|View outside my office|
Once I began teaching, those summer vacations meant Allen (my husband) and I could skip down to Mexico or Guatemala to research indigenous cultures. These side trips were rewarded with teaching assignments in Latin American Literature, African literature, and finally, Intro to Humanities, a year-long class which allowed me to dabble into pre-historic cultures, through the Greeks and Romans, the dark and middle ages, Romanticism, the Industrial Revolution, the Scientific Revolution, and modernity with all its rocks, punk and otherwise.
The Humanities class gave us just the right excuse to go on sabbatical, an eight-month study tour of Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, and England, with a month in each country. Unforgettable.
On retiring, I began writing in earnest and became an active member of The Internet Writing Workshop. My first book, Mother's Don't Die, a thriller about a kidnapping, now sits in a drawer.
My second book, Standing Stones, began as a short story about selkies off the coast of Scotland and morphed into Standing Stones, historical fiction about a fishing family living in the Orkney Islands, who were kicked out of their cottage by a new landowner. Mac, arrested for protesting evictions all over the island, is transported to Van Diemen's Land. And thus began my third book, Years of Stone, which follows Mac in mid-19th Century Tasmania.
Standing Stones enabled us to spend two months in Scotland (the Orkneys, Inverness, and Edinburgh). Every library we visited gave me a library card; I am forever grateful for Scottish generosity and their commitment to literacy.
Standing Stones (Book 1: The McDonnell Clan) also won second place in historical fiction (2010) at the Pacific Northwest Writers literary contest. Years of Stone (Book 2: The McDonnell Clan) placed in the quarter finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition (2014). Currently, I'm deep into Book 3, Rivers of Stone, set in Canada and the Pacific Northwest.
We now live in Spokane, Washington, still ready to travel, yet near family with two granddaughters. Writing and quilting remain my primary interests, and I celebrate Facebook friendships from around the world.