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Meme Stolen From Many, But Mostly From gnomi

I rarely do memes, but if gnomi is doing it...

Ahem.

"The problem with LJ: We all think we are so close, but really we know nothing about each other. So I want you to ask me something you think you should know about me. Something that should be obvious, but you have no idea about. Ask away.

"Then post this in your LJ and find out what people don't know about you."
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I'm asking this everywhere...

What do you do and who do you do it for?

College major?
I do many things, and all for gnomi.

My college referred to majors as "concentrations," so I concentrated in Physics.
How did you meet gnomi? I don't think I ever heard the story.
Well, we told a little bit about it over at http://www.livejournal.com/users/gnomi/54181.html?thread=93349#t93349, but I can see that it wasn't much, so I'll expand on it a little later. You might also want to check out http://www.livejournal.com/users/gnomi/187006.html?thread=916350#t916350.
I get my ideas from a PO Box in Schenectady. :-)

I was born at Long Island Jewish Hospital, borough of Queens, New York City. I actually still have a photostat of my birth certificate which I keep in my wallet.
gach! I got hit with this from 3 people all ready! Wait your turn :)
Waiting...
Have you always been an Orthodox Jew? If not, what was your catalyst for becoming one?

(If this is too personal a question, feel free to delete it.)
It is a personal question, but one I have no problem answering. However, although I do have a marvelous answer to this question, it is too large to fit in this reply box. (Fermat's Last Theorem joke.) The short version is that Nomi was the catalyst. The longer version...I'll post later, when I have time to write.
how have you managed to balance writing with the rest of your life, particularly with a teaching career?

Cheating with two questions, but the second one is easy: are you currently teaching, or doing some kind of career thing other than writing full time?
It's very hard to balance writing with anything; but if you commit to writing at least two pages a night, you find that stuff gets written.

As for what I'm doing now: I'm editing science textbooks, and as it so happens, I will be teaching a writing course with Grub Street starting later this month. So I'm no longer a full-time writer, although I was for a year.
it's probably cheating to ask a follow-up question, but whatever--if byou don't have time or inclination, nothing says you have to answer, right?

How do you feel about that year, now that it's past?
It's not cheating to ask a follow-up.

I feel very good about that year. Even if nothing ever comes of the book, the year was still a great experience for me. I learned a lot about myself as both a writer and a person, and I ended the year in a job I enjoy a lot.
Why short stories and not novels?
Some writers naturally gravitate to the novel, others to the short story. When I started out, I found that my natural language for writing fiction was the short story, and so I kept honing my craft on shorter works. Eventually, I learned how to write longer stories, and I'm now at the point where I find it difficult to write a story under 10,000 words. As for novels, I've written one complete unpublished novel, which failed to sell, and I've got a second one written which I think will need more work before it's ready to go out the door.
Thanks. So did the ideas become more complex with time, or simply your facility for working with them?
I think it's a little of both. What happened was that I started to realize how to turn an idea into a novel, by first outlining another novel and getting a feel for what went into a more complex story. (That novel, by the way, was The Terminal Experiment by Robert J. Sawyer.)
Well, I keep meaning to ask... how are you liking the new job?
I'm enjoying it a lot. I'm using the knowledge of science I learned in college, the skills I picked up teaching, and the experience I have as a writer to continue working in science education. In the job itself, I'm picking up a lot of knowledge, skills, and experience in book production. And like I enjoy saying, I'm taking my education career from retail to wholesale.
Wonderful, glad that's working out well for you!
Have you always wanted to be a writer? If not what turned you towards writing?
Hm. An interesting question. Much of my childhood I wanted to be a scientist, but when I was 12-14 years old I started submitting stories to the science fiction magazines. After about a year, I gave that up until I was about 21-22 years old, and needed something to take my mind off of graduate school. Which I guess is one of the things that turned me towards writing.

Also, there was my high school friend Charles Ardai, with whom I've written one story. Charles was writing nonfiction in his teens, and he published his first story at the age of 19 (a mystery). Being his friend also moved me into the direction of wanting to be a writer.
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