Michael Raymond and Abe LincolnMmy name is Michael Raymond. For a long time I suffered from an acute atrophying of the right side of my brain due, I believe, to an unexpected career in IT.

For most of my life, until I stumbled into the IT field from the docks of Ketchikan, Alaska, I was a creative sort. I wrote. I cooked up travel schemes. I drew (very badly). I played a lot of rock guitar. I wandered around getting in adventures. It was a semi-nomadic, entirely right-brain existence.

Then came the IT career.

Suddenly I had a very linear left-brained job and enough money to buy beer. I sat a lot. I got fat. That’s how I know my wife loves me – because she fell in love with me when I was 56 pounds into my Fat Elvis period.

My beautiful and beloved wife, La Raymunda, and I love to travel – we are very fortunate to have been to six continents and see and do a lot of things in many random corners of the world. Often when we travel, I witness flashes of life from the right side of my brain. Ideas for novels and poems and photo projects careened around inside my head, banging into each other in their attempts to get out. I would encourage them with promises like “just a soon as we get home.” But those projects never took off and, over time, that creative spark flickered, diminished, and nearly died.

Then I bought a guitar. Not just any guitar, but a Les Paul. A beautiful flametop Les Paul. And I went and saw a Led Zeppelin tribute band named Lez Zeppelin who blew my mind. I saw a band play music from my favorite band in the world, and play it well. They reminded me of how much fun that music was. Is. And how much I used to enjoy playing it. And listening to it. That’s when I bought the Les Paul and started to play again.

I started this blog to track my progress as I tried to resuscitate my creative flame. To date, I’ve done a poor job with that documentation. But I am reporting that the experiment was a success. I’ve not learned to play all the songs on the first IV Zeppelin albums like I had planned, but I’ve learned a whole mess of them. More importantly, I’ve begun writing the novel I’ve long dreamed of writing. It’s called The Gospel of Isabelle Dequenne and I think it has a chance to be good. I hope I can tell it well enough to do it justice.

So with that said, I’ll beg your pardon as I shift the focus of this blog from one that was all about learning to play the guitar and Led Zep to one that follows along as I write my first novel. And then hopefully a second novel and a third. I’ve decided I’d like to make a career change, and this is one of my first steps. I’m 155 pages into the second draft – what I call the Fit for Human Consumption draft – as I write this. I plan to walk along with myself here until it’s complete. If you’d like to tag along, I won’t mind the company.

Thanks for stopping by.

–Michael