I've been a writer of some sort most of my life, and I joined here because I want to hone my skills. I'm a Texan currently living -- or is that serving exile? -- in Southern California. 45 years old, I'm a father, a musician, a Air Force veteran of Desert Storm (in the rear with the gear, no combat for me, thanks). I lived in Iran for four years in my youth, and witnessed the revolution which overthrew the Shah in 1979; this experience is the basis for the only complete book I've written, a coming-of-age story called Semaphores, which is unpublished. My primary means of artistic expression is guitar. I've played guitar for three decades and change, to little commercial success but much personal pleasure. I play mainly rock and blues, with some jazz and classical thrown in to appear educated when appropriate. I also play bass guitar (which is not the same instrument), and a little keys and drums. There's a link in my profile to some old demos I have up on Soundcloud for anyone interested. Writing songs was my first experience with creative writing outside school assignments. I try to write thoughtful lyrics, and always have, so it's good discipline for the craft in general: I must practice extreme economy, and still convey mood, imagery, message, and emotion. I've been writing songs as long as I've been playing, and poetry (as a means of honing my songcraft) through that time as well. I recently sent my book out to a couple of amateur writers I've met online, and they had kind words to say about it, along with urgings to try and publish it -- it has sat idle for ten years -- and so I'm in the process of another rewrite. More than any opinions on my writing, I joined because I want fresh perspective on the craft of writing. Because of this, I won't be posting much initially. I will strive to be a solid contributor here, and I think I have much to offer, but ultimately y'all will be the judge of that.