I am an introvert. Merriam-Webster defines me as a person whose personality is characterized by introversion: a typically reserved or quiet person who tends to be introspective and enjoys spending time alone. In other words, I’m a loner.

The word introvert is made up of two Latin-based roots, intro meaning inward, and vert meaning to turn. Its opposite is extrovert, whose intrinsic meaning is outward turning. In groups, I tend to be the last to speak but listen carefully to others. One result is that I learn far more than other group members who would rather speak than listen.

And I am a writer by vocation. No profession is more inward-turning, solitary, and isolated than writing which must be done alone. One writes so that others may read, but one does not have to be present during the reading.

My guess is that I am an introvert because of my harsh childhood. As I have reported here before, my mother was an alcoholic, my father in prison. Of necessity, I had to do for myself. I became leery of others and went out of my way to avoid having to depend on anyone else. That made me fiercely independent, a quality that served me well on the battlefield.

The end result is that I was very good at my job—supporting friendly forces with information about the enemy derived from signals intelligence, the intercept and exploitation of his radio communications. That job, for the better part of thirty-five years, left me with a treasure trove of stories I could weave into my fiction.

Sometimes, nature and luck work together for human benefit.

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