An imagination applied to paper. At a young age I always had a wild and vivid imagination. In my hometown of Rochester, NY my parents owned a home deep in the city surrounded by concrete and buildings, well not entirely. Our home had a small front yard, too small to play in and with a steep enough slope for any ball to roll into the busy street, and a back yard too obscure from view for my parents to diligently watch over us. So most of my childhood was confined indoors. But my imagination was not.
The many rooms of the house were sites of epic battles between good and evil clashing with swords, firing at one another with bullets or lasers. Great ships would hover over the coffee table, the centerpiece to a raging battle for air superiority. The bathtub splashed with explosions as ships crumbled under the soapy water. Even the Christmas tree would transform into an impregnable fortress requiring daring “trench runs” similar to Star Wars to bring it down. And at times the tree would in fact fall over to my parents chagrin.
Each of my toys were pens and pencils for my storytelling. A song on the radio or a scene in a television show would ignite a day long adventure I would retell to my parents later that night. I was fortunate to have those toys to tell my stories because my ability to put actual pen to paper was dreadful. I despised writing as a child. If a teacher assigned me to write a fifty word paper, they would comment they could see the tiny numbers above each word ending at exactly fifty. So difficult reading and writing was to me, my parents were forced to hold me and repeat the second grade.
Throughout my schooling I accelerated in math and science but continued to struggle in writing and reading. I would write and I would read, but not what the curriculum suggested but what resonated with me. I would read comic books for the stories anticipating how plotlines would converge towards epic moments to remember. Or the instructions to a video game, creating a montage in my head of my character preparing to enter the game world. I would write, not research papers on historical events, but the dream I had the night before, or how I wanted a story to go after playing a video game.
Graduating from High School I took a year off before college. I worked at one of the nearby movie theaters where I was exposed to countless stories. During my shifts I would sneak in to catch but a part of scene only to fill out the rest of the movie in my head. Sometimes I would find the movie version entertaining, other times I would find my story more engaging. I did eventually go to Monroe Community College where I majored in engineering. My family and peers took notice that I could build tools and objects out of junk, that I had a knack for creating something out of nothing.
It was not until 2007 when I got my first career job that I realized what I designed through computer programs or with wood and steel, was not evidence of a passion to build but to create. The store I would design was the result of a fictional family I created in my head. The wood and steel came together to build a contraption a hero needed to defeat the villain.
Then in 2014 a woman I was dating read a fraction of an idea I had after listening to a song. She asked me when I would be finished with the next part, and when I told her there was no next part she demanded I write one. It was the final push for me to write, to realize others were interested in my vivid imaginations.
Now I focus the precision I honed through math and science with the passion for imagination to write an epic I had been dreaming about for years.