A boarding house—Beverly, Massachusetts—1993:

 

   The man was our latest arrival—the landlady only

   accepting men—and his room was directly below

   mine. I heard a steady pounding one day and later

   found out he was beating his head against the wall.

   He was recently divorced, separated or kicked out—

   the details are now hazy. Anyway, his ex seemed like

   a nice lady, for she came at least once to calm him—

   to speak to him in soothing tones within his room.

   Days later, myself and another boarder found him on

   the bench in our tiny kitchen, shaking all over. He

   had drunk antifreeze or some such poison and we

   had to call the paramedics. Another boarder arrived

   one day hefting only a TV and some clothes. He

   joked about the TV being a priority and I liked him.

   Said he was divorced, had trouble making child

   support payments and needed to downsize. Then

   one morning, on our front steps, he said his 14 year

   old daughter had just died in an accident. He was told

   it was best not to attend the funeral—his brother 

   would be there and it was his brother who had stolen

   his wife. He was crying—deeply hurt—and looking

   back now I should have done more for him than just

   listen, but what I didn't know and we were all 

   transients anyway.

 

   Working at a new job in product design, I lived at that

   house for 14 months. Young and hopeful about my

   prospects, I couldn't have guessed that two decades

   and three careers later I would be a writer, inspired by

   people struggling to overcome their burdens—much

   like the two men who shared their pain with me. I

   don't know what happened to them—I hope they

   found peace, but in any case there is dignity in their

   suffering—the universal condition of all sentient

   beings. I've tried to create my fiction as a reflection of

   what I've seen in the messy, often inexplicable depths

   of human experience. As such, instead of an escape,

   my characters will lead you headlong into a world

   flickering with light and dark—a borderland of

   desperation and hope, success and failure—the world

   of my Misfits and Dreamers.

 

   About me:

 

   I was raised a small town boy in western New York.

   Back then, in the sixties, our downtown offered most

   everything one needed to survive. Children walked or

   rode the bus to school and played all over town with

   little or no supervision. For me it was an age of

   ignorance but also passion, curiosity and those first

   intrusions into childhood innocence. It's a world

   distant to me now, and infused as it is with first

   experiences, idealized—its wonders elevated into

   myth, its darker moments buried, still beating. In those

   days a nearby church would chime hymns over its

   loudspeakers, marking the hours, and I felt a strange

   and sad awareness: what once was can no longer

   be—time is always passing.

 

   And so it has—several decades later and I'm still

   unable to slow it down enough to accomplish what I

   want. But I've been given an imagination and the

   ability to work with my hands. Over the years I've

   been a model maker, product designer, visual artist

   and jeweler. I've built farm machinery, designed

   conduit in a nuclear power plant, remodeled houses,

   worked a loading dock and in 2006 I wrote my first

   short story. Since then I've written a dozen more and

   in 2014 I finished my first novel manuscript, titled The

   Sins of Maggie Black.

 

   I live with my wife Melanie and exuberant dog Buster

   in Connecticut. We enjoy nature and outdoor activities

   such as gardening, canoeing and hiking wilderness

   areas of the American west.

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