If you’ve navigated the tangled back roads of the internet to find yourself here and didn’t immediately panic and run away, there are two distinct possibilities. First, you are a friend or family member who came here upon seeing a link, most likely out of sheer obligation, for which I thank you. The second(and I hope in the long term more likely) scenario is that you saw something here that caught your eye, made your laugh or even just changed the way you view the world in just the tiniest little way, and you want to know more about the guy who created it.
Let’s begin with a more traditional bio then, shall we? S. Daniel McPhail(Steve to his friends) is an award winning freelance writer and photographer living in Oklahoma City. As a photographer, his favorite subjects include wildlife, pets and travel photography. As a writer, he’s written newspaper articles and essays on a variety of topics, while his fiction work is science fiction and fantasy based, with strong influences from 80s pop culture and Japanese animation. He lives with his wife, two cats, dog, two guinea pigs and countless voices in his head. He’s also a real pro at writing third person bios.
Dying for a little more info? Probably not, but here goes anyway!
It begins far longer ago than I’d probably admit to, which led to me growing up in a magical era we like to call “The Eighties.” Reagan was president, pop music began a runaway love affair with the synthesizer and kids fortunate enough to be raised in this time had access to some of the greatest movies, cartoons and toys ever created. We went from the blocky Atari to far away worlds with plumbers and super fighting robots, watched Hulk Hogan slam Andre the Giant, saw Rocky Balboa defeat communism single handled and, with a loud crack of static across primitive speakers, dominated the family phone lines as local BBS systems were the first link in computers letting us reach out across the planet.
Basically, we’re to blame for random strangers saying horrible things on that YouTube video of your adorable new puppy. Sorry about that.
It’s also relevant because if I wanted to play armchair psychologist, I could trace a lot of the stuff I love and will post about here to that upbringing. Every since I saw yellow letters emblazoned across a starfield, I’ve been obsessed with hearing and telling stories. I got my first Fisher Price camera as a child, and we had an early two piece VCR with a detachable video camera. I took my first visit to Walt Disney World in the early days of Epcot, and remember fondly standing to the side in the kitchen while watching my parents cook nightly meals. While my age might indicate I’m an adult, and I like to think I do a passable job of it on a day-to-day basis, I do everything in my power to keep that little kid very much alive.
I love cartoons. Seeing a familiar old toy on eBay or in a local store can be exciting. I still love sitting in front of a TV, remote or controller in hand, to be whisked away to other worlds, or hunched in front of a keyboard trying to create my own. I want to use my words, my pictures and my thoughts to remember the sort of boundless optimism many of us felt in the 1980s, when any car could be an Autobot and there just might be turtles lurking just beneath a manhole grate. And I want to share those things with you, share stories and trade ideas, and maybe just try to recapture a little bit of that magic for all of us.
Oh, and one other reason. Jimmy Buffett once famously said in a song, “Everybody’s got a cousin in Miami.” A lesser known and less talented song writer(let’s call him Steve) might craft his own version: “Everyone wannabe writer/photographer has a website.”