2000: I begin to lose my voice, literally. Diagnosis: spasmodic dysphonia.
I begin using my other voice...writing a novel at work based loosely on my life as a Special Agent with the U. S. government and as an owner of a small oil and gas company. The title: Dead and Dying Angels.
2001: I self-publish the novel.
I move from Texas to California to work for the U. S. Forest Service as a Civil Rights Manager. My family stays behind.
2002: I read an article in People Magazine about a small publisher in Texas who flukily published the sequel to Bridges of Madison County, and then became a bigger publisher overnight. I email the first page of my novel and hear back within 15 minutes. He wants to see the rest of it.
2 weeks later, I sign a 4 book publishing contract.
2 weeks after that, I try to kill myself. These are unrelated events.
2 months later, my wife files for divorce. That is a related event.
2 days later, I quit my job, give all my worldly possessions to my wife and kids...move back to Texas...buy a bike and become pretty much homeless. Well, there are those flophouses.
2003: I don't remember.
2004: With a loan from my publisher, I buy an old run down house in a tiny Texas town and begin fixing it up.
I meet the most wonderful girl in the world. She becomes my editor...then my wife (skatebard, aka Sid).
2005: My novel, Dead and Dying Angels is sent to press for publication. Advanced review copies are sent out to newspapers, magazines, etc.
2 weeks before the novel is due in bookstores, my publisher gets a call from producer, Bruce Gilbert, whose films (The China Syndrome, Coming...
"Today I will fly," said the penguin. And he did.
The jet pack helped.