About F.T. vanliew
I was a wanderer after college. One of the “uncommitted.” When I wasn't hitchhiking or riding the rails, I worked at a psychiatric hospital, was a farm hand for a while, drove an ambulance and was a laboratory technician, did the news for a small radio station, and ran a bicycle shop. I wanted little and got by on less. Approaching thirty, I married and enrolled in law school the next fall. I was never a very good lawyer, at least in the conventional sense. Neither the money nor the combat interested me. Justice did, however, and I had some success in doing the right thing.
As happens, I turned forty, rode my bike across Iowa, ran a marathon, and began to hear a whisper, “you will be a writer someday, when you have something to write about.” The voice persisted, growing stronger as I approached sixty.
Retiring early, one thing led to another, including graduate school and the study of “conflict transformation.” A class on advanced issues in restorative justice turned me to blogging. A few months later I started my own website, writing posts on justice and injustice in their various manifestations. The jottings became The Justice Diary – an Inquiry into Justice in America.
Two years passed. A new stage in my life approached and I grew anxious. My sleep was fitful, and my blood pressure elevated. I turned to writing for relief. The result was A Third Half Journal which explored my journey and that of others in “the third half of life.”
Near its conclusion, the voice returned, encouraging me to consider what it would be like to live a year as if it was my last. There was a caveat, however. It had to be a work of fiction. So, every day for twelve months I crawled under the skin of Walt Whitman, imagining him as a transplant from the 19th century into the 21st. His account is the recently released Walt’s Last Year.
I’m presently working on a collection of short stories and an autobiography. The goal of each is to get Walt out of my head and to continue to work on the craft. In January I hope to begin a novel on the life of Jesus - The Education of Yeshua. As so little is known of his early life through his twenties it seems that a fictional exploration might be a worthwhile endeavor.
Admittedly, I’ve created this website to promote my books. Writers want their work to be read. In addition, I'd like to encourage other “third halfers” to write, and to publish. With three books in print, I know a little something about the self-publishing business. I’d like to share what I’ve learned with others who’ve heard the voice to write “when they have something to write about.” It could be a memoir or a family history. A collection of stories or poetry. Even a novel. I’m here to offer assistance should anyone need it.