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Since I've only had a few creative writing-type classes, I would have to defer to my life experience as my credentials. As Evelyn Waugh so aptly put it: "Novel-writing is a laborious trade. The raw material is every single thing one has ever seen or heard or felt, and one has to go over the vast rubbish-heap of experience, scraping and delving, until one finds a few discarded valuables." I have had a husband that dated other women. I have had another that dated other men. I have raised four biological children, five stepchildren, and 45 foster children and now enjoy ten grandchildren (so far). I have had over 70 addresses. I have advocated for myself and others in cases of domestic and drug abuse, rape, and have worked with hospice, Special Olympics, preschool reading programs, literacy groups and drug rehab. I also spent 15 months homeless. In short, I have ample raw material and I am constantly having to deal with unwritten or partially written novels vying for my full attention. Voices are what I hear; writing is what I do.
My writing credits include website articles, articles and editorials for local newspapers, the voice of a Booker the bookshop cat (who did amazingly articulate book reviews and commentaries), well-crafted notes to my children’s teachers, captivating shopping lists, scathingly brilliant letters of accusation, followed by the inevitable ensuing heart-wrenching letters of apology. Having finally completed When Renoir Loved Thomas Jefferson, I am currently working on its prequel and sequel, as well as a number of other novels.
My work history is varied and colorful: Executive Assistant, Deli Schlepper, Carpenter and Cabinetmaker, Designer and Dressmaker, Childcare, Foster Parent, Executive Housekeeper (wait until you see that manuscript!), Executive Director of Literacy Council, Used Bookstore Maven, Entrepreneur, Botanical Apothecary Technician, among other things. None of this may seem to qualify me as a writer, but I would have to dispute that. They have been amazing parts of my journey.
2nd Place in Missouri State Art Contest in 10th grade. Safety Award in Carpentry School. National Honor Society. None of this probably sounds terribly impressive, but it's been FUN!