The Secret Origins of Stephen Watkins Revealed

You’re on a website called “Stephen Watkins, Writer” so it should come as know surprise that I, the proprietor, go by the name Stephen Watkins.  Or, you may have seen my work published under the byline “Stephen A. Watkins, Jr.”  (I say “published” though, as of this writing, I have not had a byline in a professional market.  Non-professional markets, many a time, but never professionally, as yet.)  That is the name given me at birth, and it’s still good enough for me.

I’m a writer.

Also no surprise.

Writing has been a part of who I am and how I define myself since as long as I can remember.  In elementary school, when we had story writing assignments, I always over achieved, writing two or three stories and submitting them all together for a grade.  By the time I was in fifth grade, I was already knee-deep into writing my first novel.

Yet here I am, 30-something and hard at work pursuing my MBA in evening classes at Emory University in Atlanta.  I’m happily married to a wonderful lady (here referred to as “Dear Wife”), have a super-fun dog (“Shasta”) and a new-to-this-world son (called here by the alias “B.T.”).  And I haven’t published.  With all that I have successfully accomplished so far, I have yet to make any real progress toward achieving this one goal that I set out for myself in my early childhood.

And this is my story.  It is the adventure of young man who is about to become a father.  It is the tale of an idealist who is exploring his own future, trying to chart his way through the eddies and currents of MBA school while working full time, and finding a way to post-graduation success.  And it is the story of how he will pursue his dream and and keep his life in balance.  Above all, it is the story of how he will fulfill that lifelong dream, and get published – a story that will play out and be writ large across the internet!  (Okay, maybe not writ large across the whole internet, but definitely over this little corner of it that is my home.)

So, my purpose here is simple.  I will write.  The things I may write about are varied.  Posts may include my thoughts about deciding what to do with my MBA post-graduation.  There will be times I may write about the challenges of trying to find time in a busy schedule for personal development and self-fulfillment.  I may write about the joys and trials of  fatherhood.  But mostly I will write about myself and my writing.

As a reader, I think it is important that you also know that I am a nerd.  You know, the fantasy, science-fictiony, super-heroey kind of nerd.  And ultimately, that’s what I hope to write when I someday get published – we who read and write this stuff often refer to it as “genre fiction” (or “speculative fiction” for the old-school and technical types).  The way I see it, though, that’s okay, because I’d be pretty surprised if you hadn’t seen a movie like “The Lord of the Rings” or one of the “Harry Potter”s, or maybe “Spider-Man” or “The Dark Knight” or even the recent “Twilight: New Moon” movie, even if you hadn’t read any of the books, comics, or graphic novels on which these box-office smashers were based.  It’s a world of nerds we live in, today, and I’m one of the good guys. 

Because of that, I’ll also occasionally write short critiques and essays about the conventions and tropes of genre fiction, as the fancy strikes me.  Lastly, I may on occasion post some short story, vignette, or stray bit of poetic verse that I’ve written but either don’t expect to try to get published or which has already been rejected by every publisher I intend to shop it to but which, if I am so encouraged by my significant other, friends or family, I deem good enough to make available to an audience anyway, even at a price of free.  The quality level on these things will likely vary, since generally I’ll be the only editor most of these pieces have received (where others have given read-throughs and provided me with editorial feedback, I will give credit).  I’ll also try and stay open to comments from you, the reader. 

While there may be a need in the future for some flexibility on what I post about, at least for now I intend to stick to the topics I’ve discussed above.  So, welcome to my blog, and enjoy your stay here.