Over the years I had often written small stories, created dungeons for D&D, and the like. For many years I wanted to write a Sci-Fi Series. Well I finally decided that rather than spend one more year wishing I had, I would. Thus I stopped playing computer games which was burning up many hours over the week and when you looked at it per month, was seriously scary. Now that time is devoted to writing and creating the universe I love to explore, and wish to share. Now I'm on my way to being a Science Fiction Writer and enjoying every moment of the creative process. James Jackson, Author of Terran Chronicles has a lovely ring to it :)
Amongst many other science fiction writers I have always been consciously influenced by my two heros in the Sci-Fi world, Arthur C Clark & Isaac Asimov. I have had the concept of 'Terran Chronicles' floating and developing in my head for many years. It just so happened that one day I sat down and wrote rather than dreamt and now plan to complete a lifelong ambition of being a Science Fiction writer.
I wish to thank Jason, my friend of 20+ years for providing the continued impetus and drive to help me see this dream to fruition. So far, so good but damn, he should be brewing the coffees as well but since the Atlantic is between us, I'll consider forgiving him.
Let the adventure begin.
I was born in a Western Sydney suburb called Liverpool, but we did not stay there long. Helen, my mother (a mutigenerational Australian) now lives in Portland Oregon, USA. My father, Kenneth, has since passed and was British through and through, though he spent most of his adult life in Australia.
My family saw many moves over the years and it all started for me with two years in Malaysia between the ages of two and four. I don't recall this time at all but I love Asian food to this day so I guess that's where the influence comes from.
We moved from place to place, including a ranch in Australia's fabled outback. I was very young and learning to ride a push bike on a dirt road with cacti down the side, was an experience. Dodge the cactus !
We moved regularly and so it wasn't long before the family moved again to Newcastle in NSW for a while. My health did not do well in Newcastle, it was a heavy steel industry town.
At the age of seven, almost eight, we had moved again, this time to Montello, a suburb on the quiet island of Tasmania. I went to school at Upper Burnie Primary, and recall that some of my schooling was conducted in a temporary building. During this time I lived with my mother while my father did a little over a one year tour on Macquarie Island. The island is about half way between Australia and Antarctica and has an Australian research station on it. I can still recall his tales of the trip to and from the island on the ship the 'Nella Dan'. One such story was of the ship listing so far over from the massive swell that the water came out of the bath he was having. The Olympic swimming pool in Montello was where I finally got the courage to jump off the 10 meter diving platform after many failed attempts. C'mon, a big deal in those days !
My father had not been back 'home' to England for about 23 years so after his tour our family moved to Rotherham, England for a period of about 18 months. I got to meet my English relatives, an uncle and some cousins. I recall being 10 and using a little wooden sled in the snow for the first time, even though the snow fall was light. I really appreciated that present and remember it to this day with warm memories. I also remember visiting Sherwood Forest and being able to stand in Robin Hood's Tree which sadly has since been closed off to the public. During this time in England my mother spent some time on holidays in Russia. She got spoken to for taking pictures, another interesting tale or two that's for sure.
My memories of England are mainly of visiting real castles and the many moors of England. Bathing was a real chore in our Rotherham home though. Once per week the bath would be dragged up from the cellar, filled with boiling water from the stove. We would all take turns bathing, then down into the cellar it would go again till the next week. My Father worked as a coal miner, and at one time was involved in a nasty cave-in. I remember him needing a cane for a long time afterwards.
Not too long after this we moved again, back to Tasmania. This time we stayed in a caravan park in a suburb called Cooee for a while. We then moved to a house in Upper Burnie which saw me back at the same old school. Old friends could not believe it was me as my accent had changed so much from my time in England.
Next we moved a short distance to a suburb called Shorewell, in Tasmania. We had the last house on the street, beyond it were hills and farmland as far as the eye could see. During this time my little sister Catherine was born. She is 11 years & 11 months younger than me. During those days my mother played piano while my father worked a variety of jobs.
When I turned fourteen we were on the move again. We travelled over the next few days and ended up in far north Queensland at a place called Townsville where we stayed for a few months. Long beaches, hot days, and palm trees filled with coconuts. The land is flat except for one feature called Castle Hill. The hill was almost high enough to be classified as a mountain. So close that the people of the town eventually built a small structure, filled it with rocks then proclaimed that now the hill was a mountain.
At fifteen years of age we were all back in Sydney Australia again where we stayed at Penrith for a short time. Next we moved to a suburb called Westmead for a few months. Our next move took us to another western Sydney suburb called Harris Park. By sixteen I had finished year 10, left school and started working for a bank. Still living with my folks we made our final move as a family to another suburb called Shalvey. At 18 years of age I headed back to Tasmania for a visit. Of all ironies I happen to be walking past my old school in Upper Burnie when of all things I see a truck removing the temporary building I had classes in when I was six years old. I stood and watched for quite a while as the demountable was removed.
By the time I was nineteen I had moved out of my parent's home to be with my first wife Anne and was working for a cold storage facility. Every few years I changed jobs which sees me spending five years at a pharmaceutical factory, then a few more years at a brewery. During this time we had two children, Matthew, and Jessica. We also moved from Shalvey to Bidwell, then finally to Plumpton where we had a house built for us. I then start my dream of working in I.T. and spent a number of years working for some great companies on some amazing projects. These included doing Y2K work for some large Sydney corporations.
At 35 my life changed drastically. The work stress and many hours had left me little time for my family and I grew distant from them. I ended up leaving Anne and heading to America for a change and found myself between countries for a while as I ended up doing a short term in England on an I.T. Project as I tried to gain my sanity. My heart was not in it so I returned to Michigan USA where my relationship with my second wife, Jairis, blossomed. During this time it was a mix of very happy and very sad feelings. My father also passed away during this time adding to the grief. I had planned to visit my children each year but found this an impossible wish. The economics of Northern Michigan saw me working as a medical biller for three doctors, and even at 80 hours per week I just did not make enough to save for a trip back to Australia.
My next idea was to haul horses for people across America and even into Canada. Jairis and I did just that for about 16 months. We financed against her parent's house, bought a one ton truck and horse trailer and off we went. Jairis is an avid horse woman and she taught me how to ride, western style. This was a time of crazy experiences, from being snowed in for three days at a truck stop to visiting Niagara falls for a lovely break and photographs
One trip we drove past a horse that was trapped in barbed wire, we got the horse out but had to drive for almost two hours to get to a hospital after I sliced my left little finger from top to bottom on the barbed wire fence. The tip of my left finger still isn't 100% but it was worth it as the horse was saved. We travelled over 110,000 miles during this time and got to see a lot of America.
Economics came to play again so we sold our horse trailer, and Jairis sold her horses. I took up my final and current job at a local casino. I have been there ever since making this the longest job I have ever had. We now ride motor bikes instead of horses, though we still have the old diesel truck that I have shared many miles with on the road.
In 2009, my lovely granddaughter (Summer) was born to Jesscia. I have yet to hold her and look forward to that very special day. Jessicia is a very proud and loving mum who has such a strength of character to see her through any difficult times. I love her very much.
Two years later in 2011, I had the privilege of my son and his girlfriend visiting me in America. It was a fantastic reunion after nine years apart on two different continents. The visit was just too short at 11 days, but it was lovely to have my son with me again.