My first job was scooping up golf balls at night at my family's driving range in St. Louis. My dad paid me $20 and a pancake breakfast. It made me want to be a writer instead of a golf course operator. I wrote about that decision and won a GolfWeek essay contest.
I went to Indiana University, studied journalism, linguistics, and non-profit management, and edited the student magazine there. Before graduating, I interned at Field & Stream, St. Louis magazine, an art magazine in London, and a tiny bi-weekly newspaper in the mountains of Western North Carolina. I also started traveling to Haiti, where I moved after graduation.
I developed a nonprofit management curriculum for a tiny college in the town of Les Cayes, taught English, and reported for the Associated Press. I interviewed Sean Penn and helped report and fact-check this PEN Award-shortlisted book.
After Haiti, I moved to New York City, was an editorial assistant for a group of writers transitioning from The Onion to "Adult Swim," (those meetings were funny) reported a little for BuzzFeed, and worked with the late journalist Michael Hastings on this book. Now, I'm glad to have room to garden and learn in Charleston, South Carolina as senior editor at Garden & Gun.