Friday, April 1, 2016

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 1

Not long ago, I was scrolling through Pinterest when I came across a month-long blog challenge. It sounded like fun and I'm kind of in between writing projects right now, so I'm going to give it a shot. I hope you enjoy reading them. Most of the topics are about me, so by the end of this month, you'll probably know me uncomfortably well.

Day 1--Introduction

Well, that should be easy enough. Hi, I'm Joe. Joe Stephens, to be more precise. I'm the youngest of four children of Dave and Nancy Stephens. My siblings are, in birth order, Dave (not Dave Junior--he has a different middle name than Dad), Barb, and Don. All of us, including my parents, are still living.

I'm a teacher at Parkersburg High School, where I teach Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition to seniors and Careers in Education to mixed grades. I'm also the advisor for the senior class. I've been at PHS since 1997. Before that, I was a youth minister at Emmanuel Baptist Church and before that I was in seminary and before that I taught for two years in Ritchie County, which is right next door to Wood County, the county I teach in now.

I'm also a writer, mainly of books. I've self-published three novels. They're parts of a series called The Shalan Adventures. I recently completed the first draft of Shalan Adventure #4. It will likely come out this summer. If you're interested in buying one, they're all available on all online booksellers in paperback and on Amazon for Kindle. You can also click on the "My Books" link at the top of this page and learn more about them. There are also sales links there.

I also write for an online and print magazine entitled ClutchMOV. I started out being their book reviewer, but have slowly morphed into a general contributor. I still write book reviews, but now I also write theater reviews, general articles, and occasional fiction. If you go to the website right now, you'll find two of my articles in the main rotation. One is an essay on moving in with my parents as they age and the other is a review of a book by Homer Hickam entitled Red Helmet.

As far as personal life goes, I'm divorced and don't have any children, though I adopt approximately 140 kids every August and lose them every May. It's hard to say goodbye but only because I really love them a lot and enjoy every minute with them. I also have a group of really clos friends with whom I share a Christian faith as well as a general insanity over all things nerdy. We read and share graphic novels, watch superhero and fantasy movies together, and collect memorabilia. We truly are nerds and I love every minute that I share with them.

I said I don't have children, but there are two young ladies that I love just like they were my daughters. Their names are Jenna and Poonam and they mean the world to me. Sadly, one lives in New Orleans now and the other in Baltimore, so I don't get to see them as often as I'd like. But we stay in touch electronically.