In the seventeen days I've been a member at writingforums.org, observing and judging (we all judge) the community has been interesting. I am beginning to see whom the regulars are. The handles of which writers stand behind become characters as their personalities paint their personalities. It's like the first day of class at a new school or the first day of work. This guy reminds of Joe from my other school. This gal reminds me of Alice from the last job I worked at. And this process seems to be at play no matter which community I go to. It is mildly exciting and it is fun.
I am finding that there is a diverse set of people here, unlike some writer's post I have been on. There are some who seem to be just beginning the craft. They may struggle with grammar, etc. There are some who may be a bit more experienced, but still struggle with effective methods for drawing in the reader, and there are yet others who write gracefully and are inspiring to me. I think I probably fall somewhere between the spectrum of the first- and second-mentioned classes I've defined.
I would like to explain who I am so that there is a little context behind the name--with the caveat that we all hide behind our handle in some shape or form (such is the nature of the Internet). I am in my 30's. I am married. My ethnicity is called Hmong. I find that very few people are aware of what that is. The Hmong are are tribal group from Southeast Asia. Many of them found their way to first-world countries after the American Vietnam War (well, the CIA-led secret war in Laos). I suppose allowing refuge was compensation for helping their American allies. Anyway, I was born here. I feel I am as American as pie.
In my recent years, I served the US Army for several years--spent just shy of 3 years in Baghdad. I eventually served as a geopolitical analyst, where I learned a writing tradecraft for my department. The time I have spent reading about various countries and their policies has sort of made me cynical about life. On top of that, my wife assures me I struggle with PTSD from my tours. I know I need to try to not let that affect my writing so much. I am going back to school because, unfortunately, I never took it seriously when I was younger. Now, I am very appreciative of the opportunity to finish my degree.
In my earlier years, I used to love recreating stories--which I've learned is popularly known as "fan fiction". It started when I was in first or second grade. My parents had a typewriter. I was so captivated by the idea of putting neat fonts onto a bright piece of paper. I took some of my Nintendo game stories and recreated them: soldiers would go on special missions; my friends would end up in a Super Mario-esque world; etc.--nothing too extravagant.
One important aspect of me is that I am/was an addict to World of Warcraft. I can snicker about that as I say it. I've recently tried to put that behind me. In my life, I have put away cigarettes (cold turkey), so I am confident I can put this away. Nobody understands an addition unless they have been addicted before--so in some case, it's not really a trivial matter. I hope that fiction writing (again, as an adult) can fill in this void.
If you've gotten this far in this blog, thank you for reading. I hope to get to know you during my time here at writingforums.org.
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