Hail and Well Met

Greetings fellow readers. Welcome to my web site.

As with many readers, my fingers have caressed the keyboard and put pen to paper throughout my life. Never having been a consistent journal keeper, I have collected various notebooks that contain the scattered memories of my life and sketched out the various characters that have skipped through my imagination at one time or another.

Most of those characters came to me as I played “pretend” with my siblings when we were young, and later, Dungeons & Dragons with my shipmates during long, boring weeks at sea when I served in the US Navy. (One of my favorite – and later resurrected – characters died in a battle against a flint guardian over a sulfur river. <sigh> Sometimes you just have to learn the hard way – we were all young once.)

Books have been my friends for as long as I can remember. In elementary school, I remember getting the Scholastic Weekly Reader and wishing the descriptions of the books were better, I wanted to know more! After all, how well can six words describe a 50-page book? So, I begged my parents to buy them for me. (What books did survive the many moves I made as a child in a military family, have since been passed to my children and grandchildren.)

While I couldn’t tell you the names of the books I read when I was that young – too much time has passed – I can tell you what I read as I progressed through grade school, high school, and into adulthood.

I read as many of the Nancy Drew, Bobbsy Twins, and Hardy Boys series books as I could find. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (L. Frank Baum) series ignited my imagination. As I got older, I found the early Robert Heinlein science-fiction novels. I loved those books and read every one my school library carried. (See the early works of Heinlein – published between 1947 and 1960). I read Tarzan, John Carter of Mars, Pellucider, and as many other Edgar Rice Burroughs titles as I could lay my hands on.

Then, in a high school English class, I read Stranger in a Strange Land (Abridged) by Robert A. Heinlein. That book was so eye-opening, that I ready it every year for the next 7 years. When I exhausted the Heinlein collection, I looked to other character-driven science-fiction authors like Ray Bradbury (The Illustrated Man), Ursula K. Le Guin (Left Hand of Darkness), and Arthur C. Clark (Childhood’s End, 2001: A Space Odyssey).

Looking for more adventure, I turned to books about other places, other lives, “what ifs” (Robert Silverberg, Gate of Worlds). Alternative reality novels that interested me were hard to find at the time, so I found Historical Fiction. Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard Lionheart, Elizabeth I, and Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots were among my favorites.

I read The Hobbit after graduating high school, and I was hooked on fantasy. Then, of course, I had to read The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and I wanted more. By that time, Terry Brooks had released The Sword of Shanarra – I read them all. Then came Steven Donaldson and The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever, Piers Anthony and Xanth, and, later, Elizabeth Moon and The Deed of Paksenarrion.

I served in the US Navy in the ‘80s, and started to write stories of my own based on the characters I created when my shipmates and I played Dungeons & Dragons games to alleviate the boredom of weeks at sea. One group of us continued the game for the next year or so until my enlistment was up and my partner and I moved to the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.

I continued to devour as many books as time allowed. Authors like Elizabeth Moon, Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, Tom Clancy, James Michener, Charles Dickens, C.S. Lewis, J.K Rowling, just to name a few, still grace bookshelves that line the walls of my small mountain home.

Time has been a four-letter word in my life since I graduated college in the late ‘90s, and I don’t have enough of it to sit down and read as much as I like. But, with about an hour commute to my job as a Technical Writer, I’ve turned to audio books. I have “read” more books this way in the last 10 years, than I have in the last 25. So many books, so little time.

Reading, of course, can stimulate your imagination, so I have all these characters running around in my head wanting out. These pages are where all of my characters will (hopefully) come to life.

Welcome to my imagination.

One thought on “Hail and Well Met

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