Personal Introduction - The Active Thesis - +)@(- (2018) "A Work in Progress"

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I grew up in a pretty awesome time in Internet History by virtue of playing Sierra games around the same time I met a very intelligent guy while working on Lego sharing logistics.

I wanted to be the artist side of gaming team. I was able to learn basic coding in a world before forums with every question already answered. I saved up for computer parts to build my own computer by tutoring others in computer software. With a lot of help learning TCP/IP in Visual Basic, I was able to pick up basic HTML fairly quickly once "banner advertising" began to take off in the summer of 1996. In a time before Twitter and blogs, you had to know basic coding to get your opinion out into the "world wide web."

It was great to work with such an inspiring team of people, local ones and ones around the country and world. I was still in high school, so one company I worked with had to add a "parent/guardian signature" line to their contracts.

Just when everything was awesome, I got a devasting blow by being diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma at the start of 9th grade. I battled it for nine months, had a month off, then it came right back. I had to travel out to Hershey to have a form of bone marrow transplant known as a "stem cell transplant."

One of the medications I took ended up having very severe reactions. After my cancer was cured, it still took about six months for me to get back to who I was. I still have remnant memory issues. I wrote a fictionalized version of the severe reactions in the introduction to "Angel, Unassigned." It's a powerful few pages as I tried to make sense of not knowing who I was for a while.

I knew by this point I wasn't going to be the great game artist I had hoped—at least in the sense of traditional visual arts. so I turned to writing to try to find a way I could add to the good of world with more than just a few popular Internet tutorials I wrote in high school.

With all I had been through, the good and bad, I wanted to write a short story about ethics. Sometimes we win fights, sometimes we don't. I wrote a few paragraphs representing where I had been psychologically since the wins and losses—between my successes and struggles. This is from a [not-yet-released at the time of this page writing circa 2018] story I've called "Angel, Unassigned."

The Smoke and Flashing Lights - A segment of a chapter of Angel, Unassigned

I remember fairly clearly that night, the first time I took a smoke break with Angel at the diner. Mind you, Angel didn't smoke, never had. But when he was stressed about life—and Angel never wanted to show stress—he'd tell you it was time for a smoke break. He'd carry a lighter, matches, hell, he might even spot you a pack. Second-hand smoking was his way of coping with who he was. And who he should have been.

When you were out in the breeze with Angel, on an autumn night, Angel was just like you. He had life sufferings, big successes, massive loss. He'd tell you losses are always less severe when you have a best friend, and successes are even more meaningful as well. He'd stare blankly at the curb. That's the moment you knew Angel was still human.

Flashing lights. It was always lashing lights to Angel.

"When you see an accident, that's someone's best friend in there," he'd say.

I wrote the story "Angel, Unassigned" around these words. I remembered over time, that when I was an artist as a kid, I drew nothing but emergency vehicles. Police cars, ambulances, police motorcycles, helicopters...

Then I remembered a part in my true book about my experiences with cancer that I finished writing in 1998, "The Crumpled Note," about the time I got really, really sick after trying to eat at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York City. It happened on a school trip in 1995 where one of our first stops was the World Trade Center, we went up to the snack bar area and observation deck and I had my first panic attack because I had no way to escape.

Introduction to Angel, Unassigned - A small segment

Angel's face never gave any indication that this was a delusion, or a hallucination, but he'd nod, and look directly at you, like Angel did, and say, "Hey, I know you think this is complete bullsh*t." But Angel was a proper guy, he'd never say "bullsh*t." Once you knew Angel, you'd know exactly when he meant it. But I digress. So let me resume.

Next Best Paths

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