I'm not a violent revolutionary or a Hugo Weaving fanatic (he's pretty good, though). I believe in ideas. Ideas led people away from their homes and the familiar. Some ideas allowed empires to grow, while others fed the revolutions that caused empires to fall. War, peace, love, politics, philosophy, religion, and civilization itself, all of them began with ideas and those with the savvy to spread them. At the heart of a good story lives an idea worth spreading. I use ideas to tell stories that nourish curiosity and incite adventure.
I hail from and belong to Sparks, Nev. I graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in English Writing. I didn't have the foresight at school to properly network, or build a usable portfolio. I knew a writing degree would not position me for wealth after graduation, but I held hope that tenacity, a modicum of talent, and a willingness to start at the bottom would yield some opportunity.
Desirable employment around town, degree or not, was sparse at that time. I searched for what I thought was the bottom of the pyramid for writers. I didn't find it. Instead, I found a series of minimum wage jobs to get by. I paid my bills by washing dishes, cooking on a food-truck, working the line in a kitchen, and preparing kids for the SAT's. I counted myself lucky that I found work at all. Not only was I working, but I also had the good fortune to work around something besides writing that granted me fulfillment: food. Cooking didn't pay much, but it made me happy.
After so many months of living poverty adjacent, I longed for a little comfort and stability. I found both at a spice and seasoning manufacturer doing quality control. A few years into that gig, I stepped up to handle their logistics. I made a fair salary that included great insurance. My coworkers and the people leading the company taught me a ton about how to run a successful business and what it means to be a professional. Life there was comfortable, but some piece of my puzzle was missing. I took up indoor rock climbing thinking it would fill my newfound void. Climbing grew my strength, confidence, and a curiosity I had forgotten. Upon reopening my world to possibility, I started writing again. I was rusty, but it felt good to stretch those muscles.
After ample reflection, arguably too much, I decided that a comfortable life behind a desk was not for me. It's unnerving to leave money, insurance, and stability behind, but I feel compelled to do it. I want to engage with the world, not just live in it. It's on me now to build my audience, connect with industry professionals, and relentlessly bust my ass until I can turn my passion and craft into a career.
I'm driving to make my Liberal Arts degree a tool, rather than a trophy. Writing is my vehicle. Stories are my fuel. I have no map, but the road ahead beckons me. I hope you brought snacks, because we're traveling to local businesses, eateries, and the specific brand of weird native to Reno, Sparks, and Tahoe. Readers, writers, and rabble-rousing brethren, let's fucking tear it up!