July 30, 2009
How it all got started
I've revised Tokyo South, my missionary memoir, and uploaded the ebook to Amazon and Smashwords.
The first chapter, "Lost in the Works," is the first real story I produced in my writing career. I'd signed up for a computer programming class at BYU after my mission and discovered that I enjoyed using the Pascal compiler as a crude word processor (this was back during the Apple II era) more than the programming.
Then "Number Games" won second place in the 1984 Vera Hinckley Mayhew Awards, my first solid bit of external validation. (I seriously wonder whether such a story would be so well-received today; I like to call the first half of the 1980s BYU's "glasnost" era.)
Over the last two decades, a series of reorganizations and consolidations and force reductions finally resulted in the consolidation of the Tokyo North and South missions in 2007. This Ted Lyon interview (also mentioned at the previous link) makes it clear that what I describe in Tokyo South is by no means unique.
If anything, time and nostalgia and the detached sense of sang-froid that comes with age and experience leads me to pull my punches a bit.