Curtis Craddock was born in the wrong century and quite possibly on the wrong planet. He should have been born in a world where gallant heroes regularly vanquish dire and despicable foes, where friendship, romance, wit, and courage are the foundations of culture and civilization, and where adventure beckons from every shadow.
Instead, he was born on Earth and lives in a world bounded by bureaucracy, hemmed in by cynicism, and governed by the dull necessity of earning a wage. An exile in this world, he is a biographer of friends he’s never met, a chronicler of events that never happened, and a cartographer of places that never were.
He has been a surveyor of other worlds ever since he learned to read, he explored other planets and other times with a single guide who went by many names: Heinlein, Norton, Tolkien, Leiber and many more. He built model rockets with his father and dreamed of being an astronaut. He still does.
He has always been attracted to the fantastic. He played Dungeons and Dragons back when people thought it caused demonic possession. He joined the Society for Creative Anachronism to dress up like a knight and once had a sword fight in the middle of a parade. He taught himself to draw and paint by tracing comic books, reading Burne Hogarth, and watching Bob Ross.
He admits to being a mediocre student in high school. He was one of those students that the system has a hard time dealing with, indifferent to authority, impatient with teachers who could not explain to the next level of complexity, and too bright to be long entertained by rote learning. He was probably the only kid in Las Cruces who skipped classes in order to go to the library, where he spent hours on end opening portals one after the other, like Heinlein’s cat looking for the door into summer.
In the twelfth grade, he stumbled into an AP English class and encountered a teacher who suggested that instead of just reading stories, he might try writing them and entering them in writing contests. He got an honorable mention in the first contest he entered and, not realizing that “honorable mention” is code for “everyone else who entered,” considered this an amazing affirmation of his hidden talents. It was at this point that he decided, with as much seriousness as an eighteen-year-old can muster, to become a writer. It’s a quest he never abandoned, no matter the endless trudge.
Given that the mundane world supplies a dearth of oddly progressive kingdoms to be saved, he spends his time saving cats, dogs, and the occasional bird of prey. By day, he teaches Computer Information Systems classes to offenders at a correctional facility. By night, he puts on his writer’s cap, the broad-brimmed one with a feather, and, into the prison walls of reality, etches defiant words of legend.
Curtis holds his demesne in Aurora, CO , and lurks on the internet on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/CurtisLCraddock/ and on his web page at http://www.curtiscraddock.com/ his twitter handle is @Artfulskeptic.