My very first business card printed from my father's computer read: wanderer, scientist, terrible dancer.
Now only one of those words remains.
I grew up outside Lancaster, PA in the heart of Amish country & saw what good religion can be at the local level. I worked as a carpenter & started a driveway sealing business to help pay for college. I traveled before school & then got a degree in biochemistry & molecular biology at Boston University where I studied the cochlear nucleus of gerbils & the actin binding functions for some isozymes of the aldolase protein. I spent summers on research, interning at Pfizer, road trips around the States & sealing driveways to pay the way.
Then to New York City for a wet-lab position studying stem cells at New York Medical College. My projects involved the senescence of bone marrow stem cells the renal effects of kidney stem cell apoptosis. I assisted in the discovery of a novel binding protein for the E2A protein using the Yeast II Hybrid system & co-authored three papers about this research & even defended a poster at the American Society of Nephrology meeting.
I finally saved enough to fulfill my boyhood dream of going to India for a year & brought my kid sister Tessa along for the ride. We shared a little flat in the slums while she sister worked in Bollywood & I ended up as a writer on the March to Tibet: a four month protest march of Tibetan monks, nuns and laypeople beginning in the Dalai Lama's home-in-exile of Dharamsala to New Delhi and then onto the border. I wrote biographies of the marchers, articles for Western publications and one obituary. Because of India's laws against foreigners participating in political protests, I was arrested twice and finally deported.
Now it's been a few cycles of saving up a grubstake in NYC by science tutoring, moving and other gigs. Then hitting the road. I started writing my first book in Mexico but realized that it was too big for me at the time. I wound up in Brussels trying to do a graphic novel about the above March to Tibet & though that one hit the skids on the first try, I've always wanted to come back & finish her off.
But for now, I've spent the last four years on the road working on a graphic novel about cannabis that came to be based on Moby Dick. Now I'm just getting the first chapters finished & out there before I start serializing the whole Whale from the beginning. All 135 chapters because Melville gave the finest structure on which to hang all the glories of the anadamide molecule & all the horrors of the Amerikan Ahab's War on Weed.