The first inkling of an idea I had that I could be a writer came during my junior year of high school. I had a great English teacher and she would have us write a two-page paper every class. She assigned us topics that stimulated our imaginations. I still have many of those papers, including the one where we had to imagine what the world would be ten years from now. Maybe I'll publish it one day and provide a commentary. Thank you, Mrs. Ruth Ethridge, for your teachings and encouragement.
In college, I met the English professor at the University of New Orleans who had a profound impact on me. My early papers in her class left a lot to be desired and I earned those low grades. With her advice and encouragement, I grew and turned my low D to an A for the course. Before the end of that semester, she told me she put my papers at the bottom, because what I wrote made her laugh. At that time, I wanted to write like Art Buchwald and ended up finding my own voice. The next semester, I ran into a buzz saw of negative criticism and burned out on writing. I didn't seriously think about writing again for 25 years. That first English class was the bright moment. Thank you, Dr. Mary FitzGerald, for your instruction and encouragement.
In 1983, as a member of the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps, I wrote a first tour diary for the corps yearbook. Thank you, Steve Suslik, for editing and publishing my work. In 2001, I saw a forum post that asked drum and bugle corps alumni for their most memorable stories. I wrote about the 1982 Drum Corps Midwest Run-off. A year later, a friend ordered a book titled, A History of Drum and Bugle Corps. He said I was a cited source in it and showed me the story. Very cool!
In 2007, I was writing e-mails to an old friend and nicknamed them "novels" and "novellas." She asked me to write something, anything. So I wrote an essay about a drive I took to a local high school. Thank you, Charlotte Creel, for your inspiration and encouragement. During that time, I was going through a low point in life and three people were there for me. Thank you, Su Jaeger, Cindy Arriaga, and Charlotte for being there. I am forever grateful.
I wrote several more essays and by 2010, I reunited with my better half, Saskia. She challenged me to go further and write fiction. That story was Second Chance. Things went sideways and I quickly gave up on it and started writing The Curse. Whenever I got stuck, I wrote a short story and in 2012, I published some of those short stories in The Acts of 1. The rest about my published books is in my bio.
In 2013, having learned much since my first attempt at writing fiction, I went back and took another shot. The story became Second Chance. Though I had another idea of how the story should go, having it go sideways was the best thing for it. It's still being edited, but it's a much better story than I originally imagined.
Last but not least, I'd like to thank a recent speaker at a local Sisters In Crime meeting. Thank you, Jan Villenueva, for inspiring us to take that next step to design our own websites. Though I'm still learning, your help and inspiration resulted in the design and publication of this website.
Okay, maybe this a little more than brief, but there it is. Thank you for taking the time to read my post!