At age eighteen I left my home state of Texas as a last-minute stand-by passenger on a flight to Paris. I had no where to stay when I arrived, just a Lonely Planet guidebook and a carry-on suitcase I was to live out of for two months.
Two months somehow turned into thirteen years.
I often wonder who I’d be if I hadn’t been born in Houston in 1980, if I hadn’t moved to Oklahoma City in 1987, if my father hadn’t been transferred back to Dallas in 1993, if I hadn’t insisted on wearing my mother’s suede leather jacket from the 70s when I was thirteen. If I hadn’t been so practical as a fifteen year old to take my father’s advice to learn Spanish, I might not have ever taken that flight to Paris then made my way down to Spain. I might not have ever fallen in love with the Castilian lisp, the egg and potato tortilla or two o’clock lunches. I might not have ever traveled to Italy where I lived, worked, loved and ate for ten years, or made it to New Zealand where I recently ruined my nails harvesting grapes. If it hadn’t been for all that, I might not have learned how to pack lightly, adapt-easily, listen carefully and be okay with uncertainty.
I have a BA in Journalism from the University of North Texas and received my Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Goddard College. I have published works of poetry and nonfiction, authored two memoirs and am currently working on a short story collection of fiction.
My life off the page has taken me around the globe. I’ve led groups around Europe and Australia, guided thousands of college students through their semesters abroad and created hundreds of itineraries for academics who want to take their students to far-away countries like Costa Rica, China, Russia, Ireland, Scotland, Thailand, Italy, South Africa, Dominican Republic, Guatemala — you name it.
In the writing world, I’ve worked as a copy editor for literary journals such as Minerva Rising and The Pitkin Review, taught workshops and writing courses in Italy, the U.S. and New Zealand. My clients have hired me to write copy for their websites, create newsletters, write letters, copy edit and edify their books before publication. I’ve served as a member of the board of directors at Keirunga Arts and Cultural Center in Hawke’s Bay New Zealand, a panelist judge for The “Y” Foundation Creative Writing Scholarship and am a member of the Association of Writing and Writing Programs. I’m the Creator of theunbottled.com and Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Hayden’s List.
Personality-wise, I’m a wild-haired/straight-hipped/straight-talking/laugh loving/bubble butt/big-toothed/big-mouthed/constantly questioning/eyebrow-plucking/English, Spanish and Italian speaking/jean-wearing/comfort-loving/water baby/hot-headed/little bit crazy/brave/open-hearted/honest/truth-telling/giggle-ridden/barefoot or Birkenstock-rocking/nature-loving/adventure-seeking/world traveling/big sister/genuine/tough as nails/cool composed/wine-drinking/steak eating/cheeseburger making/go-big/low-maintenance/Texas-born/big-dreaming/big hug-giving/free spirit.
When I’m not working or traveling you can probably find me dancing with friends, soaking in sunshine, steeping in nature or staring out a window, figuring out what to write next.
C.S. Lewis said “We read to know we are not alone.” This quote has come to define not only why I read, but also why I write.
Would love to hear from you.
Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org