Dan Hiland: My Bio
Born in Portland, Oregon way back in 1954, I grew up first in the suburbs, then in the country, my parents desirous to give us and themselves a better quality of life. And I found that country life suited me fine. Growing up on a farm, and with a lot of elbow room at our disposal, we learned how to care for animals, grow a garden, mow a lot of lawns and most important of all, work.
The only thing that country life did not do, though, was prepare me for a career. But having said that, the many hours of solitude I experienced did prepare me for writing. I was ahead of my class in reading thought the first few years of school. I plowed my way through a lot of fantasy, science fiction, and mystery stories. My imagination fired up, I decided I wanted to share these stories with others by publishing my own magazine. Typing in my upstairs room for hours on an old Royal, I produced a couple pages from a story in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine- ignorant at the time of what plagiarism meant- and in the dark of night, snuck through our filbert orchard to deposit the first issue of my “magazine” on a neighbor’s doorstep. I finished a second one, but heard nothing from the recipients, though grateful I hadn’t been found out. But one day, the two kids from that house walked past me on the way home from school, reading aloud some lines from my magazine. Mortified, I knew that they knew, and vowed never to make the attempt again.
One day a few years later, I decided to write a satirical article for a music group I was a part of- and they published it in their newsletter. I was excited to know that others were entertained by something I had written, and penned a few more articles before the group folded a few years later.
After writing articles for the high school newspaper, me and some friends published a few issues of a rag called the “Chub Weekly,” based on our adventures fishing for trash fish in a nearby river. It was hilarious- or so we thought at the time- but writing soon took a back seat to the general distractions of teenage life, not resurfacing again until I began keeping a journal in April 1975, a practice I have maintained to the present day.
It was during the mid 1990s that I found, during an assignment for a basic writing class, that I was able to produce entertaining short stories. The ideas seemed to come out of me and into the pen, unbidden. As I went from one Creative Writing class to the next, more stories and ideas were born, and somewhere along the way a few essays, as well.
Helping others at several writing sites like Writing.com, Writers Carnival and Writers Cafe helped me learn how to critique the writing of others, which in turn caused me to grow as a writer.
At one point, during the late 2000’s, I produced several issues of a lit zine called AndThology and was able to sell some to the Portland Public Library system. So I finally achieved a little success. But all along the way I have realized that one must keep writing and revising to become a master of the craft.
Thus I am here, offering my writing for one and all to read, critique and enjoy. Hopefully I can help others, as well, as we all move along, learning better and better ways to communicate our thoughts, feelings and ideas with those around us.