Here's to the stories...

As a kid, growing up in the desert of Northern Arizona, I used to go outside and stare into the night sky. Being so far from the lights of the cities, we could see the stars like few others can in the United States. They stretched from horizon to horizon, so close it felt like you could fall off the face of the earth touch them. The broad band of the Milky Way spanned the sky like a iridescent dust, and the bright stars of the constellations stood out against the dim galaxies and stars behind them. Between them all the bright, colored lights of the planets. The red of Mars, the early and late shine of Venus, the impressive size oj Jupiter. They were constant companions and they all enchanted me.

To me, there were stories out there. Azimov's stories of the powerful Galactic Empire on Trantor and the resourceful Foundation as it's foil. Niven's Puppeteers, running from the exploding core. Heinlein's Mobile Infantry, dropping from the cruisers piloted by the beautiful and brilliant women of the Navy. The canals of Mars, the jungles of Venus, the deserts of Arrakis, the jungles of Degobah, they all served as a springboard for my imagination.

I'd wanted to write for a long time; as long as I can remember. My first attempts came in lit classes in high school, and messing around writing and sharing stories with friends. As I progressed through life starting my career, joining the military and having a family, I still enjoyed writing. I'd not seriously entertained writing for others, until I ran into other like minded people on social media. They saw potential in what I was writing (As coarse as it was, and occasionally still is!) and encouraged me to post more. Eventually, an established author noticed me and gave me a shot to write a story for an anthology, and away we went. This was of course, the head of what is now Cannon Publishing, John Holmes.

It's not been easy; As an editor, John's got a merciless eye and the blunt mannerisms of his previous career as a noncom in the US Army. I heard and still hear (often!): "Fix this. You can do better." I grimace, and get to work, because he's usually right. I can do better, but art, like medical practice, is something that is never perfect but always evolving and improving. The team here at Cannon has been instrumental in helping take me from a guy who wrote for fun to a guy who still writes for fun, but now has a published a book and three short stories!

John and the merry gang of miscreant authors over at Cannon are helping me realize a lifelong dream- To tell the stories in those stars I saw in the skies of Northern Arizona so many years ago.

So, to the team at Cannon and the Hivemind at The Command Post- Here's to the stories!

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