the writer

There was once a boy from New Orleans who thought too much about things and dreamed of traveling the world.  He wanted to go everywhere, but he wanted to do so with a purpose, so he went to graduate school.  That was in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and led to a long love of the Great Lakes.  This also led him around the world – Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Portugal, England, France … even Canada.  He saw a lot of things and lived with a lot of people, from upper class socialites to people in shantytowns.  Everywhere, he felt welcome, except in his own skin.

He did a lot of things in these places – mainly research and oral history – and he wrote about the things he found.  But the academic career didn’t work out all that well.  Something didn’t fit, and he wound up doing research for a big foundation in New York City.  That was a nice move, and in this job he got to work with people all over the United States, one place he’d taken for granted during all those years of traveling abroad.

Funny thing was this – after he moved to New York and began going back to the Upper Midwest for the foundation research, he realized that he missed the Midwest.   After Michigan, the jobs were in the Upper Midwest, the Great Lakes Midwest and Iowa.  And it was nice living there.  All during the while, he had a son and discovered the joy of parenting, both with a good mom and then on his own when things changed.  And then Hurricane Katrina wasted his hometown and going back there became painful.

By this time:  Brooklyn was home.  In the last year I decided to put it all on the line.  I would become an entrepreneur.  I am building a consultancy that works with storytelling, organizational development, and new media.  I am building a non-profit organization and community that uses storytelling to bring people “the news” through the experiences of people who are living the big stories of our day.  I am trying to write a book about the Wall Street crash from the perspective of people who were working there when it all came down.

truth and rocket science is an attempt to come to terms with myself and this story, albeit in a very oblique way.  But that’s the best I can do.  I welcome your comments and feedback and suggestions.   My name is John, and I can be reached at

21 responses to “the writer

  1. John,
    I am so glad you stumbled across my blog(s) and led me to yours!
    I have looked through your blog a bit.
    Love it!
    Truly, we are kindred spirits.
    I’ll be back!

  2. michellebloom

    i like your bio, comfortable everywhere but in your own skin….i feel sometimes the opposite, comfortable nowhere in the world, only in my own skin. ha, so ironic

  3. michelle

    Beautifully written bio, John. You’re very open with your life.

    & your ambition is rather infectious. in a good way! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing…

  4. Hey John–

    Nice to meet you…thanks for the blog comment. I look forward to reading more. It’s fine to blogroll me. I’ll do the same the next time I update.

    Take care,

  5. Nancy Cruz

    Nice blog John. I have bookmarked it! Look forward to reading more….

    • Thanks for the feedback Nancy! I’m still finding my voice, but it’s getting there. I had to take a pause for another writing project earlier this month but then did these two posts back to back with very little effort, just sort of keeping mental notes during the day as I went about other business. This is fun. Cheers…

  6. bschooled

    Well, John…I must say, besides the fact our blogs differ somewhat (mine being the less enlightning one), and the fact I won’t be in Peru and Bolivia until the end of the year, you’d surprised at how much we have in common.

    I will have to keep tabs…


  7. bschooled

    Well, lets see..besides the fact we have both been to Canada (myself for a much longer duration), I am looking into using my writing for more enlightening purposes. Not my blog writing, of course…I have a feeling my thoughts on cameltoe wouldn’t make much of a difference to society…:)

    • before judging your (no doubt) hilarious thoughts about cameltoe, check out preston sturges’s movie “sullivan’s travels.” i (there is no doubt on this) would love to hear thoughts on cameltoe. but this is from a guy who spends an inordinate amout of time thinking of puns and word jokes like this: name the film about the old peer of the realm who took so much viagra he wound up going nuts and harrassing a young rock band on a train … A Hard, Dazed Knight. (after saying that, it’s possible everyone who’s following this blog will disvow it… )

  8. bschooled

    I will rent it this weekend…

    As for your joke, it is a potential box office smash…however, the fact I suffer from self-diagnosed ADD means I had to read it three times before I made the connection…my mind kept veering off somewhere between the words realm and viagra…

    I await the unicorns…

    • bschooled: if you want to use this joke to write a box office smash screenplay — feel free to. but do let me know, cause i’d like to contribute some more lines. especially a subplot involving the most famous Latvian mafioso of them all, Riga Toni. As well as the little known Russian leader who moonlighted as a cook on Carnival Lines, Nikita Cruise-chef.

  9. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment, allowing me to find yours in return. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog.. please keep it up. I will be sure to drop by again in hopes of discovering a new post.

    P.S. I’m quite taken with your Angel with Dark Wings.

    • brain^3, thanks a lot. I appreciate it. Know that more songs are forthcoming on the blog. I love your cartoons and look forward to seeing more. Cheers!

  10. john, i found your blog at blogroll.
    i like your blog.
    it’s kind of philosopically minded writing style.
    keep on writing john.!

    • Hi, thanks for your feedback. I went to your website, very nice. I’ve never been to Indonesia, though I have read much about it and used some of that reading in case studies for courses I have taught in political science. I’d love to go there one day. Did you also send a Facebook request? I’ll look at that soon. Cheers!

  11. Hi John. Sounds like you have travelled an adventurous journey to this point. I look forward to learning more about it. Simultaneously kooky and clever..I love it !

    • Colleen, thank you for those kind words. I’m still working on myself after all these years. Actually the fact that I continue to “start over” has me perplexed about so many things, not least of which is the question why… why… why?

      None the less, glancing through your blog I see you are on a great journey of your own up from another place and seem to be moving along quite well. Enjoy the tropics. I lived in Amazonia and spent a lot of time there and quite miss it. I know I shall go back. When is the question.

      So I shall spend some more time on your blog and add you to the roll here. In the meantime, if you have a glass half full of something… anything… send photos and stories and I’ll work it into my new E/F project.

      My sis in law by the way is trying to get a friend of hers to send a photo of a glass half full of sand from an Australia sandstorm… I hope she succeeds in getting the photo.

      Much luck and good energy to you from truth and rocket science… –John

  12. Little Ricky

    Oh John, you are so eloquent.

  13. Tripped across your blog while looking for unicorn references and saw that you had a stint in Iowa. Given that I’m from Iowa and looking for unicorns – well, this seemed like enough of a reason to give a shout out and say hey! And that you have an awesome blog.
    Take care,

  14. Hi John
    Came across your blog doing research on ship L’Oranger. I too have Claude Guidry on my possible passenger list (until proven otherwise). My own ancestor Nicolas Barillot was on board. Just a note, if Claude was aboard he would have disembarked at Port Royal not Lunenburg. I live in Halifax and often rummage through my distant Acadian Past. Hang out in Lunenburg County.

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