My day job is Lecturer and Manager of Learning Technology at the University of London. Before this job, I did similar work in the US, mostly in Minnesota. My night job, and favourite job, has been writing this book. It’s taken me 10 years to write it, and now, I’m publishing it myself as an independent author. That has been more work than I ever imagined, but it’s also been uniquely satisfying.
One of my current tasks is working on this website, particularly making it more accessible for people with disabilities. I wanted to make it more accessible, but I also wanted to make the book available before many more months or years go by. Since the book is meant for people with or without disabilities, I hope to have one website for all groups. If you have suggestions for improving this site, please let me know. For now, I’ll explain a little more about why I wrote this book.
As a kid, every family get-together had adults playing cards, while they competed with long stories and short retorts. The result was a lot of loud laughs, which us kids could hear from a nearby woods. As a student, I had a strange fascination with grammar and words. I wanted to learn what each punctuation mark meant and how to give each word meaning, usually by using fewer of them.
In recent years, it’s more about pages than punctuation and words. Each page must earn and keep a reader’s attention. Many successful writers describe their own way of working through this challenge. My way follows my other interests, like running marathons or cycling for a few hundred miles. Intense writing, running, and cycling all start with making time for them, each day. JK Rowling put it in a more colorful way, when she made a new year’s resolution. She vowed to, “Guard the time allotted to writing as a Hungarian Horntail guards its firstborn egg.”
After a while, writing becomes a lifestyle. My favorite way to start a day is to have more coffee than I should and convert the caffeine into pages, many of which I actually use. I recently finished my first novel, following the maxim “write what you know.” I know my brother, and I respect how he lives and laughs about a challenge that slows down many good people, living with blindness. Mike lost his sight due to bad luck, so the book is really about working through it, sighted or not.
Of course, I hope this book is successful, but that success matters less than it used to. I’ll still start my mornings trying to earn and keep some reader’s attention. That usually involves long stories and short retorts, but hopefully, my written words will be as good as the ones that many of us have heard during a game of cards.
I would enjoy hearing from you, so please add a comment to this site or use the form below to send me a message.
Credits for Background and Banner Images
Graphic Design by Erika Gizelle Santiao. Original photograph by Timothy Galdunick, used with permission.