In many ways, teaching at Goddard represents a return to form for me. During the summers after fourth and fifth grade I attended Young Authors Camp at Fort Casey on Whidbey Island, luxuriating in Native American folklore and my roommate's poems about stinky feet. The sweetest part was that the soccer camp kids had to live in the barracks while the Young Authors camp kids stayed in the officers' mansions. I'm pretty sure this is the one instance in the history of American summer camps when creative writing has been afforded more prestige than athletics. I was able to recapture the wonderment of those camps when I worked on my MFA through Bennington College's low residency program, and later during a stay at Yaddo. I thrive in immersion.
I am the author of The Littlest Hitler, a collection of short stories published in September 2006. The title story has been adapted for the stage by a number of high school drama clubs, translated into Italian, nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and included in a college English composition text book. My novel, Sperm & Egg, is scheduled for publication in April 2008. Depending on what day it is, I'm working on a new novel, another collection of stories, or a collection of essays. I also recently completed a screenplay. My work has been anthologized in two editions of The Best American Nonrequired Reading, The Better of McSweeney's (UK edition), Don't You Forget About Me: Contemporary Writers on the Films of John Hughes, and Stumbling and Raging: More Politically Inspired Fiction. My stories and essays have appeared in McSweeney's, Black Book, The Mississippi Review, Post Road, The Los Angeles Review, and other journals.
For the past eight years I have worked for Internet technology companies. I served two tours of duty at Amazon.com, first as a Customer Service rep answering phone calls on the 2pm-11pm shift. More recently I was an editor on the DVD team. I've also worked at Microsoft, Drugstore.com, and online education company Apex Learning. One of the focuses of my undergraduate education at The Evergreen State College was media theory and history, and it has been fascinating watching the Internet change our culture from one of the best seats in the house.
I am a First Amendment absolutist. I believe in creative freedom. Let the writing answer to the writer's vision, and damn the torpedos. That said, the work is incomplete without a reader to complete the circuit. This relationship between writer and reader is sacrosanct to me. I find the ways in which our best selves strive to treat one another correlate to how we treat our readers and even our characters. I am one storyteller in a tradition of storytelling that stretches to the days we lived in caves, and I find it an exhilarating and rewarding responsibility to take readers by the hand and show them something that will--I dearly hope--blow their freakin' minds.