Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Introduction: Clint Johnson

This blog has been up for a while, so I suppose someone should get something up and onto it. I can't possibly write something worse than nothing, can I? I hope not, as my subject today shall be myself.

Every blog needs an identity, an ethos and expression of central purpose. Maybe this blog will end up being a diagnostic dialectic: I will write stuff that makes no sense, and others will come and restore your faith in logic and reason by making up for what I've done. So let me start off with a little about myself so you know who to blame; then---hopefully---others from the blog will introduce themselves so you can attribute all the good sense you find her properly. It sure ain't going to come from me.

So let the game begin! Come out, come out, where ever you are, other bloggers, near and far!

About Clint Johnson...

I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed. You see, I’m not quite certain who I am (and this understanding keeps changing), and so I anticipate great difficulty in telling you. Besides, whoever reads that born/raised/school/work/live/gym/intended burial plot stuff? Well, if you’re here, maybe you. Okay, I’ll do my best. But be warned that I am not an interesting subject (not even to myself). In compensation for this, I have used a little creative license. Not lied; oh, certainly not. Everything you read here is perfectly true—it merely isn’t always factual. And, in certain circumstances, its truth may reside in persons, places, and concepts other than myself. But everything is true in some way, shape, form, instance, and time, and for the present this is my truth.

I write novels. It’s hard to be definitive beyond that because there aren’t many more consistent characteristics of my writing. I write for adults, teens, and children in any genre that strikes my fancy, though I mostly write fantasy and historical fiction. (I suspect my consistent devotion to fantasy in particular stems from the liberating inconsistencies it allows me as a storyteller.) In the past I’ve written and published everything from academic essays and journalistic articles to short stories and commentaries on writing and literature. I’ve also worked as an academic editor as well as a professional technical writer and freelance editor of fiction. Now I’m completely devoted to my novels, where I write about Olympic penkrationists suffering marital trouble, and obsessive-compulsive robber barons committed to mental asylums at the turn of the twentieth century, and redneck fairies, and demonic angels patronizing towns in puritan America, and cows falling on dragons, stuff like that.

Born and raised in Utah, I still live in the Salt Lake area. In addition to my writing, I work at Salt Lake Community College tutoring writing, predominantly in one-on-one sessions with students. As I work at an open-enrollment college, I’ve met with every make and manner of student imaginable, including many non-native English speakers at different levels of language acquisition and students with disabilities, significant health problems like cancer, and other tremendous challenges. The range of different writers I’ve worked and interacted with in my roughly 4,200 sessions has been invaluable to my own progress as a writer and teacher of writing.

Other things that may be of interest: I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, better known as the LDS or Mormon Church. If this is irrelevant to you, well and good; if this is relevant to you, I hope it is in a positive way. It is positively relevant to me, which is all that matters. I also belong to the following organizations: The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, The League of Utah Writers (I’m a member of their Oquirrh chapter), and the Utah Children's Writers and Illustrators.

Things I am: First and foremost, an aficionado of great story; an avid reader; a sports fan, especially of basketball; a former basketball coach, both of boys and girls; possessed of an unhealthy curiosity; engaged; fixated upon semantics; a registered independent—which in Utah makes you an imaginary person; a bit over six foot; a bit over two-hundred pounds; prone to searching out the merit of silliness; favorably disposed toward most women, who tend to be admirable and attractive; blond and currently not bearded; a fan of Shakespeare, Leo Tolstoy, Charles Dickens, and Neil Gaiman; born on Halloween in 1980; and a respecter of stories that say something and invite the reader to agree or dispute.

Things I am not: A pet lover; A pet hater; a reality TV (or reality in general) fan; social; fixated upon linguistics; a republican; a democrat; fashionable; owner of a karaoke machine; tolerant of commercials; a cell phone owner; favorably disposed toward most men, who tend to be boorish and funky looking; brunette and leggy, though you may dispute the latter if you insist; a fan of Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Carver, Phillip Roth, and Marguerite Duras; spawned on Halloween in 1580; and a respecter of stories that say nothing and pretend the reader isn’t there.

And while I do not believe in astrology, I really wish I did because it would explain why this horoscope describes me EXACTLY—especially that Scorpios “sometimes possess penetrating eyes which make their shyer companions feel naked and defenseless before them.” How true.