It's pronounced "PAWN-ah-son" and is almost always misspelled. It's Hungarian and has an accent, which I adopted a few years ago after having met a Ponicsán family in Budapest. Anyone with that name is related to me.

I was born in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, a boom coal town then, now a bust coal town with a rich history. My family moved over the hill to Ringtown, where I attended high school. My AB degree is from Muhlenberg College, my MA from Cornell. I taught high school for three years in Owego, N.Y., before doing post-grad work in the U.S. Navy, which in hindsight I see as a university on the sea.

After all of that I loaded up my TR-3 with everything I owned and pointed it west. When I came up against the Pacific I stopped. I became a social worker in Los Angeles before returning to teaching high school, for another three years. 

From the age of 18 I have been a writer, though I kept it to myself, starting with poems and short stories and moving on to longer forms. It took me an apprenticeship of 12 years before I got a handle on it. My first novel was "The Last Detail," based on a number of experiences in the Navy, and woo-hoo, it's a writer's life for me. 

I've had a long career screenwriting, and that's not over yet. I've written a baker's dozen of novels and if I'm no longer burning rubber I'm still firing on all eight cylinders. 

​With my left hand I paint and sculpt. Evenings, I sing and play the ukulele. Mostly doo-wop, never Hawaiian. 


Thanks for dropping by.

Self-Portrait - fired clay


The patina is achieved by a lengthly process of applying white and green and gold acrylics, followed by applications of brown and black shoe polish.