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 amazing that I burst into my best friend’s history class to scream, “LOOK AT THIS!” while pointing at my name in print.

I started my professional life as a food writer and education reporter, then moved to a freelance career selling family life columns to various newspapers and penning bi-weekly op-ed columns for the Catholic press – and reporting on the Catholic Church is definitely my sweet spot, although writing about education, parenting and public policy are also right up there. An editor once called me the Nora Ephron of “edgy Catholic writing,” which pretty much made up for the one reader who called me “the tool of the devil.” I won some awards for my work in all these areas, but reader emails and letters have meant more. ReneeWroteThis keeps my off-work hours full so I don’t eat super-sized bags of M&Ms while trying to find agents for my first novel and write my second and learn the latest tech thing I need to get my work out to the masses.

My work has appeared in various venues, including the Dallas Morning News, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, National Catholic Reporter, Saint Anthony Messenger, BizTucson, The Arizona Daily Star, The Tucson Citizen, Portland Magazine, The Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop, The Texas Catholic and, I’ve been told, under various refrigerator magnets. (For selected samples and a more complete work history, click here.)

I believe strongly in the common good, knowing that – as much as we might like to deny it – we do not live in isolation. I love really good coffee and chocolate, funny movies, and being active outside. I’ve never met a stranger, survived improv comedy classes and have performed a live live storytelling here and here. If I could invite three people to dinner, they would probably be the late Erma Bombeck, Steve Martin and the pope.