My Favorite Topic – All About Me

It has come to my attention that I have never really put down in words my life history and the stages of my life that lead me to taking up the task of writing.  For those of you that would find this of little or no interest, thanks for dropping by and I´ll hopefully see you again soon in another blog post somewhere down the line.  For the rest of you, stick around.  My life story is hardly the stuff of action movies but it has been an intersting journey so far; here it is, My Life Story.

I was born in 1963 in a small town called Renfrew, Ontario, Canada.  By some coincidence, my parents soon moved to Ottawa, Ontario and took up residence on Renfrew avenue where we lived and maintained the family home until they sold and retired fifteen years ago.

My education was spotty at best.  I was a horrible student and the bane of all my teachers.  My only interest in primary school was writing and if I had been left alone, I am sure I would have persued that avenue but a nasty substitute teacher one day humiliated me and I lost the joy of writing.  Even still my only possible success through to High School was in English – and informatics as they called computer studies in those days.

My other first love was art but sadly I soon discovered I had no talent within that field.  Throughout my school days I was always amazed by people who could put a pencil or pen to paper and create wonderful images.  I eventually surrounded myself with a large group of people who did have the gift including an older artist named Barry Blair.  This was in the very early days of Barry{s career as a Fantasy and Action comic book artist.  Barry’s first self-published work was a series of black and white prints which he sold in local book stores, record stores and out of the back of his Triumph Spitfire.

Barry had created a series of home-drawn comics which included his friends as his side-kicks – This was the original Dragon Ring (in which I was immortalized as a character for one installment)  The title was eventually resurrected when Barry went professional and opened his own studio, Aircel comics which produced Dragon Ring, Elflord, Galaxina, Mummy’s Curse and a ton of other titles.

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Prior to Aircel comics Barry had run a one man production company in which I help in logistics and story developement.  We also created a script for an animated movie featuring his Elf characters Hawk and Windblade.  All through my High-School years I wore a denim jacket with a Barry Blair original on the back and even today, 30 years later, people still remember it and ask me what happened to it.

During this time I started to get into music.  I had been told I was tone deaf during Junior High but I was determined to learn how to play the guitar.  Once again, lousy teachers made the challenge all the more difficult.  After 6 years of strumming my way through Country, Rock and Pop tunes I started to pick out bass lines on the lower strings.  I eventually sold my guitar, got an old bass guitar and amp and began playing in a variety of bands.  At first it was hard rock but I gravitated to blues.  At 21 I played my first bar gig at the Saucy Noodle on Somerset avenue (no defunct) with a four piece ensemble called ‘Totoise Blue and the Gravediggers.’  We modeled ourselves on the blues stylings of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf.  Our leader was the meanest blues harp player I have ever heard – before or since.

Later I made my living for a while in a bunch of other bands and turned my hand to songwriting.  But the chances of success in the music business largely depend on luck and getting in with the right bunch of guys.  I wasn’t optimistic about the chances of that and soon turned to the 9 to 5 working world while getting my chops back on the acoustic guitar.

This lead to my discovery of the Spanish Guitar.  It took years for me to hunt down the sound I was looking for — I figured anything with a guitar and a Spanish lyric was all right with me.  I finally discovered Flamenco and fell into that bottomless pit for 8 years.  I did some recording and learned the most important styles but again, I realized that a Flamenco guitarist must go to Spain or die.

Since then I have played a bunch of other styles and have made attempts at keeping a band together.  I even learned the Diatonic Button Accordion that is the most popular instrument here in Northern Mexico and for a brief period played in a group in Canada called ‘ Los Chipotles.’  (Don’t blame me for that one …. I didn’t pick the name)

These days, when not trying to find the plot and theme for my next novel, I specialize in Delta Blues played solo on a steel string guitar.

Music aside, I despise cold weather so in 1997 I packed bags and moved to Mexico.  I have been here off and on since then. I am married and own a home in the west end of Monterrey, Mexico.  Of course there is Rose, my half lab, half shepherd mutt who is my constant companion, muse and star of my book ‘ A Rose by Any Other Name – Life Lessons from an Unremarkable Dog.’  I teach English and write and cook (another passion of mine) and now blog and slowly am becoming a bit of a twitter expert.  That’s about the story of my life, highlighting my creative side and all the things that lead me to take up the pen and try to write.

You can read more about Aircel Comics here!

So to end today’s post, the real reason I write.  I got yet another review today for my short story collection – Mexican Mutts, Tequila Pups and Chili Dogs.  That’s two reviews in two days and the best part is they are reviews from perfect strangers.  This is the true success and satisfaction.

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A short but sweet review.  Four Stars.
July 17 / Teri L
I enjoyed this book very much.
An engaging read that brought laughter and tears. As a dog lover, I enjoyed this book very much. The stories are heart-warming and meaningful on many levels.

So there you have it.  Hope those that stuck around to the end didn’t drop off from boredom.

David Gordon Burke
Find my books here.  

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