I’ve been reporting, writing and opining since fifth grade, when I started documenting my family life in a small notebook hidden in my backpack. I had my first byline at 16, an event so life-changing that I burst into my best friend’s history class to scream, “LOOK AT THIS!” while pointing at my name in print.
I’ve pretty much been at it ever since, and am currently in my sweet spot of cultural commentary as a featured Sunday op-ed columnist at the Arizona Daily Star. I write from a center-left perspective on some issues and a center-right position on others, something that seems to drive this polarized world just a little bit crazy.
My primary interests lie in education, parenting, the environment, public policy, religion (especially the Catholic church, on which I reported for more than a decade) and, since the arrival of the pandemic, the intersection of public health and private lives. My life and writing is informed by my Catholic faith, which makes me a huge proponent of the concept of the common good. I know in my heart that we would fare better as a society if everyone realized individual actions often affect other people (and our planet), and I’m not afraid to say so in my writing.
My professional history and a handful of older samples can be found here and my most recent columns are under “home” on the tab above. The words award-winning have been used to describe me. (Also used: tool of Satan, God-freak, liberal, conservative, passionate, intense, and, according to my favorite person, “Best Nana.”)
I’m an outdoor enthusiast, coffee snob, British-TV lover and resident Catholicism expert.
When time allows, Before a brain injury sustained in October 2019, I was at work on two novels, but those have been set aside for the time being. I spend time on Instagram here, listen to audio books and some podcasts. I make pretty good sourdough bread and I’ve survived doing two live storytelling events about cake saving the day and people saving each other.
My public speaking wheelhouse includes parenting, education, mental illness, the Catholic Church, and the intersection between faith and public life. My talks on the latter have been called informative and funny, especially if you’re drinking a margarita. Please feel free to reach out via email at rshorton08 (at) gmail (dot) com.