A writer comes from a reader. I have been an avid reader for as long as I could remember. From picture books, I graduated to The Secret Garden, to the Black Stallion series, to Nancy Drew. On weekend camping trips in native state, Michigan, I stuffed books under the front seat of the car so I would be well stocked. I read everything, moving through library sections like courses of a meal. It wasn't until fifth grade and Mr. Hoyle's short story writing assignment, though, that I realized I could write a book. I have been writing ever since.
In between story ideas, I went to college, worked for a medical and nursing publishing house, got married, and had four kids.I write between my other "jobs" of mother and wife. I sew when I can't write, and garden when it's nice. I read the rest of the time.
When I was in third grade, my family moved three miles away from the house I’d lived in from birth. I was devastated. Our neighborhood had lots of kids and my best friend, Rhonda Rapp, lived across the street. Because of the move, I’d have to go to a different school and wouldn’t see my friends regularly until high school. I’ve moved a few times since then, and each time has had its difficulties. Due to my husband’s job change, we’ve moved to Texas. As I watch my kids trying to adjust to a school that’s three times the size of their previous school, the frightened little girl I used to be haunts me. Even then, I lived in worlds of my own making. I’d tell elaborate stories and invent stories for my friends and I to act out. They grew tired of those imaginary worlds far sooner than I did. When I was alone, I’d read. Sometimes, if no one was around, I’d go down to our basement and dance to some old 45 records the previous owners had left. (My choreography was greatly hindered by our pool table, which took up 80% of the room!) Oddly enough, one of my favorite songs to dance to was The Yellow Rose of Texas (the 1955 Mitch Miller version). While looking for the lyrics, I discovered the song’s folk roots and possible slave past, which made the song even more interesting to me. So here I am, all grown up and not dancing around my basement anymore, but living in Texas. It’s quite a change from the woods of Pennsylvania, where bears prowl and coyotes chorus to the rolling plains of Texas, where cattle and horses live in the front yards of houses and the home of Coyote, or Trickster. We’ve been told coyotes are a huge problem in Texas, but so far we haven’t heard any. Maybe coming from a land of many predators (bear, fox, hawk, bobcat, and coyote, along with the rumored return of the mountain lion and wolf) we aren’t as easily impressed. Since we left our Pennsylvania home, the guy who’s mowing for us has seen three bears on our deck. But this is a land with a fierce sun and fiercer bugs, so we haven’t been unchallenged. The fire ants have exploded underfoot with the record rains and we have spiders hanging everywhere. I don’t mind the huge banana spiders, but the black widows and brown recluses can take a hike. So if you’re down here under the big Texas sun, riding the lone prairie as we are, drop me a line and say hi! As for me, I’ll adjust, even if it means I have to take up dancing again.
Scroll down to see the Texas landscape and some other pictures of my life.
This is the view from our new deck. It was summer when I took this, but not yet hot. That's my hubby down there by the pond. He's trying
to lure the cows over to him. They still don't come to visit unless you have food, and then the younger one doesn't come all the way up. I have to buy two more cows soon. I'm not sure how I got to be a farmer, but they seem to be part of Texas life.
My family has a menagerie of pets that keep us occupied and amused. We have four dogs, down from five. We lost our beloved Justin recently. He was a wonderful Golden Retriever. We also have five cats. That's Scarlett, the model for Perfume in Aimee, top right and Carson on the bottom. He likes posing among the roses. Below are our two black labs before they grew.
Here are some of my quilts. Some I made for my kids. Others were for charity events. I love working with the colors in the fabrics. My favorite part of the process is when all the tiny pieces of fabric come together to make something even more beautiful than the fabrics were by themselves. That's sort of like what writing is like. I take some things that actually happened, change them, mix them with a lot of fictional elements, and wind up with a book. Hopefully one other people will want to read!