I started “The Gad About Town” last fall to reintroduce myself to the writing world after a long break from writing and publishing. I quickly discovered two things: One, that I still enjoy writing/publishing/designing a website, and two, that while I may very well have a book or two in me, I do not have 750-1000 words worth of ideas per day, every day. So for the last couple of months I have been writing responses to the WordPress Daily Post/Prompt, which has brought me a lot of feedback, some new online friendships, and many positive responses. The “Blogging 101” project is a good next step.
My name is Mark Aldrich. I am a one-time winner of the New York Press Association’s Best Humor Columnist award in its annual “Better Newspaper” contest. This blog, “The Gad About Town,” is about many topics, from social habits to baseball to art and movies. If I think something is worth commenting on, I do. I am a gad about town. When my column won its award in 1997, I contacted a syndicate and was told that there is no market for random thoughts from random people. I set out to prove that agent wrong and launched a blog in 1998 to the great acclaim of no one. He was right, for that era, but now we have the vast world of social media and self-publishing and partnership publishing.
I currently live in Goshen, NY. Up until May 2014, I mostly lived in New Paltz, NY, which I
first moved to in 1990, left in 1996, returned to in 1997, left in 2000, and returned to in 2006 have always loved. Since 1990, I have lived in 17 places (I think) across three states, showing the same kind of stick-to-it-iveness that ought to include about a dozen jobs in the same time period. That would match my curious resume.
I have had many writing and copy editing jobs, including editing websites and creating instruction manuals. In the early 1990s, I became a writer and performer with a radio comedy group, the Magnificent Glass Pelican, which continues to produce and perform improvisational comedy.
I am no longer looking for a job, as I was diagnosed with a form of spinocerebellar ataxia in 2012, which was revised to spinal muscular atrophy in 2014. I am disabled and spend some of my time and column space talking and writing about rare disease awareness issues. It is not a great income, but I survive and I am planning on publishing for a living. Instead of a 9-to-5 job, I have a career, full-time, as a writer. This website/blog is a start towards that.