Writing about myself is often the most difficult for me to do. I want to offer a well thought out description so you’ll read my books.
And then my brain rebels.
Then I waste an unknown amount of time thinking about what I should say.
The thing is, there’s nothing orderly about my brain. Not until it’s exhausted its research trip into the archives of my mind. And even then, the path from initial thought to words on the page is a meandering one.
One thing I’m learning in my 40s is how to accept and work with my brain rather than force it to be what it isn’t. The more I accept, the more my brain surprises me, like these paragraphs I just wrote.
You aren’t getting an organized, professional About Me page. You’re getting me. Which is ultimately the goal.
The author Clare Lydon mentioned on the Lesbians Who Write podcast that her About Me page is a list of 25 things. That gave me the permission to do something similar here.
This list is in whatever order it pops from my brain. I hope you find some of it interesting and/or beneficial. Some shouldn’t be a surprise if you read the afterward or about me section of any of my book. But apparently not everyone reads those like I do. Either way, here’s my list!
- I was born in 1978, making me a part of the forgotten generation between Boomers and Millenials. I can’t even remember what generation I am. What I know is I grew up before cordless phones and the internet. I only had cable for one year of my childhood. It wasn’t even available where we lived. My first computer was my sophomore year of high school, so around age 16. It probably saved my sanity and is directly responsible for all but two of my relationships/flings.
- I’m an introvert. I’m also autistic (with Asperger’s if you go with the older definitions) and am working on an ADHD diagnosis. This has affected my life in ways I never realized until recently. This is why I wrote Cam as autistic. Very few people have a broad enough understanding of the spectrum, myself included. Researching her helped me understand myself better while helping others. Plus, a lot of autistic traits show up in other neurodivergent disorders. A lot of people have mentioned relating to Cam even though they aren’t on the spectrum.
- I write based on at least some shared experiences. It makes the research easier, though still necessary. That’s why all my characters have a connection to the Midwest, Colorado, or places I was stationed in the Marine Corps.
- I grew up in rural Wisconsin. Very rural. As in, we went to town on the weekends and that drive took twenty minutes rural. Our house was surrounded by corn fields, which were a blast to play in every summer. We built a DIY barn with family and had at least one horse my entire childhood. However, I’m still afraid of horses because I don’t read them well, just like I don’t read people well. But I love horses and they will play a role in at least one future story. Also, our neighbor was a pig farmer. As awful as some farm smells can be, there are few smells as soothing to me as that of a dairy farm or a horse. You may notice this little detail in Dal Segno.
- I come from a simultaneously large and small family. I only have one younger brother, but my parents come from larger families. I can’t begin to count how many cousins I have. I’m one of the only people in the extended family that doesn’t live in Wisconsin. While I didn’t enjoy the chaos of Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa Meyer’s, I do miss it sometimes. I drew on those experiences in A Marine Awakening when Sharon visits Cam’s family.
- I met my wife in 1999, just days before enlisting in the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program. It was a busy month. I draw on elements of our relationship in my stories, especially in Rising from Ash. Phoenix shares a lot of her qualities, including (and unfortunately) the less than stellar family. My wife continually impresses me with all that she overcomes and is the best mom to our daughter.
- Our daughter. I know it’s stereotypical to say, but she’s my heart just walking around without a care in the world. Becoming a mom was the most emotionally intense experience of my life. I documented our pregnancy journey on my personal blog which you are welcome to ask me for. As a butch who not only birthed but breastfed for just over three years, I believe it’s important for me to share my experiences. I only had a few examples of pregnant butches when I was deciding to have a kid. The only way to change the stereotype is to live it, loud and proud. Or, in my case, quietly from behind a computer.
- I am a rusty musician. My instruments of choice are drums and electric bass. I can play a little guitar, enough to get by like Cam. I definitely have not serenaded my wife, as I’m a bit of a chicken when it comes to that. But if you got me drunk enough when I was younger I’d definitely sing and play around a campfire. When I have more time I’ll pick up the instruments again.
- I love lists. Every time I say that, I hear my eight grade social studies teacher say it. He was king of the lists and was the very first person in my life to give me a nickname—Jackson. Considering I went to a conservative Lutheran school, being referred to by a masculine nickname in his class was extra special.