When it comes to reading, my memories go back to the first grade. I don’t know who purchased a series of reader books for me. My mother or my grandparents. My guess is it was my grandparents. Those readers sat in their little book shelf for a long time, shiny bindings un-broken. Then one day I became bored enough to pull book one out of the collection, and started reading.
My guess is that there was about a dozen books. Once I pulled that first one from the book shelf, it was no time before I read the whole series. I proudly showed my mom the last book in the series and proclaimed I was done. She was quite impressed. I then asked for more books, which she promised, but never delivered.
That broken promise didn’t keep me from reading though. The Sunday comics were always available and the school library offered a wide variety of options. When we moved to Minneapolis, I discovered the city library and a completely new world of reading options. Clifford the Big Red Dog gave way to Michael Moorcock and Conan the Barbarian books. Comic books offered a visual read, and then I discovered science fiction and my genre was set. My head was always in the stars, why not read about adventures among them.
The concept of writing books and stories predates my discovery of the public library and books my mother would not have approved, had she been paying attention. My cousin had the Game of Life, and on that board was my favorite square. “Write a best seller, collect $100,000 in royalties.” When I realized how much money that was, I decided that writing best sellers wasn’t a bad way to make a living. As a kid who hated school, being told what to do, and alarm clocks, a writer’s life seemed like the life to me. Go to bed when you wanted, get up whenever, and never have to deal with a boss.
By the time I was twelve I made up my mind…I was going to be a writer.
At that time I as a little too thick in the skull and my head too full of dreams to listen and learn. Writing was from the heart, creative license, to hell with the rules. Structure, flow, voice, none of it mattered. Within my head was great stories aching to get out. My success was self-evident!
Then I attempted to write.
Back then, it was an arduous task.
I took a typing class in seventh grade to prepare for my long and illustrious career as a writer. When I struggled with the top row, the numbers row, I dismissed it because that was for page numbers, not stories.
What a horrible way to try to construct a manuscript!
My mother’s typewriter wasn’t a bad one. It had a backspace and a correction ribbon, but trying to put together a sentence without a mistake was painful, a paragraph an exercise in misery, and an entire short story manuscript for Omni Magazine…impossible!
Like all aspiring writers who wished their ideas would just appear on the page, I kept wishing for that simple tool that transformed my thoughts into words, scenes, characters, and eventually full-fledged stories. No, I didn’t give up, I kept writing, kept struggling to create a flawless manuscript. But the rejection letters kept coming, and I was sure it was my struggles with typos more so than structure and voice.
My first attempt at writing on a computer was an Adam. It was magical how the words appeared on the screen, backspacing was flawless, and corrections’ didn’t involve the careful application of correction fluid. Then I watched three pages of painfully crafted text vanish into the land of lost files as I tried to save to the Adams dual tape drives.
My writing career found its place on the back burner as other pursuits and responsibilities supplanted it. There was the occasional story submitted to Omni or Playboy in those early years. But they were sporadic and soundly rejected. I never abandoned the dream of becoming a writer; it just went into the occasion long term cryosleep.
As I wondered America’s byways and highways, story ideas came to me and I noted in my journal. None of them seemed novel length material though. Then, while trying to fit a short story I wrote while a teen into a sci-fi setting the world of Earth First was born. My original intent for Earth First was a single book. However, as I worked through that book my little world it grew into a trilogy. That trilogy is a book and a half from completion…so stay tuned.
My current project is a book called Zero Options. It is complete and in the process of going through revisions. It’s a departure from my first love of science fiction, but a solid story if I don’t say so myself.
With this website, I will share quotes, short stories, and new projects as they near completion. As I have grown, so have my tastes and interests. You will likely find stories and books that are from many genres. Yes, science fiction is my first love, but I am a sucker for matters of the heart and wonder aloud if I can write a cloak and dagger suspense novel.