INDIE AUTHOR JOSEPH RIDEN writes nonfiction and narrative (fiction, memoir, and creative nonfiction) in native, US English. He also offers several Author Services, including editing, assisted book writing, and alpha and beta reading. Joseph has self-published individual short stories, a story collection, a novel-in-stories, and three nonfiction "how-to" books. He helped aspiring authors complete books they dreamed of writing: a men's adventure novel and a novel-length, romantic memoir.
Even during primary school, Joseph read continually. Early interests led him through both nonfiction and fiction and especially biographies of accomplished and historically notable creatives. Both reading and a floor-standing, tube radio that was nearly his height began to shape his growing mind before television dominated America's media. "Eventually," Joseph has said, "I realized something less obvious than it may seem: emulating original thinkers feeds the soul." Renaissance creatives became his early role models.
Teachers encouraged him to write and invent. Legendary achievers became his inspiration, including Leonardo da Vinci, Joan of Arc, and Michelangelo; later on, modern counterparts like Nikola Tesla, Marie Curie and Albert Einstein. Also inventors like Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse, Hedy Lamarr, and Alan Turing; and early rocket scientists like Wernher Von Braun.
Joseph included notable American authors in his literature explorations; the standard-setters like Faulkner, Steinbeck, and Hemingway; also Ayn Rand and Margaret Atwood, along with the classics-authors who generated the literary canons of American English. He completed a double BA in Literature and Psychology with high honors in the well-regarded English Department at SUNY at Buffalo. At UB, he rubbed shoulders with contemporary literary figures like John Gardner who lived, wrote, and published their art. That experience stimulated a sustained yearning to write in the literary styles native to America.
After military service and university, he resumed his career in mechanical and industrial design. Along the way, he completed the Institute for Writers' course, "Breaking into Print." Inevitably, Joseph became an author. As he created a trail of inventions he also wrote articles, essays, books and stories, and a volume of technical content.
Joseph describes himself as "Born curious; fascinated with big questions, great ideas, cultural trends, and critical unknowns. It's tantalizing to be alive" he has said, "at the dawn of the third millennium, CE. Our rapidly changing world is ripe with opportunity to speculate, to learn from our collective history and to re-invent in all areas of human progress."
A deepening humanism tempers Joseph's technical mind with a more encompassing consciousness. "In this world of increasing complexity," he has said, "we can anchor in practical wisdom and find new solutions for compelling issues of modern life. Storytelling is a powerful way to teach and learn vicariously and to speculate about dynamics that drive human cultures and set the courses of our aspirations, our lives, countries, and even world history. In fiction, an author may explore and discover at the limits of human experience and deepen our collective vision by pushing those limits with imagination, compassion, and originality. To make a positive difference, first we must imagine better possibilities, then choose among them wisely and apply them to realize the growth that entices us forward.”
Joseph has learned about life's dynamism from many perspectives. Beyond writing and design, he has filled many roles in life, including these: surrogate father, coastal mariner, lumberjack, sport fisherman, teacher, soldier, seminarian, meditator, husband, lover, spiritual seeker, natural health practitioner, expatriate, business consultant, bohemian scholar, entrepreneur, and live-off-the-land outdoorsman.
As his design engineering career completed, writing became Joseph's full-time focus. He ventured abroad in South Korea and Costa Rica but he always came home. Now a lifetime of learning seeds his writings. Diversity of experience shaped his author's viewpoint and outlook and his beliefs about humanity's ability to prosper yet transcend limitations and further evolve. Above all else, Joseph is fascinated by the possibility we will someday actually direct our own evolution given our growing mastery of genetics, artificial intelligence, nanotech, and robotics:
"The future is bright when we see by the light we can choose but our most challenging frontiers are no longer 'out there' somewhere, like Mars. We cling to geographic exploration and preservation of human life as ultimate values, even while runaway overpopulation overcrowds and threatens the whole Earth. This atavistic paradox could become our race’s terminal dilemma unless new, inner shores are conquered peacefully, without humans ever leaving their home planet. Resources exist within us each, waiting to be tapped.
“When finally we do travel in outer space, perhaps by then we can send our minds only and let our bodies remain safe at home. Meanwhile, refocusing on conquering our psycho-emotional inner spaces is human exploration's grand challenge of the ages."
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