As a senior in high school, I did not apply myself to study. Instead, I applied myself to snow skiing, ditching school, hunting, and socializing with friends; quite well, I might add.
In Spring, senior English class, I vividly remember walking up to the front of the room to draw my research paper thesis from a hat at random:
Women composers of the Renaissance, what was their role in contemporary music circles?
Are you kidding me? Yes, this really was my senior thesis research topic title, and not at all open to discussion by the teacher. It was what it was.
I put off research and writing all semester long. As the semester drew to a close and it was clear that I was not going to graduate without passing English, I knew that I had work to do. A lot of work, in a short period of time.
I wrote my entire research paper in one night, from 6 pm until 6 am the next morning. I did not sleep. My mom is witness, as she slept on the couch and woke up periodically to make sure I was still typing. She really wanted me to graduate with my class.
I remember banging at that old-school typewriter, becoming intimate with White Out, hoping to finish before school started, when the paper was due that very morning.
I did finish my paper, made it to school on time, turned in my paper, and carried on with my day. My English teacher later chastised me, telling me that I was wasting my talent, that I needed to apply myself, that I should be ashamed. I received an “A” on my paper and she was upset that I could write, but was not applying myself to writing.
Throughout my life, I have had a few people tell me that I write well, that they have enjoyed my writing. Lately, I have had more than a few people tell me they like my writing. It’s a bit uncanny, I feel like maybe I need to listen to them and to my English teacher. I think it’s time for me to write.
The Creation waits in eager expectation for the sons and daughters to reveal themselves.
Here’s the thing you, friend, need to know: I do not have an English degree. I have only learned to write by reading many books and by writing. I don’t write novels, I write blog posts or commentary on various blog sites. I do like to write and I enjoy the writing process. I make no claims to writing greatness, I am just a guy with a pen.
I intend, with this blog/website, to get a bit more serious about writing, to be disciplined about it, and see what may happen. I am not pining to make money or sell books. Perhaps I have a very small writing talent. If I do, it came to me by grace and I shall share it by grace.
Concerning the topic of my writing, the subtopic of this blog/website, “Words & Adventure, Montana, USA,” I feel like I need a focus to get started. I could write about religion, faith, or politics, but I would likely scare you, say something I should not, and generally open myself up more than I am comfortable. Religion, Politics, and Education are issues we hold close to our heart and it’s too easy for someone who does not know me well to draw erroneous conclusions.
Further, the climate in the USA at present is incredibly tense. I am not immune, as I, too, hold beliefs that I stand by. What I am going to do in writing is stay away from politics and issues related to politics. I simply think it’s wise for me to do so as I write in the open.
I am choosing a topic that, I think, will be fun to share- adventure– but also giving myself space to write broadly- words. The setting for my writing is Montana. It all comes together: The Montana Pen: Words & Adventure, Montana, USA.
So this is it, then. This is what this site is about. It’s about me deciding it’s time to listen to my English teacher and apply myself to the art and craft of writing, while simultaneously having some fun and mixing it up in Montana through adventure.
Therefore, reader beware, I live in Montana and I have a pen. The Pen. I have The Montana Pen.