So You Want To Know About Me, Eh?

I was born an Air Force brat in a hospital on Lakenheath AFB in Lakenheath, England near Mildenhall. While I was still but a wee baby, my father was shipped back to the U.S.A. where I grew up primarily in Albuquerque, NM.


After graduating from High School in 1984, I struck out on my own and sowed some oats and learned the hard way that without a college education, I was going to be looking at some low pay for a long time. I won't bore everyone with the details of my job history. Suffice to say that I've worked a few places and learned a few skills.


I graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2003. I could have finished in 1997. I won't make excuses. All I can do is advise everyone out there to attend college if possible and get their degree early as they can. And be sure to stick to it, even when times are tough for you. Best investment you'll ever make.


Ok, to the writing part, which started with reading. I began reading books at an early age, showing not only an aptitude for it but a desire. I tended to gravitate toward fantasy and sci-fi novels. Of course like all hungry readers who enjoy such tales, I gobbled up The Lord of the Rings. Through the years I've  enjoyed  novels by authors such as (to name a few) Anne McCaffrey, Piers Anthony, Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Robert Don Hughes, and many others too numerous to list here.


In 1983, a friend introduced me to the wonderful world of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. I was a junior in High School and couldn't wait until the middle of the day so I could spend my precious 30 minutes of lunchtime playing. Soon I began to create and run my own games fleshing out a world called Irith--which I drew in colored pencil on several pieces of graph paper placed side-by-side to show the maps.


I created adventures for my players based upon material I created for my imaginary world, and they seemed to like it very much. The number of people who would attend my games on a consistent basis over the years told me that I could not only run a good game, but spin a good yarn as well. So naturally I wanted to write something in a more formalized manner.


Sometime during the early 90s, I wrote a short story about a not-too-pleasant fellow who found himself recruited to become "Death" by someone who had himself been recruited long ago. It was a simple little story about how undesirables over history have been forced to do the horrible work of death as pennance for their discretions. I wasn't trying to bring down the house at that time, nor did I have visions of becoming a well-known writer making millions. I simply wanted to write a cool Halloween tale that might get a chuckle out of my Dungeons and Dragons gaming group. They loved it.


I attended many creative writing classes in college and got favorable responses from those who read my work. I wrote a twenty-chapter book that was EXTREMELY rough. The story revolved around a character I created called Torin, a young monk raised inside a monastery where unwanted children were left anonymously. I completed it about 1993 but made the fatal error that so many have made in their young computer-using careers--I failed to back up my work and lost it all due to some bad disks. I was not a happy camper.


In 2001, I wrote a short story called Disease, which I'll post soon for you all to read. I entered it into a national contest and received a nice letter thanking me for the submission but nothing beyond that. I wasn't really discouraged. I knew that writing and breaking into the scene would be hard work and at the time I had other priorities, so I didn't pursue it any further.


As it so happened, life got in the way. Excuses, excuses. After graduating from UNM in 2003, I found myself concentrating primarily on work. I kept the concept of my story rattling around in the back of my brain but didn't really do much about it aside from some weak attempts to kick start the writing process again.


I really started pecking away at the book in 2006 when I began work with my current employer, the name of which I will not mention. I won't speak too much about my work. Today, too many people are fired for speaking their mind online or elsewhere. I may sound paranoid, but I've seen it happen too many times to dismiss it. Anyway, I started working on the story with Torin as the protagonist and got pretty far before realizing I was painting myself into a corner.


I was writing what I considered to be a good tale, one that would appeal to readers. What I failed to consider was the big picture. I wanted the story to unfold over several books but was moving too fast too quickly with the character. I had to stop and reconsider things, which sucked because I was over 70,000 words into it at the time. What I did notice, though, was how I was not only only thinking about the story but actually working on it with regularity--still without the kind of regularity that was needed by someone seriously considering becoming a published author.


I kept pecking away at my revision here and there, but again without consistency. I sat down and had a long think about the whole affair. I had been pissing around with this concept for nearly 25 years with little to show for it. I had to decide whether to you-know-what or get off the pot. Was I ready, willing and able to write a book that others would enjoy and--dare I dream--buy? If the answer was yes, it was time to really and truly find out. If not, I needed to move on and apply my interests into something fun and constructive. I decided to give it a real try and put in the time and dedication required to know if this was my game.


So I got after it. I began reading up on authors who had been generous enough to publish books detailing their thoughts on the writing process and how they arrived at whatever point they were within the biz. I found that there quite a few things that I already knew (seems I picked up more than I thought over the years piddling around with writing and researching about the subject). That's not to say I didn't find some valuable information to put in my tool box. I realized that having knowledge and skills is one thing. The dedication is a great deal of the equation.


I dedicated myself to writing on a daily basis, even posting an inspirational quotation above my computer. It paid off. Roughly a year after I knuckled down and treated this as a daily exercise that might someday become a full time job, I finished the manuscript. I've received positive responses from my test readers and am now working the social aspect of self-publishing aspect of the process. This website is one of those aspects. I'm aiming for January 1, 2013 for the release of my book to the public for purchase.


I'll post something about the mechanics of the craft from my perspective in the near future.


By the way, here's Clucky, my li'l African Gray nipper!





When young, I am sweet in the sun.
When middle-aged, I make you gay.
When old, I am valued more than ever.

(CLICK on the mystic skull for answer)


"You can't trust water. Even a stick turns crooked in it."


-W.C. Fields

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