My name is Dr. Michael D. Brown, “The Blogger Formerly Known as Mike the Eyeguy” (2005-2012; 2020-present).
I am an optometrist and freelance writer in Huntsville, Alabama. I focus on medical journalism, narrative medicine, and creative nonfiction, especially untold and under-told stories. In 2008, I served a one-year stint as a community columnist at the Huntsville Times (Alabama).
I started Ocular Fusion in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. I read the riveting firsthand accounts of those who were “live blogging” the horrific aftermath of that powerful storm. I joined them, both out of solidarity with their pain and as a way to find my writer’s voice. You mean you can write something, hit the “Publish” button, and people can read your stuff? Yeah, put me down for that.
For 7 years (a very long blog life), I wrote about “everything under the sun,” including religion, faith, Churches of Christ inside baseball, liturgy (and my growing love for it and eventual confirmation in the Episcopal Church), history, sex (yes, I went there), politics, sports (lots of soccer, Duke basketball, and Bama football), family, medicine, eye care, music, movies, and culture (especially the deep fried, Southern variety).
You name it, there’s probably a post on it. For several years they were archived and out of public view. While some posts and their tone deafness make be cringe, at the beginning of 2022 I republished all of them.
At this point in my life, I have nothing to hide. Hopefully, my embarrassing early takes on some matters will serve as markers of my growth since the time I wrote them.
I stopped blogging at the end of 2012 because I felt like I had run out of things to say. That year, I wrote and published a a hidden story from the period of the U.S. civil rights movement that had sunk its teeth in me and would not let go until I finally told it.
Most people recognized it as good news and welcomed it. A few people hated it and wished I had just well enough alone. Afterwards, it rendered me speechless, and I started focusing on medical journalism and blogging as a regular writer and editorial board member for a professional trade journal, Optometry Times.
Eight years later in 2020, the Civil Rights story came roaring back, a different hurricane than the first one, whipped up by the convergence and clash of current events.
That story, I now see, is going to live forever and never leave me alone, so I might as well ride the ripples that continue to emanate from it.
And now that I am retired from federal service and full-time clinical practice, I have the time and bandwidth to write some new stories as well.
Ocular Fusion is reopened for business.