For years I have been at first a reluctant, then enthusiastic blogger. However, I have never built my own website that is just about me and my writings. Most authors joined the internet eons ago and even sold their books etc., while having a dialogue with their readers.
Thanks to an absolute fluke, I have been a published author for over 10 years. This has been a chapter totally unexpected and unprepared. I want to centralize my other writings on this site and let this be my platform for the present. But. allow me to return to the past and handle the roots that led me to this wonderful place called a real life. Some of this may raise some eyebrows among those who know me now.
While invisible in high school ( I was not big enough to play football even though I love the game), the only thing I was good at was English. Books became my interest around 5 or 6, and that has remained in blood stream. The 1960’s changed everyone’s world including those of us who were in a small Texas town. I mean it all came to us: rock and roll, drugs, free love, rebellion toward established thinking, and something called Viet Nam. I felt lost in a swirl of love for all things new and parents who were frightened by what I was transforming me. I dropped out of college, went to a Texas Bible College, and entered the ministry of a fundamental church group who were against all the changes going on and classifying all of this as “sin”.
I got married and we had 3 sons who loom larger in my life in so many wonderful avenues, I am still coming to terms with what a gift these 3 men are to me. By age 22, I was the pastor of a church in Colorado. We stayed there 10 years. By that time, I grew up with my own view of the world which never fit with any organization or church. I began to suffer from depression that had some how taken the steering wheel of my life.
Today my depression has been diagnosed as BiPolar Disorder Type 2 or 1, the doctors aren’t sure. BiPolar is a term that has crept into today’s lingo without any understanding of the disorder. I hear “she’s so BiPolar she …………..”. Anyway, I am not going to try to explain what it is except to say that its main symptom is that it ruins your life and the lives around you. I engaged in some very risky behavior in the 1980’s and ended up in a Texas prison. When I got out I tried to put my family back together although no one wanted to hire me. After a year of striking out, I got a job selling cars and everything changed. I worked for some very honest and caring folks who took an interest in me and my career took off. Personally, I still carried a lot of problems inside.
My new career took me on a quite a journey as I developed managerial skills and got better positions. In 1996, I was sent to a seminar at Sundance, Utah, sponsored by Steven Covey, the author of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. The book is a fine book and I enjoyed the seminar. Who wouldn’t? I stayed on the ranch owned by Robert Redford, where “Jeremiah Johnson” was filmed and slept in a cabin alone and away from all the world’s distractions. At night I built a fire and read books like “Beowulf”, until a I heard a voice, my own voice. I actually heard my 16-year-old self tell me he was back, along with all his fire and beliefs. I went home with a nice journal to write in and developed the habit of daily writing and self-examination.
For the next 6 years I recorded my daily thoughts and all the good and bad that happened. My 25 year marriage ended as my BiPolar Disorder raged on still undetected. I found my self alone and drunk on a Christmas Day, saddled by the sad memories that lay in the pages of those journals. I carried all 6 years of them to the dumpster and felt a relief the past was sailing away.
That act alone. launched my writing career and a new life. How? I will continue in the next post.