“Otherwise” lives on a farm in southern Indiana, just outside Bloomington, with his wife of decades, a dog and two cats.
Otherwise grew up in the projects in Waycross, Georgia. His first attempt at college ended quickly, after which he spent two years in Sierra Leone in Peace Corps. When he got back, he bummed around for a few years in the oilfield before being talked into going back to school by his then-girlfriend, who was gone before he unpacked the U-Haul, which is just as well because in Athens, Georgia, he met his now-wife. Their plan was for him to get his degree in ag engineering and spend his life as a USAID bureaucrat. But cancer his junior year and the arrival of a daughter his senior year changed the plan. So he got a real job, the best real job going in 1981 -as an engineer in a run-down plant in Kankakee, Illinois.
During a performance review his German-American supervisor said, “There are three things about you I don’t like. You’re an arrogant asshole, you work too many weekends, and you can do anything in the world once and nothing in the world twice.” Light bulb moment. Otherwise raced in the door that afternoon yelling, “Honey, I know what I need to do with my life. I need to find a place full of hardworking assholes who never do the same thing twice!” True story.
He got an MBA from University of Chicago, then joined a prestigious management consulting firm full of assholes who worked way too hard where he was never asked to do the same thing twice. He made partner, had a son, lived and worked in Chicago, New York, LA, Mexico City and Sydney. Later he left to help run a large ad agency, which lasted about five minutes, then he formed his own consulting firm which he later sold. Even though allegedly retired, he still consults about 30 hours a week, mostly about organization and corporate and marketing strategy.
In addition to consulting, working on the farm, scuba diving and doing Ironman triathlons, he writes. He has written four business books, and had three published, and five novels, two of which have been published. He’s published a few dozen short pieces, including in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, which he thinks makes him a pulp author like Ray and John D. (He’s fucking dreaming.)
For him, the jury is still out on this blogging thing. The purpose of the Otherwise blog is to write stinging satire that forces people to think about things in new ways, but it is sometimes as uncomfortable to write as it is to read. Also, unlike most of the S&R crew, he is more scholarly rogue than roguish scholar. And at the end of the day, he still somewhere deep in his heart refuses to believe he is not the next great American novelist.