child, on many nights I would lie down on the lawn, and just stare up at
the night sky. I would watch for shooting stars, and marvel at the
white band of light that washed across the sky.
night, when the sky was clear, and the stars so brilliant you could read
a book under their light, mom came outside and lay down on the grass beside
me. We just watched the sky, and then I asked her what the bright
band of light was.
explained that the light was caused by billions of stars in what was known
as the Milky Way Galaxy.
HOOKED! Billions of stars! So thick that their light looked
like a fluorescent bulb across the sky, with a few really bright spots!
I was awed at the beauty, and wonder, and majesty of it all.
had only a high school education, but was a prolific reader. Her
dad, my grandfather, had a subscription to National Geographic, and had
every issue from number one through the time when I was a teenager.
She loved those books, and traveled the world through their pages, as I
did in years to come. That's where she learned about the Milky Way.
to read in school, but mom taught me to READ! To read with feeling
and understanding! To read like I was a character in the book!
To use my imagination, and SEE the images and lands and people the book
talked about. I became a prolific reader, especially once I discovered
Science Fiction books at about the age of 8!
I could travel to distant planets - see mysterious objects in space - meet
star travelers! What wonderful adventures I had.
to many a Saturday Matinee at the local movie theater to watch Buck Rogers
fight the evil Emperor Ming. I grew up with Tom Corbet Space Cadet,
and Captain Video and his Video Rangers, and every science fiction movie
funny it is to watch some of those old movies now. Yet, at the time
they were made, the technology in them was glorious! Computers hadn't
been invented yet, and were only a dream in writers eyes. Yet their
portrayal in the movies of the time was fascinating!
lived through the beginning of the computer age. I was privileged
to install and service, first, second and third generation solid state
(discrete component) RCA Main Frame computer systems (Yes, RCA did make
that took up whole rooms - plural - and had to be climate controlled.
that had core memory, and a large computer was 10k - that is, 10,000 octal
(base 8) words! We envisioned a "home computer" occupying a whole
wall of a house.
in my wildest dreams, at the time, could I have conceived of a pocket calculator,
much less a laptop computer!
lived through the beginning of the space age. I remember the horror
that we felt when sputnik was launched in 1957. How could Russia
have beaten us into space? What else would they do?
listening, on my amateur radio receiver, to the 'beep, beep' of sputnik
as it orbited the earth. A little moon, orbiting in space!
Even then, we, the science fiction aficionados, KNEW that we were on the
way to the moon, and the planets!
Laika, the first living object to orbit. And Yuri Gagarin in 1961,
the first human to fly in space. I remember Alan Shepard's sub orbital
flight, and John Glenn's successful 3 orbit flight.
I have grown up watching the exploration of the moon! And the discoveries
made in the heavens through the Hubble Space Telescope. The billions
of galaxies discovered in the "empty" area of the sky that Hubble explored!
dreamed! And do dream of the day when we, ordinary people, will be
able to visit space, even if only for a short period of time. Visions
from the movie "2001" dance in my head!
will happen! Probably not in my lifetime, but, it will happen.
then, I will dream of space, and write of wonderful adventures, as we,
humans, step out into the unknown of far distant stars and worlds.
WE WILL DREAM!
I have written technical papers
and manuals for a couple of the companies I have worked for. Usually
under threat of bodily harm if I didn't get them done!
Writing was never one of
I designed, and built, test
equipment and fixtures over the years. I knew how they
worked, but, for some silly reason, my employers wanted to know how they
worked too! So, I was forced to write.
I also designed and built
some specialized micro-controller units for use at some Christian radio
stations I did volunteer work for. And, of course, I again was forced
to write some instructions for their use.
Until 2 years ago, I had
never tried writing any of the stories that were running around in my mind.
I really felt that I couldn't write. English was not one of my favorite
subjects! So I just didn't try to write any fiction.
I have written a lot of computer
software over the years. That was no problem - it wasn't English!
In 1997 I was forced into
retirement with a VERY bad back - fusion, rods and screws,
etc - and had a lot of time on my hands. But it still took me until
2007 to even try my hand at writing.
It started with a dream I
had on Nov. 14, 2007 (really!) that I thought was neat, and thought, "Wow,
that could make a really good book!"
I decided to give it a try.
The first paragraph took
me a week to write. The first page took over 6 months. The
first half of the first story I started, 'Whadawedonow', took a year.
Then, one day when I sat
down to write, things just started to click.
I had been putting off trying
to write dialogue because I thought it would be really difficult, and I
didn't think I could do it. The first part of the story was written
as the 'Commander's Log'. Well, you can only write so much of that.
The day came when it was
either start writing dialogue, or quit writing.
So, I took fingers to keyboard,
Doggone! This is EASY!
The words just started to flow! That was the point I thought I might
really be able to write.
I have come to enjoy it.
There are days when I have writers block, and can't get a word on paper.
There are other days when the ideas, and writing, just flow freely.
Will my writing ever amount
to anything? Only time will tell.
| I would urge those of you
who have wanted to write some kind of book to just "DO IT!" You'll
never know whether you can or not, UNTIL YOU TRY!