I have been a writer as long as I can remember. I was one of those little girls who made up stories about my dolls and wrote them down in handmade books. Here is a picture of one of my early works, Misery, a hint that even as a kid, I was drawn to the darker side of life. I stole shamelessly from my fellow Minnesotan, Charles Schultz, creator of Peanuts and best sellers like Happiness Is a Warm Puppy. Instead of happy incidents, I wrote sources of misery. “Misery is when you invite your best friend over the night and your brother socks her in the stomach and then she’s not your best friend anymore,” is one of the more memorable pages. The doll is meant to be the poor injured sister, aka me disguised as a blonde.
These initial forays into the world of writing were followed by fifty years of journaling, beginning when I was fifteen. My journals are a record of my traveling years first as a Friends World College student of social work and cultural anthropology. I was lucky enough to spend four years living and working in Kenya, Japan, Singapore and Indonesia. Later I recorded my years as a mother and hausfrau in a Bavarian village outside of Munich, Germany. I carefully documented my days in preparation for the memoirs I knew were in my future. But first, I wanted to live a life worth writing about.
In 1989, I moved to Montpelier, Vermont with my husband and three young children and decided I’d had enough adventures to finally get going on those memoirs. I joined a writing group and earned an MFA in creative nonfiction from Goucher College to learn how to turn memories into stories for others to read. In the meantime, I wrote articles for many nonprofit newsletters and articles about women in agriculture, politics and small business for Local Banquet and Vermont Woman. I taught creative writing to adults and high school students and edited the Montpelier High School literary journal, Wild Onion Review.
But those memoirs, the stories of my adventures overseas? They are still many works in progress. Writing about myself has never come easily for me, and the memoirs seemed to be going nowhere. As an escape from digging into my past, I found myself writing a mystery, a genre I knew little about. That mystery kept me busy off and on for many years, but finally I had a finished product, A Dream to Die For, to be released by She Writes Press on July 16, 2019. I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it for you!