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In a nut shell

Dumitru 'Mit' Sandru is an artist, composer, and author. He paints in the classical, surreal, and modern styles, and most of the music Dumitru composes is of the New Age flavor. As an author, he prefers to write science fiction, paranormal, and young adult fantasy novels. More bio is available in "Escape from Communism", his story of escaping from communist Romania when he was eighteen.

Mit resides in California with his wife. They have two daughters and two grandsons.

Beyond the shell

I was born in the greater area of Transylvania in the last millennium in Timisoara, Romania. Johnny Weissmuller, the Olympic swimming champion and actor who played Tarzan in the 1930's, was born in my hometown, which I shamelessly mention here. Timisoara is located to the west of Transylvania, but I never met Dracula, or Johnny Weissmuller.

My creative talents emerged at a very early age through my drawings, and later I began painting in oils. I was one of those artsy kids for whom my art teacher had high hopes for. Hopefully I will live up to her expectations. Being an avid reader, when I was twelve, I was inspired to write my first mystery thriller, soon followed by a sci-fi story. One of the novels was printed in the school gazette after it was censored and re-written by the "committee." It disillusioned me, experiencing the first time communist censorship. It took thirty plus years before I wrote the next fiction "Arboregal, the Lorn Tree."

When I was sixteen, I found out that I had a knack for composing music too. Rock-n-roll that is, or what I thought was rock-n-roll. My parents wouldn't buy me a guitar if my life depended on it, so I built my own guitar. My buddy and I formed a "band." He had a real guitar and knew most of the chords. I was the vocalist. We tried to put together a real band, but we didn't have the means, and the dream evaporated.

Life in communist Romania was bleak and the lack of freedom was suffocating. At eighteen I decided to find freedom, fame, and riches in America. In short, I dropped out of school and ran away from home. Getting out of communist (behind the Iron Curtain) Romania was no small feat. The whole country was a giant concentration camp with mean-trigger border patrols, ferocious German Shepherds, barbed wire fences, and watch towers as far as the eye could see. Crossing the Romanian border illegally was the equivalent of crossing the Berlin Wall. That didn't deter me. I was eighteen and I was bulletproof. (*When I was nine year old, a soldier discharged his Kalashnikov's magazine, point blank, in my belly. Not a bullet penetrated me.) In 2012 I published "Escape from Communism" my true story of what happened and how I did it.

In 1972 I arrived at JFK Airport in New York. I was free at last in the new world. My talents in music and art were soon to be recognized and rewarded. I was sure of that. But reality set in quickly. A man's got to eat, so I applied my talent in art and took a job as a technical draftsman. In 1974 I arrived in Hollywood, California. Not to become an actor, but in search of better weather. And here is where I settled.

Life went on; I abandoned my dreams of art and music. I got a steady job, got married, had two daughters, bought a house and owned a dog and cat. I went back to school at night and obtained a degree in engineering from California State University at Long Beach and became a "solid" citizen who paid taxes and voted. Having a knack for telling other people what to do, I became a manager and started climbing the corporate ladder. I did well for a while, but in time I found out what a straitjacket the corporate life can be to a creative man.

A creative man is hard to keep down, and in the late nineteen-eighties I began painting and composing music again. I also realized that I'm good at making people laugh, and have a knack for telling tall tales. I wrote the first draft of "Arboregal, the Lorn Tree" in 2002. It is a story about a world where life exists only in mile-high giant trees. It was published by Chivileri Publishing in fall of 2011.

Throughout my life I worked hard, working during the day and going to school at night. Besides my engineering degree I pursued other education in music, marketing, and IT and obtained several professional licenses. But it all came to end when I was 59-3/4 years old and received the golden handshake. Meaning: I was offered a severance pay to quit, or I would be fired anyway. I was finally free to pursue my dreams of writing, painting and music. During my life I painted hundreds of canvases, and composed dozens of tunes, and since my golden handshake I published many more books.

I'm finding out that the more I write, paint and compose music the more rewarding and enjoyable my life has become. I hope that I will be able to add joy and enrich other people's lives through my art, my stories and my music.

I came to the USA in search of freedom, glory, wealth, and fame. I'm still searching for three of those.

* That soldier, I told you earlier, shut me with blanks, not real bullets. Did you think I was telling tall tales?

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I'd like to hear from you. Please e-mail me at mit @ sandru dot com