Who I Am
Introducing Your Intrepid Tour Guide
Just the Facts, Ma’am
I’ve struggled quite a bit how much to reveal here and have chosen the “middle ground”. Because there will likely be some deeply disturbing incidents discussed over the course of this adventure, I’ve chosen (for the time being) to exclude my last name or pictures that would give away my identity. (In some of my blog posts, I’ve now included pictures of myself and my parents.) I know eventually this will need to come out – especially if and when I get this novel written. In the meantime, please bear with me while I find my voice in all of this mishegas. (And no, just because I use the occasional yiddish term now and then doesn’t mean I grew up Jewish in the Bronx. Sorry to disappoint all you amateur sleuths out there.) Just know that everything discussed here is 100% true unless I say otherwise.
(Note: bolded words are information that I’ve added over the weeks due to blog posts that contain new information.)
I’m a white male named Rick, 63 years old. Average height, definitely on the chubby side. Bald, gray hair. (Both prematurely.) Glasses and beard. Picture your typical department store Santa without the red suit and you’ve got a pretty good picture of what I look like.
Gay. Totally. Not the slightest bit bi. I’ve been out since 1979. I’m married to a wonderful, funny man, and we’ve been together 26 years (officially married for 8 after it became legal in Washington state). We are both dog lovers and through the years, we’ve usually had multiple pets. Our family currently includes a 13 year old Blue Heeler mix.
I grew up in a small town in northeastern Indiana. After college, I moved to Fort Wayne with my family (my mom, her female partner and my brother). Since then, I’ve lived in Phoenix and Tucson, a small mining town in Alaska, and several places in Northern Idaho and Washington state. We currently live in Everett, WA.
Spiritually – ah, that’s a tough one. Let’s just say things started out on the wrong foot when I first tried to use religion to turn myself straight back in high school. Needless to say, things have gone pretty much downhill from there. I was a Religious Studies major in college and attended an evangelical Bible college for most of my post-high school academic life. Hopefully, you get the picture.
Career-wise, I’m semi-retired right now. Most of my life was spent working in the IT field, mainly in various aspects of non-profit health care. I’ve been predominantly a systems analyst and a database/web developer. I get a huge kick out of being creative and find when that part is missing in my life, my mood definitely sinks.
Wait – There’s More!
I wish I could show off a list of novels and series that I’ve written to prove that I’m someone worth spending some time with. Unfortunately, I can’t – I’m just a lowly beginner trying to find his way like a lot of you reading this. Still, I can describe some of the qualities that make me uniquely qualified to carry out this endeavor:
As I said on the home page, this site is an experiment to aid in overcoming a variety of ills including PTSD, depression, and anxiety. I’ve dealt with these issues a long time, with the first episode hitting while I was in college back in the late 70’s. Through the years, I’ve had periods where symptoms have been fairly minor and I’ve also had them where I’ve had to be hospitalized a couple times.
I’m not trying to squeeze any sympathy out of you by telling you this. Instead, I’m just being as upfront as possible. These issues will definitely be discussed along with others regarding abuse in all aspects, I’ll try and include necessary trigger warnings where possible but I apologize if something slips by.
For those of you in the know, my Enneagram Type is Four (the Individualist) and my Myers-Briggs Type is INFJ (the Advocate). And to be honest, I probably could be a textbook case for both.
As such, I am well aware that I can be sensitive, highly introverted, and expressive. As the Enneagram Institute describes, “One of the biggest challenges Fours face is learning to let go of feelings from the past; they tend to nurse wounds and hold onto negative feelings about those who have hurt them.” I guess I’m hoping through this site and writing this novel, I can actually get over some of this stuff and move on. I mean, after all, I’m 63. It’s about freakin’ time.
Boy, ain’t that the truth? I’m my own worst enemy in this regard. The basic idea for this novel came to me over 3 decades ago and through the years I’ve had many false starts. Still, the damned thing (and I say that lovingly) won’t let me be. I made a decision that this is the year it’s going to be written.
I know what most of the problem is – I spend too much time trying to do everything perfectly and then nothing gets done. I spend all my time reading books about writing instead of actually doing the work. (I’ve got over 600 writing books on my Kindle to give you an idea what I’m talking about.) I’m always looking for that magic method that’s going to provide all the answers. I’ve never found it ’cause it’s just not there.
And, to be honest, I think there’s some fear there, too. If I write this book, then I probably will have to face some uncomfortable truths about the past. Am I ready for that? I guess we’ll see now, won’t we?
Still With Me?
Excellent! As more information comes out in the blog posts, I’ll be sure to update the information here to reflect it. I really do appreciate your time and interest in what I have to say. And be sure and let me know your thoughts as I really want to make this as useful as possible.
Hopefully, you see a little bit of my sense of humor coming through so you know it’s not going to be a totally cheerless trek. My comedic tastes can be pretty offbeat with generous doses of snarkiness and slapstick. With luck, you will appreciate it. A friend of mine once sent me this quote by Golda Meir: “Those who don’t know how to weep with their whole heart, don’t know how to laugh either.” Believe me, I’ve had plenty of crying in my life – I’m just learning how to let the laughter emerge unencumbered.
I’ll also warn you that some salty language may appear here and there. I promise it won’t be constant but after years of being a saint in Bible college, it just finds a way to come out every now and then. One of my writing heroes, Chuck Wendig, recently tweeted: “Profanity is a circus of language and the clowns are all on fire, and I love it where appropriate, and even MORE where inappropriate. Vulgarities make you feel better. They’re great for emphasis and irony. They’re a fucking delight. Fuck yeah, motherfuckers.”
(Please note: Unfortunately, the political climate is pretty divisive right now as you’re aware. I’m trying to be as upfront as possible when I say I’m fairly progressive in my beliefs. Chances are I’m going to say something that’s going to piss some of you off if you’re from the more conservative world. I’ve had a lot of pain dumped on me from your colleagues and my tolerance level is pretty low these days. Know that I won’t tolerate any bullying whatsoever when it comes to comments and I will immediately trash anything that smacks of it. Please abide by the house rules and we’ll all make out ok.)