About: I had the perfect life.
I was the grade-school star and the teacher’s pet. The world revolved around me and I suspected it always would. If you ask most people about their life, they don’t begin with fifth grade. But that was a good year.
Illness changed that. I retreated into a shell and escaped into words. Writing a story sucked the pain out of me, at least for a while. That’s when I learned to “feel” on paper. I didn’t think I’d be an author, I didn’t think I’d be much of anything, I was simply writing to survive.
Life changed in college. Health returned, the cloud lifted, and I got my teaching license.
Being a teacher, and being with those kids healed me. Surrounded by them, I relived periods of time stolen by childhood sickness. I was in my glory. But I couldn’t escape storytelling. All those years expressing myself on paper left their mark.
While my students worked, I wrote at my desk. Jerk California
, my first book, flowed out of my own “lost years,” but hope fills the pages. Writing it was a beautiful thing to experience.
I now live on a horse farm with my wife, three children, and a growing number of animals.
Our home is on a hill that overlooks a river that snakes through a beautiful valley. We tear along the stream on the 4-wheeler. My three kids race through the pasture and scale the sides of the sand pit; they search for agates and chase wild turkeys that trespass on the gravel road that connects our hill to the rest of the world. I have promised them chickens and horses, but for now they settle for bald eagle and bear. It’s a good place to play and write.
At night, I walk out and listen to the wind rattle paper-thin bark on our birch trees. I stare at stars nobody else has seen and start a bonfire so bright it chases all the stars away. Then, my clothes full of smoke and my mind filled with ideas, I come inside and write until my fingers get heavy on the keyboard.
I love it here.