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I have taught composition, creative writing, and literature for the last decade. Because many of my courses have been "required," I have met students who do not describe themselves as lovers of either writing or literature. And that's great! The best classes happen when they include some students who love the subject and others who may not love it so much.
I was not what you would call a lover of either literature or writing when I was in middle school and high school. I was, in fact, what you would call one of those trouble makers who hang out behind the 7-11. I had a particularly dreadful attitude about both school and education until just the right the book fell into my hands. I'm not going to tell you the name of the book here because the book that might light your own fire to enjoy literature and writing is likely to be a different book. Come to my office hours and I'll tell you. I may even be able to point you in the direction of a book that will help you gain more pleasure out of both writing and literature.
What I will tell you about that book is that it was a very angry book and it gave me permission to express my own anger in writing. Allowing myself to experience my own strong emotions helped me to become a writer.
I published my first short story in 1990. In 1993 I wrote a screenplay that earned me some money in Hollywood, but it has not yet become the smash-hit blockbuster that it is destined to be. My next short story was published in 1994. Ten years later I published my first novel, Dog's Days. In 2009 my novel Coffee Drinkers Preferred won an award from the Utah Arts Councils Original Writing Competition, and that novel is now embarking on the long journey toward seeing the light of day in print.
More recently, in the fall of 2010, a San Francisco literary journal called Oyster Boy Review published a short story of mine called "Mind Your Own Business, Fatboy!"
Enjoy this earlier story that I published in Buzz Magazine called "My Sister's Tail."
I have experience publishing both fiction and non-fiction, and also worked as an associate producer for E! Entertainment Television. I look forward to fielding as many questions as I can about what writing in a variety of venues can be like.
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