I'm a freelance writer whose specialty is storytelling in words and pictures, stories that motivate people to make their lives better, more fun, more interesting, stories that motivate people to get up off their couch and try a new experience, or use a new part of their brain, or appreciate something they'd never thought about before. For the last 20 years, I've been writing about food, first at a newspaper in Los Angeles then at Better Homes and Gardens magazine in Des Moines, Iowa.
I thought I knew everything until I arrived in the Midwest. But there's a reason why presidential campaigns all start in Iowa—here in the Heartland, you can't shuck or jive; people see right through it. What I've learned—like presidents Jimmy Carter through Ronald Reagan, to Barack Obama—is how to craft my message to appeal to everyone, not just a sliver of the population on the East and West coasts. Three years ago, I began adding videos to my reporting and I'm now pretty good with XHTML and CSS and used it to tailor this website—and I can do the same for you. I have a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a master's in journalism from the University of Southern California.
I was lucky enough to grow up when there were still vacant lots, so we grew a lot of our own vegetables, just like my ancestors—one branch from Louisiana, one branch from Calistoga—had done before me. Being the youngest, I was always the one who had to clean the fish, so I know my ingredients from the inside out. My childhood wasn't all wool shirts and giant Chinooks though. My first photo was published in the Alhambra Post-Advocate when I was 12 and I've been contributing to newspapers and magazines ever since.
For charity my wife and I raise and train dogs to assist the handicapped—so far we've raised three guide dogs for the blind, and four for the handicapped.