Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Journey Begins


I have been a writer almost all my life.  In Grammer School I wrote poetry and satire for the amusement of my classmates.  In High School it was to court girls.  In college I took creative writing classes and got serious about putting my imagination to print. ( but still courted girls.)  I was a Drama Major and tried my hand at plays and screenplays.  (Frustrating and not successful.)  I opened one of the first Video Rental stores in Southern California in the 70s and wrote a "Club Newsletter" and advertising for our Family business.  I became a Police Officer in 1984, first as a Reserve and then full time in 1986.  Here I wrote for a living.  Writing police reports was great practice, and I wrote a LOT of em.  Even though creativity was not allowed, writing the facts, just the facts ma'm, provided the opportunity to hone the skills of being concise, descriptive, complete, and writing in a style that was easily understood and helpful to anyone who needed to read it.  I became a traffic accident Investigator and a Motorcycle Officer in 1990.  My reports now had to be extremely detailed, but without any emotion.  This was especially difficult when an accident involved serious injury or a fatality.  It was hard to seperate "just the facts" from the tragic emotional impact of the events.  I wrote for the Police Department newspaper and had articles reprinted ( with permission ) by other Agencys' publications.  I wrote a History of the Anaheim Police Department that was publishd in a Yearbook type format and sold to employees, both Sworn and Civilian, of the City of Anaheim.  It sold out its one and only run.  It is also featured on the Department website.


In 1999, while working radar speed enforcement just a few blocks from Disneyland, my motorcycle skidded out in some spilled fuel on the roadway and 1100 lbs of motorcycle ended up falling on my left leg.  It bent it in a direction it was never meant to bend and the bones shattered and broke.  (Ouch!)  Surgery and a three week stay in the hospital put it all back together again, but the prognosis was not good.  My career as a "Motor Cop" was over and there was no chance that I would ever walk again.  In the 3 weeks I spent in the hospital post-op I went from a 185 lb weight liftin, strong Motor Officer, to a 150 lb wreck that was parlysed from the left knee down and was advised by MDs that I would NOT recover from my accident.

The next 9 months were spent in rehab.  I felt nothing below the knee, but the knee itself was another story.  The pain was ....well......intense.  So much so that I could not sleep.  For more then a month I lay awake at night.  To occupy my time and keep my mind from the pain and the aspects of my future, I turned to writing.  I let my imagination run wild and created a character and a world.  I created a future for my character that was positive in contrast to what appeared to be before me.  There is an old saying to "Write what you know," so I of course made my tale a "Police Story" but I needed something to really challenge my creativity, something I really had to THINK about. 


My character was born.  I named her Kelly, and Bloodsworth so that her nickname could be "Blood."  A Female,  "Private" Investigator" and to really shake it up, a Lesbian.  So as a straight, male, sworn policeman, I took up the challenge of creating Kelly's world.  This process helped me through the months of difficult and intense physical therapy.  (Along with the assistance, love and support of my wife and friends.)  By the 1 year anniversary of my "crash" I came out the other side of my physical and emotionl tunnel.  I was not only walking (with a limp) but back to work.  Writing Kelly's story had done what I had hoped it would and I now wanted to share it with the world.


I read all I could about the process of getting a novel published.  First step...get an agent.  Write "querry letters."  Boy, did I write letters, lots of letters.  I even received replys from almost all of the ones I sent.  All of the replys were polite, supportive and had a basic message,  "Thanks, but, No Thanks."

Some showed interest and asked for pages to read.  I got excited.  I sent pages and waited anxiously for the news to come that someone wanted to represent the work and me.  Surely after they read it they would love the material as much as I did.  The new mssage was clear.  "After reading your pages we think your story is great but it is "Not for Us" or we "Could not give it the attention it deserves."  Very Polite and Supportive.

By Spring 1991 I was back to work at the Police Department, A Detective, working a brand new area called "Computer Crimes" and becoming skilled at a new process called "Computer Forensics."  I was doing police work again, I had proved the doctors wrong, I could walk (sort of) I was back to work, and I HAD recovered from the unrecoverable.  I put Kelly's story in a drawer.  I never forgot about it, but I was writing again (Detective Reports this time ) so my dreams of being a published novelist was put aside.

1 comment:

  1. I love getting this history, Vince! Welcome to the blogosphere and I look forward to more posts from you.