Today I cross into the next decade of my life: my thirties. I haven't made the fanfare on this site I did when I turned 25... maybe I'll do that again at 50. But this birthday at least earns a blog post.
So what can I say about my twenties? It's the decade I wrote Wake Up! Pro. It's the decade I graduated college and moved to Florida to start my career. It's the decade I was inspired to write my first novel, then to start another. My address changed four times, my phone number twice, and my car twice . My home on the internet didn't go anywhere, but it certainly has evolved over the last ten years.
The move from New York to Florida when I was 23 was the biggest of these changes. I had already planned a move to FL by the time I graduated college , but hoped to get New York on my resume first, and to use the higher pay to get rid of my student loans by the time I was 27 (an optimistic estimate, bumped to 29 if I got my own apartment). The Lord guided me elsewhere in the end, and not only have I sucessfully settled in Florida, but I've made it my home state. Seven years after the move, New York is merely a place I used to live and still have family. Even what I miss (Robert Moses' parkway system, the LIRR...) I look on more as elements of my childhood than my adulthood.
Two versions were written of Wake Up! Pro , the alarm clock software I first released on egrabow.com in 2004. I was 20, in my junior year of college, when I declared "Computers for the Liberal Arts" as my minor and took a course in Visual Basic programming. I was hooked and kept writing programs after the class had ended. Version 1 of Wake Up! Pro was the eventual result, and writing programs began to take a lot of my time. Version 2 was made soon after the move to Florida, but the bubble was bursting and none of my other ideas were catching on. The last version, 2.5, was released when I was 25 (hey, how appropriate!), and a different form of writing would eclipse Visual Basic soon after.
It was during my first Florida-to-NY vacation (a reversal from the earlier ones), when I was still 25, that I began my career as a novelist (it somehow seemed appropriate to start it on Long Island, at a point when I'd been experiencing nostalgia for the old place). I thought of novel writing much like the computer programming it replaced: a story running in a person's imagination, designed by the author, needing to 'run' just right. The last five years saw this book go from outline to publication . After putting some extra promotional work into Caffeine I began my second novel , The Day The Rain Came Back, last month.
Rounding out the important events we get my first job in television when I was 23. The DXing hobby which originally inspired that career had resurged here in Florida but would not survive 2009's digital TV switchover . At age 26, the last entry was made into my logbook , and coincidentally I was promoted to Director that same week: the inspiration falling away just as the career was taking off.
My plans for the next ten years seem to pail in comparison, but how much of our lives do we really plan anyway? I expect the work on my next novel to intensify over the next several months. Hopefully by the time I'm ready to release The Day The Rain Came Back, its predecessor will have picked up an audience that will jump to read the new work. Caffeine may yet have a film based on it! Student loans, which have had a massive economic impact throughout my twenties, will be paid off in a few years. Lord willing, I will be reacquainted with the concept of "disposible income" during my thirties.
Heck, I'm still in Nielsen's 18-34 demographic. So what am I going on about? It's not like I'm really getting older or anything. ;)