Adventures in Writing Part 2: The Amateur Years

My last post Adventured in Writing Part 1 talked about my experiences as a fledgling writer and how I published my 1st article. That experience was truly life affirming. Unfortunately, that was my 1st and last D&D related article. But this did happen:

Met Gary Gygax at a conference in Evansville, Indiana.

Not too long after the D&D article was published, my family moved to Bend Oregon where I registered at Central Oregon Community College. When I built my schedule, I took as many classes as possible that related to writing and publishing. Here’s my schedule (Yes, I have a lot of this crap in my binders)

I had every plan on becoming a full-time writer. As a matter of fact, one of my first papers for writing comp was called “Tales of a freelance writer”. Check out the red typewriter ink on this baby:

Term Paper For The Win!

During my tenure at C.O.C.C. I kept the dream of writing alive and the college newspaper became my outlet. I wrote few profiles of a couple of my instructors. Presented for your enjoyment: my profiles of Art Sanchez and Gene Taylor

Profile of Art Sanchez

One item I would like to note is that these two professors were in the Business Software track at the community college. I had changed my focus from becoming a writer to becoming a computer programmer. If you look at my schedule, you’ll see that in the 2nd and following semesters I took more and more technology programs. After a little more than 2 years I had succeeded in becoming a programmer. But what happened to my writing? Honestly my writing took a back seat to my coding. I had traded one passion for another.

After spending a few years as a programmer for a local vacation resort I set out for the big city: SEATTLE! After a brief stint working at CSC (Computer Sciences Corp), I went to work for a company called The Juiceman. You remember the Juiceman:

You know you’ve made it as a company when Jim Carry mocks your founder 😊 At the Juiceman I worked on a kick ass team where we toiled building innovative order entry, fulfillment and payment processing systems. For the time this was large scale application capable of supporting literally hundreds of users (LOL)

Our company was exploding at the seams and our team was in a race to keep up with the growth. One night we were deploying our software and things went horribly wrong. A conversion application we had written was seriously flawed and we had to roll back our deployment. This recovery was done with a partial backup I had miraculously created. It was not a planned backup, it was a lucky backup. After a very LONG night another LONG day after we managed to recover.

After some sorely needed rest we took time analyze what went wrong. I took copious notes. These notes rekindled something that had gone dormant: my desire to be a writer. “This could be a cool article” I thought to myself. But where to publish this article. In the next post I’ll talk about getting published professionally.

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