A native Cascadian from a world covered in green and bountiful with water -who due to circumstance was transplanted in the American Southwestern desert- I feel like Muad’ Dib save for the lack of followers, regal bloodline, or blue luminescent eyes.
I was born in Puyallup, Washington. I have a deep love for Tacoma, and currently live in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
I immensely enjoy being surrounded by Wild West history and remnants of the Spanish tradition. I have always been fascinated by the American West, and since moving here to Albuquerque it has seeped into my blood and my interest in that era has grown exponentially.
Growing up I was always a nervous kid (happy but on edge) and frightened of many things but I didn’t know or understand what it was. Then, at the age of seventeen, an anxiety disorder began to change my life. It progressively became worse over the next fifteen years to the point where it would become crippling and I even developed agoraphobia. Eventually I was put on disability but had yet to hit the darkest part of my experience with this (of which I will not go into detail here).
It wasn’t until a few years after I migrated to New Mexico and the Southwestern desert, where with the proper help, right medication and consistency thereof, and constantly pushing my boundaries that I began to very slowly take back my some of my life.
It was during this time I began to take up writing, something my friends have told me to do for many, many years.
I have now been working on two projects for quite some time. Both have to do with history, one more than the other. The first is a biography and the other is far more personal yet connected with the former.
The biography is about a little known Wild West figure by the name of Milton J. Yarberry. I first came across his name a few years ago. As I began to learn about him I found myself frustrated with how little of him is known and the fact I was reading pretty much the same thing over and over by other writers.
What first caught my attention about him was his “badassery”! I read about how he had killed many people, how he was cold and calculating, how he hung out with a few famous gunfighters and thugs, and about his short tenure as marshal of Albuquerque…until he was hung for murder! I am a romantic at heart and that romantic side of me was hooked, romance as in the sense of ages and people long since passed which keep calling to us. A longing to be a part of such a time, to experience it for ourselves.
I decided to write an article about him, which once completed I was unhappy with and never submitted to True West Magazine. Why? Because while researching that article I learned too much and realized that everything I read before was not only missing quite a bit, but may in fact be only partially true, or even untrue. My piece was also not much better than those others, and I had too many doubts. There were hints of all these exciting and dangerous things surrounding this man but rarely any actual facts. For a man who was little known, I thought, he had a rather large mythology and legend about him. Was he truly like this? Was he nothing like this? Or, as in many such cases, was his true character and story somewhere in the middle of those opposites?
Before I knew it, I found myself researching and writing an actual biography! It has been slow going however, because I have never taken on such a task before and lack the experience in such an endeavor keeps me stumbling over my own feet. The other thing slowing me down is funding. I have little money but too much time. I have used what money I could allow to buy books for research, make copies of articles or documents. buy and make copies of photographs. Unfortunately I have much, much more of these things to do.
The second book is actually in conjunction with the first, although it was originally set a bit differently.
I was planning a two week solo trip around New Mexico and into Arizona, following the path and seeing the sites that are associated with Billy the Kid. The book wasn’t so much about the Kid, however, but more about how I, a person who suffers from an anxiety disorder and battles agoraphobia, reacts to said trip. What is my experience? What are the issues that may arise? How do I manage? Does my anxiety take over to the point I must return home and gather my courage once again?
Now, I am altering this. I realize that if I want to do this biography correctly, I must travel to certain places that have connections to Milton. This would lead me to Colorado, Arkansas, and Texas, as well as several places right here in New Mexico, and quite possibly Kansas and Oklahoma (but less likely).
Since I need to make these trips, I should instead write the second book about my experiences traveling while researching this book.
I want to write such a book because I hope I can help at least one person who suffers from the same things I do. To let them know that someone just like them was able to take on such a massive undertaking, and survive!
It will be one part autobiographical, one part historical, one part self-help, and , hopefully, one part inspirational. Of the two books I find this one more important. While the first one is extremely fun for me and feeds my love of history and curiosity, the second is something that I feel needs to be done in the hopes it can help someone out there.
Thank you for time. If you are interested in the subjects and would like to help them come to fruition, please feel free to go to my Patreon page and become a Patron of mine.