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I describe myself as an educator, writer, US Navy veteran, mother and grandmother. I live in Pittsburgh, PA and I'm never without a small posse of rescued pets.
I spent my earliest working years with my sister and parents as we traveled juried craft shows where our artist/glassblower father enchanted crowds with demonstrations in hot glass and our mother expertly narrated the demonstrations telling stories about the origins of glass and then selling the unique pieces of art.
Providing breaks and the occasional time off for my mother, I served as a cashier and sales rep in the business and still remember the "Craft Show Years" with fondness. Those early years (I was younger than 15) helped hone my intense curiosity about work, careers and doing what you love.
After serving 6 years on active duty in the US Navy (Hospital Corpsman) - many years after the craft shows - I went on to earn a bachelor's degree in health information management at the University of Pittsburgh and a master's degree from Carnegie Mellon. I have worked as an academic dean for a community college, a faculty member in both the community college and university setting and I continue to be engaged as an academic consultant by various organizations. I also maintain close relationships with academic colleagues and former students from the institutions where I have taught and worked.
Speaking to doing work that you love - I am actively engaged in several fiction works. I have been writing and submitting like a mad-woman to Woman's World - a weekly magazine that buys short-short mystery fiction and romantic fiction. No pubs yet, but several subs have made it all the way to the final editor and sent back with a personal note... that's progress for a newbie. My genre niche is mystery with a healthy dose of romantic interest between the protagonist and some hunky man (think Harlequin Intrigue). My current work is - not surprisingly - set at a major research university and the heroine is, of course, a college professor. Murder and mayhem and mysterious activities along with, of course, a handsome man who is helpful (at least eventually). More on this later...
While writing and speaking to groups about any variety of topics is my great passion; I can also be found listed in local college course catalogs as an adjunct professor because interacting with students keeps me grounded and real. It also gives me a steady stream of terrific character ideas.