Sometimes it’s beneficial to see who you’re dealing with, and so here I present various stages of my writing career.

MDS, Fall 1962 The author of the first Jack Commer story, “Voyage to Venus.” This school photo may well have been taken at the same time as the Jack Commer inception in September 1962.
MDS, Spring 1967 This rather supercilious-looking author from Spring 1967 has no doubt just finished his bloodbath junior high school story about a teenaged basketball star who blows up entire sports arenas, a plot from which Ocean Singe Horror (later renamed Jump Grenade) was nostalgically developed in 2008. This photo was taken about a year after I abandoned the childhood version of The Martian Marauders.
MDS, April 1972 The mature Rice University college student, editor of The Wiess Crack and renamed Orange Rhinoceros by his peers (that really is an orange rhinoceros in his pocket), posing behind the Wiess Crack typewriter.
Mike and Nancy, April 1973 Mike and Nancy at Desolation Row, late April 1973. In fact I’m virtually certain this is Monday evening, April 30th, as I remember us watching Nixon announcing the resignations of Ehrlichman and Haldeman on television as Watergate was heating up. You can see we’re fascinated by this development. To Nancy’s left are copies of The Death of Wiess College Crack, the last issue of junior year at Rice.
Nancy and Bass Guitar, December 1973 The newly-minted novelist (Nova Scotia and The Fifty-First State of Consciousness) photographs Nancy holding a bass guitar sculpture the author made for a 3D Design class at Rice, December 1973.
MDS in the Gaspar Garden, 1983 The author at our Gaspar (Dallas) rent house garden, July 1983. At this time he was working on the putrid failure The Galaxies Groan Within, a botched attempt to rewrite a much better initial work, Zarreich, a novel which alas probably remains unwritable even though it produced an excellent story, “The Roadblock.”
MDS at Gaspar, escaping The Galaxies Groan Within, 1983 Again at Gaspar in July 1983, the author pretends to know how to play bass guitar, probably trying to escape the horrors of The Galaxies Groan Within. But a good novella, Awesome Beauty of This Earth (later retitled The Psychobeauty) is gestating at this time.
Mike and Nancy, August 1990 Mike and Nancy at a high school class reunion, August 1990. At this time I was working on Draft 3 of the novel Sortmind, and had finally gotten the entire one thousand-page novel input into Word Perfect, having used the typewriter for Draft 1 and almost all of Draft 2.
MDS at Texas History, 1990 Again during work on Sortmind, the author is shown clipping newspapers at the service desk of the Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division, Dallas Public Library, around December 1990. A library patron took this picture, and I’m still not sure why as I had no idea who he was. But he came back a few days later and gave me the print.
MDS, August 22, 1995 The author on August 26, 1995, according to his obsessive catalog of print photographs. The first draft of my flagship novel The Soul Institute was well underway at this time.
MDS, December 2000 The author in December 2000, at this time writing the rough draft of Nonprofit Ladies, later retitled Nonprofit Chronowar, is dominated by the Abyssinian Micro, the smartest kitten ever born, four years old in this photo, who lived to June 2018 at the age of twenty-one and a half. To the right are Anna Winstead and Shelley Bosworth, muses from Sortmind.
MDS, December 21, 2008 A December 2008 art studio shot of the author and artist, returning to new novel writing after a five-year hiatus mostly devoted to revising older novels, but also briefly detouring into–and then quickly out of–the disastrous-if-illuminating Summer Art Career. He wrote Ocean Singe Horror (Jump Grenade) and began plotting the novel Seven of Cups/Beyond Damnstar, which became Collapse and Delusion.
MDS, August 22, 2010 The August 22, 2010 author had assiduously updated several novels over the past year for eventual submission, including The University of Mars, The Martian Marauders, The Soul Institute, Sortmind, Jack Commer, The First Twenty Steps, Nonprofit Ladies, Sortmind, CommWealth, Ocean Singe Horror, and Akard Drearstone. In July 2010 he launched blog.sortmind.com.
MDS, ca. January 2012 The author ca. January 2012, at the time of the publication of The Martian Marauders.

All words and images copyright by Michael D. Smith