I only stumbled across NetGalley last night (8-31-11), and thought Wow, where had it been all my life!

Finally a chance to do something that I really wanted to do, work with words in a positive way.

As an intellectually stranded 10 year old in the 1972 Naples Italy US Naval Base Library, I quickly depleted the limited supply of appropriate “Children’s” materials.  Dr Seuss went down with a spoonful of sugar. The Hardy Boys were a hardy meal.  Nancy Drew me for a while.  Tom Swift stole my imagination.  The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe began me on adventure.

At wits end the librarian taught me the delights of the Dewey decimal system.  If the shelves hadn’t been so sturdy I would have decimated them as I climbed the upper stacks reshelving and delving.  I strode the roadways of Via Campania in the footsteps of the Roman mythos, traced the stories crafted in mosaic tiles and frescos of a Drunken Hercules in volcanic mud drenched Herculaneum by day, and rode with Teddy’s Roughriders up San Juan’s Hills by night, and pushed a wheelchair in visions of the beaches of Anzio by early dawns light.  Bully for me Bullfinch & the Roosevelt’s, and other presidential biographies.

His superiors were not so amused, so his muse directed me unto the a Little Prince who reigned a while and led to another Prince and a Pauper, hows that for a Topper, a ghost and exaggerated deaths, and Tom and Huck attending their own funeral, while I played hooky in the caldera of Solfatara.

The Twain was marked off and a Yankee sent off down the river of time.  The river Nile had a few Deaths amongst the great Mysteries the Sphinx and Agatha Christie’s heroes, Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. Ian Flemming’s double Oh so 7th Heavens, and Zane Grey’s so colorful Purple Riders.  Nothing was sacrosanct or forbidden, forget the little kittens and their lost Mittens!

The nearby Nato Base had a junk store that sold grocery bags full of random comics.  Uncle Scrooge opened his vaults and I filled my coffers, Little Lulu filled her diaper, Batman took on all comers.  I collected Jack Kirby’s Last Boy on Earth “Kamandi” from the beginning until the end, including Batman’s crossover.

Tolkien broke the mold with Bilbo Baggins and the bar to belly up to with the Trilogy has seldom seen a Fosbury Flop that can equal it.

And then I turned 11.

Ancient History and Literature were my majors at Washington State University back in the day.  If they had offered a Library Sciences major I would have added that also, as I enjoyed working my way through college at the Holland Library, and then joined the staff there after graduation, climbing as high as a Library Technician 3 position.

The love of my life tore me from the life that i loved, and a need to move closer to her led me to words to be transcribed for the Corporations Division of Washington State’s Secretary of State.  Once again, now climbing a Corporate Ladder, I worked my way upwards and transcribed myself into one of the many

Corporate Document Specialists, and then finally into the position of the one and only Trademark Clerk for the entire state of Washington.

Falling for love, I fell from a second career with words, into a third as a lowly Clerk Typist.  But not any normal clerk typist job for me, oh no, I had to take one that got Danger Pay!  You could say I became a Test Pilot for Cars! No, not a stunt driver, but a Stunt Passenger!  It was everything I could dreamed of, in my worst Nightmares!  It was everything my Parents warned me about, getting into strange Cars, with Strangers. The fun doesn’t stop there though, most of these Strangers possessed little or no functional English skills.

Absent the translators, left in the parking lot, such simple four letter words such as: Turn Left; Turn Rite*; and evenSTOP, all became meaningless.  Almost as meaningless as the value placed on my life by the beloved Department of

Licensing, especially during the years where we were not allowed to check if the vehicles we entered hadany insurance, or before we were issued cell phones to take with us to call for help on.

*(purposefully misspelled as not only did they not know their Left from their Right, but they couldn’t tell which way was the Right of Way in the light of day. A License they took as a Rite of passage, as they followed right behind me attempting to learn to pass the test not by learning to actually drive, but by memorizing the locations of the various maneuvers like driving to the side of the road and stopping, and reentering traffic, and parallel parking, or best of all backing around a corner, which becomes a tad difficult when another car stops behind you all the time.)

Somewhere along there my wife left me after 13 years, guess she wasn’t the love of my life after all (queue the background Country Music soundtrack), for a younger woman, who she then left for an even younger girlfriend, who let a homeless man live on their porch, who let other homeless people do drugs on their porch, the first porched homeless man then took a really bad road trip with the younger girlfriend cross country, and returned her with a bun in the oven (change queue to Jerry Springer Show which I found does not offer any money for stories, true or not).