my life in language

For decades I’ve immersed myself in the creation, mechanics, and love of language.

I’ve freelanced most recently with Random House and Routledge. Previously I’ve worked as a copy editor and proofreader with UC Press, Stanford Press, Jossey-Bass, and Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (deceased). I’ve worked in professional theater in literary management and dramaturgy (Magic Theatre, Z Space Studio, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, Old Globe Theater), and published arts journalism and reviews (Pacific Sun, American Theatre, Wired, Callboard). I’ve been a working journalist. I’ve been a magazine and newsletter copy editor. I’ve been an advertising copywriter and copy editor with both hard-line corporations and world-changing nonprofits. I’ve written content for complex web sites.

Through hard-scrabble workshops (where critique was a blood sport) I earned a B.A. in creative writing/literature from UCSD (summa cum laude). Early in life I was a literature major at Southwestern College. More recently I’ve taken a number of fantastic writing classes at the Loft Literary Center, UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, the Iowa Workshop MOOC, and the Mendocino Writers' Conference. I’ve published hundreds of articles, essays, and short stories, won a few prizes and fellowships, and have a couple novels-in-progress, or in a drawer. (No, I won’t mention them here. Never talk your book away … unless an agent has invited you to lunch.) Because I write too, I know the struggles and thrills firsthand.

recent clients

Why “CatchWord”?

A catchword is a memorable, attractive word or turn of phrase: it's “catchy.” But in truth the name of my business derives from one of my favorite shticks in Shakespeare, the kitchen scene in Twelfth Night. Two drunken knights and a jester play puns with catch, while singing catches (musical rounds) and catching hell. Here’s a snippet:

Sir Toby Belch: Shall we rouse the night-owl in a catch that will draw three souls out of one weaver? Shall we do that?

Sir Andrew: An you love me, let’s do’t: I am a dog at a catch.

Feste: By’r lady, sir, and some dogs will catch well.

Sir Andrew: Most certain. Let our catch be: “Thou knave.”

Feste: “Hold thy peace, thou knave,” knight? I shall be constrained in’t to call thee knave, knight.

Sir Andrew: ’Tis not the first time I have constrained one to call me knave. Begin, fool! It begins “Hold thy peace…”

Feste: I shall never begin if I hold my piece.