As you may have surmised from looking around this website, I’m a writer, whether it’s for local metropolitan newspaper or creating new worlds out of my brain and turning them into fiction.
My earliest recollection of writing a story was when I got a school-bus-yellow Sears typewriter from my grandfather. I typed out this one page, single-spaced story featuring the Transformers (for those continuity freaks, it took place some time after Transformers: The Movie, maybe the third or fourth season of the show). I still have that sheet of paper somewhere, but I’m sure if I read it now, I would cringe.
But that’s OK. You learn to write by writing.
The calendar pages flip past. I’m a senior in high school, and everyone wants to know what you’re going to do with the rest of your life. At this point, I was writing a few things here and there, English teachers were positive about my work. So I thought, hey! I’ll be a professional writer! My first inclination was to write fiction, but I told myself that I couldn’t make a living doing that. I wasn’t Stephen King or John Grisham. (That was probably a dumb thing to think, but I did) So I went with the option of writing and getting a steady paycheck: journalism!
I went to the University of Florida in 1996 to learn the ins and outs of journalism, thinking I could write about music, another love of mine. After graduating, I wrote for The Gainesville Sun and the Lake City Reporter before landing my first full-time job at The Villages Daily Sun, where I’ve been writing away to this day. While I didn’t quite land a gig at Rolling Stone, I have written a bit of everything, which is always a good thing. I’ve also learned to write on deadline and have the story make sense, another good quality.
All the while, I wrote short stories. I sent them out to magazines and contests and got kind rejections. During high school, I had created this science fiction/fantasy universe and had written this epic novel (maybe it was a novella, who knows). I even started up a contemporary story featuring two star-crossed high school kids who fall in love. The latter story got me into Harry Crews’ creative writing class at UF, which turned out to be the last semester he taught. It was there that the story got ripped to shreds by the other students (They had said high school kids don’t hang out at the mall. REALLY?!?). It forced myself to scrap it and rewrite what turned out to be a better version.
Jump ahead to when my first daughter was born (around 2008), and I decided I was going to write my first novel, which featured the star-crossed high school kids. I wrote it in about half a year, then put it away.
That science fiction world from high school wanted a new (read: better) novel, so in 2011 (when daughter No. 2 had arrived) I started that tome. Two years later, I finished it, then put it away.
Last November, I started another science fiction novel, with about 20,000 words added so far. As with the first two stories, some days the words fly out of my brain like water out of a fire hydrant. Other days, the water is dripping every three seconds. But I try to get something down.
I hope to get these novels polished enough to see if a publisher might want to bring them to the masses. Or I may go the self-published route. Or I could just BEAM THEM DIRECTLY TO YOUR BRAINS. (is handed a piece of paper) Oh. They don’t have that technology yet. Ahem.
Oh. I forgot that I’m also trying my hand at writing comic books, a medium that’s near and dear to my heart. It’s just like writing novels, in that you’re putting words together to make a sentence. Other than that, it’s completely different.
Needless to say that I love writing. And I hope that whenever the novels do make it to the public, they will be received positively, although it would be neat to read a really bad one-star Amazon review.