"Just the Facts"


Born in the first wave of the Baby Boom, I graduated from a small, Oregon coast high school with the last of the war babies, entered Willamette University at sixteen, was declared an emancipated minor during that school year, transferred to Oregon Tech for the Fall Term 1964, married the following summer, opened a gunshop near Siletz, Oregon in 1967, relocated to Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula in 1974, and began writing in 1979. My first degree is my M.F.A. in Creative Writing from University of Alaska Fairbanks. And in January 2002, three decades after being baptized into the Body of Christ, I was drafted to reread biblical prophecy.

Spartan, yes – but facts have a way of disrupting a good story. While surfing a few years ago, my wife discovered in an Internet biography that my brother, Dr. Ken Kizer, was an orphan. That is true, but I never thought of him being one, or of myself missing that distinction because of being in college as a Math major on an Honors scholarship.

The years and the locations since Mom committed suicide have slipped away without attracting attention to themselves. Klamath Falls. Siletz. Logsdon. Soldota. Ninilchik. Anchor Point. Kenai. Kodiak. Dutch Harbor. Anchorage. Lakeview. Klamath Falls, again. Fairbanks. Pocatello. McCammon. Orofino. Vienna. Bedford, Kinde. At each stop, I left something for which I need to return. A china hutch in McCammon. Five manual typewriters in Fairbanks. A sleeping bag in Dutch Harbor. A signed, first edition book in Siletz – the book was recently returned. So the story has been of sojourning, of roots that don’t hold, of unconsciously seeking a promised land outside of time.

I was born on a northern Indiana farm; I attended first and second grades at Petroleum, where corn fields now stretch over the former school and playgrounds, leaving only stories to stand as invisible scarecrows, sagging reminders of an era when everything was believed possible. I completed third grade at Boring, Oregon, then a three-sawmill town with one church and five taverns. By fifth grade, I played softball for the church I never attended—Dad had also died suddenly. I was eleven, the oldest of five: two brothers, and two sisters.

Mom lost a baby one Saturday, and Dad died unexpectedly the following Saturday. Mom suffered a mental breakdown, and after five years of craziness, she leaned over my deer rifle. The court sent both brothers to live with an aunt in Reno, and both sisters to live with a first cousin in the Bay area. We have been geographically, and somewhat philosophically separated ever since.

I did sixth, seventh, and eighth grades in one year, started Taft High (Lincoln County, Oregon) when I was twelve. At six feet and 205 pounds, I was the largest Freshman. I graduated first in my class. But English had been my poorest subject in school -- I have a mild form of dyslexia – so I never expected, while sitting in Dutch Harbor late fall 1979, to begin writing a novel for which I finally received a contract in 1985. I would not have started writing if it had not been for an odd compulsion to do so.

Realization for why I began writing came after being drafted for the task of using typology to open long sealed prophecies. Those opened prophecies also revealed a mission that must be completed. My proclaiming to the world of the endtime good news that all who endure shall be saved (Matt 24:13-14) began on that January day in 2002, but it really began before the foundations of the earth were laid.

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