Born in the USA, raised in Niagara Falls, New York, resident of the Netherlands since 1992. With stops in between in the Boston area to get an education, Ouagadougou in West Africa to teach English and (more importantly) learn about the rest of the world, and California, where I roused rabble as staff writer for several non-profits and San Jose’s alternative weekly newspaper, Metro.
Since my cousin Mackie gave me a summer job in his advertising agency when I was a college student, I’ve been earning my keep crafting words in one way or another. I started out writing ad copy, cranking out bios of the artists-in-residence for a summer art program, and working as a stringer for the local newspaper reporting on high school football games. Over the years I’ve edited all manner of publications on everything from human rights to ethics to tank gauges, peddled press releases for a Native American arts center as its director of public relations, worked as an investigative reporter chasing down leads on illicit arms deals and corrupt landlords, and written direct mail fundraising appeals, travel pieces, commercial journalism, technical documentation, and even a bio for a friend signing up for a dating service (it led to a successful marriage!). I’ve written about casinos and gaming (something I knew nothing about) and jazz, a topic dear to my heart. I’ve worked for megacorporations and friends and neighbors.
Music is just as important to me as writing. I’ve never quite determined if I’m a musician who writes to support the habit, or a writer needing a music fix to maintain sanity. At any rate, music is not only an important outlet, but also informs my writing. It’s never done until it sings.