I am a writer. Books and the written word fascinated me since childhood. My old journal begun when I was 8, written on a lined notebook is still with me, filled with childish poetry dedicated to trees and flowers, or to my dog. They were early attempts at capturing reality on a piece of paper, an understanding even then that thoughts are ephemeral and the only way to make them alive is by writing them down. I wrote mostly for myself, to validate who I was, to bind myself to the world. I kept a diary from the age of 11 until, at 19, when I got married and abandoned it all to having children and being a housewife.
But I never stopped reading books and writing down memories, some as poems, others as short essays or stories. Then, when the children became teenagers, I returned to college, intent on getting a degree. Between work, housewifery, and mothering, I managed to take a few courses per year and slowly accumulated college credits. The more I delved into my studies, the more I loved academics and particularly writing. Then, when I was in my 40s the many years of credit accumulation reached a limit—you only need two more credits and you will graduate, my college counselor told me. I was stunned. I was prepared to just continue, a life-long learner unaware that my goal was right there.
“What do I do next?” I asked out loud. And the answer came in an eyes blink. I want to write. I want to be a writer. That summer I signed up for the Stone Coast Writers Conference in Maine. The ten days I spent there were transformative. I found who and what I wanted to be. Surrounded by brilliant, accomplished writers and my fellow writers-in-the-making, I felt more alive and happy than I had ever been. The stimulating conversations, the explosion of ideas around me, opened me up as if I had been a closed, stale room into which an open window brought in the summer wind. I saw with clarity what I wanted. This was the world I wanted to be part of.
Knowing the endpoint showed me the road to it. The following summer, after being accepted into an MFA program in creative writing, I began my first semester at Vermont College. The next three years were pure heaven, a continuation of the world I had found at Stone Coast. When I graduated in 1997, I was someone else. I had been transformed into a writer and an independent woman, leaving my old existence behind--I divorced my husband and at fifty, began a new life alone.
Following my MFA degree from Vermont College, I began offering classes and tutorials on writing. In 2003, I had my first class of students--6 adults who were interested in writing. I held the class at my home, once a week for a period of 6 weeks and truly saw some great improvements in their skills. I followed this up with several other private classes, concentrating on what I like and believe I do best, short story writing. Although the majority of these classes were for adults, I did have a stint giving an introduction to the short story to teens.
In 2005 I was invited to do a lecture on the history and development of tango at Colombia College in Chicago. By this time, I had been involved in dancing Argentine tango for almost ten years, visiting Buenos Aires every year to dance and compete. It was also here that I immersed myself in the history of tango. This initial lecture at Colombia College was so well received that I was asked to do this twice a year for the next eight years. I did the same at Elgin Community College, and lectured one semester at Harper College.
In addition, I edited several book manuscripts and short works as a freelance editor.
I am a polyglot, but my English and Spanish fluency became another vehicle for teaching and writing. I have taught both languages to adults. In Illinois, I taught Spanish, and during my long sojourns in Buenos Aires, I offered classes in English to adults there. Both experiences were quite rewarding.
Currently, living in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, I have become immersed in local history research through connections to several historians and history chroniclers in the city. I am also busy writing of weekly articles for our local newspaper, Atencion. I am not actively searching for work but I would be willing to do editing of already written work, if I feel that I could help.
Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org