Ah, hello there. Thanks for popping by. Hmmm ... where to begin? 1974 perhaps?

So, if you'd have stuck your head into Mrs. Robinson's 6th grade class at Silver Spring's Cresthaven Elementary School back then you might have seen a skinny kid with protruding ears reading one of his stories aloud to his classmates. Everyone was giggling like mad. (Well, it might be a stretch to describe the rather starched Mrs. Robinson as openly giggling; smiling approvingly perhaps?)

That mid-century school was bulldozed some years ago in the name of progress. That skinny kid---your humble host---progressed from making classmates laugh to making a living as a writer.

I came up in the alt-weekly world, selling my first piece to the Baltimore City Paper in 1990. (About a visit to Baltimore, Ireland; I think I got 75 bucks for it.) I joined the paper's staff in 1997 and rose to become Senior Writer. Then it was off to DC and The Chronicle of Philanthropy where I was promoted to Senior Reporter and got to interview Alice Cooper, Michael J. Fox, and David Lynch (no, he wouldn't tell me what the "baby" was made out of in Eraserhead).

Along the way I received First-Place honors in the "News Story" category from the National Association of Alternative Newsweeklies; five business and feature-writing awards from the Maryland Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists; and most recently, a Gold Award in the National Mature Media Awards.