Hey folks! Author Nick Poff here, excited to be on the right side of the dirt, and happily writing again. (I DID buy my cemetery plot last year, but that’s another story.) It feels absolutely amazing to be back doing what I love best — sharing my stories and thoughts with you all. The last eleven years have been… uh… interesting, to say the least. First, though, allow me to digress for those who are not acquainted with me.
I published three novels between 2005 and 2008: THE HANDYMAN’S DREAM, THE HANDYMAN’S REALITY, and THE HANDYMAN’S PROMISE. Prior to that I working in the radio industry as a disc jockey, program director, and music director. Before I was sidetracked into radio at age 16, I was determined to be a writer when I “grew up”. Finally, in my mid-forties, it became time to fulfill my original destiny. Those were some of the best years of my life — creating the character of Ed Stephens and sharing his life with readers all around the globe — but I reached a point in 2008 when I had to return to some sort of regular work. My timing stunk. I was attempting to reenter the workforce just as The Great Recession kicked into high gear. Suddenly, like so many people, I found myself in financial jeopardy and reduced to survival. The next few years were tough. In hindsight I’m kind of glad it happened. I learned a lot about myself and about life in general. Many of life’s lessons are painful, to say the least. This one took a toll on me mentally, emotionally, and physically. However, I never gave up. I was determined to hold onto my home. I did. I was determined to find a full-time job with enough financial compensation to keep both me and my cat, Abner, living comfortably in our home. I did that. Actually, I’d probably still be doing that, but a couple of things happened in the past few years that led me to where I am today.
Two big events rocked my cozy little world in 2016: The Pulse massacre and the election of Commander Marmalade. (YOU know who I mean.) These events really tore away the blinders I had been wearing for many years, and allowed me to see not so much what was going on right in front of me, but the ugliness just beneath the surface. By this time I had my full-time job; I was working in the purchasing department of a large construction company. Every day I left my unique home on a beautiful street in an urban historic neighborhood and drove ten miles to what I referred to as a “white bread suburban hell”. Oh, it wasn’t a bad job, but I began to realize I was working with an awful lot of MAGA’S (MAGGOTS to me). I also began to realize that acceptance and tolerance was very much a surface-oriented condition at this place. Underneath the polite smiles were Christian judgement, bigotry, and a distinct displeasure regarding anyone who was “different”.
In the four years and eleven months I worked in that building, I never relaxed once. I never felt comfortable. I never felt at ease with my co-workers. My awareness of this reached a high point in the summer of 2018. By Labor Day weekend I was thinking wistfully about my old life here at my home computer, writing stories. I vowed that somehow I was going to find a way to get some of that back. You see, while I was locked into that job, I had pretty much forgotten there WAS another Nick. I was so beaten down by the uptight atmosphere and the total lack of creativity or whimsy, that I genuinely began to feel that I had lost my identity, because it became more and more evident that the Real Nick was unappreciated and unwanted in that world.
To make a long story short, they pushed me back into writing by abruptly firing me on a bogus excuse in mid-November 2018. This being Indiana, I had no recourse. I even met with an employment lawyer, who reminded me that not only were we in Indiana, we were in NORTHEAST Indiana, the reddest, most “Christian” part of the Hoosier state. Well, after I began to cope with the negative emotions surrounding my termination, I realized they had, in some respects, done me a favor. Once again, I had the opportunity to do what I really wanted to do. Oh, I’m back on the financial tightrope, but you know what? I have been happier, and I have felt better, than I have in years. The final lesson learned: Financial stability isn’t worth much if you’re miserable.
So I’m getting the last laugh on those jackasses at my former job. I’m also getting new writing out into the world. I’ve recently finished my fourth novel, THE HANDYMAN’S HISTORY, the next installment in the sage of handyman Ed Stephens and his partner, Rick Benton. I LOVE THIS BOOK! I can’t wait for it to go “live” so I can share it with the world. I’ve got lots more writing I want to do, including Handyman #5. More will be revealed about upcoming projects. For the moment I just wanted to reestablish contact.
I hope you are as happy that I am back here at my home keyboard as I am to be here. My personal IT savior, Matt Kyle, has provided a new-to-me computer, monitor, and keyboard. I am ready to rock the words, baby. You can find me here, on Facebook, and soon I will also be on Patreon. As always, thoughts and comments are always welcome. Stay tuned! This big ole writin’ ‘mo is just getting started.
INCREDIBLY COOL RECORD YOU SHOULD HEAR: THE BUCKINGHAMS I’LL BE BACK —I spent so many years in Oldies radio that I am beyond burnt out on The Beatles. However, a good Beatles cover will get my attention. I’ve always liked The Buckinghams. I stumbled across this cut from their LP TIME AND CHARGES a few months ago, and loved it on first play. Paul, John: you wrote a good song. The Buckinghams made a GREAT record.