A bit about me:
I first discovered my love of writing as an eight-year-old who composed poetry on window ledges and wrote an epic novel about an adventuring polar bear. None of those early works saw publication, but since then I have been featured in the Valley News, Genesee Valley Parent Magazine, the Middlesex News, Bangor Metro, and Port City Life Magazine. One of those feature stories, Summers in Rachel's House, won an honorable mention in the Writers Digest annual competition in 2009. I spent eight years as a regular columnist, first for the Northborough-Southborough Villager, then for Bangor Daily News. As a BDN columnist I wrote stories about people all over the state of Maine. It was an exercise that significantly boosted the love I already had for my adopted home state, where I have been a part-time resident for 37 years and a full time resident for 16. I've also been known to write about motherhood, dogs, travels, and forays into introspection. Fundamentally, even in the throes of despair that life inevitably brings, I believe that being alive is a gift not to be squandered in negativity. Thinking deeply is important; so is laughter. That's what I try to find through words.
In 2015, after five years and 173 columns for the Bangor Daily, I resigned from my regular columnist position to concentrate on larger book projects and freelance work. That decision coincided with my completion of an MFA in creative writing through the University of Southern Maine's Stonecoast program. Shortly thereafter, an opportunity dropped in my lap to teach freshman writing at Husson University, which I still do today.
My first full length book is a memoir called, My Mother's Choice. The book explores a profound mother-daughter relationship seen through the urgent lens of illness and dying. The bookends to the memoir include extensive research and interviews related to our country's handling of death and dying in the 21st century. The heart of the book is my relationship with an independent, stubborn, loving mother who was determined to retain control during her final days of life, even if it meant taking matters into her own hands. The bigger picture discusses the flaws in our society's view of death. We can do much better.
After nine years of research I completed a second book in 2017. It tells the life story of Rachel Field, an award-winning Maine author from the 1930’s. When my husband and I bought her old summer house on an island off the coast of Maine, I was immersed in Rachel's creative space, surrounded by her books, her furniture, her old magazines in the attic, and the landscapes that inspired her. I became captivated by both the woman and her work. That project has generated several guest speaker invitations. I presented my work at the Deep Carnivale conference in Tampa, the Cranberry Isles Historical Society of Maine, the Hitty Conference in Stockbridge Massachusetts, Dirigo Pines retirement home in Orono, Maine, and Southwest Harbor, Maine's public library. I am currently in search of representation for this unusual and engaging story!
I have also given talks about my year-long blog project - a photographic and contemplative sunrise marathon of 365 days. That blog is still available online: a year of getting up to meet the day. One day I hope to turn that into a book too. Between the Rachel Field book, the sunrise project, and my experiences as an interviewer and profiler about Maine people I have enjoyed several opportunities to speak publicly about my work. I relish the engagement of people in conversation, especially when it produces insight, inspiration, delight, or a positive change of heart.
I am a member of the AWP and Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance. You can find me on the MWPA's "Find Maine Writers" pages: (find.mainewriters.org)