Have keyboard, will travel

It’s not often that one’s labor of love is also his profession. I am in that position now (finally!) as a college professor and soon-to-be-published novelist (more on that in my next post). But I’ve always had great expectations about what path my life would take, what I would do for a living.

When I was a little boy, I dreamed of growing up and riding a black stallion here and there, righting wrongs. The saddle and all the tack would be black, I would be dressed in black, my hat and holster would be black, My Colt .45 however, would have a pearl handle. As I got older, I realized that perhaps my fear of horses might impact my career. In addition, I wasn’t sure how I would be paid, other than by sweet kisses from rescued damsels.

Then I decided I’d grow up and play left field for the Boston Red Sox. But when I was fifteen and playing for the Pony League Athletics, my batting average plummeted once I was introduced to the curve ball. Maybe my (uncorrected) 20-120 vision had something to do with that. In any case, I moved on. Then I thought maybe I would be a basketball star. That didn’t work out, either.

In real life I have worked on an oven in an auto parts factory, shoveled out chicken houses and harvested grapefruit on an Israeli kibbutz, stocked shelves in a Southern California liquor store, served four years in the Air Force (ours) here and abroad, and worked with troubled adolescents and their families. I had a morning paper route, I detasseled corn in Iowa, worked as a bar back in an officers’ club in Germany, and wrote newspaper columns.

But now, praise God, I am a full-time college professor and loving it. I enjoy working with colleagues I love, and students who are usually entertaining in a variety of ways. I have plenty of time to write, and I use it to do something I enjoy more than anything else – putting stories on paper. 

In my next posting, I will share with you a little bit about my novel, Signs of Struggle. For now, I just want to thank you for reading curlylarryandme and hope you tell others if you like what you find here.

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4 Responses to Have keyboard, will travel

  1. Caitlin Carenen says:

    H.L. Mencken once wrote that newspaper reporting “is really the life of kings.” I think it might be being a professor, myself. Like the post!

  2. It seems like a lot of folks arrive at authorship via a winding path. One of my favorite writer quotes (I have two, total) is: Nothing is wasted.-Elizabeth Berg. In other words, there’s no useless writing, we learn something from every word we write, even the stuff that no one ever sees. And it’s true of life as well, I think–all our experiences teach us or enrich us, if we let them. Sounds like it’s definitely true in John’s case.

    Everyone will definitely want to check in next week for a preview of John’s upcoming fiction. I’m so looking forward to it and I’m fortunate enough to have read it in an early form.

    No doubt it will bust all book sales records wide open!

  3. John Eells says:

    Maybe you could write something about standing out by the big green monster.

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