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About Petra and Mike
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Camino de Santiago
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Who's Mike? I am Mike, Mike Metras, your host, a writer for two score plus a few years, a writer at least since Sister M. in my freshman English class gave me an "F" for a writing project. She insisted that, even though she couldn't find the source, I had to have plagiarized my short-story assignment. You couldn't have written something that good yourself." It was mine. And now I have rewritten it as The Kite.
I survived the charge, though not without scars that have healed with time. I am still writing travel narrative, essays, and a little poetry and fiction. Today after wandering Europe and India since 2003 and living two years in Germany, I am back in the US in California.
In my earlier lives, I have: studied philosophy, theology, chemistry, and classical languages; learned Swahili, French, Spanish, Italian, Latin, Greek, and more; lived with the US Army in Ethiopia for two years; served my time in Viet Nam; calibrated graphic arts cameras; wandered the repair centers of Latin and South America as a service manager for White Motor, a tractor and truck manufacturer; and taught people how to run TRS-80 home computers.
I come to you today as long-time writer, traveler, and programmer. For 21 years I was a technical writer, mostly writing user guides and reference manuals for computer software. When I wasn't doing that, I was writing macros and programs to automate our processes of creating that documentation. And in time there were macros programs that automatically converted this documentation into online IBM Mainframe, OS/2, and Windows Help and HTML online documentation.
In my off time for the past several years, I have studied, bought, and sold all manner of coins. And falling from that, for more than six years I wrote, edited, and published the Elgin Coin Club Newsletter, a five-time, national award-winning newsletter.
I dreamed of a broader and more creative life away from the daily routine of user guides, file conversions, too tight deadlines, and often repetitive tasks. I dreamed of a life writing spiritual and inspirational works; a life of traveling and writing about it; a life of studying, buying, selling, and writing about coins; a life more creatively and more freely lived.
In 2000 I decided to start doing those dreams. I quit my 9-to-5, traveled to Sicily, wrote about it a bit, and began to finish my 30-years-in-the-making book recounting the highways and byways of my life in Ethiopia and Eritrea. I began doing my dreams. Now I have four books done. Check them out here.
I am now more than seven years away from the 9-to-5 in Corporate America. I am doing some of the many dreams I had long thought of doing. So what are those things? For starters I now travel more and write about where I have been; I spend more time on spiritual things and write about them; I sell coins; I read a lot; and I have walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain, traveled to India, and married the love of my life.
Now we are really "Petra and Mike" not "I." so I send you off to the another piece that tells you who we are. Come back with your browser's Back button.
Enjoy your day. Enjoy your life.
P.S. With this update I notice that I have been adding little bits here and there to this page since I first created it six or seven years ago and the page is getting to look like it. One of these days I have to submit it to my critic and rewrite it. But that is another day. At least this time I put a new picture on top, one of me at our home in Kisslegg, Germany earlier in 2007. Click here for a rogue's gallery of pictrues of me.