It all started when…
…the hum of mom’s powder blue electric typewriter clicked on. She had used it for her undergraduate degree. When I was still in single digits, she removed the dust cover one day in 1970 something to create the Presbyterian church community cookbook. This treasure my brother still cherishes is a treat to pull out and spend weekend mornings in the kitchen for my sister and I to enjoy.
It was that soothing hum from the typewriter that seemed magical to me. Thoughts and ideas clicked across the empty pages until the ding of a line and the punch of the carriage return took it home. In the end, there was something of substance to share.
Her father, who went by the nickname Cac, won some small publication awards and prints for his submitted works. Cac was a renaissance man who could hunt, box, camp, sing, play football, write poetry, and quote pages of lines from great written works.
Between these two strong influences in my life, I knew that writing was both enjoyable and a worthy interest to pursue.
My other interest in photography came from my father. Images could also tell a story. Much of my families lives on captured in slides, prints, and nowadays digital photos. Mistakes, like bad haircuts and stylish clothing of the times, are not forgiving on film, but tender and cherished moments captured for the ages.
That powder blue electric typewriter found its way to my desk eventually. Piles of empty white pages filled with poor grammar, lousy spelling, weak characters, and some "borrowed" character names from those days are still around. Writing has been an enjoyable escape from life and exploration of living.
Early in my professional career, I found an ability to write in airplanes helped to pass the time in transit. Several sappy screenplays, short stories, and ideas which may never see the light of day are still on my hard drives.
As my experience matured, so did my confidence in writing. When vanity press became a low-cost reality, I made my first attempt called "Peter in Flight." Several real-life stories from days in Sky World & Tradeshow Land are there. A thin veil of plot and structure tie them together. In retrospect, seeing so many errors in this work, I give serious thought to publish a second version called "Peter in Flight: Tatiana in Transition." It always seems that half the story is missing, and my assumption as an amateur author was that readers could fill in the gaps to assume her story. I really should have told her story instead.
I am always writing in my free time. Usually, you can find me at the worlds best coffee house, Zingermans, deep into my work. Stories come to me like a friend. I write as much of them as I can. Some germinate into novels, others novellas, and many short stories. The first collection of these under the title "Mr. Memory and Other Stories of Wonder." It includes ideas and concepts from my muse in those days who got me interested in writing again (she also designed the cover.) When we first met, she told me a story about turtles and candles, and I went home that day to write down two of the stories included.
At one point I looked at my notes from the days writing on airplanes and found a few pages about snowflakes and a comparison to people. Reading that one page again sparked an idea for a story that took about three months to shape into something I thought was pretty good and called it "The Symmetry of Snowflakes."
Three different ideas came to me in one week in Toronto. The first idea was about the effects of the fountain of youth, and the second about evil people controlling those waters. It was during my drive to Toronto that I listened to the podcast "A Way with Words" that the host talked about the term "Insensible Loss." Those three ideas during that four-hour drive culminated into the story. I told it to friends over dinner that night, and they were encouraging.
At the writing of this biography, there are books in-between. Short stories and full novels unfinished at some stage of development. For the last ten years, I have been writing an epic called "American Appetite." I don't know it will ever be complete. There is a sci-fi trilogy called "Tourist Destinations for Time Travelers." Again, third draft calling my name for another round. I have a love story titled "The Joy of Lying" that follows two twenty-somethings growing up after graduation from university. They dated seriously for years and when they broke up, she became homeless, and he stayed wasted. On meeting again, they give it another try.
Finally, the current work is going into a thriller I am very excited about for 2019, called "Combustible Punch." You can find the first two chapters on the website. I have a good feeling about this one. It's a wild ride.