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I am probably the kid you hated throughout your school years, the one who could fill three or four exam blue books in an hour and write ten pages when five were required. For better or worse, I’ve always been able to express myself, although it took me some time to figure out the best style and format in which to do so.

For a long time, poetry was my chosen medium, and during college I was accepted in the rigorous and selective creative writing program at Princeton. I studied with some legends: Theodore Weiss, Galway Kinnell, Edmund Kealey. I was challenged and intimidated by the workshop format—the criticism was tough—but I developed a thick skin, which has served me well. Looking back, I think I was always intrigued by the tension in an artist’s life between creating art and making a living; it's the conflict that led me to write my senior thesis on T. S. Eliot’s dual career as poet and critic.

After college, I worked at the University of Pennsylvania for nine years, first planning special events for the Office of Alumni Relations and then developing a merchandising program for the alumni office. In that capacity, I selected and created Penn products for The Alumni Catalogue, for which I wrote all the copy. I also crafted many documents and brochures for various alumni programs and discovered the world of commercial opportunities for a writer.

Three kids later, I re-entered that world when I was asked to write a continuing series for a new local newspaper, Main Line Life. I researched and authored a continuing series on collectors who lived on the Main Line and wrote about everything from museum quality collections of American flags to spittoons, tape measures, and of course, Barbies (there was talk of developing the series into a calendar or book, but other opportunities materialized). My story about a collection of Judaica that appeared on the front page of the paper caught the eye of the editor of Inside magazine, the magazine of the Jewish Exponent. It was at Inside, under the tutelage of former editor Jane Biberman, that I developed my voice and perfected the craft of the narrative profile. I interviewed Kenneth Cole, Dr. Andrew Weill, Joan Rivers, and Dr Laura Schlessinger, among others. Doors began opening and I was soon writing for such Penn publications as the Pennsylvania Gazette and Penn Medicine and developed contacts with other alumni magazines.

The world of freelance writing has been good to me. I have developed two distinct niches: alumni magazines and family business publications. In the last capacity, I was fortunate to work with another legendary editor, Dan Rottenberg, who taught me to make every word count. I continue to value my relationships with all my editors, most of whom have become friends.

More recently, I have also become known for my work about animals, specifically Barbaro, the horse who won the Kentucky Derby in 2006 and subsequently broke his leg in the Preakness, as well as pieces about cancer in dogs. I returned to school and earned a Masters of Liberal Arts degree from Penn in 2009, with a certificate in animal studies, and studied with some of the leading practitioners in the field including James Serpell, Director of Penn’s Center for Human Animal Relationships. My work with Barbaro's photographer, Sabina Pierce, led to our joint project: The Culinary Canine: Great Chefs Cook for Their Dogs - And So Can You! which is now available for purchase.

I love what I do, especially the variety of assignments I encounter. I love meeting new people, learning about new ideas and investigating new topics. I love deciphering what makes other people tick and then translating it into a format that is, at once, subtle and clear. I love searching for the one element that makes all the pieces of the puzzle come together and then crafting the story in such a way that gives the reader the same sense of discovery. Unlike many writers who curse the blank page, I relish the opportunity to fill it.

In many ways, I am still the kid who could fill all those bluebooks... although I'd like to think that I've learned to fill them with words that matter.