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Ricky Hayes (1984) was born in Chico, California to a family with a rich history in the logging industry (Philips Bros. Mill). Ricky grew up with a love for stories but struggled with reading and writing. His perseverance to become a better writer came in college, after leaving the Theater Arts to pursue a Writing/Graphic design career. He graduated from Chico State in 2008 with a Bachelor's in Journalism/Public Relations and in 2010 from Butte College with an Associates in Graphic Design. Since then, he has continued to write poetry, fiction, and non-fiction to bring inspiration and hope to people who are looking for it. Ricky hopes that his style of writing and storytelling will inspire more people who don't like to read, to learn to like reading and writing. Ricky's mother passed away from ALS on January 17, 2009. The decade of his twenties was met with the loss of other family members before and after his mother's death. To this day, Ricky believes his mother's death (and the rest of that decade) marked his life to pursue a great passion of his heart, succeeding in becoming a more established author, and pull for humanity to change for the better. "I follow the three ways that Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers) said that lead to ultimate success: "'Be kind, be kind, be kind.'" In a world where truth is believed to be subjective, kindness remains a hope for humanity to thrive." Ricky began writing poetry and fiction when he was in Junior High and continued throughout High School. He was a daydreamer, wondering about far-off distant places that no one knew existed. In High School, he grew an interest in Theatre Arts and pursued that major after graduating. However, he soon grew restless and fell back into his love for writing by switching to Journalism to hone his skills in both the fictional world and non-fiction. "I wanted to pursue acting, but it soon lost the thrill when I discovered I was not truly being myself. I felt like I was caught up in being something I wasn't. When I stepped off the stage and began thoroughly writing again, I felt like I was home." Ricky spent long hours honing his writing skills during his time at Chico State University. Several of his professors took notice of how undeveloped he was as a writer/editor. His "unimpressive" structure and choppy transitions left most of his projects with bold stained symbols describing only an average mark of merit. "Journalism was not easy for me, as a couple of my professors didn't like the way I wrote, nor did they believe I would succeed. They told me so. It was a completely different style of writing for me. I chose Journalism because I knew it would challenge and grow me as a writer. I quickly decided their remarks were like terds falling from the sky. That doesn't mean you can't wash them off." "Every year is another chance to grow as a writer," Ricky remarks. "You can never get rid of who you are. You can only grow up and into the sky or stay small by clinching to the dust, never knowing whom you were made to be." The time came for Ricky to move on in his life, four years after his mother's death. Trapped in a depressive state from grief and loss, as well as a recessive economy; Ricky found his way to move on from what he felt like was tragedy after tragedy. Even with all that was dealt to him, he "began to breathe again." "You can't strictly live by what you see," he says. "The best way to live is by what hope is in you. And when you can't see any hope in you, I believe one should know Christ always does."

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