Meet the Author…
Everyone knows a kid like me, and I may be like you! Pecking on an office typewriter in my family doctor’s office and playing “The Star Spangled Banner” by ear on a music store piano by age three, I demonstrated that a toddler knows her life’s task early on. So with luxuriant parent approval, I wrote, sang, acted, played sports, and hung upside down from tree limbs to my heart’s content. At age four I composed “Indian Joe and Cowboy Cut,” a ballad my cousin still sings to me. By age nine I had drafted two Tom Sawyeresque novels and won the KPRC Radio Quiz Down. Soon thereafter, I was busy staging production numbers for “I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts,” “The Thing” and “They Were Doing the Mambo.” It never entered my mind to wait for “the other shoe to drop” so as to share the ecstasy of agony often reported by suffering, misunderstood artistes. Strangely, I found a creative spirit flourished just as well in the “Leave it to Beaver” domestic tranquility as in Dickensian poverty or Tennessee Williams dysfunction.
At thirteen, I outlined WWI and the Depression for 8th grade American History; and in high school I penned naïve pacifist poems about the “Harmony of Nations,” declaimed a speech about the “Seminole Trail of Tears,” and adapted Alice in Wonderland and Diary of Anne Frank into play cuttings for speech contests. When emceeing a high school posture pageant, I filled two hours with humorous asides and got mistaken for a professional performer by the local TV celebrity judges. Several times, I heard city drama coaches say I had the “it” quality. But, I did not know how to proceed from such acclaim.
When grown, given my incurable penchant to keep many plates spinning aloft, I often got tagged to write sorority skits, church programs, curriculum events, birthday rhymes, TV parodies, and work/club newsletters. Ideas came easily. Later, when teaching public school, I wanted to be the PTA program queen. Instructing in two theatre schools gave me additional writing/directing experience. In the 1960s, I pitched original musical scores for my adaptations of Little Orphan Andy, Hansel & Gretel, and Beauty and the Beast. The latter, a puppet play, had successful productions at Marich’s Houston Theatre Center and Spokane Civic Theatre. After working for a New York talent agent and dabbling in five other careers, I realized that for an ordinary girl from Texas, I was having an extraordinary life… with tremendous breadth if not depth.
During a summer NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) workshop and year-long Harris County Community Action project, I taught puppetry and creative fables in public housing projects. Some years later I ran a Community in Schools program. Contorting into political correctness, I wrote a three-play cycle on female singleness for my second master’s thesis. For the Annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, NV, I wrote and performed a three-poem saga about a Mexican illegal alien-cum-ranch-foreman. I wanted to cover all the bases!
In the 1990s, to satisfy my resume and ego, I taught developmental English and creative writing in community colleges, proving I could dance the academic Watusi. In Nevada, I started a writers’ group to encourage critique and experimentation with various styles/genres, soon learning how naysayers and idea-killers play the intimidation game.
Overlaying my literary creative spurts, I spent more than 25 years plying the massage trade and studying anatomy. During that time, I became fascinated with how the brain forms neuropaths. Although I loved pounding on bodies, I still missed thumping on my typewriter. I was by design a scribbler at heart. With such abundant energy, why had I not also taken time to polish major manuscripts and seek to publish them? What was wrong with this picture? To correct the imbalance, my internal task-tyrant had to move from the adrenal cortex to the cerebrum (from physical work to sedentary work), a change akin to applying brakes to an Indy 500 race car.
Now I live in Newfoundland six months of the year. There I have run a puppet workshop at the local library and am gathering elements for a potential mystery weekend. The remainder of my time I roam the States like a vagrant, trying not to smell like fish while visiting friends and family. Whenever possible, I pick up spare jobs to finance my folly or hide out in remote cottages to do the solitary work of writing. Letting no fungus form, I have completed three novellas, a book on massage therapy, several plays, and the Ímagine Purple series. Needing a break after having a play produced out West, I thought to stop for awhile… when suddenly my editor saw how perfect the Imasodes were for the Internet…
So, back to spinning plates again!