Today, I feel is a very good day to re-educate my readership of exactly who and more importantly, and what I am. Yesterday I received a comment as follows; “I guess we figured out at which point in exhaustion our revered Captain starts to make hideous typos...” In one of my last ebook reviews a reader noted; “This is the only author I know that doesn't use contractions!” Allow me to once again help you understand the world of the Dread Pirate from the beginning. Grab a Coke, a smile and a bag o’ chips because it is going to be a long one.
I failed the first grade. The teachers told my parents I was retarded. My father refused to believe that “his son” could be anything less than perfect. (Yes, this is the same man who just disowned me.) So I was dropped into the private schools from K-12. Pay to pass the kid. I was told I was “lucky” to be able to get a high school education. What my parents failed to tell me and what I only recently found out is that I am ADHD/LD with a mathematical disorder topped off with dyslexia. My mother told me that my father did not have the money to send me to college, (I found out recently that this, in fact, was not the case.) so I made the command decision to join the US Navy.
From private school to the fleet; what an eye opening experience!
I learned differently, I knew that. I thought differently, I understood that as well. I would put a completely different spin on everything I said or wrote; and people always looked at me strange. (people s look at me strange!) I was told I would never be able to get a college degree. I had money from the VA that I was not going to let go to waste, I figured even if I failed every class, I was going to use the money I earned come hell or high water. I silenced a few critics when I graduated from the local community college with a 3.8 gpa.
After I closed my bookstore and art gallery, I decided to further my academic adventures and shoot for a long coveted bachelor’s degree. Mind you, at this time, I was not aware of my “handicap.” I knew I was different, I just had no idea how different. I hit my junior year classes hard and fast. The one thing I had to study, was calculus. Mary Washington College, (Now UMW) is a tough school for the best and brightest. For a guy who had difficulties, it was damn near hell. But all the pretty girls made it worth the effort. Plus, I was living with a beautiful lady that I was completely in love with at the time so…life was good. I failed pre-calc and calc. I sat the class three times each in order to pass, but I knew something was very wrong. I went to UVA for some testing and found out the entire laundry list of disabilities I faced; ADHD/LD with a mathematical disorder topped off with dyslexia. Now the thing that dumbfounded me was that they also gave me a full battery of IQ tests. I tested higher than 85% of all those ever tested across the board. I can remember looking at the doctor and asking, how can that be, I can’t do math but my IQ is damn near off the scale. He looked at me and smiled. He said only one thing, “Einstein could not tie his shoes.” I understood.
I returned to MWC with a paper that said I was allowed certain things called “accommodations.” Some of them were rather simplistic, I was allowed to use a calculator for ALL math, I was to have a note taker for all classes, I was allowed unlimited time for exams, etc. To make a long story longer, I graduated with a 3.0 from MWC and a 3.8 in my major. I received a standing ovation from both the math and business departments as I crossed the stage.
I did not give up, I did not give in, I did not quit, I had the tenacity of a pit bull and that made an impression on my peers and faculty. I made such an impression that I had a legal / tax question about DPebooks.com and I emailed an MWC professor I had for Federal Tax. He not only answered me, but did so while on vacation and with warm regards. Out of all his students over many, many years of teaching, he remembered me and told me to contact him at any time should I need anything…that, does not happen often.
I am different. I write all wrong. I have horrid spelling, I have no ability to comprehend grammar, and the rules of punctuation are lost on me. I was told by every teacher and college professor that I could never be a writer. Well shipmates, I am here to tell you that I have self published not one, but eight works and plan on publishing many more. If you doubt me, quite frankly, you are a fool. My motivational essays, poems, lyrics, blog entries, and novels are not your average run of the mill Random House trash. They are real works written by a real person in everyday language that people can understand and use or just enjoy. It’s not sleep deprivation or any other thing that makes me use the word affect instead of effect or were for where. Am I stupid? Not according to my IQ score. If misspellings or bad punctuation upset you, sail on. I am not your author.
If however, you would like to read something written from the heart, and from a fresh perspective, you may find all of my work, very, very interesting. Over the years I have been reviewed, emailed and commented on time and again about what a “bad” writer I am. Yet, these same individuals have no idea who and what I am. Each word, each sentence and each paragraph is a victory for me. Each time I publish a work, it is a huge victory for me against all those people who told me I would never be what I am.
Never give in, never give up. Always keep it motivated and keep it positive and as a matter of course, sail on…. Sail on!!!