My first look at a foreign country was from the weather deck of the USS Ashland in 1993. The ship was still for the first time in two weeks after crossing the Northern Atlantic and when I went to find out why I saw the southern coast of Spain, white houses dotting a hillside over a beach, the entire scene washed in the orange glow of a Mediterranean sunrise. I was hooked. I toured relentlessly everywhere I went: Western and Eastern Europe, Russia, Asia. I wrote constantly.
I am from the last generation of military letter writers. I felt the longing from a word from home at mail call in boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina, which continued through training operations, deployment to the Mediterranean Sea, to Marine Security Guard posts at American embassies in Seoul, Budapest, and Minsk. At my last post in Belarus (1997) I first had access to email; and in my letters home that my father returned to me years later I can read the frustrations with this nascent technology. At least then it was still better to get something through the post.
Writing letters was how I kept up with friends and family during those five, essential, formative years and thus the Marine Corps was a writing clinic for me. By the time I got to college at Florida State for fall of 1997 I had already developed a clear writing voice. One of my professors noted I wrote so powerfully that “it’s like you write with both fists,” hence my twitter handle and the subtitle to this website.
I have been a writer since 1992, a professional since 2001, the year I spent in St. Petersburg, Russia (that’s me at the top of the page at the Winter Palace). I have been published in Southern Living, Russian Life, American Bungalow, Reason Magazine, and others. A piece on the Moscow Metro was included in a book collection. I published Trip Planner Magazine: the art and science of transit in both print and on-line from 2008 to 2011 and I am the author of five novels. I am currently working on converting my Departure Day series into a screenplay for TV. This site contains previously published work of mine but also new materials that I hope will bring people back. I hope you enjoy.
BA Music, Florida State University, 2002
BA Humanities, Florida State University, 2002
MS Regional and Urban Planning, Florida State University, 2005