I’ve always loved doing historical research and finding out about the way things ‘used to be’ or learning about new ideas and other people’s lives. Plus, I just thrived on reading, period!
I was one of those kids who read every book in the Childhood of Famous Americans series, every new biography or historical fiction/ non-fiction title placed in my hands, and I could never get enough of mystery and adventure stories. My parents always enjoyed giving books as gifts, and I enjoyed receiving them! As a result, I wanted to BE Nadia Comaneci, Nancy Drew, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Anne of Green Gables, all rolled into one.
I was a gymnast and clogger, and I played basketball, softball, and ran track. I could also ride a unicycle when I was younger. Maybe I can’t do a back handspring or balance on a unicycle anymore, but I can touch the end of my nose with my tongue.
My husband and I met in college and married in 1989. He is a pastor and an underground utilities locator/supervisor, and I was a classroom teacher until 1997, although I always thought I’d end up in the medical field. We have six children (three girls and three boys), ages 28 down to 13. Our four oldest children are all grown up or in college, but we still have our two youngest children at home. We live in my grandparent’s remodeled farmhouse on the family farm right next door to where I grew up. My parents still live in my childhood home, and until I went to college, I’d never lived anywhere else. When I sit on our front porch swing, I can see pecan trees, a pond, cows, and crops. I have to drive at least ten miles to get to a 'real' grocery store. Life is interesting like that.
I can’t remember ever NOT wanting to be a writer. I wrote my first stories just as soon as I could hold a pencil and string letters and words together, and I’ve never stopped. My first published story was about a set of twins—one who was a basketball player and the other a gymnast. (Hey, I was trying to write what I knew!) That was way back in 1993. Since then I’ve had lots of stories, articles, and reviews published in magazines and on websites, but Marie Curie for Kids was my first book. Writing about Marie was great because the process involved equal parts of research in both history and science. Win-Win. I also got to delve into World War I, battlefield medicine, radiology, scientific theories, and the late 1800s/early 1900s in Europe and America. Maybe I have a nerdy side, but it was awesome! I LOVE being a writer!
When I was a little girl, and it was getting close to bedtime, I always climbed into my bed with a tall stack of books to read until it was time for lights out. Well, okay, sometimes I kept on reading under the covers using a flashlight. As a grownup, I still keep stacks of books by my bed. But now when it’s time for lights out, I don’t need a flashlight. I just switch over and start reading a different book on my Kindle, keeping the brightness level low so I won’t disturb my husband. I always have several books going at once—can you tell? However, my TBR (to be read) pile is still ridiculously large.
Some of my favorite childhood memories involved rainy day visits to the library, where I got lost in books and dreams to the sound of raindrops pitter-pattering on the windows. I still like rainy days at the library, when I can browse the shelves or do research for whatever writing project I’m working on.
My sister and me. I'm the one in the high chair covered in spaghetti. 1968.
Easter, 1970. This is my mama, daddy, older sister, and me. The expression in the second one tells the tale.
My second grade pic is here, circa 1974.
Our family at Amelia Island, Florida.
Favorite Things and Hobbies:
Red Water Boots
Well-Worn Life is Good T-shirts
Comfy Cotton PJs
New Journals and Notebooks
Good Writing Pens
Vintage Cookware and Dishes
Classical and Easy Listening Pandora Stations
Playing the Piano
(and spending time with family)
Most Un-Favorite Things:
Mint Flavored Anything (Except Peppermint Candy)
Lemon or Lime Desserts
Open Closet Doors
Fabric or Clothing That Snags on Fingernails or Dry Skin
(I hate folding Dri-Fit athletic clothes!)
Missing Cell Phone Charger Cords
Why I Love Books:
How can you travel all over the world and meet people from all the ages of time without ever leaving home? By reading, of course! Books give you a ticket to go to places you’ll never be able to go to, the opportunity to meet people you’ll never actually meet in real life, and experience adventures you’ll never get to have!
I must agree with poet Emily Dickinson who wrote:
Amelia Island, FL
St. Simons Island, GA
Blowing Rock, NC
Lake District, England
(and the Okefenokee Swamp, North Georgia Mountains)
New Places I Want to Travel To:
Prince Edward Island
(and Rocky Ridge Farm near Mansfield, MO)