The W.B. Primer

Around New Year’s, blogger Toirdhealbheach Beucail reprinted his “Primer,” an introduction in which he explained a bit about himself and his life for those of us who have entered in the middle of his story, and I thought that was a lovely idea, so I’m adapting it for today.

Who I am

From my official Amazon author page: I (1953-) was raised in New Jersey but fell in love at first sight with the blue skies of Wisconsin, where I have spent my entire adulthood, first in radio news and more recently as a reporter/editor of community newspapers.

Author/publisher of 10 books and editor of a few more as January 2022 begins, I fancy my upcoming retirement years as a time of adding to that list. I’ve dabbled in podcasting, most notably in 80 episodes of Uncle Warren’s Attic, and still entertain the notion of firing up the microphone again someday.

I think of this as Act IV – I spent 22 years growing up, 22 years in radio, 22 years and counting in newspapers, and it feels like the fourth quarter is underway. Will I get a full 88 years? Who can say? Both grandfathers lived to be 85, my mother to 82, my father to 96. The best we can do is the best we can do until we can’t anymore.

The scene

We live not far from the waters of Green Bay, but more than 20 miles from the city of Green Bay. Still, you may detect an interest in football that would have surprised my childhood buddies if they didn’t know I’d landed in the Green Bay area. As anyone who lives near the 45th parallel, I love the four seasons, although some more than others.

We have three acres: An acre of green fields, an acre of woods, an acre of wetland down by the bay. It is a lovely place to live happily ever after, and I sometimes am overwhelmed that I get to live that life.

Dramatis personae

Red – Partner of almost a quarter century and wife of five years, she is a retired chemist and chief gardener, cook and bottle washer, as well as the brains of the outfit.

Dejah Thoris, Princess of Mars – 8-year-old English cream golden retriever and long-suffering older sister. I chose the name in part so I could explain that she’s named after the heroine in one of the best “flops” in movie history, but it fits: Dejah is a feisty, alien creature.

Summer – The golden retriever puppy who recently took the place of Willow the Best Dog There Was but can never replace her, but this interloper has a mischievous streak that might win the old man over someday.

Blackberry – The cat. She ran across the highway on-ramp one morning yelling, “Home! Home! Home!” so I took her there. I almost named her E.T. until Red had a better idea. 

Willow The Best Dog There Was – The predecessor to Summer, Willow was my pal and beloved companion for 12 years, the dog who singlehandedly converted Warren the cat man into Warren the dog lover. I still refer to her often enough that it seems I should mention her among the regular cast. She wasn’t just a good dog, she was The Best Dog There Was, and I miss her every day, with all due respect to Dejah and Summer.

Interests and themes

I like old stuff. I’m a very analog kind of guy. Yes, I own CDs and digital music and all that, but I prefer my beloved turntable and seek out vinyl in all its forms. I love books and old movies and TV and all that pop culture stuff, especially from my childhood and before.

Nineteen Eighty-Four was the most unsettling novel I ever read, and I’ve spent most of my adult life watching in fascination as real life slowly imitated art. You might detect a love of freedom and a disdain for folks who think they know better how to run our lives. Down with Big Brother!

My mission, should I decide to accept

Some time ago, I distilled my writing goals down to “Encourage – Enlighten – Entertain,” and only recently (last week?) realized that doesn’t explain anything, so I elaborated:

I want to encourage people to use their brains and common sense and take initiatives. Encourage people to act with fearless freedom and not let busybodies and bullies run their lives.

I want to enlighten people about what came before – fun but semi-forgotten books and songs and TV and radio, and thoughts like Wallace D. Wattles’ “you are a creator, not a competitor.” 

I want to entertain and give the world adventures, stories that do all of the above and a few thrills and chills and spills — but after every chill a warming, after every spill an ascent.

2 thoughts on “The W.B. Primer

  1. That part of your life when you were a writer and editor, you touched my life by welcoming my occasional articles which ran mostly in the Door County Advocate. My goal was to draw attention to our Boys and Girls Club with my “The Lights Are On” articles. During this process, the articles which most often had a psychological theme, sometimes touched your readers in a way that made them more aware of their own life’s struggles. And that brought them on board with helping our children’s needs. An injury, a bad surgery and a few more surgeries to correct that surgery made me forget my love of writing. Reading what you have been writing and a bit of healing time seems to have triggered my love of research, writing and helping children. Thank you for your support of The Boys and Girls Club and for your written expression of life! Sally Weber Hasenfus

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