I found my love for literature and writing as a seventeen year old boy. Back then I was scrawny and sensitive and altogether aloof from my classmates. Not to mention I was suffering a broken heart for the first time. There was no one I related to. Yet in the spring of that year, my teacher distributed copies of a short story by an author I’d only heard of, never read– Ernest Hemingway. I was all but done for after my first reading of “Cat in the Rain.” There, in that story, was a woman who felt as I felt; ignored, neglected, trapped, and broken. The text, needless to say, had a profound affect upon me. Hemingway’s words, for me, marked the beginning of a journey that would teach me to love many kinds of people, and travel to many kinds of places.
In college, years later, I declared a major in English and creative writing. From the university seminars, I was fortunate enough to read many of the greats, and was especially inspired by John Steinbeck, Truman Capote, Charles Dickens, Jack Kerouac, and Garth Greenwell. Hemingway continued to influence me as I began to write, of course. It was his novella, “The Old Man and the Sea,” that inspired my first published short story, “Sunset Boulevard.”
I devoted myself to writing throughout those years of my life, and experienced mild success. I received multiple publications and invitations to read at conferences/community readings in Memphis and St Louis. The climax of my undergrad occurred in 2017, however, when I was invited to study for a summer at The Iowa Writers’ Workshop in Iowa City. There I sat among many brilliant writers, much older and experienced than I.
Since that time, and my graduation from school, I’ve stepped back from being a writer. Sometimes I’ll sit and conjure up an old idea from the past or add a few words to an old novella or short story. The demand of a modern career, however, along with the fulfillment I’ve experienced in my relationship, have made it difficult to return to the writing that I so used to crave, the writing that so used to mend my spirit. In the future, when my life may take an unexpected turn, I’d like to return again as a serious writer, and craft a serious literary novel. I believe that to be one of my purposes in life.
If you’d like to experience a bit of my prose, it’s here for you. I hope it’s as enjoyable for you to read as it was for me to write.