I was born and raised in the Philadelphia area, hence my clogged arteries, to say nothing of my blind loyalty to Pete Rose, since he was the one who brought us our first World Series Championship in 1980. I was borderline illiterate upon graduating high school -- okay, I was total white trash -- and so instead of going to college, I spent three years hitchhiking around the country. Thereafter I lived for most of the next 25 years in Boston, punctuated with brief sojourns in Provincetown MA, West Palm Beach FL, Denver, Chicago Raleigh NC and back home in Philly.
There are self-educated people and then there are formally educated people. I just happen to be both of these people. First I educated myself from the ages of 22 to 42 by reading 5000 first-rate books -- classic literature (especially the Russians who did not deny the inherent tragedy of Life); history (which allowed me to build a timeline in my head that I could scan whenever presented with a new fact or idea); philosophy (Schopenhauer said that we should refer to one another, not as friend, but as "fellow sufferer"); literary criticism (how I was able to read and comprehend Ulysses and Moby Dick); and biographies of writers and famous tyrants (including writers who were tyrants and vice versa). Then, at the age of 42, I began pursuing a college degree in Biology. I began at Middlesex Community College (where I also took acting classes , which helped me understand screenwriting) and ended up earning a B.S. in Biology at UMass Boston. Studying math and science totally purged me of magical thinking, the definition of which is when one takes one's every stray thought or personal feel-good belief to be The Truth, which requires that the Magical Thinker ignore commonsense and blatant evidence to the contrary.
I have earned a living as a printer, a fitness trainer, a lab tech, an Uber driver and a few dollars selling my books. Now I earn my living free-lancing my creative talents on Fiverr.