maybe physically, yes. No, Steven is thinking, planning, plotting, wandering. It could be his next game move, or the book he's totally absorbed in or how to get over that B minor to F doublesharp diminished major move on the song he's working on. Or, just plain dreaming … He wrote "Dreamers Song" presented on Songspinner while he was a senior in high school. That's the Steven I grew up with. (It's your loss if you haven't heard it.) Earth to Steve! Need I say more?

Ok. Steve's musical career, to the best of my recollection, began in the bathtub. He had one of those puppet wash cloths; it was an orange sea monster. He would have major conversations with it; and of course, sing to it. As a matter of fact, around the 4th grade he took this stupid monster puppet to school and sang "Ben" (you know, before Michael Jackson hit puberty) to his music teacher. I was sooooo embarrassed! Steve was a hit. Unbelievable. Steve continued to totally embarrass me throughout school with his ability to actually stand on a stage and sing. How could he do that to me? And then people (usually adults) would say really cool things about him to me. (Bang head against wall.) Yuck! What did they see that was so great? I was the cool one here. He was always wandering. He was so gross and so annoying- he couldn't find something even if it was staring him in the face. He was clumsy, and had absolutely no common sense. He wouldn't talk for hours; but when he did open his mouth he wouldn't. Shut. Up. The constant chattering nonsense was enough to drive anyone nuts. (Bang head against wall again.) Hello? He had a shirt pocket protector. He shoved so much crap into his double-knit polyester pants pockets that they all bulged. Ouch- my brother was a geek! And to top it off, when we were in college someone asked if he was my boyfriend!

I literally thought I was going to vomit and die.

Through the course of pulling this together, I polled our older brother. I got such a kick out of it that I think I'll just quote him. This is what he wrote:

I'm probably not much help in the memories department ... I do remember that any vacation the usual refrain was, 'Where's Steve?' For some reason they never put a leash on that kid, but he was always wandering off. I also remember how sick he was of being stuck in the middle of the back seat because he was the youngest. I also remember that we used to team up against you (sis)- I don't know why. Maybe its because you were in the middle. Maybe its because you were a girl. It was fun, at the time. Now I feel guilty…

Well, I grew up, and so did Steven. Beyond the occasional phone call and Christmas card, we really didn't have any contact for 18 years. Last summer he came out to WesterCon in Spokane, Washington, and stayed with me in Idaho. Wow. We shared the same feelings, thoughts, wisdom…

What's so great about Steven? He's intelligent, creative, and very, very talented. He loves to read, sing, and he cherishes his friends. He doesn't go anywhere without a guitar or two. Since the 3rd grade he has sang in choirs, and played organ, piano, bassoon, percussion, recorder, and of course, guitar. He attended Western Michigan University, majored in Voice and Bassoon and received three years of classical voice training. In 1980 he toured Europe with the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp International Choir. As a gift for the host families in Europe, he composed I Wish I Didn't Have To Go presented on Songspinner. Steve has created over 160 works of art since 1977, from Renaissance Melody and Crossroads to Journey's Done to Reap the Wind. Since 1994 he has released 3 albums, received 4 Pegasus Awards, 13 convention honors, won 2 songwriting contests and placed 2nd in two others.

We still don't look alike. He's still clumsy and runs at the mouth. And he still doesn't go anywhere without a guitar or two and a song in his head. He even tolerates the fact that mom insists on calling him "Steven". Did you know that people have had the gall to tell me that he's weird? So tell me something I don't already know. However, if Steve is weird, then so am I (my God, what did I just do?). Seriously, we all have our strengths and weaknesses, our likes and dislikes. He will tell you to work on your weaknesses, but take your strengths and utilize them to the best of your ability. Now he could probably work a little on practicing what he preaches, but….

"Earth to Steven?" and "Where's Steve?" will most likely plague him his entire life. I'm writing this to tell you that he is on Earth. I'm not sure where, but….

Hey everyone- Steven Macdonald is cool! His love for sci fi will thrill you; creativity entice you; and the astounding talent and energy he projects will electrify you. And as you oooh and ahhh over his musical ability this weekend, just remember one thing:

He's my brother!


Note: Ok, there are some fictitious statements. I couldn't help myself - I was on a roll and just had to go with it. Now you have something to ask him…

Copyright ©2004 Steve Macdonald