20 years ago – I was about to start 3rd grade. I spent most of my time running around with a towel on my back pretending I was Zorro (I was really into the old Disney TV show with Guy Williams). I had a younger sister that I usually terrorized and a twin brother that was my partner-in crime. Life was good.
10 years ago – I was a freshman at the University of Oklahoma, majoring in civil engineering. I went from a high school that was 80% black to a school in the middle of Oklahoma. Talk about a culture shock. I joined a great organization called the National Society of Black Engineers. At my first conference in St. Louis, most white guests at our hotel mistake us for the basketball team, and look surprised when we say we’re there for an engineering conference. Over the next 5 years, I meet the future Mrs. V, join a fraternity, and do a plethora of things that my mother must never, ever find out about. I also begin 2 novels – one that is still safely hidden in my file cabinet, and A Red Polka Dot In A World Full of Plaid.
5 years ago – I began work as a lowly structural engineer in Dallas, TX. I join my first writing group. I attend my first regional SCBWI conference, and become tongue-tied when I try to speak to an editor at Harper Collins. Over the next few years, I break up with my girlfriend, make up with my girlfriend, find an agent (my agent called while I was engagement ring shopping), sell my first novel, and get married.
1 year ago – Mrs. V and I moved from Dallas to Austin so she could attend UT. I transferred with my job, and became a Licensed Professional Engineer. A Red Polka Dot was supposed to be published this year, but was pushed back due to reorganization at the publishing house. I also got Theo, aka Straight, No Chaser, aka Thelonius, our cocker spaniel.
Yesterday – I spend the day cruising the stores, looking for a pair of reading glasses. All those years of staring at a computer screen are finally starting to get to me.
Tomorrow – I go to work and find something to design. Maybe a bridge, maybe a retaining wall, maybe a radio tower. After work, I’ll take the dog for a quick walk and continue getting ready for the SCBWI summer conference.
5 snacks I enjoy – green gummy bears, red gummy bears, yellow gummy bears, white gummy bears, orange gummy bears.
5 bands I know the lyrics to most of their songs – Incognito (British Acid Jazz band), Sade, Tony Toni Tone, Michael Jackson/Jackson 5 (up to the Dangerous Album), Quincy Jones (okay, he’s not really a band, but he’s a band leader, so I figure he counts).
5 things I would do with 100,000,000 dollars – pay my tithe (God’s got to get his cut first), pay off debts, buy a house, buy my parents another house, and share with family (both blood and in-laws).
5 locations I’d like to run away to – Aruba, Jamaica, New York, South Africa, and Egypt.
5 bad habits – trying to always solve Mrs. V’s problems instead of just listening, neglecting the dog, chewing ice, oversleeping and missing church, skipping breakfast.
5 things I like to do – write (of course), spend time with Mrs. V, watch bad action movies on TBS and TNT, root for the Oklahoma Sooners, play the baritone.
5 TV shows I like – The Amazing Race, Justice League Unlimited (it’s not a cartoon, it’s an animated program), The Cosby Show (before all the new kids started showing up), The West Wing, Twenty-Four (in a previous life, I was Jack Bauer).
5 famous people I’d like to meet – Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Stan Lee (creator of some of Marvel’s greatest comic books, Paul Rusesabagina (the real man behind the movie Hotel Rwanda), Sean “P. Diddy” Combs (just to see what he really things about J. Lo).
5 biggest joys at the moment – Seeing my name and seal stamped on a set of plans, seeing the new cover of my novel, making Mrs. V smile, talking with my Dad, finishing my latest manuscript (of course, that all depends on what my agent has to say about it).
5 favorite toys – Umm, to be honest, I really don’t have any toys.
Drum roll please….
5 people to tag – Chris Barton, Kei Swanson (another Genesis Press author with a novel coming out in November), Alison Dellenbaugh (I don’t know how she was able to get her blog to look like her web page, but it is TOO COOL), and finally, two people that don’t have a blog, but should start one – del (yes, del is supposed to be all lowercase) and Paula from my Dallas writing group, Words of Wisdom Writers Society.
Happy writing, people.