I have often wondered just how much people want to know about what makes a writer. My life, to me, seems boring, almost mundane, yet to others, the fact that I've traveled in Europe and through more than half of the United States, makes my life an adventure. All these things have added up to experiences I'm sure others have had but none like me. And I try to insert those experiences in my stories, bits and pieces of me for the reader to understand this path I've taken.
I was born and raised in Southern California, attending a private, Catholic school from first through eighth grade. Never once did I think of myself as elite or different. That was school, a place I went Monday through Friday for hours when I could have been doing what any normal child does, climbing trees, figuring out ways to drive my parents nuts, or riding my bike, without safety gear since we didn't even know what that was in the 1960s. We made hopscotch's on the sidewalk with chalk and played for hours. Riding a bike up and down a sidewalk was often accompanied by jump ramps where we attempted to fly beyond gravity to reach the moon, like the astronauts we so admired. Skateboards whizzing past were not unheard of, again without safety equipment. Sure, we skinned knees and elbows and bumped heads but we were up and running within the few minutes it took our mothers to clean up the mess and advise us to 'be more careful next time'. Even tackling trees, climbing the branches until we reached the top and could see every inch of our domain, the neighborhood, was an activity never thought dangerous. We were invicible.
Those halycon days of childhood evolved into teenage. Teenage, the time of serious crushes on the cute boy you hated last year, or the latest teen pop idol, offered more. We were expected to 'grow up', but no one really explained what growing up involved. Classes were harder. No one reminded us daily about finishing long term projects and I found something to love. English, a class I'd always found easy, suddenly became the place I wanted to be. The essays assigned were the one thing I concentrated on with a passion for each subject handed down. By the time I was in my junior year, I ferverently wanted to be a freelance photo/journalist and planned to major in those subjects in college. After all, this is the land where free choice was one of the basic precepts of our Revolution. But, alas, reality intruded and I was convinced, through the use of maternal dripping disgust, that writers didn't make all that much money and I should find a more practical field in which to major. Well, I did, picked accounting and spent the next year bored out of my mind. The course work was, to me, so simple as to be designed for morons. I slept through classes and pulled straight As without a thought. "Time for a change," I thought and decided Law Enforcement would offer far more excitement.
The two years I majored in Law Enforcement didn't prepare me for the realities of California's Property Tax Rollback Iniative and how there would be no jobs with the police in California for years unless you had a Masters Degree. So, with all that time in college basically wasted, to my naive mind, I searched for a place where I could work, earn a decent wage, and maybe be trained in a marketable skill while also traveling beyond my safe zone of sunshine, beaches, and close friends.
The Air Force opened my eyes as to how the rest of the world worked and offered me an opportunity to travel. And travel I did. Two years and six months after enlisting, I flew to Frankfurt Airport in Germany and then went to Hahn Air Base, where I spent the next five and a half years. I also married my first husband, had two children, and began a love affair with Europe I maintain to this day. Europe, specifically Germany and Spain, were the presents under the Christmas tree, the Easter basket brimming with goodies, and a birthday surprise I never would have expected all rolled up in one. My love of history and adventure opened as I checked out different activities, including Volksmarching, on the weekends. The time flew past far too fast and I was soon at Luke AFB in Phoenix, where a lifelong fascination with the Old West was at my fingertips to discover.
Since then, I've learned to explore every possible place of mystery, romance, adventure, or history no matter where I am. I'm now married to my soul mate and our baby celebrates his 18th birthday soon. With that comes high school graduation, his dreams of college and perhaps a place in The Marching Southerners, and another whole new world of adventures.
We live in Northwest Georgia, in a small town brimming with history. My sense of adventure now takes it turn on the pages of my computer screen as I translate a lifetime of discovery into stories for those who love my work. As to when I'll stop writing, to quote my husband, "When they nail the coffin closed."