I grew up in Seattle where I have returned after 24 years living east of the Mississippi. By day I support school leaders in implementing social and emotional learning. When not working I can be found coaching my son’s baseball team, spending time with family, and getting up early in the morning to write.
In college, I studied journalism and creative writing before turning to anthropology where I earned BA and MA degrees with a focus on mortuary archaeology and paleopathology. You can hear me interviewed about mortuary archaeology by Wendy H. Jones. During my graduate studies, I consulted as a forensic anthropologist. After being cursed by a village matriarch while excavating a Roman-era burial in Turkey, I went to seminary; as an ordained rabbi, I have buried almost as many (mostly long-lived) people as I dug up in my archaeological work.
Through it all, my great hope is to leave the world better than I found it. Writing, and supporting others on their writing journeys, is a valuable tool on my path to fulfilling that hope.
My Writing Inspiration
I learned to love words at the proverbial knees of my mother and my Grandpa Ed. I write to explore and make sense of the world.
Mom was an author of history, poetry, and memoir. She supported and inspired my composition of words even before I knew what to do with a pencil. She was my first editor (a professional), teaching me to write through her gentle and abundant markups on my school papers and stories. And one day she printed and hand-delivered a manuscript I emailed to her from across the country, on the submission deadline, since the journal didn’t take electronic submissions. That manuscript became my first published short story. I have been honored to voice Mom’s work posthumously when her writing group has offered readings.
Grandpa Ed was a journalist and a word trickster. If my mother inspired my desire to write, I can credit Grampa Ed with inspiring my love of words. He would greet me after school with a riddle or what he called a hanky panky to figure out. He and my grandmother encouraged me to “cheat” at Scrabble by looking up possible words in the dictionary.
I am grateful to many writing friends. My writing buddy Sarah has taught me many things, including to be more disciplined about writing. My writing critique group, five amazing women, showed up in my life just when I needed them most. The sisters and misters of Sisters in Crime and others throughout the worldwide community of writers are an extended family.
My Reading Life
My favorite things to read are mysteries and memoirs, and these both influence what and how I write. Truth be told, I will read just about anything (I only put it down if it gets crass or boring or too scary). Connect on Goodreads to follow my reading journey.