My life began in 1974 on an organic strawberry farm run by pacifist liberal Mennonite hippies, surrounded by Republican cornfields in central Illinois. I ate more strawberries by the time I was ten than most people eat in a lifetime. Strawberries aren’t even my favorite fruit. I sure don’t miss weeding.
1980’s. At school we were taught to read and do math. We were told that by 2025 or so the world would be out of gasoline. We did nuke drills: 1) Go to the hallway. 2) Cover your head with your hands. 3) Melt like the Nazis at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Everything I needed to know I learned in kindergarten, right?
It was not my fate to stay in central Illinois worrying about the Russians attacking. The longest I’ve lived outside the USA is 14 months, back in 1987-88. Just a wee little farm urchin in cutoff jeans and ratty tee shirts. We went to France, then spent a year in (what was then called) Zaire. It turned my world upside down.
In the 1990’s I graduated high school, went to college and studied religion, spent a semester in Cote d’Ivoire. Met my wife. Started working. Feared Y2K a little. Went to the hall. Covered my head. Didn’t melt.
I spent most of the Aughts delivering furniture from a box truck in Manhattan, Boston, Long Island, D.C., and everywhere in between. And making babies. My wife had four kids between ’03 and ’10. I snuck in a trip to Senegal in ’05. I dabbled in stone sculpture.
The last decade has been a real mess. I struggled to recover from the “recession” of 2008, because I decided to go work for myself, which is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, resulting in a lot more failures than successes. You learn a lot from that. I don’t talk politics much, but we got the Tommy Wiseau of Presidents in 2016, which kept us on par with the rest of the decade. They say adversity is the spice of … something. I say it’s mostly just adversity. If you can look beyond your own navel and learn anything, you mature. If not, well, I guess you are still looking for your umbilical cord, baby.
In spite of all the rubbish since 2008 or so, I’ve really followed my dreams. I’ve traveled more than ever, adding Spain, Gibraltar, Morocco, Thailand (four times), and Egypt to my list. A few new places in the States, too. I kept getting professional training. Most germane to this website, I published six books between 2012 and 2018.
My travel experiences are the most important factor in what makes me the author I am today. My total is 19 nations and territories. When you read any of my books, even the nonfiction ones, you’ll see that.
I keep writing.
I earn my living doing a variety of things, and it changes all the time so it’s hardly worth putting on a static page, although my primary passion, besides writing books, is leadership coaching. My blog isn’t always about coaching, or writing. It’s about whatever I want to write. Sometimes you get a poem, sometimes thoughts on coaching. Sometimes other stuff. I keep it real and mix it up.
My books are awesome. I really don’t mind saying so. I’m a good writer. Maybe some day other people will say I’m a great writer, but I don’t think I’ll ever say it about myself. What I do is entertaining, even the stuff that covers serious topics. I’m a happy person. I don’t want a whole lot more out of life. It’s better to have a great relationship with your spouse and children, than to be rich or famous. I mean, if you only get to pick one.
But I do have drive. I want to keep publishing stuff you’ll enjoy. So check it out. And darn it, shoot me an email or say hi on Instagram if you’ve read something you like. I thrive on your feedback!