I, the Writer
I am a literature student – history, theory and craft. Literature is the well of human experience, and I love staring into it.
I am currently an editorial and marketing assistant and contributing writer for Relief Journal, preparing to move forward with graduate studies in critical theory. I also work as a production assistant and social media liaison for the film company Emeritus Productions. I've held a long term-position in retail for a swimming-pool business as well. Lots of stories there, for sure.
BA in English from Trinity International University. Graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2012 from the Honors Program with a department award for my research on the role of horror in literature and popular culture. Who's Who in American Universities and Colleges 2012. Finalist in the Illinois Lincoln Student Laureate Award competition, Lincoln Academy 2011. 2nd place in Poetry at the TIU Fine Arts Festival 2009, 1st place in Poetry and 2nd place in Short Story in 2012.
I believe that placing the truth under someone's nose, allowing the colors and the aromas to speak for themselves, is far more effective than shoving it down their throat.
I read to learn about the body of human communication – why and how we are what we are. I write in order to contribute to it.
C.S. Lewis, H.P. Lovecraft, T.S. Eliot, Stephen King, James Joyce, Edgar Allan Poe, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, John Donne, Chaucer, Old English and Celtic mythology.
I have a definite soft-spot for speculative fiction and horror, but sometimes the most beautiful images are in the mundane. I also live and breathe critical work; nothing jolts me quite like uncovering the webs that connect reality and literature.
In my creative writing I try and begin with a premise, allow the story to unfold and evolve as I write it, churn out as much as possible and then go back and revise it over and over again. I work in the opposite way on critical work, gathering research and forming an educated hypothesis before I begin an argument.
In both I am loathe to turn in work that is simply "good enough" – I work to give myself plenty of time before a deadline that I can dedicate to revising.
I work for Relief: A Christian Literary Expression. Our official tagline is, "Christian Writing Unbound"… unofficially, we are, perhaps more empathetically, "Christian Writing That Doesn't Suck".
I am also a production assistant for Emeritus Productions, a film company run by my professors and friends Chris Firestone and Nathan Jacobs, both accomplished authors and artists in their own right.
Beyond this I can count several other members of the writing community as friends of mine including poets Tania Runya, Marci Whiteman Johnson, and Scott Cairns, as well as the folks at The Other Journal, *cino, The Antler, Rock & Sling, Ruminate Magazine, WordFarm Press, Burnside Writers Collective, and others.
"Dragon's Milk" (*catapult Magazine, June 2012) – http://bit.ly/MYJDxT
"Working To Be Loved" (*catapult Magazine, May 2012) – http://bit.ly/Lud1J8
"Existential Apologetics: A Survey" (Self-published by Clifford Williams, PhD, May 2012) – http://bit.ly/LL2rAL
"In Flames We Trust" (Relief Journal, March 2012) – http://bit.ly/JI6VTQ
"'In Time' Out of Touch" (Relief Journal, February 2012) – http://bit.ly/A0NkhL
"Lisbeth Salander vs. The Powerful Idea" (Relief Journal, February 2012) – http://bit.ly/yjnDv0
"Hand-Made Christmas" (Relief Journal, December 2011) – http://bit.ly/tLwLYa
"The Ghost In The Machine" (The Trillium, March 2009)
Various pieces of flash-fiction that have been seen by Biting Duck Press and ZOVA Books. Other projects are currently undergoing revision to make them, you know, better.
"R'Lyeh" is one of my favorite pieces, a short-story horror poem based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft. It's about a young boy who gets lost at sea and (bad luck, son…) runs aground on the island of R'Lyeh and finds himself in the presence of Great Cthulhu. This poem won First Place in its section at my alma mater's annual fine arts festival in 2012.
Numerous short stories and poems are in the works all the time.
JOTUN – A speculative sci-fi and intrigue novel. Each of the central characters is genetically altered in some way to be slightly above normal humans, and they have thus far used these abilities to live as thieves. The main character, Gavin, must navigate the consequences of his choices and face the realities of his identity as he attempts to choose between a selfish or generous life, and whether he has any choice in the matter at all. The work deals more with the relationships between characters and the ethical and philosophical questions of a "normal life" rather than being defined by non-stop stylized action. The work is still a thriller though, and there are strong sci-fi and detective elements as well. It has been compared to The Italian Job and The Bourne Identity by friends and professional mentors who have read it. My Storiad blurb, "Bumu", is taken right out of this larger work. JOTUN is currently around 150,000 words. A final date for completion has not yet been set.
EZEKIEL – One of my earliest novel projects, this space odyssey of sorts tries to extrapolate a more down-to-earth timetable of technological advancement rather than the leaps and bounds you see elsewhere. Pilot Sairon Maur takes on work as a police detective on the human colony of Orphea in the Cygnus system after an accident leaves him unfit to fly. He reaches the breaking point when, unable to accept that his best friend was KIA during a routine security drill, he begins uncovering a nasty conspiracy…with the help of two zombies. Did I mention there are also aliens? Currently 5000 words.
THE JESTER RACE – Tobias is a waiter at a bar and grill who's wound a bit too tight. Grossly overqualified for his job, he desperately wants to do something big that will help lots of people. He gets his chance, though not in the form he expected, when a crew of masked vigilantes from inner-city Detroit come recruiting. Currently 3000 words.
I am a musician, free-runner and closet gamer. I have a weakness for anthologies and really really old books, especially theological letters, 17th century Christian mystics, the Medievals, and Celtic paganism.