On friends, and geeks

I’d like you to meet a man I know. Which is odd, because I don’t really know him myself, in some ways.

His name is Ken. He’s kind of a big deal. I’m proud to know him, and will shake his hand some day. Maybe we’ll hug, I hear they do that down in Northern California.

It is a long, strange story, in some ways. we met through a Trek writing group about seven years ago, through a mutual acquaintance named Cathy- who he knew in real life, but I knew- well, the same way I knew him. Because of my writing.

We hit it off immediately, and wrote together for a long while- I can’t tell you how many days, away from work and school, we’d just be swapping emails or chatting and plotting, playing characters off each other or musing about this and that as we created fantastic worlds and ideas. His intelligence and depth of thought were things that appealed to me.

We were opposites, in some ways- he was a family man, with responsibilities well beyond the writing, and I was carefree, searching for my way in life. It was only through this writing, our love of Trek, and eventually other things, that we found our common ground.

It was Ken’s idea, about three years ago, to make a podcast for our little writing group to enjoy, and it was my privilege to tag along with him- through the first, uncertain recordings, our chemistry immediate even if our technique was sloppy: If one made a drinking game of how many times I said “yes” in the first few episodes, they’d be dead in five minutes.

But back to the man- our podcast grew, and our writing continued.  Ken eventually latched onto a website called “Geekdad”, a blog on the Wired network. The site is fairly self explanatory: It’s for dads who are geeks, and as the website says is about “raising kids in their own geeky image”. He eventually became the site’s editor, and was forced to leave the writing and podcasting that he and I had met and developed on. Part of the reason he left: he was writing a book.

I kept up peripherally on his Geekdad exploits and his book, happy to see someone I knew having success. Someone I knew was going to be a published author- cool, huh? Little did I know, that Ken’s book would become a NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER.

I don’t write this to shamelessly promote a book that’s doing well, it doesn’t really need my help. As I mentioned, this post is about a man I know. A man who’s been successful in writing, in a way that so many of us could only have dreamed of. Someone I’m incredibly happy for, until he inevitably forgets all us little people.

Look forward to shaking your hand, Ken. Until then, I leave you this lasting image of me, to be indelibly seared into your brain:

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