When as a child I heard that my Norwegian relatives built the Norwegian Grade in
, my storytelling ambitions took off. Branches on the Conejo: Leaving the Soil After Five Generations; (2001, Russell Dean Publishers,) was my first published memoir. Thousand Oaks, California
My second, Ordinary Aphrodite; (2008, RD&C Publishers,) is a handbook for celebrating the journey of small steps that creates a big life.
It includes essays about marrying as a teenager and coming of age at the start of the Social and Sexual Revolutions of the ’60s and '70s. More essays about the wife-mother-career woman-daughter treadmill that we manage to step onto. Sort of a Bridget Jones’ Diary for the married. A reader once said it belongs in a time capsule.
In defense of my boasting, please remember that writers aren't authors until their work is published, and they aren't appreciated until someone reads it. That can be hard. Photographers and painters post photos. Knitters and carvers display real objects. Writers can only list their accomplishments and hope that someone buys a copy or finds them online. If they are lucky, a hyperlink exists to a previous magazine that's still in business. I’m searching the internet to find my old stories.
My short fiction has appeared in about fifty print markets, some of which are even still in print. “Surprise Baby” is online at At the Center.
“Captain of the Rags” is in an anthology, Somewhere in Crime, released in November, 2011. “Cantina Nights” won the 2011 SLO NightWriters Gold Quill Award. “Billy’s Sweetheart” and “Spirit Who Dwells in Darkness” won second places at the 2011 Central Coast Writer’s Conference. “Last Dance” earned third place in the 2011 LAURA Competition of Women Writing the West. I have a few writing trophies for which I’m intensely grateful. I’m also filling a scrapbook with certificates and clippings so my mother will be proud. Contests have filled a void and guided my confidence while I grew as a writer. Now I'm pursuing an agent and a larger following of readers. "Platform" is the new reality. I'm building platform.
My work frequently appears in SLO City News, Bay News and Coast News. Other stories have appeared in Potpourri, Skipping Stones, Liguorian, Western Digest, Romantic Hearts, Christian Reader, New Times and Central Coast Magazine. “Becoming a Daughter” and “The Parting Trilogy” appeared in Mindprints. “Hard Lessons” appeared in Lynx Eye, a literary magazine unfortunately now out of print.
I subscribe to the theory that life is about saying “yes” to opportunity. In college I waited in vain for an opening in the impacted English Department. I earned a degree in Social Science, took writers’ workshops and classes, and read a zillion books. Here’s what I know: Writing is like dancing. Practice enough, read enough and you will find your rhythm.
I’ve taught writing online through RWA, at bookstores, community college and writers conferences, and every time I learn as much as my students. Teachers are the ultimate students.
Let’s see—other fun facts. I married as a teenager, finished college with a husband, a toddler and a part-time job. We’ve been married over 40 years and he still surprises me. I agreed to one dog and he brought home two (Labs.) It’s easier to cook for a crowd. Empty nests are quiet nests. I have no problem risking failure, but sometimes I sabotage success. My favorite ever doctor suggested I might want to eat more in order to lose weight. XXXOO.