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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Who Is Mark Stephen O’Neal?

    I grew up on the southside of Chicago in the 70s and becoming a writer was undoubtedly the furthest thing from my mind at that time. My fixation with baseball grew while watching the Cincinnati Reds win two World Series championships, and I was determined to be the best baseball player I could be and possibly make it to the majors someday. However, that dream began to die a slow death when I realized that I wasn’t as good as I thought I was at the start of high school. I was cut from the frosh-soph baseball team my first year and never went to tryouts again―my confidence was shattered as I was a very shy kid who didn’t like to come out of his comfort zone. However, I still loved the game and played in the neighborhood league until I turned eighteen. My love of playing baseball died completely when I struck out five times in one game the final year of playing organized ball, and that pivotal moment made me wake up to the fact that my focus had ultimately shifted in another direction.

High School Baseball Player

    College and girls became my new focus, and I wandered aimlessly during that time frame trying to discover my true purpose in life. Two schools and six years later, I graduated college without honors and bounced around from job to job for many years afterward until I found a career that suited me as a paralegal. I also found my newfound passion for writing during that period as well. Long story short, I found my purpose through prayer and renewed faith, and this, in turn, totally turned my life around.

    So, who am I today? I haven’t let COVID-19 kill my passion for life or writing, though I’m a tad bit more reclusive than I used to be. I like my job as a paralegal, and I love being a writer and creating stories that center around my hometown of Chicago.

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