I hated writing in school. Answering essay questions and writing any kind of paper struck me with heavy trauma. I struggled with that fear of writing throughout my early school years, and even into my initial years at a community college. As an adult, I returned to college to get my Computer Science degree, only to face that old writing bugaboo again. All my ancillary classes of Literature, Bible, Earth-and-Space Science, even Political Science would force me to write. I was determined to get my four-year degree, so I had to deal with the issue.
My solution lay in simply not letting that fear of essay defeat me. I would learn to write as well as I could, so that I could handle all those tests and assignments that called for literary composition.
I remember precisely that moment of decision. I don’t really know where it came from, other than my fear of writing and the frustration of having to deal with it again. Of course, I like to think a more positive motive was also in play—my old love of imaginative stories. Anyway, I made good on my resolve and impressed my teachers with my prose expressions.
That watershed moment changed my life’s course and I’ve followed it ever since, though reaching that point covered a long route.
Born in Mississippi as the youngest of three baby-boomer sons of working class parents, I lost my father when I was four. My mother never remarried. Helped by her own mother, she worked and raised me and my brohters in a Protestant, fundamentalist environment. Even so, I gravitated from religion to a love of space science (as a young boy during the decade of the “Moon Race”) and of imaginative stories in general (whether in books, TV, or movies).
By the time I graduated Sixth Grade, I had read every Robert Heinlein book in the school library. Also, Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, and Arthur C. Clarke. Then I went through a phase of reading classic horror—Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. And, of course, I discovered Star Trek with the influence it exerted over so many nerds of my generation. As a young man, I was big into Star Wars and its copies (Battlestar Galactica, etc).
And I was a nerd—bully-bait and obsessed with comics, science fiction, and fantasy. It all lead to my career in Information Technology (IT), though, doing computer support work. I thought that was as near to living Star Trek as I could get. IT worked pretty well for me over the years. It allowed me a decent enough income to marry and start a family. I met my wife on the job. She was also in IT, though not a computer nerd. Our union produced twin sons, who share my techno-nerdiness, but in a good way.
I didn’t give up on writing, even with a demanding day job. I took correspondence courses and a couple of “continuing education” classes on short story writing at a nearby college. A local author taught those classes and impressed me in that he was doing the stuff I had been reading about—writing, submitting, and getting published. Inspiration prompted me to give it a try. So I submitted a short story (Supernal) to an online publication and it was accepted. Getting published has never since been that easy (though I later had another story accepted for a printed anthology put out by that same publisher).
Later, I wrote some well-received short stories for company Christmas celebrations (notably, The Spark). I created a website and a blog, and published my first short novel (A Single Step) on the Smashwords site. I also put out a few of my short works on Smashwords. From there, they percolated out to Barnes and Noble where they received some favorable comments.
All this was enough to keep me going, but I needed to take things to a higher level. I had been working on a post-apocalypse novel since taking a correspondence course on novel-writing. Completing it as a major work became my goal. I had published Print-on-Demand, but no major works of the sort I wanted my Dentville novels to be. I’m still trying to make that happen. Sometimes I think I’m close.
This website is part of my reaching that higher level of creativity, where I can share with anyone who chooses to come along, my literary journey. That journey is powered from my love of expressing the human condition in memoir, fiction, exposition, and poetry. Of course, there is beauty and horror in the human experience. Through writing, I seek to find the former and honestly face the latter.
If you examine my website, you’ll find links to my completed works, my personal journal (blog), and (soon) a sign-up for my newsletter. The newsletter is something I especially want to produce as a means to share entertainment, information, and inspiration. My themes will be speculative in the spirit of Tolkien and Wells, political in the spirit of Orwell and Huxley, and inspirational in the spirit of Strayed and Coelho.
I hope you find something here that appeals to you, and that you’ll spend some time with me on our common journey.