More About Me

I’m surprised you care, but now that you’re here you might as well keep reading.

Personal

I’m a husband, cat friend, and co-protector of a great big trauma puppy that my wife rescued from a shelter. My wife and I met on a Yahoo! forum in 2000, met in person for the first time in 2002, and got married in 2004. In the meantime we courted via email and instant messaging with weekly phone calls. We’ve been through a lot together, and while I had some doubts before I got married I have no regrets.

My Writing

I completed my first novel in 2009, and in the 2010s published a couple of novels and several short stories. However, my publisher – Curiosity Quills Press – folded in early 2019 and ghosted every author they had under contract. Between that and some other personal difficulties (not to mention surviving COVID-19), I have struggled to continue writing.

I do most of my draft writing using a text editor, but also keep notebooks and enjoy writing with fountain pens.

My Day Job

Though I’m a software developer by trade, I’m not “passionate” about tech. In fact, I don’t think of what I do as a career; to me it’s just my day job, something I do so I can afford hobbies like reading and writing sci-fi, listening to heavy metal, playing video games, and traveling with my wife. I work to live rather than living to work. If being a janitor paid as much as coding, I’d go back to sweeping floors and scrubbing toilets; either way I’m cleaning up after other people. I’ve outlived the vast majority of my work, so kindly pardon my cynicism about the tech industry.

Nevertheless, I take pride in doing good, solid work on time and within budget while using the right tools for the job at hand. I also like to tinker with secondhand computers and run GNU/Linux (mainly Slackware) and OpenBSD on them. In addition to maintaining this website, I maintain a site for my wife, Catherine Gatt. I maintain another for my science fantasy saga, Starbreaker.

Music

I grew up on progressive rock and heavy metal; one of my few pleasant childhood memories involved my father letting me borrow his tape player and headphones to listen to Peter Gabriel. “Shock the Monkey”, “Big”, and “Sledgehammer” are still earworms for me.

Discovering bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Blue Öyster Cult, Black Sabbath, and Queensrÿche proved a turning point for me as a young man. Heavy metal saved my life. There’s a story there and someday I might bother to tell it.

Books

I’m a fairly voracious reader, but my comfort reads are novels by Alexandre Dumas, C. J. Cherryh, Michael Moorcock, Clive Barker, and M. John Harrison. I also filch my wife’s romance novels when she leaves them around so we have something to talk about. I tend to regard most literary fiction as dull and irrelevant to my concerns, but I occasionally read it for the same reason I make a point of choking down green leafy vegetables at least once a week. Make of that what you will, and be damned to you.

Gaming

I play too many video games. My PSN tag is EddieVanHelsing. I mainly play Final Fantasy XIV and other JRPGs, along with the sort of methodical action-RPGs pioneered by From Software.

FAQ

“Why do you call yourself a ‘Fullstack Thaumaturge’?”

Somebody at my day job once suggested that I should get business cards billing me as a miracle worker because I deliver complex features with vague requirements on unreasonably short notice and most of the time it works. Since I’m a full-stack developer, that would make me a full-stack miracle worker. “Thaumaturge” is just a fancy word for miracle worker or wonder worker, which is why you see some Roman Catholic saints named “Thaumaturgus”.

“Why are you so weird?”

I’m autistic, but the autism I’ve got wasn’t the kind that could get diagnosed when I was a kid in the 1980s. Good thing, too, because that’s the kind that would have gotten my ass institutionalized. Instead, I learned to mask my autism.

“What are your pronouns?”

The singular they is fine. I’m also used to he/him. I’ve even gotten she/her at restaurants when my hair is long enough. I’m not that picky.

“I found a download link for your fiction. Why do you give it away?”

I’m about a hair short of making six figures at my day job. I make more in a year as a techie than most authors signed with the major publishers make in their entire careers, so I’ve decided that seeking publication isn’t worth the hassle.

“Why do you only provide plain text versions of your fiction?”

A format that any computer can read isn’t good enough for you?

“What editor do you use?”

I mainly use GNU Emacs, but I can also use vi and ed.

“Why not Visual Studio Code?”

I only use that at my day job, where I get paid to put up with Microsoft’s bullshit.

“How do I subscribe to your mailing list?”

You don’t, because I don’t have one. You’ll have to make do with my RSS feed.

Trust me, feeds are better. Feed readers are available for all devices and platforms, and nobody will know what feeds you subscribe to unless you use an online feed reader instead of an app written by an ethical developer.

“What song(s) would save you from Vecna?”

One of these should do…

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“Blood Red Skies” by Judas Priest (click to view)
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“Let It Die” by Survive Said The Prophet (click to view)
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“Embryo” & “Children of the Grave” by Black Sabbath (click to view)
“Why are you such a faggot?”

Honey, that’s no way to flirt.

“Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?”

Pray in private and mind your own business.

“What’s your alignment?”

Chaotic neutral, with occasional chaotic good moments.

“Are you a feminist?”

I don’t call myself a feminist. However, I generally agree that people should have the same rights regardless of sex or gender, and that masculinity should not be upheld as superior to femininity. Make of that what you will.

“Why do you always talk about your”day job” and not your career?”

I don’t have a career. I never wanted one. The culture I live in demands that I base my identity around what I do for a living, but I’m doing my best to resist that. Refusing to think in terms of careers is part of that resistance.

“What is your greatest weakness?”

I’m weak against physical attacks, fire, and lightning.

However, I resist ice and wind, nullify holy attacks, and reflect darkness so it all works out.

“Do you even lift, bro?”

As a matter of fact, I do. I’m not a member of the 1,000 pound club yet, but give me a few years.