In the early days, I played a game of Goldilocks & The Three Bears with climate zones: the Mohave Desert was too hot; Montana was too cold; the Pacific Northwest was just right. Though, it would be nice if the damp didn't insist of making my back yard a bog for nine months of the year. This is, alas, the downside of being someone who likes to be close to water. Pluses and minuses.
There are several indicators during my formative years which, in hindsight, suggest that I was destined to seek writing as a career choice.
- In late elementary school, I participated in my one—and only—spelling bee. After months of practicing the word list, I spectacularly cratered on my first word. That word? "Author." O-U-T-H-E-R.
- In a junior high English class, I channeled Michael Moorcock as best an impressionable proto-teenager can. My mini swords and sorcery epic, complete with scarred wanderer ("Dorillon Firelight" was his name) and furry sidekick. While I was enjoying a week long stay in the hospital (for a toothpick injury; yes, only a writer would be felled by such a lowly object), my story was entered in school-wide contest. It won, and the prize was a thesaurus. I was perplexed by the prize. Didn't they realize there were a couple floating around my house already?
- Bored by the Survey of English Lit requirement my freshman year of college, I talked the TA into letting me write fiction for my term paper. A response to T. S. Eliot's "The Wasteland," complete with a Three Musketeers-style rogues gallery: the trochee, the spondee, and the dactyl.
- I qualified for a Bachelor's of Science degree, but could not (and still cannot, to this day) say with a straight face that I went to school for five years to get a "B.S. in the Arts & Letters." With a focus of study in Creative Mythology, for good measure.
- A profane mythographic analysis of Clive Cussler's Treasure was a key element in the thesis I had to write to graduate. Yes, I did graduate.