I have always loved to write and I cannot remember a time when it was not an important part of my life. Words hold a fascination for me that I can only fully explore with writing, which enables me to appreciate and at the same time approach words with the suspicion that they are often woefully inadequate and not to be entirely trusted. But, I love them anyway. They will tease with the possibility of truly getting at “the thing” I want to touch and feel and convey to others. I am always grateful when they let me come close.
Writing has been the most meaningful aspect of my thirty-year career as a tenured professor at Arizona State University in the School of Politics and Global Studies. I have published three academic books with the University of Minnesota Press, University of Arizona Press and Routledge as well as numerous journal articles. However, I learned many years ago that academic writing is often devoid of heart and soul and the writer’s own voice. To write for an academic audience, often one must often strip away these things and, to borrow from Toni Morrison’s 1993 Nobel Lecture, write in the “proud but calcified language of the academy.” This troubled me more and more over the years and led me to rebel and change my style of writing, to reclaim the voice that was buried along with my stories and poems I kept stashed away in a desk drawer. Some academic publishing outlets were open-minded and supportive enough to publish me even as my voice strayed from the usual style. I wanted more though. I wanted to nourish my creative writing voice and sensibility.
Over the past seven years I have devoted more and more time to this nourishing. I have published short fiction and poems. I had the privilege of serving on the editorial board of one of Phoenix’s literary journals, Four Chambers, which was an amazing learning experience that enabled me to connect with the local writing community. In 2019 I was honored to have my short story, Turbulence, nominated by the editor at Ocotillo Review for the Pushcart Prize for short fiction. The idea of writing a novel intrigued me, but I stayed with short fiction until a story presented itself that pleaded for more. Out Stealing Water began as a short story that I workshopped at the University of Iowa’s Summer Writers Workshop and again in my friend and mentor Jim Sallis’s class at Phoenix College. I realized this was the story that needed to be a novel. Writing this novel was, and continues to be an incredible journey.
My short stories have appeared in the following literary journals; Ocotillo Review, Saranac Review, Lascaux Review, Soundings Review, Forge, Reunion-The Dallas Review, Blue Guitar Arts and Literary Magazine, Lunaris Review, Four Chambers, and Journal of Microliterature. My poems have appeared in; NewVerseNews, International Times, Avatar Review, and I70 Review.
I live in Tempe, Arizona, with my two cats, Zoe and Carl, and an assortment of strays that grace me with their presence from time to time.
Regal House Publishing is proud to publish Out Stealing Water in 2022.