In some ways, I have a history of being
a late bloomer, and as hard as it might seem to believe, the time wasn’t right for me to get a driver’s license
or attend college until I turned forty. I was told soon after I had registered for my classes that I was (at that time) the
oldest beginning female freshman in the history of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Putting aside that daunting information,
I earned my bachelors and masters degrees, then taught high school English for twenty-one years. Soon into my teaching career,
I took summer and night classes at the same university to become a certified reading specialist. I then supervised the high
school reading lab and continued to teach Creative Writing and Thinking to twelfth-grade gifted students and Advanced World
Literature to seniors.
Given my history of being a late bloomer at times, it didn’t
seem unusual that I would not own my first computer until I was eighty. Still, once it was installed, to me it was a monster
daring me to approach it. But my desire to write soon overcame my fear.
And so, as soon
as I learned the basics of getting online and using the word program on my computer, I was compelled to write for publication.
After all, Grandma Moses didn’t pick up an artist’s paintbrush until she was in her seventies.
With my newly acquired mantra, Grandmas can do, I began writing short stories based on my childhood growing up in
the Dust Bowl. I wrote letters to the editor of my local newspaper. My first published writings appeared on the local newspaper’s
opinion page, with some of them dubbed, Spotlight Letter. From there I expanded to story essays. One of the
story essays, titled, You Can Go Home Again, was published in a small town newspaper. Another piece
about my travel experiences while I was a student one summer in Europe was published in the same newspaper in the same small
town where I had been a teacher.
Along with my volunteer presentations at schools
and libraries, I'm also breaking new ground writing short story spinoffs from my novel on my website. I'm especially proud
I'm a new great-grandmother and thinking about writing children's books for my great-grandson, Iain. But right now, my biggest
accomplishment is the completion of my novel (based on my life experiences growing up in the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression).