Greetings everyone! I appreciate this wonderful opportunity to share a little of myself and my work. Thanks so much, Chris.
I was born in… Don’t you just hate the way most bios start? I’d rather sing you a song or read you an excerpt from my book. As children, my sister and I would compose little ditties that we’d sing to our parents. They loved this. Their laughter and applause encouraged me to continue writing and singing. This was in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, home of the Steelers. My parents gave me my first guitar when I was 14. This launched my passion for music and songwriting, and I’ve performed in many local venues over the years.
My compassion for the suffering induced me to choose nursing as a career, and I moved to New York to attend school. While there, I worked in med-surg and on an adolescent psychiatric unit. The kids on this unit were phenomenal. When I left to move to California, all of them gave me gifts they’d made for me. One young fellow who had been there only a few days offered me a pair of his new socks. Knowing that he needed these, I didn’t want to take them. But he insisted. His eyes filled with tears as he pushed the socks into my hands. He must have suffered great loss in his short life to have gotten so attached to me in such a short period of time. A heartbreaking story – one that I’ll write about someday.
California is now my home. While working on a hemodialysis unit, I was brought face-to-face with my own mortality. It hit me hard. Many of the patients were awaiting liver transplants, but most wouldn’t live long enough to receive one. Writing carried me through the dark days – those days when you arrived at work and learned that another patient you’d grown close to had died. Writing was my savior. While working as the protocol editor for an oncology group, I published a couple of articles on alternatives to radical mastectomy in the treatment of primary breast cancer. They weren’t well-received by the attendant medical establishment, but many women were greatly appreciative.
It was around this time that I actively became involved in animal rights. I was a voice for the voiceless. I wrote letters and articles and – yes – songs. I signed petitions, posted flyers, and sang at rallies. I even incorporated my own animal rights group, but decided that my time and energy were better spent on direct action rather than executive duties. I’ve shared my adult life with several feline companions, all of whom opened my heart and blessed me with unconditional love. When my first little furry one crossed the rainbow bridge, I was devastated. I felt as if I were being torn apart. Grief has got to be the most ravaging and desolate emotion. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t work. The only thing that saved me was writing. I made a memory book into which I pasted all my photos of her. Then I wrote down every memory of her I could extract from my muddled brain. Once again, writing was my savior. As each of my little ones departed, I made a memory book for them. I’ve since combined them into one, and I write in it to this day.
As my heart opened, my eyes did as well. My spirit longed for meaning and purpose. It was no accident when I encountered a shaman who became my teacher. A whole other plane of existence opened to me. I’d never had any trouble finding my voice or acknowledging my feelings, but now my spirit was finding expression. It was standing on the precipice of freedom. It had found its wings. Many thoughts and emotions began to clarify. And it was during this time when I realized that death is to life as waking is to sleep.
I wrote my début novel – Plateau: Beyond the Trees, Beyond 2012 – after watching one too many “doomsday” documentaries regarding the supposed end of the Mayan calendar on December 21, 2012. These left me feeling both disheartened and determined. I don’t embrace apocalyptic theories and was compelled to write a novel of hope.
My protagonist is a 15-year-old tribal female who discovers her strengths and destiny by overcoming adversity while honoring the wisdom of her elders. Her will, fortitude, and ingenuity are tested relentlessly. She must learn to face her fear and trust blindly without fully knowing why she was born the Keeper of the Crystal Heart, the requisite key to the Great Mosaic of Life. She ultimately comes face-to-face with herself in a battle that would shrink the will of the most intrepid warrior, unaware that realizing her destiny will irrevocably impact all beings on earth and beyond. The Great Mosaic of Life holds a message of hope that would allow us to see and live beyond the fated year 2012. Her people inject humor and wisdom throughout this tale of mystery and adventure.
Will love prevail over fear? This is a question that millions are asking across the globe. Plateau proffers a dash of insight and a bounty of hope. Its underlying message is that we must keep our hearts open and act from love instead of reacting from fear. We must practice gratitude and compassion within every moment and with every breath. In so doing, we’ll help elevate the human species to a higher consciousness, facilitating both personal and global peace.
I’ve just completed the first in a series of children’s books, which will be published soon. Inspired by one niece having quadruplets and another having triplets, the books will be both traditionally and ethically educational.
Thank you for sharing this time with me! I’d love to meet you, so feel free to connect with me. My links are below. I wish you all much joy, success, love, and just enough challenge to keep you growing. Blessings…