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 writing family life columns for various newspapers and op-ed columns for the Catholic press. (I won awards!) My family life columns resulted in hundreds of letters from parents thanking me for helping them laugh and feel less lonely and my commentary in the Catholic press led one editor to call me the Nora Ephron of “edgy Catholic writing.” (Some of those columns also led to readers calling me the “tool of the devil”, so perhaps it was a wash.)

Renee Wrote This features a bit of the topics I wrote about as a columnist, but, in this digital space it primarily focuses on cultural commentary about the private issues and public events that shape our lives. It’s keeping my off-work hours full so I don’t eat super-sized bags of M&Ms while nervously waiting to hear back from agents about my as-yet unpublished novel.

My work has appeared in various places, including Dallas Morning News, The Arkansas Democrat Gazette, The 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, click here.)

I love really good coffee and chocolate, funny movies, and being active outside. I’ve never met a stranger, survived improv comedy classes and performing in a live story telling event, and believe cupcakes are their own food group. If I could invite three people to dinner, they would be Erma Bombeck, Martin Short, and the pope.