My name is Steven Francis Murphy (most folks call me Murph, students call me Mister Murphy).
I’m the author of two published science fiction stories to date. They are The Limb Knitter and Tearing Down Tuesday. Both received honorable mentions in Gardner Dozois’ The Year’s Best Science Fiction. At some point maybe I’ll sell another story and get my writing career going again. This blog is not presently active partly because I am pouring all of my writing energy into my current projects. When I publish regularly again, I may blog regularly again.
I am also the research assistant to John Birmingham, author of the Axis of Time trilogy and the Without Warning trilogy. My main emphasis is on military and historical accuracy. As John said in the intro to Final Impact, I try to keep him from shooting RPGs off in tight spaces.
For my day job these days I serve as an adjunct instructor of history at a local community college. I’ve been at this since August 2007 so long as you overlook breaks during the summer. Turns out I’m actually pretty good at the whole teaching thing. And while I love what I do, I suspect I will never transition to full time status at my current institution. Thus it was necessary to see about a second career to supplement my income.
In the Summer of 2011 I started a second career of sorts as a Lifeguard, a long deferred dream of mine. I’ve learned a great deal during my first summer, enough to know that I still have much more to learn and master. That said, I like the job and I suspect I’ll continue in this line of employment for sometime to come.
For the 2012 Season I was promoted to Apprentice Lifeguard Instructor, spending the spring of 2012 instructing and certifying new and returning lifeguards for my summer employer’s respective facilities. I was also promoted to Head Lifeguard at my assigned facility for the 2012 season. During my time at that facility we received two Four Star Audits on a Five Star scale, an improvement over the 2011 Season. We also fielded three Lifeguard Olympics Teams for the company’s internal annual Lifeguard Olympics Competition. For the first time ever in the history of that facility, one of our teams won Fourth Place among more than twenty plus teams in the competition.
In 2013 I transitioned to an indoor facility for year round lifeguard work. In my short time at this aquatics facility I have been recertified as an American Red Cross Lifeguard and also trained as an American Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor. It is possible that I may well make a life long career in aquatics.
Finally, I am also an unrepentant veteran of the US Army as well as a veteran of the Persian Gulf War. My father was a Vietnam veteran who was exposed to Agent Orange and then hostile anti-military types when he got home. He passed away as a result of the illnesses generated by his military service during the Summer of 2011.
Needless to say, I refuse to stuff my military past into a closet. On the other hand, I am not necessarily what one would cal a, “warmonger.” Wars continue to cost long after the shooting has stopped. It is useful to remind people that we are not just faceless, nameless numbers in some obscure textbook. We’re real people, not the monsters popular culture frequently make us out to be.
Thus, I still consider myself to be a soldier.
So I am six things really, all of equal precedence.
I am a writer.
I am an historian.
I am a college instructor.
I am a soldier.
I am a lifeguard.
I am a leader.
Welcome to the Pondering Tree.
Steven Francis Murphy
Author of The Limb Knitter and Tearing Down Tuesday
North Kansas City, Missouri