Sunday, November 08, 2009

First things

Six years ago I decided I need to start writing again. As a kid I was always spending most of my waking hours lost in my imagination, and after my parents got me my first very computer (a Franklin Ace 1000, a short-lived Apple II clone) there was no stopping me from setting all of those fantasies to words- I wrote for the sheer joy of writing, as fast as I could type, cranking out all manners of fantasy, sci-fi, and horror stories in my spare time.

When I went off to college I had assumed that I would follow in the footsteps of my childhood idol Isaac Asimov and write for Amazing Stories or Analog while getting a degree in astronomy or astrophysics, but not only did my career in the sciences not quite pan out as planned, but my writing output dried up entirely as well. Whereas before I had no problem sitting down and letting the words pour out, somewhere along the way I'd run into the mother of all writer's block, where I struggled even to put together a promising first paragraph, let alone an entire story.

(Okay, to be fair I did write one short story during this decade-long dry spell, and it even survives to this day, albeit only in hard copy. Maybe sometime after NaNoWrimo I'll dust it off and see if I can't edit it into something I wouldn't be totally embarrassed to share!)

Flash forward to 2003, when a confluence of events in my life finally put me back on the writer's path. I was stuck in the doldrums at my job but blogging up a storm, and at some point it dawned on me that if I could post a thousand words of nonfiction for the Jersey Exile without breaking into a cold sweat surely I could try to do the same thing with fiction. And lo and behold, it worked!

(I also credit my wife's encouragement in buying me a PDA for writing on the bus and train, as well as Stephen King's On Writing, which helped me get over the fact that writing doesn't have to be perfect on the first, second, or even third drafts, and last but certainly not least my daughter Andriana, whose impending birth later that spring proved to be the greatest inspiration of all.)

Within a few weeks I had written my first complete short story in over ten years, a science fiction tale I oh-so-cleverly titled "First"- I've posted it to Random Tales for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!

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