the voice behind the teeth behind the mouthful
I am a freelance writer, (aspiring) blogger, and dedicated cat owner, not necessarily in that order. Please keep reading, comment, and I hope you enjoy your time here
I grew up in a town of 8,000 named Wellington, Kansas in a family of 6 with not much to do. I grew up like any kid in the Midwest: played sports, was in the closet, and had a really close set of friends in relative freedom.
I really thought I should stay there for the rest of my life. This isn’t a knock on those who chose to do so, but it wasn’t for me; something I learned the second I moved away.
The next four years of my life had a new backdrop: Fort Worth, Texas. I attended Texas Christian University where the only Christian thing about the school was the name. The football team was good, the campus was beautiful, and I had an incredible job coaching gymnastics, so I was sitting comfortably in my adolescence.
This has nothing to do with my writing career, but I loved coaching gymnastics. I started as the head of the “Rocket men” program which meant I coached 12 classes of four-year-old boys five days a week. I took that experience and in under three years, I was coaching competitive gymnastics despite never competing myself.
With a full(ish) time job and 15 credit hours a semester, I wasn’t much for “campus life” or fraternities, but I was in love with my majors.
I double majored in History and Art History, which is a fancy way of saying I looked at a lot of pretty pictures and read every waking moment. To this day, I can list every Russian leader since Czar Nicholas II and have a deep personal beef with Erwin Panofsky.
I thought I was just studying how to properly enjoy museums and be insufferable at dinner parties, but the real skill I was learning in school was writing. What started as a requirement for classes that I had a passing familiarity with became a passion.
The hundreds of papers, essays, tests, theses, bibliographies, and more taught me how to structure my arguments and execute them. I also learned how to properly research (which some may argue is even more important). By the time I held a degree in my hands I was already a seasoned researcher with a book deal.
My book, the Star of the Telegram, is a collection of some of the most interesting and engaging drawings by Harold Maples, the long-time political cartoonist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. A native-born Texan, Maples was a staple in Fort Worth for decades and was as loved by his community as he was by his die-hard fans.
My senior thesis at TCU argued that political cartoons are excellent teachers of history, and I was enamored with how Maples boiled down complex ideas into simple and amusing drawings. This book was a labor of love and I’ve yet to make any money off it, but I could one day in theory if lovely readers like yourself buy a few (dozen) copies.
I had to leave the safety net of undergraduate school eventually, though. That meant I was off to grad school, but not in one of the cushy subjects I studied for the previous four years; I was going to business school.
I attended Tulane University for a year in New Orleans and earned myself a master’s degree in Management (MMG). New Orleans was a formative place for me, but there were three things in particular that stand out.
The first was the start of my professional writing career. I started publishing weekly arts and leisure articles for my hometown news website Sumnernewscow.com. My column is called CultureCow and is one of the most read weekly installments on the website and I publish a feature article every few weeks on top of it.
The second was it awarded me the opportunity to travel to India, now my favorite country in the world (sorry USA). I worked with an Indian startup trying to enter the US market and the school flew us out there to present our entry strategy to the companies. The company my group worked with is still in business and seems to be doing well.
The third, and more important, personal development in New Orleans came in the form of a seven-pound beast named Guwop. Gu (named for rapper, Gucci Mane) is my cat and the first of many cats I hope to have with me for years to come. I’m aware that having several cats is a writer cliché, but I can’t help it.
Business school taught me the basics of how to conduct oneself professionally and I feel like nobody really needs more than a year or two in it, so I was off once again.
This time I found myself in Washington, DC where I remain to this day. I worked as a Development Associate at a nonprofit named the Landscape Architecture Foundation (who would love your support) for three years before I decided to pursue writing full time.
After working as a manager of the city pool, gymnastics coach, nonprofit fundraiser, published author, and journalist, I’ve determined the final title is the best of the bunch. I hope to use this blog to get my writing to the masses (YOU, you’re the masses) and make a name for myself.
If you like my writing and want to be a part of this journey, please share the articles, tell your friends, and reach out to me! I’d love to talk to each and every one of you. And if you’re an editor of a larger publication, I am even more ecstatic to hear from you.
So, now you’re caught up to the present. My back-story will keep changing, but for now, let’s get to reading.