click for details) is today. It's an opportunity to talk about why I write, no, not exactly, it's about my origins, what led me down this path.
My origin story, like that of Peter Parker, is a mixture of the exotic and banal. I'm just a normal person, living a normal life, when one day - bam! - I've been bitten by a radioactive muse.
The truth be told. I didn't come to writing until I was well into my twenties. I did, however, always consider myself a storyteller. As I mentioned in my About Me page, I first dreamt of being a comic book artist when I was young. I would spend hours and hours in a small desk I kept in my closet, yes, closet, and toil away drawing all these comics. I recall doing this He-Man rip-off about a guy who was imprisoned by a skeleton headed guy in a cowl that said he kidnapped barbaric humans... AND SOLD THEM!
That's right, I was a pre-teen, writing stories with relevance, touching on big social issues, like enslaved barbarians (I came down on the side of it being wrong, FYI). At the risk of spoiling the tale for those who haven't read my early story, this young barbarian solved the problem by beating up everyone he came across until he made his way to Skeletor...er, I mean, the Skullhead, and punched him right in the face.
Anyway, I did lots of those type comics. However, as I got older, my dream of drawing comics slowly passed by me as I got away from what I thought was childish stuff, and got into other things, like playing guitar, then later, doing television.
Not real television, but public access stuff. Friends and I discovered it by accident. Our local public access had to air our stuff if we asked them to. It was the law. So we ran around and did all sorts of stupid stories, badly acted, horribly conceived, and no matter how bad they were, they went on the air.
My favorite show at the time was Star Trek: TNG. Now, I've talked about that show so much that I'm getting tired of bringing it up, but I have to, it's important for me. Because, as we went along with our public access show, we were starting to do more Star Trek themed episodes. Generally, they would start with a far future band of human explorers getting sent back in time to do something... I think saving the Panda population was high on the list of tasks. So we were sent back to the early 90s to bring back specimens to the future.
Well, as I got further into the our own convoluted story, which made no sense, but carried on in spite of this, I was constantly trying to ret-con things said or done into some sort of something that made sense. Of course, I was actively watching Star Trek, reading the books, and otherwise living the dream.
The show, as we each kept wishing to do it better, began taking more time to produce, we were starting to buy props, film on locations, trying to come up with coherent stories, and were attracting a growing number of people that wanted to be a part.
It was beginning to take too much time, like, we were having to film several days a week, meet to discuss what we were going to film, and in our spare time, figure out how we could improve our technical skills for the show.
It quickly got too big for us. God forbid anyone in the group have a girl friend, play in a band, or worst of all, have a job. After an awesome summer things fell apart. We just couldn't do it. One of my friends decided that he wanted to be a real actor and got an agent and did bit parts in local productions and TV commercials. I got drawn in deeper and deeper into the behind the scenes aspects. And eventually discovered that TNG was open to story submissions.
That's right, during their run, I heard that they would solicit ideas for stories. Honestly, I don't know if that was even true, but I believed it, and was determined to get a story idea on the show.
As much as I loved the show, I was often frustrated that they had these amazing science fiction elements buried as back story that were never explored. They had that ancient super civilization that had artifacts littered across the galaxy, the Iconians, they ran across a Dyson's Sphere once, the first spacefaring race in the galaxy explored and found the universe a lonely and empty place, so they seeded it with life - bringing forth Humans, Vulcans, Klingons, and all the other humanoid races that were eventually became so familiar with.
But that wasn't what the show was about, instead it was always about the crew getting space drunk, or Riker having to teach the women of some new planet what good loving could do. Again, it was frustrating at times.
So, I started trying to come up with the greatest episode of TNG ever. The absolute best. I began working on a story that I thought would be just that.
I went epic with it, making it as big a story as I could envision. So big in fact, that naive as I was, I realized it was unfilmable. I had been reading the novels and thought it might serve better as a novelization. And once I put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) I couldn't seem to turn it off.
I wanted to be a writer.
And there you have it, my origin story. Star Trek again. I'd consider creating a fictional origin story that involves me running away from home as a child and travelling across country with a hobo on a train, but I haven't got the details worked out yet. As it stands, that's all I've got for now.
Sigh, thanks for the opportunity to share.