What Makes This Fox Fly?

Name:  Kent Whittington

Age: 42

Occupation:  Overnight Stocker (I prefer "nightstalker") for Wal-Mart

Vocation:  Artist, Writer (winner of Nanowrimo, 2010 for his novel Crimson Cove, a Jackson Thorpe Mystery)

Location:  Orangevale, CA

Interests:  Check my Interests link at the top of the page, please.

Marital Status:  I'm in a long-term relationship with my missus, who, for good reason trust me, will not allow her photograph on my page.  Can't explain that, sorry.  I swore an oath! 

About Me:  When they write my biography,  I hope its legible,

I'm not a Californian, at least not by birth.  I was born in a small town called Montrose in the state of Colorado, to Dewey Alvin Whittington (he hated his name and refused to make me a junior.  Thanks for that, dad.  I would have made a lousy Dewey) and Kathleen Doman.  According to my mother, I was concieved on or near Disneyland, so a trip to that particular theme park is always something of a homecoming for me as well.

If there is an art gene, I get mine from both of my parents.  My father was an automotive detailer who could create nearly any sort of custom paint detail he could imagine,  His work was featured prominently in the area and he was something of a local legend in my home town as his work was always in demand.  My dad was always something of a risk taker whose intersts involved off road dirt bikes, stock car racing (not a spectator, mind you.  My dad raced!), remote control race cars, pool and spending quality time with his wife and three sons (of which I am the oldest.

Mom was the stay at home type, as my dad made enough to support the family on his own, so, she being the primary caregiver in the family, I got a lot of my encouragement from her.  Mom was definitely no slouch in the art department, and she explored many mediums in my youth.  I recall everything from ceramics to sketching in graphite and pastels to oil painting; canvas, paper, and even gold pans (it was during our time in Anchorage, Alaska, and her oil paintings on gold pans were in high demand!).  She's definitely my biggest influence as an artist.

I guess my talent really started to show when I was five years old.  I had begun to develop an interest in drawing, but hadn't quite expressed it until, one night, I drew the Cat in the Hat from Dr. Seuss.  It was a little out of proportion, as a childs drawing goes, but it was a direct copy right out of the book, and a good one, if the adult's reactions around me were any indication.

Mom:  "Have you seen this?  Kent drew the Cat in the Hat?  Can you believe it?"

Dad:  "No way.  He's only five.  He couldn't have drawn that.  He must have traced it out of the book."

Mom:  "Honey, it's drawn on the back of a bingo card.  How is he going to trace through cardboard?"

That was the time when my talent began to be taken seriously.  I was a five year old child who understood form and composition, shading and depth.  That's me, Kent Whittington, child prodigy or artistic savant, take your pick.  Either way, my parents made sure all of their friends and family knew about what I could do.

From that time on, I always had a ready supply of art materials and no end of encouragement from my parents.  Mom , in particular, was alway looking for ways to broaden my horizons, always encouraging me to try new things.  I learned art in all of its facets, drawing, sketching, painting (acrylics and oils are my favorites), sculpture and crafts.  Everything was available and all things were possible.  If my parents had their way, I would be a successful artist in my adulthood.

Fast forward two years and all of that changed.  My father went out on an outing to the river with his cousins.  An avid fisherman and water recreationist as well, the plan was to have some fun on the river.  Sadly, their fun went terribly awry.

My brothers, Mike and Chad, and I had had our dinner and went to bed before my father was suppose to return.  It was dark and we had been asleep for some time when mom came in with the horrible news; my father had had an accident on the river.  The innertube he was rafting on had flipped over.  When it had he went under and smacked his head on the rocks below, rendering him unconscious.  By the time his cousins could get to him it was too late.  My father was dead.

I took my role as man of the house very seriously then.  My mother was strong, but I was the one who was with her in her darkest moments.  I was never far from her side, ready to help her in any way she needed.  It sounds kind of silly now, but I think I helped my mom deal with her grief better than anyone because we were dealing with my dad's death in similar ways.

From that point on, the focus was no longer on my or my brother's talent, but on survival.  My mom got work to support my brothers and me, while we did what we could to help create a stable environment for each other.  I still drew when I had a private moment, and still enjoyed it.  My goal was still to grow up to become an artist, but it was going to be harder now.

My brothers became my responsibility when I reached twelve years old.  Mom had gotten her license from beauty college and was working as a hair dresser and we all became latch key kids.  I was left in charge, which bugged my brothers to no end.  Particularly my brother, Mike.  He is the middle child, and boy did it show.  He'd never listen, liked to fight and argue (we both put each other through walls and threw down on a regular basis), and was a master manipulator.  He could have been a world leader, as devious as he could be.  Luckily for the world, Mike isn't very ambitious.  Chad was the baby of the family and wasn't taken very seriously by us too often.  Funny thing is, he's probably the the sanest and most well-adjusted of the three of us.

Before this really becomes an autobiography, I should skip ahead and keep the facts simple.  I just really needed to get that off of my chest.  Thanks for putting up with it.

I am now a high school graduate with aspirations of one day going back to school.  I have done my best to keep up with current trends and now hope to one day earn a degree in media arts.  If I can ever do that and get a really good gig, I'd be in heaven.  Everyone would see my art.

Beside art, I have taken to writing as well, preferring horror fiction as my medium.  I think this stems from an organization my friends and I created in my twenties called Penny Dreadful Creations, an organization devoted to promoting live-action role playing (LARP) games, whose first inception, Underground Puppeteers was a success among the young adults in Sacramento and Davis, CA for many years.  I haven't been a part of it for some time now, but this organization we started is still going strong more than a decade later.

Plotters all, my friends and I met weekly to discuss ideas for promoting the game's storylines.  This eventually lead to other ideas and concepts, and it was not unheard of for us to spend long hours into the night creating ideas and themes.  These we wrote down and they became, for many of us, our first foray into the world of writing (as I understand it, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, contemporaries and friends, did much the same thing with their peers in their early years as well.  Good company to be in).

Many of my friends are now accomplished, and published writers.  I hope to join them one day.  I have several novels in the works, though none are ever finished.  Turns out that I am the worlds biggest procrastinator.  Despite this, it has lead me into the world of Play by Email (PBeM) gaming.  The story that I am writing, tentative titled Crimson Cove, is now a PBeM with a five year successful run.  My fan base is small but they are a devoted bunch, and all are writers in their own right, which probably accounts for the success of the game.  If you would like to know more about it, please go to http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/Dark_Cove/?yguid=309415773 for more information.

I was born into the Mormon religion, but grew out of it after I saw how cult-like the entire experience truly was.  I explored, but found the other religions to be just as bad.  In my twenties I discovered Wicca and began gravitating to it.  I have yet to fully dedicated myself to the Craft officially, but have grown more in touch with my Pagan and spiritual beliefs and ideas as I grow older as a result of this experience.

I have recently become a minister through the Universal Life Church, which means I can officially preside over weddings, baptisms, funerals, etc.  I will be presiding over my brother Chad's wedding just as soon as Prop 8 is officially overturned.

Other than that, I am father to my two sons, Kenny and Cody, both special needs children-now-adults, and happy hubby to my wife, Adrianna, who makes sure to knock me off of my pedestile should I build it too high.  That's me, my family, my sorrows and joys, beliefs and my aspirations in a rather large nutshell (must be a walnut).

 

This is what make foxes fly...

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