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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...

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"Today I will fly," said the penguin. And he did.

The jet pack helped.

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The sign said:

"Broken Hearts/We Buy and Sell"

I reluctantly entered

So many hearts upon the shelves

Cracked and splintered

I asked, "Will you buy mine?"

The clerk said, "It all...

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