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 some awards in all these venues but what meant the most were letters and emails from readers thanking me for helping them laugh and feel less alone. Also, when an editor called me the Nora Ephron of “edgy Catholic writing,” which made up for the one reader who called me “the tool of the devil.”

Renee Wrote This features a bit of everything I wrote about as a columnist, but in a digital space: faith, life, relationships, private issues and public events shaping our world. It keeps my off-work hours full so I don’t eat super-sized bags of M&Ms while trying to finish my first novel and research agents for the same.

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, 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 in a live this and this live storytelling events. If I could invite three people to dinner, they would be Erma Bombeck, Martin Short, and the pope.