I'm a writer, editor, author, brand strategist and podder-in-chief at Upod Academy.  My bylines appear in The New York Times, Forbes, GQ, Food + Wine and many other places.

I live in Los Angeles with my wife, Ruth Kennison, a chocolatier, and our son, Sebastian, who has jazz hands. I went to Vassar and Columbia J-School. Here's my TEDx talk on pushing through fear to get things done.



Latest Worth Reading
The New York Times: Why I got my teenager into “prehab.”

Some All-Time Favorites
Where mindfulness meets Google mind
On being a helicopter parent to a dog
Motoring across Japan in a 1934 Rolls Royce
Visiting the vanishing tribes of Ethiopia's Omo Valley
Learning to love the last great oceanliner

The science of wonder and awe
What it’s like to fly around the world
The one where we find the best beach in Thailand
A secret beef restaurant in Los Angeles
Life lessons from bluegrass camp
Our month of living "s-l-o-w"
Thirty days of thank you
Our bold experiment in no spending

Selected Profiles and Q&As
The New York Times / A White House speechwriter escapes to L.A.
The New York Times / Striking a power pose with Harvard’s Amy Cuddy
The New York Times / The man behind TED (whose name isn’t Ted)
Delta Sky / Lin-Manuel Miranda finds life after Hamilton
Delta Sky / Talking to Oprah about finding your true purpose
The New York Times / L.A.’s gangsta Johnny Appleseed
GQ / Kevin Hart’s World Domination Plan Starts Here
New York Magazine / A 75-year-old aims to shatter the world land speed record
Town + Country / Searching for Brazil’s spicy seafood stew on the beaches of Bahia
Playboy / Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards
Playboy / Van Jones, CNN superhero
Food + Wine / Julia Child's editor serves me dog food in her Vermont farmhouse
The New York Times / The smartest people on Twitter. All in one Brooklyn loft
AARP Magazine / Influencers your grandma would love
AARP Magazine / Diane Keaton certainly doesn’t waste time on small talk
AARP Magazine / DeNiro, Douglas, Freeman, Schwarzenegger, Mirren, Duvall and more
AARP Magazine / Never too late to renovate with the Property Bros
Men’s Health / Jedi wisdom from a man who knows from Jedi wisdom
Robb Report / The Oscar nominee who'd rather flip houses
Forbes / My dinner (well, drinks) with the guys from My Dinner with Andre

Seven Continents
Forbes / What it's like flying around the world in a private jet
Los Angeles Magazine / L.A.’s secret beef restaurant
Delta Sky / Driving around Jamaica looking for a dream
Robb Report / Rolling in the Land of the Rising Sun
Travel + Leisure / Help! Our plane is landing in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean!
Town + Country / In search of Brazil’s tastiest seafood stew
Virtuoso Life / Bordeaux loosens up!
Virtuoso Life / Searching for cacao beans in Ecuador
Virtuoso Life / How to visit Antarctica
Virtuoso Life / Amsterdam the locals wayby bicycle
Virtuoso Life / At dinner at Noma in Copenhagen
Virtuoso Life / My son teaches me to ride an elephant in remotest Thailand
Virtuoso Life / In search of the best beach in Thailand
Virtuoso Life / Meeting the chocolate masters of Paris
Virtuoso Life / Paris at night
The New York Times / Driving the longest, remotest, dustiest road in Australia
The New York Times / New Zealand’s freakiest food fest

Centurion / The art of the brag
The New York Times / Why I walk in Los Angeles
The New York Times / Cake Wrecks and other frosting disasters
O: The Oprah Magazine / The science and magic of awe
Salon / How I ruined the family vacation in Denmark
GQ / Are you raising a little douchebag?
Women’s Health / Why my brain acts differently than my wife’s brain
AARP Magazine / Real heroes never get old

Los Angeles Magazine / What it’s like living elbow-deep in chocolate
Los Angeles Magazine / What I learned about life by eating weeds on the side of a freeway
Los Angeles Magazine / My summer at Neapolitan pizza school
Los Angeles Magazine / Searching for silence in Los Angeles
Southwest / Welcome to Slowvember
Southwest / The wonders, wisdom and weirdness of TED
Forbes / Wolfgang Puck challenges me to work the line at Spago
Food + Wine / Opening a rare bottle of Colgin with Ann Colgin
Reader's Digest / Our month of no spending
Reader's Digest / Our month of extreme gratitude
Reader's Digest / Life lessons from bluegrass camp

Playing Yoda
Tips: How to Be The Happiest Freelancer on Your Block
Rules: My Always-Say-Never Rules For Writing
Kudos: Upod Academy gets love from National Writers Union
Raves: More love from Freelancers Union
Praise: Contently story on Upod and why I give away contacts

Oh, and Chugga Chugga Poo Poo!
The Potty Train


Story Services

My job is to surprise, entertain, inform and delight with original and engaging stories. That begins with asking meaningful questions and letting curiosity lead the way. The approach applies to my journalism and to my storytelling services for brands and clients.

  • Ghostwriting
  • Book proposals
  • TED Talk training
  • Signature stories for brands
  • Website content overhauls
  • Branded content
  • Interview coaching
  • Message development
  • Writing coaching
  • Presentation decks
  • Media training
  • Editorial strategy
  • Business and product naming
  • Media assessment and strategy