About Me

I gave you some basics on my homepage, so here’s a bit more.


To answer the group of questions I get asked the most often, no, I wasn’t born blind, I lost my sight in 2003. If you find it drop me an email and I’ll arrange for pickup. It was due to acute hypertension. I can see a bit of light and if something’s moving close in front of my face I can pick up a vague sense of motion, but I can’t make out what it is. If things go well with the studies they’re doing in Australia on regenerating optic nerves, they’ll be able to fix it and I’ll be able to see again. It’s all optic nerve damage, not retinas. And oh yeah, I’ll welcome getting my sight back. And my driver’s license. And the ability to read paper books. Along with seeing the look on your face as you experience a crushing defeat in a hand of cards. Oh, and I can’t read Braille – only about 20% of folks with adult onset blindness ever manage to learn it, and I have the added challenge of pressure sensitivity damage in my fingertips and the base of my palms, thanks to years before I lost my sight playing congas and other drums that need a harder strike from a bare hand.


Folks, don’t mess around with high blood pressure. You might not feel any different, but it does damage to small structures in the body. End of advisory. I’ve got a good support network, so I do okay. The plague has curtailed me getting out some.


Music is very important to me. I was going for a bachelor’s of music in education, looking to become a high school band director. But losing my sight made me realize the level of chaos that could result in an unsupervised room full of teenagers with thousands of dollars of musical instruments and other gear, so I backed off and focused on jazz. My primary instruments in college were trombone and voice, and I passed the barrier on voice. (An intensive test that determines if the student could get a job performing on their instrument) I also play keyboards and hand percussion well, and I have respectable skills on drums in a kit. I can play all of the brass, and I have weaker skills on violin, alto saxophone, flute, and Clarinet. (Nobody wants to hear me play clarinet though) I have some okay facility on guitar, and the same for autoharp. So I play a healthy number of instruments, some better than others.


I’ve written almost 250 completed songs or movements in a larger work. I’ve scored a short student film, (while blind) and I’ve written my first mass. I have seven more in the planning stage, some of them more developed than others. I’m also working on the ideas for an oratorio, based on a part of the Egyptian Book of the Dead. So I’m still invested in music. I’ve got a book I’m working on about the Musical Instrument Digital Interface. (MIDI) I’m fluent in that protocol, so I want to present a text that is music focused instead of computer code focused.


In the past I worked as a technical writer, help desk supervisor, Desktop Support Tech, LAN Administrator, Sound Tech for theatrical productions, Roadie/Sound & Lights Tech for a touring rock band, Travel agent, and several other phone based and computer based jobs. I’ve worked fast food, (though it’s been a vast amount of time since that) made PC boards for electronics, managed a restaurant, and a bunch of other things. So I have a varied background.


I’m a big fan of dogs. Dogs are good people. I get the pack dynamic, and I don’t have problems with them. The dog who lives here with me, Dixie, is a fun, feisty dog who has no problems expressing her feelings by voice. Past dogs in my life are Guardian, who was a guide dog from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Napoleon, who was the greatest dog I’ve ever known and was my friend and companion for almost seventeen years, And Josi, another Pomeranian like Napoleon who was feisty and kind of intense but who could be so loving and comforting. That’s a few of the standouts. I’m not really a cat person – I’ll pet one if the cat presents for such treatment, but keep the claws in and the teeth off me. And I don’t like the smell of litter boxes. My sense of smell is good enough that I smell them even after cleaning, because the residual scent makes my nose tense up. What about Ferrets? They’re fun, but I haven’t been around them enough to really get to know enough about them to have an opinion one way or another. I do know this about them however, they can be tricksters, so life with them isn’t boring.


I believe that creativity isn’t a talent – it’s a muscle. It performs better if it’s worked, and there are workouts that can increase it and tune it up so it works for you. This works for songwriting, writing fiction, painting, and all kinds of other artistic and craft pursuits. It’s handy, and from my experience translates to other things too. A friend asked me, “What gets Nicole up in the middle of the night to record?” I had to think about it for a moment, then I realized this hasn’t happened in a long time, decades. I’ve got my creativity tuned up to the point that I don’t have as many wild inspirations, they are free to come out during regular times so I don’t get awakened to get something down.


As I mentioned on the homepage, I play role-playing games. I enjoy face to face tabletop gaming, but that gets harder to do on a consistent basis the older the players get. I’m playing in several play by email (PBEM) games. For those who know of such things, my main systems are first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, (AD&D fe or 1.x) Rolemaster 2nd edition, also known as Rolemaster Classic, and Mage: The Ascension revised. (I love the magic system in Mage) I’ve also co-created a system, and written other things in that genre. Role-playing games provide great chances to get deep into characters, finding what makes that character unique and thereby interesting.


I was the publisher for a while, including startup, of an AD&D 1.x fanzine called &. I’m proud of that work, both the magazine we put out and also the articles and other stuff I wrote for it. You can find it at www.and-mag.com, and the second issue has a story in it I wrote and the other staff members deemed fit for inclusion. My second journal here, Tread Softly, is about that system.


I live in Dallas. I love this city, though there are a few things I’d prefer were different. But that’s the thing about love, nothing’s ever perfect, so it’s a balance of the good with the bad, as long as the bad isn’t abusive or other negative things that aren’t based in love at all.


I’m single and have been for over a decade. I’m a rare taste, so it takes someone special to connect with me. I also don’t get out much these days, and I’ve found that missing the body language interaction that happens at the very beginning of attraction puts me at a bit of a disadvantage. (Dating sites are also a no-go, because they’re very sight focused and life online isn’t real, it’s something where everyone can be someone without flaws and mistakes) I’ve got a lot of friends, but as far as I know no “friends”. That’s a good thing.


I do Renaissance reenactment through the Society of Creative Anachronism. My main participation is as a drummer – I do what I think is the best way to help others out, by providing a stable rhythmic center to let the others focus on the fun stuff. I’m hoping to get back out and play again with a group of people who do interesting music and who we have a cool rapport. My persona is mid-sixteenth century Florentine, a woman from a prominent musician family who lost her sight as a child due to smallpox.

Nicole sitting on a porch swing with a devious smile