I’ve always made up stories. Playing with toy soldiers or directing the neighborhood kids into a “plan” as we accosted kids from one street over in our make-believe battle, I’d lay out the strategy and designate characters: “Eric, you’re the scout” and “Bill will be the runner.” I did not know it at the time, but I was beginning the lonely life of a recluse, otherwise known as a writer.
I began to read pretty much anything I could get my hands on, mostly adventure. Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jules Verne, Robert E. Howard, Mark Twain, Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle and others. I was hooked, and I started to write stories. It was about this time that I started to view the world in word pictures . . . dawn lighting velvety fog … the calm trill of a songbird in the distance, suddenly shattered by a crow’s angry squawking …
In school, I loved the humanities and craved creative writing, journalism and literature classes. Science and math fell and remained low priorities and, hence, lower grades, much to the chagrin of my father and sister, who both loved those more static venues.
In high school, the local newspaper hired me as a “stringer” and paid me to do it! I wrote high school sports, traveled all over northern and central Nevada covering the local teams. I soon progressed to feature stories.
I tried college as a journalism major, but it did not appeal to my youthful and adventurist spirit at the time. Instead, I went to work and continued to write in any spare time I could muster. The years rolled by with minimal writing success, though I kept at it. Then I got married.
Over the next two decades, my wife, Linda, and I raised two little people into intelligent and productive adults. Both read voraciously, and both are talented writers in their own right, though they aspire in different directions. Linda has always been a steadfast supporter of my need to write, perhaps due to the beast I become if I go long without creating.
During those years, I sold to Women’s World, Triathlon Magazine, City Escort, wrote copy for web developers, developed a monthly column for the local newspaper, all the while operating several businesses with my wife. I’ve made a little money at writing, but those dollars pale compared to the by-lines.
I have written contemporary fiction, but my love is fantasy. Breaking down the genre further, I especially enjoy heroic/epic fantasy, sword and sorcery, and sword and sandal as the sub-genres are termed.
Like all who write, I have struggled through the lonely hours, paced back and forth while glaring at a blank page, agonized over the placement of a comma, and thrown wadded pieces of paper about the room. And I keep coming back, every day, wrestling doubt and confidence in an effort to write something that other people will enjoy. I need to write. It’s really as simple as that.
Enough about me, except to say that I still work full-time and write during any scraps of time I can find, waking at 5am every day to give my muse an hour or two of uninterrupted joy. Those hours remain some of the best and most troubling of any given today.
I imagine it is the same for you.