About me…

Most people don’t realize that I have a virtual butler. Yep, he serves excellent pictures of coffee via twitter and he’s great writer, too.

Andy Livingstone is the author of Hero Born available March 2015 and a contributor to The Handbook of the Writer Secret Society. And today he tagged me with the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. If you’re a fan of epic fantasy, I recommend following him on twitter: @Markethaven.

I now get to share seven facts about myself and award a few other inspiring bloggers. Links will be provided at the end of the post.

FACT #1 – I grew up near a town with a population of 80 people 

Near, but not in. Somewhere on the Southern Oregon Coast is a beautiful stretch of coastline where I lived most of my childhood. It’s hiding behind a state park. There is no public access, but it is the one place in the world that truly feels like home.
FACT #2 – I’m an unrepentant minimalist

I can fit almost everything I own into one large bag. Most of what I own is art supplies. This started when I first began traveling in 2008. I sold all my furniture and everything else when I moved with my son to Santiago, Chile. It was a bit frightening at the time, but so far, I’ve never actually missed anything I left behind.

I prefer not to stand next to people in photos.
I prefer not to stand next to people in photos.

FACT #3 – I am short

I’m 5’2″ if I sort of raise my heels a 1/4″ while the nurse is measuring me. I’ve never been caught doing it yet or at least not called out on it. I think a lot of people who meet me online expect me to be a bit larger than life, but nope. Not I.

FACT #4 – I did not start creative writing until I was 30

I may have written a few short stories in high school that intrigued my English teachers, but I never seriously considered writing as a hobby until a few years ago, because…

FACT #5 – I have Meniere’s Disease

I have zero vestibular function in either ear and profound hearing loss in my left ear. There was no cause and no explanation. When did that happen? When I was about 30 years old.

I have adjusted to the issue, which is stable now, but I started writing at a time when I was largely bed ridden and not too happy about it. A lot of people who have known me for years are unaware of this. Disability tends to make people sad. Disabilities that are invisible also tend to confuse people.

And next month, I will get my first hearing aid. Personally, I am really excited and while there is no cure for Meniere’s Disease, at this point, I don’t really feel I need one. It’s added as much to my life as it has taken away and that is something I can’t explain, but I know there are people who will understand.
 
FACT #6 – I had my son when I was 17 and his father died when I was 20
 
Sorry! I’m really not trying to depress anyone. I’ve got a point I’m making here, which I think is a beautiful one. Anyone can be an author. Anyone can travel. Anyone can get a graduate degree. Or be a parent. And any parent can do all of those things. I know, because I did.
FACT #7 – I am 75% finished with revisions on a novel I started 5 years ago
 
There it is. Writing has been an escape. It’s been a way to connect with people. It’s been a passion. It’s been a way to immortalize the people I love and the experiences I’ve had. I’ve been a full time writer and I’ve worked for content mills. I’ve written short stories, novellas, contributed to anthologies and published poems. But, writing science fiction novels has always been the goal. Something I will achieve this year.
 
I’ve shared these 7 facts about myself, because I believe the things that make us different and the things that we struggle with make us stronger. Adversity fuels dreams. It’s the stuff inspiration is made from.
 
There have been times (like yesterday) when a person may ask me how I managed to live, work and study on different continents or raise my son alone or share my writing or learn to paint… I can usually tell that they’re looking for the advantage I had. Someone must have financed it. I won something. Maybe an organization picked me for a program. It was a gift… Nope sorry. It was all sacrifices and struggle, which means anyone can do it. 
 
Our struggles and our pains and our hard decisions become our advantages if we allow them. Books are not filled with stories about people who got lucky. Books are full of stories about people who overcame obstacles and learned from their mistakes. 
 
Whoever you are reading this and whatever you want to do, don’t stop doing what you do. That’s the key.

Right. 
 
So, anyway, I apologize for the serious tone of this post. It’s winter and I was feeling a bit reflective.

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