Amateur Night in Dixie

You know what the world needs more of? Blog posts and websites, said nobody ever. And yet, here we are.

But I’m being rude, I should introduce myself. My name is Joshua Begley, known as Josh to my friends and Dr. J to my students. I have a Masters degree in Creative Writing and a Doctorate in Literature and Criticism. I teach creative writing at Full Sail University, and I love to write.

A lot.

I cut my teeth on Anne McCaffery, Harlan Ellison, Stephen King, and Ray Bradbury. I’m startlingly lowbrow in my tastes and I don’t know how temperamentally suited I am for academia, even though I love it almost as much as I do writing.

The first time I sat down to write, I was eight years old. I had no real idea of what I wanted to write, just that I wanted to. I devoured books and spent most of my time daydreaming, so I suppose writing was a natural progression. Because I was eight, I didn’t really have anything to say, so I just wrote, from recollection, the first Star Wars movie (Episode IV to you young ‘uns). The second story I ever wrote began with “It was a dark and stormy night.” Hardly the start of a budding young writer, was it?

One thing you’ll get to know about me if you stick around is that I’m stubborn. I’ve had to be. I was sick very often as a child, and was constantly playing catch up. I was homebound for three semesters, and when I finally got back to attending school properly, I was so behind that I was taking night and summer classes to catch up. Eventually, I earned my G.E.D., and you know where it went from there, academically-speaking.

I wouldn’t have been able to make it this far if I wasn’t a stubborn little so-and-so, and that’s why I’m here today.

If you browse through the pages of this site, you’ll see that I’ve written short fiction and reviews. If you check my CV, you’ll see that I’ve also written poetry and academic articles. I’ve had a presence (which is putting it generously) on social media, but I figure now it’s time to find a home for my work.

That’s why we’re here.

Instead of doing this the smart way and hiring somebody to do the heavy lifting for me, I’m building this sucker on my own. As the title says, this is amateur night in Dixie, folks. I decided to pull the trigger on this because I’d been sitting on this idea for too long, and now that I have this out here and I actually paid money to register the domain name, it’s time to commit.

I hope you’ll bear with me. I’ll post updates on new writing projects whenever they go live, and I’ll write blog posts whenever I get the chance. After all, the world needs another blogger, right?


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Creative writing Instructor, Full Sail University. Writer of fiction, poetry, literary criticism, and reviews.

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