I believe writing found me; I didn't find writing. As a child, not only would I write under our silver maple tree but also in my closet with a flashlight. It was a small house with not many places to be alone. Something about my thoughts flowing through my pencil seemed magical. It made me want to write more. I also became interested in history and loved reading biographies, thinking how wonderful it would be to meet the people in the books. My interest in the past led me to a history degree at Elon University.
I have been fortunate to be able to combine my love for writing and for history in creative nonfiction writing. Side By Side, a picture book about Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane, was a finalist in the Best Book Awards in 2017. A true short story, "Called Home," about two young Marines from Raleigh who died in Vietnam, was a finalist in the Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Short Story Contest in 2017 and published in The Write Launch in February 2021. These two young heroes will always be a part of me as a writer.
Like many people, I spent time attempting to organize my house in the past year and found some things about my mother's life. I had no idea she was part of a group of women spearheading a library in our neighborhood. She wrote about the importance of books for children and adults. Their hard work paid off, and the library was built. My friend, Sarah, and I spent summers walking to that library for the summer reading program. The picture on the left is the two of us. Thanks to my mom, my love of reading turned into a love of writing. By the way, Sarah is still my book buddy. We share book ideas and discuss books we recently have read.
I live in Raleigh, North Carolina. I have to listen to jazz in order to write. It also helps to have my two cats, who are my muses, near me. I am a writer-in-residence with the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County. When I am not writing or teaching, I attempt to do yoga despite being very uncoordinated. I binged-watched many British television shows this past year, and wish I could bake one thing off The Great British Bakeoff, but find it so intimidating.
Little Things About Me
I do not like mosquitoes and dread them every summer.
My favorite food is a hamburger cooked on a charcoal grill.
Strawberry is my favorite ice cream.
I get writer's block.
I have written for several magazines.
I was lucky enough to take writing classes at North Carolina State University with Lee Smith.
Fall is my favorite time of year. And it is not just because the mosquitoes leave.
I still read biographies and just finished one on the first women aviators.
At night I try to read for awhile next to my cat Ringo.
I loved working as a speeh writer.
Sometimes the blank screen makes me nervous when it is time to write. I usually take a walk.