Hi. My name’s Bob. I am just your basic grumpy old man.

I’m supposed to tell people all the cool things about myself here. That was it though- up there in the first line. That’s as cool as I get. How did I get this way? Now that’s something I can go on and on about. Be advised, though- it’s going to be even more boring than the stuff up there in the first line. You want me to keep going? Fine, but you have been warned.

It all started somewhere in antiquity. That’s when I was born. I’ve been told my mother was in attendance for the event. I don’t recall personally. I just take peoples’ word for it. After that, I grew old. Typical, boring stuff. Told ya so.

Growing up, I was a musician. Piano lessons starting at age 4. French horn from 5th grade to 11th. Self-taught on guitar, mandolin and banjo. I sang in choirs and chorales in high school and college, and did an occasional coffee house gig. Why didn’t I stay with it? Self-promotion. I hated marketing myself. So, I became a writer. What was I thinking?

Somewhere along the way, I spent time in the US Navy, got married, had kids, got divorced, and raised four amazing daughters alone. Maybe that’s where the grumpiness came from.

I got a PC in 1993. About that same time, I got an idea for a story. Well, not so much an idea, as a “what if. . .” The only way I could find out “what if” is to give the story a chance to tell itself to me. By the time it was done telling me, I had a novel-length manuscript. It was a super-long novel, even by today’s standards.

Then I wrote another one. Ditto on the length. I was content to write for the sake of writing. Eventually, I thought, “Hey, what if (Another what if- two in tandem is where you really start treading dangerous territory) I sell these things. I can get rich and retire young.

I had no idea what I was doing, and that fizzled. By now it’s too late to retire young (see line 1). I kept writing, though. It’s like a virus. No, that’s not it. It’s more like one of those amoebas that eats your brain, turning you into a mindless keyboard-smashing monkey. I’ve read that given a typewriter and enough time, a chimpanzee would eventually turn out a Shakespeare play, or even the New York City phone book. Maybe there’s still hope. How long did it take that chimp? I need twice that much time, because surely, he’s smarter than I am.

© Bob Dixon

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