I’ve been writing nearly all my life so this story goes way back.  I was at a friend’s house and we were listening to his stereo.  He had a stereo with speakers to the ceiling and just to date us, this was at the advent  of  FM radio.  He also had a lock on the door of his room; I wasn’t even allowed to close the door to my room.   I don’t remember the exact line anymore, but the start of a story, first line, popped into my head and in the midst of what we were doing, I told my friend I had to go home.  I put my coat on and all the way home spoke that line like a mantra until I could safely store it on paper.  I wrote it longhand first and then I typed it on my manual Underwood 5.

If I remember correctly, that line morphed into the idea for a series of stories I was going to name “The Dapper Duo;” of course my friend and I were the dapper duo.  The stories never made it into existence, but that night I became a writer.  I was fifteen and the idea of writing had never occurred to me until that moment.  How or why the line popped into my head I don’t know nor did it matter then or still.  I began writing, and no matter what else I’ve done in my life, I have always written.  My friend became a recording engineer.

I believed back then that one didn’t become a writer–one  was born a writer.  I believed I was born a writer and  at seventeen when I heard a college orientation presentation by Dr. Robert Day at Queens College, any inkling of ever doing anything but major in English and write disappeared.

After one semester at Queens College, I set off for OSU where I was given a scholarship and work/study stipend to attend the Honors Program in English.  (I would meet up with Robert Day again some ten years later when I went to Queens for my MA in English.)  OSU’s was an intensive honors program that allowed students to do nearly two-thirds of their credits in their major.

Those years I wrote poetry; I wrote poetry until Sanny, a Comp. Lit. teacher and friend, told me my poetry was s–t and I should try fiction.  Well that didn’t seem so bad.  At least he didn’t tell me to quit writing.

The rest of my life story is a blah, blah, blah but for the fact that all along I wrote, and for the early part of my writing career I believed that publishing didn’t mean anything.  I was an artist and only the writing mattered, writing and the love of writing.  My talent, I thought, was God-given and since it was divine intervention that brought me to it, that’s what I was.

About 1989 my Underwood was replaced by my first computer.  Okay.  For laughs, it was a  Packard Bell, cost $2000.00 and the specs:  64K RAM and a whopping 2 mb, yes that is the correct first letter, hard drive.  You needed to know DOS then and a whole lot of other stuff.  You didn’t just sit down in front of a computer and go to work on it.

The  most significant new thing about having a computer was that I had to learn to compose on the computer.  From roughly 1966-1989 I wrote longhand and then typed the  manuscript.  Cut and paste back then was actually cut and paste.  Along with a pen, I worked with rubber cement, a ruler (because I can’t cut straight with scissors) and scotch tape.  Well thank you Lord for those newfangled devices:  the PC.  Then scanners made some things a lot easier.

This blog, I hope, will be about writing.  I really don’t want to write much about myself or my life or the other things I do.  I would like for anyone and everyone who views this to feel free about sharing comments,  tips, ideas, expertise, feelings–you get the idea–about writing.  Share some writing if  you will, and I will put some up too as this moves along.  Share some cool sites, or cool books you know.  I would like this blog to be what it is named, Writer’s Play.

So let’s play and have some fun with words.

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Make sure to hug your kids today and make sure you tell them you love them and like them too.