I write for the people who don’t belong—the ones on the outskirts filled with otherness. The people like me.
And how’d this all start? Well, my brain was starting to atrophy, and I realized I would die a tortuous, stifling death of boredom in the gray cubes of corporate America. I turned to my friend, who loved her job more than anyone else I knew, and asked “But how did you know you wanted to write computer code?” (Because computer coding sounds atrocious, but she loves it in the same insane way I adore stripping wallpaper.) She told me she took some tests.
I paid $600 to a research institute and drove to Texas. In a benign looking office building, I spent two days arranging eye-shadow samples into color schemes, putting poker chips with words embossed upon them onto place-mats, and writing really, really fast until a timer freed me from my tasks. The tester people came back and said, “You would be good at disaster management and writing.” Disaster management was all right, but I’d already worked hurricane Wilma and getting glow sticks when you check into the hotel because they don’t have power is a young person’s game. (I mean I had just turned thirty.) So, writing it was.
Writing wasn’t something new to me—it had always been the way I worked through my thoughts. But, after the tests I looked at writing with a fresh eye. I realized I was building a new career, and as with any other career you start at the bottom. I took my blows in writers groups, celebrated the sale of my first essay, and steamed in the pit of self-loathing when I didn’t write every day because that’s what real writers do. I discovered the genres that called to me, stumbled into my writer’s voice, and even completed a novel.
I mainly publish fantasy novels, fiction short stories, flash fiction (think short-short stories), and essays. I love to eat and take road-trips, and I combined the two into the I’ve Been Everywhere & Then I Had Dinner Project which shows up on my blog. Starting in the summer of 2016, my blog also became a showcase for other Kansas City writers through my podcast interview series. Also in 2016, the Bacopa Literary Review awarded me first place in creative non-fiction for my short essay, I Am Descended From Giants.
I served on the board Whispering Prairie Press (a non-profit dedicated to art and literature) from 2011-2017. In 2012, I became Managing Editor of Kansas City Voices arts and literary magazine, and spent the next five years publishing emerging writer and artists. In the fall of 2017 I left the magazine to pursue my fantasy writing full time.