I was born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, the oldest of eight children. Eventually my parents would have seven girls and one boy. My parents were both readers and books were always a part of our lives. We were always allowed to order books from Weekly Reader and a trip to the public library was a special treat. I remember being in fourth grade and getting to read to the kindergarten and first grade kids. It was very exciting for me. Even in high school I used my free time to work in the library. During my high school years I also met the teacher that added kindling to my spark by giving me the opportunity to write for a small local newspaper. During my senior year I also wrote for the school newspaper.
During this time I realized how much I enjoyed writing and considered a career in journalism. I also met a young man and fell in love. I married this young man one year after I graduated from high school and a year later had our first son. Very quickly I became involved in being a young, inexperienced wife and mother. Any ideas I had about being a writer were quickly set aside. Two other children followed closely behind, another son and a daughter, and my husband went back to school for his bachelor’s degree. The next several years went by very quickly. My husband was focused on his career and school and I was busy being a stay at home mom. I loved what I was doing and was mostly content.
Then my baby girl went to school and my husband graduated and I had more free time on my hands. Although I was still satisfied, I felt maybe I needed something more. So I decided to go back to school. Not a bad idea in and of itself but a little misguided as to what I should study. I chose to go back for interior design. For the next seven years I went to school, continued raising my kids and got a part time job to help pay for school. In 1995 I graduated and turned my part time job into a full time job. A year or so later I got another job in the same field. I enjoyed what I was doing but was not fully satisfied. Then I got laid off.
My second son had just graduated from high school and was heading off to college in Alabama, my daughter was starting high school and my oldest was returning to college. I threw myself into full time parenting and tried to do mortgage brokering part time. Not quite my cup of tea. It was then that God chose to change my direction. I became pregnant after sixteen years and had my fourth child, a wonderful little girl. Since I was jobless, we decided that I would be a stay at home mom again.
I love my youngest daughter very much and now wonderful granddaughters to love but have also rediscovered my love for writing. It fulfills the creative need inside of me while giving me the opportunity to stay at home with my daughter.
In 2005 I had my first article published in “Once Upon aTime…” a magazine for children’s writers and illustrators. I can no longer find the digital copy of this article, but I do have a copy of the magazine so I’m going to retype it with maybe a few updates:
Why I Write
I am sitting in my husband’s study, beating myself up because I don’t have any ideas for my next column. A picture of my three year old daughter when she was a newborn flashes up on the computer screen. That one is quickly followed by a photo of my one year old granddaughter when she was a newborn. It suddenly dawns on me that I need to quit saying I’m blocked and write. So here is the product of my wandering mind.
I am so very thankful for all that you have given me. I am especially thankful for my wonderful children. Four of them you miraculously gave to Al and I directly as a product of our love. One you even more miraculously brought into our lives from a foreign country, and the most recent one you miraculously used my daughter as a vehicle to give us one more of your children.
I am not worthy of these gifts,
yet you saw fit to give them to me anyway.
All of these children entered our lives at just the right time.
First you gave me Scott. You gave him to us so that we had someone to mature with. He was our test child, the one that taught me how to be a mother.
Then there was Nicholas. We are still trying to figure him out. For the longest time Nicholas stumped me. Now that he is an adult, I may be getting past the tip of the iceberg. He is a writer and this is a passion we share. He is one of my soul mates, one of my inspirations.
Now, Katie; she is my little girl. Need I say more? She was another female in a house full of males and someone to share all those things that mothers and daughters share.
Freya came next. She was my foreign country child. Freya lived with us for a year. It was an amazing year. Freya became Katie’s big sister as well as keeping Al and Me from getting too comfortable with empty nest syndrome. We went through a lot of changes that year, not because of Freya, but along with her.
During that wonderful year with Freya, we were blessed with another gift, Anastasia, our change of life child. Ana was given to us at a time in our lives when we had become complacent. We thought our life’s journey had been set and that we had everything we could ever want or need. Ana has helped us rearrange our priorities and realize what is most important in our lives.
Then one more gift. Katie had a baby girl of her own, my granddaughter, Andriana has been as much of a blessing as all of my other children. She is one of the lights in my eye and has been a lifeline for Katie when things have gotten bad.
All of our children have given us and will continue to give us many gifts. They are all the gifts that keep on giving.
Now, you may ask, what does all of this have to do with why I write? The answer is very simple.
I write to praise God. My children are a few of the reasons I Praise God. The children, each in their own way, have enriched my life. They are my soul mates and my muses. They inspire me to reach down deep into myself and write what I find in my heart.
I write to praise and glorify God and I thank God everyday for the gifts of my children and the gift of my writing.
That article was written twelve years ago and a lot has changed; the kids are even more grown, Ana turns sixteen in a couple of days, we moved across the country and back again, four beautiful granddaughters have been added to the mix.. Through it all my love and gratitude for God has grown along with my writing. If you explore the blog a little more you will see my published books and I continue to work on writing for Middle grade and Young Adult, because it seems that’s where my heart lies.