A BIT ABOUT ME
In a Godzilla-sized nutshell, I grew up in Los Angeles, dropped out of high school, rebelled the hell out of my teens and spent a couple rocky years dabbling in everything from car stereo sales, to animal rescue, to scalping concert tickets, to waiting tables. After quickly learning that limitations suck, I went on to complete a B.A. in Fine Arts-Sculpture with a minor in Criminology at the University of Minnesota and later, a J.D. in law school.
I started writing in elementary school. During my brief stint in high school, I wrote music and film reviews for my high school paper. Throughout lower school, college, and law school I wrote poems, commentary, policy and review articles, and short stories. I've always written and I've always loved writing, but never thought of myself as a ‘real’ writer. ‘Real’ writers were like unicorns or UFO’s; I suspected they existed but also knew I'd never be invited to the party. Eventually, I decided that even though I wrote often and passionately, it was always going to be more of a side gig.
Since college I’ve written a published monthly column about writing for an online magazine, Supreme Court briefs, and policy papers. I've won short story fiction contests, edited books for other people, and finished seven of my own manuscripts. I’ve figured out words are like this force inside me — that when too many pile up, they spill out unchecked. Even when I experience writer’s block viscerally enough to want to puke, realistically I know to stop panicking. I know I can’t not write. I’ve tried and failed many times, thankfully.
I've done a lot of cool things. During law school, I interned at the Federal Public Defender’s Office. After law school, I clerked for a judge for a couple of years. I also taught Legal Research and Writing at the University of Minnesota's law school. As an undergraduate I worked in a foundry. I loved welding, neon, glass work, and mixed media and since college have continued to work with glass and metal. I quit practicing law a little while ago, and currently juggle writing, editing and art full time.
My writing influences vary. I read A LOT, especially in the genre I most often write in, which is Young Adult fiction. But I've been in love with Albert Camus since college. His work inspires me; his writing, both his prose and the subjects he writes about, challenge me to examine meaning, to dig deeper when I write and when I interact with people. Vladimir Nabokov, Brett Easton Ellis, Heidi Julavits, Phillip Roth, and Chuck Palahniuk are also big writing influences, for many diverse, weird, and divergent reasons. Deeply flawed characters that still manage to capture and hold a reader’s interest, and stories that challenge notions of identity particularly interest me.
By now I've learned that I’m tenacious. At this point I know what I want, where I’ve been, and where I’m going with flexible certainty. Writing is a constitutional part of my makeup, and I’m brimming with uncommon perspectives I’m excited to share with you. And though I never did figure out what it takes to be a ‘real’ writer, I've learned I’m not defined by a single word. Nor do I have to define it.