When I was eight years old, I saw two movies that changed my life.
- One was about four children who stumbled through a wardrobe into another world. In that world, magic was real, a lion’s breath could bring stone to life, and children could be kings and queens.
- The other was about a Duke’s son who had strange visions, his mother who was called a witch because she knew things that no one else did, and a desert world where men and women could ride on the backs of monsters.
- Both of them had worlds so rich and full of history that the films only scratched the surface of what they really contained. Both had female characters in pivotal roles and positions of political power equal to or even surpassing their male counterparts, and both told stories that were at once epic and deeply personal.
I remember exactly where I was when I saw these films, and I remember being so entranced by them that I didn’t move or speak the entire time they were playing. I drew pictures about them afterward — and I don’t mean just one or two. I drew pictures about them for years. I revisited them in my mind, wondered about the parts of the stories that I hadn’t been told, knew there was more, but didn’t know where to get it.
Eventually, I did discover that both of the movies I’m talking about were based on books — and that those books were part of two very well-loved series.
This was amazing to me because it meant that there must be other people who loved these characters and their worlds, even though no one in my family or small social circle seemed interested.
Dune and Narnia are the first in a list of stories that opened up my mind to the possibility of other worlds and other ways of seeing the world around me.
Each of them were pivotal to me, but I don’t have enough space to talk about them all. They were the places I hid myself and the places I grew out of to become the woman writing this page.
I tried to write a more conventional biography, but I was never satisfied because incidental facts about me: my age, things I enjoy, my work experiences, etc, don’t really explain who I am or why I tell stories.
- I’m in my late 30s.
- I’ve completed two novels. Both are speculative fiction; neither have been published. I’ve also written and managed newsletters for two volunteer organzations, and been a full-time caregiver for children ranging in age from 2-16.
- I’m divorced (see above).
- I’ve been homeless, and I have spent most of my life living below the “poverty line.”
- I have a whole list of chronic health challenges/disabilities that would take its own page to list. Some are visible, others are not.
- I’ve given educational workshops for women in topics including internet and computer skills, business writing, creative writing, poetry, living with chronic illness, and self-advocacy.
- I also enjoy drawing and graphic art, and I crave new music the way most people crave food.