In 1995 I was a college basketball player at San Diego City College. Prior to 1995, I had served 4 years in the US Navy and after leaving the Navy I worked as a QA Analyst for Square D Electronics in Oceanside, California. The transition from military to civilian life was a one and a half year journey that included living in the 90s in Los Angeles, being sent from San Diego to South Carolina to train for Square D and flip-flopping between women in relationships. I was a a young man with everything in sunny San Diego. That year and a half from January 1994 to September 1995 may have been the most confusing time in my life. I didn’t know whether to leave San Diego and return to Memphis, my hometown, or to make a decision between two colleges that I had already begun the process of gaining admission into. My first college choice was Tuskeegee and my second college choice was New York University. I drove a Mustang, that was paid for, I lived in a two bedroom apartment 10 minutes from the beach and I didn’t have any roommates. The apartment was furnished in a classy, yet obvious bachelor’s style. I was 22 years old and I was making 40K per year, after losing myself for 3 months in Los Angeles.
In the summer of 1995 I was playing at an open gym and a college coach was there and he asked me to try out for his junior college basketball team. I had been away from basketball for 5 years and I would be a 23 year old freshman. I went to the tryout and performed well although I was about 20 pounds overweight. The coach offered me a spot and I became a 23 year old freshman college basketball player. I was excited and nervous, but I had always wanted to play college basketball because I had wasted away my high school career with eligibility issues and half assed gangster behavior. This would be my redemption. It took me half of the season to get back into game shape. I had to make other changes as well. Since I had to be a full time student, I had to leave Square D. I basically gave up a career that would have given me a great lifestyle to go to college. This direction didn’t make any sense because I had made the decision not to attend NYU or Tuskeegee prior to taking the job. I had lived in South Carolina on the companies dime and I was being moved up because I was a very skilled electrician. Some dreams though are hard to get rid of. I had to play college basketball, which meant a full courseload and a change in jobs. I became a teacher’s assistant at Horace Mann Middle School in San Diego. I became a computer tech also since I was already techonologically inclined and I spent most of my days in a computer lab assisting teachers. I did this for 24-30 hours per week. I took a full course load and I played college basketball. I was twenty pounds overweight and it took half a season to begin getting my hooping legs back. When I finally did, I wasn’t getting much playing time, but that changed slowly. I became a solid sub and I played behind a group that helped San Diego City College reach the playoffs for the first time in over 4 years.
There is a lot more to that time period, but this is what is important. While I was a teacher’s assistant, a teacher invited me to a poetry reading. I had never been to a poetry reading. I really didn’t read poetry or literature, but I accepted and at that reading I became inspired. I went home and began writing. I decided to take a few creative writing courses and that led to the creation of my first novel, which led to me reading at the Gallery 504, Lestat’s Coffee House, Claire De Lune’s Open Mic and Java Joes Open Mic. I began making the reading circuit in San Diego. All of this eventually led to Herb Singletary offering me the hosting job at the Gallery 504. This led to the creation of CB Publishing and my eventual enrollment in the MFA program at SDSU.
I could obviously write a book about my life. There were a lot of exciting and “off” things that have taken place over the last 15 years. CB Publishing exists because I felt the need to continue writing. As a writer I have experienced the high of completing my MFA, getting an agent, having a book sold, having that same book denied and leaving my agent to self publish, only to never spend any time promoting my writing. I have taught countless writing courses and I consider myself a very gifted writer. These aren’t my words, these are the words of my professors, agent, and publishers who said, “A gifted writer, but he is too stubborn.” I know what I’m capable of and I realize now, May 2011 is the time for me to begin to do something with this work. I appreciate you for visiting this site. Browse through and discover my interests. I hope that you will be inspired to read my books (posted here for free or you can purchase them). I hope that you will be ispired to watch movies that matter, and read books that entertain and enlighten. I hope that you will leave comments and if you don’t, just think about some of the things I say.
I am here if you ever have a question. I’m a very informed resource and I like networking. Thanks for visiting.
Christopher D. Burns, MFA