The Christmas I was six, I snuck into a hallway to listen at the bannister as my parents discussed presents in the living room below.
When my parents heard me, they switched into German. That was when I fell in love with language.
I was already hooked on stories by this time. I have memories of Where the Wild Things Are and The Monster at the End of This Book from the dim years before kindergarten, and I recall my parents reading us The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and The Jungle Book over and over again. “Richer than I you can never be…” :-)
Some interesting things about me that may or may not have anything to do with my writing:
I married my wife on our first date. (True story. Sadie Hawkins. There was a “preacher” and a bale of hay right in front of where the couples stood to get their picture taken. We got a tin ring and a certificate that said, “This here certifies that the two of these folks is hitched until one of ’em gits away.” The rest is history.)
My bucket list includes swimming with great white sharks off the coast of South Africa.
I have a newspaper clipping that erroneously reports my kidnapping. (Another true but long story. I was 4. Happy ending. Maybe I’ll blog about it sometime.)
I’ve dislocated a shoulder, broken my big toe, impaled my foot on nails, suffered multiple concussions, cracked my jaw, ripped open my forehead and chin, had some truly awe-inspiring bike catastrophes, taken a baseball bat to the chest (swung by a brawny man with gusto), sunk partway through the ice on an isolated and frozen lake, nearly passed out choking several times, been in multiple car crashes, and generally been accident-prone and far luckier than I deserve. Lots and lots of stitches, but no serious after-effects except the brain damage. :-)
I lived in 21 places before I turned 18. I’ve been to about 45 of the 50 states. I’ve travelled to Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Peru, Taiwan, Japan, Sweden, the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, and Italy.
I was a missionary in New Mexico and Texas. I spent time on the Mexican border and travelled around the Navajo, Zuni, and Hopi reservations in the four corners area. I speak fluent Spanish. (Well, I used to; the DJs on latino radio stations make my head spin with their machine-gun speed; maybe I’m getting rusty…)
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