Fifty-two years old today. In my life I’ve been a soldier, a college student, a busboy, pizza delivery driver, private investigator, police officer, armed security guard, meat-carver at a restaurant, an illustrator, heavy equipment operator, executive assistant to the presidents of corporate banking at Citicorps, a construction worker, a dispatcher, a warehouse manager, a retail clerk, a confidential courier for a currency exchange, a bodyguard, an office worker, a martial arts instructor, a tobacconist, a receptionist, a ‘cover-blurb’ writer and probably a couple that I’ve forgotten. Oh, and a sword-maker and author.

I’ve watched a fifteen-year old boy through the scope on a sniper-rifle and wondered if I would have to blow his head off. I’ve held a woman’s hand as we waited for the emergency crew to come lift her rolled-over car off of her and told her everything would be alright. I’ve fought in deadly earnest with my life on the line. I’ve taken lives, and maybe saved some as well.

I’ve flown a plane, jumped out of a plane, driven in a car race, learned to ride a horse, shot pistols in competition. I’ve hunted deer and wildfowl and camped in the wilderness. I’ve attended Renaissance Fairs and SCA events, been a heavy-fighter and learned to use a rapier. I’ve performed before crowds. I’ve swam in the ocean and been deep-sea fishing. I’ve made love in the desert during a thunderstorm. I’ve cried at weddings and funerals. I’ve written three books, three novellas and numerous short-stories and articles. I’ve gotten to work in my dream job for over twenty years. I married the love of my life and we’re still together.

It’s been a hell of a ride. I could do with another fifty though; I’m not done yet.