I’ve been listening to people’s stories for as long as I can remember so I guess it makes sense that before I was a poet and essayist, I was a journalist for the Orange County Register. My first gig was covering California car culture. One of my short features, “A Masterwork,” about custom hot rod legend Boyd Coddington, is one of Tribune Digital’s Popular Articles and Stories for April 17, 1994, years before Coddington hosted TLC’s American Hot Rod.
That was then…
I’ve since written hundreds of essays, columns, and interviews published in traditional news outlets like Zocalo Public Square, Time, and Los Angeles Times Magazine and literary journals like The Gettysburg Review.
One of my favorite essays, “Cuts from Bone Winter,” published in The Gettysburg Review, was selected by Cheryl Strayed as a finalist for Drake University’s Payton Prize. Here’s an excerpt:
My lover’s body is a country I know well. He is hay and plain, ribs of rope in a valley. Scrub.
That my lover is my husband shows you what words can do. I alternately call him groom, boyfriend, hot date, mandate. We tell people we’re on our honeymoon even though we’ve been married thirty-four years. He is my his-friend. Mine.
He isn’t mine alone, of course. He is after, grandfather-to-be.
My husband is dying.
I am dying.
If this were an English class, we’d repeat aloud together “We are dying.” Then I’d introduce the term transitional event verb and explain this form represents the onset of an ongoing action…
“Cuts from Bone Winter”
My short fiction piece Delivery Day won the John Fowles Center for Creative Writing Award.
And in 2018, my lyric essay “Ka Qua Craft,” co-written with Traci Brimhall, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.