About Me

Me-300w72pxAfter 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.

Recent Posts


Okay, I may have jinxed myself with my last post. “The words are actually working,” I posted. And: “Wizard is not only going well, but it is still fun!”

Fun is relative, I guess. And I am still very excited and hopeful about the Wizard Within. I still believe it has great potential. But three chapters into Part II and the plotting is snarled.

I have lots of notes, lots of expectations, lots of ideas, and I know where it’s going. That, at least, is an advantage I haven’t always had in the past. My concern right now is WHICH scenes to pick, where to put them, and am I blindly missing something that is vital to getting to the resolution?

I have always been mostly a panster when I write. For those who don’t know, it means someone who goes with the flow instead of following a figured-out-in-advance, rigidly plotted outline. Yet I really like things organized in most of the rest of my life. Spreadsheets, To Do lists, Reminders set on my electronic calendar.

The Wizard Within is much more plotted and planned than my usual stories. I had fun creating elaborate back stories for the characters and deciding what rules this magical world should follow. That, I think is responsible for why writing the scenes went so well at first.

Part II, though, relies mostly on what I want to happen going forward, not revealing the world I created before I began writing. I now have to make the kinds of decisions that I did when creating the backstory. So that means rereading and reworking my notes and scene ideas, moving chapters around, coming up with new ideas and making sure old ideas still work.

In other words, writing Part II is a lot like starting a whole new book, which I hadn’t anticipated. I will get there, but I have to allow myself time to do more prep work and subconscious wool-gathering to get this right. I know I’ll get there. I will, I just need to trust in that.

In the meanwhile, here’s a link to an excerpt from Chapter 5 that I put on Birthing the Next Book:

“Why are you here, son? What brought you?”

Birthing the Next Book
  1. The Wizard Within: Part 1 Leave a reply