Here I am with my first musical Instrument. (Note the date on the pic... it was 1961.) This little ukulele had a hard life... I don't even know what went with it. Probably it was the victim of one of our garage sales. Not long after this my mother decided that it was time for me to start piano lessons. Why? I think that it was actually to keep up with the joneses. Other children, and by that I mean not just any children but children of her friends, were starting piano lessons. I suppose you think I'm mistaken but I remember conversations with relatives and friends about how well their sons or daughters were doing with their music - how accomplished we had become. These weren't casual conversations but rather arenas of social competition. I had to learn to play the piano because if I didn't I was going to bring shame to my family. So... I learned. I took piano, viola, and organ lessons over a span of eleven years. Eleven years of lessons. When I started college I had originally thought about doing a major in visual arts and a minor in music. The University advisor just laughed and said they didn't offer that. I would have to take a double major. Ok... so what I thought... that is just what I'll do. I decided on a major in advertising art and music composition. I had to play for my mew music masters though. So, I did. I showed up to my audition and they approved me. Then they gave me my expected practice schedule and list of classes for the semester. I had already been to the newly created college of art and they had given me my work load too. The two majors combined were an unbelievable amount of hours to complete and would take up my every waking (and some sleeping hours too,) I decided not to go through with my original plan. Mother would not be getting a musician for a son. After that I played less and less. I took classes for a few months under one teacher and then another but it dwindled and today I can't remember when I last played. Time goes on and we invent/reinvent ourselves over and over. I got my BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) and got my teaching certification. I have been blessed to have found work in the art field (doing and teaching) up to my retirement as an art teacher. My last teaching position included teaching art, remedial math for summer school classes, and team teaching reading (after all I did pass the University's English Proficiency Test and clipped some required College English classes.) While working in the visual art field I used writing as a hobby. Many of my stories which were typed on my old typewriter are lost because they were stuffed here or there. After I retired from teaching I was taking care of my mother (who had her second little stroke) and I just couldn't (for a variety of reasons) do art in that environment - so I wrote. I added these stories to ones I had already stored back and I have lots of short stories... some yet unpublished. I edited my first novel (which I had finished about a year before I retired) and published it with a collection of my short stories. That put two books toward my novice credit. Well, that's how I ended up being a writer. I think that my best work is still my latest: the novel "Premeditated Pandemonium: and Evan Chavez Adventure." However, My first one "The Secret King" keeps on selling. See all my literary works at Amazon.com .
Drawings by Dan-Dwayne: