Like many writers, I fell in love with words at an early age. There are still days when I think books are better than people. Stories help make the world make sense. They teach us how to live. They give us truth packaged so that we can understand it – in doses we can stomach, and remind us that we’re not alone in our struggle and fear.
I set out, in college, to become an author. I got my Bachelor’s degree, started work on my Master’s … and then I had a baby. I tried to balance work, school, and creativity, but the little life I’d created seemed to take everything I had. I made the conscious choice to become a stay-at-home mom. I had four more children, and I’ve stayed at home with them since then, striving to create the best world for them that I could.
For thirteen years, I wrote almost nothing. And then, in November of 2013, my oldest daughter dragged me to a NaNoWriMo meeting. She wanted to be a writer! The energy at that meeting was contagious. That night, when I got home, I wrote a short story. The next day, I wrote another one. I have not stopped writing since. I don’t think I could, now. I’m working on my second novel, and not surprisingly, it’s a story about second chances. It’s also about who we are versus who society says we are. By the end of the book, my two main characters find their voices.
Most of the time, I write amidst barely-controlled chaos. But that’s okay. I think there is beauty everywhere, even in a child’s finger painting or pathetically-executed-but-enthusiastically-attempted cartwheel. I lean toward literary fiction, perhaps because I love taking a situation that looks hopeless or mundane – or chaotic – and uncovering things layer by layer until a little kernel of wisdom or honesty or something unsuspected appears. Literary fiction allows for that, and it allows for an ending that might not be a happy one, but one that rings true. All of the best stories do that – dance inside the tiny space where truth and imagination collide. It’s that elusive place I’m seeking when I sit down to write.