I was born in New Orleans and spent most of my childhood with New Orleans as an anchor in my life that pulled me back when I drifted to other places. My father was a geologist and my mother an anthropologist and we were never in the same place for more than a year or two. By the age of eighteen, I had lived in China, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, France and England. My family was dysfunctional- that’s the polite term. I learned to be on my own and I don’t really regret that. I learned to hunt down opportunities, and not simply wait for them to appear. When I was ten years old, I wrote my first short story. It was a story having something to do with a magical crystal cave that existed in a pocket dimension, and a little boy who accessed this cave through a supply closet at his elementary school. I remember being thrilled with writing, amazed that I could create another world in my mind. I was also nervous about showing it to anyone. Eventually, an English teacher encouraged me to let him read it. A week later, I found myself in a “gifted kids” program with a heavy emphasis on creative writing. I was hooked.
By age twelve, I knew this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I didn’t know if I was any good at it, but I knew I loved it. I started published stories in literary magazines, and even made a little money. At age twenty-three, I stopped writing. Several tragedies in my life left me emotionally drained, and my physical health took a rapid turn for the worse. I had brain surgery to repair a ruptured aneurysm, and the Epilepsy I have dealt with since I was ten years old became a monster. I dabbled in writing here and there, but I just couldn’t focus anymore. What craft I had, I lost.
I spent a year living in Prague, a year in Budapest, and a combined four years living in Panama. I fought depression, alienation, health problems and building a new life. My husband has been a driving force in my continued recovery and has always encouraged me to write. When I have given up, he pushed me back. Until now, I have resisted writing again, or more accurately, having any plans on doing this for a living. Now, things are different. I am settled in California, happy, and though my health continues to be a problem (I have seizures very often.) I am more stable and ready to chase my dreams.
“The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.” ~Anaïs Nin