When I was four, I wanted to be a chipmunk. However, once the orthodontist snipped the wires on my braces, that career path was extracted, along with my Wisdom Teeth. Think about it: how many chipmunks have straight teeth? However, straight teeth wasn’t the only thing preventing me from joining the ranks of Alvin and his brothers or Chip & Dale. During high school, I made the astute observation that neither Chipmunk nor Rodentia was an Ethnicity listed on any college form. As I had to check a box to pursue anything, I needed to re-think my Life Goals.
I contemplated majoring in theater, making it possible to audition for Rodentia Roles. Alas, I feared falling off the stage, being swept out the back door, and, worse, Collapsing by D-Con. I considered Music, but hated lugging around my cello case. In the end, I decided to major in Literature at my father's alma mater where I played in the orchestra and performed in a few plays -- but never as a Rodent.
That’s the nuts and acorns (or, bio-bytes) of my "adult" life. Rather than bore you with the autobiography I have yet to write, I'll leave you with Facts and Fictions, though not in that order.
Fiction: I bear a strong resemblance to the Rodentia Order of the Rodent Family.
Fiction: I love chipmunks excavating our house with a tunnel system the early Romans would envy.
Fiction: I dream of perching myself on a wooden fence and harping away in an incessant high-pitched chirp.
Fact: I am not a chipmunk, nor do I resemble anything bearing the Rodentia Coat of Arms. Neither to I flail a tail.
Fact: I hold an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Pittsburgh.
Fact: My life has been one of re-invention, the latest and most unconventional -- for me, that is — has been entering the Entrepreneurial Stage and founding of MarMooWorks, a company featuring original children's books and companion pieces.
Fact: MarMooWorks evolved from my passion to promote literacy, interactive reading, a love for learning and language at an early age; and from my passion engage children, from infancy through those adults still nurturing their child spirit.
Fact: I love hanging out with kids.
Fact: I love Mrs. Bryne’s Dictionary, which one of my former students gave to me, and Jeffery Kacirk’s Forgotten English Word-of-the-Day Calendar.
More Facts since founding MarMooWorks in 2012
2012: MarMooWorks was awarded with the 2012 InnovationErie Grand Prize for overall business concept & the Multi-Media Design Arts Competition
2012: Christopher Counts The Constellations (book, audio, interactive app, & Readable Wear)
2013: A Hero at Three (book, audio, frame-able prints, a.k.a., Writing on the Walls, & Readable Wear)
2014: A Hullabaloo of Hippos: A Lollapalooza of Language from A to Z (book, digital audio, & Readable Wear)
2014: Goin' Explorin' (book, published @reCAP Mason Jars)
2016: When the Camel Sneezed (book)
My brother, John, could sing like Alvin and did.
Meet Sam -- Improv Artist, Film-maker, Doodler,
& Artistic Director of MarMooWorks
Sam sits on a bench at the New Orleans Zoo, sketching animals for When the Camel Sneezed.