“I am not sure that I exist, actually. I am all the writers that I have read, all the people that I have met, all the women that I have loved; all the cities I have visited.” ― Jorge Luis Borges
So, who writes this stuff?
Well, I do – sort of. That’s me, Hyperion Sturm, AKA Daniel. I chose this picture to introduce myself and my writing. You see, this is the exact moment when I saw my first Dragon. Scared the crap out of me. That’s why I don’t look happy. My mother is happy because, after a monumental struggle with my keen sense of fashion, she finally got me to wear that damn, stupid cap. Later, I figured it was the cap that scared the Dragon out from under the couch. My life was never the same after that.
Every good writer has to start somewhere. Even us bad writers need to sit down and say, this is the day. Today is the day I write my first freakin’ disaster and get myself barred from the literary guild. I was no different. But first, I had to go to school. Here is a picture of me with no front teeth preparing to embark on the longest project of my life. Who knew it would take me decades to get educated so I could sit down and write my first freakin’ literary disaster. The fact my parents had defanged me was no coincidence. I was an aggressive Dragon by age 6.
During high School, I became enamored of Rock-n-Roll music and dreamed of being a Rock Star. So, I joined the church choir. I didn’t say I was smart. Young Dragon Masters tend to screw up at first. We traveled around on a bus and sang wonderfully inspirational and uplifting songs to people. That just ruined my Rock Singer voice. It’s impossible to sing inspirational and uplifting songs with a gravel voice that sounds desperately constipated.
I had to give it all up. I went back to writing poetry using only curse words. That was a short career too after the teachers called my parents. Poets are rarely understood during their lifetimes, and my dad was determined my lifetime was going to be damn short if I didn’t stop writing naughty-boy poems at school.
Later, I finally forced my way out of high school and made another critical error. I went to college. It was at college I discovered girls. The picture at left captures the moment I discovered that I loved that special girl I found. Things got out of hand quickly after that.
I also discovered that writing and girls were hard work that required one to know something about the subject. It was then I also discovered writing had rules too. Oh, merciful Buddha’s cousin! So many rules. There was grammar, punctuation, spelling, content and context. I gave up.
Another thing that I discovered in my budding career as a junk writer was you can become a parent, a husband, and remain a fastidious idiot. I poured my life into being the best dad I could be. Right away I taught my son how to fart in an elevator and pick his nose. These are life skills that every man needs to know. We practiced with glorious abandonment. My poor wife caught hell because I was very much into her too. As much as possible, actually. There was no time to write anything, not even Christmas cards.
One of my most significant non-writing life lessons I learned was parenting required lots of money and things like houses, food, electricity and diapers. We needed a lot more diaper wipes than I ever imagined. That stuff costs money. Naturally, the economy would tank into the deepest well of poverty, and I joined the Army because I still hadn’t become smart yet. I wasn’t rich either. I’m smiling in my Army picture because it’s bitterly cold outside and I’m in my command vehicle where it’s warm, and there is coffee. Lots of coffee. The Army doesn’t go anywhere without it. It certainly left without my wife. She had enough. Now I was not smart and not married either. That’s a dangerous combination and I write about that too.
Next, I became an Analyst because it’s freakin’ cool. Almost as cool as being a Rock Star. I had to prostitute myself for the greater good of humankind, which I enjoyed. I was just your average joe asking honest questions and got my picture taken a lot with people of interest. I was the first to discover that coconuts can hide the most interesting secrets. Once the secret was out, I decided it was time to write about it.
Later still, I quit all the skullduggery and nefarious elevator shenanigans and became a distinguished man of science. I was allowed to be the nerd I always wanted to be, and I wrote lots of scientific papers along with charts, graphs, tables, and computations. Lots of computation. I wore all the numbers off my calculator, but I was unperturbed. I calculated regardless although my results were sometimes a bit odd.
It was during my stint as a scientist that I found out nobody had a damn clue what I was writing about. Quantum entanglements and artificial intelligence just weren’t romantic. Romance is where it’s at, they said. When I discovered that romance is written by women for women, I didn’t think I was qualified.
Once again, I delayed my entry into the wonderful world of literary genius. This delay was because I was still an idiot and literary genius was too far out of reach. No worries, I said. I’ll study hard, and it will come to me. It did finally in 2014 when I quit being an industrious and productive person to write full time.
Unholy Frankenstein’s Aunt Kraken! I had no idea where to start. What would I write about? No clue. Nada. Zero. Zippo. I was doomed. A writer with all the time in the world and I was without words. I tried writing poetry using only curse words since I had previous experience. It didn’t catch on; probably because I never published those poems.
And then like a miracle, the Dragons whispered in my ear. The Dragons of my youth returned. They came to me in my dreams. Dragons sat at the table and drank coffee with me. I barred them from the bathroom. That was just a wee bit too invasive. The result was Return of Dragons where I found a way to tell you about my life without mentioning myself one time.
This story is about people loved and lost. It’s also about Brothers and Sisters in arms that paid the way with every last drop of their blood. It’s about getting to the one thing that will save the world after the fighting is done. Love. Love one another. Sing a joyous song in your loved one’s heart and don’t look back. Just keep in mind, nothing is ever as it appears to be. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
Thank you for reading.
P.S. I went back to work because I like it. My poor mother. If she were alive, she’d smack that butt if she knew I was still acting like an idiot.