Some of My Work
My writing projects embrace all sorts of formats including ads, essays, articles, white papers, and video scripts.
I’ve worked in journalism, nonprofits, higher education, and the accounting industry. I’ve also freelanced for retailers and entrepreneurs. Through it all, I’ve written novels, stories, and essays to continue to develop my creative skills.
My formal education includes a BA in English and Rhetoric from the University of Illinois-Champaign, a year studying drama and literature in Wales, a playwriting certificate from the University of Washington’s Extension College, and a Masters of Fine Arts in creative writing from Indiana University.
I’ve also had plenty of educational adventures, such as working as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines, cooking in a night club in Alaska, and playing in a band in Seattle.
I listen carefully. I ask a lot of questions. I try to understand people through the stories they tell, the language they use, what they say, and what they don’t. I am patient enough to listen for the full story .
The Curious and Compelling Triathlon
I did my first triathlon as a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society 15 years ago. Since then, I’ve competed in several races each year, even though a certain amount of discomfort is involved.
Triathlons are the perfect sport for someone who enjoys lots of activities but isn’t good enough at one of them to specialize. They also require spending a lot of time outside, which is why I love it.
The other thing I love about triathlons is the ritual. I wash my bike the night before a race, clean the chain, lay out my equipment, and run through my checklist. As I approach the race site, I savor the moments as the sun comes up, and I pull up my sleeve in the cool morning to get bodymarked.
It turns out my real strength is not swimming, biking, or running, it’s getting undressed and dressed. I can get in and out of transition as fast as any professional triathlete. And as silly as that sounds, it makes a big difference in your overall race.
There is something compelling and philosophical about the whole experience that I haven’t quite figured out, something elemental: I emerge from the primordial mud, shed my wetsuit, fly off on a simple machine, and return for the final hunt on foot.
But no matter how hard I prepare (or don’t), I always get fourth place, and just missing the podium keeps me coming back.
So what is the connection to writing? Consistent exercise provides mental clarity for writing projects. I get cool ideas as a side effect of a good workout, because for that time, I’m focused on the physical, which seems to spark the creative.