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When my fifth grade teacher wrote SOME IMAGINATION in all caps across the top of my story about surfing and sports cars, I knew it wasn’t a compliment. I’d captured the pictures swirling in my preadolescent brain and I loved the words I’d written between the pale blues lines of rough composition paper, but stung by her criticism. I put my pencil away, convinced I was no writer after all.
Instead, I decided to be an artist. After I graduated from art school and opened my own graphic design studio, my first clients were publishers. I designed their books, ad campaigns, marketing materials, and ultimately interactive screens—all containers for words.
I never noticed my pleasure in writing proposals for new work, a task generally hated by graphic designers. I carefully crafted perfect cadences for the scopes-of-work documents and transformed change-order penalty notices into poetry. Perhaps those exercises could have satisfied the entirety of my creative writing itch, but like all well-crafted stories, my writing career had an “inciting incident.”
My vibrant, healthy mother died of breast cancer. Words became my vehicle for understanding and then sharing her story. Not long after that, I had the opportunity to travel on an extended trip to Italy, and my newly awakened writing spirit came with me. I fell into the arms of travel writing and tried to make up for lost writing time. I attended conferences, made vital connections, joined a writing group. Then somewhere along the way, travel essays and destination pieces could no longer contain my "SOME IMAGINATION.” I started writing fiction.
I still love the adventure of composing a great travel narrative, but now my favorite places are characters in my novels, as alive and indispensable as the living, breathing ones.
My non-fiction writing has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle and in the anthologies 30 Days in Italy, Best Travel Writing and Best Women’s Travel Writing. My feature articles on Italian design appear in Communication Arts magazine. I am a member of the writing collective Townsend11, which has published three volumes of stories available as e-books. I live in northern California, where I divide my time between the coast and the city.