My name is Steve Haskins and I live in Claremont, California. By day, I am an attorney specializing in complex litigation, a vocation requiring a lot of writing. In fact, I have always been interested in the written word and its creation. I was an avid reader as a child and the writing bug struck early. One early childhood memory is writing news stories during our summer vacation in Angle, Utah, where we were stayed that summer with my grandparents for several weeks. One story involved a skunk—no points for guessing the newsworthiness of the event.
As I look back, I persistently tried to express myself, and maybe even wrestle with my demons, through writing. In middle school, I remember writing a positive review of the Robin Williams/Robert DeNiro film “Awakenings.” In high school, I took it to the next level, joining the school newspaper and, as “Editorial Editor,” writing a monthly column I cleverly entitled “In My Right Mind.” Sigh.
A few years later welcomed an even more misbegotten adventure, a short-lived critical blog covering the Dodgers, another of my obsessions. Though the website was facially clever and even built a bit of an audience during its short and unlamented lifespan, at its roots were the stresses, depressions, and anxieties of being a young father in law school. I was angry about everything. After nearly two decades of life experience, I would approach it differently today.
During my nearly 15 years as a lawyer, most of my writing energy has gone into my work. I’ve helped write briefs that have been read by the United States Supreme Court, California Supreme Court, several Circuit courts, and more trial courts than I care to count. The writer’s tools are no different in that context, and I have particularly—somewhat surprisingly—found that nothing substitutes for a well-told story. And so I have tried to present stories, well-told, throughout my career.
A few weeks ago, someone asked famed 84-year-old author Robert Caro about his writing routine during the pandemic. Caro responded—maybe half-jokingly—that as a writer he was quite used to social distancing. I know how he feels. Writers are often most comfortable in the written word, but through this website I hope to bring writers together to celebrate, inspire, appreciate, and encourage the writing process.