Michael Hopping has always aimed high. Sometimes it pays off. In 1974 he was accepted into medical school at the University of Missouri, Columbia, and then into the prestigious Menninger Foundation for residency training in general psychiatry. More often though, he just aims high.
It made him a lousy duck hunter. For him, hunting was less about killing than satisfying a desire to touch the mystery of wild things—reduce to possession was the terminology then in vogue—if only in broken form. But the ducks usually didn’t fall for it. So he turned to carving birds out of wood. A passable hand with knife and chisel, he was less successful as a painter of feathers. The illusion of iridescence escaped him as readily as the ducks.
In later years, Hopping developed a bit more respect for other living things and developed new outlets for his curiosity. After completing psychiatric residency in 1982 he moved to Asheville, North Carolina, and worked at Blue Ridge Center, the public community mental health service for Buncombe and three adjacent counties. He left medical practice in 2001 when the powers-that-be in the state forced the public system onto a collision course with privatized disaster. Since then, his pen has celebrated its freedom from Big Pharma by capturing the wild things of the imagination on paper.
He has been an investigative reporter, features writer and occasional commentator for a variety of alternative print and online publications. His short fiction and creative nonfiction have appeared in Spoiled Ink, The Great Smokies Review, fresh and the Mad Hatters’ Review Blog. A novel, Meet Me In Paradise, was published in 2007. A collection of short stories, MacTiernan's Bottle, will appear in Fall, 2011.