What’s it like working with me?
I’m loud, extremely energetic, talk really fast, and ooze enthusiasm. You’ll either love working with me or want to stab me in the eye with a fork to get me to shut up…maybe both!
How did I get into writing and editing?
Baby, I was born to be wordy nerdy! My Fifth Grade teacher, Mrs. Kirwin, told my mama that there was something “very special” about me and that I had a “gift with words”. She was probably referring to my extremely cheeky mouth (it was a doozy), but mama took it as a sign that she should nurture my gift and she sent me to creative writing classes at the local college that summer…or maybe she was just trying to keep me out of her hair! I hung out with teenagers who were miles ahead of me in the maturity department and most likely extremely annoyed that this nerdy little girl was stuck to them like shit on a wool blanket, but I didn’t care. I was writing and, to my extremely proud 10-year-old self (zero ability to be modest at that age), the instructor repeatedly used examples of my writing to read out to the class. I remember him (a jolly, round dude named Alex Forbes) patting me on the head and constantly saying, “Remarkable writing, kid.”
That was all the encouragement I needed. English was always a favourite subject and, As I grew up, my passion for writing continued to grow as well. I managed to wandangle myself a BA with a minor in English and, years later, a Certificate in Editing, although writing was never my full-time gig. Instead, I spent over a decade working as a professional photographer who moonlighted as a writer and editor on the side, whenever I could carve out the time.
It was only this year that I decided it was time to hang up my cameras, roll up my sleeves, organize my deplorably disastrous desk, and give this full-time writer and editor gig a go. So here I am. Yay me!
What else can I tell you guys about myself?
- If I could spend all my time naked, I would! There’s just something so comfortable and real about not wearing clothes. Also, if I don’t wear clothes, I never get a muffin top! Winning!
- I love animals, but even more than that, I feel what animals feel. My Gma called me a Fauna Empath, but she was a crazy old broad. All I know is if an animal is feeling something, it comes to me as different physical reactions depending on what they are feeling or I have dreams where the animal speaks to me and tells me what’s bothering it. This is especially true for dogs and, in the last three years, it has grown so ridiculously strong that I can feel dogs from all over my neighbourhood when I walk or drive by them. (And maybe this is all a bunch of hooey, but if you have an issue with your dog, bring it over and lemme see if I can help you fix it!)
- I played Roller Derby (which is pretty damn hard-core) for six years before retiring in 2015. During those years, I broke a finger, three ribs, my baby toe and my right hip. It was both the best and worst sport I have ever played and, while I was playing, I was obsessed with it. I still miss it every day, but I took up Mountain Biking because it’s safer for an old gal like me (and all I’ve broken since I started in 2015 is my elbow, so I’m basically excelling at it…🤪)
- There is a saying out there that goes: Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. This sums me up. By the time I was 24, I had lost 8 babies to miscarriages, a premature son at 26.5 weeks, my first husband (to a drunk driver), and my mama (who was only 47 and died suddenly when two medications she was taking counteracted and blew up her heart). When I was 35, I lost my newborn daughter. I had Lyme Disease and didn’t know it and I passed it to her while I was pregnant. She was born seemingly healthy, but the Lyme took over quickly and it ravaged her tiny body and rendered her braindead in just over one day. We removed her from life support when she had only been alive for 30 short hours. I have endured more tragedy in my 45 years than most people I will ever know and I definitely have some massive scars from it, but I also believe that everything that happens in our lives happens for a reason. It’s a cliché, for sure, but it’s also my truth. I wouldn’t be the character I am today—full of life, funny, not afraid to speak my truth, empathetic and sympathetic, compassionate, sassy, fearless, and brutally self-aware—if I hadn’t lived through all that I’ve lived through. I believe that life, no matter where it takes us and what it puts us through, is meant to teach us and that we can’t learn and grow from each experience until we accept it and keep striving to move forward.
- After nearly four years of being stuck in a grief cycle and unhappy in life, I got really sick and died, briefly, on March 14, 2014. Although we didn’t know it at the time, my Lyme Disease flared up from stress and overexertion and it shut my body down while the doctors couldn’t figure out what was going on with me. I left my body as it was on its way out and had a doozy of a Near Death Experience in which I hung out with my mom (who had been dead for 16 years) and my childhood dog (Lasha, a malamute) for the entire day. We spent that day chatting about life, struggles, soul connections, other planes of existence, and all sorts of other amazing shit. And, to top it all off, I not only felt the presence of my baby daughter, Cora, but I felt everyone I have ever lost and many others whom I’d never met. When I woke up, I realized that the experience changed me in more ways than anything else ever has and it continues to change me today, nearly years later. It was beautiful and brutal and I am full to the brim with gratitude that it happened.