I didn't have many friends as a kid. Was shy, asthmatic, and light-skinned in the Bronx. FML. I read stories, encyclopedias, etc. In my teen years I tried to become a pro (read, TV) wrestler, then a goth rocker. They didn't work out. I got an MFA, started writing, started teaching, and started podcasting. Pretty standard nerd shit.
Grew up skinny, asthmatic, shy - didn't make many friends. Being light-skinned in the Bronx didn't help either. Stayed home a lot while other kids went out and "lived." Didn't care much for that shit. Mom would work for most of the day, and Dad didn't seem to care. Books helped. Imagination kept me sane. Carried around those black-and-white marbled notebooks with me everywhere: jotting down ideas; sketching anime and video game characters; and conducting my first experiments with fiction, ghost stories and murder mysteries, blatant imitations of RL Stine, my childhood hero. The popularity of the Goosebumps series kept me from getting beat up as a kid for reading. That, and I ran.
Alas, the notebooks were lost to time. Forgot about writing. As a teenager, wanted to become a professional wrestler, like the ones on TV - all 120 lbs of me. Then a goth rocker. Only forgot I lived in the Bronx and would have to go outside. All the while, felt I had neglected school, something I'd thought I wouldn't need. But in my time away educated myself on Poe, Shakespeare, science, and French. Learning for its own sake. Went back to school. Figured out, in English class, that I wanted to teach. Relearned after my first creative writing class: writing's my passion. Went on to get an MFA. Friend says it means I'm a motherfucking artist!
Spend lonely nights writing bullshit. That's what motherfucking artists do. If you're interested in my work, click on the Bibliography link. I've published in such magazines as: The WiFiles, The World of Myth, SNReview, and The Piker Press. I've also self-published such works as Monsters (2016), a spy novella, and Remember Me like This (2013), my debut poetry chapbook. I also teach writing at Bronx Community College and host a podcast, Jim Nog Pod, dedicated to having interesting conversations with interesting people. Subscribe to my YouTube channel for more content.