1990: BA in English and Fine Arts (double major!) from a state school whose English and Fine Arts departments were the opposite of rigorous and mostly staffed by bored, detached tenured faculty.
2002: MFA in Creative Writing, Fiction Concentration, from an Ivy League institution (Columbia if you must know), which I am still paying off.
1992-2000: Spent most of the decade working towards an interesting and reasonably remunerative career in graphic design, and as soon as I achieved that goal, chucked it to be a writer
2000-2014: Adjuncted at various institutions of higher education in New York City and Los Angeles, which paid starvation wages but were often quite rewarding due to the students, which is a cliché but true, and which resulted in a novella, Adjunctivitis. Also freelance criticism and journalism, often on religious topics, for a variety of newspapers and magazines, which I’m still doing, remarkably, despite my “no reporting for free” rule.
- E-Books. Been learning lots of stuff about e-books, how to put them together, how to sell them, how not to sell them, thinking that it might lead to a nice day job, but so far it’s only led to some extra income, not that I’m complaining.
- Writing and editing. Like every other schmuck in New York.
- Languages: Bad French, execrable Polish.
- One aspirin per day to prevent heart disease
- Red wine
- Xanax (when flying)
- Fulbright Fellowship to Poland, 2002. One glorious year of traveling, note-taking and writing, which resulted in a travelogue that was rejected by 30 publishers, which sent me into a 10-year professional tailspin that I am just now working myself out of.
- MacDowell Colony Residency, 2007. Two glorious months in New Hampshire that I hoped would herald a new phase of my career, which it did not, although I did meet my wife and now we have a son, so it wasn’t like great things didn’t come out of it, plus I totally hung out with Michael Chabon.
- Global warming.