Just me. Father of five (yes, five). Writer, ponderer, eater of vegetables. Living along the lush shores of the Chesapeake Bay.
In the yearboth Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were shot, I was born in Wichita Falls, TX (as falls Wichita, so falls Wichita Falls) and stayed a minute. My mother moved us to Brandywine, MD, where I lived until my early twenties. My mother, having remarried a farmer, a genuinely nice man and great stepfather, placed me on a hundred acre working tobacco farm. Mostly uncool, if you know anything about tobacco farming. I’ll write about that someday.
After high school, I did a short stint at the Berklee school of music in Boston playing jazz bass, but for a farm boy (during my formative years anyway), the culture shock did me in. Several years of rock and roll and drugs (and sex) followed. How I came to play jazz bass growing up on a tobacco farm is another story I need to write about someday.
In the late 80s, I studied English and creative writing at the University of Maryland with Michael Collier, Stanley Plumly, Verlyn Flieger, and Phillis Levin. This was mostly poetry, and for years I mainly wrote poetry. Still do, at times, but strangely poetry is much more time consuming than fiction. More emotionally raw, as well. It is also not very lucrative, and I never did much with it. Instead, I traipsed across the country to live in Carlsbad, CA, following my girlfriend (and future first wife).
Beaches and campfires suited my twentysomething ambitions (or lack of), and in the afternoons I often went four-wheeling out at Hellhole Canyon and vicinity. Alas, I got bored after a few years, so whipped out a map, blindly plopped my index finger down (true story) and ended up in Denver, CO.
Honestly, Denver is a great town. Plains to the east, mountains to the west. There are so many great stories I have from living there. I’ll write about them and include in my stories area one day. My first daughter was born in Denver (with my then second wife).
In the late 90’s, I moved back to Maryland, settling along the Chesapeake Bay, having two more children, a daughter and son, though both were born in Virginia. Life was mostly good. I worked for a conservative think tank (bleh) doing digital strategy. My wife and I separated (also bleh). In the late 2000’s, I worked in Manhattan for a year, living in Jersey City, NJ. Some fun times, some terrible times. My family back in Maryland survived our house being hit by a tornado, so that was the end of my New York story. I moved back to Maryland. Another story I need to write about sometime.
In 2011, I remarried and had another daughter in 2015 and also gained a beautiful step-daughter.
I’ve written fiction my whole life, all throughout these travels and adventures. At first, I wrote badly. I continued, though, finishing my first novel in the mid-90’s. I deleted it because it was terrible. I wrote a second in the early-2000’s. That got deleted as well, though not because it was (that) terrible. I simply lost the disc it was on. My third I completed in the late-2000’s, shortly after my mother passed away. It had a great plot (I think), but the writing was probably mediocre at best. I queried it, got no response, sighed, and put on Kindle. I made $7.28. I’ve since taken down.
My fourth novel came in a flash, a crime novel, a retelling of the parentage of the Minotaur. Personally, I love this book, even if I realize it’s flaws now. I also queried it, got little response (a couple of partials), and sighed again, and also slapped up on Kindle. It’s also down now.
Now I’m working on my fifth novel, which I think is my best writing to date. It might also have the most problematic plot and characters. So we’ll see. I may revisit my writing strategy after this, in terms of what it takes to get published. I love to write the crazy stories that come into my head, but I also want people to read these stories.
A picture of my lovely wife (more here):