I wrote a book in high school once. It was filled with horrible poems, teen angst and maybe a good idea. Generally speaking, it was horrible and pointless. The grand success lay only in the fact that I completed it, sort of. The bigger problem was one many young people suffer from.
I didn’t know what I wanted to do.
So, by the skin of my teeth I graduated high school. My lack of direction took me squarely to a higher education I didn’t deserve, wasn’t prepared for and wasn’t particularly interested in either. I went to college and while there, I took a creative writing class.
I failed it.
College served the purpose it does. I failed, but my success was that failure garnered me less debt than a bachelor’s degree in Psychology does. Which, consequently, is equally as pointless. Still without direction, I did the first smart thing in my young life and joined the Army. I gallivanted around the world doing interesting things with interesting people.
The war started. I went. I got out of the Army and stayed at war to work for military contracting companies like Black Water and Triple Canopy. I got shot. I watched friends die. I did things I thought were right but didn’t feel good about. I got blown up. I kept my head down and my chin up.
I eventually quit the war business but it didn’t quit me. I had adapted to stress and combat. I became someone else. I learned that you had to fight to survive. Tilt into problems. Anger was more useful than pain.
I didn’t know what was wrong, but something was.
I went back to school. I got excellent grades and took some writing classes. I became a Fire Fighter and Paramedic. I got married. I went to lots of therapy.
I learned to love again.
I made mistakes. I didn’t do everything right. I used tools from my heart to help me find the way. We had a family. My heart healed and I became something better. A phoenix from the ashes if you want to get cliche’ about it.
Family and love are what guides me.
I started to write. Poetry, short stories, prose. Words for me and no one else. I did it to heal. I wrote because I loved to tell stories. I decided to write a novel.
I did. I keep re-writing it too.
Titles are self-imposed. I call myself an Author because I am. Mostly, I write to tell stories. I love stories. and the title that is more important to me than author is a simple one.
STORY TELLER, EXTRAORDINAIRE.