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    2010 - 03.20

    I was born in Tennessee, near the Smoky Mountains, a region abounding with natural beauty, the birthplace of country music and Jack Daniels whiskey (and obviously cute babies!).  While I now live in another state, Tennessee is, and always will be, my home. You can take the girl out of the mountains but never, ever, and don’t you even try, to take the mountains out of the girl…or decrepit old woman.

    Ever wonder why they call them the Smoky Mountains?

    Now I’m called an Okie and I’m not quite sure I like that term but the natives don’t seem to mind.  Hey, even Merle Haggard sang about being proud to be an Okie from Muskogee! (I played a part in an independent moved filmed in Muskogee. I don’t think I was very good but I had a lot of fun.) I live in a very small town on Lake Keystone, about 25 miles from Tulsa. I’m married (the reason I moved to Oklahoma) and I have two grown daughters and a very spoiled Boston terrier named Tiger and an adorable but exceedingly lazy Pomeranian named Barkley.

    How it all began

    I won an essay contest when I was twelve.  At the time I lived in France, thanks to being an Air Force brat. My mother heard about a European-wide essay contest about Law Day–May 1st. Looking back I realize this must have been a military “holiday” because no one else I know has ever heard of it. Being terribly patriotic I thought I’d give it a try. There were only ten winners across Europe and I was one of those ten. The winners got to go to a courtroom in their country and watch a day of trials with lunch at an outdoor cafe. Even though I hadn’t learned a great deal of French yet, I thought it was wonderful! That night as I lay in bed, totally exhausted, I had an epiphany.  “I think of something, put it on paper, and someone rewards me for it? Yeah, that’s what I want to do when I grow up–BE A WRITER!”

    I played with writing for the next several years. I never dreamed of submitting anything (no one told me about S.E. Hinton writing that killer book, The Outsiders, at the age of 16!) but I never stopped writing. I’d write scary stories and tell them to my cousins, hoping one of them would cry or run away screaming. When I hit high school I wrote stories with my friends in the leading roles. They loved it. Then I allowed life to drag me away from writing.

    I came to my senses and went back to writing in 1995.

    I’ve had over five dozen short stories published in national magazines, as well as serial and holiday stories published in regional newspapers. I have a short story, “The Flying Saucer”, published in the anthology Shades of Tulsa and I’m a contributing author to Book Marketing A to Z. In 2004 I won first place for a short story submitted to the OWFI conference contest in the confession category. I won first place in the America Nostalgia Prose category at the OWFI conference in May, 2005 for a short story created from a chapter in Saturday Night Cocoa Fudge. I won prizes for poetry and a Sci-Fi book in OWFI writing contest in 2008. It is my pleasure to be a member of Tulsa Nightwriters and have the honor of being the editor of NightScripts, the organization’s newsletter. I’m also a member of Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, Inc. (OWFI).

    Tulsa NightWriters (former newsletter editor)

    Oklahoma Writers’ Federation, INC (former secretary)

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