I AM an author, a salesman, an optimist, a dreamer: May the four always cohabit & produce wondrous progeny. In the whirlpool of life, I’m an unflushable floater.

I snipped this from my Twitter profile. I’d written it nearly a decade ago. Reviewing it now, I see no reason to change it. It still applies. Although I’m retired now from my sales job, not a day goes by I don’t sell something. But then, so does everyone who reads these words—and if you truly don’t agree, you’re only admitting you’re not a good salesperson. I had to sell myself just now on the propriety of being gender neutral when I addressed you. As you can see, I sold it—I bought it.

My first writing gig was when I carved my rendering of the alphabet on the kindergarten play table. Mrs. Gracely snitched on me, which I suppose was the responsible thing for a Kindergarten teacher to do, but she then sold my parents on not punishing me. That’s probably why I still remember her name.

The first book I ever wrote was “Sawdust and Glory,” which was handwritten in pencil, with the binding painstakingly stitched by needle and thread, and finally sold by my uncle Jimmy Duncan out in front of the Woolworth store. I bullied him into selling it after he’d promised he would, if only to keep me quiet while he babysat me on that rainy summer’s day. It fetched a nickel. More importantly, it enabled me to watch the whole process unfold before my nine-year-old eyes of creation, of publication, and finally outside marketing.

I have been writing ever since, mostly freelancing. My short story, “The Mumph Legacy” appeared in The Timber Creek Review, while my novella, “The Uneven Zen of Time” has appeared in the Fabula Argentea Journal, followed by two anthologies, one of them a Fifth Anniversary Anthology of the best fiction they’d published over that span.