Perhaps it was being seven years old and sitting at the kitchen table in Dover, NJ, being made to spell my list forwards and backwards that led me to a fascination with words. Or, as a lonely child making up dramatic scenarios with diverse characters, languages and voices. An avid reader, the library was my safe haven. Putting stories on paper seldom occurred to me. By high school, I struggled at the notion. My high school science teacher pushed me into writing a horrible, 19th century valedictory that I could now produce more true to the era.
At Occidental College, my first Blue Book was barely a page and a half. Writing books or being an archaeologist were beyond me I thought; remembering Jane Addams’ TWENTY YEARS AT HULL HOUSE and reading Steinbeck, I turned to social work at San Francisco settlement houses. It was a challenging career working with girls’ street gangs and developing services for unwed parents. A spirit of innovation prevailed in that setting. Later years in residential treatment and Child Protective Services meant gathering material that I choose not to write.
Short stories and poems came to me in my forties; pieces I could do midst a strenuous career, active family life and other creative endeavors. My husband was from New Mexico and I’d already traveled extensively in the Southwest as we continued to do with our children. Walking in Chaco Canyon at 4:00 am led to poems as did the crossing at Lee’s Ferry, wandering in the Garden of the Gods,and crossing the Continental Divide. A quiet meadow near Silver Creek in the Sierra offered meditation and inspiration. In fact, that setting is now the basis of a contemporary novella. Nature nurtures my creativity and energy as little else does.
My first attempts at novels sit in the closet. THE HUACHUCA TRILOGY is the result of long years of refining my craft, persisting in the face of rejection, and receiving faith and encouragement from my family, friends and supportive writers. I have more stories to write.