The first thing you should know is that I’m proud to have lived my whole life in flyover country–although, thanks to adventurous parents and grandparents and a couple of fabulous opportunities, I’ve visited great cities and parks all over the country, and even overseas. I grew up on a farm, where I spent many hours climbing trees, jumping off hay bales and chasing cattle back into their pasture when they broke through the fences. (But I never once tipped a cow.)
I’ve been putting words and melodies on paper as long as I can remember, and I even made a recording of some (really bad) songs when I was about ten, using two cassette players to add harmony.
I earned two degrees in flute performance–from the University of Missouri and the University of Northern Iowa–and I met my husband in a church choir. I’ve worked fast food, retail, on the farm, as a professional musician and a stay-at-home mom. But once I started writing music, fiction and nonfiction, I never looked back.
I have four children, one of whom has Down syndrome. Motherhood has taught me that when something is part of you, it exerts a pull on every other part. This is what it means to live an integrated life. I believe the written word and the sung note should make the world a better place. This doesn’t mean pretending that ugliness doesn’t exist. The best writing acknowledges the reality of the world without enshrining it as inevitable or desirable. That is what I hope to achieve when I sit down behind the keyboard.
I’ve been privileged to work with terrific music editors at WLP and GIA. My fiction has made the final round in the Glass Woman (Fall 2011), WOW-Women on Writing Flash (Fall 2013) and WFWA’s Rising Star (2014) contests. My work with Family Foundations and Liguorian has won awards from the Catholic Press Association. And my essays have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul and on NPR’s All Things Considered.