I grew up watching the Apollo Moon missions, and gorging on a diet of Heinlein, Asimov and Clarke. From those works, it didn’t take me long to discover Card, Saberhagen, Asprin, Donaldson, Tolkien, Adams (Douglas), Adams (Robert), Niven, Pournelle, McCaffrey, Pohl, Forward, and others in the SF and fantasy genres. Of course, back then, SF was commonly known as Sci-Fi. I’m still kind of partial to that "nom de genre". It was not at all uncommon to find me hunkered down in front of a Star Trek© episode with a book of some sort in my hand. It also was not uncommon to find me sprawled out on the floor, my homework in front of me and a book from one of the above authors in my hand.
Homework? While there are still 1000’s of worlds to visit? Middle Earth, Pern, Rama and others among them? I’ll do it when I get back, thanks.
I had my first piece "published" in the 7th grade. We had been given an assignment to write something based on a painting the teacher had set up on his desk. I believe the painting was a storm at sea with a couple of people in a lifeboat. I don’t remember what I wrote, but I do remember sitting there for 35 or 40 of the 50 minutes allotted for that class and then scribbling about 2 pages in the last ten minutes. The teacher said he liked it, but I think it may have been a case of my handwriting being so bad he just made up words to substitute for those of mine he couldn’t read. Anyhow, the piece was published by the school paper; the editor of which, was my 7th grade English teacher. I occasionally try this technique (the visual prompt, not necessarily the 38 minute blank stare) even today 40 years later. Two pieces that have come out of that exercise are Shades of Home from a photograph prompt and Bustle the Feeble from a word challenge on Helium.com.
Since then, there have been others: a poem about my grandfather published in the local paper after he died; several satire pieces in a now defunct satire periodical out of Australia; The Wizard’s Apprentice published in a now defunct fantasy periodical—hmmm… maybe I should quit trying to get anything published …
I am currently working on multiple projects. Among these are: political opinion and commentary at Unofficial View, The Inn Situ, a collecton of short stories set in Sedona, and I still have my first novel Tymescroll languishing in a desk drawer and taking up space on a hard drive.
(more to follow)
Links for some of my favorite authors: