Independence Day, 1989, three days after I was born, from the curb in front of the hospital, my parents introduced me to the wonder of fireworks. It has since been proposed that my fascination with large and noisy explosions began that day.
The next few years were relatively uneventful. I was a bit slow learning to ride a horse well. But, by the age of four or so, I was running just as fast---or maybe a little faster than my cousins. Learning to drive was unexciting, unlike my dear cousin, I did not crash through our grandparents’ barn. After a year of vehicular experience, I was too busy driving a tractor on my parents’ farm to get into trouble with anyone...except the IRS. They refused to believe that I was making the money I had put into my bank account.
Thus, for my first encounter with the great government, I was audited.
My mother drove me thirty miles to the office and was made to leave the room while the auditors interviewed me. I didn’t even realize exactly what was going on. I just answered all the questions with the truth. I told them about my horse, my cows, and the orphaned calves that I bottle-fed and then sold. In the end, they believed me. My reward? At the distinguished age of six, I became a tax-paying citizen.
Life continued, minus some of my earnings. There were a few miserable, snow-graced cattle drives, many books, and many episodes of Power Rangers. It was the last that caused me to start Taekwon-Do when I was seven.
I got my first black belt when I was twelve, I am now a 4th degree black belt. In the time between, I competed heavily, winning more than a few state titles. I made the US team three times, travelling to South Korea twice and England once to represent my country. I won bronze in 2004, a silver in 2007, and two gold medals in 2010. I intend to travel to Canada in 2012 to defend my title as Women’s Power Breaking World Champion.
Now twenty-two, I spend my time working, writing, reading, training, playing music, shooting, and collecting guns and guitars. I like guitars with humbuckers and guns that shoot magnum rounds.
Writing, to me, is a natural companion to reading. Without a doubt, my interest in writing can be attributed in most part to my lifelong reading habit---which got off to a rough start.
My mother/teacher homeschooled me until I started college. Early on, she (oddly enough) tried to teach me to read.
I hated it.
Luckily, before it was too late, I discovered that there was more to read in the world than Aesop’s Fables. I have been thoroughly addicted ever since.
When I was ten, during one of the winter cattle fiascos at our ranch, one hundred miles from home, I ran out of reading material and promptly confiscated the book my Dad was reading. It was Dune. At that point, all books became fair game and my passion for Science Fiction and Fantasy was born. (Dune is still one of my favorite books.)
In the ensuing years, I devoured such compilations of the written word with great pleasure, averaging a hundred novels per year until I started school. It was a sad day for my reading habit when, at the age of sixteen, I took my first academic class. It was a terrible day for my reading habit when, two years later, I enrolled full-time at the local University.
Four years, a B.S. in Mathematics, a B.S. in Computer Science, a minor in English, and a minor in Ancient Greek later and my Summa Cum Lauded self is possessed of a booklist that is still shamefully short. It appears that my recovery will take time.
In 2008, somewhere in the midst of my encounter with academia, I realized that I wanted to write fiction. My first story, “Big Iron,” was written and soon won $75 dollars and was published in the El Portal literary journal. Several stories in various genres and a fantasy novel, Remember the Alamok, (co-written with my partner in crime...I mean writing) have since been completed in what little spare time I find. I have four novels that I’m working on now; three of my own and the Alamok sequel. A couple of other novel ideas are stewing around, waiting for a turn.In all my pursuits, I have a slightly insane desire to pursue excellence.