After spending my whole life in small town Illinois, I moved to big, gritty Chicago. From country roads to “L” trestles, from swallow’s nests and corn fields to pigeon shit and stinking alleys. Something drew me there and kept me there for four years–a need to look the not so pretty in the face and say screw you. Maybe that’s why I developed such an appreciation for those who live there, especially the people of the streets. They’ve been kicked in the face, cursed and, worst of all, ignored and yet they continue to say screw you. They fight to survive, to thrive.
I spent twice a week volunteering with Chicago’s homeless, youth in particular, and got to know a few on a personal level that made me want to become a voice for them. I still volunteer and am channeling the lessons I learned on the streets of Chicago. Seattle is surrounded by mountains and ocean and emerald green trees. Solitude and peace can be found a short drive from home. But until the human element can find a way to treat themselves and each other with respect and understanding, there is darkness out there as well. And it’s how you deal with the darkness that counts.
My STREET STORIES series reflects the reality of throw away youth striving to survive. My publication credits include short fiction in Red Herring Mystery Magazine, Downstate Story and City Slab.