Forty-Four! That age! I can’t believe I’m that age! It’s not even that old, but I still feel like I’m 20-something, or at least 30-something. But I’m not. And I’m okay with that. I’m more than okay with that… I’m proud of that. I’ve done a lot in my life so far: I have the best friends and family ever, I’ve written 14 books, 42 screenplays and 25 teleplays, I’ve traveled the world (and plan to travel a lot more!), and I founded my own publishing company with my mother-in-law called Red Frog Publishing.
So, I’ve done all those things, and I’m really proud of that fact, but I still feel like I’m meant for something more.
Warning! If you’re a Trump supporter you will not like what I’m about to write next, so I suggest you stop now before you get too angry.
The presidential election threw me for a loop. Wait, I take that back: it devastated me. Devastated me because unlike the movies: the bad guys won. The bully won. The racists won. The sexists won. The Nazis won. The nutjobs who twist the Bible to fit their own hate won. And the biggest bully of them all is now sitting in the White House.
And from the moment he was sworn in he has tried to move forward with his hate-filled policies and ridiculous tweets. It’s no joke when I call him a buffoon. He is. And he’s running our country. It’s terrifying. I now know how England felt when George III was their king. Our president isn’t mentally stable. It’s obvious to anyone who has eyes. I can’t even fathom how his supporters don’t see it and continue to follow him down the rabbit hole of insanity.
As I witnessed this all from the safety of my own laptop, I felt a helplessness I’ve never felt before. I thought it was bad when Bush was president, but I’d beg on my knees to have him back! And trust me, that’s saying something, because I really despised the guy when he was president. Now, I see him as a charming, intelligent man who made some truly horrible choices, but at least seems to have learned from them. Our current president, doesn’t learn from anything. He takes accountability for nothing.
So what did I do? Anything I could. I called my representatives, I went to marches, I voted, I spoke out… but it never felt like enough.
Then 45 pulled out of the Paris Accords. I mean, really?! Was this actually happening? This was the breaking point for me. I couldn’t believe we were living in a world where people could outright defy science. Science! Facts, proven facts! And what do his supporters call it? Fake news. Science and facts are ‘fake news.’ We’re even having a resurgence of people claiming the earth is flat! Someone please send them up in a space shuttle or even one of those Richard Branson planes!
I’ve always had a passion for science. There were only ever two things I wanted to be when I grew up: a writer or an astronaut. Unfortunately, my sophomore year in high school, my chemistry teacher told us that ninety percent of our grade would be the final and that the final would be memorizing the periodical chart and all its equations. Needless to say the entire class failed except for two people: me and another guy in my class. We both received Ds. The teacher was fired after he taught my class and our grades were changed, but the damage was done. My confidence was gone. I didn’t think I was smart enough to be an astronaut or study any kind of science. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself the guy was in idiot and just didn’t want to teach anymore so he was taking it out on his students, but I wouldn’t have listened. Teenagers are stubborn that way.
Teachers have so much more power and influence than people give them credit for. That teacher made me feel stupid and unworthy. I could have defied him and continued forward with my passion for science, but I was fifteen and filled with the pride of a teenager. I didn’t want to look stupid again, so I stayed away from science classes altogether. Luckily, my father was a huge science nerd so I had a library of books I could read. But I read them at home where I wouldn’t be told I wasn’t good enough to understand them. I’ve been reading science books ever since, always referring to them as a ‘hobby,’ but never something I pursued as a career.
I, instead, wrote science fiction to express my love of science. All my books have some kind of pseudo science in them and I love creating worlds where science and magic coincide or are even pitted against each other.
But the older I get, I find that I need more. I want to do more. I want to be on the front lines of discovery. I want to make a change in this world and the only way I can see how to do that is to go back to school and study the sciences. I’m not sure which field I want to focus on so I’ll be taking a variety of classes. Most likely it’ll either be in environmental science or biochemistry (if you’ve ever read my book, Riser, you’ll know why both those subjects are close to my heart!)
But I’m ready. At 44 years old I’m starting anew. It’s a bit of a mid-life crises if you will. Most people try to recreate their teenage years by partying and buying sports cars, but I plan on pursuing the part of me that didn’t think I was smart enough to be a scientist. I plan on showing her that I can achieve anything I put my mind to.
I’m set for the fall at a community college and I plan to transfer to a four year university as soon as I can. So this is it. I’m going to make a difference in this world and my journey begins now…
I'm a writer of YA fiction, fiction, comics, television and movies. I try to make all my stories full of jumbly goodness :-)