VERLIN'S UNLIKELY LIFE
Verlin Darrow is currently a psychotherapist who lives with his psychotherapist wife in the woods near the Monterey Bay in northern California. They diagnose each other as necessary. Verlin is a former professional volleyball player (in Italy), unsuccessful country-western singer/songwriter, import store owner, and assistant guru in a small, benign spiritual organization. Before bowing to the need for higher education, a much younger Verlin ran a punch press in a sheetmetal factory, drove a taxi, worked as a night janitor, shoveled asphalt on a road crew, and installed wood flooring. He missed being blown up by Mt. St. Helens by ten minutes, survived the 1985 Mexico City earthquake (8 on the Richter scale), and (so far) has successfully weathered his own internal disasters.
Here is a collection of Verlin's other unlikely life events:
Journeyed around the world on a spiritual pilgrimage
Rescued a dog that fell through the ice
Patted on the head by Einstein
Vowed not to cry anymore at age 5 and only did once until 18. (This is NOT a good idea).
Wrote radio jingles
An identity thief bought cars as Verlin
Grandfather was last of 23 children
Great-grandfather worked seven days a week for 70 years
Taught at universities
Can heal with hands
Call-in radio therapist
Published novelist (under other names)
Lucid dreamer until the age of 8
As a young man, he could dunk emphatically, jump onto the roof of a VW bug from a standing start, and otherwise show off aerial feats to girls who never seemed to be impressed.
I began writing books in a campground outside Naples, Italy when I was nineteen. The first novel was hideously amateurish. The quality of my writing progressed all the way up to just plain bad by the time I’d written a few more. That era of my life was characterized by an inability to learn much, since that would’ve entailed acknowledging that I didn’t already know everything.
I let go of writing while I focused on avoiding work and trying to convince the world that it was fine if my unrealized potential remained unrealized.
A few years later, as my garbage-eating hound farted for the millionth time on a given evening, my wife at the time suggested that I write a book entitled THE DOG THAT FARTED HIS WAY TO MARS. Inspired by her down home wisdom, I wrote a children’s book entitled THE DOG THAT BURPED HIS WAY TO JUPITER. It wasn’t horrible. I found an agent and we almost sold it, which was enough motivation for me to keep writing. After NIGHTMARES ARE CAUSED BY BAD DUST BUNNIES and several other unsuccessful Pinkwateresque titles, I returned to adult novels and honed my craft by refusing to take any creative writing classes or accept any editorial suggestions from real writers.
Several mediocre books later, I came up with a mystery in which someone bumped off gurus. A small press published this one, as well as a follow up that delved a bit deeper into the psyche of cult members. At that time, I used a different pen name. I plan to edit these two novels and re-release them as Verlin.
Once again, drawn by other interests (and the carryover of avoiding work), I let go of serious writing for a time. This era embodied a service orientation--helping troubled people as a psychotherapist and mentor.
In the last few years, I've felt drawn to the keyboard again, and I have several projects to show for it. In addition to BLOOD and WISDOM, I also completed an imaginative thriller/fantasy--COATTAIL KARMA-- which will be published by Wild Rose Press in the Fall of 2018. And I’m in the midst of wrestling with SOME DEMON DID IT, LOU, a supernatural hard-boiled detective novel.
You know, for a work avoidant guy, I’ve certainly written a lot of manuscripts. Maybe I need to update my sense of self. On the other hand, looking across the room at the dishes in the sink, maybe not.
There you go. A lot more than you needed to know.
(But just the amount that I needed to experience).