Sunday, May 11, 2008


Current Reading: How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

Inspirational Quote: "I don't want to achieve immortality through my work... I want to achieve it through not dying." -- Woody Allen

I think I started writing one day in 1977. My brother had a friend who was into SF and comics. For reasons that are lost in time, he decided that he and I should do a comic together. Well, I drew a few things and showed him. He said I should stick to writing and he'd do the art. I didn't feel insulted. I felt it was an equitable division of labour. Of course, nothing came of such an ambitious project between two grade-schoolers, but I wrote anyway. I remember doing a piece for Language class that was part Tarzan, part Jungle Book. It's the first time I remember having fun with a story, or having someone read and praise it.
In May 1977, Star Wars opened here in Canada. I'd always been a Star Trek fan, and I loved reading SF and Fantasy (In 1974 I read a book about space pirates. It had a cool ship on the cover). One book I remember well from before '77 was Way Out, a collection of SF stories for younger readers including Teddi (Andre Norton) and The Lights of Mars (Raymond F. Jones). I read the stuff, and watched the stuff on TV. I built plastic model kits of the Eagle from Space 1999, the Enterprise and the Romulan Bird of Prey. I drew space ships and made little paper spaceship models. However, once I stepped into the theater and saw so much magic brought to life, I couldn't just mess with images of other people's worlds any more. I had to make my own. I wrote volume one of an epic space opera trilogy (ie: Star Wars rip-off).

Around the same time, another of my brother's friends (Jeez. Didn't I have any of my own?) began lending me books. His mom was a bibliophile who'd buy them by the box. I spent the summer of '79 reading and writing. The fellow who had suggested the comic book had moved away by then, but returned for a visit long enough to introduce me to Dungeons and Dragons. That did terrible, wonderful things to my imagination. After I read Tolkein in 79 and the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant in '80, I wrote volume one of an epic fantasy trilogy. In '84, it was an epic hard SF novella that I saw as part of a series.
After that, well... I've never stopped writing. I've been forced to take breaks as family and employment make their weighty demands known, but I've never stopped. I have trunk-books (Stephen King's word, I think) and trunk-stories taking up space on my computer. I've also had a few short stories published (for money!) and although my output over the last few years has been pathetic, more is coming.

So, if you've read all this and you write more than just blogs or e-mails, how did you start?

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