“Tell me a little about yourself.”
Those words strike fear in my soul, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. I’m stuck trying to decide what the person actually wants to know, how much to share, where to start. And that’s a little how I feel about this “about me” section. What to say? Where to start?
Well . . . I tumbled into the world in the almost-middle of a swampy Southern summer, in the almost-middle of the week, in the almost-middle of the night. And I do mean “tumbled,” since the umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck, choking me. What an introduction to the world. Like, “Hey, welcome, try not to die.”
What no one knew at the time was that there was something inside me that would make my life a little different. I don’t mean a creative spark or something. I mean a wonky heart. My heart is weird and defective because I have SVT (supraventricular tachycardia) but it functions and it won’t kill me (probably). Isn’t that all you can ask for from a heart?
Maybe that’s why I’ve always felt the shortness of life pressing in on me, engendering a compulsion to achieve things now, right now, while there’s time. I suffer from a fear of wasting my life, of being frivolous with what some people would give anything to have a little more of. And I cannot stand it when people tell me that I’m young, I still have time. No one knows how much time they have, silly person. Life is short and I don’t plan to waste mine.
Welp. That got deep and personal fast. That’s something else you should know about me—small talk is akin to a slow death for me, but if you want to tell me your hopes and dreams, I’m so here for that. I’d much rather know about your plans for the future than what you think of the weather.
And speaking of hopes and dreams, I started writing before I even knew how to combine letters into words. There was something about being able to put my thoughts on paper that seemed like the most beautiful form of magic and I couldn’t wait to start. Before I knew how to read, I would open books and stare at their pages, wondering how the strange symbols could be transformed into words and sentences imparting ideas and fascinating tales.
And so, once I had a grip on creating sentences, I wrote thoughts and stories. But I didn’t think the stories were very good, so I stopped writing them when I was about ten and focused on poetry and essays instead. I didn’t write another word of fiction for over a decade, until I found myself at a crossroads in my professional life, stepping off a career path toward speech-language pathology when I realized it wasn’t the right fit for me. I was fortunate enough to be in a position where I had time to re-evaluate, and I started digging into books again, roaming through the aisles of the local library.
It was through reading that I found my voice, inspired by a thought of a character. Through creating her, I discovered there were stories still in me. That was five manuscripts ago, and with each, I’ve learned and developed as a storyteller. And with each, I’ve grown to love writing even more. I’ve come to embrace my North Carolina roots, setting my suspense novels in my home state, often along the beaches I love so much.
And every step of the way, I’ve had the support of the best human I know. I’ve been married to him for over a third of my thirty-five years, and my life would be horribly incomplete without my smart, kind, techy husband. He has never once wavered in supporting me, and I endeavor to do the same for him.
He even made a writing tool just for me. (Well, okay, not just for me. Other writers get to use it too.) It’s called The Quill, and it ensures that no writer ever loses his/her work. Also, it’s very pretty. I did that, design aficionado that I am, peering over my husband’s shoulder all, “Can you put that part over there? Oh and make that color a little darker. Can you make different color schemes that I can choose based on the manuscript??” I bribed him with cookies for all that work. And we’ve still got a whole list of cool features to add in the future.
I also have a master’s degree in organizational management and worked for several years as a management consultant, which means I see the world through the perspective of a creative soul and a business mind. It sounds contradictory, but somehow the two sides of my brain get along just fine, complementing and supporting each other.
So there ya go. That’s an overview of who I am. And this blog is where I spill thoughts—on life, writing, the world—always with a sense of humor because that’s just how I live. Welcome.