I'm a New England girl who landed in Florida, via New York City. That's me, swimming into a new life in 2007. After fifteen years in the big city, the morning of 9/11 changed my life and the world. I stood in a New York City classroom that morning, struggling for words to explain to my students what had just happened to our city and those two towering beacons that had stood like modern megaliths. I didn't know it then, but that event would catapult me into a place and a life I had never considered before. Florida. Palm trees and sunshine. A new adventure. New possibilities. New love and new heartbreak. And so many more stories to tell.
My story is not so unusual. I wanted to be a poet and proudly announced that to my parents when I was about twelve. To my surprise, they were not thrilled at all. "You can't live on that," they said. They were right, unfortunately. So I eventually landed on a teaching career. But when it came time to pursue my master's degree, I chose Creative Writing (City College of New York). I remained unpublished for nearly 20 years, carrying along a cardboard box of all the short stories I had ever written. During the lockdowns in 2020, I decided to write that darn book. Wildflowers and Present Tenses is my memoir, a collection of short stories.
I am a visual writer. Sometimes I start with a singular image and build a story around that moment, weaving a back story then moving it forward. When I wrote my novel Perilous and Beautiful, I had to "graduate" from the short story form to the novel. It was a sharp learning curve. Yet, I remained a visual writer, imagining and developing scenes as if they were a movie in my head, then putting them to paper. So, you will notice the visual nature of my stories and novels when you read them.
I love to use chart paper, index cards and highlighters when developing the plot scenes of a novel, much like how I use them in the classroom - except I'm the only student. I'd like to say that I'm a good student but my desk is always messy and sometimes I get up without permission and wander into the kitchen for a snack.