Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The First Time Is The... Most Awkward?

This is my first post on my first blog so bear with me... or don't. It may not be wildly entertaining or informative, but it's my catharsis. I've gone too long without allowing myself the freedom to write; I'll no longer keep the writer in me securely pinned down under a heavy rock. Okay, I admit, that's pretty melodramatic especially for a virile man who owns a truck, lives on a farm and rides a Harley. Even a manly man like me has feelings, although I have built up a thick layer of tattoos and facial hair to conceal it. That being said, I have the heart of a writer and have succumbed to the typical pressures of life to the point that writing has too often fallen to the wayside. The pressures of work, family, God, motorcycle maintenance and home improvement have forced me to set aside the emotional and creative outlet I too infrequently find in writing.
I grew up in what I always considered to be an unremarkable small town where people were content to move along at whatever pace life offered them. While I eeked by in the mediocre roll of a right fielder, or push-mowed my parents lawn, I dreamed of bigger and more exciting places. I longed for majestic mountains and rolling oceans and sweeping forests, all absent from the mundane corner of Kansas I called home. My family moved frequently, but always within the disappointing borders of the Sunflower state and inevitably back to the same small town. Writing emerged early in my life as an escape to more interesting settings. I cast myself in the roles of armored knights, grizzled soldiers, dashing spies and even wise alien warriors. I walked upon more planets and battlefields than I can name and faced more deadly enemies than any man should ever have to.
Throughout high school, while football and cars and dating (or girls in general) occupied my thoughts, I set a corner of my mind as a refuge where anything could happen. There, I was a hero with a heart of stone, a misunderstood loner, an embattled cop with a vendetta against evil. These alternate personalities found their release on paper, often in the margins of history and science notes. Upon entering college, I pursued a bachelor of science degree in English, thinking I could roll right into publishing novels for a living. I wrote well, learning early what professors wanted to hear and regurgitating it in my own words to an impressive degree. However, I also learned that becoming a novelist--although something I never stopped desiring--was something I would never achieve without a greater degree of discipline than I possessed at the time.
After college, I went to work for a small newspaper as the reporter, feature writer, photographer, and occasional assistant editor. After six months, I grew tired of reporting on fender benders and crop forecasts and decided to move on to what I, at the time, thought would be more rewarding ventures. I took on a series of jobs, including security guard, handyman and carpenter, yard-truck driver, city marshal--yes city marshal--and electrician. In the process, I became wrapped up in the life of a family man. Marriage, kids, houses, church. All these became integral and essential in my life, as they have shaped me into the man I have become today. But always, writing has taken a backseat.
Recently a friend from church gave me a 2002 Harley-Davidson Fatboy on the grounds that God wanted him to and that in God's eyes, I deserved it. Besides my family, it's been the single greatest gift in my life an something in which I have never found comparable joy. While riding, with wind in my hair--and occasionally bugs on my face--I've found my mind more alert and creative. I've learned to enjoy the journey, to remember the destination is just the side-effect of a ride. It's rekindled a spark I forgot was there. A sense of adventure and an appreciation of grander things. While I know I can't return to those long-forgotten worlds of action and adventure and distant planets, rife with marauding hordes of bloodthirsty aliens--my family needs me here--I feel obligated to release those heroes who I've left stranded there. I'll not let them fade away again.
There will be more to say but for now... this is enough.


  1. This is wonderful! I've been looking for someone to write my biography & I think you are the 'chosen one'...

    Seriously, though, keep writing...I sense you have MUCH to say and I, for one, want to read it...