A Little About Me
A quick way to sum myself up is I am a father, a former sailor, I have previous tech experience, I love history, and I am a fantasy geek. When I finished high school, I enlisted in the US Navy where I served from 95 to 99, stationed for most of it onboard the USS Mt. Whitney (LCC/JCC 20). During that time, my job was as a Radioman/Data Processing Technician. It was during this time that I started developing a desire to write. However, that I never got to see anything to the end in the years to follow and many of my writings, as rough as it was, ended up in storage.
After a few years of retail work, I reenlisted in the Navy where I served for 4 years as an Information Technology Specialist onboard the USS Enterprise (CVN 65). I had already developed a love of fantasy by this time, stemming from playing games like The Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy back when I was in high school and some dabbling with D&D and the World of Darkness during my first tour in the Navy. My second tour saw me expand my love with books, particularly the Drizzt books from R. A. Salvatore and extending into his other works. Long days underway provided me with ample time to read those books.
My second tour also saw my love for history grow. I made more efforts during this tour to see places that I visited… to experience the culture. I’ve been to a Buddhist temple in Hong Kong, a Hindu temple in Malaysia, ruins in Crete, and several other places. Among my biggest regrets is not visiting Rome or Pompeii when I was in Naples, Italy. Especially since soon after, my love for Roman history expanded shortly after.
Upon my discharge in 2007, I returned to my hometown in Baltimore. For a time, I worked in DC as an IT Support technician for the Department of Homeland Security. My sanity from my commute was saved when I discovered the audiobooks of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time (now one of my favorite series and inspirations).
After leaving my contracted position at DHS (4 years led to burn-out of the IT field on top of the maddening commute), I entered a period of bouncing around from job to job, trying to find my place. Efforts to ignite my own writing career often got bogged down in world building process, especially since, at the time, there wasn’t much available other than guides and I often spent too much time developing the back end of the world building (excel spreadsheets, access databases, etc.).
In 2015, I found out that I was going to be a father. By this time, I had left the IT field altogether, getting frustrated with the high requirements and little compensation in my area, and I was just getting tired of the often-thankless job of troubleshooting and repairing computers and networks. I think I just didn’t have the technical knack for it, and it was becoming too troublesome to keep up. I bounced around to various jobs to make some money, while I figured things out. By the time I found out I was going to be a father, I had become a cab driver.
It was then, that I decided to finally put my time in the Navy to good use… I enrolled in college using my GI Bill. I started out at the Community College of Baltimore County as a History Major. I graduated two years later with my associate’s degree, but I had switched to a general education major. I transferred to Towson University with a major in Social Science where I carried on until my GI Bill ran out. I also unofficially minored in Creative Writing. My story “The Hedge Maze” was one that I wrote in one of my classes and a current work-in-process is an expansion of another short story that I wrote in one of those classes.
Incidentally, that story centers on a utopian/dystopian society that arose after the world suffered a major pandemic in the mid-21st century. Keep in mind, I began writing it well before the pandemic of 2020. Perhaps that is part of why I have had a struggle over the past year in completing the novel. Still, I hope to complete it, and unleash it within the next year. Perhaps it is timely… but who am I to say?
Anyway, that is the long-short of my story. And that is just scratching the surface of my experience.