I am an adoring wife, a loving sister, aunt, cousin, friend, mentor, book author and business owner. These are the things most people know about. I am also a diabetic and a stroke survivor. All are part and parcel of what makes me—well—me.
When people learn that I served in the Air Force, they say, I don’t look like a soldier (airman). “You look too soft, too feminine looking.” I have always taken that to mean that I didn’t fit their idea of what a female serviceman looked like. You know, the ‘hard looking I can shoot a gnat at fifty paces” kind of woman. (Actually I earned a military marksmanship ribbon).
My love of perfume and all things girlie aside, I am pretty tough. Indeed, life has demanded that I be. After all, few people have the fortitude to spend six weeks on their hands and knees cleaning grout from bathroom tiles—with a tooth brush. (Military Basic Training). Or once eaten Octopus Tempura in Okinawa, Japan (octopus dipped in a breaded coating and fried), and lived to tell about it. (I was told by one of my troops that it was some kind of fish).
Seriously, once I was able to banish the image of those bumpy tentacles from my mind, and discretely spit it out, he was lucky I didn’t make him drop down and give me 50 push-ups, then and there. Consequently, the military guided my life’s trajectory, affording me an education, opportunities to travel, and to learn about other people and cultures.
Likewise, few know that growing up, I dreamed of writing the great American novel. I began with writing little short stories to entertain my younger sister. Poems followed. Two, “Ode To That Lying Scum” and “Swinging From Chandeliers, Do You Suppose The Warranty Covers That” came about after dates with first “Mr. Wrong” and then “Mr. Crazy” who really was crazy if he thought I was doing that on the first date. Besides, I didn’t, and still don’t care for heights.
Finally, came my debut book The Venus Chronicles, followed by a robust freelance writing career. Four books later, and by retaining faith in my dreams, I’ve finally done it. Become a writer! To paraphrase a quote from the 1948, police drama The Naked City. “There are eight million stories in the naked city. This is mine.”