I grew up in Seattle where I have returned after 24 years living east of the Mississippi. By day I support school leaders 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.
Outside of writing, my career path has followed an S curve. I started college studying journalism and earned BA and MA degrees in anthropology focusing on archaeology and medical science. While living the dream of archaeological excavations with a side of forensic osteology, I felt a growing need for change. It might’ve been a question of ethics or it might’ve been my dreams and the curse from a village matriarch that led me to become a rabbi, burying the dead rather than excavating them. I have served in congregations and as a chaplain, and continue to offer freelance support to communities, families, and individuals on their spiritual journeys.
Through it all, I have explored the world and discovered myself through my writing, and guided others in writing as a path to their own discovery through both fiction and creative nonfiction. In the past few years I have turned my pen to novel-length mysteries, a genre I love to read. My writing ranges from emotional to humorous, from heartwarming to tragic, and often all of the above. I hope to leave the world better than I found it.
My Writing Inspiration
I attribute my writing passion and skill in part to my mother and to my Grandpa Ed, who were both writers.
Mom was an author of history, poetry, and memoir. She supported and inspired my writing from the beginning. She was my first editor (a professional), teaching me to write through her gentle and abundant markups on my school papers and stories. And she 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 most grateful also to my writing buddy, who has among other things taught me to be more disciplined about writing, and to my writing group, five amazing women who showed up in my life just when I needed them most.
Books and Authors I Love
My favorite things to read are mystery and memoir, and these both influence what and how I write.
Louise Penny is my favorite currently-active mystery writer.
Dara Horn is a fabulous writer of Jewish fiction in the form of contemporary midrash.
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.