I grew up in a small tract home in a suburb of L.A. Our house may have looked like every other house on the block, but, as is always the case with houses, it contained a life and family story all its own.
My particular house was alive with words, ideas, and debate. My father was an artist who made a living in the advertising world. My mother, a student of languages who loved nothing better than a good (or awful) pun, spent years running her own start-up, a marketing research firm. During that time, my sister and I learned to live with the chaos, navigating the cans of Hunts tomato sauce (free samples) and piles of surveys that dotted our living room floor. When her business began losing money, my mother regrouped, returned to school for a second B.A. in psychology and began a new career as a social worker.
My parents’ example taught me not to define myself by any single job or career path, but to stay alive to new challenges and find ways to embrace them.
I began my working life as a high school English teacher, worked I loved, but after a few years I became curious about the world outside of teaching and so took a promotional copywriting job at a scholarly and professional publisher. I advanced quickly as the company grew. Ten years later, by the time my son was born, I was the director of a small and rapidly growing journals department within the company. It was exciting and demanding work, but as a new mother who wanted more time with her child, I knew I had to step down.
This change was pivotal, launching my career as a freelance writer and developmental editor and fundamentally changing my life. Working more closely with authors than I could ever do as a full-time manager, I discovered how much I loved the intellectual and personal challenge of helping people shape their ideas, experience, and professional discoveries into books and articles.
I was soon inspired by this work to pursue my own writing. I entered and completed an M.A. program in creative writing, completed my first novel (a middle-grade novel for readers 8-12), and was surprised to uncover a hidden aptitude for poetry. Who knew?
I now am happily pursuing my own writing and my own dreams while doing the exciting work of helping others pursue theirs through the magic of the written word. I feel very lucky. But I am also aware that I couldn’t have moved forward in my career and made the different leaps I made without the help of trusted colleagues, mentors, editors, bosses, and helpful readers along the way.
My major piece of advice: get the help you need, be it paid professionals, family members, or free advice on youtube. Writing can be lonely work, but it doesn’t always have to be.
Click on the following to learn more about my education, professional experience, editorial portfolio (publications I have helped develop), or my own publications.