Origins of a Writer

Perhaps the most formative moment of my life was a boast from one of my best friends as a three-year-old: “I’m in preschool and I’m learning to read, so I’m going to be ahead of you in school.”

I couldn’t have that.

Growing up on a ranch, I spent a lot of my youth in solitude, playing by myself or with my older brother. As I began to read–and boy, did I read–my imagination grew by leaps and bounds. With the first stumbling steps learned from my mother, I quickly started devouring everything I could lay my hands upon. I learned to sight-read and my vocabulary expanded quickly as I figured out words from context clues. [pullthis]Years later, when I was “taught” to use context clues in school, I was amazed to find that other people didn’t do it naturally.[/pullthis]

Another formative moment was finding an old typewriter. For a kid with a wild imagination who loved to read, it was the next natural step. I pounded away on that old mechanical clunker with hunt-and-peck; my hands were too small to keyboard more traditionally, especially with the keystroke required for that arm to whip up and smack the page. I turned out pages of typo-ridden pages, and my parents never discouraged me…though in hindsight, I don’t know if I would’ve had the patience with me that they exhibited.

In the years since then, I’ve had a number of people encourage me to pursue authorship. An English teacher in high school wrote on one of my papers, “I can’t wait to read your first novel.” Friends have asked me to make sure I give them autographed copies of my work. People I don’t know well who have read some of my yarns have compared me favorably with some of my own favorite authors.

Am I that good? I doubt it, but I’m too close to see it even if it is true.

[pullshow]And in spite of all that, it was a pursuit I’d largely abandoned. I graduated college in 2008 and promptly took up a job in IT. Oddly enough, every boss who has hired me since then has said it was my English degree, not my Computer Science degree, that made me stand out from other candidates for jobs. I’ve often found myself asked to create directions, notes, meeting minutes, and so forth, because they find my prose clear and easy to read.

Guess I’ve been doomed from the start.

What are my ultimate goals? Publication, obviously–isn’t that every writer’s dream?

This blog is intended to be a tool for writing. I’ve worked on a variety of projects, and have several going on right now in my free time. The most public is a Star Wars fiction I’ve been writing as a capstone to six years of writing in the Star Wars universe. I’ve actually written two novel-length Star Wars pieces, called The Nallera Conflict and Arms Race. This final piece, Siege, is my farewell to it. It’s time for me to give those characters closure and move on to more professional authorship.

So what follows that?

I’ve spent several years developing some universes to write in. My senior project as an English major was actually the creation of a full fictional universe; it’d be a shame for it to go to waste.

2 thoughts on “Origins of a Writer

  1. I do think you’re that good so get to the writing. It’s been a pleasure to read and participate in the events that sparked some of your stories.

    *dawns wookiee suit*

    *grabs pitchfork*

  2. I agree with Anishor. You *are* that good, Halyn. You are my favorite author. I love Aaron Allston’s work, but I feel you hold your own against him.

    I’m so excited about this project! SOOO excited.

    *hands out torches, just in case…*

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