Monday, September 15, 2014

About.......Me, I Suppose.

As I look back at all of my previous blog posts, I realize one overwhelming fact: I’ve never really introduced myself.  To be honest, those who know me best within the writing community I frequent don’t know me all that well.  That, in its own way, is a shame.  There’s a hurdle there, and while the rest of you are jumping them, I’m in the stands eating the world’s worst hamburger. 

All my life, I’ve craved attention of a sort.  I always wanted to be the funny guy in the classroom (I wasn’t).  I wanted to be the best at playing the trombone (Nope).  The smartest one around (Most definitely not).  Though I am good at those things, being the best eluded me.  Sadly enough, most of it was my own fault, as I refused to apply myself to anything remotely difficult. 

I’ve always been best at shooting myself in the foot.

So I developed an overactive sense of privacy.  A prime example of this is sharing my picture on the internet.  It’s a running gag between Susan Hughes (@hughesedits4u) and Rachael Ritchey (@rachaelritchey) about what I actually look like.  I’ve been most recently symbolized by my twitter profile picture—my foot—with a beard.  But when I was asked for my actual picture, I posted a rather dashing picture of Tom Hiddleston. 

I should go see a doctor about that.
If only I looked that good.

I didn’t post an actual picture of myself because I wasn’t comfortable with it.  Mostly because I’m not, and never have been, happy with how I look.  But I also did it because I found it amusing.  A dry sense of humor is something else I bring to the party—though I usually miss the party altogether. 
The thing is, my inhibition brings up a significant point.  If I’m putting myself out there for each of you to befriend, how can you respond or otherwise interact with me if you don’t know who I am?  And I WANT that interaction.  I love talking to people once I get past being shy.  And that’s really all it is.


So please forgive me, everyone, but I’m no longer in those stands.  I’ve left my hamburger behind (It didn’t taste all that good anyway.), and I’m now at the track. Please ignore those hurdles I miss as I face-plant into the dirt and mud.  I’m still going to attempt this.  I’ve got plenty to say and enough vanity to scream that I might have something worth hearing. 

So who am I?  My honest answer is to quote the Rolling Stones. 

“Hey! You! Get off my cloud.”

Damn, wrong song.  I was thinking more along the lines of “Sympathy for the Devil.”  But the problem with using that song is that after the first line, I’d claim to be “a man of wealth and taste.”  Well, the only part of that descriptive modifier that fits me is that I’m a man.  Or, if you ask K, more like an overgrown boy.  Not that I have any problem with that.  Life will age fast enough if you let it, so why rush the process? 

Obviously, I enjoy writing.  Maybe that was because my parents instilled in me a deep passion for the written word.  I devoured books as a kid.  Couldn’t get enough of them.  While my neighbors were busy with their Nintendo or pick-up baseball games, I lay under trees reading whatever I had at hand.  Libraries were my play parks.  But maybe I enjoyed writing because it was something I knew I could do—and do well, since I never stopped practicing the craft. 

How many stories did I craft as a kid?  I don’t know anyone who knows the actual count.  Do we count lying?  Because I was a bit too good at that.  All I do know was that my parents encouraged me to continue.  As I look back, there’s so much of them in me.  My father’s taste in music.  My mother’s ability to cook (when I want to focus on it).  There’s so much, it’s immeasurable.  They’re good people.

“And now I’m crying,” he says unabashedly.

I digress (See what I mean about avoiding myself as the topic?).  K and I are avid comic collectors.  There’s a whole room in our house in which we display our comic collection.  Everything from original artwork to statues to the comics themselves.  It’s what we do.  We have the gems of our collection, like the first appearance of Marvel’s Thor.  It’s something we do as a couple.  We love to attend comic conventions.  K dresses up as a mean Black Widow and has recently added a beautiful female Loki to her cosplay collection.   And yes, Loki was a female in the comics for a bit.

We own a lot of stuff.

Speaking of K, we’ve been together for quite a while.  We met while in high school—at a Boy Scout camp, of all things.  Best weekend of my life, but don’t tell her that (Love you, Dear!).  The rest has been twelve years of memories.  We were married almost five years ago and will be celebrating our anniversary later this month. 

What else to say?

There’s so much more.  Does education matter (two degrees)?  What about where I live (Indiana, USA)?  Siblings (one sister, three years my junior)?  Humor (Dry as a desert, but I love satire)?  There’s so much, but what’s relevant?  I guess the best answer I can give is ask and I will tell you what I can. 

I have opinions—we all do—that I’ll be sharing throughout the life of this blog.  But here’s the crux of the matter:  I also value discussion.  Strong , sound discussion is one of the simple joys of life.  I don’t have to convince you to change your point of view, nor you mine, but it should provide us the opportunity to expand our understanding of our fellow humans.  So respond to what I say.  If you disagree, tell me why, but do it intelligently.

Perhaps now I will open up.  There are events in my life that could prove difficult for you to understand without a base connection to me.  Last week, I received my novel back from its first professional edit.  Sure, you might be able to understand how that made you feel the first time, but me?  Without understanding my personality, it becomes much, much harder. 

As I wrap up this blog post, I feel as if I’ve already fallen on my face for the first time.  But I promised myself that I’d post this.  One of those things that needs to be done, whether you like doing it or not.  I’m sure more information about my personal life will leak out as time goes by.  Maybe in big swaths, maybe in tiny portions. 

But no matter what, each word will be exactly me.  I will be honest and heartfelt.  My passions will seep through:  pride in a refurbished desk (I love woodworking—runs in my family), or fixing a broken toilet, or repairing my Dodge Neon (over 260,000 miles and still running smoothly—or smoothly enough), and my other achievements—big and small.  No one else is going to do this for me.  Time for the big boy pants.  Though I still want my banana splits.

Had one yesterday.  It was delicious.