Quite Thankful

On this Thanksgiving, I say thank you to…

Dad and Mom, for carving out time for me and providing opportunities in music, martial arts, and the sciences. I would link to a picture of you wearing superhero outfits, but I’ll just point everyone to the image above and let them guess.

Dr. Brenda Scott, DPhil (Oxon), for providing a light for me to follow and loving me always.

Jonathan Keohane, for teaching me astronomy and physics in high school, then telling me about “this job I know where you can teach astronomy.”

Dorothy Findlen, for teaching me high school English. You helped me realize my deep love of storytelling and writing. And that I shouldn’t use sentence fragments. Like now.

Juanita Woods, for telling me in August 1991 that I should check the open jobs at Morehead Planetarium.

Jim Horn for being mentor, friend, and inspiration for chasing grand dreams. Your knowledge of Morehead Planetarium is a deep ocean and I am forever in your debt for letting me swim in those waters.

CJ Jenzano, for letting me into your life and loving me as if we’ve known each other for decades. I will write books with tales of your father and yourself embedded within, but only because of your patience, good humor, and kindness.

Todd Boyette, for seeing my inspiration and encouraging me to chase my dream of writing about Morehead Planetarium & Science Center’s past, present, and future.

Amy Sayle, for your years of friendship, your honest assessments of my writing, and sharing with me your own brilliant work. My first novel would never have happened were it not for your kind encouragement and your critical eye.

Kate Neece, for your love and support, especially when I am least deserving.

Don Hall, Jeff Hill, Holden Thorp, Richard McColman, Mickey Jo Sorrell, Jonathan Frederick, Owen Phairis, Austin and Beth Guiles, Carolyn Wallace, Adam Phelps, Michael Rowlett, Greg Parker, Rick Scott (no, not that one), Drew Gilmore, Veronica Yoshida, Eleanor Allen, Russ Collett, Bineyam Tafesse, Rinna Hoffman, Greg Campbell, Amit Lal, Derek Campbell, Leena Amarnath, Brian Pickett, Erin Payne, and David Pressley–for sharing your best work, your stories, your support, and inspiration with me.

My friends, too many to name, but you know who you are.

Nancy, Thomas, Sarah, and Rebecca.

Honorable Work

Advice I recently got during a writers’ conference: keep your day job. Many successful mid-level writers, ones you’ve heard of but who don’t get the biggest high-dollar deals, they have jobs to pay the bills.

Two things about that: 1) I’m hopeful that readers will love what I write, but I’m in this for the love of writing, not out of an expectation of fame and riches; and, 2) I love my day job, so even if I get the million-dollar deals, I can’t see myself quitting.

I am a computer programmer at Gilead, a company focused on discovering and manufacturing life-saving and life-improving medications. My data processing work provides a tiny link in the chain of tasks from the moment of chemical compound discovery to the moment when the medicine is placed on drug store shelves. A really tiny link, but one that ensures patient safety and focuses on how to help sick people. I consider it interesting, compelling, and honorable work.

Above are pictures of me on my November visit to Gilead.

My New Home

I try to stay busy, but this summer I completely overdid it.

Not only did I continue working hard for my day job, give the occasional planetarium show, walk the dogs most mornings and nights, give my children attention and love, and engage my wife of many years in as much loving kindness and romance as she deserves (Note: she deserves quite a lot more than I can ever give her), we also undertook to move across town. Below is the picture of us having closed on the house, awaiting the moving trucks with all our stuff.

NewHome

If you haven’t heard from me recently, I was packing, closing, moving, unpacking, and still doing the job/shows/dogs/kids/wife/and-oh-yeah-the-eclipse-trip-I-planned.

I’m back. Expect more posts soon.

Meantime, check out the eclipse trip involving twenty-five of us on a weekend deluxe cabin stay in western NC.EclipseCrew