Thank you, Chris, for inviting me to share a bit about myself.
Though I currently live in the beautiful Ozark Mountains of Branson, Missouri, I grew up on a farm in the Southern California desert; I was the eldest of nine.
My farmgirl upbringing and my birth order form the backbone of my life, for I am accustomed to responsibility and to caring for others. It’s no wonder that I spent my professional life in higher education as an administrator; because I was groomed for that role from toddlerhood.
When life eventually crashed around me and made little sense, my real journey began. I had always thought of life as a temporary venture, full of hurdles to surmount, but after these life-changing events, I turned inward for answers. By nature, I’m an introverted intuitive feeler, and I’m driven by a need to understand. I instinctively look for hidden meanings, and for what I can learn from this situation or that. And, one of the primary ways I process life is through writing.
In my noisy childhood home, I’d often escape outdoors and walk, accompanied only by dreams. Later, I’d jot down these tidbits in my diary, thinking nothing of it except that it gave me peace. When I was in high school, though, I was pulled aside by my English teacher after sharing a few of my stories. She wanted me to know that I was a good writer, that someday I might write a book. I appreciated her kind comments very much but didn’t think much about it, because my goal was to become a doctor or a teacher.
During my years in college administration, I wrote newsletters for my staff and authored a book on volunteerism for students. This first, formal attempt at writing, was circulated at universities that had similar immersion experiences on their campuses. Over the years, I accompanied four groups of students into underdeveloped countries where we worked among the very poor.
When I retired, I began writing in earnest. My first public book is a memoir. As difficult as it was to write this book, it was also a very healing experience. Looking back through time helped me see the interconnectedness of one event and another, and then paved the way for life to unfold as it is today.
In contrast, my second book is a fictional story, co-authored by thriller writer, John W. Howell. This second book began on a whim with just a thread of a story, and then it blossomed into an unexpected thriller. Unlike my first book, this one was a delight to write, because of John’s expertise, goodwill, and humor. I don’t know that I’ve ever laughed as much as I did working with John on this book.
What’s ahead? Another thriller, of course, and perhaps another non-fiction book.
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