I’ve always loved stories and storytelling. When I was a child, I adored fairy tales (the violent ones were the best) and anything written by Roald Dahl. I delighted in their imagination, humor and surprise, and in the fact that these stories were not required to follow the pesky rules of our everyday world. On a good day, writing surprises me in the same way that reading does. I often don’t know what will happen, or how it will unfold until right before it does. Just as I enjoyed exploring as a child, writing gives me an opportunity to explore ideas and subjects that feel important to me, even when they feel unresolved or unfinished.
I grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis, then went off to college in Duluth, Minnesota as a fine arts major. I often wandered the alleys of Duluth with my camera, taking pictures of peeling paint, interesting shadows or rusted trikes. Lake Superior mesmerized me, as it would change dramatically from one day to the next, and it also became one of my favorite subjects to photograph and paint.
After I graduated, I moved to southern Minnesota, and lived in a house surrounded by farm fields and prairie grasses, where I raised my family. When my children were teenagers, I left my work as a teacher’s assistant in special ed., and enrolled in a twelve-week writing class for “absolute beginners” at The Loft in Minneapolis. Near the end of the class, I wrote a short fiction story about a middle-aged man walking the shores of Lake Superior after a divorce. Creating the story felt challenging, fun and magical. Many fiction classes later, I’d rediscovered my love of stories and storytelling.
Now, the kids are off on their own adventures, and I live with my faithful, but hyper, Boston Terrier, back in the suburbs of Minneapolis, where I still write, take photos and paint.
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