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Bio

I grew up in Lesterville, MO and graduated from the high school there in 1979.  From there I went on to Mineral Area College and the University of Missouri-Rolla (AKA Missouri S&T.)  Much to everyone's surprise, I graduated with a BS in Civil Engineering in 1983.

Before school authorities could realize their mistake and demand the return of my diploma, I went to work at Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT.)  My first assignment was at the construction project office in Van Buren, MO.  It was while living there that I met my longsuffering wife, Teresa.

We moved to Willow Springs, Mo in 1989 when I became the Resident Engineer at the construction project office there.  It was about that same time that I passed professional engineer license exam and thereby attained the right to use the initials, "P.E.," after my signature.

My main duty as resident engineer was to disrupt traffic with the strategic placement of signs, barricades and orange barrels.  I got to be pretty good at it, but didn't completely master the art until I moved to Saint Louis in 1994 to become one of three Assistant District Construction Engineers.

It's worth noting that in 1994, cell phones were just becoming popular.  That meant that disgruntled motorists no longer had to wait until they got home--and cooled off--before calling to air their complaint.  Instead they could reach the district switchboard while still in a fit of pique.  My vocabulary expanded exponentially during my time in the big city.

In 1995 I moved to Jefferson city, MO to be the District Construction Engineer in MoDOT's Central District.  In that capacity my main duty was to supervise and coordinate the work of four Resident Engineers in the region.  I didn't actually supervise them so much as run interference for them and make sure they had the resources they needed.  They made me look competent and for that I will always be grateful.

In 2000 I answered the siren song of the headquarters office and accepted a staff position in the Construction Division.  The transition was difficult at first, but the mandatory frontal lobotomy really helped.  That and becoming one with the administrators creed:

"Never look out the window in the morning for that will leave you with nothing to do in the afternoon."

I am still a Construction Liaison Engineer today and travel statewide helping the district personnel work through technical problems on highway construction projects.  I like to think of it as the engineering equivalent of a race horse being put out to stud.

Technical writing is something that I have done professionally for more than two decades.  Creative writing is a more recent thing.  

Since I was a kid I've enjoyed a good story well told.  For years I told myself that I would write a book when I had more time.  Eventually I stuck my toe in the water by writing short stories.  I enjoyed that for a while and even had a few published.  But it just wasn't the same as writing a book.
 
The tipping point came on a routine overnight trip for work.  I had forgotten to pack anything to read and popped into a nearby Target to buy a book.  The novel I chose was written by an author whom I had liked in the past, but was so badly written that I couldn't put it down.   The characters were cartoonish, the dialogue appalling and the plot so predictable that I knew how it would end from about the tenth page.

Upon my return home I complained bitterly to my aforementioned longsuffering wife that I could write a better novel than the one I'd just finished.  She suggested that I quit bitching and do it.  Unable to formulate a credible argument, I decided to do that very thing.

My first novel is entitled, "Theodosia's Flock."  Rather than try to describe it, I'll let you read a few chapters for yourself.  The, "Writing," link on the sidebar will take you to the download page.  My second novel, "The Hermit's Lair," is a sequel to the first.

What comes next?  I don't know.  I'll let you know when I figure it out.
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