“Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you, ‘I’d like my crayons back, please.’”
― Hugh MacLeod,
Like most young men of my era, we served our time in the military. I was US Army Armor School at Ft. Knox, KY. It was after Korea but before Vietnam. I was fortunate. Before embarking on basic training, I fell in love, married the most beautiful woman in the world, and conceived our first son. Followed in short order by two more sons and an amazing daughter. Yes, I gave up my crayons!!
In the late 60’s I began a successful business career in textiles, moved to New York from my home in Cleveland, Ohio, and became President and CEO of NY based Cotton Incorporated. During my watch, Ogilvy & Mather NY created and I approved the now iconic “Cotton The Fabric of Our Lives” advertising campaign and tagline sung by the late Richie Havens.
I left Cotton in the late 90’s and founded Hahn International, Ltd, a third world economic development consultancy. I began the most exciting and satisfying period of my career.
For the past 13 years, I have lived and worked in economically and socially depressed countries. Some of these, like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Uganda, are suffering from internal conflict, posing serious challenges to expat professionals like myself.
One of the men I worked with in Lahore Pakistan, Dr. Warren Weinstein, PHD, is a brilliant Harvard economist. He was kidnapped 18 months ago, 3 days before his scheduled return to the US. He is still missing, in the hands of the Taliban. The Taliban paid a ransom to the criminal gang that snatched him, a common occurrence in Pakistan and Afganistan.
During long weeks and months on these assignments, I began to write. I kept journals in every country. That was when I got my crayons back, one color at a time.
UNDER THE SKIN takes place in East Africa, a region in which I lived and worked for 6 mos. The novel is an exciting tale of political intrigue, global relationships, romance, and corruption. The book is finished and in final editing.
I’ll continue to peal the skins from this character, aka Nick Hahn, as I sharpen my crayons!