Ty writer

I began an interest in storytelling before I was old enough to type.  I remember playing with typewriters but not understanding how to put the words together to make sentences, and so I “typed” randomly, experiencing the joy of pretending to write, and the frustration of not knowing how to use a typewriter.

Writing, for me, has never changed in that regard.  The act of writing is both thrilling and frustrating.  It takes an effort of will more than an effort of sweat.  To write is to be engaged in a struggle with yourself.

As a pre-teen and teenager I continued to fantasize about writing great stories.  Beginning with Robert Louis Stevenson and Jack London, then moving on to Robert Howard and Michael Moorcock, I believed for a long time that I was destined to write fantasy, sci-fi and horror stories.  Those are the stories I read and wanted to emulate.

My first college classes at Chabot Junior College in Hayward, CA were fiction writing workshops where I explored fantasy and science fiction with metaphysical themes without understanding what I was doing.  My first instructor laughingly once told me that I was a metaphysical kind of guy.  I didn’t understand what that meant and wrongfully assumed it was a bad thing.

In my twenties I read some books on writing by a writer named John Gardner.  I would come to respect Gardner as a supreme teacher, a life-long mentor through books on the writing process and the writer’s life.  I was dismayed, however, when I read that, according to Gardner, a writer needs an education.  I never thought of myself as college material and the idea of going to school seemed impossible and unrealistic.

That all changed in 1991 when I got the opportunity to become a full-time, degree-seeking community college student.  My first semester was one of the most personally challenging times of my life.  I was afraid I was going to fail and that, though the effort was worth a try, I would ultimately quit.

I won’t bore you with the long story of the years of struggle and uncertainty about how much longer I could afford to go to college.  About the times of poverty and how raising an ever-growing family doubled the pressure I felt to really succeed or quit goofing around and go make some money . . .

I stayed in school.  Between 1991 to 1999  I earned an AA in English, a BA in Literature, and an MA in Composition.  I achieved the education Mr. Gardner had advocated.  Along the way I discovered a whole new universe of writers.  In exchange for the fantasists in Stevens and Howard I got Fitzgerald, Hemingway, O’Connor (Flannery), Salinger, Updike, and Carver.  I discovered other cultures and the great minds of writers with different experiences from me:  Silko, Hurston, Fuentes, Borges, Nabokov, Kafka, Kundera.  These writers became my new inspiration.

Today I blend it all together, along with the great influence of music, and create stories that are (hopefully) deeply human, personal, and ever-so-lightly flavored with a hint of metaphysics.

When I’m not writing I teach.  I have had the privilege of teaching students at the university and community college levels where I first made my strides into becoming the person I really wanted to be.  When I teach writing I teach it like religion.  There are elements of faith, prayer and tradition that must be acknowledged in writing.  I won’t wax any more poetic than that, but suffice to say writing is where I’ve always supposed to have been.

I am beyond pleased to be here now.


18 comments on “About

  1. Conflict or opposition seems to be needed in life as well as writing to produce writers. Sue

  2. Sunshine says:

    your words flow beautifully and deeply touches the heart…pleased you are here to share your writing journey. ❤

  3. caitliniam says:

    As a current college student I just want you to know how much we appreciate passionate professors. Writing is a special sort of magic. Thank you for taking time from the magic to teach it to others.

  4. jcollyer says:

    Where can I find some of your writing? 🙂

    • emperort says:

      Hi J,

      My fiction is still in-progress. I have a short story that I am preparing to send out soon, and I will be finished with a novel next week (first draft) and will begin revising this spring. My writing efforts were detoured for several years after college as I worked to provide for a young family. These days I now have the time to dedicate to writing and am working toward getting it out into the world more and more. I will update my progress and success periodically here on my blog. Thank you for asking!

      • jcollyer says:

        Brilliant stuff. I always like to read the work of people whose advice I find valuable, to see how they apply it to their own work partly, but also becuase I know I can learn form the projects as well as from the advice. I shall keep an eye on the blog and look forward to it 🙂

  5. Hi tjamesmoore. I just nominated your blog for the Liebster blog Award. (Seriously, it’s a real thing.) I look forward to reading your next post. From: http://moggiepurrs.wordpress.com

  6. William says:

    Your blog is really doing great. I found it while searching for great writers with unique content. Since I enjoyed it, I was wondering if you’d be interested in writing for us. I couldn’t find your email so you can check out this link: http://www.bookkaholic.com/write-for-us/
    Or email me if you have any questions: william(at)bookkaholic.com
    Hope your interested!

  7. […] to give up altogether. Then I stumbled upon What Do We Mean by “Writer”? by blogger tjamesmoore. Here is a small […]

  8. You’ve been nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award by me, because your posts always make me think and inspire me to improve 🙂


  9. lpaigewrites says:

    I’ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger award. Congrats from me 🙂

  10. Quite a journey. Write on.

  11. Corrisa says:

    I’m Corrisa from Reverie Slice. I was wondering if you would be available to write a guest post on writing? Looking forward to hearing from you. 🙂

  12. Ryan Moore says:

    Not only is the background information about you very interesting when you put it all in order, the photo of you on the couch as a fledgling writer is priceless. I’m proud of you son.

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