I’ve always loved to read. I could get so lost in a book that I wouldn’t even notice people standing right in front of me. My parents thought I was a little strange. (My older brother thought I was downright loony.)  We’d go driving through the beautiful mountains near my hometown of Ventura, California, and I wouldn’t see a thing because my nose would be in some book — mostly animal stories, as I remember.  I was seven before they figured out the cause of this malady: I was so near-sighted I couldn’t see more than a few inches in front of me. (No wonder the neighborhood kids never wanted me on their baseball teams; I couldn’t even see the ball, much less hit the thing!) But by the time they’d figured out the reason for the problem, it was incurable. I was a hopeless bookaholic.

I can’t remember when I started writing, but I do remember when the students of my sixth-grade class at Saticoy Elementary School performed one of my plays for an assembly. I loved watching my fictional characters come alive! And I loved watching real people laugh, cry, or just think in response.

I had some trouble deciding what I wanted to do when I grew up. I spent five years in college at La Sierra University as a result. I really loved psychology and worked at both Camarillo State Mental Hospital and at an inpatient school for mentally ill adolescents. (Both facilities have since shut down. I prefer to believe that’s not my fault.) But ultimately I decided on medicine. I finished my M.D. at Loma Linda University in 1984 and  a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baystate Medical Center (Tufts University) in 1988. My favorite part of medicine was teaching. I taught medical students at Baystate, family practice residents while working for the Public Health Service in Alabama, and my patients wherever I went.

The Lord eventually directed me back to writing, and he did so rather persuasively. In July, 2001, I contracted viral encephalitis (an infection of the brain) from a mosquito bite while visiting my in-laws in central Mexico. That little bitty bug packed a mighty punch, and I have thus far not fully recovered from the residual brain damage, although I’m much, much better. But during the years in which I was mostly supine, I rediscovered writing. And I love it now even more than I did as a kid! Hopefully I’ve improved a little since then, too.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Willis Oieda
    Jan 29, 2013 @ 13:50:02

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