I first moved to the Rio Grande Valley–a few miles from the U.S.-Mexico border, right at the tip of Texas–in 2003 as part of the program Teach for America. Inexperienced and overwhelmed, I lasted only a semester as a fourth-grade teacher, but I was nonetheless taken by this place I now call home. With the exception of a three-year hiatus for graduate school in creative writing at Purdue University, I’ve been here ever since, working jobs ranging from security guard to museum tour guide to community college English professor. In the meantime, I met my wife Laura, and my two children, Ana and Byrdie (now 5 and 7), were born.
More than two years ago now, I left my English professor gig to become a (more or less) full-time freelance writer. Laura was feeling ready to go back to work full time, and with two young children, including our son who is on the autism spectrum, we wanted one of us to have a flexible enough schedule to be able to drop everything at a minute’s notice. And I was feeling ready to have more freedom to explore my interests in environmental and border issues, social justice, and creative nonfiction.
I wasn’t too sure then where this new journey would take me. A lot of days, I’m still not too sure where I’m going. While it’s a challenge to weave writing time and interviews around therapy appointments and mess-clean-up-duty, I’ve been blessed with editors who tolerate background-noise tantrums, interviewees who don’t blink when I take off with tires screeching because I need to pick up Ana at pre-school, and most of all a family that supports the time and unpaid credit card bills it takes to make a leap into writing as a career.
Thanks for visiting my website and taking a few moments out of your day to check out my work.
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