Hi. My Name is Dan.

I create things.

self-portrait sketch of Dan Avery
Self-portrait of Dan Avery

I create a variety of things. My formal training was as a poet and fiction writer at Maclester College, in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and at the University of California, Irvine. So, everything I create starts out as an image, one single visual that has, for some reason, stuck in my mind.

closeup of a woman wrapped in a blue turban

The photo above arrested my eye one day. The blues are soft and then there's the sharp contrast of the hard red fingernails. The woman's dark brown eyes, reflecting light, ringed by blue eye shadow, are the focal point – as the eyes should be with everyone we meet.

Almost everything else about the woman is hidden. We can't know for certain anything about this woman because she might be a model and there might be an art director, or a photographer, who designed what we see. All we really have are a few simple, very specific, details—we have the "stuff" of fiction and poetry, so we can create all kinds of stories and poems.

Back in 1988 or maybe it was 1989 I was getting a Masters of Fine Arts in fiction writing when I heard about HTML and how one could use it to link information. It was one of those stormy, dark nights Southern California sometimes gets in Winter, and we were coming home from a bar. I was in the back seat and I began to think about using HTML as a narrative device. I tried to learn how to make websites back then, but it was cumersome and you had to put information into tables of all things. Imagine putting a poem into the cells of a table.

image of circus clowns putting a poem into a table

The mind is an interesting place and I really don't understand it when someone tells me they are bored, or lonely. What with all the things we can learn...imagine...become...as long as you're crazy enough to believe, it's possible to create with a few simple tools.

Anyway web sites are one of the things I create I and even took at stab at making them for money. Most people, I found, don't really understand the value of creativity or the cost of a web site, so I stopped doing that "for money" thing. And, no, I won't make you a site for free. But I will put some stuff I create into this site an it will be a peeling back, a way to understand; it will be a narrative. I'm pretty sure I'm about to tell you a shaggy dog story.