When I was seven years old, I created a newspaper called The Daily Tomato. I have no idea why I called it that, other than I thought the word "tomato" was incredibly funny at the time. I left it where my father had breakfast, on top of a copy of the Atlantic City Press, our hometown newspaper. Dad found it quite amusing, particularly my weather report, which stated that the weekend forecast was "cloudy with a 75% chance of poop."
When I was nine, I "wrote" a "novel" that was a dead ripoff of E.L. Konigsburg's Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth. When you merely changed the names of the characters in a book that already exists, writing a book was easy! I didn't know why more people didn't do it.
When I was in fifth grade, I wrote a poem about the color yellow. It wasn't a very good poem, but my teacher submitted it into a countywide contest anyway. That's how I learned that you'll never really know what people will like.
When I was fifteen, I made my first attempt at writing an original novel, a high school romance about a girl who falls for a German exchange student. It was terrible, but there was something intoxicating about the story planning and character development process. Back when writing seemed like it could still be a lucrative career, I knew then that that was my calling, and cultivated a fantasy of moving to New York City and living in a loft apartment where a freight elevator opened right into it, like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction.
I've written stories, plays, and a pitch script for a sitcom. I'm currently editing a novel, which my friends and family are likely very tired of hearing about at this point, and it hasn't even been published yet. I once took up a lot of real estate on LiveJournal, I've written movie reviews, and I spend a lot of time revisiting television from my childhood. I'm good at it. I'm also a pretty good podcaster: you can listen to me every other week here, as well as on other people's shows from time to time.
Not so good at the self-promotion thing, though--in fact, it's fair to say that I'm quite bad at it, which is why it's taken me five paragraphs to get to the point: Gena Radcliffe is a writer and podcaster. A writer for Alcohollywood, she's appeared in Kevin Geeks Out, and is one half of the Kill by Kill podcast, featured at The A.V. Club. Raised in the part of New Jersey no one cares about, with absolutely no academic credentials to speak of (other than dropping out of the same college as Patti Smith), she lives in Brooklyn.