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How I wrote and published my first book

You can buy my first book, 20 Something, here. Design by Kevin Kenealy

My high school chemistry teacher told us a story before class started one day about how he was building his wife something for their anniversary. For the life of me, I can't remember what that something was now, but whatever it was at the time, it struck me as truly romantic. It was my chemistry teacher, of all people, who inspired me to begin to write in a writing notebook for high school.

One writing notebook became two and two became three. I turned out page after page of poems, short stories and cartoons in those notebooks. In senior year, when I should have been studying in study hall, I doodled Far Side-esq cartoons or wrote poetry. My outdoor-ed gym teacher told us to make a life list, or a bucket list, of things we wanted to accomplish in our lives. At the time, I could only think of two things to put on that list. One was to visit the Grand Canyon, and the other was to get a book published. Well, I accomplished them both.

Then in the summer of 2007 while away at Eastern Illinois University, I tried an experiment. I would go without TV and the Internet for the summer. I remember when I canceled the cable, I had to fight to get someone in to take it out. They couldn't believe that I didn't want it anymore. Shutting out the Internet was a little more difficult. I still needed it for school at times, but I found that the school's library provided most of the research I needed anyway.

I exercised more. I painted. I spent more time in nature. I discovered things about the world around me that I didn't think about. It was a great summer. I guess you could say that I was a transcendentalist of the modern age. I wrote a bulk of poems that became my first book, 20 Something, a book of poetry about growing up in your 20s and what a strange experience that can be.