March 18—the day HE came into the world! (#SFWApro)

I’m fifty-eight today.

When I was eight years old, I was ultra-shy, introverted nd lived mostly in my books and comics. I knew my life’s mission was to be a biologist.

When I was 18, I was a senior in high-school, still shy (but a lot more interested in the opposite sex), but a lot less withdrawn (credit for that goes to my theater teacher, Jo Yeager). I still knew I was fated to become a biologist.

When I was 28 (1986, in case you’re not keeping track), I was an aspiring writer, pretty much a starving one, working crap jobs. I had made a few sales — short stories, articles — and I was optimistic of finding more. I still thought love was just around the corner. I wasn’t so shy, but I was pretty awkward when I was attracted to a woman.

When I was 38 I was working at Waldenbooks, my best non-writing job, and writing newsletters (and doing grunt office work) for the Okaloosa County Building-Industry Association. I had a very, very small apartment. I was getting more pessimistic about finding love, or succeeding as a writer.

At 48, I was in a nicer apartment with my old roommate Dusty. Completely convinced I’d never find love. Working at the Destin Log, my best day job. Not a starving writer, but not that far off (Freedom News was a tightfisted company, and they’d get worse in the next few years).

trixie sleepNow I’m 58. I’m happily married, own a house, write full time and have two adorable dogs (there’s Trixie above). Which proves life frequently doesn’t go where I’m certain it’s headed.

It’s been a good, albeit mixed year. I’ve almost finished my fourth film-reference book. I sold several stories and saw a few published. My income-producing work has largely dried up (hopefully once I get done with Time Travel on Screen, I can scrounge up more). And the company that bought my novel Questionable Minds folded up business. We took a trip to Louisville for Mensa last summer, then New York in January, both awesome.

And despite the usual ups, downs and off days, I’m incredibly happy.

Happy birthday to me!

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