In junior high, I was the last in my class to go through puberty. Before it happened I would spend many a painful night alone in bed, desperately searching under the covers with a flashlight and magnifying glass for that first pube. Then the day came, and I want to tell you it came with an effusive shout of joy, and maybe that did happen, but overall the feeling remained that I was somehow damned to always being the last in my class.
I bring this up because I’ve always thought of myself as a late bloomer, and so when I decided to seriously pursue the craft of Fiction at the age of thirty seven, I thought, man, you’re a fool to be starting this up at such a late stage in life. But the desire had been planted and the need to write has been hounding me ever since.
I keep at it, five, six days a week. After my morning cup of coffee, I sit at the desk, set a timer for two hours and get to work, whether it’s actually writing, or staring at the wall mulling over what I should be writing, and sometimes if I’m on fire at the end of the session, I’ll keep to the seat long after the night owl on the timer has taken off.
I will say some of my best ideas come when I’m far from my desk and my writing, but that’s only after a morning session. I need that morning session to get those words, ideas, sentences into my head. Then when I’m in the midst of other activities like reading, or scrubbing the dishes, or jogging in the park, that’s when sometimes a wellspring of ideas appear. Puzzle pieces to be set the next time I get to the desk, and they don’t always fit either, but either way they get me fired up for another writing session. It’s all part of the greater mystery to me. My part is to keep showing up at the desk.
This is what I call my writing practice, and I’ve been doing it now for more than ten years, supporting my practice along with paying my bills by walking dogs in Greenwich Village, New York. Now it seems some of those stories are making their way beyond my desktop computer. I’m stoked about my new collection of stories: VOICES IN THE DIRT from Recital Publishing.
Also I have a southern gothic novel in the works. Imagine if Lynda Barry’s Cruddy and William Gay’s Provinces of Night had a wily niece in the piney lowlands of western North Carolina. Now, that’s all I’m going to say about that; got to keep the genie in the bottle, for now.
But you will find several of my stories here on this site from selected publications in BOMB magazine, Poached Hare, and The Strange Recital. I’m also a residency alum from the Edward F. Albee Foundation, and class alum from the Writers Studio, the Rivoli Institute of Literature and Pizza, Center for Fiction, and a 2007 graduate from the CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies.
I live in South Slope, Brooklyn, with my wife and our lovey-nutty dog Soup.