Who Am I? What Am I?

Who am I? What am I? And why am I in this handbasket that has char marks from picking up speed?

Good questions. VERY good questions.

I figured if we’re going to write for fans, I’m going to need to introduce myself.  Eventually parts of this might appear in my own page.

So–

I was born in Portugal by accident.  There was a massive cockup in the stork’s general distribution office, and I was delivered in the wrong place, at the wrong time, to the wrong parents. We’re fairly sure of this. And by “we” I mean myself and everyone who has ever had any substantial contact with me including — and I want to emphasize this — my parents.  I mean, they love me (well, they say they do, and I have no reason to doubt it) but I think the most common expression on their faces when dealing with me is this sort of puzzled confusion like “Where did THIS come from.”

I also want to point out I have no clue where I was supposed to go. I mean, are there people out there who deserved to be punished with a Very Special delivery? Sure. But I’m not bad in that way. Just… confusing.

Kate Paulk told me long ago she thinks I should have gone to Australia. Mostly because I have a tendency to be refractory, and also, possibly, because I like Vegemite. (Wanna make something of it, buddy?)

However, by the time I was eight, I knew exactly what and where I wanted to be when I grew up.  I was going to be a writer, and live in Denver.

As a fan told me, recently, achievement unlocked.

By fourteen I knew exactly how I wanted to be a writer and live in Denver. I was going to marry Dan Holtz, a mathematician and also an astronaut (look, I was 14. We’re just lucky he wasn’t also a Pirate and a secret prince, okay?) and live in Denver and be a writer.

To expedite things along I wrote Dan Holtz into various novels.  The weird thing is how much he resembles my husband, even if I got the name somewhat wrong. (HOYT? What kind of a name is THAT?)

In retrospect, I should have written us as millionaires, but I was fourteen.

I met Dan on his eighteenth birthday. I’d post the picture here, but he might kill me.  We were such INCREDIBLE dorks.

It took us another four years to realize we didn’t hate each other and decide to get married. Along the way we almore married other people. (What were we thinking?)

We’ve been married for 34 years. I’ve been a writer for 20 of those (well, professionally published. I was a writer before.) And we’ve lived in Denver for four. But we lived close to Denver for 28 years before that. Close enough to spend a lot of time there and be regulars at Pete’s kitchen on Colfax.

What do I write? Well, today husband told people I don’t write porn or children’s books, but pretty much everything else.  He’s not wholly wrong, at least if you go by what I’m working on right now.

Two major awards — Prometheus and Dragon — a bunch of huns er fans and I picked 2020 to start rebuilding my writing after several health/life events knocked me on my can.

Which tells you how much sense of timing I have.

I REALLY should have written us as millionaires…

Anyway, right now I’m trying to do a lot of house renovation, taking advantage of having younger son nearby.  Just in case he moves far away.

I’m also trying to write.  I have two space operas almost finished (TBH since early in the year) the fourth Dyce Dare mystery underway and… other stuff.

I’ll introduce you to the insanity that is inside my head here, little by little.

When I’m not writing, either fiction or non-fic opinion, I usually can be found doing unspeakable things to innocent furniture, attempting to garden (So bad at it it’s not even funny) and/or experimenting with cooking (lately playing with sous vide and air fryers. Also trying to make “stew” and soup dehydrated kits for the winter.) Or doing art. Or sewing.  Eventually all this will be inflicted on you here, I suspect. (I’m sorry.) Probably jumbled with my less than sane obsessions. (I LIKE crazy “pre-history” theories. I mean, like the pyramids are really spaceships crazy.  I tend to go find them when depressed.)  I apologize in advance.

And meanwhile will no one tell me why this basket is on fire? Or on greased tracks?

Featured Image by Christian Dorn from Pixabay

50 comments

  1. Hi, I’m Kamas. I’ve been a book addict since I was knee high to a grasshopper, but I’ve learned some self control and don’t spend money I don’t have on books anymore. I occasionally write, though not often anymore, about SF/F, mystery or adventure. Years ago when I worked the graveyard shift at a convenience store across the street from the university I started keeping a journal of unusual events after a guy came in to use the pay phone and then sat down at one of the tables. 3 minutes later the fire dept and ambulance showed up, because he called 9-1-1 with chest pains and numbness down his arm.

    I can usually be found wallowing in self pity when not running my daughter around town. Thank you for all your support. This group is great. Are there any donuts left back by the coffee?

  2. I picked 2020 to start rebuilding my writing after several health/life events knocked me on my can.

    Which tells you how much sense of timing I have.

    Picking the year we were all locked in house arrest and needed more books than ever, even my slow reading self is on par for the most fiction words read since I started tracking them, seems like decent timing.

    Good timing would have been to do it last year and have a good stock for the surge, but this is decent.

  3. I’m Crossover Chaos. I apparently likewise knew I was going to be a writer from an early age, but people kept telling me to be a biologist or statistician instead. *Bemused* I would say my particular stork was either hungover or had a vicious sense of snark.

    Long story very short, I desperately took the plunge into self-publishing about 5 years ago because circumstances made it so I couldn’t get a job and I needed to try to bring some money in for eventual escape.

    To my great surprise, it actually worked. Not a lot of money, mind, but enough that I kept going and had just accumulated enough that I was within months of getting the heck out of the situation… and then things happened, including This Year.

    (2020, man.)

    Currently trying to keep working on various things as the hits keep coming… but! We’ve handled stuff so far, and with luck in a few more months I’ll have a stable roof overhead and calm the brainweasels down enough to put in serious work on rough drafts I’ve currently got. Onward!

  4. I’m TXRed, also known as Alma T. C. Boykin, an incurable reader and story teller. Some stories happen to have documentation and footnotes, and can pass as academic history. Then there’s the rest of them . . . I’ve heard and told stories since I was old enough to talk, and survived school with my imagination intact. If I don’t write, things leak and I get very stressed and unhappy, so I guess that makes it an addiction. 🙂

    1. I’m Sarah Hoyt, and I’m a writer. I’ve been trying to quit, amounting to not writing for months, but it hurts my mental health, so I figure for me writing is therapy. I need to get back on it.

  5. There’s no time like the present. Write yourselves as millionaires now. It doesn’t hurt to try! While you’re at it, write me into a little cash too. Doesn’t have to be a million. Have that is fine.

  6. This really oversized hand basket? Yeah, I’m kind of bummed. I liked the idea of turtles all the way down, myself. But here’s the whole world is stuck in this basket and sliding down into, umm, HECK knows what. So you’ve got a lot of company.

    I’m Pam Uphoff, and I disapprove of this year, even if I did get a lot of writing done.

  7. Since everyone else is doing it….

    I’m Zsuzsa, Z.M. Renick as far as Amazon is concerned. I write because it’s the only way to make the people in my head shut up. I indie publish because…well, actually, I’m not quite sure. I don’t know where the courage to press the KDP “publish” button came from, but I tend to blame peer pressure from the folks around here. So be warned, newcomers: if you stay, you may find yourself making the progression from, “I only write little sketches for fun” to “maybe I should try a whole novel” to “hey, it’s kind of fun to play around in GIMP and make a cover” to “you know, if I send this to Amazon, I could get a copy printed for myself and it would be a nice conversation piece” to “OMG! The whole world can see this! What did I just do?!”

  8. Now that there is peer pressure.

    I’m Herbert Nowell. I write because I have always wanted to tell stories. I flirted with writing on and off since junior high school, enough to take Creative Writing as a class in HS. The last time, before now, I thought about writing seriously was the early 90s. It seemed like breaking into print was like being popular in HS, having less to do with talent and more with ass kissing and luck.

    So, I kept getting my story telling urge satisfied playing RPGs. The proportion of DMs who are frustrated writers is huge and can be bad for the hobby if they try to write novels instead of run games. Inspired by the rise of indie and a few authors I got to kind of know via the internet, I decided to get serious about telling stories in the form of fiction.

    Now if I could just develop some discipline around writing, I might get some where.

    1. But since they’re actual peers, I’m OK with that. Means that if I told them to take a flying leap, they’d probably just laugh and accept that as a “no.”

      1. Well, I consider a lot of them “people I hope to be my peers once I get off my rear and get things released”, but yeah…pretty much.

          1. I know enough to have a reasonable guess at the age difference, but I never think of you as “the kid”. The one to not annoy, maybe, but not the kid.

            1. *curtsey*

              Thank you, kindly.

              ****

              It’s largely because there are a lot of bare branches in the family tree, and those who bore fruit mostly had one or two, and only before my siblings and I came around. So I’m both the youngest of my generation, and our kids are the eldest so the little cousins don’t “count” in my head. On the upside, there’s also that there’s still some of my grandparents’ generation around and my folks’ generation seem much younger than their parents did, even though they’re like ten years older.

              The “kids’ table” would be half gray hair, if nobody dyed!

              1. In writing, with trad in charge, I broke in only by the time my hair was completely white.
                Normal for my generation. When I was thirty left-boomers screamed no one under forty could possibly have anything to write about. Five years later,t he boomers were buying their precious college age progeny.

  9. My name is Bernadette, and since the chance of typing my own name incorrectly has been a hazard for some time, I usually go by the initial online. (Also it’s amusing to get mistaken for a guy.) I am not a writer. I am a reader and sometimes it overflows. I am also an artist, though my creativity can get sucked into other things, like the bed I am currently painting (after cutting and way too much sanding.)

    I recently found out that my mom has the same theory about time, in that our minds can drift a little bit out of sequence, explaining deja vu and foreseeing. Obviously, you got a mental drop from Future You, filtered it through a 14-year-old’s understanding, and got it *almost* right.

  10. Right now, let’s leave my name as (CLASSIFIED) for now, shall we?

    I’ve written most of my life, mostly science fiction and fantasy. I write because I am unable to draw better than stick figures(I have fantasies of drawing at least as good as Masamune Shirow), and I’m a very visual person.

    I’ve had a lot of stories that I’ve been “working on,” but something popped in my head three years ago and I finally finished and I’m in the fine-tuning phase of Solist At Large, which I’ve described as “What happens if you let Jim Butcher write magical girl stories.” I’m aiming for an end-of-August release on Amazon (with a cover done by Sarah A. Hoyt), and will be having my own website up by about the same time.

  11. Gah.
    I’m Luke.
    I’ve chased cows, driven large machines, dug in the dirt, studied rocks and maps,blown things up, derived mils with a stick and patch of dirt when fire control was screwing the pooch, built computers, wrestled drug users and psych patients on a semi-pro basis, and told outrageous lies to groups of tourists.
    Now I don’t do much interesting. Adventures are uncomfortable things that make you late for breakfast.

  12. I’m Evenstar and I think about writing sometimes. In the meantime, I like to hang out here online. And I would love to hear more about the crazy pre-history theories.

  13. Hi, I’m Celia, and my late business partner and mentor in publishing was quite sure that the stork delivered me to the wrong place and the wrong family … She was absolutely convinced that I was meant to be delivered to a family in Texas, and instead I wound up in California. Where I was very happy as a child, and raised by perfectly wonderful parents in a nice striving middle-class home, full of all the middle-class, middle-century benefits … but she was certain that I should have been born in Texas, and there was some ghastly mix-up among the stork delivery service, and somewhere in Texas (probably in Austin) there is a confused mid-sixtyish independent woman with some cats and literary ambitions who is quite certain that she should have been born and raised in California…

  14. I am Christopher M. Chupik. As a child I dreamed about the stars. As an adult, I write about going to them. I live in Calgary, Alberta with far, far too many books.

          1. We all have faults, dear.
            .
            (I’ll hoist a Kokanee for ye. May Ontario and Montreal fall into the sea.)

  15. I’m Mary Catelli, and I’ve written from the age of twelve when we had to, before a vacation, return ALL our library books and get NOTHING out. I was going into word-withdrawal.

    Had some things published, traditional — all short stories — and took the plunge into self-publishing six years ago. (My, how time flies.) All sorts of lengths. 0:)

  16. I’m Tiffanie, I’ve written stories since 2nd grade. I love everything equine (but haven’t had one since I was 16). I read (though not as much as I used to). I’ve been in the military (Sgt, US Army), lived in Okinawa and both sides of the USA and a number of places in the middle. Been a seamstress, street actress and singer at a Renn Faire, acted in community theatre, sang in church choirs, homeschooled for 20 years, became a master instructor of cosmetology, taught myself drawing, and then digital and 3d art. And a bunch of other random jobs and volunteer work. And I pick up new hobbies like a dog wandering through tick infested Oklahoma fields (where I thankfully do not live anymore!). Art and writing though keep circling around and around me, so that I keep moving back and forth between them and not getting much actually accomplished. I have a couple of short stories, a nursery rhyme book that I illustrated, and a coloring book on Amazon. I also have tutorials on art on Daz3d, and art backgrounds and 3d assets on HiveWire3d and Renderosity. (I’m so all over the place!) I have lived in Colorado twice, but not the prettiest parts. And want to live there again one day (I had a dream, where I was telling people in the library that if I could live anywhere, it would be Colorado, because the people are so nice. (Which is hilarious, because Colorado is where I developed a minor case of PTSD from worrying that people would kill me or my family….a story for another time)) But, I do still want to live there again!

    1. Did you ever get a picture that you felt actually captured the color of the ocean around Oki?
      (I ask, because I never did.)

  17. Howdy. I am Orvan. The slow ox… or one of the friendliest minotaurs you’d be relieved to meet. I seem to read a bit, astonishing as that might seem. Some around me think I have some strange, but good, magic touch regarding baking, when I all I do follow the directions on the mix box. Somehow I haven’t yet found a way to move to Goldport… or at least someplace not too far away.

    (Oh and the sous vide thing is interesting, yes. Have a small setup for such – the ability to ‘set and forget’ and not worry about the forgetting causing problems is wonderful.)

  18. Hi, I’m Foxfier, at a minimum third generation Odd, probably longer, both sides. Not off enough to (or can pass well enough we don’t) reach Weird, and not enough money to be Eccentric. We have a lot of bards, poets, tall-tale-tellers, simple story tellers who usually stick fairly close to what happened, and lovers of story in my family tree. 😃
    I’m lacking enough in Clue and ability to read people that I was an open geek and conservative and Catholic all through school which as you can imagine did wonders for my social life, and my background gave me the confidence and idealism to be a serious pain to most adults who just wanted to get through another school year. Really screwed with the bullies who (correctly) identified that I’m naturally shy, but incorrectly assumed that meant that I wouldn’t fight back, including physically, but preferably with facts.
    Grew up on a ranch, went into the Navy shortly before 9/11, and am still proud of my mom that she didn’t punch the schoolmate’s mother who demanded if mom was still glad I’d joined on about, oh, the 15th of September. School was mostly third generation rich kids whose parents were on trust funds, at one point we figured out that a total of five kids had parents that were married and had been during the birth of all of the children, which were biologically belonging to both parents. Three for my family, two for another ranch family…who have since divorced….
    Discovered the joy of having an actual social peer group on the old Yahoo Star Trek boards, and when I got into the Navy I discovered they exist in real life, too! Ended up marrying the scariest one, after he persuaded me that yes, he really was interested. My brother described us “like, the king and queen of geek.” (Like he’s one to talk….)
    We’ve got a horde of little geeklings we homeschool—my incredible power of persuasion to get Elf on board: “remember how much school sucked?”—and various RPGs (mostly MMO, but distance table-top too) are our bowling league equivalent. My odd fandom is mythology/symbols, his odd fandom is global security; together we brainstorm worlds!

    Have been scribbling down scenes since I was about 13, 14 ish, my first attempt at a short story was for a creative writing event where the idea of someone writing scifi gobsmacked them too much to give any kind of feedback, and since I ran into Sarah’s blog and thus to this one, I’ve gotten four stories up into 30k words with several others hanging at 10-20k. There’s even, like, connected scenes and transitions and stuff, and I can tell who’s talking even when I forgot to write it down and haven’t seen the document for months, or I just find a few lines of dialog in a notebook.

  19. I’m Bob, a lunatic, and most of the rest here are a good influence on me.

    The cart and the tracks are a result of the best way to implement the collection of specifications after they have been reconciled with each other, when you take all of the relevant regulations, industry standards, and international treaties into account.

      1. I’m not 100% sure everyone is a positive influence, but I really have gotten some good role modeling for ‘treat it as a business’, and ‘stick to it’. We have had some, hmm, very strange people come by and not find the place congenial or get asked to leave.

        We’ve also had lots of vigorous sharing of ideas on how this writing stuff works. There’s a remote chance that someone’s opinion was not helpful to /me/, but it really has benefited me to see so many different people trying to come together to try solving some knotty theoretical problems, from wildly conflicting perspectives. Has probably broadened my horizons.

        I did actually have you and RES in mind, teasing y’all about “leading me to believe that certain sorts of behavior would be acceptable”. 🙂

        Yeah, yeah, I was this way before we ‘met’. Most likely a matter of kindred spirits or something.

      2. I believe Bob has said he claims to be a monster, so it’s just barely possible I am a Bad Example or a Dire Warning, though I admit it does seem quite unlikely.

        1. I identify as monster.

          Two reasons.

          One, when I was very young, I decided that it was better that I keep my own counsel, and make decisions without regard for what others claimed they would think of me.

          Second, when I first learned about Otherkin, Bolo, Dalek, Necron and Saberhagen’s Berserkers each seemed an amusing fit. This was many years before I ‘met’ you.

  20. I’m Draven (still trying to maintain a thin b=veneer of privacy for a last few moments) and I’ve been a freelance 3d artist , intermittently, since 1997, and have also been paid to write stuff since about the same time… both SF and technical stuff including tutorials and reviews for 3d software and computer hardware reviews.

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