So that's like the best of both worlds. It took me a while to decide: if I wanted to be an artist or writer.
I went to Brigham Young, UT -- had a nice time. Got a BA in English. Decided to teach college.
Moved to LA, worked at Goodwill Industries, then taught 6th grade. (That was when Sept. 11th struck.)
Went to poetry school, UMass Amherst -- studying under James Tate (and I do like to--try to--be funny) and Martin Espada, who taught me to be more serious / political / what I believe in.
+ Noy Holland was very nice. Also, it took me a while to realize there: Nobody likes poetry. I should write a novel. (And got a wife and kid to feed.)
Started writing the Jaws of the Vortex circa 2008 -- after two other unfinished novels: [The Monkey Novel] and "Under the Sign of Gravitron the Freelance Tiger."
The Tiger one was getting too complex. So I thought I'd switch, to work on something simpler -- the day I started working at the University of Nevada, Reno (and Truckee Meadows C.C.), where I am now.