Writing Portfolio

As a child, some of my earliest career aspirations were to be some sort of writer. A poet, perhaps, or a novelist, or maybe a journalist. Not bad for a kid who didn’t even figure out what the purpose of reading was until he was in second grade.

I wrote a poem about “Halloween” when I was 9 that was published the next year by The Saturday Evening Post. I wrote tons of short stories, mostly highly derivative. (One, I recall, involved Mickey Mouse being swept into a magical land, where he had to follow a Ruby Road to get to the land’s Ruler, who could send him home. When he finally reached the palace in the middle of the land, it turned out that the Ruler was, in fact, a 12-inch ruler with a crown on it’s head. Kind of clever word-play for a kid who was maybe 8 years old at the time.

I wrote “newspapers” that were basically adventure stories with myself as the protagonist, hand-written in columns like a newspaper. When I was in fifth grade, I hand-wrote about 50 pages of a novel about a unicorn that was heavily inspired by Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn. I had no idea what the story arc would be; when my grandfather asked me where the story was going, I confidently told him: “Random House.”

In ninth grade, I managed to complete an entire 339-page typed novel, The Opal of the Sea, a fantasy novel set in a society where women control all of the political power.

Though I haven’t published a best-selling novel yet (nor even completed the first draft of one since I was 15), writing has been a part of my career choices as a grass roots advocate for Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, as an editor for the search directory LookSmart, and as an editor for Gay.com, and a hobbyist blogger.

Here are just a few examples of my writing.

Tobacco Control

In my decade-long career at Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, I had a few articles published professionally. Among them:


I started writing political “diaries” on DailyKos in 2016 as a way to channel my nervous energies around the election. (See all of my DailyKos diaries.)

The Supreme Court

My first DailyKos diaries were four articles I wrote about how the U.S. Supreme Court would be impacted by whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump were elected.

Other Favorites

Some of my other favorite diary entries included: an analysis for why the results of California’s top-two Senate race showed the California GOP’s dwindling fortunes; a comparison of how the media was allowing Donald Trump to get away with far worse things than what Hillary Clinton was scrutinized over; California’s evolution from a mostly red state to a solid blue one; and, after the election, a refutation of the GOP’s talking point that President Obama governed by executive order.

Criminal Records of Presidential Administrations

But my most popular diary by far — and the closest I’ve ever come to “going viral” — was an entry about a week before Donald Trump’s inauguration that compared Presidential Administrations by their criminal records. It became a huge hit. DailyKos featured it on the homepage and I began to find screencaps of charts I made floating around Twitter and the rest of the Internet. I did an update about a year and a half into Trump’s Administration. I stopped updating it for two reasons: (1) it became clear that Attorney General William Barr was sabotaging career Justice employees, and the limited actual indictments wouldn’t provide an accurate comparison of the Administration’s criminal behavior; and (2) another media outlet did a much more robust analysis (which I will link to here if I track it down).

SF Gay History

One of my personal hobby sites is SF Gay History, where I try to capture a little bit about San Francisco’s LGBTQ history. Here are a few of my favorite posts:

Gay Pride History

A history of LGBTQ Pride Celebrations in the U.S. and how they are similar to the early St. Patrick’s Day, Columbus Day, and Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

  • Why Pride? — reposted August 17, 2014 (originally published on another blog)

Finding Mama

My investigation into finding the childhood home of the author of Kathryn Anderson McLean, who wrote Mama’s Bank Account under the name of Kathryn Forbes. The novel, which was adapted to be a Broadway play, a Hollywood movie, a television series, and two different Broadway musicals, was set in the Castro.

Indiana’s RFRA

A critique of Indiana’s anti-gay “religious freedom” legislation signed by then-Governor Mike Pence in March of 2015.

Eddie Bell

A tribute to Eddie Bell, also known as the drag queen Cookie Dough, who passed away from meningitis in January of 2015.

Gay Halloween

My four-part series in 2014 about San Francisco’s gay Halloween history, which even merited a shout-out on the popular blog Towleroad.