I'm old, fairly stupid, and I never did set women's hearts aflutter when I came into the room. To make matters worse, I'm a know-it-all. People often dislike me when we first meet, but after a while they usually find themselves thinking, "Hey, I was right. He _is_ a..."
But forgetting that, first and before anything else, I'm a storyteller. My skills at writing are subject to opinion, my punctuation has been called interesting at best but I am a storyteller.
I'm other things, as well, of course. I am, for example, an electrician. Not quite as good as my father, who taught me the skills, but still, I can usually please those whose homes I have improved.
I'm an engineer, one who has designed computers and computer systems; one of which during the bad old days of the cold war flew in the plane designated as our President's Airborne Command Post: the Doomsday Jet (a very cool plane).
I've spent seven years as the chief engineer of a company that built bar-code readers.
I spent thirteen of the most enjoyable years of my life as a scoutmaster, and three, nearly as good, as a cubmaster.
I joined the Air Force to learn jet-engine mechanics, but ended up working in broadcast and closed circuit TV, serving in such unlikely locations as the War Room of the Strategic Air Command, and a broadcast television station on the island of Okinawa.
I don't usually fall off the horse I'm riding. I've been involved in sports-car racing, scuba diving, sailing, and anything else that sounded like fun. I can fix most things that break, sew a fairly neat seam, and have raised three pretty great kidstwo of whom are members of my favorite band, while the other is an anomaly, an honest lawyer. I'm not quite sure how that happened.
Once, while with a group of cubs and their families, one of the dads announced, "You guys better make up crosses to keep the Purple Bishop away from your tents." When I asked for more information, the man shrugged and said, "I don't really know much about the story. It's some kind of a local thing that was mentioned on my last camping trip." Intrigued, I wondered if I could come up with something to go with his comment about the crosses; something to provide a gentle terror-of-the-night to entertain the boys (and maybe keep them from wandering into the woods, alone, later that night). The result was a virtual forest of crosses outside the boys' tents. That was the event that switched on something within me that, now, more than twenty-five years later, I can't seem to switch off.
Stories came and came... so easily it was sometimes frighteningstories so frightening that one boy swore he watched my eyes begin to glow with a dim red light as I told them.
Then, someone asked for a copy of one of my campfire stories, which brought me to the keyboard of my computer. When that was finished, I wondered. Could I write something other than technical articles and campfire stories? Something with dialog?
"Something with dialog," when completed, led to: Can I write in the first person? Do an adventure? A romance?
The present count is twenty-one novel-length pieces, one novella, and fifteen short projects, including one non-fiction piece that provides the true explanation for the Loch Ness monster, ghosts, Bigfoot, reincarnation, and tells what really happens to those socks you lose in the dryer.
Having actualy sold a novel, A short story, and a poem (sort of a demonstration set, I suppose) Im living proof that if you work at something long enough you will eventually get it right.
But then, curmudgeon that I am, I got around to analyzing religion, which is how I ended up as the founder, patriarch, and bake-sale chairman of The Church Of The Really Nice Try. The robes are very cool.