About me

New 12/18/2022

I now have Mastodon accounts here on chaos.social (just because) and here on spore.social (it’s a long story).


Some blogging expert said it’s a good idea to have an “About me” page even if you call it something else, so now I have one. Welcome to it.

Here goes…


I write fiction, essays and poetry in addition to writing slash editing technical prose for supercomputer users. My various other identities include husband, dad, cyclist, hiker, University of Iowa journalism grad and U.S. Navy veteran.

Early on, I worked as a reporter for three Iowa daily newspapers, including The Daily Iowan, then edited copy for a newspaper syndicate, and later I was a PR guy for a few years.

Before all that, I worked at a soda fountain in a drugstore and as a restaurant busboy and dishwasher. That is not a complete list, but some other things I’d rather forget. (Don’t ask.)

For those of you who don’t know about soda fountains, which is where soda jerks do their thing – or maybe did their thing – you can learn about them here. The well-known, erstwhile pharmacy where I worked in high school still filled prescriptions back then. We delivered them by car to customers when we weren’t making shakes, sundaes, lime phosphates and other treats.

I was a drug-running soda jerk.

Fiction and the old neighborhood

In my reporter days, I covered school board and area education agency doings in addition to general assignment work, and I filled in occasionally on the police and courthouse beats. (Ever since, I’ve encouraged people to serve on a jury at least once if they ever have the chance. I’ve been on two juries so far.)

Red Dog Smith

A bit later in Des Moines, I edited nationally syndicated opinion, health and home-repair columns. A sewing column, too. Seriously.

Proofreading crossword puzzles for the old Register and Tribune Syndicate in Des Moines inspired my first crime novel. Bicycling, craft breweries, social media and commuting by bus inspired the second.

My wife Susan and I live in Colorado now. We enjoy reading, cycling, hiking (with and without Red Dog Smith), hanging out with our daughter and our Utah granddaughter and her parents, travel, and snowshoeing in the mountains.

A couple of final notes:

  • Every writer should study, understand and protect the First Amendment.
  • Mrs. Smith is not responsible for anything I write here. I have only myself to blame.

Any questions?

Just ask.