I grew up in Tucson, Arizona, with a lot of cactuses in my front yard. For my undergraduate degree I went to Brigham Young University in Provo, UT and graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy and a minor in Classics. I spent the year after graduating in Hamburg, Germany, at the University of Hamburg on a Fulbright Fellowship, where I studied history, Semitic languages, and a teensy bit of theology. After another year of putzing around, I started an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program at the University of Chicago under the Committee on History of Culture, with a concentration on the intellectual history of Christianity, Judaism, and Greco-Roman Paganism in the first few centuries C.E.
Following four very long and miserable years of growing pessimism about my academic prospects, I dropped out of the Ph.D. program while I was ABD (all-but-dissertation) and moved to Washington, D.C., to pursue a glamorous career as a government bureaucrat instead.
In Washington, I first worked for what could only be described as a totally kickass nonprofit watchdog organization called the Center for Responsive Politics (opensecrets.org), and then was hired as a Special Assistant on the staff of the even more kickass Rep. Henry Waxman‘s House Government Reform Committee (now the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform). My duties there involved editing, research, and lots of gophering. Hoping to advance my career in the direction of something that didn’t involve so much gophering, I left the Government Reform Committee after three years to get a professional master’s degree in Public Policy from the George Washington University in D.C. My summer internship was in the Inspector General’s Office of the Department of Homeland Security, and I was subsequently hired first as a part-time employee and then full-time as a program analyst after graduating.
When my daughter was born I resigned my job to stay home with her, and for almost three years I was a stay-at-home mom. I started doing some creative writing during my daughter’s naps (back in the good old days when she used to take naps) as a way of keeping my brain alive, which is how this site came to be. For the past couple of years, I’ve been back working full-time at a government agency as a program analyst, but still write whenever I get a spare moment. In addition, I’ve published a few books by other writers through a micropress that I founded in the fall of 2011, called Strange Violin Editions.