I’ve been reporting, writing and opining since fifth grade, when I started documenting my family life in a small notebook hidden in my backpack. I had my first byline at 16, an event so life-changing that I burst into my best friend’s history class to scream, “LOOK AT THIS!” while pointing at my name in print.
I’ve been at it pretty much ever since, writing news, features, and commentary for newspapers and small magazines, winning awards along the way. But recently, I decided to focus my limited time and attention on finishing two novels I started more than a decade ago in my spare time.
That shift in writing focus was predicated on a traumatic brain injury sustained in October of 2019. You can read about that injury here and about my decision to focus on fiction here. Log-line is basically this: If those books are to ever be completed, I have to give them more than a few hours once a month, and with my disability, I can use daily writing hours for non-fiction or fiction, but not both.
Professionals call being knocked out by an air bag a “mTBI”, that lower-case ‘m’ standing for “mild.” Yet anyone who has one knows they are far from that – at least for the considerable percentage of the population who never fully recovers. Like much of life, recovery seems a crap shoot based on your age, the ability to get proper treatment ASAP, and not having recovery be interrupted by a world-wide pandemic. (Thank you, 2020-2022).
Still, the thing that has always sustained me is writing, and even though I have less brain battery than before the injury, I still have my capability in the writing arena … so off into it I go. I simply must go at a slower pace, something my Type A persona rails against most every day.
Outside of writing, I’m an unapologetic coffee snob, politics nerd, British-TV lover, outdoor enthusiast, small-child-whisperer, education advocate, horse devotee, and resident Catholicism expert. I make pretty good sourdough bread, and am highly informed on lots of things, primarily the areas in which I spent decades as a journalist: parenting, education, and religion. I’ve survived doing two live storytelling events about cake saving the day and people saving each other which I take to mean I may be a secret Super Hero.