My friend and co-author Jim Shore tagged me to share five little-known personal facts.
- I used to be a semi-professional musician. One year in college, I even made more money making music than I spent making music. That same year, my songwriting partner and I even had one of our songs played on the radio (although it was only twice, and I believe only local radio). I still have half of a demo I recorded during an internship in a recording studio.
I took enough journalism classes as an undergraduate to be on the student paper one year and to work on an unauthorized, underground paper the remaining years. Funny, I had no idea I’d end up doing tech journalism occasionally.
That underground newspaper had its finest moments when we managed to get a pre-press copy of the official newspaper the day before it came out and scoop it, handing out our own parody moments before the journalism team handed out the real copies. Then the student dean called us into his office with a well-highlighted copy to discuss what was “inappropriate” and “offensive”.
I’ve talked my way into at least two jobs. The first was with a major international technology company. The second was writing for Slashdot.
Just before I graduated from college, I realized that I needed a job. (A music degree doesn’t get you a lot of cold calls.) A couple of my friends worked for one of the two large local tech companies. They told me how to contact the recruiter, and I did pretty well during the placement interview.
However, they never called back.
I remembered that they said they’d have orientation starting the first day I would be able to work, so I called them and asked them for the specific time and location. The recruiter couldn’t find my name in the list and said that they must have lost my information somehow, so very helpfully added me back in and gave me what I needed to know.
“That was… was mostly an accident,” I thought after I hung up.
As for Slashdot, I was bored at work one day in 1998 and thought Slashdot might send me free books in exchange for reviews. I sent Jeff Bates a message volunteering, but he didn’t have any books then. Later that summer, I bought a new book on my own (it sounds so sad to say that) and offered to write a review.
His response went something like, “Hey, your previous stuff was all fantastic, so we’re happy to get lots more from you.” I just couldn’t follow up by telling him that he must have been thinking of someone else… so if he was thinking of you and I took your position, I’m halfway sorry.
- Someday, I’d like to write an episode of a television show and visit the set. If anyone who works on a TV show reads this, the opposite order is fine too. No, I don’t have any fan-fic scripts. shudder
- Someday, I’d like to write a non-violent CRPG, as I believe that the almost universal reliance on great amounts of violence in video games is often poor artistry. I just don’t have time to get into homebrew game development as much as I’d like, nor do I have the desire to be in professional game development.