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 weekly family life columns to various newspapers and penning bi-weekly op-ed columns for the Catholic press. Writing about the Catholic Church is definitely my sweet spot (an editor once called me the Nora Ephron of “edgy Catholic writing”), although writing about education, parenting and public policy are right up there. I won some awards for my work in all these areas, but reader emails and letters have meant more.

As it’s tagline says, ReneeWroteThis covers just about everything, but if forced into a blog classification, it would fall somewhere between cultural commentary and lifestyle column. If something’s up with the Catholic Church, I’ll probably have an opinion about it, as I probably will about education, parenting, “the media” or politics. I believe strongly in the common good, knowing that we do not live in isolation and our actions affect other people (and the planet). Likewise, I believe in critical thinking and dialogue. We tend to talk at each other nowadays. I’d like to talk with you, instead.

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 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, my mother, and my Aunt Ann.