I am a writer of fiction and creative nonfiction, a collector of Beautiful Things, a watcher of sunrises, and an all-around creative. I am fascinated by people’s stories and passions, and driven by life’s particularities and peculiarities.
In everything I do, my desire is always to go deeper in some unexpected way, to observe from the corner of my eye and follow where my eye/mind/heart wanders in service of the story that needs to be told.
I never assume that the most obvious interpretation of a person, an event, or an environment is the most truthful one, let alone the only one, and I will always return to my core belief that there are not enough labels and categories in the world to contain even one person.
My goal? For others to enter that space with me and explore it for themselves.
Writing has been a lifelong pursuit, beginning long before earning my creative writing MFA from the University of Notre Dame, and evolving ever since.
For my own creative and emotional well-being, I always have a few projects going simultaneously. In March 2022, I published Evangelina Everyday with Cornerstone Press and am always looking for more book signing and reading opportunities, especially with independent bookstores.
In addition to the joyous work of launching Evangelina out into the world, creative nonfiction has been my most committed pursuit of late. I am actively collaborating on Picking Persimmons: Encounters with Midwestern Men, playing around with micro-memoirs about parenting and relationships, and writing reflective musings to accompany sunrise photos I took over five years while living next to Lake Wawasee in Syracuse, Indiana. I am tentatively calling the collection of musings Dawn at Dawn: Sunrise Reflections.
Not to be forgotten, I continue to seek publication for my completed fiction manuscripts Jam on Bread: A Collection of Short Fictions and Born Beneath Pedro’s Sombrero: Tales from the National Association of Tourist Attraction Survivors. I am especially pleased that my Michigan State University colleague Dr. Margaret S. Morris and her WRA 370 Grammar and Copyediting students have been hard at work on Born Beneath Pedro’s Sombrero, providing a much needed refresher so that I can submit it to publishers with confidence in the summer of 2023.
I am an assistant professor in Michigan State University’s Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures where I have the honor of teaching students in First Year Writing. I am half of Unmeasured Words (currently on hiatus), a creative and business partnership with my spouse Bex Miller, and the founder and co-organizer of SwampFire Retreat, an annual retreat for writers and artists in Angola, Indiana. For twenty years, I was also an active member of the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature, an organization which was important to my professional and creative growth.
In 2014, the Ohio Arts Council selected me to receive an Individual Excellence Award in Literature. I am deeply indebted to the OAC for their generous support and used the resources to promote completed projects and to nurture ongoing ones including a working train trip through the Southwest with poet Mary Catherine Harper I dubbed “Writing the Rails.”