Writing stories is like working metal in a forge. It’s hot, unglamorous work. You spend a lot of time sweating by yourself, pounding ideas into shape. You lift them from the anvil and smile when you’ve created something beautiful, or cringe when they’re not quite right. The good ideas shine out for the world to see and the others go back into the coals to melt down and work another day. It’s a ritual. The next time you take up the hammer you’re a little stronger than before, and a little more skilled.
That’s my philosophy on life, too.
I’ve pulled a lot of lives out of the fire, pounded on them for a while, and then put them back in to reforge. I’ve worked chemical assembly lines and nursed Air Force battle management systems, promoted library openings and operated the heavy equipment that dug the foundations. I’ve introduced chaos into time-hardened information systems and enforced order upon unruly new ones. I’ve loved, and lost, and loved again—more than once—and always kept the best and returned the worst to the flames. All that pounding leaves me with a life I’m proud to hold up to the light.
It contains two amazing fully-functioning adult children, rich memories, great friends and my remarkable wife Allison. It also contains enough rough edges to keep me close to the fire and adding new metal when I can.
And I intend to keep on pounding until the forge goes cold or the hammer falls from nerveless fingers.