I graduated WCU with a BFA in 1987. My focus was more towards design, and after graduation I pursued architecture; however, life has a way of moving on, and I soon found myself following the standard route with wife, kids, and the white picket fence. Never once did I think about writing. In fact, though coming from a family of avid readers, I hated anything to do with reading and writing; maybe because I was the black sheep, or simply because I had trouble focusing on it, finding it boring. I was always on the go; sitting down with a good book was like watching plaster set when the fish were running. As I got older I ran a construction business, so about the only thing I read was technical jargon.
At 45, being stricken with cancer, my mother passing from it, going through an awful divorce, and losing my business, my life quickly changed directions. A few more things reared their heads, and then my life started to turn for the worse. It was like being pushed out of a racing car at 80 MPH and tumbling down the freeway, but I wouldn't trade the experience of the tumble for anything. We all have pain from old wounds, it's how we define the scars of our past that defines our character today.
For a long time after I had troubles sleeping, constantly tossing and turning in thought. Then one night, I just got up and wrote a short story, as if it had been there the whole time. Ironically, during the same week, I came across a book of collected short stories of well-known authors. What compelled me to pick it up I don’t know, but I couldn’t put it down, each night reading more until it was finished, though never quenching my thirst for it. On my bookshelves today stand the majority of works of many of the greats. I also have read many how to write books; they all basically say the same thing: you either got it, or you don't. So then, why write a how to book if you can’t teach it? Isn’t that like giving a paddle board to a person with no legs?
I thought I like to ponder as I observe the masses: Do most people focus on a path that they perceive to be their route towards happiness, but in their pursuit they are blind to the simple things that reward it?