I grew up in Texas, where tall tales are an art and storytellers are venerated. My father, a junior high school teacher, was a storyteller of the finest kind, and he and my mother encouraged me to lose myself in stories—first reading them, then writing them. I wanted to be a writer, but the world told me that was an impossible aspiration for an ordinary mortal. I became an academic “instead,” and modesty aside, that turned out very well. Best of all, it turns out that being a communication scholar means being a writer. I’ve written interpretive social science for 35 years, and since 1992 have combined that with creative writing, both memoir and fiction. Teaching is every bit as creative for me as writing, so my life in Iowa City centers around those two activities as well as knitting, my family and friends, many physical pursuits from yoga to swimming to riding a Vespa, and my richly contemplated toy poodle named Peanut.