Having been born on December 24 created an important life lesson for me: Choose wisely, the best is not always the largest. After the innocence of Christmas was lost, there was a lot of gift shaking under the tree when no one was looking so I could find the best gift.
My early life was average for the only child of a military family. Becoming a high school graduate was challenging when you consider my family frequently displaced to fulfill the requirements of the Air Force. After my father retired, I took up the mantle of Army military service and spent 1969 in Vietnam. When I rotated to Fort Hood, Texas, I was relegated to a clerical position in a motor pool. Quite frankly, I made a mistake and left the Army in 1971 and got a job as an electrician’s apprentice until the recession of 1973 when I was laid off. Even dead end jobs were few and far between, so I reenlisted in the Army Artillery. Even there, I was given a clerical position handling replacement parts. It involved a lot of writing and my skills at a typewriter had to markedly improve. The military’s ‘hurry up and wait’ mantra gave me plenty of time to read, and the first science fiction novel I ever read was Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey. Her excellent novels helped me to become an avid reader of science fiction. Eventually, the Army trained me in computers, which became my true calling, and I enjoyed the rest of my service in computer operations. Due to injuries I sustained during Desert Storm, I was forced out of the Army with a disability; a huge disappointment because I was within a year of full retirement. I held on to my love of computers and eventually retired from a credit union computer operations center.
I began writing my first novel, Behind the Gem, for my personal entertainment. One of my co-workers saw what I was doing and asked to read it. She commented that I should get it published, earn some money, and get a movie deal. (What?) I learned early on that such lofty dreams are often superseded by reality. I don’t consider writing a hobby like I do computer gaming, or working on my motorcycles. I write for the joy of writing.
Author Toni Morrison said it best - "If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it."
There are so many books I want to read, and so little time left to write them.