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The Dirty Days is my first novel. Since its completion, I've made arrangements with public libraries and classroom teachers to share my oral and written short stories about life in the 1930's Dust Bowl and Great Depression. I do the volunteering mentioned above with the conviction that both children and adults may benefit greatly in learning about a significant part of American history from a person who actually lived through that time and place.

Others have written about the Dust Bowl. Singer Woody Guthrie, who also lived in Oklahoma during its bad days, wrote poignant songs about those times. John Steinbeck, a novelist, wrote the much read, highly esteemed, prize-winning novel, Grapes of Wrath, which was mainly about the struggles of those who left Oklahoma to seek work in California. Others, some who never lived in the Dust Bowl or only lived there for a short time, have published well-researched histories and documentaries as well. 

My book takes the reader into the mind and disposition of a young girl named Molly May growing up in the Dust Bowl in the 1930's. All events are based on my experience of actually growing up there. Molly’s family was among those families who chose to remain in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl and depression and survived that very significant period in American history. 

But my story's not just about the pain and suffering. There are moments of humor and tenderness that reveal our human capacity to find hope, yes even happiness amid all the tragedy.

My story celebrates and acknowledges the strength and endurance of a generation of adults and children who battled the elements at a desperate time and prevailed through pure grit, hope, and determination! 

On September 16, 2012, I was interviewed by iuniverse radio.  Click on the link below to hear that interview.

Click Here to Hear My Interview.


It is 1933. As a beat-up truck travels down a road away from Arkansas, seven-year-old Molly May Dowden can only hope a better future awaits her parents in Thistleway, Oklahoma.They have no idea of what is about to come.

With their money safely tucked away in a mattress, the Dowdens feel hopeful as they pass through Oklahoma City. But their hopes for an improved life disintegrate a hundred miles further west when a dust storm swirls dangerously around their truck. Forced to take shelter inside a dingy cafe with a band of quirky strangers, the Dowdens soon realize that life in Oklahoma might not be what they had hoped. After the family finally settles in their two-room workers’ shanty, one hardship piles up after another as they battle spider bites, rancid water, strange rashes, loneliness, and death. Left with no choice but to bravely persevere through the never-ending drought and dust, Molly and her family soon discover a fortitude they never knew they had.

In this historical tale based on true events, a young girl embarks on a coming-of-age journey where she and her loved ones must nobly fight to survive the Great Depression and the Oklahoma Dust Bowl.

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