Susan Miller was my high school Creative Writing teacher that sparked and stoked the burn to write. I became a Psych Major in college and worked at an inpatient psychiatric hospital for eight years, underwent my own therapy and developed an ability to see the panorama of dynamics, behavior and interactions around me. However, I am acutely aware of my blind spots and they continue to humble me daily. Another component of my writing is that I just think differently from others. I’ve been told this throughout my life. I see it as a blessing and a curse. People love a person who can make them see and think differently, but it also scares the shit out of them. You are unpredictable, an outsider and they don’t understand the way you think. This is especially true corporate American where I spent 25 years of my life.
In college I taught myself to play the guitar and began performing publicly which I would continue for the next 25 years. I began writing songs. Terrible lyrics mostly, laden with warm fuzzies and cotton candy that give me the dry heaves when I read them today. I was a purist in that I thought my writing should keep the original form and not be altered. Now I think I was just lazy because I obsessively tweak everything I write several times, even if it’s years old. Through writing music I was able to experience “The Flow”, when you are so absorbed that it feels you are only the medium. Besides great sex, intense love and the miracle of our three children, it was one of the most significant events in my life.
Humor is a staple in my life. I’ve lived in central Michigan my entire life and if you don’t have a sense of humor, you will be inclined to stick a fork in your eye. Humor is and was a survival tactic and defense mechanism. As a kid, I was short and skinny and wasn’t really a fighter. I realized that kids that were funny, didn’t get their asses kicked. As much. I was good at it. A side benefit is the joy of bringing laughs to others which I think is a noble cause, especially these days. But I’ve learned that writing humor is completely different than oral humor. The timing of the punch line, there are no fascial expressions or eye contact, no change in the volume or the tenor of your voice, no bodily movement for emphasis and no spontaneity to alter your approach once it is written. It’s no longer dynamic, but passive. So I will be practicing my humor.
I write verse and prose and fiction and non-fiction. I don’t consider myself an expert on any of them. A weakness in my writing is my grammar which some of you will have noticed by now, even though I don’t see it at this writing. I consider It passable but not pristine. But still I write. And I’m glad you’re here. Writers love an audience.